Chapter 9

In the days following the home invasion, Jack found reasons to call in to check on the little family.

First, he'd noticed the milk was running low.

The next day, he saw a book in a store as he passed and knew Walter didn't have this one in the series.

He was just going to fix that squeaky board on the back steps tonight.

Finally Ianto politely asked Jack if he had a home or had he lost it in a high-stakes gambling den.

Jack took the hint and spent that night at his place, much to Janet's delight.

Janet the black moggie.

Janet the obesely fat moggie, who at this moment was chewing on Jack's maiden hair fern on the sideboard while he tried to read the paper.

"Janet! Bad girl!" Jack threw the paper and she watched with a disinterested air as it landed with a fluttery splat three feet from her.

With a leap from the sideboard to the floor that sounded like an elephant falling without a parachute, she stalked towards the back door hoping her arse on display as she wobbled along was enough to transmit her distaste at his stupidity.

Janet regarded her stupid feeder still sitting at the table and yelled for freedom.

Jack groaned as he rose to let her out, admonishing her for fighting with next door's ginger.

As he let her out, he stared into the dark and worried about Ianto and Walter.

Ianto had put Walter to bed and was now sitting in bed reading a thriller.

Every now and then he glanced at the other side of the bed; he hadn't realised how huge the bed was until he was alone.

Although he and Jack hadn't had sex yet, he felt more attached to him than he had the last bed mate. He had wound up cuddled up here with Walter between them as they lay in silence each night like it was the most natural thing in the world, comfortable without the need to spoil the silence with chatter.

He wondered what Lisa would make of this.

If her family had known he was bisexual when they had tried to take Walter, would they have tried to use that to their advantage? He was glad the courts had already awarded him full custody because he was did not want to see that family ever again.

When they lost the court case, Lisa's mother had screamed at him across the courtroom that he was dead to them, and "that bastard child, whosever he was".

That had hurt. He and Lisa had agreed on one thing and that was the conception of his little cherub. How could they deny this was his son?

As Ianto looked over at the empty side of the bed once more, he made a decision to call Jack, but as he reached for the phone, it rang.

"Hello?" he answered, hoping it was Jack.


"Hello? Can I help you?" Ianto tried again to get an answer.

Whoever was on the other end hung up and a dial tone prompted him to hang up too.

Ianto stared at the phone like it was a snake on the blankets, then jumped as it rang a second time.


Silence again.

Ianto hung up this time and had turned his phone on its side to turn it off when it rang for a third time.

He dropped it and fumbled with it before accidentally hitting the end-call button.

Now he was angry. He rose from the bed and threw the phone across the room where it bounced against the back of the armchair in the corner.

With a mutter about fools he referred to in welsh as Twpsyns, he climbed back into bed, then sighed.

He climbed out of the bed again and went into his son's room. He scooped the sleeping tot out of his bed then carried him through to deposit him onto Jack's side of the bed.

Jack's side? Where did that come from?

A brisk knock to the back door made Ianto bark with fear and he jumped.

He reached into the bedside table and pulled out the lockbox. With shaking hands he removed the handgun he had purchased the day before and he stole down the hallway towards the banging. Don't wake Walter.

Ianto opened the door with the gun raised only to find Jack standing there with his hand raised to knock again.

When Ianto hadn't answered his call then hung up on him, Jack had grown worried; now, as he stared down the barrel of a gun, he wondered what he had stepped into.

"Jack!" Ianto cried, falling into his arms.

When Jack got the story of the silent calls he had Gwen trace them but nothing was able to be found. Throw away phones that were untraceable.

As Jack settled onto the bed, he vowed not to let anything happen to this family.

The screen showed a black and white image from the corner of Ianto's room, and as sleep caught up with the two men cuddling on the bed, the click of a computer mouse changed the scene to Walter's room, where the Tot now dozed. As the image flickered, the shadow thrown from the watcher shifted from foot to foot.

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