Brother’s Keeper: Episode 32

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

Robert pulls open a desk drawer, picks out Slim Charles’ knife, and hands it to Jay.

***

Natalia parks her Mini Cooper in the empty driveway of the Matthews’ home and intently scans the house, searching for any sign that anyone’s home. The lights are switched on in one of the upstairs rooms facing the street, but no other lights are visible from the house.

She opens the glove compartment and picks out a pair of black leather gloves. She takes her time to wear them as she continues to scan the house. She reaches underneath her seat and pulls out a small Walther P22 pistol. She deftly unlocks the safety and checks if there is a bullet in the chamber – there is. She places the P22 in her Givenchy shoulder bag and steps out of the car.

She confidently walks up to the door and pushes the door buzzer. She stares up at the room with the lights on and waits for a long moment before she pushes the door buzzer again and firmly knocks on the door twice. She turns around to scan the quiet upscale residential street for a moment before she turns back to the door and picks out Alan’s house key from her handbag.

She unlocks the door and quietly pushes it open. She steps into the dark hallway – there are no lights switched on downstairs and no lights are visible from upstairs either.

She gently shuts the door behind her and calls out, ‘Jay.’

There is a moment of silence.

She switches on the hallway lights and walks to the open doorway of the living room; she looks in and its dark, quiet, and empty. She walks to the kitchen doorway and looks in; it’s also dark, quiet, and empty.

She walks quietly up the stairway and then stops at the top of the stairs. She remains motionless as she stares down the hallway to Alan’s bedroom, which has its door ajar and its lights switched on, and then to the closed door leading to Jay’s old bedroom just ahead of her, and lastly to the closed door leading to Jay’s present bedroom at the other end of the hallway.

She slots her hand into her bag and clutches the P22. She walks to Alan’s room door and pushes the door further open with her foot.

She steps into the aptly lit, flamboyantly furnished, but very untidy bedroom. She scans the room and notices a small framed picture on a chest of drawers – the first picture she’s seen in the entire house. She walks to the chest of drawers and stares into the picture – teenage aged Alan and Jay in loving embrace with their parents on a sunny holiday.

Her gaze remains on the picture for a long moment, focused on the mother, and then she suddenly shuts her eyes as she fights back memories of her dead mother. She opens her eyes and turns away from the picture to walk out of the room.

She opens the door leading into Jay’s old room and briefly stares into the dark and untidy room before she shuts the door and walks to Jay’s bedroom.

She pushes open Jay’s bedroom door and, even in the darkness, notices that the room is very tidy. She switches the lights on and is utterly surprised by how meticulously clean the room is. She carefully scans the room as she walks around. She stops at his travelling bag and stares at the baggage label attached to the handle – it reads from HAV to LHR via CDG. She takes a moment to ponder, and then, suddenly, runs out of the room.

The flight was from the Havana airport in Cuba, to London Heathrow, via Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris. Jay is the man from Cuba.

Natalia, holding her phone to her ear, frantically races to her car.

‘Come on, ring!’ she exclaims, as she unlocks the car.

She dials another number for Robert as she steps into the car, and returns her phone to her ear as she quickly reverses out of the driveway and into the street. She speeds on, steering the speeding car with only one hand while listening to ringing tone of her call. She then loudly curses as her call is sent to voicemail.

‘Roman, be calm,’ she says frantically. ‘But as soon as you hear this, you kill the man from Cuba. He is Jay – Alan’s brother. Jay is the Captain.’

***

Robert’s Range Rover Sport parks beside Alan’s silver Mercedes in the small car park behind Sophia’s place. Robert, Samuel, and Jay step out of the car and Jay successfully hides his recognition of the Silver Mercedes, but it confirms to him that his brother is in the restaurant, and, if still alive and he dearly hopes so, gravely needs his help.

A phone begins to ring, and Robert quickly pulls out the phone – a different phone from the one he’d shattered in the butcher shop – and stares at the caller ID; it reads “Natalia”. He hisses and rejects the call and switches the phone to silent.

He leads Jay and Samuel to the back door and taps the door twice.

Gennady opens the door. He nods at Robert and steps aside to allow Robert and Samuel through, but he then stops Jay and attempts to frisk him.

‘He’s with me,’ Robert sternly says to Gennady.

Gennady hesitates for a moment before he steps aside.

Robert leads Samuel, Jay, and Gennady who is a couple steps behind, in a single file through the large kitchen full of men who don’t look at all like chefs or kitchen staff. Eight men in total, and they all look mean and readied for a fight – they are henchman, and all look of Russian descent.

Jay, with his hands in his jacket pockets and clutching Slim Charles’ gun in his right and Slim Charles’ knife is his left, keenly observes the men and his surroundings. He follows the train into a hallway and then past two sturdy henchmen, who are heartily eating, but they abruptly stop eating and follow behind Gennady.

The restaurant phone begins to ring loudly, but no one cares.

Robert leads to another large square jawed henchman, with a Desert Eagle prominently tucked in his waistband, standing in front of a sturdy door. The henchman taps the door behind him twice and steps aside as it opens.

Robert steps through the door and Samuel and Jay attempt to follow, but are stopped by the square jawed henchman. Jay stares into the room just as its doors close and his eyes light up. He saw Alan tied to a chair, lifeless, and bloodied. He becomes visibly enraged and struggles to regulate his breathing.

Gennady and the henchmen surround Jay and Samuel and slowly begin to converge. Samuel is visibly terrified, but Jay calmly shuts his eyes.

Jay takes a deep breath and slowly exhales. Suddenly, he pulls out the knife and drives it into the throat of the square jawed henchman in one swift motion. He then simultaneously grabs the henchman’s Desert Eagle with his left hand and pulls out Slim Charles’ gun through his jacket pocket with his right hand.

Brother’s Keeper: Episode 21

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

The hallway of the Matthews’ home remains quiet for a long moment until the loud noise of shattering glass in the living room pierces the silence, followed by a wild pleasured moan from Natalia.

***

Natalia, with her dress around her waist revealing her tight shapely breasts, is on top of Jay, who’s naked, as they passionately have sex on the floor of the living room.

A few feet away from them, a large piece of Alan’s now shattered orange juice glass rests on the floor beside the coffee table and is surrounded by a small pool of the juice. The rest of the living room is almost as untidy, as Jay and Natalia held no reservations about where and how they loudly and passionately had sex.

Suddenly, the intensity of the intercourse peaks; her moans become louder and more frequent and he fights to restrain a roar through gritted teeth as they both climax.

They are both panting as she lays on her back next to him – their body still in contact.

‘I need a smoke,’ she declares.

‘It’ll kill you,’ he teases.

She smiles, and he smiles back. There is silence for a long moment as neither knows what to say, or if to say anything at all. They just continue to smile at each other.

‘We should get going,’ he says, breaking the silence.

She nods and says, ‘Yeah. Alan would be waiting.’

His smile fades immediately she mentions Alan and he supresses the encroaching feeling of guilt. He stands and walks to his underwear on the floor in the middle of the room.

She sits up and watches him put on his underwear, and as he attempts to step out of the room, she instinctively calls out to him, ‘Jay …’

He stops, but in the moment he turns to her, she gathers herself and decides against expressing any feeling; it never ends well, and this time wouldn’t be any different.

‘When you switch your phone on, you’ll receive quite a few messages from Alan,’ she says stoically. ‘Ignore them. He was frantic, and very drunk. We were all very drunk.’

He nods and walks out of the room.

He steps into his bedroom and walks straight to his bed to pull out his phone from underneath his pillow. As he expected, it’s off. He picks out a travelling charger pack from his suitcase and connects it to his phone. A moment later, the phone switches itself on and begins to load.

He places the phone on the bed and pulls out some clothes from his suitcase. As he quickly dresses up, the phone begins to beep incessantly with notifications, and it continues to beep with message notifications as he picks it up.

He scrolls through the messages, which are mostly notifications of missed calls and voicemails from by Alan seemingly two minutes from 06:15 to 05:18, until he reaches a text message at 04:01, which reads – “I THINK ALAN IS DEAD!!!!”

He stares angrily at the text – angry for many reasons and with several different people, but, mostly, he’s angry with himself for not being there.

As he walks down the stairway, he sees Natalia in the hallway by the bottom of the steps. She’s dressed and cleaned up and holding his jacket. He walks to her and she hands him his jacket.

‘You look much better naked,’ she teases, and they smile.

They exit the house and she leads him to a black Mini Cooper parked in their drive way. She unlocks the door and they both step in.

She deftly reverses out of the driveway into the street and smoothly drives towards the hospital.

The car is quiet for approaching ten minutes as she focuses on the road and he stares out the window, trying to conceal several emotions he’s battling with – guilt, affection, and rage are the most prominent of those emotions, and also the most difficult to conceal as he hasn’t felt them in years.

‘What do you do?’ she asks.

‘Sorry?’

‘I don’t mean to pry. I know what Alan does. Just been guessing to myself the job you do that affords you guys that house. Because, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, it is beautiful and massive.’

‘It’s the family house. My parents bought it.’

‘Oh, okay. I didn’t see any pictures.’ She smirks. ‘And it didn’t seem to me like anyone over-30 lived there.’

He laughs softly.

‘I know what you mean.’

‘Where are they? Your parents.’

There is a moment of silence before he stoically replies, ‘They’re dead.’

‘I’m sorry,’ she says sincerely.

‘It’s okay. It’s been a while.’

‘I don’t know if that helps. Time …’ she pauses to briefly reminisce. ‘My mother died ten years ago. Cancer. Don’t think my brother is over it.’

Jay nods, and the car remains silent for almost a moment too long.

‘I’m guessing it wasn’t cancer,’ she subtly inquires with a statement.

‘You really don’t know?’

‘I’m sorry?’

‘How long have you lived in Epsom?’

‘A couple years.’

‘Fair enough. They were killed … in the beautiful house. It was all over the news, especially the local newspapers.’

Natalia is speechless.

‘I saw the guy,’ he continues, devoid of emotion. ‘I saw him.’

‘Sorry,’ she says, oozing empathy.

‘It’s okay. It’s been a while,’ he repeats robotically, as if he’s been saying that to himself in every quiet moment since it happened.

She stares at him for a long moment as they wait at a traffic light, struggling with how much more to say; how much more to feel.

‘My mother was killed,’ she says. ‘Shot in the head. But she did have ovarian cancer.’

Jay turns to her, but doesn’t know how to respond.

She smiles softly and says, ‘It’s okay. It’s been a while.’

He smiles back.

‘We should stop at the drive through. I’m sure the guys are hungry.’

Minutes later, the Mini Cooper parks in front of the hospital. Jay steps out of the car, but leans back in to say, ‘Thank you.’

‘My pleasure,’ she says. ‘Keep me updated with Stephen, okay?’

‘I will. See you soon, maybe.’

‘I do know where you live.’

He smiles and says, ‘You’re always welcome.’