Driven by the strangle of vainI'm not really listening. I'm playing music in my head while I try to quiet the waves of frustration and fear rolling through my brain. It's not working, nothing is working and I'm forced to drop back into the present, into my chair in the flames in front of Caleb while he paces back and forth in front of me, annoyed that I interrupted his plans with family business.
Showing no mercy, I'll do it again
Open up your eyes
You keep on crying, baby I'll bleed you dry
Skies are beneath me
I see a storm bubbling up from the sea
And it's coming closer
And it's coming closer
You shock my bones,
Leaving me stranded all in love on my own
What do you think of me?
Where am I now, baby where do I sleep?
Feels so good when I'm home
2000 years of chasing taking its toll
Have you asked him how he feels?
He's feeding me your answers. Too much time with you. I don't like it.
John is well compensated for his loyalty.
That's how you buy company, isn't it, Cale?
You tell me, princess. Tell them how much you cost me.
Going after the rest of my friends isn't above you, is it?
He's very valuable to me. I enjoy having someone I can trust around.
Do you have to make this so complicated?
Yes, I do, Bridget. Things have changed. I have to position myself so that things like Jacob are never allowed to happen again.
Jacob prevented me from spending any time with you or with the children. That can't be allowed to be repeated.
You killed him.
I beg your pardon.
You did something or said something to Jake. I don't know. You did something to him and then he was gone. What did you do to him?
Bridget, I think you need some rest.
Give me my friends back.
(Hysterical edge on that one. Whoops. Calm down. Breathe. Fail. Stand up. Be ready to run.)
You wanted a way to keep from having to watch them leave all the time and we found a way to accomplish that. And now you want something else. I can almost see why Lochlan is perpetually frustrated by you. You're never happy with anything even after we bend over backwards to try to please you.
I like the way you lump yourself in with them.
Why wouldn't I?
Because I'm the one always bending to please you and it's never good enough and you always want more.
Perhaps it's a family trait.
I'm not your family.
I wish you wouldn't say things like that.
You promised you would leave them alone in exchange for me.
And I DON'T HAVE YOU, DO I?
He bellowed it at me, right in my face and I shrank back and stumbled over the edge of the chair and sat down with a thump. Almost on the floor but not quite.
You have too much. Too much say. Too much power. Too much control.
And it's the only thing that keeps you in line.
It's a steel fairy tale, motherfucker. It isn't real and I hate you.
Oh. I love it when you mix trash with treasure.
Call Mike back. Then you can be creepy times two. John isn't going to be your puppet any more than Ben or PJ.
Then tell me something, Bridget.
Who will you give up? Because I find this very interesting.
It isn't. I just protect my friends.
There's a very fine line here, princess and I think we both know you're playing a game without knowing all of the rules.
I'm done here, Cale. Goodnight.
He grabbed my arm as I stood up to pass him, squeezing it hard.
Sit down, Bridget.
I shook my arm but he didn't let go. He turned to stone and I cried out.
Let go. Fuck!
Everything continues as it has. No changes.
He pulled me in until we were eye to eye and I could let the rest of his face melt away, focusing on his eyes, pulling the shades up one after another until they were the medium shade of blue, somewhere in between Caleb and Jacob's blue eyes. Regular blue like Cole's with the long black eyelashes. Kind eyes suddenly, softened by proximity, blurred with fatigue, flashing resentment and undisguised want.
Bridget, are you listening?
Yes. (No, fucker, I'm not. DIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIE.)
You can surround yourself with as many friends and as much money as you can possibly find and I will still control you. Do you get that? Ben can't save you and neither can Batman. Do you understand me?
Yes. (At a loss here suddenly as the fear comes back and I start fumbling around in the dark, feeling for something in particular.)
Now we're done, Br-
I abruptly found the volume knob in my head and turned it up loud. I didn't want to hear anymore.