Author's notes: Thank you for hanging in there I hope this chapter makes you think it paid off!
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or any of its characters.
After the Storm?
Two Weeks Ago.
Shane Tinsley walks around Club Vodka in central city overlooking the crowd and making sure that no one is doing anything that should not be done. The music is loud and the crowd is thick; as Eric Bellinger sings as the live performer of the night; when the song finishes and the crowd is in an uproar of cheers and screams. Eric speaks backed only by a strong bass line that never ceases to play.
Eric: I want to thank you all for coming out here tonight! The party is live and the liquor is half priced ladies. Ha, Ha. We are gonna blow it up in here tonight because then I'm off to the middle ya'll. I am going to be performing in Lima, OH; in two weeks. Yeah, yeah, I know "Where Dat?" But don't mock ya'll; now people want to get they party on in the middle too! And since you are not going be there I can tell ya'll a little secret; I am gonna be performing with a little lady who's homegrown. You know from the neighborhood Mercedes Jones! Look for our new single and pay your duckets ya'll. SHHHH, but don't say nothing now ya'll it's a surprise. But enough about the party over there; where's the party over here!
The crowd went wild the music swelled again and he began to sing another song.
Shane could not believe his ears; Mercedes was performing with Eric in two weeks. He regretted that it did not end better between them. Actually he had hoped it hadn't ended at all.
Shane: What was her chief complaint? (He thought to himself) She did not get to see me enough; my schedule was too inflexible. He thought.
But he was going to change that, this time was going to be different.
The next day Shane found out what venue Eric Bellinger was playing in Lima, OH and bought himself a ticket. He then went to his job at the bus company and requested two weeks off. He bought himself an airline ticket and took a trip to Lima. He was going to get Mercedes back; he was going to make her see reason, and recognize how they would be great together; them and the cocoa babies they could have. They could be a real family, and she would like working at the bus company because it had always treated him well.
Two Weeks Later.
Things did not go the way that Shane had planned. First, when he stayed at the hotel in Lima; he spotted Mercedes coming in one evening but before he could say anything he saw that she was not alone a tall blonde man was with here. Then, he watched from a distance as she looked at what seemed to be a letter and then the guy became visibly upset, and walked out with her.
Shane followed behind with his rental car and saw her then go with him into a brownstone. He watched and waited and she never came back out. The next time he saw that same man coming out of a room of the hotel with Mercedes' bags. He recognized the tote bag that he had bought her as a gift for her first trip away singing. Then, there was the last time he saw him again, as Shane stood in a doorway of the Starstruck, and watched as he crawled across a stage to get to her. He watched them hug and kiss; and then, watched him lead her to safety.
He was too late; she was with someone else. As disturbing as it was to see them together; he had to follow once they got out he had to get close. The only problem was he got too close and when he was pushed from behind he bumped right into her. She looked at him in a moment; she looked at him but then that guy spoke. "Do you know this guy?" The worst part was that she didn't answer. I was just a guy she used to know, and did not even acknowledge; I just looked at her knowingly, did not speak, and just walked away. This had been a wasted trip.
Sam lay in his bed at his family home thinking.
Sam: (Thinks to himself) Mercedes is down the hall. I know I should be sleeping; but who could sleep? Mercedes is down the hall! She said yes! She said yes! This is just great; I wonder if she wants a big wedding? I've never asked her about a big wedding? Who am I kidding with are two families together its big enough! It's big enough. It's big enough. I wonder if she would. Why wouldn't she? It's perfect! It will be absolutely perfect! Stacey! I've got to get to Stacey and Mom; she has grandma's ring. I'll need that by morning. License how long should that take? It really can be done. You need to be sleeping. Why? I'm planning! I'm getting married! I'm getting married! Today!
That morning Sam grabbed his sister Stacey as soon as the sun came up; he had a favor to ask, and he was determined to put his plan into practice. By five minutes after the sun had come up he had already talked to his mother about giving him his grandmother's ring.
Now, it was just a license that was needed and the minister. Sam figured it would be rude to call the minister at ten minutes after sunrise. So he waited until it was twenty minutes after sunrise and placed the call. Once the groggy minister consented to come perform the ceremony; Sam had decided to then let Mercedes in on the plan.
Mercedes: Sam, how can we?
Sam: Because I am a genius in love that's how. My sister is getting you a dress from her boutique and we are going to get the license today. All of our family is here and this makes it the perfect time. I love you Mercy and I don't want to wait not a minute longer than I have too, we have already wasted ten years.
Mercedes: You are right Sam, let's do it!
Sam only needed to hear that once; and then they were both out of the door and on the way to the county clerk's office.
Police officer: You need to sign off on this confession!
Ceejay: Not with it written they way that it is written. I told you already, I have not been sending that ni**erette notes for the last six months! Why would I waste my time! I had one note that I gave to the bartender to drop off at the desk; and I never made any call either! I told him to do me a favor while I went to the ladies room and he was simple enough to do it; without question. You can get a man to do anything who wants to get laid; but that is it! I will sign a confession for what I did; but not for what I didn't do!
Police officer: So you confess to the harassment, a hate crime, and attempted murder, & assault on a police officer, but you are not confessing to long term harassment or a phone call?
Ceejay: I only made up that note once I heard she was in town from that Chloe person. I wanted to scare her but how would I get all those other notes too her? Or call her? Who would want to talk to her? Why would I bother, I have a life.
Police Officer: Fine, but that means that someone else is still out there.
25 Years Ago
Ralph stands in his hallway and a man who is trying to get something from him is begging him. 10 year old Chloe is sitting on the stairs watching this interaction. It is always the same, she thinks. People come to Ralph and they give him lots of money and he argues with them; they are practically crying, some of them really are crying. Whatever Ralph seems to want Ralph seems to get.
The man then thanks Ralph and scurries out of the room and leaves, not getting anything he asked for but giving Ralph everything he wants.
Ralph breaks out into laughter.
Ralph: Did you see that baby girl! Are you paying attention like I told you? That is how you play the game. That is called being successful in business.
He teaches her this lesson everyday; if you want something done right, make them afraid of you.
Ralph: A person living in fear will not overstep their bounds. Did you see him do whatever I say, whenever I said it? Do you know why? Because I provide him with protection, he is so blinded by fear that he doesn't even know that I am one who is making him afraid! No instead he sees me - I am his friend, his confidant, his helper in his time of need. You know what that means right Chloe?
Chloe: It means that he trusts you and does whatever you say.
Ralph: A successful business means there is only one boss, and no contradictions; you have to learn to keep people in line. Once, you can do that you will start having this to show for it.
Ralph walked Chloe to a room in her own basement that she had not been in since her real father had gone; she never forgot what she saw even though she never saw it again. There were people counting stacks and stacks of cash; no matter how much they seemed to count there was always more.
Ralph: How are you a success Chloe?
Chloe: Make them afraid. There is only one boss, and no contradictions.
Ralph: And remember no cops!
Chloe: No cops.
Seven Years Ago.
Later that evening, Chloe invited Joe and Mercedes to a table and asked them if they would like to sign up with her and her newly beginning record label C.C. Records.
She had some great ideas for plans and marketing; some real cutting edge stuff.
Two Days Ago
Norma is speaking on the phone with Chloe.
Norma: No! This is not Mercedes! It's your mom. Why do you sound like that? What's wrong? Don't blow this opportunity! Someone like you doesn't get this kind of opportunity to succeed like Ralph did. Where's my money for sending these letters? $400.00; When do you want me to make that phone call to Mercedes? Then it is $200.00 extra by tomorrow. You're not singing tomorrow. It's not like you have any talent. The money by tomorrow; or else there is no call! You heard me! I'm not playing! $600.00!
Mercy: Chloe we can't leave yet.
Mercy: Because the police are on their way over right now and…
Mercy: You don't know this but I have received a threatening note at the hotel, as well as message to my phone in my room.
Joe: Are you serious? How could that have happened? No one was supposed to even know that you were in town.
All of a sudden the room started to close in on Chloe. She felt her palms get sweaty and her pulse started to race.
The door bell rang.
Mercedes: I'll get it.
Chloe started pacing back and forth mumbling to herself.
Chloe: No, no, no, no.
At this point the room started to spin and when Mercedes brought the police into the living room.
Joe: Chloe? Are you okay?
Chloe passes out.
Police officer: Dangerous people are everywhere too.
Sam Evans cannot wait when he is reunited with his family to explain the fact that a wedding is about to take place today. Once told, The Evans' and Jones' then begin setting up preparations in the garden under the tent. Flowers are being placed at a homemade altar; and flower petals are strewn all over the ground of one of the paths leading in from the trees. Folding chairs are placed on either side for the bride's family and the groom's; but because they all already feel like family; instead they place the chairs in a circle around the entire altar so everyone has an equal connection to the bride and groom.
In Sam's room Sam is fussing with his tie while Stevie is working on a speech and trying to find the right pocket to keep the ring; when Sam receives a phone call.
Sam answers the phone.
Sam: Sam Evans
Police officer Johnson: This is Officer Johnson Mr. Evans. I am sorry to disturb you but we need to talk.
Sam: Well, this is kind of a bad time can I touch base with you in a few days?
P.O. Johnson: This will only take a moment sir, and it is very important.
Sam: What is?
P.O. Johnson: Ms. White has confessed only to one letter and the shooting but not the series of letters or the phone call.
Sam: What does that mean? Do you believe her?
P.O. Johnson: Why would you confess to some but not all sir; it doesn't make sense. So I did a trace on the phone number which made the call and that number matches a number that Joe, was that his name Joe?
Sam: Yes, Joe.
P.O. Johnson: Joe gave us the cell phone numbers of all who were involved in Ms. Jones' life; and the traced number matches a number of a call made to one of the cell phones of those close to Ms. Jones. The number sir was also on Ms. Chambers' phone.
Author's note: Some of you may have seen this coming but some may not have and if you didn't GOOD! – That makes for a good read! Unfortunately, Chloe learned things from both of her father's that she just could not seem to unlearn. Please review! Thanks Anna.