A/N: It lives....Wow, I can't believe it's been nearly a year since I updated this....and all of the others, said sheepishly. It had been so long that I had to reread and, in doing so, I confused myself and ending up tweaking a few things. So I re-uploaded all of the chapters but I just realized that I replaced the old ones before running spell check on the new ones. Crap. So while I may have caught the old typos and crazy punctuation choices, there could now be new ones. lol. They may take a little time to get updated on the site anyway, so I'll go back and do that as soon as I hit the old "publish" button on this chapter.
Also, no Ryan, Sandy or Seth in this one. I had a little trouble getting going after I had Jimmy show up at the jail in the previous chapter. What was I thinking?! lol. I had half a notion to punk out and have him only thinking that last line in his head and not actually saying it but when I tried writing that I just couldn't make any headway. So, after stepping away again for a while and then coming back and taking another stab at it, this is what happened.
At any rate, sorry that after the incredibly long wait I was unable to work Ryan into this chapter but he, Sandy and Seth will be back in the next one, along with more Trey (and Kirsten). I have a basic outline for that and many ideas churning in my little head.
"Is that so?", Trey responded after a beat, his face hardening instantly.
Jimmy swallowed convulsively. The words still echoed in his head and he couldn't believe he had just blurted it out like that. It had been easy to find out his boy's name and who adopted him since he was one of the parties involved but he hired someone else to find out the details about the family and where they currently were. Quicker than expected, the private investigator had placed the information in his hands. He was ashamed at seeing how little it took to find his son and wished he had done it sooner. Especially after learning of the hard life he'd had. Current environment proof of that. From what the private investigator said in the report, according to people who grew up with him, Trey had known he was adopted from a very young age. He expected to be met with anger but was unprepared for just how it felt to be on the receiving end of that cold stare. He should have written a letter or something first and given the boy time to take it in and decide if he wanted to see him. "Look, uh....I'm sorry. I came on the spur of the moment. I...I shouldn't have. I should have thought it through and contacted you a different way. It's just that I got the information about where you were and......here I am."
"Ok. So what do you want?", Trey asked, wondering why, after all of this time, his dear old dad decided to look him up. First Mr. Cohen checking up on him and now....him.
"I....I just wanted to see you. I've thought about you....", he stopped as Trey shook his head and held up a hand.
"Don't. Don't fucking sit there and tell me how much you've thought about me. Why are you here? Why now, after all of these years? What. Do. You. Want?", he bit out. "First Mr. Cohen. Now you? Who's next? My kindergarten teacher?"
Jimmy blinked. "Sandy was here?"
Trey's eyes narrowed. "You know him?"
"Yes. He...he's my neighbor. He lives next door to me", Jimmy confirmed. "In Newport", he added absently.
Newport, huh? He took a closer look at the man before him, with his his two hundred dollar haircut and manicured nails. Dude probably never did a hard days work in his life. So money clearly wasn't the reason he was passed off to someone else to raise. He wondered if his mother was well off, too. Maybe he could work with this. "I didn't know Mr. Cohen lived in Newport", he stated lightly, trying to work out just how he should play this.
"Yeah. Yeah, he does. He and....his wife. And son", Jimmy said, trying to keep the conversation going but not wanting to give too much away yet. He was happy to see a shift in Trey's body language, if not a little puzzled by it. "How...how do you know Sandy?"
"He was my PD. Mine and my brother, Ryan's. He's been helping Ryan out and came by to let me know what's going on with him", Trey stated. "You know him? My brother?"
"The Ryan Sandy brought home a few months ago?", he asked, surprised.
"One in the same", Trey replied.
"Huh. Small world. I never met him but my daughter mentioned him. I didn't know his last name, though, so I didn't put it together when I read the information I found out about you", Jimmy said, then winced internally, after realizing he'd just inadvertently mentioned that he had another child. Luckily, Trey seemed to take it well.
Trey's eyebrows raised. "I have a sister?"
Jimmy smiled a little uncertainly. "Two, actually. Half sisters. Marissa is about a year younger than you and Kaitlin is 10."
Cataloging the information, he fishes for something on his mother. "So you and my....mother aren't together?"
Jimmy shifted uncomfortably, unsure if it was his place to reveal who she was. "No. No, we split up when.....", he trailed off, realizing how bad it sounded.
"When she got knocked up", Trey finished flatly.
"Trey, it's complicated", he leaned forward. "If we had stayed together we would have never given you up but....we were young. Just out of high school, and our parents were dead set against it. They pressured us to give you up for adoption. Kirs....", he clamped his mouth shut. Jesus. There he went again. He closed his eyes and took a breath. "....your mother....she wanted to keep you but I....I have to be honest with you. I'm not proud of it but my parents threatened to cut me off...and when I didn't stand by her, she lost her resolve and her parents took control. If you ever meet your grandfather, you'll understand that he's not an easy man to defy."
Trey was silent a moment before he sat back with an unreadable expression on his face. He could understand the choice. Hell, if it came down to money or a kid he'd take the money hands down. "So.....my mother...she had money, too?"
Jimmy, for some reason unbeknown to him, rushed to defend her, taking the question as a negative. Feeling Trey faulted her for having money and not keeping her on her own. "Her family did. But, as I said, they pressured her to give you up. They held all of the purse strings for her, too. You have to understand.....her father is a powerful man. A pillar of the community. He has a way of getting what he wants. I think it was him and his wife that convinced my parents to threaten to cut me off......she's never been the same. Not since she gave you up." He hated hurting her back then. He did love her but he didn't think he was ready to be a father. In the end, it didn't really take much to persuade him against it. He hated confrontation. One mention of losing his trust fund and his decision was made. He pushed Kirsten out of his mind when she'd been sent away and went on as normal. Julie was the only girl that would give him the time of day at the time and was always turning up wherever he was, it seemed, and before he knew it they were dating regularly. Despite the jokes flying around, after Kirsten, he had learned his lesson. He hadn't jumped into bed with her without thinking. He used a condom at first but then Julie went on the pill, but no method is foolproof. Somehow, Julie ended up pregnant and he ended up being a father anyway. He either had the worst luck in the world or his sperm were just highly motivated swimmers. He shook himself from his thoughts and cleared his throat, turning his attention back to Trey.
Trey leaned forward and looked down at the table top, partially to hide the smirk he was unable to stop. The more he heard, the better it got. Not only was his biological father from money, his mother was as well. Loaded, from the sounds of it.
"Trey?", Jimmy asked worriedly, wondering if he'd said too much.
Trey looked up, hint of a smile still on his face. "Look, I get it. I do. Having your parents threatening to kick you to the curb? I'm no stranger to that." He sat back in his chair again and shrugged. "What's done is done. Can't change it now." He glanced down again, rubbing a circle on the table. He could do something about his future, though. He raised his head and met Jimmy's searching gaze. Ryan wasn't the only one who could turn on the sad puppy dog eyes. "Tell me about her. Tell me about my mother."
Kirsten pushed away from her desk, unable to concentrate. She couldn't stop thinking about Sandy and Seth...and Ryan. She looked at her watch. They probably already picked him up and took him home with them. She had been tempted to show up at the hospital and offer to help but it was still too soon. She knew if she changed her tune too quickly Sandy and Seth would question her sincerity, so she'd simply backed off and given them space. It was difficult but she sucked it up when Sandy informed her that he'd found an apartment and that Seth would be living with him. She bit her tongue so hard she tasted blood when Sandy added that he'd convinced the social worker to allow Ryan to stay with him as well. She knew if she pushed it and demanded Seth stay with her, she'd only alienate them further. At this point, she felt Sandy was a lost cause. When they'd come by the house to pick up some things, Sandy would barely look at her. Maybe in time, if she played things right, he could forgive her but she was through begging. Sandy's mind was made up about Ryan, so she focused on Seth, and the only way she was going to get back on his good side was to treat Ryan better than she had been. He barely met her eyes, too, when he packed up his things ,but she had caught him looking at her with a sad look on his face. Sad was better than anger. She could work with sad. She just had to bide her time and play nice until she could come up with some other way to get rid of Ryan. Dawn was proving to be quite elusive. Apparently, poor people were extremely hard to track since they didn't leave much of a trail, usually paying with cash.
She stood and walked to the window. Her thoughts turned to Jimmy. What did she want to do about him? How much did she want him to suffer? Julie and the girls were gone, but that wasn't really much of a punishment. She was the catalyst for his current financial predicament, with her constant spending. However, if Julie stayed true to gold digging form she'd try to take the house in the divorce and bleed him dry. Not that there would be much to bleed. Julie was in for a rude awakening, she chuckled to herself before pursing her lips in annoyance. Julie. They had been friends. Or so she thought. Julie's family didn't have money and she wasn't readily accepted in the circles she wanted desperately to be a part of. She went to Newport Union and worked on the pier after school and Kirsten and Jimmy had befriended her, inviting her out to movies and parties. Setting her up on dates. Julie hadn't made it a secret to them that she wanted to marry up. She wanted to live like Kirsten and Jimmy did. Especially after getting a taste of the high life hanging out in their homes. She knew how much Kirsten loved Jimmy but the second she was out of the picture she didn't waste any time getting her money grubbing hands on him. Accidental pregnancy my ass, Kirsten thought. She wouldn't be surprised if Julie herself had started the rumor mill churning when she got pregnant, forcing his parents' hand and pushing for marriage in order to lessen the sordid gossip at back to back pregnancy scandals.
No, Julie wasn't going to have any sort of a payday if she could help it. If she turned Jimmy in for fraud and embezzling funds maybe all of his property and assets would be seized before Julie had a chance to benefit from a settlement. It would be tough on the girls but she never liked them much anyway. They were spoiled rotten. A little toughening up would do them good.
She smiled. She may not have much control over her own life right now but being in control of someone else's felt good. She was beginning to understand why her father relished it.
Trey made his way back to his cell and laid down on his bed, quietly pondering all he'd learned from his biological father. He snorted. What a spineless douche bag. He'd told him about how he met his wife and told him about his sisters. They sounded like a bunch of privileged brats. He told him that his mother had married someone she met in college and that they had a son but not much more than that. He remained vague, not giving her name, no matter how many times he tried to get him to slip like he nearly had earlier. From that, he knew the general sound it started with. It began with a "K" or a "C"....Christy?....Kristen....Kirstie?....he'd figure it out. He had enough information that he could call in a favor from someone on the outside and do a little digging. How hard could it be to find out who Jimmy Cooper's high school sweetheart was? Who her father was, considering what a "powerful" "pillar" of the community he was. He let out a breath and smiled. The Atwood luck was finally changing.
to be continued...