Chapter 13 – What's Meant to Be
Under the condition that he be deemed healthy enough to join the human race, what the hell did that mean? Cody gulped down his empty wine glass and threw it across the room where it shattered into a thousand little pieces. Zack couldn't do that. He couldn't come back and join the human race. What the hell kind of justice was that. The more and more those words echoed in his mind the more and more his blood boiled. Zack didn't get a second chance. Zack didn't get a free pass to rejoin the land of the living. It wasn't fair, it wasn't right.
Cody's cell phone beeped and he answered it as soon as he noted the caller.
"We need to talk."
"Liberty Park northwest corner near the fountain, half an hour."
"I'll be there."
The call ended and for the first time in a long time Cody had a purpose. A few minutes later he pulled into a parking spot near the designated meeting place. She was already there waiting. To anyone in the outside world they looked like two friends meeting up. No sweat. But to Cody and Maya it was a lot more. This meeting would be the beginning of the end.
"Did you get it?"
Cody pulled out the small caliber handgun he had hidden within the belt loop of his jeans and handed it to her. The metal object felt heavy and cold in her hands, deadly. Still it fit perfectly and she found it quite easy to keep a firm grip. She thought about Brad, she'd envisioned his death many times. She would take her time, inflict as much pain as possible.
"What about Bailey?" Maya's concern was evident in her expression.
The blond girl had made it clear that she would have no part in any of this. If they were going to go through with this they would have to do it without her. Maya was okay with that, until she realized that might make the girl a threat to their plans. If need be, she might have to eliminate that threat. She didn't want to do it, but she wasn't going to let the other girl stop her. She was too close to her goals and she had worked too hard to get here.
The image of Zack appeared beside her.
"She won't say a word." It took a minute for her gaze to leave his and return to his brothers.
"Cody I know you still love her, but remember this is for Zack. We are doing this for Zack."
"Zack's not with us anymore." Maya and Cody both turned around to see Bailey walking toward them. "I know it still hurts to think about it, but he's not here anymore. This is not for him, he's at peace. This is not what he would want."
Again Maya quickly glanced to her right. To everyone else empty space, but to her Zack still stood beside her.
"No!" Bailey stepped back from Cody's approaching figure. "Enough is enough. Now Maya I helped you get out of that hospital, but I won't help you commit murder."
"He killed his mother, he killed Zack and he…"
"I know what he did. You don't have to remind me. I was there. I was on that ship and at that trial. I know exactly why he's where he is. Hell, I helped put him there. But two wrongs don't make a right. You will be giving up so much for so little."
Cody eyed his girlfriend as if he'd never seen her before. "He held you hostage. He was threatening to do some serious damage. Don't tell me you don't hate him and want to see him pay for that."
"Of course I want to see him pay, but the right way and in his own time."
"That time is now." Maya pulled out the gun and aimed it at the other girl. "You won't stop me. I won't let you."
Cody stepped in between Bailey and Maya and waited. The loaded gun aimed at his middle as it swayed back and forth in unsteady hands. "Whoa Maya don't. Think about what you are doing."
"Get out of the way."
"I'm not going to let you hurt her."
"I thought you were on my side?" Maya's tears began to flow as she continued. "Brad, remember him, the man who killed your brother. The man you swore you would see pay for that crime. Now you're trying to stop me. Pick a side Cody."
"I love my brother and there is nothing more I want to see than that bastard six feet under. But not at Bailey's expense. If I have to give up my life for hers, then fine I'll do it. But this is not going to fix or change anything." Suddenly it all hit Cody at once and Bailey's words echoed in his mind. "It won't bring him back."
"Give up your life for hers. Is that what you would do?" Maya shook her head in despair. "Well guess what, that won't change things either. Zack gave his life up for mine and it didn't make a difference. Brad is still breathing air that should have been his. He's dead and no this won't bring him back, but I'll be damned if I don't even out the playing field. If Zack is gone, then Brad soon will be."
"Maya," Bailey tried still hidden behind Cody. "This isn't you."
The dark haired girl felt deflated as she slowly lowered her arm and let the gun fall from her hand. "Forget it, Cody take her home." The next moment she jumped in her car and raced out of the parking lot, leaving Cody and Bailey and the smell of burned rubber behind.
"I did this."
"Hell I even bought the gun." Bailey pulled him into her arms and held him close. "I wanted to see him suffer. I wanted him to feel even just a little bit of my pain."
"I know baby."
"He was so calm, nothing affected him in that courtroom. It was like nothing that happened mattered. Zack didn't matter."
"I know baby, I know."
"I wanted to rip him apart then and there. Force him to realize what he took from me."
"Oh baby I wish things were different. I wish we could change what happened. But life isn't like that. What's done is done. You need to let Zack go. You need to let him rest in peace, and the only way that will happen is if he knows that everyone he loves is okay."
"I miss him so much."
"And you will always miss him. But I have faith he will always be near you. You may not be able to see him, but he'll be there."
"God it hurts, make it stop hurting."Cody's sobs were gut wrenching, but they needed to be shed.
All Bailey could do is hold him until his body relaxed and the shaking stopped. "I'm here, baby, I'm here. I'm not going anywhere. I love you so much Cody."
When Cody was able to look up, their eyes met and they shared a tender kiss.
Maya's anger and pain overwhelmed her senses and it was all she could do to focus through the tears that blinded her vision. Somewhere in the back of her mind she knew she was driving at a dangerous speed. She knew she should slow down, but her movements ignored the warning bells in her mind as she found herself pressing further down on the accelerator. Seventy, eighty, ninety…higher and higher the speedometer moved until the knuckles on her hands were white from gripping the steering wheel in an attempt to stay on the road. Her breathing became ragged and the pounding in her ears echoed the pounding of her heart as it expressed its concern.
Slow down her head screamed over and over.
Too fast it tried again.
Suddenly Zack was sitting in the seat next to her. A moment later she turned her head and made eye contact.
She never saw the other car coming, she never felt the crash.
It was another brisk winter morning as the Martin's and Bennett's attended Maya's funeral. There were many in attendance that day, family and friends. The story of Zack Martin and Maya Bennett shared amongst the mourners. It had been decided that because of the love they shared and the sacrifice he'd made that by right they should be buried next to one another.
No one objected.
Zack and Maya were together.
AN: Well I finally finished it. I had so many endings in mind (happy and sad) and have so many scenes written that I could start an entirely new story. But ultimately I decided on this one.
Smiles! Until next time! :)