Chapter Thirty Six: You're my soulmate.
What happened next was absolute pandemonium as everyone who had been seated now jumped up and started coming to blows with the separate members of team evil.
Carmita and Debbie had flown at Ted and pinned him to the ground, while Lauren and Edward were facing off in some sort of mortal combat styled fight. Sam had started chasing Jenny who by now was scrambling to find any sort of way out of the throne room, while Andy and Micah had raced over to Mel and Ben. Fortunately Andy had managed to shove Linds just in the nick of time so that her bullet had actually shot off upwards and into the air.
Meanwhile no one at all seemed to remember the stash of guns at the back of the room.
Linds however was still holding a firm grip onto hers and despite the fact that she had landed face first onto the floor; was now dusting herself off while Andy and Micah tended to Mel and Ben.
“BANG!” The sound of Linds’ gun went off again, though this time it was intentionally shot into the air silencing everyone.
“That’s enough!” Linds yelled. “Let’s have some order around here! Guys?”
She gestured wildly to the other men on her team who, now recalling their guns raced back and got them.
“Did she get you?” Andy asked Mel quickly.
“No, thanks to you she missed,” Mel replied quickly.
“Ok,” Linds said now with everyone’s attention back on her. “I can see we’re not going to get anywhere tonight. But no matter we got this far, all in a day’s work.”
“Naturally,” Rick replied smiling as he made his way back to her.
The collective nine all took a mental breath before she continued.
“So I’ll just kill Andy now and be done with it, good bye Andy,” she rushed.
And with that Linds very quickly and much less dramatically aimed and fired.
Fortunately Andy had very fast reflexes and he managed to duck just in time as he heard the bullet whiz over his head. Unfortunately for Lindsay, what she didn’t realize was that by now Ted was standing behind him and the bullet landed square into his chest.
“No!” Linds screamed out in anger. “Ted!”
But nothing more could be heard as at that very moment every door surrounding the throne room burst open as many cops stormed the palace from every angle.
“Police don’t move!” one said.
“DON’T MOVE!” screamed another.
“Wait, what?” Linds asked, more surprised than anything else.
“Lindsay,” one said walking towards her while accompanied by two others with guns. “You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent, a-”
“I know, I have a lawyer for a wife you know,” Linds spat.
“Not anymore you don’t,” said Mel as she approached the officers. “Take her away.”
Looking around Andy noticed Sam, Edward and Rick also being cuffed, while Ted was being seen to by an ambulance officer. He walked over to some others and advised them about Ben.
“My dad needs your help, he stepped in a bear trap and got shot in the leg,” he rushed.
He pointed Ben out to them and they raced over to his aid.
“Help us!” Rein had screamed out.
“It’s ok sweetie,” Lauren replied. “It’s over. It’s finally over.”
And with that she threw comforting arms around her daughter.
Moments later Linds, Sam, Edward and Rick were walked out of the throne room arrested in handcuffs. Naturally they didn’t go quietly; Sam claimed innocence while Edward kept screaming about revenge on whoever betrayed them. Ted was then taken out of the room on a stretcher and finally the nine were alone without the threat of team-evil.
“Cut it quite fine there officer,” Mel said to one of the police women.
“Apologies Ms Marcus we had no idea,” she replied.
“I suspect you’ll be assisting the prosecution on this one then?” a man who looked like a detective asked.
“I don’t think so,” Mel replied. “I’ll give a statement but otherwise I can’t be involved.”
The remaining cops tended to the others. Lauren and Rein were being questioned about the events by two of them, while Jenny, Carmita and Debbie were being questioned by two others.
Ben was now being placed into a stretcher of his own and Andy rushed over to his dad.
“He’s going to be ok isn’t he?!” he asked the officer panicked.
“He should be fine,” the officer replied. “I’m surprised he lasted this long with the bullet wound and the other injury. Shows how strong he is.”
“He’ll be fine,” a female officer confirmed. “We’re just taking him to the hospital now.”
“I’m going to ride with them,” Micah said. “You can get Lauren to get you there right?”
“Of course,” Andy replied quickly hugging his Papa.
As they left Andy followed them out and watched as the van drove away. With everyone else still inside he took a moment to breath and let go of all that had happened. Tears spilled out of his eyes as he cried and cried.
Not too much later Andy picked himself up from off the ground. The cry had been rather cathartic but there was still so much left to do. However as he walked towards the entrance he eyed B standing in the shadows.
“You called them didn’t you?” Andy asked already pretty sure he had.
“Yeah, sorry about the delay,” he replied.
“A sorry from B! I’m shocked,” Andy replied.
“Well prepare for more,” B said. “It was wrong of me to do this. I knew it was wrong and I still did. It was also wrong of me to threaten that I’d do that to Jay.”
“Is…is he…” Andy started.
“On life support at the hospital, I’m ready to take you whenever you’re ready if you’re happy for me to take you that is.”
“Of course, I just need to…” Andy replied quietly as he pointed in the direction of the throne room.
“Yeah, go,” B replied kindly. “I’ll be in my car waiting. I’m guessing this lot won’t be as forgiving.”
“You’re probably right,” Andy smiled.
He walked towards the throne room, but just before he entered he turned back.
“Oh and by the way B, thanks.”
B smiled in gratitude for the undeserved acknowledgement and walked off towards his car.
Inside everything seemed to have wrapped up. Lauren and Rein were walking towards Andy and Jenny, Carmita and Debbie were being handed cards clearing being advised to call if they had any more information.
“You ok?” Lauren asked calmly, giving the boy a hug.
“Sure,” Andy lied not really wanting to talk about it.
The women seemed to take the hint.
“So where’s…?” Rein began to ask.
“In the hospital,” Andy replied, knowing full-well she was asking about Jay. “B’s outside waiting for me he’s going to drive me over.”
“Ah, I don’t think so,” Lauren replied defensively.
“Lauren,” Andy sighed. “It’s ok. We talked. He’s actually the one that called the cops and…I believe him.”
“Really?” Lauren asked skeptically.
“Really,” Andy replied. “His whole attitude has changed. He seems almost…normal.”
“Wow,” Rein chimed in. “Good for him.”
After a few quick hugs goodbye and with Andy promising at least three times to call once he left the hospital, Lauren and Rein left.
“Oh honey,” Debbie started racing as quickly as she could over to Andy. “I don’t quite know what to say.”
“I don’t think any of us do Aunt Deb,” Andy replied hugging her tightly. “I think we all just need some time to process all of this.”
“It won’t be easy,” Jenny chimed in.
“No, of course not,” Andy replied. “But the world won’t stop for us. Will it?”
“Well I’m-a still angry,” Carmita said. “I actually let that hijo de puta into my house, my life, he-…URGH!”
And with that she stormed off into the distance.
“Aren’t you going to go after her honey?” Deb asked.
“No,” Andy replied. “She needs time to breathe.”
Debbie and Jenny nodded in agreement.
“Besides, we have somewhere we need to be,” he continued looking directly at Jenny.
Debbie smiled calmly as Andy gently took Jenny’s hand and walked out towards B’s car. There was no faking all of the emotions he had been feeling but they all needed to be put on hold until he could see his boyfriend.
*1 week later*
Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep went the heart monitor connected to Jay.
“Don’t leave me this way,” came a sing-song voice of Lauren entering the room. “I can’t survive, no I can’t stay alive without your love, don’t leave me this way!”
“Thanks,” Andy sniffled. “But please, don’t, not now anyway.”
“Bad day huh?” she asked hugging her friend and taking a seat on one of the empty chairs nearby.
Jay’s condition had turned out to be more critical then everyone had anticipated. He had apparently flat-lined very shortly after being brought into the hospital and the doctors had only just managed to revive him. However since then he had been unconscious and had shown no signs at all of waking up.
Andy was pleased to hear that they had managed to revive him and had come into the hospital every day sitting with Jay from morning till night. He had been advised to talk to his boyfriend, being told that it could help, but nothing he had said had done anything and the longer Jay stayed unconscious the worse Andy was feeling.
“Why won’t he wake up Lauren?!” he cried suddenly to his best friend.
“Sometimes these things take a while Andy,” Lauren replied calmly.
“That’s not good enough!” Andy yelled out frustrated. “I’m here, I’ve been talking to him and…nothing.”
As if to prove his point he picked up Jays hand and held it in his own.
“Jay, wake up…please!” he begged. “I need you…I need you to WAKE-UP!”
“Andy, stop!” Lauren chimed in quickly. “Take a breath.”
As much as this was as needed as someone telling a raged man to calm down Andy took her advice and angrily breathed in.
“Ok?” Lauren asked.
Admittedly Andy inhaled pissed off at her but upon exhalation felt a tad calmer than he had been moments before.
“Come on,” Lauren said leading him to the door.
“Come on?” Andy asked. “You think I’m leaving him here?”
But then on the other side of the glass he noticed Mel had arrived and remembered that today was the trial for the people that had been responsible for all of this and Andy had been subpoenaed to testify.
None of the 9 victims had wanted to testify, but they all knew that they couldn’t contest the subpoena so they had agreed to go to court together.
Andy walked over to Jay and placed a kiss on his lips. He shook uncontrollably.
“I love you my angel,” he whispered and then made his way out of the room.
The court room was packed. The media had gotten wind of the story and had been discussing it the entire week. Newspapers, internet, radio and naturally television had seemed to have nothing better to do then discuss a modern-day saw-like mistress and her posse’.
Linds had given a media statement in which she had given a rather compelling story of how she was sorry for what she had done and regretted taking the action she had. This had made all of the survivors sick to their stomachs but the lead counsel for the prosecution Ms J Keshwalle had advised everyone to not comment on the situation not wanting to add fuel to the fire.
Of course she had been too late with Carmita who had already done a tell-all interview on a morning show, however her story seemed to revolve more around Rick and his personal betrayal to her than anything else.
Everyone stood as the judge entered the room and told everyone to take their seats and then before he even knew what had happened Andy heard his name being called.
“I’d like to call my first witness Andy Thompson to the stand,” Ms Keshwalle had said.
Andy stood terrified. It was one thing to be sitting in a witness box yet again in such a short period, another to go up against all of these tormentors but quite another yet to go first. After being sworn in Andy sat there waiting for the questions he knew were about to come.
“Can you state your name for the court?” Ms Keshwalle asked.
“Andy Thompson,” he replied.
“Andy, what is your relation to the victim Jay Taylor?” she asked.
“He is my boyfriend,” Andy replied.
“Can you tell the court what Mr. Taylor’s current condition is?”
“He…,” Andy cleared his throat. It was very hard to talk about. “He’s currently unconscious at New Haven hospital.”
“And he flat-lined is this true?”
“Objection your honor!” demanded the D.A. “Leading the witness.”
“I’ll rephrase,” Ms Keshwalle replied. “Andy, what happened shortly after Mr. Taylor arrived at the hospital?”
“I was advised that he had flat-lined and they needed to revive him,” Andy said barely audibly.
“Andy, do you know who is responsible for this?” Ms Keshwalle asked.
“Mr. Thompson,” the judge interrupted. “We need a verbal response.”
“Sorry judge,” Andy replied. “Yes I know the people that are responsible.”
“Are they in this room?” Ms Keshwalle continued.
“Yes, they’re all at the defendants table,” Andy replied not daring to look at them but having seen them before hand.
“Can you give me names Mr. Thompson?” Ms Keshwalle asked.
By this point Andy missed the warm, sincere, loving approach of Mel. But this was a different time, a different case and had to be a different prosecutor.
“Yes,” Andy replied. “Lindsay, Rick, Ted, Sam, Edward… and Brian.”
“Mr. Thompson,” Ms Keshwalle asked seemingly concerned. “You hesitated before including Brian in that list. Can you explain why?”
“Yes,” Andy replied nervously. “Brian was involved in our torture; however he was also the one that saved us all.”
“Saved you all?”
“While under the guidance of their ring-leader Lindsay, Brian actually took Jay to the hospital, but then he went straight to the cops and thank god for that.” Andy recalled relieved.
“Why thank-god Andy?” Ms Keshwalle asked.
“Because if it wasn’t for Brian calling the police I don’t think any one of us that were trapped there at the time would actually be here today. I know he betrayed us and it will be tough to forget what he did, but he also saved us at the most critical moment and for that I will always be grateful.”
“One final question Andy,” Ms Keshwalle continued. “Do you support an equal ruling for all six defendants?”
“Your honor!” the D.A. yelled out. “Mr. Thompson is not a judge! This is not his call to make.”
“No it is not,” the judge agreed. “But I am interested in hearing his answer, over-ruled. The witness may answer the question.”
Andy had been surprised by the question himself and almost welcomed the D.A’s objection. But now, sitting here with the opportunity to give his opinion found it welcoming.
“No. I do not,” he replied.
“And why Mr. Thompson is that?” Ms Keshwalle asked intrigued.
“Because five of the people sitting over there were all working for one person,” Andy replied. “While I think all of us are hurt that these people we once called friends betrayed us there was really one leader, 4 followers and one man who redeemed himself in the end to great personal risk.”
“Your honor!” the D.A. sprang up out of his chair. “Are you really going to allow the opinion of the victim to determine sentencing?”
“You will have your chance Mr. Dematra,” the judge replied to the D.A.
“Andy,” Ms Keshwalle asked. “Is there anything else you would like to add?”
“Only that I would like to see justice for my boyfriend and my friends and family,” Andy replied. “If Jay doesn’t make it – I…I…”
But no more was needed to be said as Ms Keshwalle looked at the jury.
“No further questions your honor.”
That night everyone just seemed to gravitate towards the hospital. With Micah staying with Ben and with Andy staying with Jay it seemed like the easiest thing to do.
Not everyone had been called to give testimony on what had happened, though Carmita was called as a rebuttal witness by the D.A. after they saw her interview on the morning show and tried to accuse her of swaying the jury. Fortunately the judge saw through their strategy and ordered the information to be stricken from the record.
Mel had been called to give evidence on what she had endured and how she was dealing with the fact that Lindsay was the head of the operation. Ben, who was still recovering in hospital, had signed a sworn affidavit describing what he had been through also.
Jenny was asked about finding her son and the hostage situation involving Edward, however Debbie was not questioned. Despite the fact that the others were there, as they had not been in any real danger and were not biologically connected to the hospitalized victims they were not called to the stand.
Linds of course was the D.A’s first witness and as with her press conference she had played her role beautifully explaining to the jury that she had been hurt by her wife and wanted to get back at her, the crying on cue seemed an asset as the jury did seem rather inclined to feel sympathy for the leader.
Rick was questioned about the situation also, however as he had now hired an independent lawyer, his questions centered around blaming B for his involvement in the first place. Sam was questioned about his relationship with Rein and surprised everyone when he boldly told the truth about using her to aid team evil.
Edward was questioned about the hostage situation and not allowing Jay to be taken directly to emergency. Like Lindsay, Edward also turned on the waterworks and on her, claiming he wanted to help but that he was too scared to go against his ‘boss’.
Ted was only called briefly to describe his reasons for being with the team. He explained that while he did not directly attack anyone that he was responsible for making sure everything was working properly including the screen monitors, the torture devices and the locking systems on the doors and the entrance gate.
B, surprisingly was not called to the stand at all.
All 5 however had been remanded into custody and denied bail as they were all deemed flight risks especially with the amount of money that had been swapping hands.
But now, sitting around in the waiting area, as Ben and Jay were both sleeping, everyone just seemed exhausted more than anything else. Despite the fact that they were alive and Ok, they all just wanted this whole case to be over.
Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep!
All of a sudden and from out of nowhere the sound of a room alarm could be heard.
“Code Blue, code blue, all units room 709! Repeat Code blue, code blue all units room 709!”
“709!” Micah screamed. “That’s Ben!”
From exhaustion and depletion to absolute shock-horror, everyone jumped out of their seats and raced towards Ben’s room. It didn’t take long as his room was only 3 away from the waiting area.
“What’s going on?!” Micah demanded.
“He’s gone into cardiac arrest,” a nurse replied quickly.
“Card-….?” But Micah couldn’t continue, he was too shocked for words.
“Dad?!” Andy screamed out.
More then 4 doctors could clearly be seen along with atleast 3 nurses and the only thing Andy, Micah and the others could do, was look on in shock.
“Guys, you need to step back-” the nurse started.
“Like hell we do!” Andy screamed at him.
“Sir, let the doctors do their job,” the nurse implored.
“Come on Andy,” Mel soothed taking him by the shoulder and steering him back towards the waiting room. “They’ll have you arrested if you don’t comply.”
Despite the range of new emotions he was now feeling, Andy saw the logic and allowed Mel to lead him out of the way. Lauren, who was momentarily offended that Mel had jumped in to Andy’s rescue latched on to Micah.
“Come on sweetie,” she said her voice broken with emotion for both men. “Let’s…let’s let them do what they need to do.”
Not too much later Carmita had to go as she had an appointment with a new potential manager. She had offered to cancel but Andy insisted she keep it. Truth be known, he wanted to be alone and Carmita leaving thinned the heard a little. Aunt Deb had gone also, telling everyone she was going to make some dinner for when Andy and Micah got back home as the pair were now temporarily living together while their partners were in hospital.
There had been no word from the doctors or nurses and it had felt like an hour had gone by.
Mel decided to leave next and Andy offered to walk her out. Mel went to tell Andy she’d be fine, but Andy gave her a look that screamed let me.
Once outside Andy burst into questions.
“So what happens tomorrow?” he asked.
“Well since both parties have rested there will be closing arguments and then the jury will deliberate.”
“How long do you think that could take?” Andy asked.
“It varies,” she replied simply. “Sometimes it’s within the hour, sometimes by the end of the day, sometimes it takes a few days.”
“A few days?!” Andy yelled, freaking out.
“Andy lower your voice,” Mel reminded him.
“Sorry,” he replied. “But really a few days?”
“Let’s not make predictions,” Mel replied. “Let’s just see what happens tomorrow.”
She pressed the key-less remote to her car and opened the door.
“What, what exactly is the plan for tomorrow?” he asked. “Like who is going? Who’s expected to go?”
“No one has to go,” Mel replied. “I mean obviously the defendants need to be there, but none of us have to.”
“In that case I think I’ll skip closing remarks,” Andy replied. “With dad and Jay and everything.”
“Of course,” Mel replied getting into her car.
Andy held the door open.
“But,” he insisted. “The moment the jury reaches a verdict I need you to come and get me.”
Mel hesitated before continuing.
“Do…do you really want to put yourself through that?” she asked.
“I need to,” Andy insisted. “I need to hear the sentencing myself.”
“Ok then,” Mel replied sincerely. “I’ll come by and get you as soon as I get word that the jury has reached a decision.”
“Thanks Mel,” Andy smiled giving her a quick hug and a kiss. “For everything.”
Mel smiled as Andy shut the door and Mel drove away.
“Jay…” Andy started holding his partner’s hand, but then paused.
What the heck did he say to his unconscious boyfriend? It had been over a week the signs were not looking good.
“I don’t know what to say to you,” he blubbered not being able to hold back the tears. “Look at me! I’m such a wreck!”
He looked up from Jay and straight out the window it was a sunny day, the first New Haven had seen in a very long time. The doctors had been in to see Andy and his father the night before telling them that they had managed to stabilize Ben but that unfortunately he too was now in a coma.
“Sentencing could be passed down today, Dad’s now also in a coma and I am going completely out of my friggen mind!”
He looked back down at Jay, despite the fact that he was in a coma, if you didn’t know it and could ignore the tubing in his nose you would think he was restfully sleeping. This allowed Andy the chance to take a very much needed breath.
“You know,” he cracked. “This is about the time you would normally jump in and say something to calm me down.”
He smiled as a memory swam into his mind.
“You remember when Dad called me about Papa being taken to hospital?”
Naturally there was no response from the blonde boy.
“I was so frazzled and wigging out about him, but you…as only you could…came up behind me and told me that my father was a fighter and yet…I had never told anyone that I viewed Micah as my father.”
He smiled as he looked deep into Jay’s face almost feeling his soul.
“You just…knew…you know everything about me. My ups, my downs, my light side, my dark-side, my paranoid state…and yet you embraced it.”
He took a breath before revealing the revelation that had just hit him.
“When you’re with me, I’m fine. Without you, I’m lost. Jay…you’re more then my partner…”
Tears streamed down his face as he blubbered the one thing he now knew was more true than anything else in this world.
“You’re… my soul mate.”
Not too much later, after many more tears of some joy but mostly pain and sorrow Andy walked back into the waiting room to see his Papa sitting there and Lauren sitting with him.
“Morning sweetie,” Lauren said soothingly. “I have coffee.”
She walked over to him and passed him the paper cup before giving him a hug.
“Rein told me to tell you that she’s going to court in our place and that she’s sorry she’s not here.”
“No,” Andy replied. “I actually appreciate that…and Lauren…thanks for coming.”
Again Lauren embraced her friend.
“No problems,” she replied. “You know I’ll always be here.”
Andy smiled and then turned his attention to his Papa.
“So…how are you?” he asked tentatively.
“Exhausted,” his Papa replied honestly. “And you?”
“The same,” Andy replied. “Although I just told Jay he’s my soul mate.”
“Really?” Lauren replied smiling. “That’s awesome.”
“I always knew he was,” Micah added also smiling. “From the moment you two met, you were not only inseparable…believe me.”
He looked at Lauren to confirm how true this was.
“Oh I do,” Lauren replied. “I’ve seen enough to know that would be true.”
“But…forgive the corniness…it was almost as though you two…were one.”
Andy couldn’t help but smile in appreciation of his Papa’s words. Despite the fact that there had been a minor rift between the two, they really had seemed to come around to each other especially after Andy and Jay had finally gotten together.
“Thanks Papa,” Andy replied. “That…that means a lot to me, thank you.”
“I love you son.”
“I love you too Papa.”
Andy grabbed his Papa’s hands and held them in his own. Despite everything going on around them it was nice to be here in this small impenetrable bubble where everything seemed perfect.
“Ah…guys,” Lauren chimed in popping that bubble instantly.
“Lauren, what?” Andy asked, disappointed that she would ruin the moment.
“Ah, look…” she pointed ahead of them and they both saw what made her speak.
The doctor, that somehow had been assigned to both Jay and Ben for convenience was headed towards them. Micah and Andy stood and walked over to the man, Lauren behind them every step.
“I hope it’s good news,” Micah said.
“It had better be,” Andy replied. “I don’t know how much more bad news I can take.”
“Hey guys,” the doctor said, smiling, though it was clearly a pained smile. “I’m…I’m so sorry, your partner has passed away.”
“What?!” both men exclaimed at once.
“How?!” Micah demanded.
“Why?!” Andy asked, both sobbing.
“Um doctor,” Lauren asked cautiously. “I don’t want to sound insensitive, but considering you’re dealing with both their partners…”
“Oh, yeah, right,” the doctor replied.
“I’m sorry, I meant your partner,” he concluded pointing a shaking finger.