Whenever Bradley Frail had a night off he would get up first in his house. Sometimes he would go out for a run but on most days he would go up to the kitchen and make breakfast for his family. While Summer’s mum Nala was alive this was her job but the kind old woman had been gone for years and it was time for someone else to step up. While Summer spoke about wanting to learn to cook for months now she never got the time to do so and Bradley hadn’t minded at all.
Nala’s kitchen, that had now become his and Summer’s kitchen, was located on the third floor of their grand new house. It had large floor-to-ceiling windows that let the warm early fall sun inside making it a rather beautiful place to be this morning. A smile crept up on Bradley’s face as he thought of the smiling faces of his wife and son when they got up and came upstairs to have breakfast with him.
He thought back of all the times his father made breakfast for him and his siblings. Edmund Frail loved cooking and he always cooked for his family, even if his wife had earned money working in a restaurant. He would do it with a smile on his face, a smile that would only grow wider when he got to see his children creeping out of bed to join him in their kitchen/dinning room. That was before Kari died of course… That changed everything, but mostly it changed his father. He lit up a bit again after his youngest brother Brent had been born but he was never the same… Loosing a child did that to you Brad supposed, at the same time washing he never knew for sure….
And if you try to betray me Bradley, if you as much as think it, I would go and shoot that little boy of yours… Right between the eyes… He has such sweet eyes, did you notice?
The words of his boss ran trough his head and he felt his blood go cold. He felt that way whenever he thought of the damned Susannah Ramsay and that day in the warehouse… He did all he could to forget it… He pretended he was just another normal man, a husband a father… But it came back to him, every time Susannah called and told him she needed him again… It came back in his dreams… The sounds of gunshots… The smell of blood…. The yells and screams… It always left him leaving empty and ashamed.
There were four of them in the warehouse that day. Susannah was there, of course, she was the leader of the gang and Bradley was her bodyguard. He was very pleased with that job when he first got it, him and Summer were just engaged, she was expecting their first child and he would finally be able to provide for them… Back then he had no idea what the job entailed… He knew Susannah was the wife of the golfer Dave Ramsay, he was semi famous and almost rich. And he figured the fact Susannah needed protection was related to his fame. He could not have been more wrong.
It turned out Susannah was an ambitious woman herself. Her goal was to rise to the top of Sunset Valley’s underworld and so she did, using all unsavory means available to her and making her share of enemies on the way. She forced Mortimer Goth into retirement taking over his criminal empire in such a way that the police had no clue and still blamed the old man for everything…
Hollie McHenry was there too, she was Susannah’s financial advisor and Eevee Gradle, who was pretty much a free agent, a con woman who knew her way with guns so Susannah made her tag alone to inspect the quality of the arms shipment they had just received that night. Everything would have ended up the way it usually did, Bradley would be back home in time for Silvester to get home from school….
But then the police came. When he heard the sirens Bradley froze. He couldn’t go to jail… How could he do that to his family? Fear paralysed them all, all but Susannah. She cursed loudly and pulled out a gun from her waistband and proceeded to push open the crate in front of them. She pulled out a gun from there and placed it in Bradley’s hand.
“Take this.” She said and turned away. Bradley felt his heart hammering. The gun was heavy and cold in his outstretched hand. Did she really expect him to shoot? At the police? He didn’t have much time to think. Next thing he knew police officers entered the building. Susannah cursed some more. He looked up at Eevee Gradle, she too had a gun in her hand but was only dubiously looking at it, as if she felt the same way he did…
When he thought back to that moment Bradley would think of what he should have done… He should have taken up that gun and pointed it at Susannah. He knew, deep inside that Eevee would have sided with him… Maybe Hollie too… Maybe they wouldn’t have to shoot it… Maybe the threat would have been enough… They would then surrender and nobody would have been hurt… Sure, he would have gone to jail, his wife would have left him and he might not have been allowed to see his son even when he got out… But Susannah would have gone away too and they would all be safe… And nobody would have died that day.
But Bradley didn’t do it. Instead he watched mutely as the police stormed the building. He saw Lucky’s father… And Sara… Summer’s sister… Susannah started shooting from the holes in the ceiling at the police on the floor bellow. Old man Hoves ran to take cover, Sara ran too… And then one bullet hit her leg… Bradley watched her fall, hitting the floor face first, blood slowly pooling around her… At that point he lounged for Susannah, he needed to stop her… She was startled at first but then she hit him with her elbow straight in the face, he recoiled briefly and as he tried to regain balance a bullet whizzed right in front of his face. Hoves was firing back and more police were storming the building.
“Let’s get out of here!” Eevee screamed and Hollie nodded in agreement.
“Get the crate!” Susannah yelled at them.
“Leave it!” Eevee yelled. “Just forget the crate and lets get out before they get us completely surrounded, we’ll use the tunnel…”
Another bulled got trough the hole. Susannah cursed again.
“Bradley get the crate.” She said. And then she stopped and aimed. The bullet left the barrel of her gun and hit Jesse Hoves straight into his chest. Bradley watched in horror as he fell down and hit the ground with a loud thump.
“Fuck! Why did you that?” Eevee screamed, Susannah turned to her her eyes burning with malice.
“Get the fucking crate Bradley. And all of you get out. I’ll cover you when you are too fucking scared too shoot.” She yelled over the shouts and gunfire one floor bellow. Bradley got the crate as instructed and he followed Eevee and Hollie too an entrance to a hidden tunnel that led away from the building. The image of his first crush’s father being shot trough the chest by the woman he was obliged to protect flashed in front of his eyes. And then there was Sara and all that blood…
Susannah joined them in the truck and told Hollie to drive. She then got in the back with Bradley and the damned crate that had caused all this trouble. She leaned back on her seat and took a deep breath wiping her forehead with the back of her hand.She then leaned forward to Bradley.
“I am so disappointed in you Brad….” She said calmly and Bradley noticed her hand was still gripping the gun. Gun that shot and probably killed two police officers today… A gun that might end his life. Tonight. Strangely he was not afraid… He would die thinking of Summer and Silvester… He wouldn’t have to comfort his wife at her sister’s funeral… He wouldn’t have to live knowing that two people were gone from this world and he had a chance to stop it and didn’t… So he faced Susannah with equal calm, not even blinking.
“I was told you were very intelligent. A valedictorian…” She stared at him. Bradley stared back. “You have been working for me for years now… You must know what I do.” Bradley said nothing. “And if you do… Then you might have figured out the police and I would not be on so good terms… And if you are the one guarding me, then you would have to guard me from them? Right?”
“I was never told I would have to shoot innocent people.” Bradley said calmly.
“Well if they are shooting at me… Then it is kinda implied. Don’t you think?” Bradley just stared back. She sighed. She looked away briefly, still gripping the gun that lay across her lap. After a moment she turned back to Bradley. “What you did there was a mistake… It could have costs all our freedoms, even our lives… I don’t want you working as my bodyguard anymore…” Bradley’s gut clenched but on the outside he remained emotionless. Summer and Silvester. Summer and Silvester. He repeated in his head summoning their smiling faces.
“I just can’t feel safe around you anymore Bradley, you understand?” Susannah continued. “So I’ll give you another job… A promotion.” She said and smiled. “How would you feel becoming my getaway driver? You would just drive, no need for shooting.” She still grinned and Bradley finally let his emotions show. She laughed. “I see you are confused… There would be an upgrade to your salary of course…” When Bradley still didn’t move she looked at the gun in her hand and laughed again.
“Oh you thought I was going to shoot you, didn’t you? Well I must admit I toyed with the idea… But I think I can use you further still… And now I know what you are thinking you’ll go to the police… You are brave and noble, you would be ready to do the time as long as I am right there next to you… But I don’t think you should do that Bradley Frail because you see I know you. I know where you live… I know your darling family… And if you try to betray me Bradley, if you as much as think it, I would go and shoot that little boy of yours… Right between the eyes… He has the sweetest eyes, did you notice?”
/* I know I’ve probably bored you to death with Jesse Hoves death but I figured in a small, peaceful community like Sunset Valley somebody getting shot would be a great deal for everyone. I also wanted to show the event from both the police point of view and the criminals point of view.
Also if you read Raid and recovery this is the same event as the one described there so don’t get confused Sara does survive but Bradley had not known it at the time.
Thank you all for reading! Any feedback is as always very welcome. :)*/