“One plane ticket to Hollywood” the chirpy cashier at the airport informed me. I could only make slight movements at this point; I nodded lightly at her as I placed the bills on the counter. Luckily there was perks with being in the mob, you didn’t use that much credit cards since they could get traced so we had a bunch of bills lying around everywhere. Also I had hacked the gang’s common account and made sure to transfer a couple of million dollars to an untraceable account on the Cayman Islands that I later on would use when I found a place to settled down.
“Uh, when will the plane be leaving?” I asked sniffling as she held back the tears. I didn’t want to cry. At least not now, not before she was out of California.
“You’re just in time sweetheart, in 25 minutes it will depart. Have a nice flight!” she informed me and then waved me off so that the person behind me could proceed. I walked off to the rows with multiple plastic chair and sat down on one of the empty blue ones. My heart was racing, my palms were sweating and my chest was heaving up and down from the amount of breaths I took in a short period of time.
‘Shit my cellphone’
I pulled up my duffle bag and searched for my phone, I knew that when they noticed that I was gone they would try and track me via the GPS-device they had planted underneath the graphic card. I realized I had too many clothes or just maybe the fact that I had thrown them in the bag, not bothering to place them there in a nice way was just causing troubles for me as sleeves and holes made me get caught in everything on my search for the god damn phone.
I just wanted to get out of here safely and unknowingly, I needed to clear up my mind and come up with a game plan. First I needed to find some place to stay in Hollywood, then clear up a safe phone line as well as safe I.D’s, credit cards and a car that was registered on another name. They wouldn’t be able to find me and I would make sure of that, no matter how drastic measures I had to take too.
When I managed to find my cellphone under the chaos of clothes, supplies and my laptop I opened it in the back, pulling out the battery and ripped the small GPS-tracking card out. They would still be able to track me but they’d have to hack into my phone company’s register and track me from there, that could take a hours. Those hours I would need and that would be very useful to me as I could by a new cellphone right after I landed and dispose of the old one.
My foot tapped against the dark blue, filthy carpet as I sat down impatiently waiting for one of the employees to tell us that we could board the plane. I started feeling paranoid as I looked from left to right, front and behind me all the time to see if I had someone tailing me or if anyone from the group was here.
“Flight 371, departing to Hollywood is now available to board at gate 18.” A flight attendance voice echoed throughout the entire airport through the speakers.
I grabbed the handle of my duffel bag as it was placed beside me as I raised and went over to Gate 18. Luckily there wasn’t a long line just about 5 people in front of me but that might had something to do that it was 3 a.m. I got to the front of the line pretty quickly as they made me go through security and make sure I had no weapons on, which I didn’t. Only a small pistol but it was well hidden and sealed from the scanners by a special aluminum, concealed pocket inside my duffel bag. It was shielded from the scanners and made sure that no alpha, beta or gamma rays could penetrate it and reveal what it contained.
“You’re clear to go, mam’” One of the buff security guards informed me. I stepped forward and grabbed my duffel bag and handed over my ticket to one of the female flight attendants.
“Welcome aboard” she greeted with a pearly white smile and I smiled back nervously whilst I went through the gate.
I got seat 17A I noticed as I checked my ticket, trying to find where I would sit. I hoped that I got a window seat since I hated flying and I always felt a bit anxious, but being next to a window always managed to help somehow.
When my eyes set on the small sign ‘17A’ I quickly glanced down to see if the seats were occupied. There was an older, grey haired man sitting next to the window and I frowned. I decided to put my bag on top in the luggage cabin, I wrapped myself tighter in my hoodie.
There was two seats and the window seat was busy which meant that I would have to sit next to the isle, probably getting plane sick from not seeing anything from the outside.
I sat down in the seat then adjusted the small pillow behind my head so that it was behind my neck instead. Otherwise it would hurt sitting in this position for too long.
My hands immediately went to connect the belt as the stewardess explained how to put on the belt, emergency exits and precautions such as not removing the belt until the warning light shut off. The plane started shaking and I started freaking out, my hands were shaking. I was shaking as a leaf and breathing heavily through my nose as I had my eyes closed trying to calm myself down. I hated being scared of flying, especially when I had no choice but leaving.
“Shit” I whimpered getting that bubbly feeling in my stomach, not the good kind of bubbly; it was more of the ‘IAboutToThrowUp’-kind of bubbly. The plan was starting to move, you could almost feel the bumps of the road as it speed up its pace; shaking even more which in result making me hold on to the armrests so hard that I could almost break them off.
After what felt like 3 hours of shaking and just pure hell the plane finally managed to become stable and just glide through the clouds, just sometimes twitching making me jump in fright.
“Excuse me mam, are you alright?” the elderly man beside me wondered as his eyes held a concerned look. I tried to give him a reassuring smile as I told him not to worry but that failed as the plane shook and I squealed loudly. The man looked at me again with a worried gaze.
“I’m ok I guess. I hate going on planes, it scares me.”
The man shook his head, “Is there anything I can do to help you?”
“Thank you but no thanks, I wouldn’t feel right to ask you.” I really wouldn’t feel okay with asking him to give up his seat for me. Somehow it didn’t feel fair.
He put his wrinkled left hand on my right one that was resting on the armrest. “Dear, I may be old and maybe a bit absent-minded but I am sure that what you need will not be offending me. A young, pretty lady like you shouldn’t suffer.” He winked at me sweetly, not in the creepy way. It was comforting hearing that, it just showed that older people really
were sweet and not grouchy like most people portray them as.
I sighed softly, “It usually helps sitting next to a window, where I at least can see the ground.” I rolled my thumbs nervously against each other, looking down at my lap.
“Oh dear, I wouldn’t mind switching seats with you!” he exclaimed as he moved to unbuckle his belt with shaky hands.
I shook my head, “No I can’t ask you to do that.”
“Oh be quiet. An old man like me needs to go to the bathroom often so it would only be for the good dear.” He explained with a small smile.
I unbuckled my belt and stood up, moving to stand in the isle so that he could take my place then I moved in to sit on the window seat. I could barely squeeze in between the chair in front of me and the elderly man. I thanked him for switching places with me as I pulled out my headphones from my pocket.
“I’m Gary” he introduced himself in a gruff voice as he extended his hand. I accepted his hand and shook it, introducing myself as ‘Jade’.
“I hope you’ll enjoy your flight a bit more now” he smiled and smiled back then put the headphones in my ear after I had connected them to my phone. My phone was a gaming phone but I had managed to break it, it was similar to “jail-breaking” a phone but I had changed it completely. Its functions made it possible for me to hack in to anything. It was like a portable supercomputer.
I put on some music that I knew would calm me down as I kept going through the day, as I snuggled into the corner of the seat and wall of the plane. I closed my eyes and images from today repeated themselves almost in black and white.
I stood in the kitchen, flipping the pancakes as they had turned to the perfect golden color. My plan was to suck up to the guys and make them tell me; hopefully they would since it usually did work. This seemed bigger than the usual things they would hide and I could tell that they were uncomfortable with everything.
I heard a couple of footsteps approaching the kitchen along with some guttural moans and groans. I turned around as I placed the last pancake on the tall tower of pancakes and saw Johnny and Brian enter the room with messy hair, dressed in sweatpants and band shirts.
“That better be for us” Brian glared at me and laughed as I brushed some hair from my face.
“Yes boys. Enjoy” I chuckled and turned off the stove and put the frying pan in the sink, letting warm water run over it.
I opened the fridge to grab the Hershey’s chocolate syrup along with normal syrup and butter knowing that the guys might love being in shape but they were all fatties on the inside. They were just as unhealthy as I was and I loved eating, especially things with a lot of sugar and fat in. I didn’t care about how unhealthy it was. If it tasted good then it didn’t matter.
“Are the others awake too?” I asked them, knowing that if they weren’t then I would have to wake them up and that was not a pretty sight nor would it be the best thing to do.
They grunted and then mumbled ‘yes’ through their pancake muffled voices.
“Excellent” I thought to myself, now I could hopefully manage to get my plan working but no they had to ruin that too.
“And if these pancakes are to bribe us so that we can tell you what happened last night….Well then forget it” Brian explained to me, giving me a knowing look as he shoved another pancake into his mouth.
I dropped my and head sighing then looked up at Brian. “How did you know?”
“I’ve known you, almost your entire life ‘J’. I know what you do to get shit out of us” he smirked. I groaned as I threw my head back against the wall, what was I going to do now? The two men simply chuckled at my annoyance as I made my way out of the kitchen, making sure to flip them off as I did so.
‘Hmm, what to do…’ I thought to myself as I walked to the living room and decided to watch some television, hopefully to get my mind running. The remote was placed on the small wooden table in front of me so before I propped my legs up on it I grabbed it and made sure that I put on my favorite channel; that always played a bunch of supernatural series.
I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew was that I heard that familiar voice whisper my name.
“Jadey” I stirred slightly. “Jadeey.” My eyes shot open as I realized who that voice belong to and I jumped of the couch, slinging my arms around his waist.
“Dad!” He was finally home, we had always been close to each other and I was definitely a daddy’s girl. My father’s name was Larry and he was the guy’s business man. He dealt with all the important meetings that consisted about deals, trades and truces sometimes. Avenged was still a powerful gang, sure they didn’t have their 2,000 people army left but they were amazing when it came to speaking, well mainly manipulating
“How’ve you been baby-girl?” I breathed in the scent that I always would have memorized the smell of my dad. It always calmed me down.
“Good, just missed you. A lot!” I exclaimed and my dad pulled my away from the embrace, putting his hands on my shoulders as he looked at me with a smile on his face.
“I missed you too! You’ve grown up so much.” He told me, his facial expression was soft and his eyes a bit more round like he was about to cry but without the tears. I smiled back up at him.
“Can we talk honey?” he asked me and I burrowed my eyebrows together, wondering why he had changed to a serious tone in his voice, all of the sudden. I mumbled a ‘sure’ still having a bad feeling in my gut. We walked to my father’s room that was pretty empty; it only had the main things like a bed, table and a small bedside table in the room.
Dad sat down on the edge of the bed, motioning to me with his hand that I should sit down next to him. I looked down at my lap, fiddling with my hands because I had no idea what he would tell me. He placed one of his aged hands over my hand and clutched it in his.
“Honey, there’s something you must know and I need you to believe me.”
I nodded. “Okay… Of course I believe you dad.” I looked up at him and my dad seemed pretty nervous at the moment, something which I had never experience with him before. He was always this confident, major role model in my life. Dad was never weak, he had never cried, he had never let himself break and always stood for what he believed in, no matter what.
“The reason to why I have been abstinent for almost two months is that I’ve been working in Bullet’s mansion.” He was working with our enemies?! That’s where he had been for the past two months?!
“Dad!” I whispered harshly and ripped my hands out of his grasp as I rose up from the bed.
He pulled back down when he grabbed my hand. “I was not done Ashleigh.”
I glared at him, waiting for an explanation to why he would betray his own family like that.
“It is not what you think. I’ve been working undercover to find out how they’ve been one step ahead of us all the time. Nobody here knows that I have been a double agent but I am doing this for the sake of this family and to make sure that Bullet won’t harm anyone within it.” I gasped at what he said, if the group found out about this and didn’t know about him actually infiltrating them for the sake of us they would kill him and ban me from California or even the country.
“Dad” my voice was cracking as I spoke to him. “What if they found out?”
“If Bullet finds out I’ll be a dead man.” He explained to me with sad eyes. “If Matthew, Brian, Zachary, James or Jonathan find out then I’ll explain myself. I can’t tell them yet, it might compromise everything I’ve worked for to gain Tuck’s trust. If he notices me having any form of contact with anyone affiliated with Avenged then you’ll only have James left by your side.”
Tears started forming in my eyes. I could not imagine living a life without my dad, he was my rock and my role model; the one I looked up to after my mother passed away in leukemia 10 years ago. It was hard to grow up without a mother, since the boys really didn’t know how a girl should act, wear or just behave in general compared to them. Jimmy would be the only one left in my family, all my previous relatives had died in this business whilst out on the field and I never had any siblings. I would alone and had to rely completely on Jimmy, I didn’t want to be a burden. He had so much going on already since he was going to take over the business after my father would decide to retire or he would get killed or die.
My dad pulled me into his arms in a very comforting hug as he cooed ‘Oh Honey’. He knew what I was thinking, he knew me inside out. He was my best friend.
“Promise me you won’t tell anyone about what I just told you?” he told me as he pulled away slightly and looked into my eyes like a plea. I could only nod at this point so I did just that and dad pulled me into a hug against as I nestled myself into his chest.
** Later that night **
I was walking down the long, narrow hallway that had doors on each side of the walls. This was the floor where everyone had their personal rooms. I felt full as I had just eaten three huge taco wraps stuffed with anything I could get my hands on, to say that the Berry twins; Matt and Jason and I were surprised would be an understatement.
Right now I was not going to my room; in fact I was going down to the basement to serve my car. It was in need of some attention since I had not been driving it that much and it was starting to rust as well it needed to change oil and window wipers.
I skipped down the stairs as I was in a good mood and almost slipped as I rounded one of the corners that would lead to the basement door. The basement had a couple of rooms actually, they were all empty though and the garage was here too. It was a huge garage and we had at least 50 cars in there but only one of those cars where mine but I didn’t mind.
I had just finished with my car and that had taken 3 hours, looking at the clock that was showing 11 a.m. I wiped my oily, dirty hands off on the equally as dirty towel that used to be white. Moving towards the door, I flicked the lights off and closed the door as I walked out through it, entering the narrow hallway that was the basement.
I started humming an old lullaby to myself as I walked down the hallway. Many people would have found it creepy with the flickering lights, pale walls and humid air but maybe it was that I was used to it or not; I actually liked it down here.
I passed one of the doors that were slightly ajar, with a stream of light pouring out from in the hallway. There was probably someone fixing their bike in there, Brian and Matt loved their bikes and treated them like precious babies. It was scary that they cared to much for a piece of metal with two wheels on them. I would have probably been in the shower if I hadn’t stopped as I heard somebody shout from the room.
“You fucking betrayed us! You were family!” I backed up slowly and turned around, leaning against the door as I tried to peek inside the room. My hand came to my mouth as I covered my gasp at the sight I saw. My father was down on his knees in the middle of the room with a very pissed off Jimmy standing in front of him with a gun cocked against his head. Tears were brimming in my eyes, I knew this would happen but I didn’t think it would happen the same day I found out.
“James, you have to list-” Jimmy cut him off with a growl and a slap to his face. “Do not tell me what to do you fucking scum. After all we’ve been through after all this fucking time and now I found out you were the one tipping Bullet off! I can’t believe that you are fucking willing to risk the lives of your own fucking family.”
Jimmy’s jaw was clenched and his eyes looked darker, even from where I was standing. Brian and Johnny were in the room as well, looking tense and angry though I figured they were trying to hide that they were hurt. Jimmy delivered another slap to my dad which made his head snap to the direction of the door. My father’s eyes widened as he saw me. He had blood seeping out of his mouth and he tried to shake his head ‘no’ in a subtle way so that the others wouldn’t see me. I think he knew that I wanted to run in there any second now to tell them that they were wrong but I didn’t understand why he was stopping me.
Dads head snapped back before the others could suspect anything and his left hand; the one that was visible to me made a motion for me to go but I couldn’t. I was frozen at place. Jimmy kept talking as the others made snide remarks about my father but I was stuck in my mind. The one thought that blocked me out from everything. ‘What if they kill dad?’
“I would never betray my own family” my father hissed at the trio as he begged for their sympathy.
“Then why the fuck did we see you walking around with fucking Tuck at their territory?” Brian growled with hatred dripping from each word he spoke.
“Let me explain.” My dad pleaded.
Jimmy shook his head. “There’s nothing to explain. You betrayed us and you’re going to pay the price.”
He raised his gun and aimed at my dad’s head, panic started setting in and I couldn’t grasp what was about to happen. It all happened so fast as the bullet was fired and settled in my father’s head as I ran forward through the door with a cry. My father’s body slumped against the concrete with a heavy thud and blood poured from his head.
“You son of a bitch!” I yelled at Jimmy as I lunged at him, tears running down my face. Jimmy wrapped his arms tightly around me, preventing me from hitting me as I punched, kicked, elbowed and pushed him around.
Johnny’s voice echoed in the room. “It needed to be done. He got what he deserved.”
The others made sounds of agreement and I felt Jimmy nodding.
I ripped myself from his grip and roughly pushed him away as I took a quick glance at the pitiful men.
“You should have let him fucking explain! He’s dead because of your stupid asses and he’s not coming back! I have no family in my life, he was my only fucking family and you just fucking proved it James. I hope you are happy with yourself you sick son of a bitch.” I cried and ran out of the room with a blurred vision from all the tears.
I needed to get out of here, right now. I couldn’t live in the same house as the man who murdered my father was. Pulling out a duffel bag from under my bed I packed down any clothes that were within my grasp and pushed down all my utilities. As I finished packing I headed over to my laptop but not before I checked that the door was locked. I started up the computer and made sure to decode any signal that would alert the guys to what I was up too.
My fingers slid over the keyboard and I clicked in the speed of light as I hacked into the family account. We had millions there and I would only need a couple. I transferred 10 million dollars over to a secret, non-traceable account and made sure to delete any trace of me being near that account. Then I threw the laptop at the floor, stomping at it, making it go to little pieces as all the evidence destroyed. I could not have them tracking me whilst I was on the run that would ruin it all.
The tears had stopped running. I wouldn’t let myself cry again until I was free from these men. Free from the only family I had ever known. Now I had no one and I was going to make sure that it would stay like that for a long, long time.
I slipped off my dirty clothes and didn’t bother to shower as I pulled on a pair of blue denim jeans, a grey loose tank top and a red hoodie. The duffel bag’s strap hung on my shoulder and I made sure to bring my cellphone. I flicked the lights off and made my way out of the room. It had only taken me fifteen minutes to do what I did. Hacking into bank and similar things like that would take several minutes to do but years of practice made me one of the best which was working out extremely well for me at the moment.
I snuck through the hallway quietly, listening for any sounds that would alert me that someone was near. When I reached the staircase I almost flew over the steps as I ran quietly and lightly down. My eyes searched for anyone that was down here but it was like it was abandoned on the main floor. At least I had some luck, no matter how dumb that sounded.
I opened the garage door and went in the dark room. The lights weren’t that necessary to turn on as I knew where my car was and that would let everyone know that someone was down here. I had already made it this far unnoticed and it had to stay that way.
My bag flew to the passenger seat as I threw it in. I wouldn’t hop in right away since I knew they had planted a GPS-device in the hood of the car because of safety reasons. I popped the trunk open and tried to locate the small device. When I found something that blinked a tiny red led light I ripped it off, in the process breaking one of my nails but that I couldn’t care less about. I threw the chip somewhere on the floor, far away from the car so that when I drove out it wouldn’t get stuck in the tires.
With the key in the ignition I turned it around and pressed on the gas, slowly driving out the garage. When I had made it out the gates I breathed out a sigh of relief. I had made it. It was easier than I thought, almost a bit too easy but I decided not to question it. I was going to move far away and now the right place was to the next available flight from the airport.
I sucked in a deep breath and forced myself to calm down. I wouldn’t cry, not yet. I wasn’t free yet and until I was free I wouldn’t cry. I would cry when I was safe and know that I was going to make it. I would make it through for dad.
The plane was in the air now and I looked out the window. A tear started its way down my cheek as I closed my eyes, wincing at the fresh memory of my own father getting shot in the head. I let out a shuddery breath and wiped my cheek as more tears kept coming. Now I was free, free from people I believed was my family. Oddly enough my heart wasn’t broken and I wasn’t going to let it break. I would make my dad proud.