Every Mother’s Son
Main character Guerrero
In the “Ryan Exchange AU”
November 25th 2003
Amy Fielding and Harry Fuller had both lead a good life, they were retired but unable to turn their backs totally on work. So Amy a teacher all her adult life, still found time to fit in a few hours a week helping special need children with their reading and writing. Harry a law professor, still kept his hand in helping a local protest group, keep the right side of legal as they protested local environmental issues. They had met at one of the group meetings.
One thing had led to another and they were now sharing Amy’s house and due to get married very soon, but in the meantime they were enjoying the sinful pleasure of what in their youth would have been living in sin.
A month ago, Mr. Harper had asked Harry for his legal advice, about what he believed to be hazardous waste dumping in a residential area. But it was from the point when Harry had gotten involved those things had started to get nasty.
First, it was obscenity sprayed across the garage, and over the driveway, and then it was a brick thrown through the front window. Next the windows and headlights were broken on their car and the tires slashed. After that came the phone calls in the middle of the night, no one of the end of it but heavy breathing, soon that changed to threats. The message was very simple keep your nose out of things that don’t concern you or face the consequences.
As the harassment had gotten worse, they had turned to the police, but apart from taking statements, there was nothing they could do, except advising them to keep a diary of that was happening and collect as much evidence as they could, and of course keep them informed.
But yesterday the harassment had escalated when they had been mugged on their way back to the car from a meeting with the protest group, the men hadn’t taken any money, but they had knocked Harry to the ground, threatened them with guns, and had shot their dog Max. The threat was simple next time it would be Harry not the dog that would take a bullet.
Max was lucky to still be alive as the bullet had creased his skull, but again the police had taken statements, but they could do no more.
So that was why she was contacting the one person she knew could help her without question, he was in security, so he would know exactly what to do.
She looked up from the screen of her laptop and saw Harry stood in the doorway and smiled for the first time that day, “It’s getting out of control Harry and we need to tell him, he’ll know what to do.”
She looked down at the email on her laptop and pressed send, and leaned back in her chair, and softly under her breath said, “I just hope I’ve done the right thing.”
“He’s your son,” Harry said and then added, “our son, he would want to know.”
Later Harry came in to find Amy seated on the couch, leafing through one of her photo albums, she would then pause and linger over a photograph, sensing her mood he sat down next to her and took her hand.
Since they had been together, Harry had seen many of her photograph albums, Amy was a keen photographer, and she loved to take pictures of her family. But this album was one that he hadn’t seen before. He couldn’t help smiling when he looked at one of the pictures in the book it was clear that the young boy, didn’t want the picture taken and was doing his best to ignore the camera. The boy was dressed in yellow and white baseball uniform, a cigarette in his mouth, as he held a baseball bat in the other, there was something about him he looked 14 going on 25. Harry saw a soft smile on her face as she looked at him and then back to the picture, her fingertip tracing the outline of the boy, “I never did tell you did I how we became a family?” She looked down at the picture fondly.
“No you didn’t sweetheart,” Harry knew that when he married Amy he would be gaining two step-sons. Amy was very proud of them both and spoke of them fondly, but he always had a feeling that there was something missing. Now it seemed he was going to hear the whole story.
“I was 25 when I married George Fielding, I was the shy second grade school teacher and he was a police officer working Vice and so worldly. It was Mothers days when we first met in the supermarket, when our trolley’s collided. Later as I was just cashing out, he came rushing up with the saddest bunch of flowers, you have ever seen. All the other flowers had been sold out except that bunch, but to me, they were beautiful.
He asked me out and I accepted, over dinner he told me all about his work, and it was so exciting, dangerous, like something from a TV show, but he also made me laugh, anyway, six month later we got married, and I was so happy, the house was small but in a nice neighborhood, it was then I began to see him,” she tapped the picture of the young boy………..
Amy stopped to take the mail from the box and some feeling told her that she wasn’t alone, slowly she turned round and saw the boy stood leaning against the side of the corner house smoking a cigarette. He looked as if he was living on the street, he was slender, and she could see that even under all the layers of clothes he was wearing. How long they stood looking at each other she didn’t know, but it seemed forever but it could only have been a few minutes. Just then Mary Lucas from next door came out; she strode across the road to confront him.
What she said, Amy didn’t know, but the kid, he couldn’t have been more than 13 or 14, just gave smile that send the shivers up her spin, and flicked the cigarette into Mary’s face.
Amy hurried across in time to see him turn on his heel and walk away, Mary red faced and indigent called after him. “If I see you here again I am going to call the police.”
He stopped and looked over his shoulder and she knew he didn’t give a damn, as he continued to walk away he gave them the finger.
Over the next couple of days she had the feeling she was being watched, it was like an itch she couldn’t scratch, when she turned round there was no one there. But she was convinced there was someone there. It was then she began to see him, a glimpse from the corner of the eye, a reflecting in the window of a shop. The same kid following her around.
He never approached her and that somehow made it worse, she had no idea of who he was and what he wanted.
One Sunday morning she looked out of the window and saw him there, George came up behind her and put an arm round her waist and kissed her neck, and then notice she was preoccupied.
“What is it?”
“The boy out there, he’s been following me, I see him…” and that was as far as she got.
George pushed the curtain out of the way, and gave a harsh intake of breath, Amy turned to look at him, and saw the fury in his face, “George, what’s wrong?”
The next minute he was storming out of the house, without answering her, she rushed to keep up with him, she saw he was heading straight for the kid, but even though he was smaller and pounds lighter, the kid didn’t back down.
George grabbed him by his dirty jacket and shook him as he yelled in his face, the kid struggle free, and to her horror George hit him hard across the face and the boy went flying backward and fell over rolling in the dirt.
As George moved to grab him again, she caught hold her husband’s arm trying to pull him back, “George leave him alone, he’s harmless.”
George spun round on her, “That little bastard put a boy in crutched in the third grade for a quarter and you know what he didn’t even bat an eyelid when he did it. You need to think about what he’s going to do now he’s older.”
Shocked Amy turned to the boy, but he was gone, making good his escape while they were arguing.
“Who is he…..George … who is he?”
He’s the kid of one of my informants, she’s a broken down whore but gets good intelligence for me.” He ran his hand through his dark curly hair, “I never wanted you to have to see this part of my work.”
“So why was he here?” Amy persisted.
“His mom, more than likely send him to sponge some money off me, I told him flat, that if he ever comes round here again, I am going to bust his ass, once and for all.” It was then George smiled as he took her arm and lead her back to the house, “don’t worry it’s nothing you have to worry about.”
Even so Amy felt herself looking round on her way to and from work. One day she bumped into Mary and invited her in for Coffee. They had just arrived at her front door when she saw that it was ajar. She paused and put a hand out, and gently pushed it opened under the pressure of her hand.
Turning to Mary she mouthed “call the police,” then she stepped inside.
Mary caught her arm, but Amy shook her head, and continued inside, she knew it was stupid, but she had to see what the damage was. She stopped at the door to the kitchen; the kitchen table had bread, peanut butter, meat, jelly and a carton of milk open on it. She continued and heard the sound of breaking wood. Everything told her to run, but she continued, clutching her purse tightly, as if it was a shield.
Turning into the living room, she saw the boy, he had a baseball bat in one hand and the ever present cigarette in his mouth in the other hand he held their wedding picture in its silver frame. The look on his face was ugly.
Amy looked round at the broken furniture, “Why are you doing this?”
The boy spun round, dropping the frame, the glass smashed, the baseball bat held at the ready he was breathing hard.
She threw her hands up, “I am not going to hurt you, just talk to me. What have I done?”
“It’s what he’s done.” The boy snarled. “My mom’s dead, before she died she said to go to him, but he handed me over to Child Services.”
“Why did she tell you to go to him?”
“Dude, he’s my father, and now he’s got himself a nice house, a new wife,” his eyes dropped to her stomach, “A NEW FAMILY.”
If he had yelled it would have been better, but his voice never changed from that soft tone, as he got up into her face, for the second time she felt a shiver run down her spine “He got rid of me,” the boy said, “just like he got rid of her when she was sick.”
Just then there the sound of feet, yelling and he was suddenly pulled away and throw up against the wall and handcuffed, and lead away by the police.
Amy sank onto the couch, one hand cradling her stomach and the new life she carried.
She was still sat there when George came home. She looked up, and spoke levelly and firmly “George we need to talk.”
November 25th 2003
Harry gave her hand a squeeze “So what did he say?”
“Oh George was good with words, he said that the boy’s mother had been a prostitute working on the street and his CI. When the boy was born she had tried to make out that the kid was his, she had even put his name on the birth certificate.” She paused “George said she had tried to get him to pay up, made all kinds of threats, then just shrugged and said that the kid had brought in to the fantasy, a regular little psycho. But not to worry he would get him put straight, nothing that a stint in JUV wouldn’t put right.”
Amy turned a page and looked fondly at a picture, the boy was now leant against the front porch of the house, and there was a ghost of a smile on his face.
“So how did you talk George around, if he was so against him becoming part of the family?”
“I had just given birth to George Junior, it turned out that Kelly, that was his name Kelly, had been sent to a foster home, rather than JUV because I refused to press charges much to George’s disgust. Anyway he soon escaped and was on the street again.”
It was then that Harry saw the look on her face; it was a sadness she looked at the picture.
George was out of town when the telephone call had come; she had quickly asked Mary to babysit and hurried to the local hospital.
Kelly had been found, she entered the hospital room, and the tears came to her eyes. He looked so small and broken in the bed. He had been found nearly beaten to death in an alleyway. A mass of broken bones and two near fatal stab wounds, and now he was in a coma.
Reaching out, she had lightly stroked the side of his face, with her finger tips as she had brushed his hair from his closed eyes, then she had sat by the side of his bed and taken his hand cradling it gently in her own. “It’s going to be alright Kelly, you have a family now. George needs an older brother, so you have to come back.” For the next week she spent every moment in the hospital room, sometimes with George Junior, sometimes on her own, holding his hand and talking softly to him. Finally she heard a low broken moan, his eyes flickered and opened, they were clouded with pain and drugs, but she knew that on some level he was aware of her.
“Welcome back Kelly,” she smiled with tears of joy running down her face, as she pressed the nurse call button.
She felt his fingers press weakly against her hand, and then his eyes closed, as he gave a soft sigh and slipped into a healing sleep, as she lightly stroked his face, he would heal and when he was ready she would bring him home.
It was another week before Kelly was able to keep awake for more than just a few minutes at a time. When he could finally speak he asked in a tortured whisper.
“Because your family.” She had known that George had lied to her that night, just like he lied about when he went out playing cards with his friends and came back with the faint smell of cheap perfume on him.
November 25th 2003
“So by the time that George got back, it was a done and dusted, if I say so myself, Harry he never stood a chance once parental tests proved that they were father and son.
The legal side of it took a little sorting out, but I made sure it happened, it took months for Kelly to heal up, but during that time I got to know him very well. To begin with he would flinch if I raised a hand to him to just brush his hair. Over time he allowed me to hug him, but there was always that stillness, as he tensed, before he would relax a little and hug me back.
George said he needed discipline, so I enrolled him into a martial arts class, he was a natural at it, at five foot six, and he could take on and beat much bigger people. Baseball, again he was a natural and at school he was in the top part of his class in most of his subjects.”
“So a bad boy made good.”
“Oh we did have a few problems, but on the whole he was a good boy.”
“The usual I suspect,” Harry smiled, “cherry bombs, and….”
“More like loan sharking, and he was suspended for breaking a boys arm for profit, but that was never proven, the boy who was injured swore it was an accident and a witness came forward and confirmed it, so he was cleared.”
Harry nodded slowly as he said , “Right…… so it’s Kelly that you’ve contacted about our problem.”
“Of course.” She turned the page and there was Kelly now he looked to be 18 sat on the hood of a beat up car with a young boy, sat next to him. “Given their age difference, Kelly’s attitude towards George was almost parental in how he has looked after him after their father died.” Amy gave a soft sigh as she continued.
“George Junior so wanted to be like his father, he begged Kelly to show him how to shoot so that he could join the police and be just like his daddy. It was Kelly that took him to his art classes, George was so talented it was almost frightening, around that time Kelly started to work out of state but he gave as much time as he could to us both.”
“George died a hero, I think you said.”
Amy shook her head, “I am sorry I told you that Harry, but it was the story I told George Junior when he was growing up, better to tell him that his father died a hero rather than he was a dirty cop, and that got him killed.”
Harry pulled Amy into his arms and hugged her. “He found the truth out when he was 16, and it was then he changed his name, refused to answer to George and instead would only answer to his second name Neal, and he took my maiden name Caffrey. He’s done well he’s an art restorer and copyist. But that lie I told to a hurting little boy still damaged him more than I could ever have guessed.
“Do you know what happened to George, was he killed in the line of duty?”
Amy shook her head, “The officer in charge of the investigation tried to shield me as much as possible, all he did say was that George was involved in some bad things, and they think that he was skimming off drug money and it caught up with him. At the time I was in hospital he had….,” her voice broke. “He had infected me with a social disease from one of the prostitutes he shook down for sex. I lost the baby I was carrying. If it hadn’t been for Kelly, I don’t know what I would have done he was nearly 17 at the time, and he took on the running of the house.”
Harry could see how much Kelly meant to her, and said “I am looking forward to meeting him,” he gave her a kiss on the forehead, and pulled the photograph album closer, and picked the next picture, “what about this one.”
Three days later
The van was parked down the road from the house, the two men were waiting for the SUV to pull out of the garage, it was Tuesday, and the old couple always went to the meeting as regular as clockwork. Jerry and Billy had their orders force them off the road, and make sure that they got the message by putting the old guy in hospital.
The SUV pulled out of the drive way of Amy’s garage early evening and started down the road, and by the time it had reached the cross road Jerry had tucked in behind it. It was then he hit his full beam and was pleased to see the old guy swerve as he was dazzled, and increase his speed to try and get away. Jerry grinned across at Billy, this was going to be fun, and he increased his own speed.
Now he was matching the speed of the SUV riding on its bumper as he saw more cars he pulled back turning off knowing he could cut across them further along the road. Ten minutes later, Jerry pulled out behind them again, forcing them to take a side road, which was perfect for what they were going to do next.
Once they had move out onto a quieter stretch of road it he came up close again behind them, flashing his lights off and on, and then he bumped into the back of the SUV hard, and grinned as he saw the driver have to struggle to stop the car from fishtailing. Then he did it again only hard. Before increasing his speed to come up to the side, of the SUV and start to lean on it to push it off the road.
It was then the SUV suddenly braked, and Jerry shot past it, he hit his brakes hard, and swung it round to block the SUV, the minute the van stopped he and Billy jumped out as the fun was now going to start.
It was then the doors to the SUV opened and two men got out, even though he and Billy only had to lift their guns up, it caught them by surprised, and they didn’t expect these strangers. There were two muzzle flashes from the SUV, he heard Billy cry out and go down his face a mass of blood, at the same time as he was hit in the shoulder and spun round, and the next thing he knew he was on the hardtop his gun jarred from his hand and sent skidding across the road.
It was then he heard the sound of footsteps on the hard top as the two men walked over to them, both of them carried silent automatics now he knew that he was in serious trouble.
The smaller of the two men looked down at him his eyes where cold and emotionless, it was as if he ceased to be a person to him and was just a problem to be solved.
“Who hired you?” It was the smaller man asked.
“Don’t know what you’re talking about.” Jerry Clarke decided to bluff, it wasn’t a smart move.
There was the soft puff as the smaller man’s silent automatic was fired again, and Jerry screamed in agony as the bullet smashed into his knee cap, for a moment the world went black, and then he was back to the present and in a world of pain.
“Let me ask the question again, who is hired you. One thing to keep in mind is that at the moment you’re only crippled in one leg, if you lie to me, I will kneecap your other leg. Then your elbows, your wrists, so who hired you.”
“I don’t know…” Jerry screamed again as pain exploded through his other knee. He had never known there could be such pain; somehow he managed to say the name. “Albert Bell, Albert Bell he hired us.”
“Where can I find him?”
The man only had to ask once, this time Jerry answered quickly, the man nodded his head. Brought the gun up and it was then that Jerry known he was going to die. “But I told you, you said...”
“Never said you were going to live, just how you would die if you didn’t talk.” The man pulled the trigger, sending one bullet into Jerry’s head.
Junior looked down at the bodies, nodded to Guerrero, and went back over to the SUV and removed the plastic from the boot, and working quickly they wrapped the bodies up and loaded them back into the van, they had one more stop to make.
While he drove the van, Junior was thoughtful, he had always considered Guerrero a friend and the fact that he had allowed him this close was proof that the friendship went both ways. But he also knew with certainty that if he ever tried to use this information against him, Guerrero would kill him. Junior pushed that to the back of his mind, and concentrated on the job in hand.
Two months later
January 24th 2004
Harry turned and looked down the aisle of the church and watched as Amy was walked up to him by her sons, on one arm was Neal, he had met him just before the wedding for the first time, he was only 23 good looking with Amy’s slender build, with dark hair and was dressed in an immaculate suit. He was very charming with an easy smile; it seemed that art restoration paid well. But it was Kelly that Harry looked at, he knew that the younger man had been behind the end of the all their troubles, for that he was grateful, because he knew that Amy was now safe. But one day he would have to find out how he did it.
Guerrero took his place opposite Neal, as he watched his step mother, no his mother, she had been more a mother to him than his own, say her vows. He had been pleased that she had called him, over the threats; it was one thing more that he could do for her. No one threatened his family.
He turned his attention to the man stood at her side, Harry looked like he was a good man, and would make her happy, he had checked him out, no priors, no spouses unaccounted for, and last night as they had shared a drink he had told Harry that he would be watching him, and that no one hurt his mother. Harry had gotten the message.
Guerrero’s mind went back to 1982 and the last person to hurt her.
George Herbert Fielding was sat in the rundown apartment of his latest girlfriend, he didn’t know why he cheated on Amy, and she was everything that he could have wanted in a wife, pretty, intelligent and loving. But she wasn’t enough for him. He loved to bed the whores, he liked the power he had over them, and fucking them while mainlining a little of the white powder made it all the sweeter.
His kid, Kelly had come looking for him, and now he was looking at the little bastard and it sickened him that Amy had taken him in. There was something wrong with him, only Amy couldn’t see it, Kelly had a coldness in him, he was brutally honest to the point of callous, and he was mouthing off at him. It hurt all the more because it was true what he was saying he was a lousy husband. But the kid didn’t have the right to tell him that.
Fuck him. He got up, looming over him, “Shut the fuck up kid, go and home, I’ll be there when I decided to come home.”
“She’s in hospital and she needs you.” Kelly had said levelly, but George could see the anger burning in those pale blue, grey eyes.
He swung at him, and the kid ducked under the blow, and the next thing he knew, the kid had kicked him in the knee and brought him crashing to the floor. He rolled onto his hands and knees when a kicked to the stomach flipped him onto his back and he looked up to see Kelly staring down at him, a gun in his hand.
“Where the hell did you get that?”
“Forget your back up piece tonight,” it was then he realized that Kelly was wearing gloves the kid never wore gloves.
“Put the gun down.” He could feel the first stirrings of fear.
Kelly shook his head.
“Put the fucking gun down, or I’ll…”
“You’ll what?” Kelly said in that soft voice of his, “You could have killed her, tonight when she bled out, I can’t allow that,” his finger tightened on the trigger.
“I am your father and …..” George started to say, but whatever he was going to say was lost in the sound of a gunshot.
Kelly put the gun in his pocket, turned and left, a gunshot in that area wasn’t anything unusual but it didn’t pay to hang around. George had paid the price, no one hurt his mother.
January 24th 2004
What he hadn’t known until two months later was that someone had seen him, a certain someone that could recognize his particular talent for what it was and who had put him on the path to become the man he was today. Not that the man had lived long afterwards, he couldn’t allow anyone to have any hold over him and he never left witnesses.
He looked sideways at Junior, the only other person to know of his family, but he didn’t feel the need to kill him, he trusted the blond and that was an alien feeling for him, but a good feeling all the same.
Just then he was brought back to the present as he heard the vicar say. “You may kiss the bride.” He looked back at his mother, and watched as she kissed Harry, and he joined in the applause.