Author's Note: I am so sorry for the wait! I hope some of you will still continue to read and review! I honestly love the feedback both good and bad! Please excuse any errors (feel free to point them out if you wish, so I may edit), extremely tired and my mind is a little bonkers today.
Bobby sat in his car, playing with the radio waiting for Bailey. This was what he hated the most, the waiting when she wasn't there. He knew where she was, what she was doing, but he hated even thinking it. He pressed another button as yet another girl approached his car. He pretended not to hear her, not to see her, and it took a minute before she finally walked away with a huff.
It was another fifteen minutes of waiting before another car pulled up behind Bobby. The passenger side door open and Bailey slipped out. He took in the sight of his sister as she walked away from the car. She slipped the money into her shirt and then glanced up, noticing Bobby's car. He eyes instantly drifted down to the ground ashamed. Every time she made a comment in reference to what she did she said it nonchalantly like it was nothing more than being a waitress but he knew that when she caught in the act it was different. She was ashamed of him seeing her like that.
Bailey shoved a hand through her hair and walked over to Bobby's car. She opened the door and then slipped inside, leaving the door open. She wrapped her arms around her body, feeling awkward sitting next to him so soon after.
"Sorry," Bailey said. She looked down at the ground beside the car and then up at her brother. "Think I could ask you a favor?"
"I can't leave Jack here, freakin' Scarlet is trying to get her claws in him and I can't let that happen."
"Yeah, sure," he replied.
Bailey looked at her brother through narrowed eyes, surprised that it hadn't taken a bit coercion to get her way. Not wanting to jinx it, she left the car without a word. Bobby watched as his sister disappeared behind the wall and kept his eyes there until she reemerged with the scrawny boy with a mess of dirty blonde hair. He noticed the way Jack followed behind Bailey, his head down and his arms wrapped around himself.
As Bailey approached the car, Jack stopped walking, eyeing the Bobby in the front seat. She noticed that Jack stopped walking and turned back towards him, a small smile on her face. She slammed the front door shut, then quickly slid into the back, dragging him along with him.
Bobby started the car and sped out of the alleyway. It was silent the entire way there. Bobby didn't know how to address the kid that he had nearly scared half to death the last time he saw him. Bailey was the first to crack. She unbuckled her seatbelt and leaned up into the front of the car, reaching for the radio button.
"What the fuck is wrong with you?" Bobby muttered.
"What? It's too damn quiet."
"Get your ass in the backseat and put your seatbelt on."
"Yes, sir." He collapsed against the backseat and redid her seatbelt as Bobby fiddled with the radio stations. "Stop, go back."
"Fuckin' kiddin' me."
"Screw you, I like this song." She smirked at Jack and sang along. "I'm never gonna dance again, guilty feet have got no rhythm..."
"So, Jackie, what do you think?" Bobby asked, looking back at the kid.
Jack looked up at Bailey who was still singing along to the cheesy song. She smiled as she sang along and bumped her arm against his. Jack just shrugged, still watching Bailey who laughed at herself as she messed up a lyric.
"Apparently, I'm the only guy in the car," he said pulling into the parking lot.
When they got into the diner Bailey tried not to smile as the waitress she had dubbed the Queen of BJs only weeks ago approached. She smiled politely, trying to ignore the evil looks that she was getting from the waitress and then followed behind her to their table. She walked away to get their drinks, giving them a few minutes to decide but when she had returned Jack hadn't even looked down at the menu in front of him. She took Bobby and Bailey's order with only the slightly gruff at Bailey was giving an earnest try not to laugh. When it came to Jack, she got frustrated when the boy didn't answer. She tapped impatiently on the table causing Jack to slink further away.
"Chill the fuck out," Bailey muttered at the waitress. She rested her head on Jack's shoulder and pointed out random things on the menu, her eyes glancing up to his face to see if anything peaked his interest. "Come on, Jack, you have to eat something."
Bailey looked down at the menu and pointed to another thing and he nodded meagerly. She sighed and looked over at the waitress with a small smile, placing Jack's order, grilled cheese, before returning her head to his shoulder.
"Don't take it offensively, she just hates us," Bobby told Jack. "Bailey doesn't have a filter that tells her when she shouldn't say stuff."
"And you do?" She nodded towards his face where a dark purple circle surrounded his eye. "How exactly did you get that lovely bruise?"
"The game got a little intense. And I may or may not have said a few choice things 'bout his sister." He smirked, plucking the bottle off of the table and brought it up to his lips. "The other guy looks like a fuckin' mess."
"Nice example you set for me."
Jack looked down at his hands as the siblings bantered back and forth between one another. He looked at the dirty caked under his nails and the brown spots on his skins, addressing them with a small frown. Bailey looked up at his face, her head still on his shoulder and smiled at the faces he made about his hands.
"If you want to wash your hands, the bathroom's down and to the left," she said.
With a small nodded Jack slipped out of the booth. He pushed up the sleeves of his sweatshirt as he walked past the table. Bobby looked at the large scar forming on his arm nearly from wrist to elbow and then looked over at his sister. She was oblivious to anything but Jack as she watched him walk away, making sure he went in the right direction.
"He's pretty messed up," Bobby commented. "That scar, is that from-"
"Yeah." Bailey brought her knees up to her chest and shook her head. "This is an improvement from when I first saw him. He was so messed up, I couldn't-"
Bailey stopped talking as the waitress came to drop their food off. As the plates dropped down onto the table she looked out the window. Bobby kept his eyes on her, waiting for the moment she would start talking again, but she never did. He hated the way she took any distraction as a sign that she should just stop talking.
"I ain't seen ya like this before," Bobby said, pulling Bailey's attention from the window.
"I am not worried," she replied defensively. She looked down at her plate, picking up a fry and tearing it into smaller pieces. "He's a kid, I'm just making sure he doesn't get hurt."
Bobby grunted, a sign of his disbelief, then looked up at Bailey. With her eyes narrowed she leaned back in her seat, keeping her glare on Bobby who ignored her. He was used to the looks she gave him, he had dealt with worse after all.
"Change of subject?" Bailey finally said, relenting.
"Sure. You know he's got a crush on you, right?" Bobby asked, smirking.
"Fucker." She sat up and rested her arms on the table, moving closer to him. "He doesn't and even if he did it would pass. It's just 'cause I showed him a little bit of kindness."
"I ain't so sure about that." He grabbed a fry off of Bailey's plate and shoved it into his mouth. "You fuckin' encourage him, Bailey."
"Restin' your head on his shoulder, playin' with his fuckin' hair. You're flirtin' with him."
"He's thirteen." She slapped Bobby's hand away when he reached for another fry and shook her head. "I ain't listening to you anymore."
"No surprise. You always stop listenin' when you know I'm right."
Bailey grabbed a fry from her plate and chucked it at Bobby who promptly picked it up off the table and shoved it into his mouth. By the time Jack returned to the table they had started on a more appropriate conversation. Bobby had been recounting his latest hockey game, obviously embellish the tale to suit him and even though Jack had gotten back in the middle of it he seemed transfixed by the story. Bailey smirked at the look of excitement on Jack's face as Bobby went goal by goal.
Jack leaned forward, his arms resting on the table as Bobby started to show Jack how the final ten seconds had been using the salt and paper shakers as him and his opponent and a packet of sugar as the puck. Bobby took the pepper shaker, the resemble of him, and smacked the sugar off the table, sending it flying to the floor then raised his hands in the air. Bailey laughed softly Jack's eyes widened in amusement.
"Maybe one day I'll teach ya how to play," Bobby said, nodding towards Jack. "I tried to teach Bailey over there but she's fuckin' hopeless. She gets on the ice and falls on her ass."
Bailey looked between her brother and Jack and smiled. They were getting along well enough that she figured it would be okay to leave for a minute. She started to excuse herself but as soon as she slipped out of the booth Jack was beside her.
"Jack, it's the ladies room, I don't think you're supposed to follow me there," she said. She patted the booth with her hand and took a step back. "I will be right back. I also expect you to eat something by the time I get back. You're skinny as hell, Jack."
Reluctantly, Jack slid back into the booth and Bailey looked at Bobby with a small nod. As soon as she left there was an awkward silence at the table. Bobby shoveled more food into his mouth as Jack picked at the crust of his sandwich.
"Hey, kid, I'm sorry about what happened the last time I saw ya," Bobby mumbled through a mouth full of food. "I didn't mean to scare ya. I was just tryin' to find Bailey."
"You didn't scare me," he replied, his eyes darting between Bobby and the table.
"Sure I didn't." Bobby took notice of the empty glass set before Jack. "You want another drink?"
"Sure ya do." He looked around the room for the waitress but came up with nothing. "You're a kid, you like the sugar." He tapped his hand on the table and continued searching aimlessly. "Our waitress disappeared, I'll be back."
Bobby slid out of the booth and headed towards the front of the dinner in search for the waitress. He looked towards the front counter and saw Bailey shoving money across it the man. She picked up the pack of cigarettes he had placed on the table and looked up, immediately noticing Bobby standing a few feet away.
"I told you to keep an eye on Jack," she muttered.
"He needs another drink. I couldn't find the waitress. I'm not that fuckin' irresponsible." He nodded towards the carton in her hand. "When'd ya start smoking?"
"I do it when I start to get jittery," she answered, knowing that he'd understand. She tossed the pack between her hands and nodded towards the door. "I'll be right back. Keep an eye on Jack for me and I mean it. I'll be two minutes at most."
Bailey slipped out of the diner and into the brisk air. She smirked as she lit the cigarette and brought it up to her lips. If this was the hardest stuff she had to be addicted to for the rest of her life she would be content. She closed her eyes as she exhaled a long stream of smoke from her lips and rested her back against the building.
"Miss, can I ask you a question?"
"What?" Bailey asked, opening her eyes. She looked up at the man, her eyes gliding over him as she took another drag on her cigarette.
"My son went missing a few days ago, I was just wondering if you could look at this, see if you've seen him around," he replied, holding out a piece of paper to her.
Bailey took it as she pulled the cigarette from her mouth. Jack Ryan. She looked down at the picture that stared at from the paper, Jack's face stared back at her. She traced the familiar curve of his Jack with her hand that held the cigarette.
"You fuckin' bastard. A few days? Try three weeks," Bailey said before she could stop herself.
"You've seen him?"
"No." She replied, crumpling the paper up and shoving it into his chest. "Never seen him before."
Bailey started to walk away when the man's hand gripped onto her arm, stopping her from getting beyond the door. She tried to pull out but he kept his hold tight.
"Get your fuckin' hands off of me!" She kicked at his shin and he let go.
"Pedophile!" Bailey screamed, taking a step away from the man. "You're a fuckin' pathetic, disgusting piece of shit."
Bobby turned his attention to the sound of his sister yelling. She was standing outside the diner, her mouth going a mile a minute as some man who was just started to stand up grabbed onto her arm.
"Come on, Jack," Bobby said, slipping out of the booth.
Running through the diner, Jack just behind him, he got closer to the sight and he saw Bailey force the cigarette in her hand against the man's arm. He cursed under his breath at his sister's display of anger. He was ready to pull her off the man, deeming it another one of her hissy fits when the man's arm extended to smack her.
"Hey!" Bobby yelled, stopping the guy in mid air. He grabbed the back of the man's shirt and in one swift move pulled him away from his sister then slammed him against the wall. "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"
"She knows where my son is!"
"And that gives you the right to hit her? Who the fuck do you think you are?" He slammed him against the wall again and smirked as the guy grimaced. "Who's your son?"
Bobby looked towards the diner, where Jack stood frozen in the doorway. He hadn't noticed until then that the boy wasn't by his side. Unconsciously, his hand loosened on Mr. Ryan's shirt and slid up to his neck. Bobby turned back to him and tightened his grip on his neck.
"We don't know any Jack Ryans."
"She was mistaken." His hand rose on Mr. Ryan's neck forcing his head upward. "I suggest you fuckin' leave now. Get in your car and don't come back."
Bobby let go of the man and he nodded wordlessly. He watched as Jack's foster father headed toward his car and took off. Bailey looked at her brother in disbelief, angry that he let him just get away.
"You're just going to let him go like that?" Bailey asked, shoving her brother. "That motherfucker is Jack's foster father. He touched Jack! He's a fuckin' monster!"
"Ya think I don't get that?" Bobby replied, lowering his voice. "Jack is watching. He ain't gonna trust either of us if we beat the shit outta that guy. He'll get scared and he'll fuckin' run. At least if you're with him, he ain't in as much danger."
"Call the fuckin' cops then."
"They hate me and you're a fuckin' prostitute who just burned a hole in the guy's fuckin' arm, who do you think they're going to believe?"
"I'm a great liar."
"Get Jack. We're leaving," he said, ignoring her last statement.
Bailey glanced back at the diner and at Jack who stood in the middle of the doorway. She walked over to him, calling it his name to snap him from his trance. She was directly in front of him before she finally got him to acknowledge her. She forced a smile to her face not caring how fake it was, just needing something to show the boy.
"Hey, come on, babe," she said, gently ruffling his hair. "Let's go home."
Jack looked up at with a small nod and wrapped an arm around her waist, leaning against her for support as the walked to the car. Bobby was already in his seat waiting for them. As soon as Bailey and Jack were seated he started the car and headed away from the diner. Bailey, who was preoccupied with making sure Jack was okay didn't notice the direction they were going in until they passed the old vo-tech school. She looked up at her brother, catching his eyes in the rearview mirror.
"Fucker, you're going in the wrong direction."
"You're staying at Evelyn's tonight so that I can take care of some business without worrying about your ass," he replied.
"Hell no. I am not becoming some charity case."
"One fuckin' night does not make you a charity case," Bobby muttered, the creases in his forehead making their presence known.
"Obstinate fuckin' bitch," he muttered, turning the car down a corner.
Bobby started to slow down and pull off to the side so that he could talk to Bailey without causing an accident when he realized there was a truck behind them, slowing down as well. Bailey had started to yell at him but he kept his eyes on the rearview mirror as he pulled back closer to the yellow divider line. The truck behind them did so as well.
"Bailey shut up," Bobby said, looking speeding the truck up. The truck behind them kept up. "Fuck." He tapped his hand against the wheel. "Jack, what kind of car does your foster father drive?"
"A blue one," he replied, meekly.
"A blue one? What kind of answer-" He stopped himself from saying anything else and then glanced back at Jack. "Is it a car, a truck, a fuckin' Lamborghini?"
"A blue pick up...Chev-roll-it?"
Bailey looked out the window and noticed the car behind them. She turned back around just as Jack was about to turn to look out the window. She wrapped her arm around him and shook her head, pulling her closer to him.
"What is it?" Jack asked.
"Jack, I gotta stop the car and talk to someone. You stay in the car. Don't fuckin' get out, got me?"
Jack nodded as Bobby started to slow the car down again. He rounded a corner quickly, blocking off the car behind him from getting down the alleyway. The blue pick up continued down the road and then, clear as day, Bobby heard the truck's engine cut off.
"What are you doing here?" Bobby asked as Mr. Ryan headed towards the car.
"I just want to get this settled," he said. "I don't want my son living here when he can be back home with me. In a warm house, not on a street corner with a prostitute and her pimp."
"Don't fuckin' talk about my sister like that," Bobby warned him, taking a step closer to the man.
Jack gripped tightly onto Bailey's arm. She started to undo her seatbelt, wanting to get out of the car to help her brother, after all he hadn't said that she had to stay out of the way, but Jack refused to let go. She glanced back at him, noticed the terror in her eyes and she could feel anger rising again. She hated the man more than she thought was possible but couldn't find the strength to leave Jack alone in the car.
"Jack, come on out, son," Mr. Ryan said.
"Don't fuckin' talk to him."
"Jack, I'm not mad. I just need to talk to you."
There was so much in his voice that scared Jack. He knew that tone, it was the same way he sounded when Jack accidentally broke the cup in his hand when company was over. It was the tone that said he was making Mr. Ryan look bad in front of people. Without thinking about it, Jack let go of Bailey's hand. He started to slid to the other side of the car and reached for the door, afraid of what Mr. Ryan was capable of. He didn't want the people trying to help to get hurt.
"Jack, no," Bailey said, reaching for his hand. "Bobby said to stay here, so we're going to-"
"I have to," he replied cryptically. He pulled his hand from hers and looked down at it. "I'm sorry."
"No, you don't have to-"
Jack slipped out of the car and stood to the side of Bobby, his eyes drifting between his foster father and his friend's brother. Bailey quickly got out behind him. She stood to the side of Jack and kept her glance on him, trying to gauge what was going on through his expressionless face.
"Tell them the truth," he pleaded, looking over Bobby's shoulder.
He eyed Jack in a way that reminded him all the times he made him lie to his foster mother. The conniving smile, the look that was hidden beneath the surface that warned you to agree with him or else. He kept his distance from Mr. Ryan, standing Bailey, holding onto her hand for strength.
"Jack, son, these people have the wrong idea about me, right?" Mr. Ryan reached out to stroke Jack's cheek. He stepped back instantly, a small squeak escaping his tightly clasped lips. Bailey smacked the hand away and stepped between him and Jack.
"Don't touch him," Bailey said.
"He's my son, don't tell me what I can or can't do."
Jack noticed the look in his foster father's eyes. It was a look he was used to. It meant that in a minute he was going to break and he was giving that look to Bailey. He wasn't brave, he never had been, but Jack couldn't let Bailey be on the end on one of Mr. Ryan's beatings, one that he was sure was his fault anyway. He gently stepped to the side of Bailey and cast his eyes down as he took a step closer to him.
"Jack, stay!" Bobby yelled.
"It's okay," he whispered. Bailey reached out for him but he avoided her grip. "It's okay," he repeated, looking at her. "I'll be okay."
Bailey went after him but Bobby stood in front of her, his gaze kept on the man before him as he embraced Jack. He felt sick to his stomach at the fake embrace between what was supposed to be father and son.
"I'm sorry for the misinterpretation earlier. Jack's got a creative mind."
"Jack, sweetie, you don't have to hide it if you're scared," Bailey said, looking at Jack who now refused to look at her. "Jack-"
"We'll be leaving now."
"No!" she yelled, darting out towards Jack, Bobby instantly blocking her. "No, Jack!"
Before she could even get another word out Jack and Mr. Ryan were leaving the corner. She smacked Bobby across the face angrily and took a step away from him, tears filling her eyes as she realized that she was probably never going to see Jack again.
"I hate you. How could you just..." She cut herself off and started to run after them but Bobby stopped her. "Move asshole."
"You can't go over there."
"I can't let him hurt Jack. He's going to kill him! How can you not care?"
"He'll kill you."
"I don't give a fuck."
A loud scream sounded out from down the street that Jack had disappeared down. Bailey froze, her eyes wide with fear. Bobby quickly grabbed her arm, knowing her next move before she did. He started to pull her away from the street but she wrestled against him. He hated to admit it, but the first thing he thought was why couldn't he have waited until he got home. He was quickly pulled from his thoughts as he felt Bailey bite down on his arm.
"Bitch," he muttered, his grip on her arm getting tighter.
"What the fuck, Bobby?" Bailey yelled, desperately trying to pull out of her brother's grasp. She smacked him harshly with her free hand and kicked at his legs. "Let me go, asshole! It's Jack, I can't..." She looked up at her brother frantic for help. "Please."
"Stay put. Or I swear to God, Bail-"
"Just fuckin' go!"
Bobby took off and ran towards where he heard the sounds coming from. He wasn't even hidden; he was standing out by the car beneath a streetlight, kicking at the kid on the ground. Mr. Ryan reached down and grabbed Jack by the hair, pulling him up from the ground eliciting a loud wail from the boy. Bobby reached into his back pocket, fingering the weapon he kept there just in case. Sauntering over to the man, his hand hidden behind his back, he yelled out Jack's name.
"Oh, what the fuck do you want now?"
"We need to have a talk," Bobby replied, pulling out the gun. He shrugged as he pointed it at Mr. Ryan. "Let him go."
Jack's eyes grew at the sight of the shining weapon in Bobby's hand. He slid away from his foster father who was now distracted by the seemingly disturbed man standing before him. He got to his feet and ran as he heard the sound of the gun going off into the air.
Bailey, who had remained as her brother had told her, heard the gun go off and felt a pang in her chest. She couldn't wait there and not know any longer. She ran around the corner, catching Bobby throwing Mr. Ryan against the wall just as Jack ran down the road that lead away from the scene. She took off after him, running past her brother as she slammed the bastard's head against the brick wall and hearing a cracking nose as the man made contract with brick.
"Jack!" Bailey yelled.
Jack looked behind him, still running, not noticing Bailey, only the sight of his foster father lying on the gravel, Bobby standing over him. He took another step, his eyes still focused on the scene behind him and falter, smacking into the ground. It only slowed him down a bit, he quickly started to crawl on the cracked pavement, broken pieces of asphalt and debris cutting his hands and knees. He had gotten a little bit further from where he had fallen when Bailey had finally caught up to him.
Without worrying about the pain, she quickly dove down to him, stopping him from crawling further. He was startled at first, backing away as if she were his faster foster and not the girl who had been taking care of him. She reached out for his hand and his eyes looked down at the hand with cracked black nail polish caressing his skin. It took a moment before he finally looked up at her face and with a loud audible howl, collapsed against her body.
"Don't-" he sputtered out in between sobs. "Don't let him near me."
Bobby pressed the barrel against Mr. Ryan's head, relishing the feeling of power he had over the man who used his own power to intimidate a kid like Jack. He felt eyes on the back of her head and knew that just down the street his sister was watching. He turned to face her and took a moment to watch her cradling Jack, trying to protect him from the sight. He had to stop before he killed him, he knew that despite the voice telling him to just give into impulse and take care of that man in front of him once and all. He groaned and put the gun away with a loud huff.
"Go near him or my sister again and I'll kill you," Bobby said, slamming Mr. Ryan against the wall. "Do you understand me?"
Bobby didn't give him a moment to answer. He slammed his fist into his nose, smiling in perverse pleasure as he felt the crack of bone beneath his fist. He pulled him away from the wall and shoved him against the car. Bobby dropped the fabric he was using to hold the man up and watched as he slumped towards the ground.
"Get in your fuckin' car and leave!"
Bailey watched from the ground as Mr. Ryan stumbled towards his car, blood dripping down his face. She hadn't gotten Bobby to stop because she thought he could be saved, she just couldn't bare Jack having to see what she seen when she was younger. She pressed her lips to his forehead and closed her eyes as she waited for the man to leave.
"Motherfuckin' piece of shit!" Bobby screamed, kicking at the side of the building. "Is Jack okay?"
"He will be," she replied, slowly opening her eyes.
Bobby turned around to face her just as Jack's foster father's car sped away. He grabbed a rock off of the ground and chucked it at the car, screaming angrily again. The louder his voice got the tighter Jack clutched onto Bailey. He rocked him against her slowly, watching her brother calm down and head towards them.
"Come on, we're leavin'," Bobby said. He grabbed his sister's arm and tried to pull her up from the ground but she wouldn't budge. "Bailey, get your fuckin' ass up right now."
"Where are we going?"
"Away from here. I got a feelin' he's comin' back tonight."
Bailey looked down at Jack, who seemed oblivious to the conversation going on around him. She kissed the top of his head before releasing him slowly. His hands gripped onto her body tightly as she tried to get him to loosen his grip. Bobby watched his sister carefully pry the desperate boy's hands from her body and got angry with the man. He couldn't understand the level of evil in a person who would hurt someone so innocent.
"Jack, you have to let me go," Bailey whispered against his hair. "Just get up, okay? As soon as we get up we can get going and you won't have to let go again."
Jack nodded softly and relinquished his grip. Bailey got to her feet first and held her hand out to help him. Grabbing onto it, Jack stood and then quickly moved closer to her, so that he was resting hip to hip with her. She smiled down at him half-heartedly, and kissed the top of his head.
Jack was the first to slide into the car, releasing Bailey's hand for a moment so that she could get in. When she stopped to turn and face Bobby before entering herself he quickly slid closer to the side of the car she was standing at and grabbed at her hand. Bobby took notice of the intensity in his grip, how his knuckles turned white and his fingernails dug into Bailey's hand without her taking notice of what he assumed would have hurt like hell.
"You're a fuckin' pain in the ass," Bobby replied.
Bailey nodded and slipped into the car. She wrapped her free arm around Jack, pulling him closer so that she could rest her chin on the top of his head. As Bobby got behind the wheel he looked into the rearview window and noticed Isabelle softly humming something against Jack's crown of hair. Throwing the car into reverse he sped out of the alleyway and onto the main road.
When they arrived at the motel, miles away from town, Jack and Bailey stayed in the car as Bobby headed into the office to check-in. She kept her arms around Jack, rocking him gently against her. She had tried to loosen his grip but the minute she had he had just grabbed onto her tighter, making sure there was nothing between the two of them.
"Come on, outta the car," Bobby yelled, slamming his hand down on the top of the car.
"Fuck!" Bailey yelled as Jack jumped suddenly. She looked out the car window at her brother who stood to the side of it a smug smirk on his face. "Bastard."
As Bailey and Jack exited the car Bobby looked at his sister's outfit and muttered something under his breath that she ignored as if were second nature by that point. He slid his jacket off, tossing it on top of the car then quickly removed her hoodie tossing to Bailey. She held the shirt out in her extended arm and looked at Bobby confused.
"Hooker and a hotel room, think about it Bailey."
Bailey grabbed Bobby's hand and yanked him closer to her, placing his hand over Jack's so that she could slip into the oversized sweatshirt. Bobby watched the younger kid, who didn't dare look up at him despite clutching to his hand so tightly he felt like he might break his hand if he so much as moved a finger.
"Come on, Jack," Bailey said, pulling his hand off of Bobby's. "Let's go get you cleaned up."
Grabbing his jacket off of the hood of the car, Bobby made his way to the hotel room leading the teenagers behind him. He unlocked the door effortlessly and flicked the light on. To put it plainly, it was a dump, but it was the best he could do without first talking to Evelyn. He stepped out of the way so that Jack and Bailey could slip into the room.
Without even a glance at their surrounding area, Bailey lead Jack to the bed and had him sit down. She knelt in front of him, taking in his injuries carefully and pursing her lips together to keep herself from crying.
"Hey I gotta talk to ya," Bobby said, nodding towards the door as he slipped his coat back on.
"Sure." She stood up slowly, her hand running against Jack's cheek. "I'll be right outside if you need me." She walked towards the window, pulling back the curtains a bit. "Just look straight ahead, you'll see me. I won't leave your sight, I promise.
Bobby headed towards the door and with one more look back at Jack, Bailey followed. Once she was outside of the room she looked in through the window at Jack who was anxious tapping his fingers against his thigh his eyes staring at her.
"You're stayin' here for a few days," Bobby informed her.
"No fuckin' way," Bailey muttered, tearing her eyes away from Jack. "I got a job."
"You're on fuckin' vacation as of now," he replied. He grabbed her face inbetween his hands and held it tightly. "Let it sink into your fuckin' thick skull that this asshole will find you again. He's gonna hurt you to get to Jack. So stay in this damn room and don't leave until I fuckin' say so! You can tell me you hate me, tell me to fuck off, I've heard it all before, it don't hurt my feelings no more. I'm doing this for a reason, though, just fuckin' believe that."
Bobby released her from his grip and looked through the window at Jack who was sitting on the bed, rocking back and forth. He nodded towards him, getting Bailey to look at the same sight. She dropped her head slightly and nodded.
"I give you two days."
"You'll give me as much fuckin' time I as want." He looked back towards the window. "Deny all ya want, but you love that kid as much as I love you. You'd do anything to protect him."
"If you knew that, why were you gonna let Mr. Ryan leave with Jack?" she asked.
"I had a plan," he informed her. He reached into his jacket pocket and held out the wallet. "Look familiar? People are stupid to keep their fuckin' IDs where anyone could get to them, figure out where they live just from their driver's license. Maybe I was gonna show up at his house, have a nice little chat with him. After that, get Jack out, take him to the hospital, then Evelyn's house." He shoved the wallet back into his jacket and looked at his sister. "I just had to alter my plans when the bastard decided he couldn't fuckin' wait."
Bailey looked up at him for a moment before dropping his gaze again. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her tightly to his chest. She groaned, trying to get out of his grip.
"Let me go," she muttered, pushing against him. She took a step away when her released her and nodded. "Just don't take advantage of my cooperation."
"Cooperation my ass. I'll be back tomorrow to check up on the two of you."
Bobby started to walk away but Bailey couldn't leave it at that. She called out his name and he stopped and turned to face his sister with a fake grimace on his face like she had interrupted him. She didn't say anything for a moment, just stared at him hoping that wouldn't actually have to ask him the question to get an answer.
"What are you going to do?" Bailey finally asked after a minute of silence.
"Have a little talk," he replied with a shrug. Bailey went to retort but her cut her off. "Go inside and don't fuckin' worry 'bout it."
"Whatever you do, and I know you're gonna do something stupid, don't get caught. I need my brother."
"Ain't no one gonna catch me. I'm Bobby fuckin' Mercer." He smirked and walked over to her, readjusting the oversized hoodie on her shoulders. "Now go inside and take a shower. Wash that fuckin' makeup off your face."
Bailey raised her middle finger to Bobby before turning away from him. He watched as his she walked into the motel room before he headed to his car. He opened the driver's side door and slipped his hand into his pocket. Under the light from the streetlamp above him he rummaged through the wallet in his hand, pocketing the money and pulling out the ID. He read the address off the driver's license to himself and then slipped into the car. As he started the old Chevy he tossed the wallet to the side.
"Time to pay you a visit, Mr. Ryan."
Bailey locked the door to the motel room behind her and rested her back against the door. She looked towards Jack who was still rocking on the bed, his eyes staring off into space. She hated seeing him like that and it took her a moment before she looked away. She darted towards the dresser and grabbed the ice bucket, deciding that busying herself would be the best way to keep her mind from wandering.
"You did some damage to that pretty face of yours," Bailey joked as she headed into the bathroom to fill the bucket. As the water began to pour into container she turned back to him watching from the doorway. "Hopefully it won't scar."
"I want a scar." He stopped rocking when he spoke and looked up at her for a moment, before looking back off into space. "People like him won't want me anymore."
"If scars stopped anyone I'd be out of a job," she replied, cynically. She shut off the water and grabbed the bucket hastily, the water sloshing against the sides. "Personally, I don't think you should have a scar, but you know, sometimes girls like scars. It's that whole bad boy mystique thing."
"Nope." She smiled and ran the washcloth against his cheek, cleaning the scrape carefully. "I've got enough experience to know that underneath the bad boy with a scar isn't a nice guy, it's an asshole. I've dealt with enough assholes in my life already. I like 'em nice now."
"You'll never like me then."
"What are you talking about? You're a nice kid, Jack."
"I've got scars."
"So do I." She dipped the washcloth into the water again and rung it out before swiping it across his injured skin. "So how about we try to keep you one scar less and as for the other ones, we'll just make sure you disprove the theory and stay a nice guy."
"And you'll stay a nice girl," Jack added, looking at her.
Bailey dipped her head down towards the floor, avoiding his gaze. In the short time that she had known Jack, she had learned one irrefutable fact, he had the kind of eyes that once they were locked in on you it was difficult to look away. The kind of intense gaze that tells you wordlessly how he felt, how he felt about you. She knew long before Bobby knew that Jack had more than a passing crush on her, but she tried to pass it off to make herself feel better for leading him on, because after years of doing what she did, she didn't know how not to lead a guy on, even when she was distinctly trying not to.
"Damn, you hurt your knee, too," Bailey said, pretending that she had been examining his leg. She pressed her hand to the around surrounding the blood stained ripped denim. "Does it hurt?"
"I used to know how to sew. I figure sewing's probably like ridin' a bike, you know, a skill you never forget," she said, pointing towards the rip in Jack's jeans. "But I think that's beyond my help."
Jack nodded his head, a signal that he had heard her as she grabbed the washcloth and pressed it to wound. He flinched as the threads brushed against the cut. Bailey noticed, peeking up at him for a moment, before going back to work on the cut.
"I'll get Bobby to take us to the drug store tomorrow so that I can a bandage for you."
She pulled at the denim so that it didn't stick to his skin and gave the area one last brush before she dropped the washcloth back into the bucket. The water had turned a pinkish hue against the beige plastic of the container and her stomach sank a bit. As she stood she kept her eyes on the carpet of the room. Between the blood in the water and the look of defeat in Jack's face she needed to get away from him if only for a moment.
"You should probably try to get some sleep," Bailey said, nodding towards the bed. "I'm just going to take a shower. Call me if you need me, okay?"
Bailey waited for Jack to nodded before she slid into the bathroom as if she was escaping a room full of monsters, not a thirteen-year-old boy. She dumped the offending bucket into the sink and then looked at her reflection in the mirror straight across from her. She sighed, she couldn't believe that she had gotten herself or her brother involved in a situation like the one they were in now. She hated being involved in people's lives, tried to avoid the strings that connected her to people, yet she couldn't find a way to disconnect from Jack.
Quickly, she turned the shower on, letting the water get as hot as it could. She waited until the mirrors were completely fogged over before stripping off her clothes, throwing all of them to the ground carelessly, except for the sweater her brother had given her. She rested the hoodie on the towel rack then stepped into the shower.
As soon as the water hit her body she felt the sting of the tears in her eyes. She had waited until she was away from Jack to let her guard down, to be human and feel something. She needed to be strong for him, but behind closed doors it was no longer necessary. She shoved her hands through the tangled mess of hair and rested her head against the tiled wall. She stayed like that for a good twenty minutes, letting her tears mix with that shower water, before she even attempted to get clean.
An hour after she had first entered the bathroom she reemerged in Bobby's over sized hoodie and little else, assuming Jack would have been sleeping. As soon as she opened the door though, she was eye to eye with Jack, sitting on the edge of the bed closest to the bathroom door. She tugged self-consciously on the fabric of the hoodie and took a step closer to him.
"What are you still doing up?" Bailey asked. She sat besides him on the bed, pulling her legs underneath the fabric covering her so all that could be seen were her feet. "I thought you were going to try to sleep."
"I'm not tired."
"He's not going to find you, Jack," she replied, acknowledging the real reason. She ran a hand along his cheek and sighed softly. "I promise you."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Bobby would never let him. I would never let him."
Bailey stood up and walked over to the head of the bed, pulling back the covers. She held her hand out to him and he reached over grabbing it, before standing and walking over to where she stood. Patting the bed with her free hand, she signaled for Jack to get in. He obeyed, slowly sitting down on the mattress then sliding his feet under the blankets. Bailey reached for the edge of the blanket and covered him, tucking the sides in around him.
"Yeah, but I'm still not tired."
"Then we'll watch TV," she replied. She grabbed the remote off of the nightstand and walked over to the other side of the bed. "I haven't watched anything in years."
Bailey held out the remote to Jack as she sat down on the bed and he took it timidly. He flipped through it for a few minutes, passing by channels of infomercials and various news programs before landing on a cartoon. She smiled as she noticed the way Jack watched it, almost embarrassed to enjoy it but not looking away. He settle in against the bed, his arm resting against hers and within fives minutes he was sleeping.
After waiting a few more minutes to make sure he was asleep, Bailey shut the television off and then reached for the light switch, darkening the room. She then slipped out of bed and walked over to the window. Peering from behind the thick curtains that smelled of mildew, she watched the cars zoom past the motel on the highway. Desperately, she wanted to run up to one of them, hitchhike a ride away from the tangled mess she was in at the moment. Despite all the wanting she couldn't find the will to.
Pressing her forehead to the cool glass, she closed her eyes, the rushing of headlights past her blurring behind her lids. A loud horn dragged her from her thoughts and she opened her eyes, cars speeding past again, seemingly faster than before. As was about to close her eyes again a soft murmur from the other side of the room caught her attention. She turned towards Jack, restlessly tossing in his sleep, sounds escaping his lips that got louder by the second.
Bailey took a step away from the window, slowly making her way to him. The once incoherent moans sounded out repeatedly began to form words commonly heard in a struggle. Her pace quickened so that before another could slip from his lips, she was at his side, hand resting on his arm as he struggled against the covers and muttered words of self-defense.
"Jack, wake up," she whispered as sweetly as she could muster. He fought against the hold she had on his arm as she stroked his skin softly. "It's just me, Bailey."
"No!" he yelled, his arm shooting out in his sleep, making contact with the side of Bailey's face.
With a soft thud, she fell to the ground, his moans of pain getting louder. Without a thought about the pain she was in she jumped back to her feet, whispering to Jack again, trying anything she could think of to wake him. She grabbed his hand once more, entwining their fingers while shaking him with her free hand.
"Jack, no one's going to hurt you. It's just me."
Jack moved away from the hand shaking him suddenly, but gripped tighter onto the one intertwined with his own. He brought his knees up to his chest as Bailey pulled her hand out of his and reached for the light. When she looked back at him, he was rocking himself again, the tangled comforter and sheets tossed to the side of the bed.
"He's here," Jack said, searching the room with frenzied eyes.
"No, he's not," Bailey replied. She knelt down on the bed, pressing her hands to the sides of his face. "It's just you and me. No one else."
"I heard him." He looked up at her, focusing on her face. "I felt him."
"You were dreaming. I've been awake the entire time, he wasn't here."
Jack slowly slid his legs away from his chest and looked up at Bailey. He noticed the red mark on the side of her face. Reaching out towards her cheek, Jack gently ran the back of his hand against it. It took a moment before Bailey pulled away.
"What happened?" Jack asked, his eyes focusing on her injured cheek.
"I did that, didn't-"
"No, baby, I got in the way of your hands while you were dreaming." She smiled at him and shook her head. "It wasn't like you did it on purpose."
Bailey nodded and started to get up from the bed. As she took a step she felt his hand close around hers.
"How about I stay here for a bit," she said, making it sound more like her suggestion than his need.
Bailey sat on the edge of the bed, holding onto his hand. He moved as she sat, giving her room to lie down, but she remained upright, back against the headboard. Her eyes fixated on a patch of skin that was exposed when he shirt had ridden up. Large, ugly bruises worse than the ones before, we attached to his ribs. She quickly reached down, pulling the fabric across the marks and he grimaced and took a sharp breath at the contact.
"I'm sorry," Bailey blurted out suddenly. She started to pull away from him, afraid that she was just going to hurt him again but Jack refused to let go of her hand.
"I'm scared, don't leave." He looked at her and she could see the tears he was fighting back. Bailey moved back to the bed and closed her arms around him. "It doesn't go away. I close my eyes and it doesn't go away."
Bailey didn't need for him to explain anymore, she knew exactly what he meant by it. She stared at the wall, her own memories that never went away flooding back to her. It wasn't until she felt Jack move closer to her, sitting up so that he could rest his head in the crook of her neck, that she remember where she was. She tightened her grip on his hand and looked down at it, watched how effortlessly she could entwined their fingers and hold onto a piece of someone.
Bailey had screwed up, she knew it. She was attached to him, tied to him in away that she had never been before to anyone, not even with Bobby. He had let her in and slowly, piece by piece, she was letting him into her world as well. No matter how strong the urge to run would be, she would never be able to get away now.
Somehow, being tied down wasn't as scary as she had once thought.
Little Miss Creant
Note: The song Bailey is sing is "Careless Whisper" by Wham