Brother’s Keeper: Episode 19

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

Robert bangs his fists on the table in an eruption of anger.

***

Jay walks in the shadows on the other side of the street from his home, keenly observing the well lit street. He intentionally walks past his home and past four more elegant detached houses before he suddenly turns to intently scan the street – it’s empty and quiet.

He quietly steps into the dark hallway of his home, shuts the door behind him, and remains motionless, alert – the house is eerily silent.

He quietly walks up to the top of the stairs, and again he remains motionless, alert as the eerie silence reigns. He glances down the hallway to Alan’s room. The room door is open and the lights in the room are on, but that’s exactly how it was left, right down to the degree of the open door. The room is empty.

He walks into his dark bedroom and, without switching on any lights, undresses to his underwear and gets into bed. He looks at his phone – the battery level is very low. He scrolls through his recent calls and lingers on Mr Smith’s number for a long moment before he scrolls down to Alan and calls.

It rings for a while before the voicemail service answers.

‘Hey, it’s Alan. Do what you do,’ says Alan’s recorded voice.

Jay ends the call and places the phone underneath this pillow. He closes his eyes to sleep.

***

In the VIP room of ON ANON club, Alan struggles to pull out his ringing phone from his pocket, but in his inebriated state he doesn’t manage it in time, and Derek, utterly inebriated, and Stephen, visibly tipsy, laugh at him.

Natalia watches on with a smile. She’s clearly not inebriated, not even tipsy.

‘Who was it?’ she asks Alan.

‘Jay,’ he replies.

‘Call him back.’

He shakes his head and attempts to speak, but he sees the waitress walking towards them with a tray of three Tequila shots.

‘Shots!’ he shouts.

He, Derek, and Stephen grab the glasses and down the shots.

‘Keep them coming,’ she says to the waitress.

Five minutes later, the waitress returns with three more shots, and the guys are very animated as they grab the shots and down them. The waitress turns to Natalia for instruction, and Natalia nods.

As the waitress leaves, Alan feigns throwing up on Natalia. She flinches, and they laugh heartily.

Another five minutes later, more shots arrive and the guys are less animated as they grab and down them. Natalia nods at the waitress.

Natalia watches the guys interact languidly as more shots arrive. They sluggishly pick the shots and, in their attempts to down them, pour most of the Tequila all over themselves.

Natalia shakes her head to the waitress, and the waitress leaves.

‘Let’s head back to mine,’ she says.

The guys do their best to muster excited responses.

She smiles as she stands and watches them struggle to their feet.

Alan stumbles and reaches out to her, and she holds him up.

‘I … I … fucking love you!’ he drunkenly declares.

She forces back a laugh and leads him out of the room.

Stephen, who is the most stable of the guys, supports Derek as they follow Natalia out of the room.

***

Outside the club, the two bouncers struggle to contain the inebriated people streaming out of the club and the not so inebriated ones eager to get in.

Across the street, the silver Mercedes Coupe is parked with its engine running. Slim Charles is sat at the driver seat, staring intently past Vera to the club. He is seething.

‘Fat fuck, eh?’ he mutters. ‘Okay. Okay.’

‘Calm down, baby,’ she says.

‘Oh, I’m calm. I’m fucking calm!’ he rages, and suddenly sees Stephen supporting Derek as they stumble out of the club. He bursts out of the Mercedes wielding his knife and marches menacingly towards them.

Derek sees Slim Charles approach and attempts to alert Stephen, but then Stephen also sees Slim Charles. Before Stephen can react, Slim Charles viciously drives the knife into his belly.

Slim Charles yanks out the knife and shoves Stephen and Derek to the ground. He immediately sees Natalia holding Alan up a short distance ahead of him and he freezes as she stares piercingly at him.

Alan, on the other hand, is too inebriated to recognise the gravity of the situation.

Screams erupt followed by commotion as people notice Stephen bleeding on the ground.

Slim Charles instinctively steps back, away from Natalia’s piercing stare, and then turns to run towards the Mercedes.

Natalia locks eyes with Vera, who is watching from the car, and Vera is overcome with fear. Her terrified eyes can’t look away from Natalia as Slim Charles gets into the car and speeds off, just as the frantic screams climax.

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