A/N: Hey everyone! I do apologize for not updating this story as regularly as I had used to, but I've been so busy doing other things that I lost my muse for a bit! But since you were all enjoying the story and wanted me to continue, and because I was so happy to be going to Harvard University for - wait for it - a Creative Writing course, I excitedly looked through my notes and wanted to try writing it again. It might seem a bit rushed as I am leaving for England in the morning, but I think I know where I want to take this story now and have done a good deal of "setting up". =) Thank you to Niffer01, gurl3677, Dannie_Tomlinson, musicforsanity, Lamminator, MulishaMaiden, ItalianBreadstick, yournadz, LuccDudee, toysandguns, Ann, Cassy, julen, Haven14, and WhisperInTheRain for the reviews and to you for continuing to support this story! Let's hope I can continue it soon. =) xx IFHD

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Chapter 13: Shattered Pieces

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"Everything We Had"

By: The Academy Is

You were the only face I'd ever known.
I was the light from the lamp on the floor,
and only as bright as you wanted me to be.
But I am no gentleman, I can be a prick,
and I do regret more than I admit.
You have been followed back to the same place
I sat with you drink for drink.
Take the pain out of love, and then love won't exist.

Everything we had, everything we had,
everything we had, everything we had
Is no longer there.

It was the only place I'd ever known.
Turned off the light on my way out the door.
I will be watching wherever you go,
through the eyes of a fly on the wall.
You have been followed back to the same place
I sat with you drink for drink.
Take the pain out of love and then love won't exist.

Everything we had, everything we had,
everything we had, everything we had
Is no longer there, longer there.

Well, you saw for yourself, the way it played out.
For you, I am blinded.
For you, I am blinded, for you.

I am no gentleman, I can be a prick.
And I do regret more than I admit.
You have been followed back to the same place
I sat with you drink for drink.
Take the pain out of love, and then love won't exist.

Everything we had, everything we had,
(you have been followed, you have been followed.)
everything we had, everything we had.
(you have been followed, you have been followed.)
Everything we had, everything we had,
(you have been followed, you have been followed.)
everything we had...

I'll be with you wherever you go,
through the eyes of a fly on the wall.

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I couldn't see or think clearly. Hell, I couldn't even remember the last time that I had seen or thought clearly. Seeking comfort in sleep and bottles of Jameson whiskey, I apathetically allowed the minutes, hours, and days to pass me by; happiness was all but a fleeting memory, and it seemed as though sanity was not far behind.

What day is it?

I didn't even know. The only time that I could discern day and night was when I sometimes managed to peer outside of my window.

Memories of Murphy and what had passed between us would periodically invade my thoughts, only to be quickly suppressed by what was left of my will. No. He wouldn't cause me any more hurt.

He'd done enough damage already.

After several days had elapsed, and after having had no contact with the outside world whatsoever, I heard the distinct knock on my door. I stared blankly towards the muffled sound, as though my mind were having difficulty registering what was happening. After a few moments of silence, I decided to ignore the visitor; however, the knocking came again, more forceful and deliberate this time. I rolled to the other side of the bed, burying my face upon the pillow. When the knocking became incessant, occurring non-stop after five minutes, my irritation finally claimed the best of me. Slugging my way towards the door, I warily looked through the peephole. I quickly relaxed as I caught a glimpse of Connor's shifting head. Unlocking my door and opening it widely, I flatly greeted, "Hi."

"Ye look like shite." Eyebrows immediately raising at the sight of my disheveled, deteriorating state, the cheeky Irishman commented lightly, "Alright, who are ye an' what 'ave ye done with Lourdes?"

"Fuck off." I replied in a monotone voice. Seeing as Connor wasn't making a move to leave, I finally resolved to step aside and allow the bewildered MacManus in.

"Jesus fuckin' Christ! Would ye look at the state o' this place?" Randomly perusing through my belongings and taking a cursory glance through the main room, Connor ruffled his spiked hair. Scoffing in disbelief, he exclaimed in all seriousness, "Lourdes, there are pigsties cleaner than this! The hell ye doin', livin' in a right shit'ole?"

Crossing my arms in annoyance, I snapped, "Okay, Con. Did you come here to specifically insult me and my current living preferences or is there another purpose to your kind and unannounced visit?"

"I heard that ye 'aven't been ta work all week, and that no one has seen ye for just as long. Ye wouldn't answer any of me calls either." He stated sternly, plopping down on my couch. "I was worried, so I decided to check up on ye." When he heard a distinct squeak, he scrunched his handsome face in confusion. Plucking something from underneath his arse, he held out the object that he had found in front of my face. He gave it a little squeeze. "A rubber ducky?"

"Give me that!" I snarled through clenched teeth, snatching the squeaking toy from his fingers. "I had to babysit my neighbour's kid last week, alright?"

He languidly fell back upon the seat, arms coolly laid out upon the back of the couch. He threw me a twisted smirk. "If that's yer story." Blatantly ignoring my wary stare, he continued nonchalantly, "But I'm glad ta see yer alive, no matter what state yer in. Ye'd probably be 'appy ta hear tha' the partnership with the Donnelly brothers is goin' well." He paused, pursing his lips. "Well, at least me an' Tommy. Murph and Kev, well, ye probably know how they are." A genuine smile appeared. "But we've been gatherin' intel and makin' some hits. Every day, we're closer ta findin' Cillian an' every one o' his bastards in Boston. I know that it'll only take a few more days before…"

Connor's voice quickly began to fade as a cold chill ran down my spine at the thought of them risking their lives again. When will this ever end?

Would it ever end?

It bothered me that Connor was so…excited about all of this. Did the MacManus brothers ever take their eyes of their goal, to look at the peripheries…to consider the people who cared about them?

I let out an exasperated sigh, holding out a hand for him to cease his speech. Taking a seat beside him, I stated with a tightened jaw, "Listen, Connor. I'm glad that you're safe and alive, but I'm not in the mood for this right now, alright?" With the satisfied smile immediately dissipating from his countenance, he threw me a nod of understanding. I momentarily closed my eyes. "You probably know what happened between Murphy and me last week, and I appreciate you trying to…"

"No. What?" Connor's brows furrowed, forehead crinkling. "What happened between ye and me brother?"

"Connor, I broke off the engagement." My heart constricted as the words flowed from my lips. "He cheated on me with Fiona."

"What?" His eyes searchingly met my own, looking for further explanation. "Murphy never said anythin' ta me about this. Even when we were makin' our hits, he said absolutely nothin' an' went about as though nothin' were wrong." His head shook. "I mean, he kept quiet most o' the time, and barely ate and slept, but I… Fuck, I'm a terrible twin!" He placed a comforting hand upon my shoulder as he attempted to calm his own disbelief. "I can't believe that he'd keep that from me, Lourdes. If I had known, I would've come ta visit ye sooner an'…"

I shrugged, feeling the aching of my heart and the mist forming within my eyes. "There's nothing really left to say about it, Connor. He cheated on me, and I saw it with my own eyes."

"Lourdes, I know me brother better than anyone, an' no matter what ye saw an' what he did, he cares about ye." His bright blue eyes seemed to plead with me. "If he couldn't even talk ta me 'bout what happened, I know tha' he feels guilty an' remorseful about all o' this." He tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, forcing me to look straight into his eyes, as he proclaimed without hesitation, "He loves ye, Lourdes, with all o' his heart. He may have fucked up, but it doesn't change the way he feels about ye."

My rising emotions were due in part to the hope that was ignited by what Connor so easily professed; however, they were also due in part to the anger that Murphy wasn't the MacManus twin before me, declaring all of these words in my presence. But how was I to hope that Murphy would be doing such a thing if he hadn't even attempted once to contact me since that night? What would he have me think, believe?

"How am I ever going to trust him again?" I was crying now, unable to retain my composure in front of Connor. I attempted to quickly wipe the rivulets of tears down my cheeks with the back of my hand. "If he can do this to me once, don't you think he can do it again?"

Connor paused for a moment, then shook his head. "I don't think he was thinkin' straight, Lourdes. He said that this MacManus-Donnelly alliance, Cillian and his cronies, ye bein' caught in the crossfire, and the possibility of ye havin' feelings for Kevin Donnelly...that it was all too much for him." He paused, then admitted with a lowered head, "This shite is almost too much for me, and I don't even 'ave ta deal with a woman!"

Even though I could discern the humour in his voice, I shook him from my form, standing. "Please stop making excuses for your brother, Connor. How do you think I felt? How do you think I'm feeling?" I drilled my finger upon my heart, narrowing my eyes. "I worry about the both of you day and night, wonder what dangers you so willingly put yourselves through daily. I always think about you two risking your lives even when I don't want to. Then, I'm faced with this new home, this new job, this new life! Do you know how hard it is for me to adjust to all of these things when Murphy is barely even by my side? And then here comes Fiona, who seemed to always scheme and plot to somehow get her way with Murphy. Look what happened!" I seemed hysterical now as my unbridled anger unrelentingly fought its way to the surface. All of the feelings that I had locked up inside the entire week emanated from my being. "I never cheated on Murphy, nor would I ever. That's love, Connor. That's love."

Connor was rendered speechless at this point. He seemed to be deliberating exactly why he said what he did. Was he really trying to mend the rift between Murphy and me assured of those facts about his brother, or was he merely explicating what he hoped Murphy was thinking and feeling? Did he really understand what was going on between us, or were his thoughts all hypotheses? Slowly standing from the couch to face me, Connor croaked, "I don't know what ta say, Lourdes. I really don't. And I'm sorry."

"You don't have to say anything or apologize, Connor." I replied simply, hugging myself in order to elicit some warmth. "You weren't the one who hurt me."

"Did he even try to call ye or come an' see ye 'bout all o' this?"

"No. Not once."

Before he could reply, the sudden shrill of the telephone made the both of us jump. Through my hesitation, I perceived Connor eagerly motioning for me to take the call; it seemed as though he shared my hope that it was Murphy on the other end of the line. Finally relenting, I slowly took the phone in my grasp, took a deep breath, then placed the receiver upon my ear. My heart began to pace quicker. "Hello?"

"Lourdes…Lourdes it's me."

Furrowing my brows, I stood up even straighter. Connor eyed me curiously, placing a hand upon my shoulder. I gave my head a dejected shake. "Hi, Ma. What is it? What's wrong?"

The static of the phone and the background noise behind her almost made it impossible for me to hear what she was saying. Her voice shook, almost as though it took much effort for her to utter anything. "Lourdes, I'm here with the Garda…they found him lying there at the…God have mercy on me, Lourdes, he's…"

Panic quickly arose within me at this point, hearing the distress in her voice. "Ma, slow down. I can't hear you properly." As my worried eyes connected with Connor's, I gripped his arm with my free hand as I continued, "Ma, what did you say?"

"Yer Da's dead, Lourdes." She wailed in utter pain, sobbing, "He was murdered."