Hi y'all! So this next chapter might be a tad repetitive of the movie, but I tried mixing it up a bit. I'm also not planning on having one of those "It's the same exact script just a different setting" type of fics, so this will be the last chapter that somewhat follows along with the film. Promise. Enjoy!
As soon as she slid into her cotton pajama shorts and oversized v-neck, Lisa felt the familiar wave of fatigue hit her. All she wanted was to crawl into her temporary king size bed and sleep for days and days, but of course that wasn't an option. In fact, she couldn't remember the last time she had slept in without any immediate obligations weighing on her mind. Probably sometime in her early teenage years, but even then she was always anxious about exams and friends. Life just seemed to be one long tiring to-do list, but to be honest she didn't know what she would do without the structure. It kept her going and - most importantly - kept the memories from surfacing. So it was with understood, if reluctant acceptance that Lisa set her alarm and climbed into bed.
She had hardly closed her eyes before she heard a knock on the door. She pushed her head into her pillow and groaned, determined to ignore whoever it was and sleep through it. But after the knock came two more times, Lisa's people pleasing skills clicked into place and she pulled herself out of bed toward the door.
When she opened it, she was nothing but surprised to see Jackson standing there with one arm raised as if to knock again. He was still in his suit and although he looked just as handsome as he did a half hour ago, he seemed appropriately abashed to see her in her pajamas. Lisa in return was just as embarrassed to be seen in such little clothing and kept the door cracked so only her head peered through. "Oh!" She looked down at herself and smiled nervously. "I'm sorry, I was just headed to bed." Please get the hint.
He let his hand drop to his side and stumbled over his words a bit. "I'm sorry, I…I just, I didn't mean to bother you. I guess I didn't realize how late it had gotten."
"It's fine!" Please let me sleep. "What can I do for you?"
"I was hoping I could come in for a second, actually. I won't stay long, I promise."
Lisa hesitated. Alarms started ringing in her head, but she was trying to quickly rationalize what the appropriate response should be. She absolutely did not want to be alone in a room, half dressed and defenseless with a man she hardly knew. On the other hand, he seemed incredibly polite and good-natured and she highly doubted he meant her any harm. And she didn't want to disappoint him by letting her irrational feelings get in the way and telling him to leave. Her nerves won out in the end, though, as she knew they would. "Um…maybe we could wait 'til we get to the airport tomorrow to finish our conversation? If you don't mind, I mean. I've had a pretty long day."
He looked insistent, though. "I know this is incredibly out of line, but I was really hoping we could talk just for another moment. Please."
Lisa couldn't help the small sigh that passed her lips as she opened the door wider to let him pass. There's really no point in trying to sleep now anyway. Jackson thanked her and walked to the center of the room, turning to face her as the door closed. She took a few steps towards him but was sure to keep her distance and remain between him and the only exit. She folded her arms uncomfortably trying to conceal as much of herself as possible, becoming increasingly aware of how much skin her t-shirt was showing. "So…" she started. "What's up?"
He didn't say anything. He looked much more relaxed than just a few seconds ago when he was out in the hallway, his hands in his pockets and his feet shoulder-width apart. The silence filled the space and seemed to quench all of the oxygen in the room. Eventually his stare became too uncomfortable for Lisa to handle and she held herself tighter, looking at anything and everything but the man in front of her. She was just about to ask him to leave when finally, a full two minutes later, he spoke.
"Your father…you and him are close?"
She didn't know what she was expecting of this visit but it certainly wasn't a conversation about her father. "Um…yeah, I suppose so."
"I have something you might want to take a look at." And with that he drew his right hand out of his pocket and threw a small square onto the bed.
Lisa felt her heart beat faster, realizing with clear and immediate panic that letting this man into her room was a mistake. She stared at him for a moment longer before walking numbly to the bed. A glance was all she needed to recognize the engraved leather wallet lying there, forming a faultless indent in the hotel's comforter. She gasped, her hand flying to her mouth and the familiar stinging pricking the edges of her eyes. Her brain tried to rationalize what was happening but failed, the initial shock starting to set in.
"Where did you get that?" She was surprised at how demanding her voice sounded, what with her brain not working at the moment.
"My partner grabbed it off of your father's desk, right next to…I believe it was your graduation picture."
Lisa's breath caught in her throat. He'd been in her father's house. He'd taken something of his, something personal. She was trying to piece everything together when he spoke again.
"JR," he said, identifying the small silver inscription on the corner of the wallet, "Joe Reisert. Definitely his initials. But hey, mine too. Jackson Rippner. Doesn't take much to convince someone this is mine." Lisa snapped her head up to meet his stare. His eyes seemed so much colder than before; she couldn't understand how she ever found them beautiful. He made sure he had her attention before he continued. "Tell anyone, and your dad dies."
Dizziness and a nauseous fear overtook her and she shook her head in confusion. "I don't…I don't understand…"
"Charles Keefe. Recognize him?"
Instinct told her to play dumb. "No."
Jackson cocked his head in a strange side nod. "You should, seeing as he's currently on his way to your hotel."
"Have you done something to my father?"
"No. And it will stay that way as long as you keep playing along."
Lisa closed her eyes, trying to hold back the tears threating to spill at an alarming rate. "What do you want from me?"
"I need you to use your managerial pull to move Keefe from room 3825 to suit 4080. I'll leave the details to you, you just sell it."
"No, you don't understand, I don't have that kind of authority, I-"
"Well I happen to know that you do, and I happen to know that you're the only one who can get it done by the time I need it done."
Lisa stared blankly at the bed again, trying to figure a way out of this. What did he want with Keefe? Who was this man? Why was he threatening her family? Her mind was racing, but the one thought that was consistently pressing at her was- run. But she was staring at the wallet again and the thought of finding her father dead when - if - she got home kept her rooted to the spot. She eventually forced herself to ask the question she was afraid she already knew the answer to. "Are you going to…" her hands clenched tightly and she closed her eyes, pushing herself to finish the sentence. "Are you going to kill Keefe?"
"That's not something you need to worry about. All I need you to do is bottle the emotion, sit down, and call your friends at the Lux. It's simple, Leese. Let's not make this any more difficult than it needs to be."
"I'm not going to be a part of this, I won't let you kill an innocent man."
"I don't think you have too much of a say. You know, I'm surprised. For someone who claims to have such a great relationship with her father you don't seem to be worrying too much about him."
"How do I know you haven't already hurt him?"
Jackson took a step closer to her, and by now he was within arms reach. "Well the last time I heard he was sitting in the tv room eating leftover lasagna and watching the comedy marathon." Lisa choked at hearing this, as it was exactly the kind of thing her father would be doing. "Relax, Leese." He continued. "By now my guy is probably back in his silver beamer parked outside 9321, Blossom Palms Lane? He's sitting in the dark listening to a little smooth jazz while he sharpens his twelve inch K-bar….that's a knife, Leese."
And suddenly, with an unexpected vividness, she knew she couldn't make the call. She was shaking uncontrollably and crying, but for the first time since he came into the room she was able to think clearly. Making the phone call would end a man's life, as would denying Jackson the task. But Lisa prided herself on morality, and there was nothing less moral than getting involved in a murder no matter how reluctant one was. Her father came first, and admittedly she counted her own safety as a close second, but there was no way she was going to let Keefe die without a fight.
She met Jackson's gaze and mustered as much authority as she could given the current situation. "I wanna talk to my dad."
"Sure. After you make the call."
"No. I want to know he's ok right now or I don't call anybody."
Jackson stared at her, weighing his options. The silence seemed to go on forever, but unlike last time Lisa held her gaze. Finally he pursed his lips and walked past her to the desk where her purse sat, brushing her shoulder as he went. He pulled out her phone and dialed for her, putting it in her outstretched palm. "Thirty seconds."
And God did those thirty seconds go fast.
With every repeated ring, Lisa became more certain that her father was lying in a pool of his own blood in front of a flashing, laughing television. Her heart was beating uncontrollably and she turned her body away from the terrifying man in her room so he would see the tears stream silently down her face.
Finally, a lifetime later, she heard the blessed sound of her dad on the other line. "Hello?"
There was a pause. "Leese? Everything alright?"
Lisa let out a huge sigh of relief and from the briefest of moments thought about warning him. But the thought passed in a wave of sense. "Yeah, I'm fine I just…I couldn't sleep, I thought I would check in."
"You have a long day tomorrow honey, you should try and rest. There's a comedy marathon on channel 90, try watching that for a while it'll put you right to sleep."
He's watching the comedy marathon. "Yeah, good idea. I'll-" But before she could get any other words out Jackson ripped the phone from her ear and snapped it shut. Lisa tried reaching for it but instead directed her hands to cover her face.
"Happy? I hope that's a yes because that's the best I can do. I don't lie, Leese, so you'll know I'm being honest when I say nothing good can come of you fighting me. Now…" He flipped the phone open again and redialed, this time grabbing her wrist until she was forced to open her fingers and accept the device. "Let's get this over with."
Let me know what you think! Next chapter will get into some actiony type stuff, and hopefully I can have some fun with it since Jackson and Lisa are in private and he can be angry whenever he wants. Review review review!