“Please Jin! I don’t understand. Why are you doing this?” Lily said, as she held back tears.
“You’re not safe with me anymore. Things are about to get very deep for me and I need to distance myself from you as much as possible. You need to start dating other men, see other people and get a life away from your father.”
“But Jin, I love you! I don’t want to be apart or date other guys. Can’t you see how hard that will be for me. Don’t you love me even a little?”
“Lily, it’s not about love. It’s about your safety. I won’t see you get hurt or be the next victim in this scheme because of me. If I had my way, you would get the hell out of town-“
“I’m not leaving without you!”
Jin sighed. “My focus right now needs to be about putting myself fully into what your dad has asked me to do. I can’t do that and watch out for you at the same time. It’s time Lily, ah, ah! No! No arguments because I don’t want to have to get mean about this, but I will if that is what it takes for you to understand.”
“Jin, we are not teenagers and you don’t need to protect me anymore. But let’s be honest here. You care about me, I know you do yet I’ve never been able to breach that wall you have erected in your chest. You keep me at arms length and avoid any kind of intimate relationship we could have. It’s not about love you say, but I don’t believe you so what is it exactly? Is it someone else? Do you LOVE someone else? I think I deserve to know after all this time.”
“Lily,” I said shaking my head and backing up from her. “Just don’t okay.”
“It is, isn’t it. You love someone else-“
“Yes! Okay, …..yes it’s someone else. But it doesn’t even matter because she isn’t someone I’m allowed to love. So just leave it be. I do care for you Lily, I care a great deal and I always will. But I can’t love you or anyone else, especially not the way you deserve to be loved. Not until I’m ready. I just don’t know when or if that will ever be.”
Tears had begun to fall on Lily’s cheeks and I couldn’t stay there any longer knowing I was causing her such pain.
“Look, I gotta go. Your dad is waiting for me to accompany him to a meeting. Blow out the lamps before you go.” I took one last look, then walked out the door but as I walked away, I could hear Lily crying.
Once she had calmed down and before she blew out the last lamp, Lily whispered to the room “Sun is a very lucky girl.”
Once Dr. Barton had arrived home from his vacation and found out his daughter had run away, he stormed into the police station demanding that my boss do everything in his power to find his daughter!
“Dr. Barton, your daughter is over the age of YA and she can ‘run away’ with anyone she chooses. I’m sorry but we can’t help you. Good day sir!”
I thought that showed great restraint on his part, for if that had been me, I may have put my fist through his face and it would be more than well deserved. However there is a reason he is the boss and I never will be. He has that ability to play the politics of the job, whereas I would never be able to. Mind you, together and in confidence he repeated the scene to me, holding nothing back and had me laughing my guts out wishing I had been there to see it.
There is so much to tell you about what we have learned, that I hardly know where to begin. Once my boss returned from Sunlit Tides, he was able to convince the mayor to institute a curfew over the town to cover all ages. He then increased the number of police on the night shift to issue fines to those people caught out after 9 p.m. and usher people safely home. But the funny thing was, even before he was able to make the curfew public, the presence of the zombies just disappeared. Night after night, not a single zombie was to be found which only strengthened his suspicions that they had a mole in the department. He had a few suspects in mind, but that information he wasn’t sharing with me.
However, in the absence of zombies, what we did see….
was the streets lined with scientists. I watched them from behind cover as they moved slowly along and I was reminded with a shiver down my back, the line from the letters
“More test subjects needed.”
So the cures in Dr. Barton’s office were indeed created elixirs to try to cure the zombie curse, but what we didn’t know was, if they had created the super zombie on purpose or if it was an accident in the lab, or something else entirely. No where in the documentation was there an explanation for that particular important point. Obviously, the missing homeless people to the more prominent members of the town had become test subjects and some hadn’t survived. Which was evident by the new cemetery with all the unmarked graves.
In Sunlit Tides, Steve spent time vacationing with, of course, Bianca but he had also visited not only the science centre, but the military base as well. This was of great concern to both of us and we wondered why he would be doing so, when this city was such a distance away. My boss stayed on an additional five days, waiting to witness a full moon, but no “super” zombies appeared, which made the mystery even greater. Mrs Barton had not been seen in Sunlit Tides.
After a few weeks, when the zombies had been nowhere to be seen, people began breaking the curfew, which greatly alarmed me to say the least. Especially when one full moon night, I found Kalen in front of the movie theatre pretending to be a zombie and trying to scare people. I gave him a stern talking to.
“I’m sorry uncle Jin. I was just trying to have fun.”
“Sorry you will be, when your mom and dad learn you ‘snuck’ out of the house and biked here! Get your butt in the cab and let’s go!”
Needless to say Kalen was in big trouble when I arrived at the house with him and told them where I had discovered him. I played with the todds while they too, gave him a very stern talking to. It killed me that I couldn’t tell Caerul and Cameron what was going on, but my orders were clear in that I was to tell no one. The decision to nclude Lily in the investigation had been approved, but even then I only told her what was absolutely needed for her to know.
When I arrived home, Steve had already gone to bed while Mrs. Barton was busy cleaning the kitchen. I was about to sit down at the computer when I saw something out of the corner of my eyes. Just at that moment Mrs. Barton had stepped out the side door off the kitchen to walk around the front to the garbage can. I dashed outside and grabbed her just in time, pulling her back into the house. But not fast enough, as recognition crossed her face before despair. There, was Charlotte’s best friend Arona Bhatt, turned super zombie. Charlotte let out a soft cry before straightening her spine and walking away. I felt so sad for her and I didn’t know what to say. It made me hate Steven all that much more.
Steve had been acting very strange since he had returned from his vacation. He appeared to be under a great deal of stress, but also slightly panicked as well. People at the medical center had heard many muffled yelling moments in his office and one-sided conversations as he dealt with phone calls. At home he was quick to temper, and edgy as all get out. You didn’t dare speak to him and you chose your replies carefully when answering a question. We had been attending many meetings as well, disguised as parties with regular towns people in attendance. Bianca was often seen at many of the parties, chatting up the women. My job was to provide security for the meeting and do whatever was asked of me to do. At this point, I had not been asked to do anything illegal and my hope was, that I would never be.
It was at one of those parties, that Steve met Cherry, a gal that I went to school with and spent a bit of time flirting with until I met Katie..er, Lily. Steve and Cherry took quite a liking to each other and made their way to the third floor loft area that housed a bed. My duty was to stand guard at the bottom of the stairs and keep anyone from coming up. When they had “finished” he walked her down the stairs and they said a very amorous goodbye. Which I witnessed through the cracked doorway of a room across the hall, after he indicated he wanted me to disappear. At the end of the evening, Steve left and I stayed behind to catch Cherry on the front porch.
“Hey Cherry. Remember me?”
“Jin! Hi, where ya been since school? Oh never mind, I read the newspaper.”
So we chatted for a few minutes and I slipped into conversation, that Dr. Barton was married and currently had a girlfriend. She looked at me dumbfounded then said “So?” and attempted to flirt with me! I quickly said my goodbyes and shook my head.
Steve’s bad luck and stress continued to get worse a few days later when he met with Bianca at the beach.
“Are you kidding me?” Steve yelled. “How did this happen? For the love of Sims! How could you allow this to happen. Talk about ruining everything.” He took a calming breath then continued on, “It’s fine. I will call tomorrow and make arrangements to take care of it and then we can get on with our lives.”
“Get on with our lives? Are you insane? I will do no such thing and nothing you can do will force me to either!” Bianca screamed back. “This is about the two of us and you will do your part to help me with anything I need. Starting with leaving your wife!”
“Yeah, uh huh. I don’t think so. I love my wife and don’t have any intentions of EVER leaving her. If you want to ruin your body then go ahead, but I am not going to stick around and watch it happen.”
“Ruin my body? I put my body through HELL for you. Plastic surgery on my face, butt lift, liposuction and these huge boobs that I have to lug around. Oh and don’t forget hair extensions! All to make YOU happy!
It takes two to tangle Steven. You need to step up and take responsibility for your part in this! You promised me you were going to leave your wife! Was it all just a lie? My mother..my poor mother! Don’t tell me you didn’t have something to do with that cause I know you did. But I forgave you because you loved me! You are EVIL. STAY AWAY FROM ME!”
“Gladly,” Steve replied. “You are easily replaced anyway and served your purpose for now. I’ve already found my new special one and tested her out just the other night. Oh, she is going to be an interesting companion I dare say.”
As he walked away, he called Cherry and asked her to meet him at the Drive In Theatre. They spent their time in the hotel for the rest of the afternoon, while I waited outside keeping guard. Once again, while parting ways they made love to each other all over again with their lips. As Cherry pulled away, you could see the evidence of true affection on her face and it was clear she was already falling for this man who would, without a doubt, hurt her then discard her when he was done.
Steve left Cherry and returned home looking for his wife, but since she had come back from her “vacation”, she had thrown herself into the community. She moved her book club to the new bakery owned by Sara Douglas and also started a Lady’s Social tea afternoon. Charlotte had become very close to Sara, taking her under her wing to help introduce Sara to members of the town. Sara was grateful, because her bakery was getting so much business from the social groups alone, as well as walk in traffic from everyone else that had heard about her tasty goods! It made me nervous because Sara had two twin daughters.
I wondered what Charlotte’s motives were for becoming so involved in the town. Although I didn’t know her well, I believed she was compensating for something: perhaps her husband’s affairs were taking more of a toll on her than we were able to see? I did feel incredibly bad for her, being treated the way she was by her husband who supposedly “loves” her, as he told Bianca. Not that I thought Steve knew what real love was.
Steve had hired me to essentially be his body guard. Since he had returned from Sunlit Tides, the powers above him had been putting a lot of pressure on him he said and he was beginning to think that his life may be in danger. He took me into his office to explain all of this to me and outline my duties he wished me to perform.
“I need to know Jin. If someone had a gun pointed in my direction, would you do everything in your power to protect me?”
That question alone showed the depth of his paranoia and although I hoped it wouldn’t come down to my having to do anything illegal, I replied with “Whatever you need Dr. Barton.”
As I stood up to leave his office, I realized the once full case of elixirs was now full of awards and trophy’s Dr. Barton had accumulated over the years. It was clear to me that in his fear, he was covering his tracks as well.
More pics from Steve and Bianca’s vacation
CC Used In The Chapter