Cillia shook her head, pulling their son inside and closing the door.
Jack just stood on the path for a moment, staring at the closed door. When he finally turned away, Wiley was glaring at him from the corner of the house, about twenty feet away.
"She deserves an explanation, Jack." He said flatly.
"I know. But I can't give her one."
Wiley's eyes narrowed. "You have to tell her something. Everyone thinks you shot yourself."
Jack frowned. "What?"
"You were wearing a vest."
Jack snorted. "Wiley, you know that a big enough bullet will go through those."
Wiley shook his head. "Nothing touched the vest. There were no holes in the vest, or your shirt; just you. What's more, there was no bullet, no casing, and no shooter. So tell me- what the he.ll happened?"
As he spoke he advanced until he was less than four feet in front of Jack. Jack shook his head. "You would never believe me."
Wiley didn't even hesitate. He swung his fist into Jack's face, hard, sending his staggering back a step, holding his nose as it gushed blood. His face was throbbing painfully but...that was it. Just the normal, wonderful feeling of an ordinary broken nose.
Jack took his hand away from his face and looked at the blood on it, a strange emotion growing inside of him, one he hadn't felt properly in years. Joy.
He looked up, a manic grin spreading across his bloody face. He slapped Wiley on the back. "Thank you. Thank you very much." He said happily before walking out of his own front yard.
Wiley's touch hadn't hurt him. Maybe Trevor's wouldn't either. Of course, Jack wasn't willing to test it, but still. There was hope. And that hope buoyed the hope that maybe he could still break the curse.
Don Wiley blinked after him, incredibly confused, before turning and knocking on the door to see if Cillia was alright.
Cillia was sobbing in the living, holding Trevor tightly to her chest. "Go away Jack!" She cried out, makeup running down her face.
"He's gone, Cillia. It's Don." Wiley called through the door. "You okay?" He immediately felt a bit stupid for saying it; of course she wasn't.
Cillia sniffled. "Fine...come in..."
((Sorry about the late reply, I've been doing birthday stuff.))
Wiley opened the door softly and stepped in. He knew he shouldn't abandon his post, but he was here with her; anyone coming to get her would still have to go through him.
He wrapped his arms around her in a brotherly hug. "I know Jack. Even though he ran off, he would never cheat on you."
Cillia sobbed into his shoulder, clutching his shirt. "Then why is he staying away? Doesn't he love us?"
Wiley rubbed her back. "I don't know. I don't know what's going on, but it'll be okay."
Trevor wiggled under Wiley's other arm, whimpering. "We miss daddy..."
"I know, buddy." Wiley said, drawing Trevor into the hug. "But he's okay, and you're okay, so everything's going to be fine, right?" He consoled, hoping what he said was true.
Trevor sniffled and Cillia rubbed his head. "Please don't be sad baby..."
He held them for a moment longer before speaking again. "Do you want me to try and talk to him...?" He wasn't entirely sure how he'd find him again, but he'd try.
Cillia nodded. "Please try..."
Wiley extracted himself from them. "I'll call Charlie, she might know something." Jack and his sister had always been close, maybe he had contacted her.
Cillia nodded. "If you find him...tell him...tell him that I'm sick... He should know about it, he has a right."
Wiley nodded, then stepped out the door, back to his post, and scrolled through his phone until he found her number. He hadn't talked to her in months. The phone buzzed, then informed him the line was busy. Five minutes later, it rang, and he picked up.
"Don. I know why you called." Her tone was clipped, angry. It seemed like everyone was mad at Jack. "Yes, he called me. And he also left his phone number for you. He knows you well."
She rattled off the number, Wiley thanked her, and hung up.
((What does she have?))
(Nothing serious but it's still deadly if left untreated. The doctors don't have a name for it but she's being treated.)
Cillia put Trevor in bed with a gentle kiss before going to lie down herself. She leaned against the wall, dizzy, whimpering.
Wiley started to dial in the number but stopped half-way through. He couldn't have this conversation over the phone. He typed a quick text instead, and set up a meeting.
* * * *
An hour and a half passed before Wiley showed up, his post relieved. Jack sat on a park bench, a manilla envelope on his lap. Wiley sat down next to him, and they were both silent for a while.
"The explosive in the car was very, very well made." Jack said finally, gesturing to the envelope of crime scene photos and notes. "Professional. If Cillia hadn't had to get out because of the flat, she'd be dead." He said it all flatly, without emotion other than a professional interest. But he knew that Wiley knew that was how Jack coped when he was extremely upset. No yelling, punching walls, just a cold detatchment.
Wiley was watching him with a cold, blank face that matched his own. "How the he.ll did you get those?"
"That's classified." Jack said, teasing slightly, even though his tone didn't change a bit. Truth was, Charlotte babysat for the Chief of Police's kids on occasion, and could manage to get nearly anything. But he couldn't just say that his sister stole evidence.
"I need answers, and I don't give a sh.it if they make no sense." Wiley said, droping the subject.
Jack took a deep breath and leaned back against the seat. "You were knocked out, so you didn't see anything. There was another person in the basement. Roberts' wife, or something. She messed everything up very, very badly, and I had to leave to fix it."
"That doesn't count."
Wiley punched Jack; on the arm this time. "Come on, Jack. Cillia's a mess. She has been for years. She needs answers. She needs you in there, holding her and protecting her, not me."
Jack stared into the horizon, orange and pink with the sunset. "I can't. Hold her, I mean. I am here to protect her though."
"At least explain to her, even if you won't to me." There was no disguising the bitterness in his voice.
Jack nodded. "I suppose I have to. Tomorrow, though. There are things I need to do tonight that can't wait."
He stood up to leave, and Wiley stood with him. "Jack...There's something else. She's sick."
Jack's heart sped up, but his face was still the distant mask.
"She'll be okay, but she wanted you to know."
((Skip to morning?))