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~ 39 ~






The Saddest Goodbye








They say when bad things happen you tend to witness them in slow motion. That’s what it felt like to me. Watching my brother slowly fall to the floor, placing his hands on his chest as he did followed by Roger just standing there with that horrible smile on his face. I knew I’d never be able to forget that moment. I knew seeing his smile would plague me in every dream I had for the rest of my life.




“NO!” I screamed as I was finally able to break out of my little cloud. I went running at my brother full speed, ignoring the guys screaming for me to stop.




I fell to my knees in front of him only to be grabbed by my hair and pulled back up by Roger, “You are a royal pain in my ass kid!”




I tried grabbing at his arms as he held onto my hair. The burn of my scalp made me cry out in pain. They all stood up to come to my aide but Roger moved his gun and aimed at Kevin who was a little ahead of the pack.




“You come any closer I’ll put a bullet through his brain before taking out the rest of your friends. I’ll leave you for last.”




Kevin stopped and held his arms as a barrier for the other guys to do the same.




“Just so you know if you try to leave this room you’ll be shot on site.” Roger looked over at the door where he entered, “I have a great sharp shooter out there and he doesn’t miss.”




I was still struggling in his grip but luckily he decided to move his hands from my hair to my shoulder, pinching it so tightly I thought the pain was going to make me pass out. “Do not follow us in there.” He said to Kevin. It’s funny how he could tell that Kevin was the leader of our little group.




I looked down at Nickolas as he just laid there on the ground. His eyes were wide opened. He looked like he was just taking a little breather. I knew he wasn’t dead because I saw his chest rising but I could also tell that if we didn’t get him help he wouldn’t have long.




My eyes continued to focus on my brother as Roger opened the door and led us back into the main room where Max and my parents were still having their pow-wow. Just before the door closed behind us, I saw all the guys running to help Nickolas. I tried to take some comfort in that.




“Well hello everyone!” Roger said as he made his grand entrance into the center of the room as I continued to struggle under his weight. “Sorry I’m late.” He said to Max.




My father looked at me with great concern in his eyes. I felt like a failure again. “Let go of me!” I didn’t even recognize my own voice it sounded so hate filled. “He shot Nickolas!” I yelled out into the big room. It seemed to bounce off every wall in the place before landing right in front of my mother.




“He deserved it.”




My mom looked like she was about to lose it. Her eyes grew big and she bit at her bottom lip. “Where is he?”




Roger motioned to the door we had just come from. “I figured I’d kill one in private and then one in front of the both of you, for shits and giggles.”




My father grabbed my mother’s hand trying to calm her. This was exactly what Roger was trying to do, get a rise out of them but dad would have none of it. “What is it you want?” He asked still in a very calm voice.




“Hasn’t Max filled you in yet?” He turned to his friend, “Max, I love that name. I think I’m going to just call you that from now on.”




I hated how much fun Roger seemed to be having at my family’s expense. He just killed my brother…shot not killed. He’s not dead yet Nick…he can’t be dead because you just got to meet him. He can’t die. I can’t die either. He was fully intending to kill me in front of my parents. In no way was I going to let that happen.




“Please just let him go.” My mother said. She sounded like she was crying. “We’ll do whatever you want…just please let my baby go.”




He actually laughed. “I don’t want anything from you people. You have done nothing but cause me trouble and pain and now I finally get to put an end to it all. My wife is no longer my wife because of you and you have the nerve to ask me to spare this thing?” He was calling me a thing. I wasn’t even a person to him. I lived with him for one year of my life but he loved me as much as he loved the rotten sole of one of his shoes.




“I only wish I had brought her with me for this. She probably would have enjoyed hearing your cries as I killed your kids. I would have let her shoot you in the head!”




 “No one is going to die today.” My father said, letting go of my mother’s hand as she placed them to her eyes to hide the tears that were flowing freely.




“I’m afraid you’re wrong about that. One of your sons is already dead.”




The sorrow filled cry my mother let out is yet another sound that will forever haunt my dreams. I know after this, if I do survive, I’ll never be able to sleep without the aide of drugs ever again. Maybe it would just be easier to let him kill me right now. Maybe surviving this would be more painful.




“This is all about revenge? That’s what it all boils down to?” Now it was my dad’s turn to laugh. I’m not sure how he managed to do that in the midst of all the horrible things that were happening around him, but if he was trying to get a rise out of Roger, it worked. His grip on me tightened up. I didn’t think it was even possible because it already felt like a vice.




“What is so funny about that?”




“All these years, the image of you I have had in my mind was this villain, a preposterous guy. I made you out to be ten feet tall. You were a monster and leader in every sense of the word. I was so wrong. Turns out you’re just a spoiled brat who is mad because things didn’t turn out the way he wanted them to.” He laughed again and Roger’s grip on me loosened slightly. I knew then what my father was trying to do. Redirect his anger so he’d let me go.




“You want to blame someone for what happened to your wife? Try starting by looking in a mirror.” My dad took one step closer to us. “If you hadn’t kidnapped MY son, she wouldn’t have been in the line of fire. You left her there. You were a coward and left her there and as a result she ended up the way she is now.”




So, my father did know about Nicole…




“Don’t you dare call me a coward!” Roger was furious now! He all but let go of my arm as he raised the gun at my father. I tried to wiggle away but his grip was still a little too tight for that.




“You are a coward. I’m even surprised you showed up today. You always send Max to do your dirty work while you cower in a corner somewhere.”




I managed to glance over at Max who was staring at me. He kept looking down. It was odd; almost like he didn’t want to look me in the eyes. I couldn’t blame him, I mean if I had betrayed my old best friend the way he just did, I wouldn’t want to look anyone in the eyes either. But there was more to it; it was almost as if he was trying to tell me something. Why on earth would he be doing that?




As my father continued to rile Roger up, I focused all my attention on Max as he continued to look at me and then glance down. That’s when I figured out he was trying to tell me to stomp on Roger’s foot. I glanced right down at the foot in question and then looked to Max to see if I was right. The smallest of nods let me know that’s what he wanted. Why would he want me to do that?




I glanced down at his hand and he held up one finger down at his side. He was giving me a countdown. Then came the second, I took a deep breath as the third and final finger went down. I picked up my foot and stomped on Roger’s as hard as I could. With a huge squeal he let go, “Get down!!” Max screamed as I ducked just as his gun came up and a shot was fired right at Roger’s forehead.




He went down in a heap on the floor, dead as dead could be. I didn’t feel sad, I didn’t feel weirded out. I was actually happy. Would a normal fifteen year old be happy about watching someone die? I doubt it, but I was no longer a normal fifteen year old boy. I would never be a normal boy again.




Both of my parents came running to me, but I told them to go help Nickolas. I then looked over to Max, confused as he started walking towards me, “I always hated that son of a bitch!” He said as he held his hand down to me. I was reluctant at first to take it, for fear that he was waiting for the right moment to take that gun and put a bullet in me as well.




“What are you waiting for? Don’t you want to go check on your brother?” I allowed him to help me to a standing position. Almost falling back down I was so weak and both mentally and physically exhausted. He actually grabbed onto me and prevented me from falling. “Go!” He said motioning for me to follow my parents into the other room.




I glanced back at him one last time before entering the room where everyone stood around my brother as he lay there dying. My mother held his hand firmly in her own as my father knelt on the other side of him. The boys now all standing back and watching the scene unfold.




I walked past them all and knelt beside my big brother’s head. He was gray and blood was slowly coming out of the side of his mouth but his eyes were opened and he was staring at me. “Hey.” He barely managed to get out.








“We did it.” He tried to smile but he winced and coughed up some blood instead.




My tears started to fall freely, “Please don’t die. I just met you.”




He looked over at my father, “Next part…” He barely whispered.




Dad nodded and then stood up and walked over to me. I knew what was coming next. It was the last part of this plan. The one part I did not want to happen, but knew it had to. “It’s time son.” He said.




“Roger said there was someone outside waiting to shoot at us.”




“I checked when I got in here. There’s no one out there. He was just bluffing.”




Max walked into the room now, “I cleaned up the mess but we don’t have much time.” He said to my father. I was so confused.




“I know.” He answered before turning his attention back to me. “Go and say your goodbyes.” Grabbing me in a hug he then whispered, “I love you son.”




I pulled away from him, wanting to plead my case. How as much as I understood what was going to happen, I didn’t want it to. He had already rejoined my brother and mother though so I sucked it up and turned to the boys. “We should go.” I said.




I walked over to my mom and placed a loving hand on her shoulder and then knelt beside Nickolas for one last time. “I love you.” I said to him and even though I barely knew him and most likely never would, I meant it with all my heart.




He smiled up at me. I’m sure he wanted to say the same but by then the words were no longer coming. I caught my father giving Kevin a slight nod. It was weird and seemed deeply meaningful.




“Come on Nick.” He urged just after that.




I stood up as my father glanced over at me, “We’ll see you soon.”




I nodded and followed the guys out the door. I wasn’t sure what to say to them. I had rehearsed it over and over again in my head, but how does one say goodbye to the four most important people in his life? My dad had warned me that we were going to go into hiding after this. I would have to leave the boys and change back to Andrew. Start all over again and then maybe a long time from now I’d be able to have my life back. He said it was what I had to do in order for us to be a family again and to keep the rest of the guys safe. Maybe he had told Kevin about it. Maybe that’s what the look between them was about.




“So what happened in there?”




Brian broke me out of my thoughts.




“Max saved my life.”




Brian nodded. He didn’t seem surprised by this. “He’s working with your dad and has been this whole time.”








“I’m sure he’ll explain it you better than I can. He barely explained it to me. Once Roger left with you, he pulled me aside and told me I needed to trust him. That he was one of the good guys.”




I turned to AJ and Howie, “Did you guys know that?”




“Man, I have no fucking idea what the hell’s going on.” That was AJ, if you weren’t able to tell.




“Guys, we really need to keep moving.” Kevin urged pulling us along at a quick jog.




“Your brother will be okay Nicky.” I smiled at Howie.




“Thanks D, I hope you’re right.”




“Guys less talking and more moving!” Kevin again. Where the hell was the fire?




I stopped short though, I felt like now was the time to come clean and say my goodbyes. The longer I waited the less time I’d have with them. My father made it clear that I needed to say goodbye and then go back to them before things got too sad, although there was a whole other level of sad in the warehouse that I did not want to deal with.




“Guys, there’s something I have to tell you…” I looked down at my feet. I couldn’t bear to look them in the eyes, especially Brian.




“What is it?” He asked.




“I…” A huge explosion shook us all off of our feet followed by an intense ball of heat. I landed on my stomach and had only a few seconds to see the warehouse turn into a towering inferno as I heard the guys screaming “Nick, look out!!” I felt something hit me and my head hit the floor with a thump and yes it did make the thumping sound. It was my last thought before closing my eyes.



Chapter End Notes:

Well, one more chapter of this story before it's put to bed. Tune in next Saturday for the final one. *tear* It's been fun writing on this one. I'm really going to miss it. Thanks for reading and reviewing! :O)