Bittersweet Irish Cream Ch. 07

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Since his liver transport two years ago, Daniel Riley had been slowing down on the drinking. Not stopping completely though, but Charlotte, his wife didn’t know that. No one knew that every Friday night he would escape to his basement den, lock the door, pour a cup of brandy and listen to music. It was his way of letting go of the stressors of the week.

This Friday was no different; he came in, locked the door behind him and went downstairs. The basement was cold, someone left the little window open. Probably the cable guy that was here two days ago. Danny went to close it, then sat at his desk and turned on the dim desk lamp. He poured himself a glass, used the radio remote to turn on the music, leaned back and closed his eyes. The voice came out of the dimness of the room, so soft he thought he imagined it.

“Hello Daniel.”

Danny slowly opened his eyes and stupidly thought, why is the cable guy here? Did something happen? But as Jack stood there in the pockets of his black hoodie, black jeans and black Reebok sneakers in the center of the room, he knew this was no cable issue. He slowly reached for the gun he keeps under his center desk drawer. He said, “Since you know who I am, I assume you’ve come here to die tonight, boy.”

“My name is Jack.”

“Is that supposed to mean something to me, Jack?” What the fuck happened to his accent? He’s American, not Irish. This is not good at all. Danny searched with his hand and realized his gun wasn’t there. No matter, he had another one in the bookshelf behind him.

“No. I’m a nobody to you. Just collateral damage of the great Daniel Riley, who would not be refused. Who gets what he wants, no matter the costs.”

Danny stood up slowly. “I cannot argue with that. I do get what I want, no matter the costs. But what do you want, lad? Because a wee thing like you didn’t come to kill a great man like if me.” He moved slowly to the left as he spoke.

Jack had not moved. He said, “I did. I came to avenge my family. Family over everything, isn’t it? That’s what Rab Riley used to say.”

Danny froze. His eyes narrowed. “Who are you?”

Jack continued, “But you didn’t live by that code did you? It was Danny over everything, even family. Even if it tore the family apart.”

Danny held his glaze but slowly moved his hand across the bookshelf to the China bowl. “Aye. I’ve made mistakes, but I’m not a regretful man. I am however an unforgiving one.” His hand found the China bowl but it was empty.

Jack still has not moved. “Do you know I go to Mass every Sunday? Confession every two weeks. I have asked for forgiveness in advance of this night every day for the last 14 years. For the Father to have mercy on me for doing what I have to do. That Mother Mary and St. Jude would protect me. I’m quick to forgive others for their sins, in repentance for this great sin that I knew I would commit. My nature is to be regretful and forgiving. But not for you, Danny. There will be no forgiveness for you. And there will be no regret later.”

Danny laughed, “Who the fuck are you!?”

Jack said again, “My name is Jack.”

Danny said sarcastically, “Well best be on with it, Jack! Let’s see what you’re made of, wee thing like you.” Jack still didn’t move. He wanted Danny to feel trapped, afraid. Danny scoffed, then moved toward Jack, then he heard a woman’s voice behind him.

“Don’t you take another step toward my brother.” A gun cocked.

June came from the corner as Danny turned around pointing her gun at him. He laughed a little, “You’re even smaller than him.” He stood between them and looked back and forth. “Did you think this through wee ones?”

“Yes,” Jack said. “Every day for the last 18 years I’ve thought it through.”

“18 years! You’ve been holding a grudge for 18 years, lad? Are you my long lost son?” Danny joked.

“No. But you wish I was. You wished we were were your kids with Betsy instead of Jamie. You wish you had his wife, his kids, his home, his life. That’s really why you took it from him.” Danny’s face fell and heart started beating outside his chest at the sound of Jamie’s name. This was the first time since Jack started talking that he felt afraid. Jack continued.

“You wished you could be him in every way. And because you couldn’t be him, you started taking everything from him. First you took his wife, tried to break her mind, body and spirit, tried to break him down mentally and emotionally. Then you took his best friend away, forcing Nate to choose between his best friend and his family. Then you tried to turn the Family against him. And when you realized that would never happen, you tortured and killed him and his wife. A fucking shame you never found his children.”

Danny was trying to figure out how to get out of this one. He said, “Aye. A fucking shame indeed. So what is it you want, Jackie and Junie, because I feel like if you wanted to kill me it would have been done already.”

June answered before Jack could. canlı bahis “We want you to die the same way our father died. Screaming.” Danny was looking at Jack as June spoke, looking for his weapon.

“With my wife and daughters upstairs? I don’t think Jamie would approve. There’s a code we live by.”

June answered again, “And where was the code when you raped my mother in front of me, her 2 year old daughter?”

Danny turned to June in surprise. “Someone’s been talking! Was it Drew’s stupid arse? He never had the stomach for it anyway. What’d ya do with him?”

“We gave him mercy.” Jack said. “And now he’s dead.”

Danny turned back to Jack slowly. “You killed my baby brother?”

Jack said, “And Barney. It’s just you left. You.”

Danny didn’t believe it. Yet he hadn’t heard from Barney in over three weeks. And Drew he didn’t speak to often anyway. Still. Danny pulled out his cell phone slowly from his pocket. Neither June or Jack moved as he tried to make a call, because they knew would not go through; he looked at his phone and he had no signal. He looked at Jack who still had not moved nor shown a weapon, and June’s weapon was small. He could take them, he thought. He was terrified, armless and defenseless, but he refused to show it.

He yelled, “Come and get it over with then! I won’t die on my knees begging like your pathetic father! He was a useless cunt, a pussy of a man who used his charms to win people over. But not me. I saw him for what he really was. I did you a favor. You wouldn’t want a dickless father like that.”

Jack didn’t react. He knew he was trying to bait him so he would make a mistake and Danny could over power him. Danny yelled again. “C’mon! Enough suspense! You came here to kill me innit? Do it already!”

He looked back and forth between Jack and June. Neither of them moved, June with her gun raised between her hands directed at Danny, Jack standing with his hands in his sweatshirt.

Danny scoffed again moving toward her first and said, “Just like I thought, dickless just like your-“

But Jack swiftly pulled out his gun with the silencer attached from his center pocket of his sweatshirt and shot Danny in the abdomen. It took Danny a moment to realize he had been shot. He touched his stomach as blood poured out, not watching Jack at all. Jack had raised his pants leg and pulled the 16 inch pipe tucked in his shoe against his leg. He swung it high and brought it down over Danny’s head with all of his might. Danny’s head burst open with blood, the same scar across his forehead that Nate gave him 18 years earlier.

Danny fell backwards against his desk, but didn’t get a chance to recover, as Jack swung again from right to left across Danny’s face, channeling David Ortiz, aka Big Papi, best Red Sox player in his lifetime. He could tell he broke Danny’s jaw, he felt the crunch vibrate throughout the pipe. Danny hit the floor hard, with so much blood in his eyes and hands. Jack swung down five more times as Danny started howling, breaking his shoulder, his hand and his arm. He stepped back panting.

June moved forward and wrapped an extension cord around both of Danny’s feet tight, then pulled his legs backwards and wrapped the same cord around his wrists. Danny was officially hog tied. He was yelling incoherently and spitting out blood. But June and Jack both knew that his wife Charlotte went to bed early on vicodin like she does on Fridays, his oldest daughter was out bar hopping with some new blonde American girls she met, and the youngest daughter was in her room with her headphones on listening to music and smoking pot. No one will hear him.

June tied another extension cord around his neck and tied that to the leg of his desk so that every time Danny would move he would choke himself. She then took off his socks, folded them together and put them in his mouth as Jack pulled down his pajama pants. Danny started shaking his head, eyes wide in fear. He tried to brace himself for impact, but it did not help. He screamed muffled screams as Jack showed no mercy, rammed the pipe up his asshole as far up as it would go.

Jack felt nothing. Neither satisfaction nor remorse. It was a job, like emptying out the trash bins and moving on to the next set. Danny kept choking himself as he moved around from the pain. He coughed up blood and started choking on it as well but with the sock in his mouth it had no where to go. Jack and June watched him turn purple for about 10 seconds before she pulled the bloody sock from his mouth. He threw up blood as he laid sideways trying to catch his breath.

Then Jack said, “You were supposed to apologize to him you son of a bitch.”

Danny laughed through his broken jaw. He said, “The thing is, after I had my way with your mum, I realized she wasn’t that special to begin with. It was nothing for me to watch Barney slit her throat from behind her. But watching Jamie cry over it…well it was all worth it in the end.” He laughed and coughed bahis siteleri up blood. Jack looked at June who had hate all over her face. She looked at him with cold eyes and handed him her gun.

Jack knelt down and put June’s gun to Danny’s head and said, “Thank you for that. It makes this so much easier.”

He reached down with his one hand and pushed the pipe further up impaling Danny’s rectum until he started screaming, then he pulled the trigger once, cutting the screams short. He stood up and looked at June again. She had no tears in her eyes. She took her gloved hand into his, and they walked to the small window. He hoisted her up first, then slipped his slim frame through the window. On the outside, he closed the window, and June handed him the hand held electric drill she had, and he nailed the window shut. With any luck, it will be days before they find him, and by then they will be gone.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Inspector Gregory Galis came into the police station that Monday after viewing the horrific scene of Daniel Riley’s murder. Danny had so many enemies who knew which one finally did him in. And frankly, he didn’t give a shit. Most officers here didn’t give a shit either, there were more than enough unsolved murders they have worked on with his fingerprints all over it and they couldn’t catch him. But he will do his job, sort of, investigate the homicide, kind of, and maybe solve the case. But not likely.

The clerk stopped him, “Galis, someone dropped this off for you yesterday. Said his name was Jamier Edmin.”

Galis was skeptical, he had a memory like lab rat and he had no idea who that was. Fake name for sure. He took the card and read the front of the envelope. JamieREdmiN is how he spelled it. Nutty. Galis’s natural curiosity took over. He opened it and it was a simple card of an apple tree on the front. On the inside was a typed message, “Thank you for saving our lives. J&J.” Now Galis was really confused.

He went to his desk to mull over the card. The picture, the weird way he signed his name. J&J. He said our, who is the other J? JJ? Two people or one?

He was still contemplating it when Maggie the secretary came in. “Crime scene photos. I’ve never seen anything like it. They didn’t even know he was down there for two days.”

Galis didn’t respond as he opened up the folder. But as he viewed the photos even he had to admit it was gruesome. Danny was hog tied to a desk, beaten badly, sodomized, shot in the stomach and in the head. Again, Galis didn’t really give a fuck, Danny deserved it for any number of crimes he committed over the years. But still, it was horrific. Staged intentionally, he was sure of that, to send a message. But what? He hadn’t seen anything this bad since….

Galis’s body went numb as his mind was going a mile a minute. He just remembered the last time he seen something this gruesome. This similar. He looked at the card again on his desk. JamieREdminN. Just to be sure turned on his desktop. Were they uploading crime photos in the database from 20 years ago? He sure as shit hoped so. The search bar came up and he paused. Then slowly typed Jamie R, pressed send. Crime photos of Jamie Redmond and his wife Betsy’s murder popped up automatically.

He played close attention to Jamie’s photos. Jamie was hog tied, neck tied to the bedpost, legs behind his back connected to his wrists, all with an extension cord. He laid on his side, facing his wife, shot in the stomach and in his head with two different bullets. It was nearly identical, close enough. But pipe was left in Danny. The interesting part was that the pipe used to sodomize Jamie was left in him, but that wasn’t common knowledge. An officer on the scene removed it for the photos, for his dignity, the officer said. So in the picture the pipe was next to Jamie but Galis remembered that fact like he knew it was Monday.

The Redmonds were found because the front door was left wide open and a neighbor called it in. She kept frantically asking, “Where are the children?” A search party went out and combed the woods behind the house. Galis and two officers found them first. The boy (Jake? Jack?) was in pajama pants and a superman t-shirt. The girl (Judy? No, Jane?) was almost 3, in a full onsie with soiled diapers, eating crisps. The boy had the good sense to grab some crisps and juice boxes and hide in the woods with his sister, like his mum told him to. That she would find him afterwards.

The boy said in a clear voice, “Danny killed my mum and dad. That’s what’s my dad said. He called him Danny. Said he’s going to pay for what he’s done.”

Galis ordered the two officers to keep their mouth shut about finding the kids and to pretend to keep looking like everyone else. He took the kids out through the other side of the woods, jumped in a taxi and took them to the shelter where his wife worked, told her to feed them and keep an eye on them, and that he would be back in 24 hours. Because Galis knew there was bahis şirketleri only one “Danny” the boy could be talking about, especially since Nate Riley was already at the scene, stone faced.

He went back to the house and arrested Nate, and for the next few hours he questioned him. Nate gave him nothing, but in the end before he lawyered up, he said, “If you find my godchildren, get them out of Ireland. Betsy has an older brother in the States, Boston I think. I’ll get the number from my wife. Get them out, quickly and silently. And don’t trust Mi6.” Then he said nothing more. Two hours after leaving the station a woman left a message on Galis’s phone, just a phone number, not even her name.

He called the number and spoke to a Henry Frazier giving him the devastating news. He explained what happened and that he needed his help to get the kids out of the country. Henry owned a successful orchard farm so he had the means, but he needed help too, so he called the FBI. Galis picked up the kids from the shelter and drove straight to the Belfast International Airport, all while on the phone with the FBI to tell them that Mi6 was infiltrated, their witness was dead, and they needed to get the kids out of the country, now.

An FBI agent met them at the airport and took the kids to Heathrow. Galis did not go but heard that their uncle met them there. They got special visas to enter the US and went to live with their uncle, all under 48 hours after their parents murders. Meanwhile, Galis promoted the two officers to Garda for their discretion and put the word out that the children were still missing, feared dead.

Mi6 found their mole and tried to persuade their uncle to let Jack testify since he seen and heard the whole thing. He could be the key that brought down the Riley Family empire. But Henry said absolutely not, that they were going to live normal, happy lives and never set foot in Ireland again. Galis agreed, the children had been through enough. They would find another way to bring down Danny and he has spent his entire career trying to.

The memories came flooding back like someone opened up a dam in his mind. He took the card and went downstairs to the main desk and asked the clerk, “Harley, did you happened to get a good look at who left it?”

Harley said, “Honestly no. We were pretty busy yesterday.”

“Mind if I check the tapes?” Galis went behind the desk and pulled out yesterday’s tapes and moved to a nearby computer to watch the CCTV from yesterday morning.

At 8am, a man came in wearing a black hoodie, face turned away from the camera. He handed something to the clerk and left. Galis switched camera views to the front entrance. The man stopped at the double doors and faced a woman who was wearing an identical hoodie. They exchanged some words, then together took off their hoods and looked up at the camera, a full 5 seconds, then he put his arm around her and they left.

Galis rewinded the tape and looked at their faces again. They could have been living replicas of the files he just viewed. Galis rewinded it once more, then pressed the record button right before they removed his hoods. For the next 10 seconds the tape accidentally recorded the current view of the front entrance. He watched it back to make sure of the accident, then went back to his desk. The Redmond files and pictures were still up. It was a closed case since people confessed to it, but just to sure, he accidentally deleted the photos of Jamie’s death.

He read the card again. “Thank you for saving our lives.” He leaned back in his chair and a slow smile crept up on his face. Then he grabbed his coat. He was going to take a quick trip to Belfast to see Nate Riley.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The four of them split up at the airport, and didn’t sit next to each other on the plane back, which was fine by each of them, as they either slept or got lost in their own thoughts. They didn’t go near each other again until they were on the same shuttle train headed back into the city.

June said to Jack, “So now what?” and smiled. She knew that was Ethan’s famous line to him.

He smiled and shook his head. “You go back to school, right now. You too Mina. You both are only a few weeks into the semester, you should be able to keep your classes and graduate on time.”

Henrietta said, “No, first we all go home to mom and dad, and go see Father O’Donnell and do confession. Then June, you say a quick hello to Liam and have him drive your ass back to NYU. Mina you head to Providence, Jack’s right about your classes and clinicals. And Jack, you go straight to the Inn and make it right with Ethan.”

Jack shook his head. “Ethan will never forgive me. It’s over between us.”

“No, it’s not over,” June said. “You just have to talk to him.”

“Nothing that I can say will convince him to take me back. I hurt him. I left him. It’s too big a betrayal for him to get over. The most I can hope for is his friendship again.”

“No you just have to go bigger.” Mina said. “The biggest gesture you can think of to show him how sorry you are and that you won’t leave him again.”

“Ask him to marry you.” Henrietta said definitively.

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