The Wrong Type of Redemption

25 Tuesday’s Dark


25: Tuesday’s Dark

As Philip cooked, Jerry’s eyes followed jean covered ass and bare back. A strong broad back. A back that had hovered over him moments ago.

After Jerry had pushed the fucker off in disgust, he had went to shower and clean up. When he got out, he found Philip had disappeared. Antsy, Jerry had wondered if his father had ran away since he didn’t leave a note. However, an hour later, the guy waltzed into the apartment with his duffel like he owned the damn room.

And then he winked at Jerry before pulling off his clothes right there in the living room. Jerry’s jaw dropped and face reddened as the man disappeared into the bathroom chuckling.

He so hated the arrogant jackass.

After exiting, the man started cooking in just his jeans. And Jerry couldn’t focus on his assignment, eyes too captivated on every muscle in that back. His father wasn’t as defined as Jerry, but still impressive.

Jerry finally tore away from Philevision and pulled out the computer Mia had given him. He’d been having trouble with it since she gave it to him. Well, he actually didn’t. He got the thing unlocked as asked. But there were several programs on the laptop that grabbed at Jerry’s curiosity.

He’d never seen or even heard of those types of programs before. And there was no software license that backed them up or supported them. His conclusion? They were all privately created and owned. Unique. And Jerry wanted to know more.

Several of the programs looked like framework programs that supported altered portions of the operating system. Many of the other programs seemed to be encrypted software that needed something. A password? Another program? Special parameters? Jerry didn’t know, but he wanted to find out.

Hair ruffled, he looked up to a thinly haired muscled chest. A plate of food came into view. He took it. “Thank you.” He said before his eyes drifted down the rugged skin to the button of those jeans and the groin he wanted to taste again.

“If food isn’t what you want, just say so,” his father rasped, sounding too amused.

“Son of a…” He grumbled as Philip laughed walking off. Dammit, Philip had him by the balls. And as much as it irritated him… “Are you sleeping on the bed with me or on the floor?” He asked closing the laptop with one hand and placing his plate on top.

“The bed isn’t very big, Glitch…The only way we can both fit on it is if we cuddle.” His voice deepened.

“You get the floor.”

His father laughed. “How much you wanna bet I’ll be on that mattress with you in my arms before the night is over?”

Jerry wasn’t going to take that bet because he wanted to be in the very position. And that didn’t help his argument at all. “So the only reason you’re having fun experimenting with being gay, is because you want to counter everything I say and do? Seriously?”

His father sat down beside him on the floor with his own plate of food. “It’s the control freak in me. And a nasty habit that follows me around.” He stabbed at his dinner. His brows knit together. “Its one of the skills I learned growing up.”

“To control people?”

“People. Situations. Getting into another person’s heads, swaying them to my own way of thinking or…” He shook his head and began eating. Jerry watched that strong jaw flex, chewing. His father tilted his head to look at him for a moment, watching him. “Jerry, I was…” He cleared his throat. “I was raised to excel in deconstruction and destabilization.”

Their eyes met. Jerry pondered the meaning of both words. Both were chaotic. The one example that flashed in his mind was terrorism. A terrorist group’s main objective was to strike fear in order to destroy the stability of something — way of life, ideals, religion, or governments. “For what purpose?”

“Whatever.” He shrugged. “Say someone wanted to negotiate business with one of my siblings. I was there to listen and if the talks weren’t going the way my family wanted, I’d become the disruptor. Either I’d create a hostile environment that made the other party hasty to get it over with. Or I’d get into their head, control their thoughts by suggestion alone.” He sighed. “That’s why its so hard for me not to be controlling…it’s a part of my nature.”

Was that why Gerald could never control their father? He had to use their grandfather to distract Philip. Gerald could wrap everyone else around his pinky.

A memory popped into Jerry’s mind… 

It was dinner and Jerry was trying to eat as Eric kept asking him computer questions. His oldest brother had problems accessing his email. Every time he opened his mouth to answer, Gerald said something mean, attacking Eric’s IQ. Eric finally got fed up and cursed his brother. Their mother warned Eric. Gerald shoot their mother a murderous look. Eric noticed and stood as if to fight his twin. Jerry shrank in his chair.

“Both of you. Outside.” With those few words, his father had broken through the noise and grabbed everyone’s attention. His father got up from the table and led his sulking brothers out the door. Jerry didn’t see his brothers for the rest of the evening. It seemed his brothers had done extra work outside with their father until midnight. The only time he saw Gerald again as in the morning when he woke to his twin in bed with him, arms wrapped around him tightly.

His father’s next words woke him from the memory, “Glitch, my family isn’t nice… and I believe their depravity is genetic. Sandra is probably the nicest which isn’t saying much because she’s still uncompromising on many levels. She doesn’t talk to any of us because of the crap my family’s involved in. Most of the things I learned from them aren’t legal skills.”

Jerry nodded as if understanding. “If you didn’t really have marketable skills, what did you do over the past five years? Just drive trucks?” Jerry asked going back to his food.

“You really want to hear about how pathetic I was?” His father asked.

“Yes.” Jerry answered looking toward him. He could see his father’s face muscles tense.

Pausing mid-bite, he dropped his gaze to the fork. His eyes shifted to glance in Jerry’s direction. Their eye held. “For about half a year… Homeless. Vagabond.”

“Rock bottom.”

“No less than I deserved for being a coward.” He bit into his steak.

Jerry agreed and yet, part of him ached from hearing the words. He wondered. “And the other years?”

“After I called my half-brother, got myself a little stable, I ran across an old acquaintance of mine. I haven’t seen him since…” He blew out a breath. “Long before Eric was born.”

“Over twenty years.”

The man chuckled. “You just calculate that stuff in your head, don’t you?”

Jerry shrugged.

“It’s funny. Not sure where you get it. Your mom wasn’t particularly bright. And I’m dumb as shit. Yet you… got all the brain power. A Glitch in the Matrix.” He slowly took in another bite.

“Is that why you nicknamed me Glitch?” Jerry grinned.

“Yep.” He chewed. “Over twenty years… That guy…” His father went back to telling him about his acquaintance. “He gave me my first job when I ran away from my family. That was before I met your mom. Hell…” He trailed off as if remembering. “I hated that job. I guess you could say I was a trash man. Disposing waste material isn’t glamorous but it pays bills.”

“How did a waste disposal man meet a rancher’s daughter?”

His father laughed a deep raspy sound. “Ahhh, good question. She was in college, living off daddy’s money. Pretty thing. Your mama could charm the hell out of anyone with a smile. But the only way she got into college was her daddy’s money. Cause she didn’t do anything but party. I was at one of those parties when we met. I guess I fell for her because she thought I had potential and took me in, dressed me up and made me…more than I was. Called me her Ken doll.”

“Mama really was simple wasn’t she?” Jerry gawked.

His father laughed. “She was…is… We loved each other I think. She brought me to her daddy one day, told him she wanted to marry me. Shocked the hell out of me. First time I heard of it.”

Jerry grinned.

“Her dad took one look at me and swore. When he asked for his daughter to leave the room, she went fluttering off like a butterfly with no care in the world. I felt like she left me to the firing squad. I was going to die. Just knew it.”

“I can imagine what grandpa said…”

“You’re as dumb as her, aren’t you boy?” They both said at the same time. Then laughed. That was grandpa’s favorite saying when it came to Jerry’s mother and father. His grandpa loved his mother, but he knew his mother wasn’t too bright.

“The first time I heard that, I just stared at him, shocked. He said, I look positively horrified after hearing she proposed to marry me. He took me outside, told me I was pretty enough but could I work hard? After I nodded, he taught me everything I needed to know about the ranch. It wasn’t an empire, but to me, it was…overwhelming. At that moment, I knew I couldn’t back down, no matter how scared I was. Your mom looked happy, so I let her be happy.”

“You didn’t want to be on the ranch?”

“Honestly, I was twenty years old and didn’t know where I wanted to be. Then your mom got pregnant with Eric. My doubts fled. I was home. Or so I thought. If it was truly home, I wouldn’t have run away when ya’ll needed me most…always running.”

“But you’re done running right?” Jerry asked sounding too hopeful to his own ears.

“Right.” His father smiled giving Jerry a reassuring smile.

“Who was your favorite child?” Jerry asked curiously.

He laughed. “Nice try, Glitch, but I loved you all equally.”

“But you spent the most time with Eric.”

His father grimly nodded. “He was the oldest, so I was trying to make him the example for you two to follow. And that’s why he turned out the way he did. I’m glad you and Gerald only needed each other. It kept some of our shit from rubbing off on you two.”

Jerry didn’t say anything else as they ate. Later that night he checked his email and saw he got a message from his adviser and his coach. Coach told him to take a few days off from the team until the mess with Dave got sorted out. His adviser told him he was temporarily expelled from campus until the investigation was complete. All his professors had been notified and would send him his assignment via email until a decision was made.

Damn. Even though the police let this issue go, that didn’t mean the campus would. Especially if Dave’s parents go involved. But it didn’t matter, Jerry had options.

Slamming his laptop shut, he went back to Nick’s laptop. The computer was too customized to be anything Nick would have trouble getting into. If it really belonged to Nick, he’d have known what to do to get in. The question was, who did it belong to because it wasn’t registered to any person or organization?

As he worked into the night he began writing a program that would help him decipher and decrypt the files set up on the computer.

“You going to get any sleep?” That raspy voice broke him from his concentration.

“Since I’m not going to school tomorrow…” His voice trailed off as he looked up at the news.

“Another execution style killing?” His father voiced what Jerry was thinking. He looked over at the old man who looked confused. Philip sat on the mattress with lounge pants on and a t-shirt. He shook his head. “It doesn’t sound right.”

“What do you mean?” Jerry asked curiously.

“They’re claiming its drug related. Most drug deals gone bad don’t end like that — neat and clean. Especially petty drug deals. Execution style killings are more mob related where the higher profile people are involved. And most of them are as neat and tidy as these we’re hearing about, with little trace of evidence. This smacks of…”

“I’ll bite, what?”

His father shrugged. “Like someone is sending a message. But without knowing who the key players are, I couldn’t tell you what that message is.” His father lay back on the mattress. “Wow…I don’t remember the last time I’ve slept on a mattress…”

Jerry chuckled going back to his computer. Soon he heard the heavy breathing of his father and looked over. His face was tilted in a way that made Jerry think he had been looking in his direction before he dozed off. Had he been staring at Jerry?

Just like Jerry was now staring at him.

His father’s breathing changed and his eyes drifted open sleepily. “Come on to bed and I’ll let you kiss me.” He murmured.

“Arrogant old man.” Jerry grumbled shutting down the computer.

His father just chuckled.

Jerry got up, took out his hearing aid, and turned off the lights before crowding onto the mattress. Though they were close, neither made a move to touch the other. For a long time, Jerry lay in the dark feeling his father’s warmth beside him. Having someone else in his bed felt weird.

Sounds drifted to his ear but he couldn’t make them out. “If you’re talking to me, I can’t hear you,” he said to the darkness.

He felt a hand touch his forehead, drifting over his eyes lightly. Fingers closed his eyelids. Jerry smiled. “Goodnight to you, too.” 


One Comment

  • Elijah

    Omg I can’t believe I haven’t read this book until now😩. So good. Can’t wait for you to update the rest of the chapters on here.

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