Hey all. Just some quick things to point out. Caitlyn O'Toole is the name of the girl in the story. She's twenty one years old, incase you were wondering. Also, I started this story on my quizilla account, littlexmissxsunshine, so no I am not plagerizing. Just wanted to get that straight : please read and review.
"Morning Mrs. Donnelly," I greeted, walking into the Donnelley's apartment.
Mrs. Donnelly was at the stove, a frying pan cooking what looked like burnt sausage. "Morning, Caitlyn. Are you staying to eat?" she asked in her usual brisk manner. As she looked over her shoulder at me, a small smirk appeared on her face, "And for Christ's sake, could you at least try to wear a coat? If your mother saw you..."
I laughed, shaking off her concern. "You know me Mrs. Donnelly, I never get cold. And no thanks to the breakfast, I have to go work in a bit." Work. I was a nanny for two little kids a few neighborhoods over. No one, well the Donnelly's that is, understood why I had to be so secretive about my job.
"They're in their room, talking about something. You know how they are," Mrs. Donnelly replied, turning back to the bacon she was frying.
I paused at their bedroom door, hearing muffled voices. I could hear Kevin's low voice, "How are we gonna deal with them? You know how fast they'll use a gun on any of-"
I walked in without knocking. "Hey guys."
Immediately each of the boys shot me a different look. Tommy as always looked serious and down-to-business, Kevin looked excited, Shawn looked happy to see me, and Jimmy...well he just looked like the sound of me walking in was only hurting his chance of recovering from his latest hangover.
Tommy punched Kevin, in an effort to make him shut up. "God Tommy, why are you always doing that?" Kevin groaned, rubbing his shoulder.
"Shut up Kev," Tommy mumbled, running a hand distractedly over his hap-hazard curly hair.
"Morning Cait," Shawn smiled warmly, as I sat down next to him on his bed.
"Hey Shawny, at least your nice to me in the mornings," I teased the other three. I feigned a hurt look.
"Look I gotta go to the Firecracker, I'll talk to you about it later Tommy," Jimmy said roughly. He limped out towards the door, favoring his good leg. "Oh and Caitlyn, sorry, g'morning," he added without much enthusiasm.
"Well lord, all of you are really cheerful this morning," I said sarcastically. When no one answered, I directed my question at Kevin, "What's going on? What's wrong with the three of you?"
Kevin frowned, and Tommy shot him a warning look. "Aww come on Caitlyn, why do you always have to ask me?" Kevin whined.
"Cause I know you always crack. Now tell me Kevin," I said seriously.
"Kevin, keep your mouth shut. When I get back from class, we're gonna go figure all that out. Fix Jimmy's mess," Tommy told his brothers. "Come on Cait, we're going," Tommy said, practically dragging you out of the bedroom.
"Bye Kev, bye Shawnie," I called over my shoulder.
Tommy continued to drag me through the kitchen and towards the front door of their apartment. It didn't really surprise me, Tommy I always /I had to take control. "Tommy, where are you going, eat some food," Mrs. Donnelly instructed as Tommy pulled me toward the door.
"Mom it's fine, I'll grab something after class," Tommy replied. Yet he still instinctively caught the piece of rye toast Mrs. Donnelly threw at him. She tossed another one, less forcefully to me.
"First Jimmy, now you. You boys need to eat," Mrs. Donnelly muttered. "And Caitlyn, it wouldn't hurt to get a little skin on those bones." Mrs. Donnelly had been a second mother to me ever since my Mum and I moved to Hell's Kitchen.
Out in the hallway between the few apartments on the Donnelly's floor, Tommy turned to me, "You working today?" He lifted the collar of his black jacket up, so it covered his neck.
I automatically brushed his hands away, and flattened the collar again. "You look rough enough as it is Tommy," I laughed. "And yeah I was gonna head down there, but stopped here first. I wanted to show you something," I smiled, reaching into my gray messenger bag. I pulled out a photograph and handed it to Tommy.
Tommy looked down at the photo for a few seconds. When he finally looked up at me again, he looked so proud. "You took this? Caitlyn … it's amazing." It was a photograph of Tommy painting, but you couldn't see any part of him except his hand, holding a wooden paintbrush, and poised above a canvas covered in rich colors.
"I hoped you'd like it," I grinned, but shoved away his hand as he tried to give it back, "Nah keep it, you're the one in the picture. And who knows Tommy, maybe your mum will put it on the fridge for you," I teased.
Tommy laughed. He didn't laugh all the time, like Kevin or Shawnie. Or even like Jimmy when he was drunk. I always knew it was because of how hard his life had been. After his dad was killed, Tommy had the weight of his family I and /I his neighborhood on his shoulders. I loved when he laughed though, it was this deep laugh that made him crinkle his eyes. "Want me to walk you to the house with the kids you watch? Where is it anyway?" Tommy asked, turning serious again within seconds, the way he always did.
"No I'm good, you have to get to class anyway," I said, carefully avoiding the second question he had asked. "By the way what were you and your brothers fighting about? Your mum knows something's up," I told him.
"It's nothing. But Caitlyn -" Tommy stopped talking and stared at something behind me.
I turned around, wondering what caught his attention. A black, expensive car rolled up next to the sidewalk where Tommy and I were walking. "Cait, keep going. I'll see you later tonight, come to the Firecracker alright?" Tommy said firmly, distracted by the car. He shoved his hands deep in his pockets and walked toward the car.
"Tommy, wait. Tommy don't be stupid! Don't-" I started urgently. But it was too late, the back door had already opened and Tommy got in. Before I could react, the car was pulling away from the curb and driving down the street far too fast.