Just A Dream...
Chapter Twelve: An Unlikely Hero
"Stop the car!"
Taylor's exclamation made Cameron jump, and the car screeched to a halt as the redhead cast his companion a confused glance.
"What in 'ell did you yell like that for?" He demanded. "What's wrong with you! You could've 'ad us crash!"
"Shut up and look...that's Aunt Sheila, isn't it?" Taylor pointed.
"Sure is." Cameron frowned, looking confused. "What do you reckon she's doin' 'ere?"
"Don't know, but I'll bet it's not a tourist visit." Taylor said darkly. "She looks like she's looking for something...something or someone."
"Do you think she's 'ad a tip-off?" Cameron asked. Taylor nodded.
"I do." He agreed. "An' I think she's come here to find Nancy."
"So, what do we do?"
"I dunno what you're doing, but I'm gonna track her." Taylor pushed open the car door, getting out. "Don't trail me...in fact, go back to the hotel and tell the police. I'll bet she hasn't told them and she's come here alone...oh God, I was right. See, there? That's my father." As he spoke, he ducked down behind the car door, so as not to be seen. "I knew it. She came to meet 'im."
"You should come back with me, it's not safe if 'e 'as a gun." Cameron objected.
"I don't care. This is a family issue and I'm gonna help sort it out." Taylor said grimly. "Go on, go back and tell the police where he is. I'll be fine...I know how to take care of myself."
"Well, I know that." Cameron agreed. "All right, if you're sure. I'll see you back there then, huh?"
"Definitely." Taylor nodded. "Later, Cameron."
Once his friend was gone, Taylor crept up on the dilapidated old building, wondering which of his father's ring of dodgy acquaintances it belonged to. As he reached the door he heard voices, and he paused, listening.
"I'm impressed. You came."
That was his father, and soon he heard his aunt reply.
"Of course I came. Where's Nancy?"
"Patience, Sheila. I want to be sure you came alone."
"Well, do you see anyone else?" Jetta's tone was sarcastic. "Maybe they're 'idin' in me pockets...I'm 'ere an' I came alone, I didn't even tell Justin where I was goin'. I kept my side of the deal...now give me yours."
"Okay, okay." Jeremy held up his hands. "Stay there. Don't move. I'll be right back."
As Taylor watched, his father disappeared into an adjacent room, returning in a few minutes with a dishevilled and bound Nancy, who, upon seeing her mother gave an exclamation.
"Untie her." Jetta said quietly. Jeremy did as he was bidden, but he kept a hold of her arm, and before she was fully free produced his gun, holding it to Nancy's head.
"You go sit over there." He told his sister. "And don't move. I'm watching you...any sharp movements and I'll fire."
"Mom!" Nancy exclaimed. "Mom, don't..."
"Nancy, as soon as 'e lets you go, get out of 'ere." Jetta told her firmly. "Don't look back, just go. I'll be all right."
"Do as you're told!" Jetta exclaimed. "Okay, Jeremy, I'm 'ere an' I ain't goin' nowhere. Let 'er go."
"Of course. A deal is a deal and I don't want unnecessary corpses." Jeremy nodded, pulling open the door and pushing Nancy outside, shutting it firmly behind her before she could turn and launch any kind of attack on him. "There. Now it's just you and me."
Bewildered and confused, Nancy hesitated outside the door, uncertain what she should do. Seeing her, Taylor made his way across to her, putting his finger to his lips as she saw him and opened her mouth to speak.
"Ssh. He doesn't know I'm here." He murmured. "I followed your Mum...even she doesn't know I'm outside. Are you all right?"
"I...I think so. But Taylor...Mom!"
"It's okay, I'll see to your mother." Taylor promised.
"He'll kill her!"
"You get a taxi back to the hotel, and tell the police there all you know." Taylor told her. "Nothing will happen to your mother, I promise. I won't let him kill her. Do you trust me?"
"I...I trust you."
"Good. Then go. It'll be all right!"
With a hesitant look back, Nancy did as she was bidden, running down the street to the phonebox and putting a call through to the hotel to let her worried father know she was free, then summoning a taxi to take her back to Bayswater.
Taylor, meanwhile, returned his attention to his aunt.
Creeping round the back of the building, he soon found another way in, and he slipped inside, listening all the whole to his father and his aunt as they exchanged insults and made empty threats. His anger towards Jetta had faded in light of her bravery to save Nancy's life, because he knew full well his aunt had come willing to die if need be to free her daughter. Absently he wished that he had had a mother who had loved him enough to take that risk. Then he got a grip on himself. Nancy's family was his family too, and he had made her a promise he intended to keep.
He had a score to settle with his father, not just for the kidnap, but also for his own difficult childhood.
"Enough talking." Jeremy had clearly become bored with the banter. "You should know why I wanted you here better than anyone. You glossed it for the brat, but you know I want to kill you."
"I know you want to. It doesn't follow that you're goin' to succeed." Jetta seemed calm, but Taylor knew she could not possibly be. Again his aunt went up in his estimation. She was clearly one tough cookie.
He moved closer, and found that the room in which the conversation was taking place was now in full view. He was behind his father's line of sight, and he thanked his lucky stars for it. Now, if he could only take the man off guard...Jetta was tied up now, and there was no way she could escape on her own.
Jetta glanced across and faltered momentarily in her words as she met Taylor's gaze, but she regained her composure almost immediately, and, much to Taylor's relief, Jeremy did not even notice the slip.
"You're so full of 'ot air." Jetta told her brother now, her eyes flitting between him and her nephew in the doorway, as if wondering inwardly which side he intended to take. "If you're goin' to kill me, why waste time? You ain't very good when it comes to the crunch, are you?"
"We'll see about that." Jeremy's eyes narrowed, and he lifted his gun. "See? I'm not bluffing. One slip of my finger and bang...it's all over. Score settled." He grinned. "Maybe then I'll turn over a new leaf...go straight. You don't know how long I've waited to do this."
"Well, you'll have to wait a bit longer." Taylor muttered to himself, taking his chance and launching himself at his father. Bigger built than Jeremy, and with the element of surprise he knocked the man to the ground, laying him out at the same time, and hurrying to unfasten his aunt's bonds.
Jetta stared at him, almost disbelieving.
"I guess I owe you an apology." She murmured. "You ain't 'is son after all. You really are my nephew."
Taylor grinned, swiftly freeing her arms and legs.
"He ain't the kind of father I want." He replied. "But Nancy's lucky she got a mother like you."
"Taylor...Jeremy!" Jetta's expression became one of consternation, for across the room her brother was regaining consciousness, fumbling for his gun and firing haphazardly across the room. One of the bullets almost grazed Jetta's left arm and she drew breath sharply at how close it had come. Then Jeremy was on his feet, and the situation had changed.
He was clearly angry...and ready to shoot to kill.
"I said you were soft." He spoke with disgust, glaring at Taylor. "You're no son of mine."
"Good." Taylor replied levelly. "Put the gun down, Dad. What are you gonna do, kill us both?"
"If I have to." Jeremy agreed. His finger hovered over the trigger, but some instinct compelled Jetta to pull Taylor to one side as the bullet flew out of the barrel of the revolver, missing them by inches.
"That woulda got me." Taylor murmured. "Remind me to thank you later."
"If we got a later." Jetta said grimly. "Come on. I vote we make a break for it."
"Sounds like a plan to me." Taylor nodded, grabbing his aunt by the hand. "It's harder to hit a moving target - let's go."
They fled the building, Jeremy in hot pursuit, pausing briefly for breath outside before realising that the gunman had not given up his quest for blood.
"Oh 'ell, ain't 'e bored yet?" Jetta demanded. "What now?"
"You can run." Jeremy told them calmly. "But you ain't gettin' away from me this time, Sheila. This is it. Curtains."
He raised his gun once more.
In an instant the scene seemed to become a mass of blue clothed officers and flashing lights, and Jeremy seemed momentarily startled by their appearance. Then he shrugged.
"Oh, go to Hell!" He exclaimed. "I'm busy!"
He fired randomly, the bullet skidding off the bonnet of a nearby squad car, and immediately the armed police returned fire. In an instant Jeremy had fallen, and Jetta stared at the body of her brother, giddy with shock and relief.
"It's over." She murmured. "Finally over."
"You okay?" Taylor asked.
"Thanks to you, yeah. I ain't no softie, I can 'andle a bit of blood an' drama." A touch of Jetta's usual dry irony had returned to her tone, and she grinned slightly. "I 'ad you all wrong, didn't I? You're a bleedin' 'ero."
"Not really." Taylor replied, as he and his aunt moved away from the scene that the policemen were swarming around. "I did it for Nancy. I promised her that I wouldn't let anything happen to you."
"How did you know where to come?"
"Cameron and I saw you outside, and I followed you." Taylor replied. "Cameron went back for the police...they timed it great."
"Yeah, they sure did." Jetta agreed. She shivered. "I can't believe it's really over."
"You're not upset? I mean, about how it ended? He...was your brother."
"No, he wasn't." Jetta shook her head. "Maybe once he was, but he's not been any kind of brother to me since...well, too long ago. Since before you was born, most probably." She frowned. "What about you? He was your father."
"No, he wasn't. I never had a father." Taylor said simply. "Nor a mother, not really. That's why I wanted to meet you so much...you were my last chance at finding a family."
"I see." Jetta looked thoughtful. "Well, I suppose we owe you that much, Nancy an' me. If you still want us as family, well, I'm game. Nancy said you seemed okay...I guess I ought to trust my girl in future, shouldn't I?"
"Guess so." Taylor agreed amiably. "Say, are we going to walk all the way back? Because there's a policeman on our tail."
"Oh, 'ang the red tape." Jetta frowned irritably. "I wanna go back to the 'otel an' talk to my daughter an' get some damn sleep!"
"Can I come back with you?" Taylor asked quietly.
"Sure." Jetta agreed. "I ought to 'ave you as Nancy's bodyguard!" She laughed. "Me 'usband an' me son will want to meet you anyway. You ain't met Aaron yet, 'ave you?"
"No, I haven't met him." Taylor agreed.
"Well, then it's time you did." Jetta replied. "Let's get the red tape settled, an' then you can meet the family proper!"
PART FIVE: FAMILY FEUD
Chapter One: Invitation To England
Chapter Two: Exploring London
Chapter Three: Taylor
Chapter Four: A Surprise For Nancy
Chapter Five: Jetta Explains
Chapter Six: To Ruislip
Chapter Seven: Romance
Chapter Eight: The Stranger
Chapter Nine: Kidnap!
Chapter Ten: The Aftermath
Chapter Eleven: Bad Blood
Chapter Twelve: An Unlikely Hero
Chapter Thirteen: A Family For Taylor
JEWELFIC MAIN PAGE:
Copper, Nancy, Sylvie, Anna, Blade, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series.