This is the first chapter of the sequel to “The Spirited One,” the first book in this series, hated the ending, and you never know; they might love or hate the ending of this one. I haven’t written the end so let me know what you want.
Chapter 1 Jack brings James to work.
James sulked around the house for days after the funeral. The daily visits from Jammie and Jack did little to alter his foul mood. He only had two moods: anger and grief! Jack tolerated his grief until he stepped over the line.
He and Jammie were sitting quietly with him. Jammie tried to get him to talk about Jena a little, hoping it would help. James exploded!
He vaulted to his feet, leaning over Jammie, yelling at her. “What do you know about how I feel? I have nothing, and I will always have nothing! I don’t fucking want to feel this pain again, ever!”
Jack jumped up, forcibly getting between James and Jammie. He didn’t want to fight James, but dammit, he would if he hurt Jammie. Suddenly James was confronted by a snarling bear! At least, Jack looked like a bear with his 6-foot frame and his longish black hair flying around his pock-marked angry face.
Jack remembered the anger, grief, and pain he felt when his wife and baby daughter were killed by a drunk driver many years ago! Jack wanted to kill that driver! But, dammit, the driver survived, and so did he! James has a right to be angry, but I will not let him hurt Jammie!
“Back off, James!” Jack yelled, pushing him away from Jammie! “You know what? I am fucking sick and tired of you acting like you are the only person in the whole God-damned world that has ever had anything bad happen to them. We are going to settle this once and for all!”
Jack grabbed James by the collar and hauled him out the door. The 20 pounds or more James had shed and the physical inactivity put him at a disadvantage! James looked like a kid being taken to the woodshed. Jack moved so fast James’ feet barely touched the floor. Before Jammie recovered from the shock and could protest, they were out the door. Jack slammed James into the passenger seat of his car! Jumping in, he threw it into gear, and sped out of the driveway, throwing rocks and grass in the air. Jammie ran out just in time to see dust and dirt flying.
“Damn, I hope Jack doesn’t hurt him! James can use an attitude adjustment, but Jack is madder than hell!”
“James, buckle up your God-damned seat belt! We are taking a little trip; you need to have some sense knocked into that thick skull of yours!”
Jack looked mad as hell, and James tried to open the door, but Jack had it locked. James feared he was in for a beat down, and Jack was just the guy to do it. He thought, “Shit, that son of a bitch looks mad enough to beat me to a pulp! Where the hell is my Spirited One when I need it?”
There was no response!
But Jack wasn’t planning on beating James; he had a better idea. He pulled in and slammed on the breaks at the entrance to the Tolleson Cemetry. James was thrown ahead as far as his seatbelt would allow and slammed back against the seatback. He unhooked his seatbelt, nearly breaking the door handle, trying to get out. The second Jack released the door lock, James threw open the door, jumped out, and ran in a dead heat away from Jack! He was no match for Jack’s anger and was tackled before getting more than a few yards from the car.
James ate dirt when his face hit the ground. Picking him up, spinning him around, grabbing two fists full of his shirt, he pulled him close, face to face. “Look, you sorry piece of shit, we have all been pussyfooting around you because you lost your true love! Well, pity party time is over; you are alive! Jena would be so God damn ashamed of you she would kick your ass for being such a coward.”
“I don’t want to live without her!” James said, blubbering like a kid sagging, but Jack wouldn’t let him fall to his knees.
“Big fucking deal! You can fix that; eat your God Damned Gun! But first, I want to show you someone that had real courage!” Grabbing James by the back of his shirt, pulling his sagging body to his feet. With a fistful of James’ shirt, Jack started off for the furthest corner of the Cemetary. James could barely stay on his feet, but Jack didn’t slow down!
When he reached two graves side by side, he stopped. Tuning to James, he shouted, “Now, here are two real-life God-Dammed heroes. When Tom knew he could never win against four football giants and faced certain death, do you know what he did? He didn’t lay down and die; he fought hard to save the woman he loved. Jena had more courage in her little finger than you, you miserable coward, have in your whole God-damned body! She fought every day of her young life to become whole from the worst possible thing that happens to a woman! Now get down on your God-Dammed knees and beg her forgiveness!” And he let go of James’ collar and let him fall.
James’ knees hit the ground, wincing as he looked up to see the names inscribed on the twin headstones. Tom Adams beloved son of Fredrick and Gina Adams 1997-2015. Jena Andrews, beloved daughter of John and Mary Andrews 1999-2020. He bowed his head in shame, saying nothing for a long time.
James finally looked up at Jack and said, “Jack, I know I don’t deserve it, but will you trust me to have a few minutes to really say goodbye?”
“Yes, I will be by the car, but don’t make me come after you!”
“I promise, I just need to beg forgiveness from two people that are finally reunited.”
Waiting by the car, Jack calmed down enough to call Jammie and tell her he didn’t hurt James, and everything was okay. He confessed what he did and asked her forgiveness.
“Jack, it was not what I would have recommended, but it worked. Sometimes a person has to be shocked after their loss and realize they must live. And I suspect you shocked James pretty much. He needed it for no other reason than to honor the wishes of Jena. I am a little surprised that the Spirited One let you be so rough with James. You know it could have hurt you, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I took a calculated risk that it would do the same thing if it were possible, and I think the Spirited One may have used me to shake up James before he destroyed himself. I haven’t been that angry in a long time.”
“I hope I never see you that angry again. I will wait for you to come back.”
James sat staring at the two stones for several minutes before he could speak. “Tom, please forgive me for being such an ass! I was so in love with Jena; all I could think of was how happy we would have been together. But Tom, I now know that she had already given her heart to you. It will take me time to accept the fact that you two belong together and be happy that you are now.”
He allowed tears to fall, not for his loss, but for the joy of knowing that now Jena is happy with her true love. He gently kissed Jena’s headstone, and fist touched Tom’s. “Jena, I am okay now, and I am happy that you two are finally together.”
He brushed off his pants and jogged back to Jack, and hugged him.
“Cut that mushy shit out and get in the car!” Jack said, pushing him toward the passenger side.
“Please, take me home. I need a shower, shave, change clothes. I’ve been loafing around long enough; we’ve got a killer to catch and a Senator to put in jail!”