[identity profile] klazycat.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] writers_loft
Title: Tale of Jack
Type: Novel.
Genre: Adventure/Crime
Rating/Warning: Rated - R. (strong violence, mediocre language, LGBT content, sexual content, psychological triggers)
Summary: The story revolves around a sixteen year old boy, that is suddenly rescued by a mysterious, older man named Jack. Jack-o is a man for hire, who will take jobs other's wouldn't... The tale progresses through the boy's eyes and you slowly meet a series of people who Jack helps through his work.

Feedback is appreciated (:
Before he met Jack, there were days that had no calling, and at their first meeting, Peter had distinguished the older man as an angel. A beautiful, vibrant soul, who had saved him from the dark. But he did not find out, not until late, that this creature he beheld was actually a demon.

That day was one he could never forget, and no matter the time that past he could still taste the blood that gashed into his mouth, from a split lip. Two men had him cornered, in an alley, one had a pocket knife pressed to his side, and though they didn't stab him, the threat was still there. The other was tall, strong, and slowly he pounded Peter down to his knees, bleeding and all. His lip hurt like hell, and warm blood throbbed out from his nose down his chin, luckily kept from breaking. His head rest against the wall, and he stared at the two men through one squinted eye, promising to remember how to identify them. They would not get away with this. The smaller one turned and whispered something, crudely, and then, before he could even raise a hand to protect himself he was knocked unconscious.

----

Awaking in an unfamiliar place did not really catch Peter of guard. He was a traveler, and ever since the day he escaped the orphanage in Virgina, he never stopped moving. Money was one of many reasons he never settled down. It was easy to lie, but they were mostly harmless. He'd stay with older grannies, claiming to be their long, lost grandson. It did the older women no harm, because he did his fair share around the house, and it gave them company from the neglect of their real families. It was one time, that he had stayed with a lady, and as she passed away, he found she knew of his true deception, but went along with it anyway. It honestly was curious why a person does what they do, but since she was gone, he could not ask her. So, he moved again.

He has been here three months, it's a busy city, and full of trash. There are two sides of the spectrum, those who work and get nothing, and those who play and get everything. Prostitution, murder, drugs, complete disaster, wrecked the city like a plague. The cops were ineffective against the massive wars between gangs. The city was mostly divided into territories, the gangs were raised by the sons of the section's mothers, and they protected the livelihood of that neighborhood. If someone stole from them, then they'd go and steal it back. Tensions are high, especially with the rich who flaunt their money far too much. Though, Peter was here for the simple reason of having nowhere to go. He needed money.

Outsiders were not welcome, because they could not be trusted. If you wanted in on a gang, outside of the blood oath of the neighborhood, you had to give up something. Something precious, and then you could prove your worth. Peter was not willing to cut off a finger to join any gang, let alone pledge his life to one. However, the easiest way, he discovered, to make money was to be a spy. He would play between the small gangs, giving little pieces of information about each other, and then getting sent back and forth. He seemed to avoid trouble, miraculously, but it did catch up to him eventually. His double playing had been caught onto him, but he remained cocky. Thinking he'd let the heat just calm down. How wrong he was.

So, here he laid, on a simple, cream couch with no armrests, head propped up into a feathered pillow. When he looked around the room, it appeared simply. Two doors to the right, and to the left was an open kitchen with teal and aqua tiled floor. The general theme, however, appeared to be cream. In front of the couch was an coffee table, oak, and toward the left sat, on a small wooden crate, one ancient television. At first, he thought of those old retirement trailers he had become accustomed to, but this was different. It was a bit dusty, and too empty. No family photos on the wall, nothing. And then earlier that day came rushing back, and when he tried to sit up, it came too fast. His lip split came open, and he tasted fresh blood on his tongue. His field of vision challenged by one sensitive eye, and a painful headache. He first, intentionally, felt panic.

Those two men had taken him away, hadn't they? But then why would they treat his wounds? Someone had wrapped his ribs where he suspected the last man had kicked him to knock him unconcious... It didn't make any sense that they would try to make him comfortable, let alone take him to a place like this? But he didn't have to wonder much longer when a door slammed, and there was the clammer of shoes. And then from down the hall, up stepped a man, one he was not familiar with. Certainly not one of the two from last night. Dressed in a turtleneck sweater and jeans he smiled, holding a grocery bag up, "so, you're awake?" he asked in a heavily slanged accent. And that was how he first, officially, met Jack.

----

Peter's troubles did not go away so easily as wishing them away, one gang, if not both, held grudges at what he had done. Jack didn't ask him any questions about what had done, or why he was beaten up, but he did allow him to stay in his house. Offering him the spare room he had. He didn't know why a stranger would care so much for his troubles, but he was happy to take him up on the offer. It was about a week after that he found himself opening up a little to the man. Despite seeming ill-educated, from the accent, Jack appeared a kind, hard working man. He would leave early in the morning, and come back late at night exhausted. What he did, Peter was not certain, but he didn't really care. Another thing that was different about him, was the endless amount of patience he seemed to have with Peter.

That night, he was skeptical of him. And even as he slowly retrieved medicine from his grocery bag, Peter refused to take any of it, until later that night when the pain became unbearable. When he was grumpy, from not being able to eat anything properly, because of the split lip, Jack would just laugh and tell it would be gone soon. Slowly, before Peter could realize it, he became accustomed to the house. Three days in, after not leaving, in fear of still being under attack, he became terribly bored. So, he began to clean the house, dusting. The next night he was cooking dinner, then breakfast, and after a week he held a steady conversation with the man.

"I'm sixteen," he finally said after sometime, after Jack had casually went on after the weather, and what was happening on the outside. It was sort of a habit of his, to let the man do all the talking, and his sudden confession had given himself a shock. However, it didn't appear to be a surprise to Jack who just nodded and then carried on with his talk.

Peter then took up the game of telling Jack random stories of his life, mentions of the orphanage he had stayed at for a period of time, or of the grannies he had once been a resident with - small details of their little quirks. One had been an artist, but was blind, one was in the military, and drank far too much. Never did he show any real response. He sat, and listened, but never judged, or gave any input to his stories. In ways, it was Jack's calm demeanor that turned him into a story teller. It was comforting to share part of himself with another person, because it felt like at least somebody would at least hear what he had to say about all the things he had done. Good, or bad, at least somebody knew.

Life at Jack's small home was simpler than Peter had imagined life could be. Perhaps it was because, at last, he could just be whomever he wanted. He didn't have to pretend to be somebody else, and he didn't have to lie anymore. Laying on the couch, he would lay there all day watching the crappy cable wired in through the TV, free of charge.

---

And time passed. In the blink of an eye, Peter had already stayed, for a month, comfortably, at the apartment. It was why he was so hesitant to leave, but the more he waited out here - the more danger his host was in. What happened when they found out where he was hiding? Would Jack be okay? In his knowledge, the man wasn't entangled in any trouble, he was a simple business man. With each passing day, he felt guilty to burden him further.

And despite his desire to stay, after several weeks of staying at the flat, Peter promised himself on the next morning after Jack left for work. That night he pre-packed his belongings and laid them under his bed, and wrote a note he'd leave to assure the man he would not be returning. Of course, Peter would fix him breakfast and dinner, since Jack was actually pretty hopeless at cooking for himself.

He didn't sleep that night, too busy thinking over little things. Repeating the plan in his mind, waking up, cooking breakfast and dinner, walking carefully to the train station and exchanging buying train tickets for the last departure. It didn't really matter where he went, as long as it was out of town. Then, all too soon, the sun arose, and pierced through the blinds of his window. He squinted, sensitive to the bright light, feeling as if he was a bit in a trance. He knew what he had to do already, and his body seemed to act on it's own accord. Getting up, dressing, and heading out into the kitchen to light up the stove. It really was a shame that business had gone so terribly, he really didn't mind this town, and he had little to no extra cash left.

The last morning he had in the flat was uneventful, and uncomfortable. Peter was happy to carry on a conversation with the man, but somehow things had already changed. Jack responses were short, and uncharacteristically formal. Half way through they both sat and ate in silence, it was as if the man could sense something out of the ordinary, even though Peter had done nothing differently. It was an unsettling note to leave off on, but he could not back out now. It a relief when Jack left the house, it left him without a doubt that today was the day - he'd escape.

And so he set off, mindlessly, to everything he had ran over in his head last night. Fixed dinner, which he set in the fridge, set a note on the coffee table, and at last getting his backpack. He stood on the steps of the entrance to the flat, and glanced around for one last sight, at the place that had been closest to a place he may call home.

----

The sun was still bright, but there was still a chill in the air. Peter pulled the green, cotton, jacket closer around himself, fingering the pocket knife he had snatched in Jack's room a few nights prior. He felt the design engraved on the side, a bird, and when he saw it he wondered if it was valuable, the handle's design being engraved in silver. He didn't wish to borrow things without permission, but in the worst chase scenario, it would be required. Escaping the city was the object, and when he came back, in the far future, he would return it.

The air was fresh, and though the alleys he stepped through smelled stale, he enjoyed it far too much. Freedom, it felt good to be outside again, after staying too long in Jack's flat, he was beginning to forget what it felt like to be outside. Free to venture where he wanted, but also alone, and so vulnerable. The boy shifted his backpack's strap on his shoulder, and continued down the alley.

It escaped his attention that three men watched from a distance. One short, a bit stocky, with the face of a pug, though you could say his ferocity made up for his size, and the other was tall, and muscular. He had a sharp, lean nose, undisguisedly tattoo that trailed from his left eye, that slithered up his jawline down to his collarbone, a snake. The third was lean, and dressed much more formally, clearly the more intelligent of the two. He turned to the pugish man, "is he really the one?"

The stocky man, puffed up, fists clenched defensively, and he appeared ready to explode, but instead his voice was soft, and swift, "of course it is him! I would not be so mistaken! Paulie?" And as he was beckoned the large man densely gave a curt nod. The middle man did not look convinced, but the simpleton's word was more than enough to act.

----

Time passed, and even with his over cautious behavior, Peter had at least expected to run into one gang member. But it hadn't happened, much to his relief, and he was almost home, straight. The train station was not far now, and once he boarded, he would be free. No need to worry. The sun was setting, now, and as giddy was he was, he felt a little lonely knowing that at this time Jack would be returning home. But it didn't matter. He wouldn't be a burden on somebody that had helped him.

It was a this time, that was he was suddenly attacked. From behind, a hand snatched his pack, yanking the boy back. He fell back into something, or somebody, because shortly two rough hands squeezed his throat with immense force. He closed his eyes, hands fumbling over the fingers that bruised the skin, but it was useless under the man's iron grasp. The boy panicked, kicked, and choked, feeling the pressure build up against him, cutting off the air. The man was going to snap his spine! In desperation, Peter did the last thing he could. His shaking hands turned to his jacket's pockets, fumbling, and the world was becoming patched. Then he found it, the cool metal against his fingers, and it became so simple. With the press of a button the blade slid out, sharp, almost golden in the shimmer of the setting sun's reflection. His hand steadied, then, with a rush of adrenaline, he thrust the blade backward blindly.

It was sickening, that he felt the blade penetrate something, tearing through flesh, but he continued to push it through, until there was a horrid scream, and he was released. He collapsed to the ground, coughing and gagging, blinking tears from his eyes. Then he looked at his attacker, the man in front of him was familiar, the snake that slithered under his eye identified him as the one who had broke his rib that night. And now he had almost strangled him. But something was out of place. What was that? It didn't register in his brain for several seconds, which seemed more like minutes.

Sticking out of his chest was the hilt of Jack's blade, the silver bird's engraving was stained with blood. And then, suddenly, he saw there was blood everywhere. Spilling from the man's chest, over his fingers, that clutched the knife in disbelief. His face drained white, at a sickening rate, and red dripped from his lips, pooling onto the cold pavement, and running its way past Peter, becoming a red stream. He looked at his hands, and they were red too, there was so much blood. The man collapsed to his knees, his glazed eyes wide open in shock, staring at Peter accusingly.

He felt he should help the man, but his legs would not move, and their gazes did not break until he heard somebody yell out in fury. Then, Peter couldn't think. He had killed somebody, this person was dead, his eyes were ghosted over. There was blood, everywhere. He instinctively stumbled to his feet, and did the only thing he could - run.

---

The boy ran for all he was worth, stumbling as streams of red blotched his vision, mind still clearly tasting the after effects of nearly being straggled to death. Huffing in uncomfortable breaths, sorely swallowing down a growing, fearful amount of saliva and sweat that perspirated through his system, but it was also so cold. His warm breath made irregular clouds of fog, the sweat evaporating from his skin, and leaving small bumps long with it. The imagine would not leave his mind, that of an unimaginable amount of blood staining the alley, and pouring down the curb onto the street. His shoes leaving darkening maroon tracks. They were sickeningly sticky now. He turned the corner, coughing, sorely, as he was a few paces ahead. But he had to ditch his shoes, they were leaving a blood trail, quite literally, right to him.

Amazed some sort of logic applied in his drastically challenged mind, his shaking fingers, which shook not because of the temperature, yanking off the knotted laces. He kicked them off, left to nothing but a pair of thin, vulnerable socks. It hardly mattered anyway, he was far too numb to feel the hard, damp pavement smacking against the soles of his feet. Not minding the twists, and turns he took to make it out of there, just as long as they were confusing enough to throw the men off. His mind returning back to the images... Jack's perfect, silver knife logged into the chest of a man, like that of a stake in a vampire. The paleness of his draining face, and the sudden boldness of the black, inked snake venomously hissing at Peter.

The tumbling footsteps grew closer, Peter, unknowingly had slowed down. The soreness in his heels becoming more and more of a problem, throbbing as his blood rushed through his veins, panting, knowing fully well that they were out for it. His blood. Every intention of killing him was confirmed, he was a walking dead man, for as long as he stood in this city. Which wasn't much longer. He coughed, unable to stand the racing thought that his life was to end here. After all that he had done, and see, this was really it. It turned to Jack, good old Jack, who had taken him in. He should be returning home, from his business meeting, to discover Peter's note. He wondered, silently how he would react. Would he be happy? That this nuisance was finally out of his flat? Peter wished he'd miss him. He wished somebody would miss him.

Dead end. It was just like that, at the conclusion of his thoughts, Peter ran straight into his inevitable doom. He pressed against the brick wall, which clearly wasn't going anywhere, but it was worth some sort of try. He would be insane not to. He heard the footsteps come to a short end, heart sinking below him, hands falling limply to his sides, he leaned against the wall, rotating on his heel. A pugish man stood, breathlessly glaring, and another, well dressed, lean man looking calm, cool, despite having run so far. "You bastard!" the pug growled, launching himself off after Peter. Him, Peter assumed, being the man that's yell still rung in his ears.

The boy fell back, clumsily dodging the man in disbelief. In his hand was the bloodstained knife. The familiar bird a crusty maroon now. The pug growled a series of threats, which Peter, couldn't hear. This was a dream. His heart pounded simply in his ears, falling to his knees, crawling away. He couldn't walk, his legs failed him at the moment he needed them the most. Scramming across the dirty pavement as the man recollected himself. He wasn't ready to die, somebody had to help... His fingers found salvation, taking hold of a black, polished dress shoe. Pleading, and looking up at his savior, blurred through tracks of tears, hysteric hiccups. Was this him. Was he crying? He didn't even realize this image was him.

The return was a savage kick, he howled in pain as his collarbone snapped, painfully retreating. This man was no help, he spat at Peter, dark, eyes, leaning down to wipe the area his fingers touched on those leather, polished shoes. Disdainfully looking over as his companion came back over for the boy, for Peter could smell him. Curled into a ball, protecting the throbbing pain in his shoulder. The man could stab him all he wanted, Peter wouldn't feel it, he was in too much pain already. Peter still crawled back, slowly, unable to move fast for his broken bone. Then it hit.

He took what he said back, about not being able to feel the pain. For it hurt, badly, the blade thrust deeply into his thigh, warmth of his blood rushing outward, it was too much for his brain, and he screamed in horror. The sound of his own voice reflected from the walls of the alley. Squirming as he felt the slow, sadistic pulling of the sharp item in his thigh being pulled through again. And it was out, blood pouring into Peter's hand, as he pressed the area protectively, the salt of his tears and snot running down, mixing in his parted lips. It hurt, so bad.

Peter opened his eyes, his vision blotched and blurry, but he could see the pug's satisfied face. Happy, he had inflicted pain, but also heedlessly ready to make more. The colored red blade and the man's arm guided backwards, Peter tried to crawl away, but was quickly paralyzed by the wound in his thigh. He couldn't escape. He closed his eyes, just wanting for it all to end, the pain. His clear mind clouding.

But that was not what happened. Peter opened his eyes, watching dully as the pug's arm was caught on the thrust backward, a firm hand holding it there, though he obviously struggled. It was enough and then he heard the sickly pop as the man from behind dislocated his shoulder, the knife falling to the ground in a clatter. Swiftly followed by a howl from his attacker, who, once released, pathetically fell back into the wall. He tried to look at his rescuer, but he couldn't it was becoming too dark. His head laid sorely against the pavement, watching black shoes dance around a pair of brown ones. His hand becoming numb against his wet jeans. Blood. In the end, he was just going to bleed to death. Listening to the rustle of a fight.

----

"Peter, Peter.." he heard a familiar voice awaken his slumber. An irritating light tap against his face, he didn't want to wake up. No, he'd much rather sleep, it hurt too much to wake up. "Peter," the voice said again, this time softer, more recognizable. A slanged accent, soft, but rough at nature. Jack. His lids heavily slid open, vision cloudy at first, but slowly clearing on the man's face. A relieved smile pulling to his lips, only there was something unfamiliar on that face. His hand rose limply to the red specks that was splattered there, making the smile quickly vanish in return. Brooding eyes turning away, pressing Peter's away. He felt so strong, or Peter felt so weak, so heavy.

"I'm sorry Peter," the man sighed, pulling off his jacket, and ripping off the sleeve. He tried to protest, to get him to stop, it was expensive, wasn't it? The flinched as Jack lifted his leg, vision blurred again as he focused downward, watching him wrap the fabric around it, "it may hurt, but bear with it. And stay awake." He ground his teeth as it was tied, tightly, constricting around his leg. Making it throb more, he gasped, willing to stay awake. But it was no good.

----

There was a corpse. Lying there in the pavement, about a red pool. The tail of a black, inked snake slipping down the collar of his shirt, disappearing off into his skin. Devouring the strength of it's master. It less than a few minutes later before it returned, it's evil head slithering up to his face... A real, dark, black snake head slipping from the corpse's rotting nose. Hissing, fangs bore, and suddenly it sprang forward, launching itself into the air.

Peter jolted awake, letting out a cry of terror, wanting to get the snake far away. He flailed, but was firmly held down by something, only creating more to his distress. "Shhh, it's okay.... Peter, don't move... you'll hurt your shoulder," and indeed, his shoulder did ache. Distressing him in remembrance that it was broken. He swallowed heavily, the snake finally vanquished from his view. He blinked awake, drowsy as if waking from a long slumber. A face registering into his mind.

Jack. He stared, in disbelief, Jack. How did he get here? He distinctively remembered that man was set to kill him. Was this heaven? Some odd place where he could still feel pain. He gasped as he tried to sit up. Held back by a hand again, he felt his head gently lifted, a pillow propped behind it so he could properly see the man. Smiling so casually. "I'll get you some coffee."

The boy just blinked. Watching him disappear to the kitchen, listening to the sound of coffee being poured. Jack returned, sitting on the coffee table across from Peter, blowing on the coffee before pressing it to his lips. He drank, thankful for it was a hot drink, warming his chilled bones. But squinting at it's bitterness. "Not enough? God, I added about half a cup," the man teased as he set the glass back down beside him. Both sharing the same gaze, thoughtful, but Jack knew something more.

"Jack... what-" he was cut off by the sudden halt of Jack's hand. He leaned a bit to his left, digging in his right, back pocket to retrieve something. The silver, clean, hilt of the pocket knife haunting him. His eyes looked wildly from the blade to Jack, being held back down again by the man's strong, free hand. Obviously sensing that Peter was ready to turn to hysterics again. And it came back to him.

He remembered it. Eyes widening, fearful. This person in front of him... "J-Jack," he spoke, voice pathetically a whimper, "you, you, killed them... Didn't you?"

And remained an expressionless mask in front of him for seconds, that ticked away for what seemed hours. A dangerous sneer tugging across his lips, "I suppose I did."
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