Copyright © 2013 R. P. Martin
Part 5 of A Suitable Suitor Series
Part 1: Man of Her Dreams (complete)
Part 2: Waiting My Whole Life (complete)
Part 3: Walking Away (complete)
Part 4: The Stalker (complete)
Part 5: The Nightmare (complete)
Part 6: You Will Be Mine (complete)
Part 7: Plan in Action (complete)
* May contain offence language*
Still That Same Saturday Morning
Piper watched Bean slowly walk to the door and cringed when she unlocked it. When she started to open the door, Piper's heart rate picked up and her mind immediately thought about all the bad things that could happen. Her life had literally been turned upside down since meeting Blake. Of course most of the outcome had been positive. She knew she wanted to be with Bean for the rest of her life but for whatever reason, it seemed like everything she did eventually had a negative ending. She just hoped that whoever was on the other side of that door wasn't here to cause any trouble for the future.
After unlocking the door, Bean didn't have a chance to say anything to the man who had briskly entered her house. The second the artist realized who it was, Piper spoke out with confidence.
“What in the hell are you doing here?”
Piper was taken aback by the force and self-assurance in her words. She knew that if her father had come to Blake's house, there was no good reason for it. She had taken a stance when it came to her relationship with Bean and now it was time to prove to her father that he just couldn't go around controlling and intimidating her anymore. Enough was enough and she had never deserved it in the first place but now she wasn't going to stand for it, period.
“Is that really any way to talk to your father?”
“Right now, you aren't acting like my father. Besides, you just barged in here.”
“Dad, what are you doing here?”
Brandon looked at his daughter's lover, the disgust apparent in his body language and rolled his eyes. When he took the time to look at Blake, he realized there was something incredibly humbling about the woman and for the lack of better words, Bean was enchanting. However, The Jackson Inc. CEO had dismissed the idea because it was all he knew. Blake was a lesbian and to him, that was wrong. Nevertheless, he just wasn't sure where his hatred for the woman had come from except that he believed it ran deep in his veins.
“Do you always let your women talk for you?”
Bean was still in shock but after a few seconds and a couple of deep breaths, she spoke.
“First of all, I did not invite you into my home. Secondly, it's not women. I'm only with Piper.”
“That's a load of crap if I've ever heard it.”
Both Brandon and Bean looked towards Piper who seemed to be beyond upset. Her fists were squeezed into tight balls and she was ready to pounce on whoever dared to push any more of her buttons.
“If you aren't going to tell us why you are here, you can just leave.”
“You can't speak to me that way. You are my daughter Piper Jackson.”
“Actually she can, Sir. You are here uninvited and I've had just about enough. I want you to get out of my house.”
The gallery owner walked closer to Bean, enough for an arm to encircle her trembling waist. She felt safe in the arms of her lover and whatever they fought through; Bean remained her constant companion, her rock and her solidarity.
Brandon's anger rushed to his ears but it didn't stop him from continuing to tell the couple why he was there. He was determined to get Bean away from his daughter and it didn't matter at what cost. There surely was a better suitor for his daughter out there and it certainly couldn't be Blake Beaner, a woman.
“I want you to stay away from my daughter.”
“That isn't going to happen, Brandon. I'm sorry.”
“What's it going to cost me?”
Bean let go of Piper and instinctively took an unconscious menacing step towards the older gentleman. Piper had time to grab the back of Bean's tank top and that's all Blake needed to calm down. The fact that Piper was they're supporting and guiding her was all she needed. Bean needed to control her temper because the artist's father was out of line.
“You are out of line. Get the hell out of my house.”
“Come on, we both know everyone can be bought.”
“In your world perhaps, but not in mine. I'm not going anywhere.”
“You are going to break my daughter's heart and I can't let you do that.”
Brandon looked into his daughter's eyes pleading with her.
“Please sweetheart, you need to stay away from this woman. She's a disease.”
“You need to stop this Dad. You are crossing the line. This is my decision and being with Bean is exactly what I want. You can't control my life anymore.”
“Please Piper. You are a Jackson after all.”
“Bean asked you to leave so please go.”
The Jackson Inc. CEO looked at Bean and closed his eyes at how defeated he felt. This woman had brainwashed his daughter into thinking it was ok to love another woman, to be a lesbian. He snickered and shook his head at the thought that nearly made him want to spit into Bean's face.
As Brandon reached into his inside jacket pocket for the check he had pre-written with the intention of buying Blake off, the couple instantly came together as one. With the move, the older man was taken aback by the fear he saw in the eyes of both women.
“I'll leave this for you.”
“What is it?”
“I want you to stay away from Piper and that should be more than enough to cover your expenses to disappear. Stay away from my daughter.”
As Bean yelled at Piper's father, the doorbell rang and all three occupants turned towards the door wondering who was there asking entry into Bean's house. It didn't take long for the three people to find out who it was when another man pushed his way through the door. In all of the commotion that had started to happen, Bean had closed but not locked the door.
Bean cringed at the sight of who was in the living room now. Piper was beside herself and the blood in her veins pounded throughout her body. The headache she hoped wouldn't appear was assaulting her to the point where she felt like she needed to throw up. She didn't know how much more of this she could handle.
“Where the hell is she?”
“Get the hell out of my house Robert.”
“I'm not leaving here without her.
“This is madness! The both of you need to get out of my house. I'm calling the police.”
When Robert saw Piper half standing behind Bean, he snickered and went to take a few steps towards the couple. He watched as Bean puffed out her chest and suggestively moved to protect her precious cargo. Robert wasn't really sure how he'd get around the brick of a house that Bean was but he would have to try if he was finally going to take Piper back.
Daniel had taken this opportunity, even if it had been a little too soon for his comfort. Now was the right time and there was nothing that would stop him, especially with both of those idiots in the house. Luckily after Robert had barged into the home, no one had closed the front door leaving the scene in clear view. The prowler secretly approached the home and without a sound, walked right into the house. There was so much chaos that he was able to latch and lock the front door before moving a little closer to the group of people who were shouting at each other.
Here's your chance. Don't screw it up man!
He had planned this moment a multitude of times but things felt extremely risky now that all of this was going to happen on the spur of the moment. His heart rate increased and the sweat poured down the sides of his face.
Don't tell me you're going to chicken out.
The prowler was getting angry with his “voice” and needed it to just shut up for a little while as he observed what was going on. Maybe he wouldn't need to do anything but if push came to shove, he was ready to do what he needed to do.
Daniel crept as close as he could to the four people who still were yelling at each other and tried not to make a sound.
“I'm not leaving here without you Piper.”
“What the hell is your problem Robert?”
“Shut up Brandon. Stay out of it.”
“Robert, seriously? What are you doing here?”
“Piper, I came to get you of course.”
Daniel looked at Piper full of pride and happiness as she fought off Robert. She wasn't choosing him and that made the prowler happier than he had ever been.
“I'm not leaving. You need to leave me alone. You need to leave us alone.”
“You have to come with me. I love you Piper.”
“Please dear God, just leave me alone. I don't love you Robert. Get that through your thick skull.”
“I LOVE YOU! Don't you understand that?”
“I don't care. I don't love you. DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?”
Daniel watched as Bean took a few steps towards the living room telephone that was sitting on one of the side tables and knew he had to make his move soon enough because there was no way he could get out of this if the cops were called. The prowler reached into this jacket pocket and took out a small handgun he had recently purchased for such an occasion.
He remained as quiet as possible and watched the tension thicken in the room.
She hasn't noticed you while playing nice. Shouldn't you try being a BAD guy?
Piper's stalker agreed with the “voice” but the fear in his body gripped him. He had never taken a life before but throughout the years of knowing Piper, he realized he would do anything for her. If saving the artist from that degenerate human being were what he could do then so be it, he would kill for love. He would do whatever it took so he put his game face on, took a few deep breaths and took a step toward the group who were all obsessively staring at each other wondering what each other's next moves were going to be.
“Come on now everybody. Let's just calm down for a second.”
All of the heads in the room jerked to look into the direction of where the voice was coming from.
I told you not to play nice! You're gonna to mess up man. Damn!
Despite knowing what he needed to do, part of him still hoped he wouldn't have to result to drastic measure. It seemed that perhaps there was hesitation in him, which he wasn't willing to accept. He needed to be confident and assertive if he was going to win Piper over.
No wonder it's taken you years to get this show on the road. Bobbi would laugh at you right now, you know?
“What the hell are YOU doing here?”
Upon hearing the venom in Bean's voice, the prowler impulsively brought up his gun to eye level so that everyone in the room would see it. The room immediately quieted and again, Bean moved to secure and protect her girlfriend from the three madmen that were in her home. She needed to get to the phone to call 911 but now that the three men were in her house, she wasn't really sure how she would be able to do that.
“Ha ha, you don't need to do that Blake. I would never hurt Piper.”
“Are you sure about that? What's the gun for?”
“Certainly not for her.”
The artist stood as close as she could behind Bean, not spearing any distance between the two. She placed her forehead on Bean's back and closed her eyes willing this terrifying situation to disappear. She couldn't believe what was happening and for the millionth time that morning was beside herself at the resemblance of her nightmare. She wondered if this was actually happening or not and blinked a few times but nothing changed. She was still in a room full of crazy men.
She glanced into the direction of Daniel and was still so very shocked to find out that he was there with a gun no less. At first she couldn't decipher why he would be here but when she looked into those vacant and terrifying eyes; she knew he was there for her. The tears stormed down her cheeks an onto Bean's tank top. She just couldn't help herself from releasing the anguish, frustration and fear she had inside her. It wasn't enough that she had lost weight, was stressed and had changed her cell number to protect herself from Robert but now she had to deal with the identity of her true stalker. She was terrified and had no idea what was going to happen, except that it no longer mattered because the guy with the gun was now the one in control.
“Don't cry my love, this will all be over soon.”
Piper's body involuntarily jolted at the tone of Daniel's voice. She was so confused by what was happening. Up until the moment, both Bean and her had thought it was Robert who was stalking them but it turned out not to be the case. They both stalked her. Piper was on the breaking point and was ready to loose herself in whatever the men wanted as long as all of this was going to stop. She felt helpless and afraid but if this chaos would stop, she'd do anything.
“Daniel, what are you doing here?”
“Are you that surprised to see me here Brandon?”
Piper looked to her father and saw the uneasiness in Brandon's posture. She watched the silent interaction that happened between the two and felt her entire body grow weak from the deceit that came from her father. She panicked and instantaneously thought the worst of her father.
“Daddy, what is he talking about?”
“Oh come on now Brandon, is that really how you're going to play along?”
“Shut up Daniel!”
Never in all her life did she think her father would also be behind the unsettling nonstop violations she and Bean had been suffering. She couldn't believe it nor did she want to. Her father was a pompous ass but could he really ruin her life like this?
“Tell her Brandon. Tell her what you've been doing.”
Piper looked into the eyes of her father and saw the regret sadly seeping out. She cried harder at the man's non-verbal confirmation of what he had done.
“How could you do this Dad? What's wrong with me for you to have done this?”
“I didn't do anything honey. YOU didn't do anything sweetheart. I just asked him to keep an eye on you.”
TAKE CONTROL MAN. YOU'RE LOOSING IT!
“Everyone SHUT UP.”
The four people in the room looked at Daniel and cowered away as the gun came up into the air.
“Is this really necessary Johnny?”
“Oh, now you're going to play nice with me and pretend you're my friend? Why, because I have this little gun in my hands?”
Shove that barrel into his face. See how the old man likes it.
Brandon terrifyingly watched as the end of the gun was directly aiming at his forehead. It was close enough to his skin that he could smell the mixture of metal and oil together. The black barrel continued to come his way but the Jackson Inc. CEO made no attempt to move out of the way because his fear had rooted him to the floor. He wondered what he had done.
“Don't look at me like that. I'm not that crazy old man.”
As Brandon watched his right hand man sadistically laugh, he winced.
HA HA, not that crazy? We both know the truth to that.
“YOU shut up! Let me handle this. I don't need you.”
Piper's father looked confused for a minute but knew he wasn't alone as he saw the confusion in everyone else's eyes. Apart from the group, there wasn't anyone else in the room so who in the world was the madman talking to?
“Correct me if I'm wrong Brandon. Did you not say if that woman so much as touched your daughter again that you'd kill her?”
The older man looked mortified at what Daniel had repeated. He looked at his daughter and saw the life seeping out of her. How could he explain that he had in fact said that but had never meant any truth to it? He grasped for courage as he prepared himself to open up his mouth.
“Something along those lines but I never meant it sweetheart. I promise.”
HA HA COWARD! Johnny, please take care of this dipshit.
“Daddy, did you really say that?”
“Piper, please, you have to understand.”
Brandon watched his daughter collapse against Bean's backside and could almost feel the pain Piper was now suffering. He had caused an obscene amount of sadness in the daughter he loved so much. He was ashamed and looked away not able to take any more of what he had subjected his beloved daughter to. What had he done?
Everything was playing out perfectly for Daniel. Piper knew the truth about her father, Bean and Robert were simple pawns again and now it was time for him to finally claim his Queen. He would be King and all would be right in the world. He then noticed the couple approaching the kitchen where the cell phone was on the corner of the countertop. It was clear that Bean was trying to take control of the situation and that wasn't something he was prepared for.
STOP THEM JOHNNY!
“Where in the hell do you think you're going?”
“Stay calm. Piper needs some water.”
“Don't tell me you take me for a fool as well.”
“Not at all.”
The prowler snickered, not believing a word the CFO was saying because she had seen her trying to go for the cell phone.
“What are you doing Daniel?”
“I'm finally going to fix this situation so we can be together.”
“So we can be together? What are you talking about?”
Daniel looked into Piper's eyes and tried to convey all of the love he had for her but she continued to angrily return his gaze.
“Piper, don't play dumb. You and I both know that we've been secretly involved for a long time. Now it's time for everyone around us to finally know the truth.”
“That you love me. That we're going to get married and you'll have my children.”
“ARE YOU CRAZY?”
The stalker looked at Bean who had just yelled her outburst. Piper didn't say anything; she just stood there shocked to the bone at what Daniel had said.
Just kill the bitch and get it over and done with.
Daniel took a few steps towards the couple and had enough time to aim the gun into Bean's direction when Robert started yelling.
“You're nuts, absolutely nuts.”
“Shut up Robert.”
“She doesn't love you. She loves me.”
The prowler didn't even realize what had happened until he felt the sting of the blast in his ear. He closed his eyes but opened them again to make sure of what had happened. Something snapped inside him and the fury of all those years came rushing back into his cells. Robert lay down on his back, gripping his arm and moaning in pain. Daniel had shot Robert.
Holy shit, you did it. You're the man Johnny.
“Everyone shut up. Understand?”
The group of people nodded and looked away except for Brandon.
“Have you gone mad?”
“Watch it old man or you're next.”
“You don't have the guts.”
Daniel didn't hesitate in shooting Piper's father either. Brandon went down to the ground holding his shoulder. Piper yelled and screamed again but was safely secured by Bean's arms. Bean wasn't about to let her go even as Brandon moaned for help.
Now get rid of that bitch and you're home free.
“When I'm good and ready. I told you, DON'T PUSH ME.”
Johnny, don't lose your nerve now. Come on man.
The woman behind the tall athletic body held on for her dear life as though everything depended on it. Bean wasn't going to let anything happen to her, no matter what it took. She would die before anything terrible happened to the woman she loved more than life itself but wasn't sure what to do.
“Please put the gun down Daniel. Nobody else needs to get hurt.”
The prowler incredulously looked at Bean and wanted to go over there and punch her lights out for trying to control the situation. If looks could kill, Piper's soon to be ex-lover would have died ten times already. As Daniel cursed and closed his eyes, Bean knew something awful was going to happen.
Kill that bitch.
Come on, what are you waiting for? For that lesbian to humiliate you again?
“Are you sure?”
Of course I am. Come on DO IT, SHOOT HER MAN. SHOOT HER!
Bean knew it was time to do anything she could. The stalker's body language was very aggressive, his hands were shaking and the more he talked to himself, the more it sounded like he was being convinced in doing something she wasn't willing to happen. Bean momentarily closed her eyes and calmed her body enough to feel the woman behind her. If this was going to be the last time she would feel her touch, she would make sure she remembered it for a lifetime.
Everything in the room slowed down. Things were in slow motion and the second she knew what she should do; her heart unbelievably calmed and paced itself. Bean knew it was the right thing to do because she knew she'd give her life to the woman she loved if only to make sure that she would be safe. Bean had never loved anyone like that before and the only regret she had now was that she hadn't said she loved her.
She looked into the eyes of the gunman and found nothing she could work with. His eyes were bulging out, the blood seemed to be pumping hard in his veins and the adrenaline poured down the sides of his unshaved face. The air was thick and the moment finally took away Bean's breath. It was now or never and without thinking, she jumped onto Daniel.
A Few Minutes Later
Bean desperately tried to turn the safety on the gun that Daniel was holding but nothing worked. The prowler was determined to send a bullet directly into her chest but she fought him for what seemed like a while.
“PLLLLEEEEEAASSSEEEEEE, DON'T DANIEL. NO!”
The stalker's anger impossibly rushed further into his hands, urging his willingness to shoot. He bared his teeth and with all of his might got the barrel of the gun positioned against Bean's chest.
That should do it. Pull the trigger. PULL IT!
Daniel looked into the eyes of Bean and grinned. Bean could almost taste Daniel's disgusting breath on her. Their skin grind against each other the more they tried to fight each other off. Bean begged the heavens above to protect her and for Piper to be safe and asked for a little more will power to try and subdue their attacker.
“She'll finally be mine and there is nothing you can do about it.”
A few milliseconds before the gun went off, Bean's overwhelming need to protect the love of her life helped in pushing the barrel directly out of harm's way. Or at least she hoped. Piper screamed and Daniel's face flushed with paleness.
The prowler's hands shook from what had happened and he wondered why he was having such a negative affect with shooting Bean and not with shooting Robert. He stood there shocked and riveted to the floor not understanding the agony that flowed through his body.
You did it. HA HA! Way to go Johnny.
Daniel watched as Piper was kneeling over the slumped body. Bean was lying on her back in a puddle of blood that oozed around her. Piper was hysterically crying, yelling and screaming at the stalker and he couldn't take it anymore.
“Blake, honey, please don't close your eyes. Please.”
The pain ripped Piper to pieces as she watched her soul mate gasping for air. The blood that surrounded her, frightened her but she panicked the moment Bean's breaths became shallow. They were becoming sporadic and slow and she could see the twinkle leaving Bean's eyes.
“Shhh, it's ok handsome. Don't talk.”
The tears streamed down her face and fell onto Bean's chest. Piper's life had shattered and the one thing that was right in her life lay lifeless on the floor. Her heart broke in a million pieces and all she wanted to do was die right alongside Bean.
“God no, please Blake, don't you leave me.”
Piper looked up to Daniel who looked a tad embarrassed and if she really was honest with herself, looked regretful. She couldn't think about that just now but it was an angle for her to use.
“What have you done Daniel?”
Daniel looked away but answered her.
“I did it for us Piper. I love you. I've always loved you and I know you love me too.”
Piper looked back into the eyes she loved so much only to find them slowly closing.
“Damn you Blake Beaner, don't you leave me.”
The hair on the back of Piper's neck rose. Her heartbeat was uncontrollable and it felt like it was going to burst through her chest. She wanted to seek Bean's warmth but the woman she loved was slipping away, growing colder by the seconds.
“Bean, please don't go.”
Piper pulled Bean's head to hers and hugged her with all of her might. She wasn't going to let go but most of all she wasn't going to let her beloved slip away without knowing she loved her. That's when it hit and she mentally cursed herself for not telling Bean that she loved her. The gallery owner leaned in a little closer and whispered the words she knew she'd always feel.
“I love you Blake, I love you so much.”
When she opened her eyes to look into the debts of those grey-blue eyes, she saw nothing. Bean's eyes were open but the spark had disappeared. There was no life in there. She could do nothing but smack Bean's shoulder in despair. The artist was beside herself knowing that Bean hadn't heard her say those words she ached to hear in return. What would she do without the love of her life? How would she move on? What would she do?
“Damn you Blake. Not now handsome, please. WHY?”
She continued to pound her fist into Bean's shoulder the more she cursed her for leaving her alone in this world. The pain in her chest tightened to the point where she couldn't breathe.
“PUT YOUR HANDS UP! PUT THE GUN DOWN.”
Piper wondered if she imagined the police in the house but nothing would take her gaze away from her lover. It was hard to move now and before she knew what was happening, a man was pulling her off the body she believed she couldn't live without.
“Leave me alone.”
“I'm sorry Miss but we need to take her to the hospital.”
Piper was taken out of her reverie and looked at the EMS attendants. She hadn't seen them or heard them come into the house. Everything was chaotic and there were so many people around her in the living room. The gallery owner couldn't take anymore and felt like she was going to scream to the point where she'd crack into a million pieces. As she watched Bean's body being hoisted onto the stretcher while CPR was being administered, she froze and calmed. The trauma was settling in and there was no escaping.
There was nothing left inside of her. Everything went blank and things slowed down so much to the point where she blacked out. Finally, there was a little peace inside her soul.
That Afternoon at the Hospital
The artist had finally opened her eyes after she had temporarily passed out. The situation had been too much for her and she had fainted. After the EMS Attendants looked her over, she hopped in the back of the ambulance where her father was lying on a stretcher and hitched a ride to the hospital. She had been informed that Bean was already heading into emergency surgery.
“I'm so sorry sweetheart.”
Piper looked into the eyes of her father emotionally wrecked. Half of her cheered because he had been injured and the other half of her wanted to cry for what had happened.
“I can't believe you were involved in this Dad.”
“I never meant for anything like this to happen.”
“Why? Blake is such an amazing person. Why?”
Brandon looked away ashamed of his actions. He couldn't bear to see the hatred in his daughter's eyes but knew he deserved it. As he listened to the profound sobs coming from his daughter's chest, he closed his eyes wishing he had died that day. His turmoil would surly hunt him down for the rest of his life for what he had done. He needed to fix this somehow.
“I'm so sorry sweetheart.”
After arriving at the hospital, Piper called her mother and told her to come to the hospital immediately. She patiently waited for her mother in the waiting room, dreading the idea of explaining all that had happened, especially the part her father had in all of this. She picked up her purse, rifled through it and turned her smartphone on, needing to text her best friend.
Hey boss, how's your lovely weekend going?
I don't have much time but something terrible has happened.
Are you OK?
Piper couldn't help but shed a few tears as she texted her best friend. She also couldn't help but be reminded of her dream. In fact, everything that was happening was nearly the same. Having a déjà vu only made her worry that much more because in her nightmare, Bean had died.
I'm ok but Blake isn't. I'm at the hospital waiting for mom.
What happened? Do you need anything?
I'll tell you what happened when you get here. For now, I could use my best friend.
I'll close the gallery and head your way right now. I'll take care of the orders while I'm at the hospital.
Anytime sweetie. Be there soon.
The artist nervously tapped her feet on the tiled floor waiting for news, her mother and best friend. When she heard the doors of the emergency room opening, she plead for some news about Blake but it was Daphne, who was frantically making her way towards her.
“Honey, what happened? Where is your father?”
“Please sit down mom.”
“You look terrible sweetheart. Tell me.”
Piper held her mother's hands as she explained what had happened. Daphne, embarrassed by her husband's behavior, could hardly look at her daughter.
“I'm so sorry my love. I had no idea.”
“This isn't your fault mom.”
“Oh gosh sweetheart, this is just terrible.”
The gallery owner's heartbeat rushed to her throat as the emergency doors opened up again. She looked across the room hoping to see anyone in a white coat but no such luck. Lisa however appeared and was making her way over to where the two Jackson ladies were sitting.
“Oh sweetie, are you alright?”
Piper accepted Lisa's hug, closing her eyes, embracing the comfort of her friend. She longed for a single second of peace but it never came. She opened her eyes, sat down and told her best friend what happened that morning.
“You've got to be kidding me. My Daniel? The guy who took me out last night?”
“The very same.”
“I don't know what to say, I'm shocked. I can't believe it.”
The gallery owner was going to continue her tale about the events that had happened that morning but didn't have a chance when the doors of the Emergency Room flew open one last time. Her heart stopped in mid beat. Her hands trembled, her body tensed and her vision was glued to the three doctors that were approaching her.
“I'm looking for Piper Jackson, is she here?”
“That would be me.”
“I take it you are Blake Beaner's emergency contact? Are you family?”
“Yes, I'm her partner.”
Piper hadn't realized how comfortable and easy it felt to affirm her relationship and to pronounce the fact that she was Blake's partner. Daphne smiled right alongside Piper's best friend. Lisa was proud of her boss and couldn't wait to share in that excitement with her when the time was right. Daphne was also very happy for her daughter and couldn't help but feel warmth in her heart but knew her husband had caused so much pain. She knew he was opposed to homosexuality but it didn't mean she had to and she wouldn't because she loved her daughter no matter who she loved and knew Bean was a great person.
“Alright. My name is Dr. Syd and these are my Colleagues, Dr. Sneer and Dr. Thornton.”
The artist's hands trembled as she mentally tried to shake the eerie feeling she was getting from the situation. It was all too familiar to her. Piper couldn't believe the similarities between what was happening right now and the nightmare she had just a few hours ago. It was strange to be standing in front of a doctor with the same name. She found it coincidental and spooky and didn't want to think about it anymore.
“I'm the Chief Medical Trauma Surgeon here.”
“Very nice to meet you. This is Daphne Jackson, my mother and Lisa Reiner, my best friend.”
“Nice to meet you too. “
“How is she?”
Piper held her breath. She squeezed her mother's hand for support and willed the words of the surgeons to be anything but what she had heard in her nightmare.
“We had to preform emergency surgery on Blake's chest. At first glance, we believed Blake's injuries to her upper body were unsalvageable but we were finally able to repair her lungs. Bullet fragments severed her major artery and she unfortunately lost a lot of blood. Fortunately, we were able to save her life.”
“Oh my God, she's going to be OK?”
“She's in a medical induced coma right now, but I suspect in time and with rest, she'll make a good recovery.”
The artist's world flashed before her eyes. She had expected the worst, especially when so many resemblances of her nightmare had come true. When the surgeon had specifically said that Bean would make a full recovery, she couldn't stop herself from letting her tears run dry. Bean had been lucky but hopefully now that Daniel was arrested, that things would settle down for them.
As the doctors half smiled, showing their sympathy for the situation Piper knew she needed to ask one more question.
“How is my father?”
“All I know is that your father should recover as well. They were lucky and seem to be strong willed. Your father's surgeon should be up to see you soon.”
Both Jackson women hugged each other and cried, happy and elated that their significant others were going to be ok. The recovery might be a long road for them but at least they had survived the ordeal. It was time to heal.
A Week Later At the County Jail
Hi Sweetie. How are you?
I'm ok, thanks. What are you doing?
I was just checking up on you.
I'm sorry I can't be there today.
Don't be sorry, you are watching the gallery for me.
I know, but still. You're my best friend and I love you.
I love you too. I'm going to see Bean after.
Oh good. How is she anyway?
The doctors don't really understand why she hasn't woken up yet but she seems stable.
Well, maybe today.
I hope so. I miss her so much. I'm not sure what I'd do without her.
Don't think like that. She's here and she'll come out of it soon enough.
See you tonight?
Come by around 7.
Ok. Are you sure I can't bring anything?
No, just yourself and maybe some Pj's .
Will do. Thanks again hun.
You're welcome. xoxox
Piper put her smartphone back into her purse and waited for the proceedings to start. It had been a full week since the incident and still Bean hadn't woken up. The gallery owner was exhausted but declined to leave her side in case Bean finally woke up. Leaving her at the hospital by herself now was killing her but she needed to be in the courtroom to hopefully see some justice.
The artist sat sandwiched in between her father and mother who absolutely refused to take their eyes off her since that unfaithful day a week ago. Brandon was lucky enough to only sustain a minor shoulder injury. He spent a day in hospital and then was discharged with a rehabilitation program. Daphne stayed by his side nearly the whole time except for when she needed to make sure her daughter was ok.
As the three Jacksons sat together waiting for the judge to enter the courtroom, Piper felt like she needed to bite on her nails because she was so nervous. She knew without a doubt that Daniel would get a conviction but she only hoped it would be for a long time. More importantly, she wished Bean could be awake and at the court room herself experiencing the justice that was coming to them.
Thirty Minutes until Sentencing
“How could I have been so stupid?”
I told you to be careful.
“Oh shut up. I wasn't asking you.”
Who were you asking then moron?
“You, this is all your fault. Had you just had a bit of patience, this might not have happened.”
My fault, really, you're going to blame me?
“Well, who pushed me when I wasn't ready?”
You're still a coward. You are just not the man I thought you could be.
Daniel turned away and faced the cement wall. He clutched his knees together and laid his head on the top of his bruised knees.
Now, now, don't cry you big baby.
Daniel wasn't sure how he had gotten himself into this mess but it no longer mattered because as far as he was concerned, his representative had informed him that he would most likely go to prison for a while. His actions would have to be proven in a court and he would have to be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. He wanted to blame his “voice” and for the most part did but now as he sat in the darken corner of the room, he wondered how much this was really his fault.
“Johnson, you have a visitor.”
The prowler quickly turned his head towards the ironclad bars where a tall prison guard stood.
“You have a visitor.”
“Yes Johnson, NOW. Let's go.”
Daniel couldn't understand how he would be allowed to have any visitors at this time, especially seeing as how he was supposed to enter the courtroom in about another thirty minutes. As he walked towards the visiting quarters, he realized his visitor was most likely his lawyer wanting to give him some last minute advice or information.
Nope, nobody else is coming for you Johnny.
As Daniel sat down at the table, he couldn't catch his breath. He looked into the eyes of the man sitting across from him and winced at the venom that poured out of him in waves.
“Hello big brother.”
The prowler was shocked beyond anything. The last person he was expecting was his younger stepbrother Bobbi to be sitting there in front of him.
“What the hell are you doing here? Came to gloat probably?”
“Gloat? Not in the least.”
“Then, what are you doing here?”
Bobbi, rearranged his position in the hard plastic chair. He was still so very sore from the bullet that had penetrated his arm a week ago. He flashed an un-nerving expression towards Daniel, which made him involuntarily press his back against the chair.
“Johnny, I thought we had agreed that you would kill that bitch.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Blake Beaner survived.”
The stalker's heart dropped to his stomach knowing that the consequences of Blake not dying that day would be detrimental for him, especially with his step-brother around to swoon in and save the day.
“You can't be serious. I shot her right in the chest like you told me to.”
“Obviously not in the right place.”
“Come on Bobbi, she fought me. She's strong you know.”
Coward! Even you're brother's plans didn't work.
“Had you followed our plan exactly like I planned it, nothing would have gone wrong. Now the bitch is still around.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Not everything is a lost. You're in here aren't you?”
After all this time Daniel, still couldn't stand up to his younger stepbrother. Robert O'Neil, the son of his father's second wife had ruled and controlled his life from the time he had stepped into their house. At the tender age of seven years old, Robert, nicked named Bobbi, seemed to lead Johnny whose nickname had been taken from his last name, everywhere. Bobbi was the aggressive type, the predator and the brains of any operations. Johnny however was the follower and was always trying to prove to his brother that he was good enough so he went along with Bobbi's plans.
The years of torture, violence and abuse were too much for Daniel. As a young teenager, he cracked, developed a “voice” and secluded himself, always allowing his stepbrother to control him and railroad him. It had been a cycle he had always tried to get out of but never could until the day he couldn't take anymore.
He hadn't seen Robert until the day he interviewed for his position at Jackson Inc. After seeing the smug look on his face as he took hold of Piper's hand it sent him back in time and everything he had worked so hard to overcome had drifted back to the surface. It assaulted him on the spot and forced him to fall back into his old habits.
“Get the hell out of here Robert.”
“Oh come on big-brother. You had to know she would never love you.”
You should have killed him when you had the chance.
“She doesn't love you either.”
“I think she'll change her mind about that. After all, I'm not the stalker remember?”
“This was your plan form the beginning wasn't it?”
“You fell for it so nicely. I couldn't resist.”
“Now, now, play nice.”
“This isn't over.”
“Of course it is. Take care Johnny.”
“I'll be seeing you soon Bobbi, real soon.”
Daniel watched his stepbrother get up from the chair and walk over to the iron bars. He watched the man disappear from the visiting room and cursed the heavens forever having him in his life. He had ruined his life again. At first when Robert had approached him and talked to him about setting up their plan in getting rid of Bean, he had thought it was a good idea but he never should of underestimated Bobbi. Robert had managed to get away with everything and now Johnny was going to go to jail for a long time. True he had done most of the damage but how would he be able to tell the courts how manipulative and controlling his brother was. How would the jury understand? Would they understand?
A few minutes later, Daniel had been escorted into the courtroom. Once he entered he immediately sought the eyes of his beloved only to find that Robert had wiggled his way beside her. He stared into the cold brown eyes of his brother who was silently laughing at him. Daniel flinched because he now knew just how evil Robert really was.
Piper refused to look at Daniel and he felt nothing but embarrassment. He was ashamed but knew in his heart he deserved most of what he would get during his sentencing. There hadn't even been a trail because of the evidence against him. He shook his head thinking about how careless he had been.
“Mr. Johnson, do you have any last words?”
The courtroom looked at Daniel and wondered what in the world he would say.
TELL THEM THIS ISN'T OVER!
“What was that son?”
Daniel looked at the judge realizing he had answered his “voice” instead of the judge and immediately apologized. He requested a word and it was granted. He slightly turned around and looked at the Jackson family.
“Piper, I love you. I never meant to hurt you. I only wanted what was best for you. I was coerced. I'll admit, I'm wrong and I did some crappy things but I'm not the bad guy in all of this. Honestly. I just wanted you to notice me and I wanted you to love me the way I know you do deep down in your heart. Please Piper, forgive me and let's start over.”
“Are you KIDDING ME?”
“ORDER. Please council, advise your client.”
“I'm sorry your Honor.”
Piper looked away only to find Robert's brown eyes on her. She wasn't over what he had done but he had been a rock for her since the incident at Blake's. He had supported her entire family and that was odd but the artist and her family welcomed this newfound behavior.
“PIPER, DON'T TRUST HIM.”
She didn't have enough time to look at Daniel's face before the Bailiffs dragged him out of the courtroom. He continued to yell to her but she just winced at his behavior. She couldn't help but lean into Robert, a familiar presence, for comfort. Robert hadn't taken Bean's place but in that moment, she felt like she needed some comfort and Robert was there to lend a hand.
The gallery owner's morning had gone as expected but somehow she still felt something was bothering her. Her gut seemed to be telling her that the commotion in her life perhaps was entering a restful period but that would soon change. She felt weird about the fact that she had had the ability to see into the future so to speak and she knew it was important not to deny her gut feelings anymore.
As she walked the hospital floors listening to her heels arithmetically hitting the tiles, she thought about Daniel's last words. She wondered how she didn't see it or how she hadn't noticed his behavior before. He was different and obviously psychotic but in truth she felt there was still hope for him. The tension in the air lingered which is why she was confused about the whole situation surrounding Daniel. Something was off but she hoped it would go away in time, especially with her stalker finally behind bars.
Piper rounded the corner and headed straight for the door of Bean's room. Blake had been asleep for the week and by now, the nurses all knew who Piper was because of her constant presence. She gave the women a quick nod and quietly walked into the room, looking for the face she loved so much.
The chair she always sat in hugged Bean's bed. A few days ago she had noticed that the cleaning crew remembered to put the chair right back in its place and it made her feel good about the overall care Bean was getting.
“Hey babe. I missed you so much this morning.”
The artist looked out the window, closed her eyes and sent a silent prayer to the Universe for Bean to open her eyes, even just for a single second. She desperately wanted to see those amazing eyes that always captivated her. She looked back to Bean, unaware that Daphne and Brandon were at the doorway respectfully observing the two.
“I'm so sorry you couldn't be there Bean. That bastard got what he deserved and he won't be ever able to hurt you sweetie.”
Brandon watched his daughter lean her head onto the chest of her lover. At first he slightly cringed but he was unwilling to look away when he felt his daughter's love try and reach into Bean's soul, willing her to wake up. He looked on seeing the tears reach Bean's hospital gown and it broke his heart in a million pieces. The idea of his daughter loving another woman was unacceptable but the power, force and love Piper had for Blake Beaner was something he knew he had never experienced before. He looked to his wife, smiled at the love he felt for her but looked back wanting to save his daughter for her pain.
“Please baby, wake up for me. Blake, it's time for you to wake up. I need you.”
She laced her fingers with Bean's and placed her ear against the patient's chest. At the first sound of Bean's beating heart, she breathlessly moaned and willed her soul to calm. Piper eventually held her head up and looked down into the face of her lover. She allowed the tears to consume her but before she lost complete control, she leaned over, gently kissed Bean's dry lips and whispered the words of love she knew Bean needed to hear.
“I'm so in love with you Blake. Please come back to me. I love you handsome.”
The older couple watched as the younger Jackson woman collapsed against her lover's chest once again. The scene that was unfolding in front of them was unbearable and so incredibly sad. Daphne had no idea how to support and comfort her daughter because she knew the only thing that would make things better would be for Blake to wake up. Brandon however was confused by the emotions he was feeling. He absolutely didn't want his child to be a lesbian. He didn't want her to be associated with homosexuals but he had always like Bean. Always.
Brandon caught a slight movement coming from Bean's free hand. He intently watched the hand wondering what would happen and before he knew what was happening, he looked into Bean's eyes. Bean's eyes searched the room for answers as to why she was lying there in a hospital bed but didn't move, seemingly enjoying the comfort and weight of her lover. When her eyes reached Piper's blonde head, Brandon impossibly saw the light burst through Bean's soulful grey-blue eyes. He couldn't help but be riveted on the spot as he observed what was happening.
Daphne seemed to notice what was happening as well and reached for her husband's hand, wanting to convey in any way she could that whatever was happening between their daughter and Blake was ok. Holding his hand, supporting, guiding and being there for him was the right thing to do no matter how difficult it was for him to accept. Either way, as she looked in her husband's face, she wondered if things were changing for him. She could see the emotions running through his eyes and smiled at the idea that perhaps her husband could still grow and become a better man.
She looked towards Piper who was still crying and holding onto her partner with all of her life. She examined how delicate and beautifully Blake intuitively comforted her and couldn't help but smile. Her hand involuntarily came to her mouth. She couldn't help but hold her breath and gasp when she saw Blake's free hand inch its way to the top of Piper's blonde tresses.“Piper?”
To be continued...
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