Chapter 13: Comeuppance – part 7
If Dad’s office hadn’t been saturated with blood, Jake would have lay down beside his father and slept, too. He’d poured nearly all of his energy into healing Dad’s neck and stabilizing his vitals. His father had lost what would normally be a fatal amount of blood. The last thing Jake had done before his prism had winked out was stop the bleeding from Dad’s other wounds. They still glistened wet and raw, but at least they’d clotted.
Mom felt as wrong as Dad had, but Lynn insisted that she had the situation under control. Presumably that meant she’d subdued the asshole who’d tried to kill Dad. And Mom? The thought of losing them both sent a shiver up his spine.
Since Lynn’s mind was a knot of concentration, Jake occupied himself in the midst of the macabre scene for a few minutes. He needed her help to get Dad to his quarters. Now that Dad was stable he didn’t need to be moved immediately. But the sooner the better, Jake thought. The blood on him and Dad was cold and congealing.
First Jake checked Dad’s pockets for his crystal. All he found was blood-covered change. He wasn’t surprised that the metal prism was missing. Anyone who could knock out his parents’ abilities with drugs would know to relieve Dad of his prism.
Jake impatiently looked around the room once more. Cleaning up the sanguine mess took an even higher priority than finding Dad’s crystal. By tomorrow the blood would start to stink. Even worse, he and Lynn would have to do the cleaning. They didn’t dare call in the maintenance staff.
Finally Jake’s eyes found his mother’s framed portrait. He couldn’t help but smile. Dad’s such a softie. He wondered where his father had hidden the photo. Despite the amount of time Jake spent in his father’s office, he’d never seen it.
After telekinetically depositing the picture on Dad’s lap, Jake sought out Lynn again. Hey, he nudged.
Jake, she sighed, still busy over here.
He snapped back, I’m sure you are, but Dad and I are literally sitting in a pool of blood.
That got his sister’s attention. Eew.
Yeah, Jake agreed. I need your help. It’s all I can do to keep my eyes open here.
Okay. What do you need?
First some answers, then some teleporting action. Jake felt his sister’s assent. You’ve got the asshole who attacked Mom and Dad, right?
Lynn’s icy tone and lack of elaboration worried Jake, but he didn’t press for details. Good. Did he have Dad’s prism?
Something Jake said made Lynn squirm. He decided to ponder what later. Yes, but I got it. It’s in Dad’s dresser drawer.
Jake gave Lynn the empathic equivalent of a hug. She was almost as smart as he was. Sweet. Now teleport me and Dad to Dad’s shower. Once we’re cleaned up I’ll try to get him into bed. If I can’t I’ll call for help.
You got it.
The familiar tingle of Ashlynn’s energy coursed through Jake, and the bloody office dissolved into Dad’s Jacuzzi tub/shower. Thanks, Lynn, Jake grinned.
You’re welcome, brat, she thought affectionately. Then Lynn’s mood turned businesslike. Back to it. Later. Her mental touch withdrew.
Jake got to work. Dad grimaced and moaned as Jake hauled him to a sitting position. “Sorry, Dad,” he said even though his father probably couldn’t hear him. He stripped out of his blood-stained clothes, then began working on Dad’s. If Lynn jokes about naked father-son showering, I’ll kill her. “Once this is done we can rest.”
By the time he’d washed the last of the blood from him and his father the bathtub seemed like a good place to sleep. After donning a pair of pajamas Jake pulled the down comforter from Dad’s bed. It waited in a pile outside the bathroom while Jake bandaged his father’s wounds.
Once that was done Jake folded the comforter in half. He laid it on the floor parallel to the bathtub, then placed a bath towel in the middle of the comforter. Next came the hard part: wrestling Dad, who still had a few inches and about 60 pounds on Jake, out of the bathtub. It took five minutes and every curse Jake knew, but he managed.
After folding the towel over Dad’s hips – he’d seen far more than he’d ever wanted – Jake pulled the makeshift litter into Dad’s bedroom. He tucked a pillow under Dad’s head, tossed another beside him, then draped a blanket over his father’s prone form. Finally he slipped under the blanket beside his father with a sigh.
Jake was so wrung out that the hard floor felt better than a pillow-top mattress. ‘Night, Lynn, he managed before he fell into an exhausted sleep.
Ashlynn was happy to hear and feel her brother settle down for sleep. He surely needed it, and she’d been waiting for him to drop off before continuing her work. Jake would have sensed her sudden distance when she teleported to the mainland to procure drugs. Wheedling the sedatives and anti-psychotics from Dr. Frasier would have been easier, but the ever-present security cameras complicated everything.
Lynn teleported directly to her and Jake’s basement lab with a small plastic bag of prescription drugs in hand. Although she was tiring, there was no time to rest. The wards protecting the lab from prying eyes needed renewing if she were to stash Joon Ri there, even temporarily. Once her family had recovered they could jointly decide exactly what to do with the psycho.
Four hours after the ordeal had begun, Ashlynn opened the door to the linen closet in Mum’s quarters. Joon Ri, still wearing Dad’s battered face, blinked and snarled up at her. “Out,” Lynn ordered. The freak mutely obeyed, pulsing hatred. Lynn didn’t much care. “Kneel, then open your mouth.” Again Ri complied. Ashlynn poured the pills she had in one hand into the prisoner’s mouth. “Swallow.” Ri did so, nearly choking. Lynn smiled.
Since the drugs required a few minutes to enter Ri’s bloodstream, Ashlynn allowed the woman a trip to the bathroom and a drink of water. His– her eyes were dilated by the time she’d finished her second glass of water. Ashlynn gingerly touched her mind to the captive’s. Drowsiness had dulled Ri’s animosity, and her thoughts were soft and pliable.
Satisfied, she sat on the arm of the sofa, leaving Dad’s creepy clone standing in the middle of the living room, staring at Ashlynn with drug-dulled eyes. “You are not to move or speak unless my brother, my mother, or I tell you to. Now answer my questions with a nod for yes and a shake of your head for no. Do you understand?”
“Close your eyes.”
Ri did so.
Ashlynn teleported them to the rear of the lab, which was again hidden by an illusory wall. On the odd chance that someone other than her family entered the room, the illusion should hide her silent prisoner. “Lie down,” she ordered.
Ri complied, laying on her back on the linoleum floor.
“Now,” Lynn said, stepping over her charge, “you may sleep or think about what I might do to you when I return. Do not try to escape or draw attention to yourself. Do not open your eyes. Do not make a sound. And under no circumstances may you harm me or my family. Do you understand?”
Ri nodded. Her muzzy thoughts faded into slumber.
Ashlynn switched the lights off and left, glad to be rid of the prisoner for a while. Killing her and dumping her body in the ocean would have been a lot simpler, but wholly unsatisfying and possibly dangerous. What if Ri wasn’t just psychotic, and someone had made her into a homicidal freakshow? They needed to find out. Any means they used to get answers were just deserts.
Lynn returned to home to sense her mother struggling awake. She walked to her bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed, taking her mother’s hand. The white bandages around Mum’s wrists stood out against the purple comforter. “It’s all right, Mum,” she said telepathically and aloud. “You’re safe. You can sleep more if you like.”
“No,” Mum managed, tossing her head. She blinked rapidly, fixing anxious eyes on Ashlynn. “Shane. Is he–”
“Fine. Jake’s taking care of him.” She pushed reassurance to her mother, which was stubbornly resisted. Lynn didn’t mind; it meant the drugs were nearly out of Mum’s system.
Lynn smirked. “I took care of it. Don’t worry about it, okay?”
“Trust me. I know what I’m doing.” Ashlynn clasped her mother’s hand in both of hers. “I learned from the best. After we’ve all had some rest, we can talk about it.”
Eventually her mother relented. Once Mum had changed into comfortable clothes, they teleported to Dad’s quarters. She went straight to Dad’s side, not quite touching his wounds and silently crying before curling her body around his.
The sight brought a tear to Lynn’s eye, and not just because her family looked rather uncomfortable laying on the floor. She pulled back the covers on Dad’s bed, then teleported him there. Mum didn’t need any convincing to join him.
Leaving Dad in her mother’s care, Lynn moved Jake to his room. He didn’t stir when Lynn tucked him in. “Get some sleep, brat,” she whispered, kissing his forehead like she had when he was little. Then she kicked off her shoes and stretched out beside him. There was barely enough room on the twin bed for them both.
“Not as easy as when we were kids,” Lynn mused, recalling the times that a nightmare or a vicious argument between Mum and Dad had them hugging one another for comfort in his bunk bed or her frilly canopy. “You’re growing up way too fast, pain in my ass. Time for you to consider a grown-up bed.” She wrapped her arms protectively around him.
Jake’s mind sleepily brushed hers. Night, Lynnie.
With a final brush of her parents’ and her baby brother’s minds, Lynn fell asleep.
Shane didn’t want to wake up. He hurt and was so very tired. Thirst trumped all of that, though, and Addison was comfortingly close. Mustering strength to get up, Shane wrenched his eyes open.
Shane’s mind raced as he tried to figure out where he was and how he’d gotten there. Unconsciously his hand found Addison’s. Although her presence prevented full-blown panic, Shane felt the deep cuts in her ankles and wrists. Like mine, he realized.
Shane! Calm down!
Shane barely heard his wife. Looking inward he sensed the deep cuts crisscrossing his chest and the tender new tissue across his throat. Adrenaline pushed him upright. The movement made his wounds scream with pain. Fear and outrage pushed panic aside. “Joon! You’re dead! DEAD!”
Hands grasping his arms and shoulders made Shane flinch. He nearly lashed out at his attackers but recognized his son’s cool energy in time. Dad, stop!
–all right, love. Please–
You’re safe, Dad. Lay down.
Panting, he let his family ease him back to the soft mattress. I should be dead.
You? You’re too stubborn, Addison crooned, smoothing his hair.
We won’t lose you, his children said in unison.
Happy/exhausted/grateful tears spilled from Shane’s eyes. “Thank you,” he whispered. Although he was nearly defenseless, Shane knew he was safe. Secure in that knowledge, he let sleep claim him again.