A Little Faith

BY : Aerys_Krystie
Category: 1 through F > Four Brothers
Dragon prints: 353
Disclaimer: Everything of and referring to Four Brothers is not mine. This is a fan-made, non-profit story. Please support the official release.

~A Little Faith + Burn for You~

 

By: Aerys Krystie.

Theme: AU — Post movie — Jack alive.

Plot: At Angel and Sofi’s wedding, Jack and Bobby get a little tipsy.
At their first anniversary, things get a little heated.

Warnings: Language, slash, OOC.

Pairing: Bobby/Jack.

Disclaimer: Everything of and referring to Four Brothers is not mine. This is a fan-based, non-profit story. Please support the official release.

I lay no claim to any of the lyrics used. They are sung by Australian legend John Farnham.

First song: Angels, by John Farnham.
Second song: Have a Little Faith in Us, by John Farnham.
Third song: Every Time You Cry, John Farnham/Human Nature.
Fourth song: Touch of Paradise, John Farnham.
Fifth song: Burn for You, John Farnham.

oOo

Jack sat on the sofa, watching as Bobby and Angel argued about the upcoming wedding, which would be held on Saturday. He and Jeremiah tried not to laugh as Bobby stood in the living room in a tuxedo in possibly the most hideous shade of green ever seen. Bobby had no problem wearing a tux, as long as it was black or he would show up in jeans and his jersey. Angel had said that Sofi picked out the groomsmen tuxes to go with the dresses of the bridesmaids.

Bobby ripped the bowtie off and growled. “I ain’t wearin’ this shit, Angel! You either tell her to change the dresses or I show up there, butt naked and drunk.”

Angel looked like a kicked puppy at the threat and ran his hands over his head, sighing. All of them knew that the threat was more of a promise, especially as Bobby wasn’t the biggest fan of green. Bobby had already demanded to know why they had to wear a tux, instead of just wearing the shirt, tie and jeans. He wasn’t all that happy that he had to dress up, being the best man.

Eventually, Angel agreed to talk to Sofi about the color choice and Bobby started tearing off the tux, muttering to himself about brothers being dicks. Jack smiled and shook his head. He got to his feet and placed a hand on Bobby’s shoulder, watching as he calmed down, glancing at his baby brother. He managed to undo the shirt without popping any of the buttons and ran upstairs to change to into something a lot more comfortable for him. Jack glanced at Jeremiah and raised an eyebrow.

Neither of them had any idea how the ceremony was going to go, considering Sofi was already upset that Angel had Bobby as his best man, instead of Jack or Jeremiah. Sofi seemed to forget that Bobby that was the older brother and would always be the first choice as best man. He’d been best man at Jeremiah’s wedding, having come home to attend it. If Jack ever thought of marriage, he knew that Bobby would be his best man, as well.

Honestly, Jack had been trying not to think about marriage. Two of his brothers were tying the knot and he didn’t want to think of the time that Bobby found a girl he wanted to be with forever. Every time he thought about it, his right shoulder would throb, as though reminding him that his time was limited. He glanced over at the stairs as Bobby came down in jeans and a tee-shirt.

Jack lowered his eyes and sighed. He needed to meet up with his band, so they could rehearse the song he wanted to sing for Angel and Sofi. He had played the song for Sofi and she agreed that his flash-mob of a band could perform the song. Jack had thanked her and said that he wouldn’t take up too much of their time. They had spent the last three weeks getting the song right, considering he wanted to make it a little faster than the original. He was grateful to know that the band knew what he wanted and were trying their hardest to get it right.

Clearing his throat, Jack said he was heading out and would be back in a couple of hours. Bobby asked if he needed a lift anywhere and Jack shook his head. The walk would do him good. He needed to keep using his leg or it would become annoying again. He grabbed his hoodie and left the house before Bobby could guilt him into letting him tag along. He kind of wanted the song to be a surprise for his brothers.

Jack walked over to the drummer’s house. He honestly hadn’t bothered to learn their names, as he got them together for the one song and that would be it. He had to admit, it felt amazing to play the guitar again. He was terrified that he’d never be able to hold one again, with the damage done to his shoulder. Months of grueling physical therapy made playing the guitar possible again. And because he could play again, he wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to play for his brothers. He doubted the song would be Bobby’s cup of tea, but he really didn’t care about that.

Sofi had liked the song, but he suddenly wasn’t too sure about Angel. Jeremiah was the one that gave him the CD with the song on it, but he knew for a fact that none of his brothers would listen to that singer. All of them had their own tastes in music, but Jack was certain they would at least appreciate the effort he put into performing the song. If not, he was out of ideas and hoped they liked his wedding gift, which he would need to buy.

Sighing softly, Jack wondered if he should get the gift before he attended practice. He ran his hands through his hair and groaned softly, tilting his head back and staring up at the summer sky. For the fun of it, he looked over his shoulder and frowned at the person that was about a hundred feet from him. He sighed as he recognized the strut and shook his head. As he watched, he noticed that Bobby was keeping his distance and Jack wondered if he knew he was easily identified by his stance and walk.

Jack straightened his head and continued on his way, rounding the corner and ducking behind a hedge fence. He grinned as he heard Bobby curse when he turned the corner and realized he’d lost his little brother. “That fuckin’ Cracker Jack,” Bobby muttered and Jack glared at the hedge. His eyes widened when a hand slipped through and slapped him upside the head. “Get out here, Jackie.”

With a slight pout, Jack stepped out of the yard and raised an eyebrow. He had no idea the hell Bobby knew where he was. “How the hell did you know?”

“I ain’t an idiot. Where else would ya have been that I couldn’t see ya?”

Jack bit his tongue as he thought about it. He kept forgetting that Bobby had brains between his ears, which he apparently enjoyed using to find Jack. He shrugged and agreed. “Why’re ya followin’ me, Bobby?”

“You didn’t say where you were goin’.” Bobby shrugged as though it was obvious. “I don’t like not knowin’ where ya are, man.”

Jack stopped and stared at the pavement of the sidewalk. He wondered how many times Bobby had followed him since he was able to move on his own. Bobby wanted to know where Jack was at every second of every day and Jack was surprised that he didn’t have a tracker in him. He was also very aware that Bobby blamed himself for the scars and the agony that Jack to go through in order to be a regular human again.

He ducked his head slightly as Bobby’s hand landed on his shoulder, close to his neck. He looked up from under his fringe and saw the concern on Bobby’s face. Jack sighed softly and hugged Bobby tightly, wishing he could take that guilt from his brother. None of them had a reason to blame themselves for what happened that day. He was the stupid one that fell for the obvious ploy. He shivered against Bobby’s warm body, which made him pull back and place a hand to his forehead.

“I’m not sick, Bobby. You’re just hotter than outside,” Jack said and shrugged. He frowned when Bobby cocked an eyebrow. “What?”

“I’m hot to ya, huh?” Bobby laughed and ruffled Jack’s hair. “C’mon, man. I think we should get you to that practice.”

Jack groaned, unable to believe that Bobby had ruined the surprise for him. “Have you told Angel yet?”

“Jack, I haven’t told him it was you that cut out the nipples in his favorite shirt, eight years ago. I did get a concussion from that fight, though.” Bobby grinned when Jack lowered his head and mumbled an apology. “Ya gotta learn to trust me, ya little fairy. Let’s go.”

oOo

Sofi had refused to back down on the color of the tuxes, which even made Jeremiah groan. In order to get back at her, the three brothers agreed to wear black jeans with the tux jacket. Jeremiah said he was going to do one better and wear his overalls, just to get at her for punishing them because she didn’t like Bobby. Jack wore a favorite long sleeved shirt under the puke green jacket, along with his studded belt and chains. He knew that Angel would be disappointed in them, but he really didn’t care. None of them, Angel included, wanted to wear that hideous tuxedo.

Jeremiah changed in Jack’s room with him, as they were attending the hotel together. Once he was dressed, Jack went to the bathroom and ran coconut oil through his hair, styling it. He could hear Bobby growling and muttering mutinously in Mom’s room and he couldn’t help but chuckle. He had a feeling that Bobby would gladly pay for damages done to the tuxedo if he got to rip the arms off. With his hair spiked and falling the way he wanted it to, Jack grabbed his toothbrush and oil and left the bathroom, throwing them into his overnight bag.

Angel called up to them to hurry up as they were going to be late. Jack glanced at Jeremiah, both grinning as they left the bedroom and went downstairs. Angel took one look at them and groaned. “Seriously?” he practically whined at them. “Y’all ain’t makin’ this any easier!”

“Neither’s our future sister-in-law, man,” Jack said as he opened the front door and headed for Jeremiah’s car. He paused and rolled his eyes at his stupidity, running back into the house. He grabbed his guitar and went back down, as Bobby came out.

Jack glanced at him and laughed, seeing that Bobby had his Red Wings jersey on under the jacket. Angel was going to kill him, but at least Bobby was dressed and sober. They went downstairs and Angel looked ready to cry as he saw Bobby. As Bobby told Angel that their current attire was his fault, Jack walked with Jeremiah to his car and dropped his bag and guitar into the backseat, before he hopped into the passenger seat. They followed Bobby and Angel to the hotel, handing their bags over to the bellhop.

Bobby and Jack looked around, their minds already working on where the safe would be located and calculating how much cash on hand they’d have. They caught the other’s eye and grinned, knowing what was going through their mind. Camille stepped out of the elevator in a dress the same hideous shade of puke green and one that didn’t do a thing for her figure, her eyes widening at what the groomsmen were wearing. She told them that the other bridesmaids would be down in a few minutes, as they were helping Sofi with her dress and directed them over to the ballroom where the ceremony and reception would be held.

Jack glanced at the stage that had been set up for the band. He looked at the doors when the two other bridesmaids came in and he rolled his shoulders. The maid of honor was Camille and the other two were pretty and Jack didn’t like that. From what he could remember, the room they were staying in had two rooms — a master and a regular one. He knew that Jeremiah and Camille would take the master, while he and Bobby would be shoved into the room with two twin beds.

The last thing Jack wanted to listen to was Bobby getting lucky with one of the bridesmaids, as he’d already mentioned that was the point of them. Shaking his head, Jack took his guitar to the stage and placed it there. Sofi already told him that their first dance would be to the song he picked out, which made him blush. The beat of the song wasn’t really good for a first dance, so he and the band had worked on a second song. Jack really prayed that his voice could do the song justice.

He jumped when he felt a heavy hand on his lower back and glanced at Bobby. “You okay?”

Jack rolled his eyes. “I’m fine, Bobby.”

“Ya sure? You ain’t…nervous are ya?” Bobby teased and grinned when Jack glared at him. “I just wanna make sure you know what ya doin’, little brother.”

“This ain’t my first time performin’, Bobby.” Jack bit the inside of his lower lip and glanced at Angel, hoping and praying that he enjoyed the music.

“Calm down. Focus on the music and ya’ll do fine.”

Jack inhaled shakily and nodded. “Thanks, Bobby.”

“Ya welcome. Now, the guests will be arrivin’ soon.”

Jack nodded and stepped outside of the ballroom, onto the patio and lit up as the guests slowly filled the seats. He realized that he didn’t recognize any of them. He figured the ones in their uniforms were from Angel’s squad. The others, he had no idea who they were and he wasn’t really looking forward to being introduced. He only needed to meet Sofi’s immediate family.

He crouched down and breathed deeply, trying to fight off the pain that constricted his chest. He really wished that Mom was there to see another of her babies getting married. He looked up when someone stood beside him and smiled at Angel. He could tell his older brother was thinking the same thing and gave him a quick hug. They would get through it, though. They were nothing if not fighters.

Jack frowned when he heard the shutter of a camera and saw a woman taking pictures. She grinned at them and then went back into the room, snapping more memories of the big day. Jack crushed out his cigarette in the metal ashtray and inhaled shakily, cracking his knuckles. He went back in and smiled nervously as people pointed and waved at him. He saw an older woman running her eyes over him, before she turned to man sitting beside her and muttered something in Spanish. He got the feeling that was Sofi’s mother and she wasn’t impressed by what the groomsmen were wearing.

He raised an eyebrow when he saw that Bobby had a beer bottle in his hand. He had no idea where his brother was hiding that, but he shook his head. He was talking to a pair of marines and placed his empty bottle on the stage, which made Jack roll his eyes. Once all the seats were filled, the bridesmaids left the room and Angel called his brothers over.

Jack stood at the end of the line, beside Jeremiah. He, Bobby and Jeremiah were all trying to keep the smirk from their faces as they knew Sofi would like lose it the moment she saw them. As Camille came in and took her spot, the three of them started basically giggling, turning their heads away from the guests. They cleared their throats when the bridal march started. As they expected, Sofi stepped in and smiled at Angel. As her eyes slid over to them, her face froze and her eyes widened. Jack laughed as the photographer managed to snap several pictures of the pure rage on her face. That would be awesome additions to the wedding album.

Collecting herself, Sofi continued down the aisle and was given away by her brother. The ceremony went off without a problem, except Bobby raising his eyebrow and shifting his weight from time to time. Jack leaned behind Jeremiah and whispered his name, trying to get him to calm down. He didn’t remember Bobby being that antsy during Jeremiah’s wedding. No one else seemed to notice that Bobby was dying to get away for some reason and Jack remembered the beer his brother downed.

“You can’t leave to take a piss now,” Jack hissed to him and then smiled as someone in the first row cleared their throat.

“That’s easy for you to say, ya little fairy,” Bobby whispered back and shifted his weight again. “You didn’t down three beers.”

“How the fuck did you even get three beers in here?” Jack asked, trying to keep his voice down.

“The question is, where are the other three I have?”

“You brought a six pack in?! You deserve to suffer for this.”

“Try not to think of waterfalls and flushing toilets, Bobby,” Jeremiah murmured, which made Bobby’s back go rigid, while he and Jack snickered, lowering their heads in the vain attempt to hide it.

Angel glared over his shoulder at them, which made Jack and Jeremiah burst out laughing. Even Bobby couldn’t stop a chuckle. Did Angel honestly think his brothers wouldn’t find a way of ruining the ceremony? Bobby was the first to calm down. “Can we wrap this up, padre? Some of us have prior engagements to attend.”

Jack placed his fist over his mouth, trying to hide his laughter, while Jeremiah actually turned his back on the guests. Angel agreed with Bobby, wanting to end the ceremony before anything else happened. Someone outside of the room managed to get Daniela and Amelia to enter, holding a pillow between them that had the rings. Jeremiah cleared his throat and turned to face Bobby’s back, watching as he groaned and bent at the waist slightly, trying to shift his bladder around to take the pressure off it.

“Bobby, you’re a fuckin’ dick,” Jack whispered and then glanced at the elderly woman in the front row that had overheard him. “Sorry, ma’am.”

“That’s what’s about to burst if these two don’t move this along.” Bobby shifted again and then whispered something in Angel’s ear, which made him tense.

Twenty seconds later, Angel was basically dragging Sofi down the aisle as husband and wife, while Bobby ran after them to find the nearest bathroom. Camille glared at Jeremiah and walked down the aisle alone, while Jeremiah and Jack walked off with their bridesmaid. Once outside the room, the two brothers collapsed against each other, laughing as they saw Bobby relieving himself into one of the pot plants in the hallway, while drinking another beer.

Angel was already in an argument with Sofi about Bobby’s antics, but he refused to apologize for who his brother was. “C’mon, baby! At least none of ’em’ll ever forget this!”

“He is pissing into a pot plant!” Sofi shrieked, not caring that the guests could hear her.

“Hey,” Bobby shouted back, which made a few of the guests come to the door. “It ain’t my fuckin’ fault you picked a hotel that don’t have a workin’ bathroom! Where do you expect ya guests to piss durin’ the night?”

“Bobby, just finish ya piss, man. Let me handle this.” Angel inhaled deeply and placed his hands on Sofi’s shoulders. “You really shoulda changed your mind on the color of the dresses, baby.”

Sofi screamed at Angel in Spanish, which just made Jack and Jeremiah laugh. She suddenly turned her blazing eyes onto them. “And don’t even get me started on you two! How could you let this happen? Look at what you’re wearing!”

Jack and Jeremiah glanced at themselves and then at each other, before they turned their eyes back to Sofi. “Ya shoulda changed ya mind on the color,” they said and shrugged, which made Bobby laughed as he finally finished his piss and joined them, doing up his flier.

“Seriously, la vida loca, if ya had just changed the color, we woulda been on our best behavior,” Bobby explained honestly with a shrug. All they wanted was a different color of jacket.

“You need to grow up, Bobby,” Sofi stated and then turned to Jeremiah. “I expect Jackie to follow Bobby’s lead, but you, Jeremiah?”

Nobody likes this color, Sofi,” Jerry said and gestured towards Camille. “Not even my wife likes it. If she wasn’t so tactful, she’d have joined us in ruinin’ this.”

Camille smiled nervously as Sofi glared at her, before she sighed. “I told ya to change the color when Angel said Bobby didn’t like it.”

“Baby, you shoulda changed the color when I said I didn’t like it,” Angel said and placed his hands on her shoulders, rubbing them. “But we’re married now. Let’s put this behind us, yeah?”

Sofi sighed and nodded. She smiled and kissed Angel, watching as the tables were arranged in the ballroom and the chairs were moved around to give them a dance floor and an area to make speeches. “You better not fuck up your speech, Bobby,” she warned and headed over to the elevator. “I’m going to change and come back, okay?”

As soon as Sofi was gone, Angel turned on his brothers and glared at them. “Y’all couldn’t give me one day?”

“Shoulda fought harder to get the color changed, little brother,” Bobby said as he slapped Angel on the shoulder and cracked another beer. “Now, when does the bar open?”

oOo

Jack shifted in the chair and chewed his lower lip. They were getting ready for the speeches to be made, which would then lead to the first dance of the couple. Bobby stood up, tapping the side of his champagne glass with a knife, staring at it when it broke. Angel shook his head and stood up, tapping his glass a little more delicately, but frowned when it broke. He looked at Bobby and shrugged. He picked up Sofi’s glass and threw it across the room, watching as it smashed on the wall beside the doors. That got everyone attention.

“Thank you,” Bobby said and picked up his broken glass. “We’d like to get the speeches done now, so we can continue to have a fun night.” He pointed to Camille. “The maid of honor would like to go first.” He sat down.

Camille smiled and cleared her throat. “I’ve not known Sofi that long,” she started and lowered her eyes. “So I was surprised when she asked me to be her maid of honor. From the year or so that I’ve known her, I came to learn that she is a very passionate woman with a strong will and a big heart. I know that she loves Angel with all her heart. She has to, if she puts up with Bobby.” Camille raised an eyebrow when Bobby snickered. “I’ve never seen her so happy and I’m proud to have her as family. Sofi, welcome to the Mercer family!”

The applause was short lived as Bobby stood up, smirking. “I don’t know Sofi in the slightest. I tease her. I torment her. But I think she’s finally learned that she needs to live through that in order to be classed as a member of our small family. When my brother said he wanted to die, I expected him to want to go out in a blaze of glory; not being drowned with a ball and chain. But I know that Ma adored that ball and chain and she was the best judge of character. And I ain’t dumb; I can see how happy she makes my little brother. Anyone that can make one of my brothers smile after what we’ve been through is more than welcomed in our family. Sofi, la vida loca, welcome to the family.”

Bobby raised his broken glass as the guests clapped. He went to take a sip of the champagne, when Jeremiah stood up and slapped it out of his hand. Jack smiled and shook his head, sitting back as Sofi’s sister and brother made their speech, before he grabbed the band members and removed the annoying jacket of the tux. He took to the stage and tuned his guitar, before stepping up to the microphone as the guests applauded the brother’s speech about an end of an era. Jack wasn’t paying attention to them, but he caught Sofi’s eye and nodded.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to dedicate this song to the married couple. It isn’t the one I’ve spent weeks working on, but I think they’ll find it easier to have their first dance to.” He stepped back and listened to the gentle beat that the drummer gave them, before he began to sing, strumming his guitar softly.

 

The touch of your hand, will let me know

You take me in and let me go

If not for love, why would we meet?

How is it done, two into one, so easily?

 

We’re lifted up by angels

Higher than the world

Strong enough to leave it

Bound to learn the secrets

Angels never heard

We’re lifted up by angels

 

You understand, yet never say

How every plan, would fade away

If not for love, where would you be?

Ashes to dust, water to rust

Away from me

 

We’re lifted up by angels

Higher than the world

Strong enough to leave it

Bound to learn the secrets

The angels never heard

We’re lifted up by angels

 

Given wings to fly

Leave the night behind us

Trust the light to find us

Even as we rise

We’re lifted up by angels

 

Jack stepped back as he went into his solo and glanced around the room. He was surprised to see how many people were swaying with the music and felt his heart swell. He looked over at Bobby and found his brother staring at him. It seemed that he was doing the song justice, given that Bobby wasn’t smirking at him and shaking his head in shame.

 

We’re close enough to heaven

Above the rain

The darkness cannot reach us

Let the angels teach us

Only love remains

 

We’re lifted up by angels

Higher than the world

Strong enough to leave it

Bound to learn the secrets

Angels never heard

 

Close enough to heaven

Above the rain

The darkness cannot reach us

Let the angels teach us

Only love remains.

 

We’re lifted up by angels

 

Jack bit his lower lip and stepped back as the song faded out. He smiled at Sofi as she and Angel stopped dancing and clapped for him. She didn’t look disappointed with the song choice and stepped up to the stage. Jack leant down and kissed her cheek, saying that he would be moving into the next song, so others could dance with them. She smiled and nodded, going back to Angel.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the song I’d like to dedicate to everyone here,” Jack said and stepped back from the mic, inhaling deeply. He glanced at the drummer and nodded, smiling as the beat started.

 

See the lovers in the faded photograph

She’s makin’ funny faces, he’s tryin’ not to laugh

Do you remember, the way we used to be?

When love lifted us up, made us feel so free

 

How we betrayed each other

Tryin’ to rediscover

That feelin’ once again

This is not the end

 

There’s no ghost from the past that we can’t shake

Have a little faith in us, have a little faith in us

There’s no history that we can’t remake

Have a little faith in us

For all we know, the best is yet to come

 

We like the wind under our wings, you and I

We stay on the ground too long; we get the urge to fly

And it seems the grass would be more green

In any other place, with any change of scene

 

Here is the love we long for, open the secret door

And it will take us in

And sweep us off our feet again!

 

There’s no ghost from the past that we can’t shake

Have a little faith in us, have a little faith in us

There’s no history that we can’t remake

Have a little faith in us, have a little faith in us

There’s no ghost from the past that we can’t shake

Have a little faith in us, have a little faith in us

There’s no destiny that we can’t create

Have a little faith in us

For all we know, the best is yet to come

 

And we can climb that mountain and go

Where this love has never gone before

And in our wildest hearts of hearts we will know

That we have been reborn

 

Oh, there’s no ghost from the past that we can’t shake

Have a little faith in us, have a little faith in us

There’s no history that we can’t remake

Have a little faith in us, have a little faith in us

Oh, there’s no ghost from the past that we can’t shake

Have a little faith in us, have a little faith in us

There’s no destiny that we can’t create

Have a little faith in us

For all we know…the best is yet to come

 

Jack stepped back from the microphone as he played the guitar, occasionally singing out ‘have a little faith in us,’ as the song faded out. He sang the last line and looked at Bobby, smiling. He strummed his fingers along the strings one last time and bowed as the crowd clapped. He took off his guitar and put it back into the case and stepped off the stage, going to the bridal party table. He downed his champagne, hoping it would kill off the adrenaline that was pumping through his veins. He forgot how much fun it was to sing and play the guitar.

He raised an eyebrow as a shot of whiskey was placed in front of him. He looked up at Bobby and smiled, taking the glass and toasting his brother. He downed the shot and stood up, going onto the patio and lighting up. He stood away from the others that were out there, smoking. He went around the corner and pressed his back to the wall, sliding down and drawing his knees up. He flicked the ash off and tilted his head back, closing his eyes. There was a song he really wanted to sing for Bobby, but he didn’t want to embarrass him or make it so obvious that he was in love with his oldest brother.

Jack opened his eyes when something dripped onto his forehead and saw Bobby standing over him with an ice cube. “Shouldn’t you be in there, making trouble?” he asked as he stood up and took the glass from Bobby’s hand, downing the shot. He cried out, wrinkling his nose. “Who the fuck brought absinthe?”

Bobby laughed and pulled the bottle from the jacket pocket. “I wanted to make sure this was a real party.” He stood beside Jack and opened the bottle, pouring another round into the glass, before he took a mouthful. “The songs you picked were nice.”

“Thanks,” Jack said and smiled a little bashfully, downing the shot. He knew he was going to get fucked up, but he didn’t care. He held the glass out and Bobby cocked an eyebrow, but filled it again. “There was another I wanted to sing, but I figured I’d taken up enough of everyone’s time.”

“It couldn’t be any worse than the cat they’re castratin’ in there.” Bobby glared over his shoulder, but frowned as Jack downed the shot. “You okay, Jackie?”

“It’s been years since I last had absinthe,” Jack said and was grateful to know that his tongue was getting numb. “I plan to make the most of this.”

“You’re soundin’ fucked up already, baby brother,” Bobby said and shook his head. “That’s enough for ya. C’mon.”

Jack shook his head and found that to be a bad idea. “You go ahead…Leave the bottle.”

“That ain’t happenin’, sweetheart.” Bobby filled Jack’s glass and then finished the bottle, throwing it out onto the lawn. He watched as Jack took the shot and then pushed him towards one of the doors. “C’mon.”

Jack laughed as the world started spinning. He loved how quickly absinthe got him fucked up. He stumbled and held onto Bobby’s shoulder, waiting for the alcohol to settle in his stomach again. With a deep breath, he began walking again. They entered from behind the bridal table and he wrapped his arms around Jeremiah’s shoulders, hugging him tightly and wishing him a good night.

As he made his way through the dancing people, he found Angel and Sofi and hugged both of them, thanking them for the opportunity to sing for them. Angel raised an eyebrow and shook his head, pushing him towards the door into the hallway, so he could head up to the room. He called for Bobby to take him up and see that he had a basket to throw up in. Bobby demanded to know why he should do it.

“Ya the one that brought the absinthe,” Angel shot back and Bobby rolled his eyes, finishing the beer in his hand and detangled Jack from Sofi.

As he was dragged out of the ballroom, Jack turned and waved to the guests. “The Mercers forever!” he declared, not fighting as he was forcefully pulled out of the room.

Jack was shoved into the elevator and Bobby hit the button for the seventh floor. Jack blinked and realized that the elevator was getting too hot for his liking. He pulled away from Bobby and stood in the corner, tilting his head back. Bobby asked if he was okay and Jack shrugged, before stretching his arms above his head and arching his back. He moaned softly as his spine cracked.

He straightened and turned to Bobby, who was staring at the doors. He rested his head on Bobby’s shoulder, closing his eyes as he felt his brother’s hand on his neck. “I don’t want you to feel guilty,” he murmured and felt Bobby’s head turn. Before he could ask ‘for what,’ as Jack knew he would, he raised his head and kissed Bobby.

Jack pulled back after a few moments when Bobby didn’t respond. He glanced at his brother’s face and found that he was just staring at him blankly. He bit his lower lip and stepped out of the elevator as the doors dinged open. He kept his head down as Bobby unlocked the door and shoved him inside. He looked up to apologize, but Bobby’s grabbed his head and kissed him. Jack couldn’t stop a small moan slipping out, which gave Bobby the chance to slip his tongue into his mouth.

His knees going weak, Jack pulled back and panted. He honestly didn’t plan for them to do anything that night and he got the feeling that Bobby hadn’t either. It didn’t stop him from pushing his little brother towards the master bedroom and onto the king size bed. Jack sat up and kicked off his boots, pulling Bobby between his legs and pushing the hideous jacket off his shoulders. He ran his hands under the jersey and moaned quietly as he felt the strong torso.

He pulled the jersey off and leaned forward, running his tongue up the center of Bobby’s chest. He blinked as Bobby pushed him back and held him by the shoulders. “You’re drunk, Jackie,” he stated and stepped back.

Jack’s eyes widened as Bobby pulled his jersey on and left the bedroom. He slipped off the bed and followed his brother into the other bedroom. “You’re not gonna leave me hard!”

“I ain’t doin’ this while ya drunk, Jack,” Bobby stated with a tone that told Jack he was sticking to his guns. “Either jerk off in the shower or have a cold one. But I ain’t stickin’ my dick in ya while ya have no idea what’s happenin’.”

“What a fuckin’ cop out!” Jack sighed and went across the hallway to the bathroom. He stripped and turned on the cold water. The icy stream sobered him up a little and took care of his problem. He stepped out and wrapped a towel around his hips, going to the bedroom. He was about to slam the door, but he saw that Bobby was already asleep.

Pulling on a pair of boxers, Jack dried his body and pulled back the covers of the unoccupied bed. He slipped under the covers and stared at the dark ceiling. He exhaled sharply and turned his back to Bobby, closing his eyes and falling asleep rather quickly, thanks to the alcohol still in his system. He had no idea how he was going to face his big brother in the morning. In fact, he had no idea how he was going to face any of them, considering the shit he did during the ceremony and then basically passing out on Sofi until Bobby collected him.

Sometimes, life sucked balls.

oOo

Someone shaking his shoulder forced Jack to open his eyes. He looked around and saw that he was alone in the room. Jeremiah was telling him to get up and join them for breakfast. Jack groaned and rolled out of bed, landing in a heap on the floor. Jeremiah shook his head and left the room, as Jack stood and stretched. He went across to the bathroom, scratching his lower back and trying to remember something. Before he reached the door, he went back to the room and grabbed his toothbrush.

After brushing his teeth and washing his face, Jack was beginning to feel a little more human. He didn’t bother to brush his hair. He pulled on jeans and a shirt and tried to locate his cigarettes. He heard Jeremiah calling out to him and left the room, going to the kitchenette and grabbing a mug of coffee. He collapsed into a chair, accepting the waffles that were placed in front of him. He ate one and frowned as he saw his smokes and lighter on the coffee table in front of the sofa.

He thanked Camille for breakfast and grabbed his smokes, stepping out onto the balcony. He rested his arms on the balcony railing and looked out over the garden the hotel had. He knew that Angel and Sofi were spending their honeymoon in the hotel. Once he finished his smoke and crushed it out in the porcelain ashtray, he stretched his shoulder and leg, wincing at the stiffness of the muscles. He was going to assume they weren’t too happy with him taking a cold shower last night.

Going back inside, Jack found that either Camille or Jeremiah had brought his shoes out of the master bedroom and placed them beside the coffee table. He went into the bedroom and collected his clothing, knowing that they would be checking out that day. He found that Bobby’s bag was gone and tried his hardest not to flinch. He packed his bag and pulled his shoes on, joining Camille and Jeremiah in the kitchen again. He finished his coffee. He smiled when Camille told him that the songs he sang were beautiful and nodded when Jeremiah agreed. He didn’t want to think about the previous night.

Once Camille had placed their dishes in the dishwasher and set it up, they collected their bags and Jack got his smokes off the balcony. They went down to the front desk and handed over the keycards, finding Sofi and Angel waiting for them outside. They hugged the newlywed couple and wished them fun during their honeymoon, as Jeremiah got his car. Angel asked if any of them had seen Bobby and Jack shook his head, saying he was gone by the time he woke up.

When Jeremiah pulled up, Jack hugged Angel again and slipped into the backseat. He didn’t say anything as they drove home, staring out the window. He must’ve blanked out, as a few minutes later, Jeremiah was pulling up outside the house. Jack murmured his thanks and grabbed his bags, telling them to have a good day. He frowned when he saw that Bobby’s car wasn’t on the property. He sighed and went to the backdoor, grabbing the spare key and unlocking it. He returned it to its hiding place and entered the house, closing and locking the door behind him.

He went upstairs and dropped his bags in his room. For a brief moment, Jack considered going downstairs and watching some TV, but pushed it to the side. There’d be nothing decent on and he’d rather pass out on his bed than the sofa. He grabbed his acoustic, sitting on the bed and strumming his fingers over the strings, tuning as he needed. He might not have been able to sing the song for Bobby and it seemed as though he never would, as he got the feeling Bobby had fled the city, leaving him alone in the house.

Jack sighed and pushed the guitar to the side, not wanting to destroy it as he felt his anger bubbling. He grabbed his smokes and went downstairs, frowning when someone knocked on the front door. He rolled his shoulder, not feeling comfortable in the slightest. The person knocked again and Jack sighed, opening the door and raising an eyebrow at the middle aged man that was standing there.

“Hi, I’m your neighbor. I just wanted to let you know that there’s been a couple of shady people walking around in your backyard last night.”

Jack nodded. “Thank you for that.”

The man smiled and shuffled out of the sunroom, while Jack closed and locked the door. He couldn’t think of anyone stupid enough to hang around the Mercer home, considering they showed they were damn near impossible to kill off. He sighed and went into the kitchen, grabbing a glass of juice and opening a window. He sat at the table and smoked, while he flipped through the newspaper. He looked up, frowning as someone else knocked on the front door. He was beginning to get pissed off.

Flicking the cigarette out the window, Jack closed it and headed for the front door. He stared at the silhouette on the other side and shook his head. He opened the door and saw a woman standing there. She looked up and her smile froze when she saw him and then she looked behind him, as though she was expecting someone else. Seeing no one else there, she returned her eyes to Jack and smiled.

“I’m looking for Bobby Mercer,” she said and Jack blinked.

“Who?”

“Oh…Does he not live here anymore?” Jack offered a small smile and shook his head. She nodded and stepped back. “Okay, thanks.” She hesitated a moment. “Are you sure he doesn’t live here? It’s just that the letterbox still has the Mercer name on it.”

“I’ve been meanin’ to change that.”

She sighed and nodded. “Sorry to have bothered ya.”

Jack made sure she got into her car and drove off, before he closed the door and locked it. The hangover was creeping in and he was getting tired of answering the door. He went into the living room and curled up on the sofa, turning on the TV. He kept the volume low, just so no one thought anyone was home. He thought about why some random woman from Bobby’s past would show up at his childhood home. He sighed and shook his head. It wasn’t any of his business.

As far as he could tell, Bobby wasn’t coming back, which meant that Jack would need to contact his old band members, if he wanted to continue living in the house. He chewed his lower lip and sat up, grabbing the phone that was beside the sofa. He hesitated, unsure if he wanted to deal with his band members. Knowing his luck, they would probably want him to head back and continue with their lives. Jack looked around the living room, as though trying to find something to keep him there.

His eyes went to the dining room and frowned when he saw Bobby standing there. His older brother was finishing the juice that Jack forgot about, staring at him. Jack sighed and rubbed his eyes, placing the handle back in the cradle and stood up. He figured it would be time to tell Bobby that some strange woman was looking for him, but he felt too drained to do anything except go to his room and pass out.

“What’s wrong, ya little fairy?”

“I’m a little hung over. Some woman was looking for you, like twenty minutes ago.” Jack shrugged and headed to the stairs. “Oh and our neighbor saw shady people in our backyard last night. Not sure if it was you or someone else.”

“What’s that meant to mean?”

Jack laughed and stared at Bobby. “You’re the shadiest looking fucker I’ve ever seen, Bobby…and I’ve spent time in New York.” He smiled tiredly. “As for the woman, I think she was in some kind of trouble. Seemed scared.”

“Brown hair, blue eyes and twitchin’ like she’s a tweaker?” Bobby asked and Jack frowned, nodding. “Did you see which way she went?”

“Yeah, she went up the street.”

“Don’t open the door for anyone, Jack,” Bobby ordered as he went to the coat hanger and pulled out his gun. He slipped it into the back of his jeans. “I mean it, no one. If someone knocks, you ignore it.”

Jack nodded, really scared of the tone that Bobby was using with him. “Bobby, what’s going on?”

“I’ll be back as soon as I can, Jack. I’ll prob’ly need some stitchin’ up.” Bobby glanced up at him and smirked. He ruffled Jack’s hair. “Have a little faith, right?”

Before Jack could respond, Bobby slipped out the front door and locked it. Jack bit his lower lip and sat down on the first step. He had no idea when Bobby was going to get back, but he also knew that he should check their first aid kit. He wasn’t sure how long he was sitting there, staring at the front door when he heard the backdoor open and Sofi’s voice calling out for him.

Blinking, Jack stepped into the hallway and saw that Sofi was looking around for him. Relief passed over her face as she saw that Jack was still alive. She forced a happy smile and Jack cocked an eyebrow. He wasn’t going to fall for that. However, he knew what his brothers were like. He knew they wouldn’t have told her anything about what was going down, either. She was just as lost as he was.

He went into the kitchen and sat down at the table, while Sofi got a pot of coffee going. Once she had two cups, she handed one to Jack and smiled reassuringly. Jack just nodded and sighed, staring down at the liquid in the mug. He had no idea what his brothers had gotten themselves into, but it couldn’t have been good if Angel felt the need to send Sofi away during their honeymoon. He wondered if any of what was happening had to do with the shady people that their neighbor saw the previous night.

They sat in silence for a long while, until Jack sighed and lit a cigarette. He went up to his room and opened the window, sitting on the edge of his bed. He looked out the window, staring down at the backyard. He couldn’t stop his hands from shaking as he thought about his brothers, out there; doing god knows what to whoever they were hunting. He tapped the ash into the dish and chewed his lower lip, glancing at his door when Sofi stood there.

“You don’t need to worry, Jackie. Bobby might be an ass, but he’ll never let someone hurt his family again.” She sat beside Jack and placed a hand on his shoulder.

Jack searched her eyes, seeing that she was just as scared as he was. However, he swallowed and nodded. It wouldn’t either of them any good to be as scared as each other. “Yeah and he’s got Angel with him.”

He thought back to the hired shooters and winced at the memory. He almost didn’t recognize his brothers after that night. He knew they were hard asses and could definitely defend themselves, but he never expected them to actually murder someone. Neither of them seemed bothered by what they had done, either. He remembered staring into the snow and feeling both of them pushing him back to the car. After that, he was kind of grateful that he was in the hospital and didn’t remember seeing anyone else, aside from the two in front of him that day, dying.

Sofi patted his shoulder and stood up, saying she was going to make something to eat. Once Angel and Bobby get back they would want something to eat. Jack watched as she left his room and lowered his eyes, staying in his room for a little longer. One cigarette later, he got up and went into the bathroom. He grabbed the first aid box and checked their thread and needles, wondering what kind of shit his older brothers got into in order for Evelyn to have a need for those. He saw that the iodine would need to be replaced, as well. The bandages, gauze and medical tape were all stocked.

As the sun set, Jack was picking at the pasta that Sofi made. He was getting worried. He never expected his brothers to be out that long and he jumped when someone knocked on the door. Sofi looked down the hallway and then at Jack. He shook his head. Bobby had told him not to open the door for anyone and he was going to listen to his brother.

Jack glanced at the kitchen windows, searching the yard in the dying light. He whispered for Sofi to go upstairs and she did. The backdoor opened and Jeremiah came in. Jack breathed out, thinking it was him that had been knocking, not thinking that Jeremiah would know where the spare key was. The idea also went out the window when the knocking sounded again. Jeremiah frowned and looked down the hallway.

“Where’s Bobby?”

“O…H-He went out with Angel. Someone showed up here looking for him and then he left. He told me not to answer the door for anyone.” Jeremiah nodded and went to the front door. Jack stood up and stayed within the kitchen. “Be careful, Jerry.”

Jeremiah grinned and opened the front door, crying out when some woman pushed her way in. He grabbed her and threw her out of the house. “Bobby sent me here! Where’s Jack?” she basically screamed and tried to look around Jerry.

“He’s not here,” Jeremiah stated and pushed her back from the door. “Bobby wouldn’t send anyone here, especially if they lookin’ for Jack.”

Jack looked up at the kitchen ceiling, praying that Sofi would stay up there. He wasn’t going to make his brother a widower, especially since it hadn’t even been a full day. Jeremiah was arguing with the woman at the front and Jack felt his throat closing off. Why wasn’t Bobby back already? Where were he and Angel? His eyes widened as Jeremiah fell to the side, holding his groin and the woman’s cold eyes landed on him. She smirked cruelly and stepped into the house, kicking Jeremiah viciously several times.

Before she could take another step into the house, a gun was fired. The bullet embedded in the doorframe and the woman froze, looking at the stairs. Sofi came down and Jack saw the pistol in her hands. Apparently, she wasn’t going to let someone just enter the house without permission. The woman glared and stepped back, holding her hands up.

Sofi took no chances. As soon as the woman was in the sunroom, she shot her in the chest. Jack froze, his eyes wide and his mouth open. Jeremiah groaned as he got to his feet and rubbed his abdomen, turning to look at his little brother. He swore and went into the kitchen, pulling Jack over to a chair and sat him down, while he told Sofi that he would get the shovels so they could bury her body. Sofi agreed and entered the kitchen, grabbing garbage bags and going back to the sunroom.

Jack swallowed and closed his eyes, thinking that even Sofi was more of a man than he was. How could he be a Mercer and not know how to take a life? He swallowed again and got to his feet, running up the stairs and throwing up into the toilet. He groaned as he listened to Sofi struggling with the corpse that she had wrapped in the bags to keep the blood to a minimum throughout. He heard Bobby’s car screech to a halt and his brother’s voices as they demanded to know what happened. Angel helped Sofi with the body and Bobby went to the backyard to help Jeremiah with the grave.

It took the four of them around twenty minutes to bury the corpse. Sofi said she’d clean up the blood and Angel offered to help her with that, as it would give them time to bond. Jack had thrown up again, blown his nose, flushed the toilet and washed his mouth out. He was about to crawl into his room when Bobby and Jeremiah blocked his path. He groaned and tried to walk around them. Bobby said he had it and Jeremiah nodded, going back down to help Angel and Sofi.

Jack shied away from Bobby’s touch and stumbled into his room. He kicked his shoes off and sat on his bed, running his hands through his hair. He really needed to shower. He kept his head down and frowned as he saw tears falling from his eyes. Great, he thought and tried to think about what had him that upset. He realized that because of him, Sofi had to take a life. She didn’t seem bothered by it, but it could be a delayed reaction.

He sniffed and looked up at Bobby, seeing that his brother wasn’t entering the room. “Why is that whenever you piss someone off, they come after me? I didn’t know her!”

Bobby glanced over his shoulder and then stepped into the bedroom. He stood at the foot of the bed. “The people I piss off also know how much I love my family. They know that I’ll stop anything nothing to keep you safe,” he explained quietly, listening to the brushes scrubbing the sunroom floor. “I didn’t think she’d come here to settle the score.”

Jack sighed and stood up. “I’mma get some sleep, man. I just…” He trailed off and stared at Bobby. “Why would she go after me, specifically? I didn’t do anythin’ to her.”

Bobby set his jaw. “She knew I’m in love with ya. She got me drunk and high and got the truth out of me, about seven months ago. I found out that one of the fuckers that shot you was her brother.” He shrugged.

Jack groaned and ran his hands through his hair, tilting his head back and closing his eyes. “The fuck is wrong with you, Bobby?! You’re usually the most cautious of us all! How could let that happen?!”

“Even I need a release, Jack!” Bobby snapped back with a scathing glare that had Jack lowering his head. “It was a stupid mistake that I made sure wouldn’t happen again!”

Angel cleared his throat behind Bobby and held his hands up when Bobby looked over his shoulder with the same glare. “Just thought we’d let ya know that the blood’s been cleaned up. Me and Sofi are gonna head back to the hotel. Don’t worry. Jerry’s gonna drive us.”

Bobby nodded. “Thanks, Angel.”

“What else are brothers for, man?” Angel grinned and then stepped into room. He hugged Jack. “Don’t be too hard on him, man. Ya know he can’t express himself to save his life,” he whispered as Jack returned the hug. He smiled and stepped back, ruffling Jack’s hair. “Eugh, have a shower, man.”

Jack nodded and watched as Angel and Bobby left his room. He decided to shower while Bobby was seeing everyone off, as he really didn’t want to get into his clean bed while he stank of sweat and everything else that was clinging to him. He showered quickly and turned off the water, watching as it went down the drain. He sighed and grabbed his towel, stepping out and wrapping it around his hips. He checked his reflection and his eyes dropped to the scar on his right shoulder.

Shaking his head, Jack went to his bedroom, dried and dressed. He turned off the light and pulled back the covers on his bed, hearing Bobby coming back into the house. He had just lied down when he remembered that no one had cleaned up the kitchen. He groaned and decided to do it in the morning. Despite not doing much that day, he was dead tired and the hangover was making a come back, despite throwing up the remaining alcohol in his stomach.

He turned off the lamp and rolled onto his side, facing the wall and bringing his knees up. He closed his eyes as he heard his door open. He forced himself to remain still as he felt Bobby’s hand on his head, petting his hair and as he whispered that he was sorry. Jack opened his eyes when his bedroom door closed. He stayed still as he heard the shower turn on. Rolling his eyes, he sat up and went into the bathroom, pulling the curtain back and taking Bobby by surprise.

Jack held Bobby in place with a hand on his neck and kissed him, not caring that he was getting soaked from the shower. He pulled back just as Bobby responded. “Thanks,” he said and lowered his eyes, taking in Bobby’s naked and wet body, before he looked up and smirked.

Bobby raised an eyebrow and Jack stepped back, but not fast enough. He cried out as Bobby wrapped his arms around him and dragged him into the shower. He shook the water out of his eyes and glared at his brother, who just smirked and kissed him. Jack felt his knees getting weak, especially as his tongue slid along Bobby’s and his hands ran over his chest. He pulled back as Bobby removed his shirt, throwing it to the bathroom floor.

Jack gasped as Bobby ran his teeth along his throat. He ran his hands down to Bobby’s hips, holding them tightly as they drew closer. He blinked as Bobby’s hand ran over the bullet scar on his shoulder and his brother pulled away, turning his back on him and grabbing his towel. Jack watched as he walked out of the bathroom and turned off the shower, growling quietly. He pulled off his boxers and wrung them out as much as he could and slipped them back on, shivering.

He followed Bobby into Mom’s room and shoved him down on the bed. “I’m gettin’ sick of you raisin’ my blood and then leavin’ me, Bobby!” he hissed into his ear. He ran his tongue over the ‘No Mercy’ tattoo and then bit his shoulder, hearing Bobby groan softly.

Jack inhaled sharply as Bobby rolled over. He kept forgetting how quick his brother is and tilted his head back as Bobby buried his face into it. Bobby pushed himself up and stared down at Jack, which made him bite his lower lip to keep a moan in. He loved it when Bobby’s hair fell freely into his eyes. Unfortunately, he could see the guilt in his brother’s eyes.

“Have a little faith,” Jack murmured and ran his thumb over Bobby’s lips. “I don’t hate or blame you for what happened, Bobby.”

“I wish ya would,” Bobby whispered and dropped his head to Jack’s shoulder. “It would make it so much easier to know ya couldn’t stand the sight of me.”

Jack ran his fingers through Bobby’s hair, remembering how he openly cried, thinking his brother was dying in front of him. He closed his eyes, holding Bobby tightly. He never thought that him living would cause so much pain to his oldest brother, especially considering he was the one fighting the hardest for him to stay alive. How could Bobby ever think he would hate him or blame him?

Bobby sighed and raised his head. “It’s a constant reminder,” he said and ran his fingers over the scar on his shoulder. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to seein’ it, Jack.”

Jack frowned as Bobby stood up and opened the door, telling him to get out. Keeping his eyes down, Jack left Mom’s room and went to his, feeling worse than he’s ever felt in his life. He sat on his bed and sighed, running his hands through his wet hair and resting them on his neck. He was guessing that it was time he left, to give Bobby his space. Things weren’t going to get any better.

So it came as no surprise when he woke up the next morning and found a note addressed to him on the kitchen table, in Bobby’s writing. He shook his head, not bothering to read it. He knew what it would say, as he went upstairs and packed his bags. He’d rejoin the band, strengthen his shoulder and leg a little more and then raise a little hell while on the road. He wasn’t going to let anything else get him down.

oOo

July, Kansas

Jack scratched his head through the beanie he wore and pressed his ear to the cold metal of the safe. He listened to the tumblers, humming softly as turned the dial. He smirked as the last tumbler clicked into place and then opened the safe, rifling through the money and cases of jewels. He was hired to get something specific, though it was tempting to take the money that was just sitting there. He found the sapphire that the client wanted and grinned, not bothering to close the safe. He slipped out of the window he had opened to get in and jumped over the balcony railing. He rolled as he landed and slipped the gem into the pocket of his pants, climbing the brick wall that surrounded the mansion and dropping on the other side.

Payment: 243,000.

oOo

August, Massachusetts

Jack stared at the bank vault and grinned. He had cracked it a minute ago, while his band members ran in and took what they wanted. He was enjoying his handiwork and eventually joined them. He walked through the safety deposit boxes and found the number he was after. He pulled out the plastic key he made of the master key when he rented a box. He picked the other lock and found the case of uncut diamonds, knowing that his fence would give him a decent price for them. He told the others to shut up and listened. He could hear a clicking sound and his eyes widened, screaming at them to get out of the vault. Jack winced as the vault door slammed shut and he stared at it, unable to believe he missed that. He hacked into the surveillance systems and deleted the footage, deciding that he was getting too cocky.

Payment: 2,600,000.

oOo

September, Oregon

Another bank hit, this time for a client. They needed to get into a specific safety deposit box and take out the documents, without being caught. The downside was that the systems were more difficult to hack, as Jack soon learned. He had a hard time trying to wipe the drives and getting the codes for the vault. He remembered gritting his teeth and almost ripping his hair out. However, once he stopped trying a brute force attack, he managed to worm his way into the system and shut it down for a few minutes, which was long enough for the band to get in and take what was needed. He remembered the way that they had ran out of the bank, laughing and screaming about what they just accomplished.

Payment: 215,000.

oOo

October, California

Jack stared at the painting that they were doing the Mona Lisa scam with. He moved through the crowd in his tailored suit, talking with potential buyers and those that would do anything to get the painting. He made the deals and told them that their painting would be delivered to them via courier, once the payment had entered the account. He stole the painting on the last night of the exhibit and waited for the payments to go through, before he sent the forgeries out to the people that had bought them. He remembered looking at the painting and smirking, thinking that he was getting a little too big for his boots. He knew it was only a matter of time before he was caught for one of his various crimes.

Payment total: 3,875,000.

oOo

November, Rhode Island

The blueprints for some luxury building didn’t seem like anything worth stealing. However, they were contacted by their fence who told them that the money was good and they got the details they needed. The band was looking at doing more work, as the gigs the band was getting weren’t that good. Jack had incorporated his versions of ‘Angels’ and ‘Have a Little Faith in Us,’ which seemed to make the crowds happy. He was about to bring up adding another song that he thought would be a lot of fun, until he remembered that none of them knew how to play the bagpipes and they couldn’t afford to bring in another member. So, he pushed the idea to the side and focused on cracking the safe where the blueprints were being held. It was relatively simple and he was running out of the building and handing them over to the fence.

Payment: 300,000.

oOo

December, Paris

Jack remembered unable to shake the feeling of someone watching him. Yet, despite how much he looked around, he couldn’t find the person that was boring into him. He shook his head and continued with the safe of the museum. He noticed that the band was trying to figure out what had him distracted and Jack was getting annoyed with it. All it took was one mistake and he refused to be the reason why he and his band went down. He opened the safe and stepped to the side, rolling his shoulders and going to the computer. He got into the security system and wiped the drives, before he brought up the cameras and frowned at an external one. His eyes widened when the person looked up at the camera and his head snapped to the door. He called out for the others to hurry up, as someone was outside. They were out of the building within forty-five seconds.

Payment: 556,000.

oOo

Jack stared out his window. He could feel Jeremiah wanting to question him for why he left and how he had the money to pay the basic bills of Mom’s home. He wasn’t ready to reveal anything about what he’d done in New York and several other States, while they were touring. He’d been in Detroit twice in the last year and refused to make any contact with his family. He went to the venue and then went back to the hotel.

He wasn’t sure if Bobby had told any of them about their near encounter in Paris. It seemed that the rest of the family was kept out of the loop, which worked for Jack. He knew that Jeremiah and Angel didn’t think he could do any wrong in their books, aside from break a few school rules and dabble a little in coke and heroin. Since Pairs, Jack had refused to take on any more jobs, as he wasn’t sure if Bobby had found out who his fence was and got the information from him.

As the home came into view, Jack forced back a sigh when he saw Bobby’s car outside. Being away hadn’t done shit for his feelings. If anything, it just made them stronger. All he wanted to do was run back there and throw his arms around Bobby, begging him to not leave. He had to fight back the urge to return home, along with the urge or reading the note that Bobby left him. He was surprised his oldest brother would show up for the anniversary of Angel and Sofi.

Jeremiah parked the car and Jack exhaled sharply, opening the car door. He grabbed his guitar case and bag from the backseat. He slung the case over his shoulder and wondered if he could get away with getting into the house by slipping into his room via the roof. He really didn’t want to see Bobby, but he also knew that Angel and Sofi would be in the house. He didn’t want to shun them.

Pushing back the heartache, Jack plastered a smile on his face and followed Jeremiah into the house. He heard Sofi scream and charge down the stairs, hugging him tightly. Jack laughed and returned the hug, before he stepped to the side and hugged Angel, mentioning how much he’d missed them. Angel ruffled his hair, which made Jack slap his hand. He went upstairs and dumped his bags on the bed and joined them downstairs, ignoring Bobby, who was in the living room and taking up as much room as possible on the sofa.

Bobby followed his movements with his eyes, though he refused to say anything to him. The tension between them didn’t go unnoticed by their other brothers. Sofi hadn’t been around enough to notice that Bobby and Jack weren’t talking to each other. Instead, Angel asked her to go to the store and pick up some kind of beer that was apparently Jack’s favorite. She narrowed her eyes, but eventually agreed when Angel smiled at her. Jack closed his eyes for a moment and then headed into the kitchen, pulling his smokes out of his pocket.

“I ain’t doin’ this,” Jack called as he went out the backdoor.

“Too fuckin’ bad, little brother,” Angel said as he followed Jack. “I wanna know what’s goin’ on with you and Bobby. The last time y’all were this silent was because y’all kissed under the mistletoe and didn’t want no one to know.”

Jack closed his eyes, blushing. “Low blow, Angel.” He opened his eyes and gazed at his older brother. Angel’s eyes were hard, demanding an explanation. Jack shrugged. “Shit happened.”

“Ya think?!” Angel demanded and inhaled deeply, likely counting to ten as Mom taught them. “You vanished without a word, the same day that Bobby left. We thought y’all went to Iceland to get married, since no one there would know y’all are adopted. Then Bobby comes home a few months ago, sayin’ he saw ya in Paris.”

Jack froze, his eyes darting to the backdoor. However, since Angel didn’t mention the theft, he assumed that Bobby used the excuse he was there for work and that he probably saw Jack in some venue, performing. He could be thankful that Bobby still knew how to keep his secrets. Unfortunately, he knew that Bobby would use that against him.

So, Jack sighed and shrugged again. “I decided to focus on my music again. Singing at ya wedding reminded me how much I love it.” It wasn’t a complete lie and Angel had a hard time telling if it was truth or not. He flicked the end of his cigarette away and rubbed his eyes. “Ever since we kissed under that mistletoe, before we left, I’ve been tryna stop…feeling for him.”

Angel exhaled softly and placed an arm around Jack’s shoulder, holding him tight. “Ya gotta stop thinkin’ about it like it’s a bad thing, man. How many relationships have ya been in?” Jack glared and Angel grinned. “The exact same amount as Bobby. How the hell can y’all both be so smart, but so dumb at the same time?”

Jack rolled his eyes and shrugged Angel’s arm off his shoulder. He answered his phone as it vibrated in his pocket and raised an eyebrow at the number. He excused himself and spoke quietly to the person on the other end, ignoring the curious stare from Angel. Jack laughed and hung up. He ran into the house and up the stairs. He opened his guitar case and pulled out a Velcro pouch, slipping it into the front of his jeans and jogged downstairs, pausing when Bobby blocked his path.

“Got a hot date?”

“Kinda,” Jack answered and stepped around Bobby, calling out that he wouldn’t home until late.

Jack ran down the path and jumped into the waiting van, hugging his band members as they headed to their next gig. He laughed and joked with them, looking over the blueprints. He went silent for a moment and then wondered if he’d jumped on this job too quickly. He knew that his band mates had joined him in Detroit, but that was just so they could leave together after the anniversary dinner and Jack was happy for the distraction. He blinked as the drummer ruffled his hair and went back to laughing and planning.

oOo

After the small heist in a local bank, Jack made his way back into the house. He easily picked the lock and closed the door silently. It was nearing three in the morning, but he paused and listened for any signs of movement. The house was silent, so Jack shrugged and locked the door. He made his way up the stairs and into his bedroom, freezing when he turned on the light and saw Bobby sitting on his bed.

Not meaning to, Jack rolled his eyes as he noticed that Bobby was glaring at the floor. He removed his jacket and hoodie. He dropped them to the floor, so they could be washed tomorrow. He didn’t want to leave Detroit with the smell of the city on him. As he was about to pull off his long sleeved shirt, he noticed that was Bobby had raised his head and moved to glaring at him. Jack blinked and raised an eyebrow. He knew that Bobby knew what he did.

“Why did you even come back if you ain’t gonna spend with your family?” Bobby asked quietly and Jack froze, every sense alert. Bobby was never quiet about his anger, unless he was ready to kill someone. “You barely spent five minutes here, before ya ran off to rob a bank!”

Jack relaxed as Bobby’s voice rose. “Bobby,” he said softly and placed a hand on his brother’s shoulder. “What I do is none of your fucking business! This’d be like me demanding to know what you did every time you left us!”

Bobby narrowed his eyes and stood up, which made Jack step away, pressing his back against the closet door. He kept reminding himself that Bobby would never hit him out of anger, aside from a slap upside the head. Still, he couldn’t shake the fear at the gleam in Bobby’s eyes. His big brother was livid with him and Jack wasn’t sure if it was because he robbed banks or because he did while they were supposed to be spending time together as a family.

“I ran a chop-shop while I was away,” Bobby said and went to the door. “I thought you woulda recognized the sounds when I hung up on ya three months ago.”

Jack lowered his eyes as his bedroom door was closed. He heard Mom’s bedroom door slam and sighed, trying to forget what happened three months ago that had him calling Bobby. It was the last thing he wanted to do, but the moment Bobby heard his voice, he hung up and Jack knew he couldn’t turn his big brother for anything ever again. That pain had cut through what he was feeling and he’d gone on a little bit of a bender.

Aside from torching places and beating the shit out of people in bar brawls, Jack had hit the drugs hard. His favorites were painkillers. It wasn’t until his band members forced him into rehab that Jack realized he had a problem. Once he was freed, he’d set a school on fire for just something to do, before he turned to the pub that had caused him so much pain and shame. He found the three that had attacked him while drunk and nearly beat them to death. He managed to flee the State before the cops found him.

He didn’t need his big brother, but he sure would’ve felt better knowing he was there to protect his back. Jack closed his eyes and slid down the closet door, not bothering to stop the tears. When Bobby hung up on him, he’d refused to let them fall. Bobby showed him how to be stronger than the others without doing anything. It didn’t change the fact that Bobby had refused to help, though.

Sniffling, Jack opened his eyes and grabbed his hoodie. He felt the need to kill someone, now. He wiped his eyes and cheeks, pulling his hoodie on and leaving his bedroom. He was halfway down the stairs, when he felt a heavy hand on his shoulder. He grabbed it and spun around, pulling Bobby close to him and kneeing him in the ribs. Bobby simply cocked an eyebrow and Jack growled.

Bobby sighed and pulled Jack up the stairs and threw him into his bedroom. “Go to sleep, before I put you out, ya little fairy.”

Not meaning to, Jack flinched at the nickname. He placed an arm over his eyes when he felt Bobby staring at him, clearly curious about the flinch. It’d been years since he last reacted that way to the nickname. He wished desperately that Bobby could fix him, but his brother wanted nothing to do with him. If it wasn’t for the anniversary, Jack wouldn’t have stepped foot back in Detroit with them knowing.

“Jack,” Bobby said as he crouched beside the bed, not surprised when Jack turned his back to him. He rolled his eyes and rolled him onto his back. “Why did you call me, three months ago?”

“Because I was stupid and…I…kinda needed my big brother.” Jack dropped the arm and stared at the ceiling. He glanced at Bobby and winced when he saw the pain in his brother’s eyes. Bobby had figured out what happened. “Don’t worry about it. I took them out last month.” He sniffed and cleared his throat, trying to remove the lump that had formed there. “I should thank you for that.”

“Fuck, Jack! Why didn’t you say somethin’ before I hung up?” Bobby demanded as he stood up and glared at the wall. “You didn’t say anythin’ for like a minute and I figured you were just fuckin’ with me! Tryna get back at me because I wouldn’t sleep with ya!”

Jack felt as though he’d been slapped. He sat up and shoved Bobby away. “Are you fuckin’ kiddin’ me?!” he shouted as he stood up. “I know why you won’t sleep with me! I fuckin’ respect your decision! What I don’t respect is you leavin’ me the day after! I mean, how fuckin’ dare you!”

Bobby raised an eyebrow, before he burst out laughing. Jack blinked, trying to figure out what he’d done that seemed so funny to him. “Holy fuck! You sounded just like Ma then!” He suddenly lost all mirth.

The silence that fell over them reminded the other that all they had was each other. They might say or do something that reminded them of Mom, but she wasn’t there anymore. Jack lowered his eyes and ran his hands through his hair. He didn’t fight as Bobby pulled him into a hug. In fact, he clung to his brother, trying to offer as much comfort as he could, while taking as much as he could.

It had been nearly two years since Mom was taken from them. It had been nearly two years since Jack almost died in the snow that day. Jack wondered how long it would take Bobby to get over his guilt, as he wanted nothing more than to just hold his brother at night. He wanted to be the one to say that everything would be okay and that they didn’t need to worry.

“I love you, Bobby,” he whispered and closed his eyes, expecting Bobby to push him. Instead, he was held tighter.

“I love you, too, Jackie,” Bobby said softly and kissed the side of his head. After another minute, he pulled back. “Get some sleep. I’m fairly certain that they want you to sing for them, again.”

Jack lowered his eyes, chewing his lower lip. He nodded and smirked. “I can do that. I think I have the perfect song for all of us.” And this time, I’m gonna sing that song for you, he decided and went to his bed. He pulled off his hoodie and crawled under the covers. Bobby watched him and then left the bedroom, turning off the light and closing the door.

oOo

The following morning, Jack contacted his band and told them that they would be performing for the anniversary dinner. They didn’t seem that thrilled, especially considering all of them were terrified of Jack’s brothers. He hadn’t kept anything hidden from them. He told them everything they’d gotten mixed up in when they were younger and how easily they killed people that threatened their family. They’d all seen the clips of Bobby as the Michigan Mauler and none of them wanted to get on his bad side.

However, all of them were itching to play again. He told them which songs he wanted to play. Two of them would be for Angel, Sofi and his family, while the final song, which was done by a solo acoustic, would be for Bobby, though Jack wasn’t going to say that. He didn’t want everyone to know how he felt about his brother, but he knew that Bobby would know the song was for him.

They went back to the hotel that the wedding was held out and Jack and his band got set up. They spent a few minutes playing a few notes and chords, warming up their instruments and their vocal cords. As he looked around, Jack wondered how the pictures turned out of the wedding. He was surprised that Angel and Sofi hadn’t pulled out the album and showed him every picture.

He pulled off his guitar and stepped outside of the ballroom and lit up. He had gotten there before his brothers, as he didn’t want his band to feel uncomfortable. Somehow, being around their instruments seemed to make them far more brazen than they actually were. He knew all of them were worried that Bobby would call them out for their other life, but they failed to realize that Bobby would never do that. He was an asshole, but he wasn’t a fucking asshole.

Jack looked over his shoulder as he heard Bobby’s voice calling out. He couldn’t help but roll his eyes when he saw that Bobby already had a beer bottle in his hand. He didn’t want to know where the other five were, considering the wedding last year. The band was staring at him and Angel and then looked at Jack, as though asking if these people were his brothers. Jack never bothered to tell them that they were adopted, as he felt that was an unnecessary fact.

“Y’all remember Bobby? The other is Angel,” Jack called and crushed out his smoke.

Bobby looked at the band, as though just noticing they were there. Jack knew that Bobby’s observation was remarkable. “Hey,” he said simply and polished off his beer. He pulled another from the pocket of his jacket and cracked it. “So, ya Jackie’s band?”

Jack stood beside Bobby and smiled. “Yep.” He glanced at Bobby and saw the way his brother was running his eyes over each and every member. “Don’t start,” he whispered and Bobby looked at him sharply, before he shrugged and finished that beer in two mouthfuls.

“I thought they woulda stayed in New York, Jackie-poo,” Angel said as he ruffled Jack’s hair. “Y’all gonna sing for us, again?”

The band nodded mutely, not taking their eyes off of Jack, still demanding to know how Angel was his brother. Jack finally rolled his eyes. “All right, all right. We’re adopted. I didn’t think that was important, since they’re my family,” he explained and shrugged, but then their eyes honed in on Bobby. “Don’t start, guys,” he warned.

“Well, knowing that he’s—” the drummer started.

Jack grabbed Bobby’s empty bottle from his hand and threw it at the drummer. “I said not to fuckin’ start!” he shouted as the glass shattered on the wall behind the drummer. He narrowed his eyes and the band looked down, suddenly finding the stage very interesting.

Bobby wrapped an arm around Jack’s waist and pulled him out of the ballroom, while Angel glared at the band. He had no idea why he was, but they’d almost said something to upset Jack and that was enough for him to want to deck them. He followed his brothers out of the room and watched as Jack paced, running his hands through his hair and growling quietly to himself.

Angel accepted the beer that Bobby handed him, wondering if they were ever going to celebrate their wedding without some kind of drama. In all honesty, he wouldn’t have it any other way. His family always made events like that interesting and he knew none of them would ever forget it, either.

Jack suddenly stopped pacing and crouched down, lowering his head, closing his eyes and breathing heavily. After a few moments, he stood up and stared at Bobby. “They know,” he stated matter-of-factly and pursed his lips slightly. “I got fucked up on painkillers after I was raped. While I was chasin’…some blue and yellow dog, I told them that I’m madly in love with you. A day after that, they threw me into rehab.”

Bobby finished his beer and stepped into the ballroom, throwing the empty bottle at the band. “When he says not to fuckin’ start, ya don’t fuckin’ start!” he warned, taking a little too much pleasure out of the way they jumped and screamed.

For good measure, Angel finished his beer and threw the bottle at them as well. “It ain’t ya fuckin’ place to judge, either!” He noted, with a very cold pride, that the band looked terrified of them. He could see them wondering what they got mixed up with.

Jack watched the way his brothers glared at his band for upsetting him and laughed softly. “If they weren’t decent thieves and decent musicians, I wouldn’t hang out with ’em,” he said quietly and noticed the way Angel looked at him, eyebrow cocked. “What, you think you’re the only thief in the family? I’m a little more sophisticated than credit cards, though.”

Angel laughed and got Jack into a headlock, ruffling his hair. “Don’t knock it, little brother!” he said and let Jack up. “It gets me by.”

Jack shook his head, settling his hair. He inhaled deeply, knowing he had to go back to his band and apologize to them for throwing a bottle at them. He sure as fuck wasn’t going to apologize for his brothers, as he never apologized for who they were. Evelyn Mercer raised strong sons, who stood by what they believed in. If throwing beer bottles at total strangers was something they believed in, who was Jack to say otherwise?

The drummer was the first to apologize when Jack stepped into the room. “I’m sorry, man,” he said quickly and glanced at Angel and Bobby. “But when ya said you were madly in love your brother, we thought it weird to love a blood relation like that and not be from the south.”

“Ha, I get it!” Bobby called through and Jack shook his head.

Jack stepped onto the stage and hugged the drummer, letting him know that he was willing to put it behind him. If they wanted his skills in the band, he knew they would let it go, as well. Once they’d finished hugging it out, something that Jack took with him from home, he told them to continue practicing. He went outside for another smoke and glanced to his right when Bobby stood there, another beer in hand. For a moment, Jack wondered if Bobby was a wizard and was just conjuring all those beers.

He grabbed the bottle and took a mouthful, handing it back. Bobby shrugged and finished it, throwing it onto the lawn and then searched it. Jack knew he was looking to see if the absinthe bottle was still there. Seeing as it wasn’t, Bobby stretched his arms above his head. He glanced over his shoulder and Jack knew what the next question was going to be.

“How much did you steal in Paris?”

“We were there for a client. The payout was over five and a half hundred.” Jack smirked as Bobby’s eyebrows went up.

“Fuck! I got into the wrong business,” he said and Jack nodded. “You stopped workin’ after Paris. Why’s that?”

“Because of that,” Jack chuckled and gestured towards Bobby. “You knew exactly where I was. I get the feeling that you woulda hunted me down, constantly to make sure I didn’t do anythin’ stupid.”

Bobby placed his hand on Jack’s neck and Jack relaxed under the touch, grateful to have his brother touching him again. “You can’t blame a big brother for worryin’, Jackie. You ever gonna read that letter?”

Jack frowned and glanced at Bobby, curious on how he knew he’d never read it. He hadn’t said anything about it, aside from the fact that Bobby left him a note. He finally sighed and shook his head. He didn’t want to know what was in it or the excuses that Bobby had used to leave. He was grateful to have Bobby back, but he knew it wouldn’t last long.

“Maybe you shoulda read it that day,” Bobby said and kissed the side of Jack’s head. “Did you even notice that it was a Detroit number you dialed to get me?”

Jack frowned and looked at Bobby, trying to understand what he was saying. Bobby smirked and shook his head. “What are you saying?”

“You’re an idiot at times, Cracker Jack,” Bobby stated and lowered his hand to small of Jack’s back. “In the letter, I said I was gonna be gone for a week, while I set up the chop-shop. I got back a week later and you were gone. You didn’t tell no one nothin’. You just vanished, like the little fairy you are.”

Jack lowered his head. He’d spent the last twelve months pissed off at Bobby for something that wasn’t even an issue, aside from the guilt his brother would never feeling. He sighed and turned to Bobby, ready to kiss him, but stopped and stepped back. Bobby rolled his eyes and grabbed Jack, kissing him deeply. Inside, he heard Angel and the band whooping and hollering as the two brothers practically made out in front of them.

Bobby pulled back and Jack stumbled, hating the fact that Bobby’s kisses made his knees weak. He ran his tongue along his lower lip, tasting the beer and Bobby there. He rested his forehead on Bobby’s shoulder, waiting for his heart to calm down and to get feeling back into his knees. He glanced into the ballroom when he heard Sofi entering, along with her immediate family of twenty-eight.

Jack whined softly as Bobby stepped back and turned him, to go back inside. He swatted his ass. “Get ready to dazzle us again, ya little fairy.” Jack smiled and went into the ballroom, stepping up to the stage.

 

oOo

“Yo, do we need to throw a glass every fuckin’ time we wanna get your attention?” Bobby demanded as he stood up, tapping on his broken champagne glass.

Jack smiled and shook his head, as Angel stood up and threw his champagne glass across the room. The others went silent and Angel muttered that apparently they needed to do that. Jerry just sipped his champagne and shook his head, unable to believe that the family still wasn’t used to the Mercers’ and their antics. Bobby cleared his throat and said that the happy couple wanted to give everyone an update on the past year of their life together.

Sofi stood up and smiled down at Angel. “Last year, Angel’s brother, Jackie, sang a song dedicated to us that reminded me exactly how I feel about my Angel. He does lift me up, showing me something new all the time. His love for me is pure and unending. We’ve been together for so much longer than just this past year and we always had something to fight about, but now it seems that’s all behind us.” She paused a moment and Jack frowned as he saw tears in her eyes. “I know your mother would be proud of how happy you’ve made me, Angel. She’d be as proud as my mother is and…” She trailed off.

The Mercer boys lowered their eyes. The subject of their mother was still a tender topic for them, which surprised Jack that Sofi would bring her up, especially at something that was meant to be a happy occasion. He saw that Bobby had produced another beer and was downing it, staring at the tabletop. Angel had his eyes closed and Jeremiah swallowed the last of his champagne in one mouthful.

“…I loved her, as well,” Sofi finished and wiped away the tears that were rolling down her cheeks. “I hope we can continue to have many more happy years ahead of us. I love you, Angel Mercer.”

While Sofi’s family clapped for her speech, Angel stood up and hugged her tightly. Jack rested his arms on top of the microphone, staring at Bobby. He was curious on what his reaction was going to be, considering he took Mom’s death the hardest, being that he was with her the longest. He was the first Mercer boy, setting up the standards for the following sons.

Angel cleared his throat and released Sofi, smiling as she sat down. “The sad thing is, I was gonna bring up a song that Jackie sang last year, too. He told us all to have a little faith in ourselves and our loved ones.” He looked at Jack and grinned. “And I’ve always had faith in my family, y’all. Even after Ma was taken from us. I kept the faith, knowin’ that we’d all find happiness and make her proud of us, once again. Sofi has made me the happiest man on the earth.” He paused to clear his throat and Jack wiped his eyes. “We’ll never lose our faith and I’ll never lose the love I have for Sofi.”

Jack saw tears roll down Angel’s cheeks as he hugged Sofi and cleared his throat, indicating for his band to start up the first song, knowing the moment was perfect for it. He smiled as his band harmonized behind him, knowing that they weren’t too comfortable with it, but it sounded amazing from what he was hearing. And the upbeat tempo of the song would hopefully make everyone feel better.

 

Never before…have I seen you look so blue

I can’t find the cure and nothin’ comforts you

But the light at the end of the tunnel

Doesn’t shine at the end of the day

 

Every time you cry

Save up all your tears

I will be your rainbow when they disappear

Wash away the pain

’Til you smile again

I will be the laughter in your eyes

Every time you cry

 

Time has a way…of woundin’ what has healed

What can I say? I know just how you feel

Your soul is dark and troubled

Like a river runnin’ wild!

 

Every time you cry

Save up all your tears

I will be your rainbow when they disappear

Wash away the pain

’Til ya smile again

I will be the one who dries your eyes

Every time you cry

 

Well, you know that’s what I’m here for

I will give you what you need, more

There will be no hesitation

I will reap…no reward!

 

Every time you cry

Save up all your tears

I will be your rainbow when they disappear

Wash away the pain

’Til ya smile again

I will be the one who dries your eyes

Every time you cry

 

Every time you cry

Save up all your tears

I will be your rainbow when they disappear

Wash away the pain

’Til ya smile again

I will be the one who dries your eyes

Every time you cry

 

Jack played out the last of the song, throwing in the occasional ‘Every time you cry.’ He watched as the people swayed to the beat, unable to stop the smile from spreading over his face. He glanced at his family, seeing that Angel had brought Sofi onto his lap, hugging her tightly. Jeremiah and Camille were standing and swaying with the beat of the song, smiling at each other. Bobby was staring down at the table and Jack wished he could be there to help him.

Once the song had faded out, Jack stepped up to the microphone. “Thank you for allowin’ us to perform for y’all tonight,” he said and looked over at Angel and Sofi. “This song is for you two and to everyone else that’s in love.” He looked at the drummer and was grateful that he was able to get the softer beat.

 

Flamingos walk and sway in peace

Seeing this, it makes my trouble cease

The sun is hidin’, leavin’ a pink scar

That stretches right across the sky

 

That’s all we’ve seen so far

And all I do is look into your eyes

 

For that special touch of paradise

Jut a touch, a touch of paradise

Just a special touch of paradise

 

You hold my hand

That’s when we kiss

And it doesn’t take long for me to get the gist

Of this love that stretches out across the land

Where rainbows flash, as we’re walkin’ in the sand

And all I do is look into your eyes

 

For that special touch of paradise

Just a touch, a touch of paradise

Just a special touch of paradise

 

A touch of spring and autumn sweet

Well the trees vibrate when our eyes meet

And I think of all the love that we’ve been makin’

You touch my hand and I walk off…shakin’!

 

Jack slipped into a soft solo for the song, considering they didn’t have the instruments that the original singer had. But he was grateful to play, as it gave him the chance to see the couples that were dancing, staring into each other’s eyes. Naturally, his made their way over to Bobby and he tried not to cry as he saw his brother staring at him, a gentle smile on his face as he watched.

 

And all I do is look into your eyes

 

For that special touch of paradise

Just a touch, a touch of paradise

Just a special touch of paradise

Just a touch, a touch of paradise

Just a special touch of paradise

Just a touch, a touch of paradise

Just a touch, a touch of paradise

Just a special touch of paradise

 

Jack let the song fade off and smiled as the audience clapped. He inhaled deeply and changed over guitars, biting his lower lip. “This…This next song is for someone very special to me, but I hope you love it, too.” He got the guitar strung for the key of A minor and inhaled deeply as he strummed and plucked at the strings.

 

Got myself into some trouble tonight

Guess I’m just feelin’ blue

It’s been so long

Since I’ve seen your face

This distance between me and you

That voice you showed me is not the one I know

I must be strong now, in what I do

Don’t hang up again…

There’s nothin’ else I know how to do

 

But I burn for you

What am I gonna do?

Burn for you

 

I guess it feels like you’re always alone

And I feel that way too

It’s so hard to explain to you

Please understand what I do

 

I burn for you

What am I gonna do?

I burn for you

Burn for you

 

Took my troubles to a bar tonight

For another point of view

But there’s nothin’ new

I’m missin’ you

 

I burn for you

What am I gonna do?

Burn for you

Burn for you

 

I burn for you

What am I gonna do?

Burn for you

 

Jack continued to strum the strings, keeping his eyes on Bobby, especially as he sang the last line. “Burn… for… you,” he ended and strummed the strings one last time. He lowered his eyes as the people clapped and he felt his band wrap their arms around him. He smiled softly and put down the guitar, knowing that his band would continue with the music. He only wanted to sing those songs.

As he stepped off the stage, he pulled his smokes out of his pocket and lit up as he moved through the crowd. He didn’t care that the ballroom was a non-smoking room. His adrenaline was pumping and he was terrified of showing that much of himself to his brothers and to people he didn’t know. He knew that Bobby was aware of how he felt about him, but now everyone else did, too. He stepped out into the cool night air, which was welcomed on his flushed body.

He smiled as Angel and Sofi hugged him, thanking him for the songs. He heard Jeremiah call out to him. When he looked over his shoulder, Jerry just smiled knowingly and nodded. Camille blew him a kiss and Jack grinned, shaking his head. His brothers always seemed to love the songs he picked for them. He blinked as he smacked upside the head and gave a half-hearted glare to Bobby.

“Ya still a fairy,” Bobby said and smirked when Jack rolled his eyes.

“Nice one, Bobby,” Jack muttered as he flicked the ash off. “I bear my soul to ya and that’s all ya gotta say?”

Bobby shrugged and pushed Jack’s fringe out of his eyes. “Ma didn’t raise me to talk about my feelin’s, man. She raised me to act on them and show them.”

Jack dropped his cigarette as Bobby kissed him, holding him close and enjoying the feel. He had no idea how it happened, but they ended up against the side of Bobby’s car, barely keeping their clothing on as the door was opened. Bobby broke the kiss long enough to tell Jack to get in, but he refused to. He’d prefer to have Bobby do him in the backseat like a pair of sixteen year olds, rather than run the risk of him getting cold feet when they got home.

After stating that, Bobby shrugged and shoved Jack into the backseat of his car, barely remembering to close the door. It was awkward getting their clothing off, but they somehow managed it. Jack ran his hands over Bobby’s chest, undoing his belt and jeans. He moaned as he felt Bobby’s length and thickness, almost blowing his load at the growl Bobby released.

Bobby leaned down and kissed Jack, hands on his hips as Jack continued to stroke him. He undid Jack’s belt and jeans in record time, pulling back to pull them off, which wasn’t easy. His eyes strayed to the bullet scars on his brother’s leg and shoulder and Jack was waiting for him to pull away. Instead, he ran his hand over the shoulder scar and kissed him again.

Jack gasped as Bobby’s rough hands ran over every inch of his body, before he leaned into the front and opened the glove box. He raised an eyebrow when Bobby revealed the baby oil he kept in the car for fuck knows what reason. Jack didn’t think on it as his entrance was teased, which had him raising his hips and bucking up, wanting more. If either of them thought about a condom, it was never brought up as Bobby slowly entered his little brother.

The car rocked with the movements and their gasps and moans could be heard, if anyone got close enough. The windows quickly fogged up with their efforts. Jack bit his lower lip, trying to keep quiet as Bobby gazed down at him. His brother’s eyes were soft, fully blown with lust, but there was tenderness in the eyes that Jack never remembered seeing before. None of his bed partners ever looked down at him like that, which just reminded him how much he loved Bobby.

Bobby fell forward, breathing heavily. He pulled Jack’s lower lip from between his teeth, murmuring that he wanted to hear him. Jack breathed out sharply, his back arching and his legs tightening around Bobby’s ribs. He was so close to his end, but he didn’t want it to end. He wanted the feeling to continue for the rest of his life. He couldn’t stand the idea that soon Bobby wouldn’t be in him.

Jack gasped, his back arching even more as he came. He heard Bobby growl out a ‘fuck,’ before the heat filled him. He screamed Bobby’s name, which he cut short by kissing his brother. He pulled back and stared into the shining eyes of his oldest brother, unable to believe they had just had sex in the back of the car. He smirked and Bobby snickered, looking around. He reached into the glove box, pulling out of Jack slowly and handed him a tissue.

His legs falling from his brother’s body, Jack cleaned himself up and tilted his head back. He had to believe that that would be so much better in a bed, instead of cramped in the back of a car. He jumped when someone knocked on the window and Bobby sighed, opening the door. He heard Jeremiah’s voice telling him that they had a hotel room they could’ve gone to, instead of giving everyone a show.

Jack frowned and looked out windshield, seeing that the ballroom was only a hundred yards away, if that. He fell back, laughing as Bobby told Jeremiah to piss off and closed the door. He couldn’t wait to see what Sofi’s family thought of them after that. Everyone in that room knew what the rocking car would mean and he couldn’t be bothered wondering why they didn’t just head up to their room.

Bobby grabbed two beers from the front and Jack raised an eyebrow. “Where the fuck do you pull these out from?” he asked as Bobby cracked them and handed on to him.

“I’m a motherfuckin’ wizard,” Bobby whispered, leaning down and kissing Jack softly. “Now, how about we head home and have a little more burnin’ there?”

Jack smirked and drank down half of the beer. “I’d prefer to do some burnin’ in the hotel room. At least I ain’t gotta worry about doin’ the laundry.”

Bobby finished his beer into two mouthfuls and then fixed his jeans. “Sounds like a plan to me, little brother,” he murmured and kissed the bullet scar on his shoulder.



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