Chapter 8: Trust Me
John waited impatiently as the gate opened. As soon as he found that Ghost, he was going to torture him first and then kill him slowly! Because of him, A.J. was dead. They shouldn't have taken up Ghost's suggestion in the first place! It was his fault that he even listened to Ghost! He should have just shot the guy! He had two opportunities and twice he had wasted them.
He got out of his car. He needed to grab the basic essentials, all that he had already prepared and hid in his safe. Then, if Lorraine was still there, then he would take her with him as well. Hopefully she would accept his brief explanation in the car. He frowned when he saw that the front door was ajar. He went in, calling for Lorraine.
He stopped when he saw the mess in the living room. There were drops of blood on the ground and the glass door leading to the swimming pool was destroyed. His insides went cold. Then, he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He took it out and saw that he had a voice mail from an unknown number.
He played the voice mail as he went upstairs to look for Lorraine. But as soon as he heard the voice, he stopped dead in his tracks, his hand clenching tightly around the phone. Ghost's voice said, "John, if you are listening to this message, then I guess you made it out alive. Always knew you were a fighter. Had that in you the first time we met, if you recall." John continued his climb up the stairs, this time more slowly. He opened the door to Lorraine's room.
"Don't bother looking for the girl, John," Ghost said. "She's… in another place. She's a fighter as well. Just like you. Though, not as fierce as you are and a little more… naïve. I guess that is why I kind of liked her."
John went into his room, opening his safe as he held the phone to his ear with his shoulder. "John, this is where you get to choose. Either money or this girl, who, by the way, had a very nice time with me. You know, she always worried about you, John and wondered what secrets you kept. Guess I took opportunity of that moment of weakness. Don't worry. We didn't go far. She stopped me before I could. Preferred you to me." John grabbed a nearby backpack and stuffed all the items in the safe into the bag. He then slung it over one shoulder and went back downstairs.
"The girl is at the pier. You know, the one where we first met. I will be heading to the airport where the money is. Choose wisely, John. God knows how many opportunities you have wasted."
John frowned, thinking back to which pier Ghost meant. Then, he remembered that time so many years ago. That pier was located on the other side of town while the airport was on another side with John's house as a midpoint in between. He decided then and there that he would go after Lorraine. Nothing else mattered except for her.
"By the way, John, looks like your girl was just about to leave," Ghost said. "I left her bags in the kitchen area. I think you would find an interesting present with them." Then, the message ended.
John went to the kitchen. He saw Lorraine's bags there with a huge box beside them. He leaned down and reached out towards the box. Then, he heard the ticking sound and opened the top of the box. He saw the timer counting down. About a minute left. John quickly scrambled to his feet and ran out of the house. He had barely made it pass the gate when the entire house exploded. He flew through the air, landing face first on a patch of grass.
He slowly pushed himself to his feet, shaking his head to clear the stars that he saw dancing in front of his eyes. Slowly, he got up, testing his body to make sure he did not sprain anything. He felt bruised and there was an ache at the back of his head. Other than that, he felt fine.
A crowd begun to gather in front of the burned wreckage of his house. He kept his eyes on the ground, hoping that none of them would notice him. He noticed a young man on a motorbike hover at the edge of the crowd. He slipped silently up behind the man and pushed him off the bike, throwing a wad of cash at him before driving off on the motorbike. He needed to get to Lorraine as fast as he could.
Don't you dare cry, Lorraine! she told herself as she tried to free at least one of her hands from being bound to the chair. She knew she should never have talked to Ghost after that day! There had been enough warning for her! Now, Lily is dead and John may be as well… She choked back a sob. She always brought bad luck to the people she loved and treasured.
Lorraine leaned back in the chair, giving up. The several lengths of rope did not seem to want to loosen themselves at all! Besides, even if she had gotten herself free, she still needed to get rid of the bomb. John… she thought, hoping that he was alright. She felt the pier sway slightly underneath her to the movement of the waves. Even with the impending danger, she felt at peace being this close to the sea.
"Lorraine!" she looked up and saw John standing a few meters away. He took a step towards her.
"No!" Lorraine shouted at him. "Don't! Don't come any closer!" He ignored her warning and came towards her. "I said don't come here! John! Listen to me! Just go after Ghost and leave me here! There is nothing you can do for me!" John continued to ignore her. "John! I said stop! There is a bomb here! Please don't! Don't come any closer! Please!"
But John was already standing in front of her. He cupped her face in her hands and kissed her forehead. He looked down at her and Lorraine saw the pain in his eyes as he took in the injuries she had that were visible. Then he knelt down in front of her and pushed aside the jacket that she wore, looking at the bomb that was strapped to her. There were wires running around her as well. John knew that cutting the wrong wire would make the bomb explode. But if he didn't figure out how to disable it soon enough, the bomb will go off either way.
"Just go, John!" Lorraine pleaded. "There is nothing you can do here. Just go! Please!" She felt his hand touch her face again. "Please, John… Just go…" Her tears ran down her face as she realized how hopeless this situation was.
"Don't worry," John said, making her look at him in the eyes. "Everything will be alright. Just trust me."
He went back to studying the bomb. The timer on the bomb counted out the remaining few minutes that he had. Lorraine watched him as he first cut one wire and then another. Nothing triggered the bomb. But yet none of his efforts stopped the countdown. Feeling her tense up when the timer ticked off yet another minute, John said, "Relax, Lorraine. I know what I am doing."
"I… I am really sorry, John…" Lorraine murmured. "If I had known that I had befriended a madman, I would have steered clear from him! I did not know he was like that. I did not know."
"It is not your fault," John replied. "If… If I had told you the truth, then you wouldn't be in this mess."
"But, John… I… I just seem to bring misfortune to everyone I love. They always seem to die in my arms…"
He placed a finger on her lips to silence her. "Don't say that. Don't blame yourself for anything. I am still alive, ain't I?" He went back to cutting wires.
"Last wire," John said after awhile. The timer read one minute and 30 seconds left. He looked up at Lorraine. "I love you, Raine." He cut the wire. Both of them closed their eyes, expecting the bomb to explode. When it didn't, they both opened their eyes and looked down at the bomb, seeing the LCD screen of the timer black and blank.
John helped remove the bomb from Lorraine and placed it gently on the pier. Then, he cut loose the ropes that bound Lorraine to the chair. As soon as she was free, he helped her to her feet and embraced her, feeling her tears of joy and relief drop onto his back. He held her away a little, smiling as he said, "I am really sorry about what I said yesterday. I… I was just angry at the thought of you leaving me for someone else. I am really sorry." He hugged her again. "Let's go."
They turned to go when they heard something like a beep coming from the pier. John went over to the bomb, turning it over. On the other side was another timer and it was continuing the countdown from where the other timer had stopped. John quickly grabbed the bomb and hurled it into the sea as far as he could. Then, he grabbed Lorraine's hand and they ducked behind a stack of iron containers just as the bomb exploded.
"That bastard!" John growled. "When I find him, I will kill him!" He helped Lorraine to her feet. "I will explain everything on the way to the airport, okay?" I just hope that my love for you would be enough to make you stay once you know the truth… he thought.
Ghost stood over to Gordon. He had lost everything. Everything when he was behind bars. He thought if he had protected his crew, they would do the same for him. But no. He lost Lily to Jake and when he thought he had found someone else to replace her, Lorraine had decided that Loser John was better than him.
Everything he loved and cared for had disappeared while he was in prison. He had not wanted to kill them at first. But when he saw the way Lily had moved on from him, he knew he could not let everything just slide by. There was a limit to how much they could test him. How much they could use him!
He was about to pull the trigger when a shot rang out and he flew backwards. There was pain in his chest. He looked to see John walking towards him, gun leveled at him. John kicked the gun away. It was pointless for him to do that as Ghost could no longer feel his fingers.
"You always were a fighter," Ghost said, his body feeling cold.
"Why did you do it?" John asked, betrayal in his tone. "All of us trusted you! How could you do this to us?"
"You left me to die on that stairwell!" Ghost shouted at him. "Then, Jake had to steal my girl. And when I decided to move on from her, that girl which I started to like decided that she loved you more than she loved me. Loved your sorry ass! I trusted you to keep Lily safe for me! So that when I came back, the both of us could get married! But you… you left her to Jake. Decided that this new friend of ours was better for her than I ever was!"
John shook his head and walked away from Ghost, helping Gordon up. Ghost continued cursing them. But as each second past, his voice sounded softer and raspier until finally he was silent.
"Get the money and let's go," Gordon ordered John, shaking him off as soon as he was standing up. John nodded and grabbed the suitcases. He lent Gordon his shoulder as they both walked away.
Lorraine walked as fast as she could to find Gordon's car. John had told her to find the car while he searched for Gordon. If she heard any gunshots, don't follow the sound at all. Lorraine finally found the car, she reached for the handle and tried to see if the car doors were locked. Her fingers could not grip tightly on the handle and slipped. Lorraine looked at her hands, finding that they were shaking. In fact, her entire body was shaking.
John had told her everything. The truth about his job. The people involved. Who Ghost was. Everything. She told herself that he would be able to handle the truth after how much Ghost had told her. But still, it never was enough to prepare her to hear it coming from John's own lips. She could not believe that that was what he did. That he was a professional shooter. That A.J., the only blood relative she had ever loved, was also involved. But then… A.J. was now dead.
Lorraine sat on the ground. It was shocking. She had never thought they were behind all those elaborate robberies. She had thought that whatever Ghost had told her was most probably a made up tale. But it was true. No wonder there were those calculations on John's table. What do you want to do? she asked herself. She had the option to leave now that John was not here. But…
She loved John. Knowing the truth has shaken her a little, but... She closed her eyes, trying to think. She had never let anyone, who was not blood-related, get close to her as she allowed John to. She had loved him even though she knew he had a lot of flaws in his personality. Then, she realized that she still did love him. That no matter what he did, she would still love him and stick through all the bad times with him.
She slowly got to her feet, feeling renewed by her certainty towards her love for John. She opened the car door and saw Gordon's sister sitting inside, looking worried and afraid. But as soon as Naomi saw who it was, she relaxed a little and said, "Long time no see, sister. Was wondering where you had gone to. Come inside."
Lorraine got in and closed the door behind her. Naomi continued, "G says we will be going home soon. Ain't that nice? I get to see the blue waters again after so long. Will you and John be coming with us?"
"I guess we will…" Lorraine murmured.
The car bounced roughly as it went over a pothole in the road, waking up the two girls who had fallen asleep. Naomi sat up, rubbing her eyes before she leaned forward and asked Gordon whether they were going home. As Gordon answered her, Lorraine looked up at the rear-view mirror to see John looking at her as well through the reflection of the mirror.
She wrapped both arms around him and the car seat, kissing his cheek and murmured, "I love you and trust you." One of his hands reached up and touched the both of hers that were clasped around his neck, feeling the engagement ring that was on her finger. Maybe this was a happy ending for the devil and his innocent angel.
Really sorry if the ending is not satisfying though. Didn't really know what to write...
Thanks for reading the fic so far and thanks for all the reviews! :)