Chapter 1: In Enemy Hands
Brother? Kyle didn't believe it, didn't want to believe it. He loosened his grip just enough to keep Cassidy from passing out.
"You're lying," Anger was clear in Kyle's voice, but when the next sentence came out of his mouth it sounded weak and uncertain. "You have to be…"
"I don't think you rattled my brain that much, mate…I recall hearing somewhere that you can tell when someone is lying." Cassidy was still off his feet and pressed against the wall, he tried to maintain eye contact despite the awkward position he was in. "I'm your brother."
It was the truth. It was a truth that I didn't want to accept. I had a mother and a brother that I was related to by blood, but just how deep did blood run? Was I anything like them?
Kyle's eyes widened at a realization.
I Didn't really know what Grace Kingsley was actually capable of, but I knew her son, my brother, had murdered Sarah. And I have been close to crushing Cassidy's throat.
His hands trembled in horror as his grip loosened, before Kyle removed his hands completely Cassidy had roughly pushed his hands away and returned the punch to the face Kyle had given him earlier. The teen wasn't expecting the attack and still stunned by the new information, he looked dazed as Cassidy found his device and walked back over to Kyle standing over him.
"Kyle," Cassidy said pressing a button on the remote and pointed it at Kyle who was still on the floor with broken glass around him. "You're going to have to come with me." Again, Kyle's body was shot with electricity, a much stronger dose than before. When it finally stopped Kyle felt himself slip into unconscious.
Cassidy wiped the sweet off his forehead before taking out a phone from his pocket. He dialed a number and waited for only two seconds before someone picked up. "It's Cassidy, I'm going to need some men and a van dropped off at the Trager home."
Men in dark clothing pulled up in a black van. They slowly made their way to the front door and opened it finding Cassidy waiting for them with his arms crossed against his chest.
"We came as fast as we could, sir." One of the men with a shaved head said looking a little tired.
Cassidy nodded his head. "I understand, this was very much a last minuet thing." He looked down at the ground with debris and frowned. "Too late to clean up the little mess we made though, The Tragers will be back soon." Cassidy pointed behind him. "I dragged him into the kitchen, we just need the boy. You know where to take him, and keep him under."
Cassidy grabbed a pen and paper, he scribbled something down and stuck it on the refrigerator.
Amanda and Jessi walked slowly away from the U-Dub campus. The girls were able to get the files and flee the dorm before Nate could even twitch a finger. Jessi would never admit it, but the shorter blonde girl gave a really nice elbow to the face to the jerk genius.
Amanda noticed Jessi's change in attitude when they found that file labeled 'Origins' The brunette would normally be making comments to Amanda trying to make her feel inferior at this point. Perhaps they were still at a truce, even if that were true Amanda still felt like something was off with the girl next to her who just fidgeted with the ring on her finger.
"So," Amanda was trying to be civil. "How did Cassidy get your mother's ring?"
Jessi froze instantly at the question. Amanda was now two steps ahead and rolled her eyes, She turned around to face Jessi and her expression turned into slight concern. Amanda expected to see a ugly snarl on her face and was waiting for a 'That's none of your damn business' comment. Instead Amanda saw a young girl, biting her lower lip and looking off to the side.
She took a few deep breaths before speaking, "I can't tell you that without giving away Kyle's secret…" Jessi looked Amanda in the eye. "Perhaps I'll talk to you about it when you know the whole truth."
Amanda nodded once and whispered, "Okay." then continued walking. They barely took six steps before Jessi grabbed her head in pain.
"Jessi! What's wrong?" Amanda grabbed her elbow.
Trying to keep focused Jessi shook her head a few times, but then more pain hit her hard and she fell to her knees with Amanda following. "It's Kyle, somethings wrong." said through her teeth. Jessi gasped and looked at Amanda with wide pricing eyes. "The Tragers,"
"What about them?"
"I-I think I heard Nicole say they were headed for The Rack. I think it would be best if you go wait with them for a while, it's not safe."
"I'm a little lost here." Amanda said with her voice raising up higher. "Why is it not safe?"
"No time to explain this to you, Amanda" The pain was leaving Jessi's head but the panic was still clear in her voice. "It's bad enough I got you involved." She spat out the last words with dread, "Kyle is going to be mad at me…"
Before Amanda could respond again Jessi was out of Amanda's grasp and making a dash for the Trager house faster than anybody she's ever seen before, except for maybe Kyle Trager. With a sigh, the blonde girl Jogged her way to The Rack.
"Where is Kyle?" Stephen said looking around The Rack. He was huddled around a table with his wife and two children.
Nicole place her hand on Stephen's, "He said to meet him here, let's give him some more time."
"But why here?" Josh asked. He was finished with work today and was looking forward to going home to get out of uniform and maybe sneak another chat with Andy. "He should be done with that mission by now right?"
"He should be." Nicole said looking stressed. "I think it was a bad idea to leave Jessi alone."
The family fell back into silence while the rest of the people inside remained chatty. Josh and Lori were worried, but they were also extremely bored. Lori's eyes kept looking at the front entrance, at one point she narrowed her eyes at the doors in confusion.
"Amanda?" She said with her eyebrows raising.
Sure enough Amanda Bloom had walked into The Rack and her blue eyes scanned the area before spotting the Trager family at the back.
When Amanda reached them she was out of breath and her usually fair skin was flushed red. She managed to gasp out, "Jessi-"
"Jessi?" Josh's dark eyes went wide and he forced himself to frown. "I haven't seen her since she took off two days ago." He crossed his arms looking around nervously and his parents and Amanda stared at him in disbelief and his sister smacked his arm.
"I was just with her." Amanda said clearing things up.
"Oh." Lori whispered and Amanda pulled up a chair next to her.
"Amanda," Nicole said placing a hand on the girl's shoulder. "Can you please explain what happened from the beginning?"
Amanda took in a deep breath and she almost spoke in just that one breath.
"I came by Kyle's room earlier needing to see him, but instead I found Jessi and she told me I couldn't just leave since I saw her and she's supposed to be missing. I explained to her that I saw some files in Nate's dorm that obviously didn't belong to him. Jessi said that I had to be the one to get them since she couldn't leave the house . Once I was there, she helped me by ghosting the computer…But Nate came back sooner than I expected, and I tried running away but he pushed me down and tried to keep me in the dorm. After a while Jessi came and kicked down the door, and we knocked Nate out."
Amanda took another breath and everyone thought she was done for now, but she apparently had more to say,
"We started going through the files again, and Jessi found this ring similar to Kyle's claiming it was her mother's. We were just finishing with the files till Jessi spotted one that weirded her out, I didn't really understand it. After we left Jessi got a headache and was suddenly convinced Kyle was in trouble. She told me to come to you guys in The Rack claiming it was safer than going home."
Amanda was panting like when she first walked in and all the Tragers looked stunned. Nicole was the first to speak. "So Jessi went back to the house?"
The blonde nodded her head and Stephen and Nicole exchanged looks with each other before Stephen spoke, "Your mother and I will go check things out, you kids stay here."
"No Josh, you, Lori and Amanda are to stay here. We will call when it's safe to come home."
The Adults left The Rack leaving the three younger people behind with worried expressions.
Jessi ran up to the house to find the door unlocked. When she entered she tried listening for Kyle's heartbeat, but she found out she was the only living person in the house. The further she got inside she began to notice the signs of a struggle and her heart sank.
"Kyle…?" She whispered her voice cracking.
Jessi went through her room, Kyle's room and the upstairs rooms. She was trying to find anything that could help her, but nothing was catching her eyes. She was about to enter the kitchen when she heard the front door open again.
She held her breath as she listened to the two heartbeats enter the house. When Jessi recognized the hearts and they came into view she breathed out again.
Her foster parents looked around at the mess on the floor with confusion before looking back up to their ward.
"Jessi, we're glad you're okay, but what happened here? Where is Kyle?"
"I-I-" Swallowed the lump in her throat. "I don't know."
The faces of Nicole and Stephen fell.
"I'm going to go check the kitchen." Jessi said not ready to give up yet.
Stephen and Nicole walked in first and Nicole spotted something on the fridge. She and her husband read the short message looking confused.
"Jessi?" Nicole called out. "What's this?"
Jessi looked over the note reading: 'We will contact you.'
She now instantly recognized the handwriting. "Cassidy…" She crinkled the paper up looking angry.
"I have to find him." Jessi looked like she was about to pass through the adults, but Stephen grabbed her shoulders stopping her.
"We don't like this ether, but you can't go. We don't even know where they took him and you look too tired to try and contact him. We are just going to have to wait for them to get in touch." Stephen looked to his wife for support, it looked like she was struggling also. "Nicole?"
Nicole jumped slightly at the sound of her name and she looked over at Jessi. The teen's hazel eyes were shinny filled with unshed tears and looked back at her, wide and fearful. Nicole's motherly in stinks came in.
"Time for bed, Jessi."
Jessi was cut off when Nicole pulled the girl in for a hug. "I know this is hard, but we're going to get through this as a family. Okay?" She felt the girl nod against her. "We'll get him back." She whispered leading Jessi to her room.
Stephen sighed fetching the phone to call the kids to come home.
Lori, Josh and Amanda still waited at The Rack. Most of the other people were clearing out of the teen hang out. Josh kept fidgeting in his seat and Amanda just stared quietly at the surface of the table. Lori looked at her brother and Amanda till she heard her phone and quickly picked it up.
"Lori, everything okay over there?"
"Dad, we're fine but what is going on? Are Kyle and Jessi alright?"
There was a moment of hesitation on the other end. "Jessi is a bit distraught, your mother is putting her to bed."
Lori quickly picked up on the lack of information on Kyle and looked back at the other teens in front of her both pairs of eyes on her, she didn't want to worry them. "Do you want us to come home, Dad?"
"Yes, we are going to need your help cleaning up the mess. Be safe." They hung up.
Looking back at Amanda and Josh she forced herself to smile. "Time to go home."
At a unknown location a still unconscious Kyle was strapped down laying flat on his back. The room was metal and brightly lit up. A man in a lab coat checked in on him with a clipboard in hand, making sure their subject was properly hooked up.
"Everything okay, Dave?"
Cassidy had walked into the room startling the scientist for a second.
"Y-yes, But our chair isn't as strong the one at Madacorp. He has to be fully conscious and cooperative. He can't fight against it."
"Well," Cassidy started looking at Kyle. "Unfortunately, even if he were conscious I know he wouldn't cooperate."
"Then how did you expect to get the information in his head?" Dave asked
Cassidy smirked. "Leave that to me. I will deal with it tomorrow." He placed a hand on Kyle's shoulder. "Just take good care of my little brother and make sure he stays sedated."
Stephen, Nicole, Josh and Lori had just finished cleaning what they could in the house. Josh had retired to bed right after cleaning knowing he had to be up early for work tomorrow morning.
Lori sat in the living room with her parents. She too was growing tired but she couldn't leave without voicing out a question even if she knew it could not be answered.
"Do you think Mark was involved in this?"
"I hope not, honey." Stephen placed a hand on her back offering comfort.
The next morning, breakfast was eaten in silence before Stephen left for the University and Josh for The Rack. Nicole and Jessi were the only ones left. Nicole thought it would be good to keep Jessi occupied with a game of Scrabble, she learned that the teen enjoyed the game from her husband.
Forty-five minutes later the phone rang. Nicole gave Jessi a look before standing up and they both walked over to the phone, and picked it up.
"Hello?" Nicole answered as politely as she could.
"Hello Mrs. Trager, lovely day isn't it?"
"Where is Kyle?" She pushed politeness aside and aimed right to the point.
"Oh don't worry, he's fine. I know you want your son back, so I'm going to propose a deal, that way everybody can be happy." Cassidy said.
Nicole remained silent, though her breathing was a little heavy.
"Bring the girl to us-"
"I am not giving you Jessi!" Nicole shouted and the girl's eyes next to her went wide.
"Please calm down, Mrs. Trager. We don't need the damaged spare." Nicole could just hear the crude smirk on his lips but before she could yell again Cassidy continued. "She'll still be useful enough for a little favor. Don't worry both your adopted and foster children will be going home to you today, but we just need Jessi to give us something and you'll be free to go."
"What exactly do you need?" Nicole asked.
"I'll explain that when you're both here. Allow me to give you directions to our location."
Kyle was heavily sedated and he began to wonder in the Trager house that his mind has created. Kyle walked into his room, He knew this wasn't real and he's been trying desperately to wake up, but nothing was working. He looked over to the pictures he hand done of Amanda and a small smile appeared on his face, and not long after that he felt a tingle on his lips and lightly touched them with his fingers, remembering the last kiss he shared with Jessi. Kyle was still greatly confused about having feelings for more than one girl.
He decided he needed to lay down and got in his tub with a sigh. He thought that when Jessi found out he was related to her mother's murder, she wouldn't even want to be in the same house as him. Kyle shook his head a few times trying not to dwell on that right now. He didn't to focus on waking up and finding out where he was.
Kyle closed his eyes for a moment till he heard footsteps walking to the left side of his tub toward him. When he looked over to find out who it was his jaw dropped slightly.
The older man knelt down beside him and tilted his head slightly looking back at Kyle unblinking.
Kyle chuckled softly looking down before looking back at the man. "You're me, aren't you?"
Adam smiled brightly now. "Correct."
Nicole pulled her car into what appeared to be a abandoned parking-lot.
"I don't like this." Jessi said in the passenger's seat.
Her Guardian sighed and looked over at Jessi. "I don't like it either."
"Nicole?" The teen looked back at the blonde woman. "Was I really created just to be used and manipulated?"
"No." Nicole said her voice filled with certainty. She took the girl's hand and gave it a squeeze. "And I don't want you to think that's what I'm doing to you now. You are your own person and you have freewill just like any other human being. Jessi, I don't want you thinking that you aren't special, because you are. Okay?"
Jessi looked down at Nicole's hand holding hers and nodded her head, "Okay." She didn't really believe the last part, about her being special. But she wasn't here to talk about that, she had something important to do. "Let's bring Kyle home." Jessi said and unbuckled her seat-belt stepping out of the car and Nicole followed.
They both walked over to a brick building with a dark blue door. Nicole pressed the buzzer and three seconds later it was pulled open by Michael Cassidy.
"Hello, Mrs. Trager." Cassidy's dark eyes drifted to the younger female. "And you Jessi, nice to see you alive and well."
The two of them remained silent and Cassidy lead them inside. "It's not much, this is only a temporary area." Cassidy said.
"What do you need?" Nicole asked.
"Well, I know that Jessi would do anything for Kyle…" He gave one look at Jessi and the glare she gave him confirmed this. "We need some information in his head-"
"Again with this?!" Jessi interrupted with a bit of a outburst. "Madacorp wanted the same thing, they went as far as to program me like I was just a computer and got me to interfere with the Trager family." Jessi looked to Nicole with a look of apology.
"It wasn't your fault, Jessi." Nicole reassured her and allowed Jessi to continue.
"Last time I did get the information, and I had no idea what I was doing…and it felt like it was tearing my mind apart. This time I'm stronger than what I was before, and if I took it this time." Jessi sucked in a breath. "I really would be betraying him."
"Now now, calm down Jessi." Cassidy held up both hands. "We don't want everything in his brain. We just want this tiny bit of information. The formula."
"We worked hard to get it out of your hands."
"Oh I know that." Cassidy said his calmness disappearing for a brief moment. "But you want Kyle home safely."
Both Nicole and Jessi remained silent.
"I'll give you two lovely ladies a little time to talk amongst yourselves." Cassidy said before opening another heavy door and stepping out of the room.
"I'd still be betraying him." Jessi said still facing the door Cassidy had just walked out of.
Nicole grabbed Jessi's arm and gently turned the girl to face her. "You'll be saving him." She tried thinking of something to try and make Jessi understand that this was something they had to do. "You know if the roles were reversed, Kyle would do it."
Jessi's lips made a thin line and she nodded her head knowing Nicole was right.
Cassidy came back into the room with a smile. "I'm glad you came around."
"I'm staying with her while she does this."
"Understood, Mrs. Trager." Cassidy said and lead them to the room where Kyle was in. He was still unconscious and strapped down.
Cassidy pulled a chair over to Kyle and motioned his hand for Jessi to sit. When she did, her hands shook as she placed them on the sides of his head.
"That is a lovely ring." Cassidy said referring to Jessi's Latnok ring with the unique red stone.
Jessi quickly turned her head around and sent a deadly glare his way. "I need everybody to be quiet."
"Right," Cassidy smiled lopsidedly. "Sorry, dear."
Jessi turned back around and her face softened looking at Kyle's. She closed her eyes and again placed her hands on his temples taking a few deep breaths.
Kyle sighed and sunk deeper in the tub. Talking to Adam-or-well-himself, wasn't really helping him. He needed to get out of here.
"This isn't working." Kyle said looking at the ceiling.
"It's working perfectly." Adam said.
"It is?" Kyle pushed himself back. "What was the purpose of you being here?"
"To keep you occupied till the real help that you know is coming arrives."
"I don't-" Kyle looked over to Adam to find him already gone. He rubbed his eyes a few times, till he heard his bedroom door open. He turned to look and he stared in awe.
"Kyle!" Jessi Taylor said happily and she almost skipped her way to standing next to his tub. She was beaming down at him and he couldn't help but smile back.
"Jessi…" Kyle looked her in the eye, he knew that most of the things in his mind weren't really real…But the girl standing before him felt like the real deal.
"Do you mind if I join you?" Jessi asked.
"Not at all." Kyle pushed himself up to make room for her and she climbed in sitting across from him. Jessi was still smiling at him and Kyle chuckled. "You kind of look like you want a hug."
"That would be nice." Jessi said, "But I can wait."
We both sat in silence, but when it came to Jessi silence was never awkward. Though she eventually looked troubled and I leaned in her direction slightly.
"I-We need you back home." Jessi said.
"I want to go back home, Jessi." Kyle said sounding desperate. "I just don't know how."
"That's why I'm here." Jessi said going to her knees. "Just close your eyes and listen to my voice."
Kyle did what she told him to do and he found himself relaxing more.
"Just picture what you want to go home to, the people, your friends and family."
I did what Jessi had asked, Imagining Nicole, Stephen, Josh, Lori, Hilary, Declan, Amanda…
The images of the people flashed in his head before he felt someone move up against him, he opened his green eyes and noticed Jessi's hazel-green staring back looking calm. She was halfway sitting in his lap and she gently brought her hand to his check. Kyle smiled slightly.
I didn't have to imagine Jessi.
"Kyle, you trust me right?" Jessi asked her voice breaking slightly for reasons he didn't understand.
The girl smiled and leaned into him more, catching his lips in a soft kiss, taking his breath away. Kyle kissed back gently his hand going to her hip. Jessi pulled away with a teary smile on her face. "I'll see you soon."
Kyle leaned back into the tub and closed his eyes feeling Jessi lay her head on his chest. After he felt more at peace he felt himself and the girl in his arms fade away.
Jessi pulled away from Kyle, she opened her eyes and blinked them rapidly. "I got what you want. What do I do now?"
"Dave will take you to our chair." Cassidy said and a young scientist came in to escort Jessi and Nicole. "We'll take Kyle to your car and as soon as you're done, you are free to go."
The teenager sat in the chair and she was strapped down, and Nicole placed her hand on Jessi's to keep her calm. After Dave placed a IV in her arm he went over to the controls to start the chair to copy the formula.
Jessi couldn't help but breath heavily as the chair did it's work, she could feel it reaching into her brain. Nicole could do nothing but squeeze her hand harder.
When everything was finished, Jessi slouched in the chair slightly with a dazed look on her face. Nicole narrowed her eyes and looked at the scientist.
"Don't worry, ma'am." Dave said bringing in a wheelchair. "It's just a side effect. She's going to be a little out of it for about three hours."
They both placed her in the wheelchair and Nicole wheeled her out. Thankfully they didn't run into Cassidy again and they reached the car.
"Kyle…" Jessi muttered.
"Don't worry," Nicole patted her head gently. "He's in the back."
Nicole opened the passenger's seat, but Jessi just used her hands to wheel herself to the back. The older woman sighed understanding what the girl wanted. She helped Jessi get in the back with Kyle's head resting in her lap. When she got back to the front to start the car and fix her mirror she froze looking at the two teens in the back
Through the reflection Nicole could see the strong sense of affection Jessi had for Kyle, she lovingly stroked his face with her hand and ran her fingers through his hair. Nicole wasn't that surprised, but still witnessing this made her feel a little edgy. The car started and she drove back home.
A few hours later, everybody had returned to the Trager house with some mixed emotions. They were all happy to have Kyle back, but they didn't know what Nicole and Jessi did to get him back and they wouldn't talk about it.
"I can't tell you about this now, Stephen. I need to keep it under wraps for their safety. We'll deal with it when the time comes."
"Mom! Dad! Lori!" Josh shouted from Kyle's room "I think he's waking up!"
Nicole, Stephen and Lori came rushing into Kyle's room, They didn't notice Jessi staggering after them to lean on the doorframe for support. The four Trager's watched Kyle stir in his tub till he opened his eyes.
"Good to have you back!"
Kyle was surprised to see everybody in his room and Jessi at his doorway.
I remembered a blurry memory of a fight with Cassidy and a trip in my mind. confusion hit me hard and it made my head hurt thinking about it. Maybe the fight just knocked me out and Jessi came back scaring Cassidy off.
Kyle looked back at the doorway noticing Jessi was no longer there and he frowned. He pushed himself forward and Nicole pushed him back down.
"Take it easy Kyle. You're running low on energy, I'm finishing up dinner for the family to eat." Nicole gave him a uneasy smile.
Kyle smiled back trying to let them know he was alright. "Okay, let me know when dinner is done. I'm starving!"
They all chuckled and left Kyle alone for now.
I wasn't really certain of what was going on, but one thing I was positive about was that the Tragers were my real family and nothing was going to change that. Nothing was going to take them from me.
Kyle sunk back down in his tub, trying to rest his throbbing head.
Breakfast at the Tragers was usually very lively with everybody chit chatting before they went separate ways. Not this morning, it felt more like they were avoiding each other.
Dinner had been like this too last night, Jessi didn't even eat dinner with us, Nicole said Jessi was just really tired. I don't know if it was just me but, I felt like it was somehow my fault. Maybe it was just my heavy heart with a secret that made me feel 'dirty' and unworthy of being in their presence.
"So what are your plans for today?" Nicole asked the three remaining people in the house, Jessi had left early and so did Stephen for work.
"I'm going to The Rack, Going to be meeting Declan." Kyle said dumping some Sour Patch Kids into his cereal bowl.
"I'll be working on a song in my room, I also need to get a hold of Mark." Lori said finishing her food and headed up the stairs.
"I have a day off, I'm just going outside to shoot some hoops." Josh sounded a bit down mostly likely from missing Andy.
When it was just Kyle and Nicole a silence came over them. After a moment Nicole couldn't keep with the silence any more.
"Hmm? Yes Nicole." Kyle responded with his mouth full and Nicole couldn't help but smile briefly.
"You're not planning on going back to Latnok, are you?"
Kyle frowned looking down and swallowed the food in his mouth. He was beginning to hesitate and Nicole grew anxious.
"Kyle?" She said with more urgency in her voice.
"No." He responded a little too quickly. Taking a breath he started again. "No. Not with Cassidy still in the picture."
"I have to get going." Kyle stood up. "I'll be back later." Kyle grabbed a coat and headed for the door.
Jessi pushed open the rusty door and stepped inside the warehouse. The only light coming into the room was from the dusty windows. They were a few boxes on the floor and mostly empty tables except for a small jukebox.
She walked over to the jukebox and lightly touched it, then she suddenly smiled.
"Hi, Foss." She said turning around to look at the man.
Tom Foss gave a nod her way and walked over to put down the box he was holding.
"So you're staying in Seattle again?"
"Yeah, with Adam no longer around and with everything going on with Latnok-"
Foss stared at Jessi with a questioning look, "I don't think you came here to help me unpack."
"No, I didn't."
Lori sat down on her bed with her guitar in her lap and a lyric book in front of her. She was starting to feel a lack of inspiration and thought this was a good time to try and get to Mark.
She leaned over to grab her phone and dialed his number.
One ring, two rings, three rings four rings…After the fifth ring she heard his voice and she smiled. "Hey it's Mark, for whatever reason I can't get to the phone right now so…You know what to do!" Beep.
Lori's smile disappeared fast and she tossed the phone on the other side of the bed. She picked up a pen and with newfound inspiration scribbled down new lyrics angrily grumbling.
Kyle walked into the crowded Rack and spotted Declan at a corner table and was waved over to sit down.
Kyle sat down with a weary smile. Declan quickly caught onto Kyle's lack of energy.
"Need something to eat."
"I could go for some cake." Kyle said honestly "But I have something I need to talk about first."
I explained everything that happened last night to Declan. Leaving out no details, I told him about the threats Cassidy was making to the important people in my life and how this lead me to punching him-
"Whoa, whoa, You actually hit someone" Declan stared at him in disbelief.
"Yes." Kyle said and he looked ashamed with himself.
Declan rose a eyebrow. "What's wrong with that?"
"Nicole said that I was changing, and that just proves she was right."
"Well," Declan said after taking a sip of his drink. "It's not like it's a bad thing, Kyle. You can't stay innocent forever, this world is cruel and it changes a lot of people, hopefully it'll just make you stronger."
Kyle nodded once trying to accept it.
"Is that all you had to say?"
I wish it was…I told my best friend of the horrible truth. Grace Kingsley who was my biological mother, was also the mother of Michael Cassidy…Making him my half brother. I still didn't know what to make of it, I didn't know if I should tell the Tragers…
"You have to tell them." Declan said right away. Kyle made a worried face and Declan sighed, "Look man, you know your history with keeping secrets from them. They don't last and in the end it doesn't change what that family feels about you."
"That's…true." Kyle admitted.
"Of course it is."
“I'm glad you came to me." Foss said
Jessi and Foss sat on steel stools at a desk. Jessi felt a little lighter after telling him the situation.
"We can't tell Kyle." Jessi said her voice raising up a notch.
"Calm down Jessi." Foss said taking a deep breath and thinking over his words. "You did the right thing-"
"But we can't let Cassidy get away with it."
"He won't." Foss said "We'll find a way, we always do…" Foss looked over to one of the few things he had already unpacked, the photo of his dead wife and child. He licked his dry lips and spoke one more time to Jessi. "I'll be in touch. You should go home, Jessi."
"Alright." Jessi said and stood up leaving the warehouse leaving Tom Foss some time alone to think
Kyle finally got some chocolate cake, He and Declan have been sitting in the same seat talking basketball…Till Declan decided to change the subject.
"How's your, Amanda and Jessi problem going?"
"I don't really want to talk about it." Kyle said.
"Oh come on, you're eventually going to have to figure it out." Declan's phone buzzed with a text, he picked it up and smiled reading it.
"I gotta go." He said still smiling.
"Where are you going?" Kyle asked curiously.
"Jackie wants to meet up." Declan and Kyle stood up, and gave each other a quick hug. " We'll talk about your girl problems some other time. Later," Declan said heading out the door.
Kyle was relieved Jackie texted when she did. He was Just about to finish his cake when he noticed someone walking his way and he looked to see who it was.
"Yeah, hey. I ah-I-heh" Mark looked nervous and took off his glasses a second to rub his forehead. "Can I talk to you?"
Kyle looked at Mark, he was helpful that night when he applied Jessi's bacteria to the fluid. Kyle wanted to trust him. "Of course"
Mark pulled out the seat Declan had been using and sat down.
Josh missed his sixth shot, he sighed catching the ball and bounced it a few times.
"Did you make a shot today?" his sister asked walking outside to check on him.
"Nope," Josh said as he shot and missed again, the ball hitting the rim.
"Wow," Lori bit her lip. "You really need Andy here to whip your ass."
"She isn't really into sports," Josh again bounced, shot and missed. "I'm not either…G-Force is more of our thing. She can kick my ass in that anytime." He finished saying with a small smile.
"Can't you two play that online?"
"Yeah, but I can't get a hold of her properly. We're going to have to wait for her to settle into Cleveland…Three time zones away"
"That's rough." Lori said. "It' going to be hard for you guys-"
"But we'll get through it." Josh said while badly missing his next shot. "Not even Lori 'pessimist' Trager is gonna stop that."
Lori sighed, "Look, I'm not here to discourage you…Just don't be too mopey about it. You know Andy still wants and needs you to be Josh Trager, the boy and man she loves."
Josh paused a moment and stared at his sister. "You just sounded like Mom…When we were dealing with the cancer, she gave me similar advise."
"Well-I-Ah…" Lori struggled with herself. "Now you're dealing with Cleveland, kind of the same advise for this situation too."
"Right," Josh said wondering why his older sister had suddenly become a therapist for him and his relationships. "I really hate the letter 'C' now."
Lori gave him a small smile. When Josh suddenly bounced the ball in her direction, she jumped but still caught it. Josh gave her a challenging smirk and crossed his arms.
His sister shrugged, and even though she wasn't much of a athlete herself, she shot the ball and got it in getting nothing but net earning a 'swoosh.'
Lori smirked at her younger brother, whose jaw was nearly hitting the ground, before she decided to head back inside.
"Lucky shot!" Josh yelled out to her.
Nate was at his work area at Latnok on the campus. He had a ice pack with him and pressed it to his still swollen eye.
"They're lucky I'm not pressing charges." he muttered mostly to himself.
"Your lucky I don't press charges." Cassidy whispered in his ear behind him.
Nate turned his head so his good eye faced Cassidy. The two men held each other's gaze for a moment before Cassidy spoke again, "Those files didn't belong to you."
"Hey, I still called to give you the heads up that they were snooping." Nate said picking up a tool to fix a loose wire.
"Thank you for that, mate." Cassidy said with fake cheeriness.
"Well, you're no fun to be around today."
"You aren't pleasant to be around everyday." Cassidy was clearly not in a good mood today.
Nate put his tool down. "Is there something else going on that I'm not aware of?"
"Kyle didn't come in today…Not that I expected him to…" Cassidy said frustrated. "This isn't going to sit well with the higher ups."
"Our 'cloak and dagger' guys want him in that bad?"
"Yes, Nathaniel. Kyle is important!" Cassidy said taking a few steps away. "Now, if you need me I'll be in my office. I have a few phone calls to make."
"So we stopped them from making clones…of you?" Mark wasn't really asking a question, he was just trying to digest the new information Kyle had given him.
"I know, it's kind of unbelievable." Kyle said
"Yeah, unbelievable…"Mark rubbed his cheek with wide eyes.
Mark's heart was beating rapidly and Kyle could tell more was on his mind. "Anything else you want to talk about?"
"You see…" Mark went into his pocket and pulled out his phone. He showed Kyle the never ending list of missed calls from Lori.
Kyle couldn't help but to smile a little, "She's worried." He looked at Mark's expression and caught on to the problem. "And you don't know what to say to her."
"Not a clue." Mark said.
Kyle looked up before looking at Mark. "Just tell her what you know. Lori will understand, she wants communication."
"Mark, trust me…" Kyle said looking him in the eye. "Just talk to her."
The young man wearing glasses still looked uncertain but he nodded his head. "Alright."
Kyle smiled at that and he stood up. "I gotta get going."
"One more question…Do you plan on coming back to Latnok?"
A frown formed on Kyle's lips instantly. "I'm sorry but, I don't think so."
Mark said nothing, he just nodded his head understandingly as Kyle left The Rack.
A few steps outside and Kyle noticed a young blonde girl walking his way. He smiled and began to feel a little lightheaded.
"Amanda!" He said his voice full of happiness.
The girl smiled brightly back and gave a small wave. "Hey Kyle."
"I didn't know you were working today." Kyle said noticing her uniform.
"Oh, I'm just working a short extra shift. It's only for a couple of hours." Amanda's face then turned a little serious. "Do you mind if I stop by your place later? I'd like to have a talk with you."
"Of course you can." Kyle said.
"Great!" Amanda said smiling again. "See you later." She grabbed Kyle's hand and gave his palm a small squeeze before walking into The Rack.
Foss opened the dark blue door and went inside.
From what you could see this was a really small warehouse. He walked further inside with caution and a hand on his gun just in case. Jessi had said that the place would likely be abandoned by now, but he had to double check.
He needed to see if they left anything behind, anything that would have helped them. The place looked completely empty though, not even a wooden chair left behind. The girl was right, nothing was left.
"Damn…" Foss muttered.
Jessi was sitting on her bed in her room flipping through a magazine. Other than the visit she had with Foss, her day was very uneventful. She spent most of her day organizing her room, making sure everything was in place.
Stephen had returned home and was now helping his wife cook dinner and Josh and Lori were both watching a movie in the living room. A small smile appeared on Jessi's lips when the front door open and she heard the heartbeat. Kyle Trager had returned home after spending most of the day away.
Jessi could tell he was headed for her room and before he knocked she called out, "Come in, Kyle!"
Kyle walked in and made sure the door was open a crack causing Jessi to roll her eyes. "Can we talk?" Kyle asked softly
"Sure." Jessi made room for him on the bed and patted the spot next to her. Kyle was the only person she would allow to sit on the bed she had just finished making.
Kyle sat down next to her and he looked at his hands resting in his lap, He looked like he was thinking carefully of his next words. "Jessi, I ah-I have some big news I want to tell the family, but I want you to hear it first."
Jessi kept her eyes on him, "Okay, go on." She encouraged him.
"Remember Grace Kingsley?"
A frown was now on Jessi's face, "Of course I remember, she's Cassidy's mother…"
"You see," Kyle had to look back down at his hands, he knew Jessi could hear his heart pounding. "I learned the other day that she was also my mother…that makes Cassidy my brother." He gulped and waited for a response, it came sooner than he expected.
"I know." She said
It was also a response he wasn't expecting to hear. "You do? Wh-How?"
Jessi bit her lip she was the one looking nervous now. "Amanda came by-and she said she saw files in Nate's room…files that didn't belong to him. Since I was 'playing dead' I told her she had to get them for us. She went and at some point Nate showed up. I had no choice but to go over there and help."
The girl's voice cracked and she continued. "We knocked Nate out and-and-and we finished downloading the files, but not before I found one labeled 'Origins' about your who your parents are…I know, I shouldn't have gotten Amanda involved, I just I-"
Jessi couldn't speak anymore and she just sucked in a breath looking down. Kyle stared at her wide eyed. "You shouldn't have gotten Amanda into this-"
"She was helpful though." Jessi said and Kyle raised a eyebrow at her. "She was." She didn't understand why she couldn't just shut up at this point. "Kyle I think it's time you tell her the whole truth…she at least deserves that much."
Kyle looked off to the side. "Okay."
Jessi gave him a small smile.
"But Jessi, about Cassidy-"
"I don't care Kyle." Jessi said. "If this is what you are worried about…I can tell you I don't see him in you at all. Blood means nothing, I'm saying that from experience." Kyle and Jessi exchanged more smiles and she finished with something he really needed to hear. "Josh Trager is your brother, not Michael Cassidy. This doesn't change at all, the way I feel about you."
Kyle looked into her hazel-green eyes and didn't even have to listen to her heartbeat to know she was telling the truth. She was still looking at him like he was her whole world. He pulled her into a tight hug and enjoyed the power jolting through them.
Kyle had called the Tragers over saying he had something to say. They all gathered in the kitchen so Nicole and Stephen could keep an eye on the dinner.
Not since I told my family the truth of my real origins, have I been this nervous. This story wasn't as long, but I could tell it had more of a effect…Especially on Nicole.
"Kyle," She said with a sob stuck in the throat. "I was afraid of this." With her adopted son giving her a confused look she had to explain. "When you first came back from the Peterson's…Though I know that was a cover story now….I was scared of making you a part of the family because I was afraid somebody else was going to claim you and take you away from us again."
"Nicole," Kyle said and pulled the older woman into his arms. "You are my mother." He also looked at the other Tragers. "You are my real family. I'm not going anywhere." Kyle got another hug from Lori, followed by his father and brother.
They heard footsteps enter the room and looked to see Jessi. "It's dinner time." She said simply. Lori rolled her eyes but had a small smile at Jessi's punctuality. The family gathered around the dinner table with smiles on all their faces.
After dinner Kyle retreated to his room for some down time. He was about to grab a book and settle in his tub when he heard a familiar heartbeat heading for his window. He almost forgot Amanda wanted to talk, Kyle smiled and opened his window and only a few seconds later Amanda appeared with a smile.
Kyle took her hand and helped her inside. He remembered what Jessi said about telling Amanda the truth and sighed.
"Amanda, I know you wanted to talk, but can I say something first?" Kyle asked
"Sure." Amanda said "What do you have to say?"
"I think it's time I told you everything…It's time I told you the truth." Kyle said sounding scared.
The apartment was dimly lit as Cassidy pacing around inside. He had made his phone calls to all other Latnok members but one, the most important one. He was expecting the phone call now here in his apartment. The only sound inside were from his feet falling on the wooden floor and his dog snoring.
The phone rang and Cassidy almost pounced on it.
"Cassidy speaking." He said with a gulp.
"Michael…" A woman's voice on the other end said.
Cassidy smiled nervously into the phone. "Hello, Mum…"
This is going to be on hiatus for a while but it's not abandoned.
I don't even know how active this fandom is on here, but it doesn't hurt to share. :-)