Title: THE BODYGUARD
Summary: The death of their parents broke Taylor and Zac apart. Each of them went his own way of life, Taylor became a famous superstar and never thought that his profession would bring his life in danger someday. Blade (Zac) buried the past and lived his life contentedly in his dark and dirty world as a pimp. Because of some unexpected circumstances Blade got hired as Taylor's bodyguard and the brothers saw each other for the first time after almost a decade. How will they find a way to each other again after the past had put thick walls between them?
Authors Notes: Hey everyone, here's Chapter 19. Sorry for the delay. Hope you like it.
PS.: Please use the Chapter Overview or our inserted Links which will forward you to the next Chapter in the right order.
I spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch in the Living room snuggling in a pile of soft pillows with Bandito snuggled on my lap. I read a tragic love novel to think of something else than Natalie's death. I've always had a soft spot for tragic and romantic stories, maybe because I think that romance has become so rare and underrated these days. To perfect the atmosphere I had lit up a few white candles in the house for a comforting atmosphere because I liked the warmth that they radiate. They made things seem like dreamlike.
In the meantime Zac installed the monitoring cameras and the new door locks in the house. I was so occupied with my romantic novel that I didn't even notice that he also fixed some other technical things in the house.
I tried to focus on the room on the book and where I was. You know how sometimes when you wake up you cannot figure out what is going on? That's how I felt, confused, dazed, not quite placing reality. Since my wife's death everything had become a blur.
Several times I tried to call her parents. Even though I had no idea how to explain to them what happened to their daughter, I knew that I couldn't procrastinate to call them personally. I couldn't get them on the phone though, probably they were already on the way to here. I knew that the police had already informed Nat's parents last night.
Actually, I thought Zac and me wouldn't talk anymore for the rest of the day, but after he was finished installing, he suddenly came to me, looking nervous, his forehead was sweaty.
"Do you have some candy in the house?" He asked, breathing heavily. I quickly laid my book aside.
What the hell was going on now?
"No, I don't think so." I shook my head frowning, confused about what was going on with him.
"Come on Taylor, you must have something somewhere!" He pressed, turned around and hurried into the kitchen where he began to rummage around in the kitchen cabinets as if there was no tomorrow.
Was he on drugs? What the fuck is wrong with him?
Bandito jumped down from my lap, so I stood up and we followed him.
"I have some sugar therein," I said, pointed to one of the kitchen cupboards in which I had my coffee utensils.
He hastily opened it and took a little plastic case out of it. Slowly, he began to scare me, his behaviour wasn't normal anymore!
Zac was still breathing hard, as he threw hastily the lid from the case away.
"That's not fucking real sugar Taylor, that's fucking saccharin!" He groaned, rolled his eyes which suddenly had an angry glint.
"I don't use real sugar for my coffee," I shrugged and frowned at him.
"Whatever," was all he said, tilted his head backwards, opened his big mouth and tossed the complete content into it. He smiled creepily as it went down his throat.
Was he having a sugar orgasm or something?
I didn't know what to think about his creepy, strange behaviour to be honest. Thankfully, he at least seemed to calm down after that.
"I can make something to eat for you and Bandito," I offered him. Who knows? Maybe he was just hypoglycemic...
He nodded and I thought he would go out of the kitchen as I began to take out some groceries out of the fridge, but instead, he walked closer to me and didn't move away a bit as I opened the drawer to take out the cutlery.
"Why are you standing so close to me now?!?" I raised an eyebrow at him, his sudden closeness made me feel uncomfortable.
How shall I fucking cook that way?!?
"Listen Taylor, I'm here to protect you, so stop asking questions finally!"
I didn't get him. Obviously, he didn't trust me. I wasn't planning to kill myself anymore, but how could I make him believe that? It was probably useless either way. I gave in and opened the kitchen cabinet in which my aprons were. I loved cooking and it would have been a pleasure to me to cook something for my younger brother if I wasn't in sorrow about my pregnant wife and had to expect that Blade might kill me any minute. I always felt tensed around him even though he prevented me from committing suicide. My movements probably looked probably stiff. Silently I took a red apron out of the kitchen cabinet, it was one that my wife gave me. I unfolded it with care like the soft cotton could tear apart. The apron was dainty, it did little to protect my clothes but Natalie said I look pretty in it. It was a natural instinct to treat things with care, even more now that those belongings were remnants and pieces of memory of my dead wife.
"My wife gave me that apron," I said thoughtfully and stroked tenderly over the cotton before I took the ribbons and held the apron against my waist. "Could you please make a loop on my back?" I asked him, turned around and held up the ribbons to my sides. He wordlessly took them and pulled them around my waist before making a knot instead of a loop. It was a secure knot and a little tight but I didn't complain. Silently I made lunch for him and Bandito with his awkward closeness around me.
A while later, we were sitting at the table in the living room, my brother was busy gobbling the pasta I cooked for him. Somehow, he didn't look very much different than his dog when he was eating. They even both had similar looking werewolf teeth with which they scrunched away their meals.
I still couldn't understand how his dog was so kind and well-disposed though, Blade seemed so cold and emotionless and I wondered if he was always like that.
Was it my fault that he became that person he was today?
I still wasn't able to eat anything after yesterday's events and I was glad that he didn't force me to eat something.
I decided to try to avoid conflicts as much as I could, even though I knew that Blade wasn't interested in getting to know me anymore. I just couldn't tell him to go away anyway. That wouldn't be right from me. So apparently we both had to bear our common awkward company for now.
He was almost finished scooping the lunch into his body when the doorbell rang.
"That's surely Skye!" I piped up.
He put the plate away, burped loudly and stood up.
"Stay away from the door Taylor, I'm gonna go and open it." He ordered, took the cutlery with him and walked into the bathroom next to the front door.
He came out of it again a few seconds later and opened the door.
But instead of Skye, I could hear Andrew's voice from outside and I suddenly began to feel nervously.
There seemed to be a tension between Andrew and my brother which I had experienced yesterday and I wasn't sure what might happen if they would meet again. Just because I wasn't planning to stab myself to death with a fork and a kitchen knife didn't mean my gangster brother wouldn't behave mischievously...
So I had to do something quick!
I jumped up from my seat and hurried towards the front door as well.
"Hi Taylor, I'm here to pick you up. Skye just came home, he's already waiting for you." Andrew greeted me friendly like usual, at least he didn't seem to be mad today.
The peace didn't last long though...
"So you're thinking that I can't do that job alone?!" My brother angrily turned around to me as I got closer to him. Obviously, he was everything else than delighted about my evening plans without him. Fuck! I should have known that he would take it that way!
Hastily, I wrote down a note with the address of Skye's and Andrews house on a piece of paper to not lengthen the situation even more than necessary and handed the note in his free hand.
I was glad that Andrew didn't retort something, before mount Zachary would explode again.
"No, I'm just gonna spend a few hours with Skye and him this evening. I don't need you to babysit me all day long. You can pick me up there around midnight, ok?" It took me a while to unknot the knot that he made at my apron and I was getting nervous. Blade was very good at making secure knots. I didn't know what he was thinking when I took my jacket from the wardrobe, coz he didn't reply. I could only hope that he wouldn't see the evening as a proof for my mistrust. I didn't want the situation to become even more bad, so I hurriedly walked out of the door.
Maybe, I was too optimistic with my belief...
"Fine. Then piss off, that's what you can do best anyway." My brother suddenly called after us and slammed the door with a loud bang.
I stood there in a daze for a moment. It was the very first time he had mentioned something about our past, without me asking about it. For a moment, I was contemplating to go back.
What the fuck shall I do?
"Do you want me to talk with him, Taylor?" Andrew brought me out of my thoughts as he laid his hand on my back.
He had showed me very clearly that he didn't want to get reminded of our old lives anymore...
I sighed. Trying to sound tough I said "no thanks Andrew, it wouldn't make sense. Let's go." I tried to shrug Zac's remark off me even though I knew I was running away from him. Again.
I could read in Andrew's expression that he clearly wasn't satisfied about my answer, but thankfully he accepted my decision so we walked to his car and got in.
"You don't look good Taylor, are you alright?" Andrew asked worried after he gave me a quick once over. He started the engine and steered his car out of the driveway.
"I've seen better days." I answered, absently looking back to the door, still contemplating if I did the right thing. I knew that I looked probably like a picture of misery and more pale than the white walls from my house, but who the fuck could blame me for that?!
"Tell me, how does your brother treat you? Is he always like that?"
"He is the weirdest person I've ever met, but he does his job." Was all I answered and tucked some long strands of hair behind my ears in hope to not look like a total mess anymore. I didn't want Andrew to dislike my brother even more than he already probably did, so I tried to assure him that everything was alright.
We arrived a few minutes later, Skye was already waiting for us at the front door, excitedly waving and smiling like a school girl as he saw us arriving.
He hugged me as if he didn't see me for years, Skye was always like that. I felt a little better and lighter now, without the awkward company of my brother and hoped that I could forget my worries for the next few hours. I was already hurting all day, I kept on thinking about Natalie and Alexandria the whole day, they were always in the back of my head, but I couldn't do anything to get them back. It felt like I was imprisoned in a world without them. They were taken away from me in the most cruel and unfair imaginable way...
I sighed, and then there was Blade... my long lost brother Zachary whom I left behind, who wasn't the person anymore that I had known a long time ago...
I blinked my eyes repeatedly to not begin to cry again. I needed to compose myself, I didn't want to give Skye more worries about me. And most of all, I didn't want Andrew to think that I was hurting because of what Zachary had said to me earlier.
We went outside in their garden and sat down on a few garden chairs on their porch.
Because of my busy life on tour, I had almost forgotten how amazingly beautiful the sunsets here in Pasadena were, especially at this time of the year. For me, most of the time the road feels like home.
If I wouldn't feel so scattered these days, I would surely take the time to catch the beautiful sight of the sunset on the horizon with one of my cameras...
I love the sight of a pretty sunset...
The next few hours passed by with my two best friends. Skye was busy talking about his experiences with the media from the past few hours. They had already gotten the news about my wife's death, he said that I had to expect press furore at every time from now on. Skye was talking about some comments about me and Natalie's death in the daily newspaper when suddenly my phone rang. I pulled it out of my trouser pocket and looked on the display to see who was calling, I sighed heavily. It was Pam, Natalie's Mam. I was expecting her parents call, even though at the same time, I still had no idea how to explain or how to start. With sweaty palms, I pressed the answer button.
"Hello Pam?" Usually, I would call her Mam, but to be honest, I wasn't even sure if I still had the right to call her that way. I was nervous, but the small amount of alcohol I drank gave me some courage to utter the words calmly and collectedly.
"Taylor, I just want to let you know that my husband and Matt are now on the way to California. We will arrive tomorrow afternoon in Pasadena, we will probably stay in a hotel for a week. We will come to your house probably around 4 pm to pick up Natalies clothes. All of us wanted to see her for the last time. We will have to talk with you about some arrangements after her memorial ceremony, but not via phone."
I swallowed. It sounded to me as if they had already made decisions about everything. I didn't want to cut Natalie off from my life from one day to another, but to be honest I didn't know if I had the right to deny her belongings to them. I wasn't even sure if they blamed me for their daughter's death that I didn't fulfill my part of the expected duties as her husband coz they knew how much time I spent on touring and that it wasn't unusual for Nat and me that we didn't see each other for weeks, sometimes even months over the year...
All I knew was that, it was definitely not the right time to argue with them about things like that.
Usually, I would have offered them to stay at Nat's and my home, but I couldn't ask them if they would want to sleep in a house in which their daughter got killed the other day, I could already imagine how their answer would be.
Pam's voice was filled of grief as she said, "'I still can't believe it, she's so young! She didn't deserve it!'
I searched for words as I listened to her crying, anything which might spend her a little comfort, even though I didn't even know if those words existed... as I suddenly heard her father's voice in the line, but I could still hear Pam crying in the background.
"Taylor, we need to talk about everything that happened once we arrived. We wanted to know every detail and we want that bastard to be arrested as soon as possible." The anger mixed with anguish was clearly audible in his voice. Somehow, his tone gave me a feeling that he was blaming me for what happened. I couldn't judge them for thinking that way though, coz I also blamed myself...
All I could do was to grip my phone tightly as Nats' Dad James was trying to calm Pam down. Andrew and Skye must have noticed my nervousness, Skye took my free hand and Andrew laid his arm around my back. I knew in that moment that I wasn't alone. My two best friends were here at my side. I wasn't sure if Nat's parents blamed me but I knew that Skye and Andrew didn't. They would stick by me no matter what.
Their sympathy gave me the strength to finish the phone call without losing my composure. We silenced for a while after I hang up. None of them did prompt or push me to talk, even after I got myself a new bottle of beer and drank half of it, something I appreciated more than I had words to express.
I hugged both of them once I felt calm down enough to talk. I was so grateful to have these two.
"So, her parents will arrive here tomorrow?" Skye eventually ended the silence with a look of commiseration.
"Yes, they will stay here for a week for Nat's memorial ceremony." I pathetically answered him, absently peeling off the label of the beer bottle with my nails. I felt so fucking guilty and helpless. It was hard to speak out these things already, they felt so bitter in my mouth. I needed to feel better so I drank the rest of the content.
"Is it ok, if I will arrange the matters for her memorial ceremony, Tay? I think you need to take a rest before you meet her parents. When I can arrange big concerts for you, I can also arrange this for you. If you'll let me." Skye intertwined his fingers with mine.
I thankfully agreed to him, if there was one person who was able to arrange those matters decently, it was Skye. Furthermore, the call from her parents and the upcoming meeting gave me enough headache already, I was wondering what Pam meant when she was talking about the arrangements after Natalie's memorial ceremony.
I didn't want to ruin the evening for Skye and Andrew because of my misery. I was glad that they helped me to find some relaxation. So I stood up to get myself another beer and tried to distract myself for the rest of the evening...
"Didn't you drink enough already, Tay?," Skye asked carefully with a worried expression as I once again staggered back to my chair from the icebucket in which they had stored a few beer bottles.
I knew that I drank more beer on this evening than I actually should, but it didn't seem important to me currently to be honest. I so badly needed to sooth my nerves this evening.
"Allow him to enjoy some relaxation Skye." Andrew interjected, stood up and helped me getting back to my chair.
"My wife got killed yesterday and now my little brother is my bodyguard, who wouldn't drink himself into oblivion in that situation?!" I slurred miserably before taking another long sip from the bottle.
Everything that might help me to numb my pain, at least for a while couldn't be bad...
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