Author: Child Of Old PM
Jo has always lived in the shadow of her older cousin, Hannah. When Hannah is murdered whilst on a summer holiday, even whilst grieving Jo thinks she will now finally get her shot at life. She's wrong. Now she's growing up in the shadow of the perfectly murdered girl, loving Hannah's boyfriend and trapped in a bleak existence. And Hannah's not done with her yet... Please R&R!Rated: Fiction T - English - Crime/Romance - Chapters: 10 - Words: 53,700 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 09-29-12 - Published: 06-23-12 - id: 3035148
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter Five: Cold Case Reopened
The house was deserted when I got back to Hannah's house, Jack's hands clenched on the driving wheel and Marta passed out in the back. We paused when Jack finally killed the engine and stared at the dark house for a bit.
"Why'd we have to bring her?" Jack finally asked viciously, jerking a thumb at Marta.
"Because she offered to be moral support. Besides, she's going back to school on Monday so you don't have to be with her that long. So play nice."
"That's almost a whole week with the brat. I don't think I could survive." He grumbled.
"Five days." I corrected him, jerking open the car door. "Come on. Help me lift her out."
We'd taken his car so it didn't take us long to finally drag her out of the car, still snoring, and Jack forced me to carry her into the house as he grappled with keys. We settled her in the spare room, on top of the covers so I put a blanket over her and made sure there was a glass of water beside her.
We found a frantically scribbled note in the kitchen, mum's scrawling handwriting clearly hurried.
We've gone down to the police station. Won't be back until later. No need to come down until tomorrow morning. Everything is just how you left it. Don't disturb Emma. She's passed out in her room. Love you.
Jack got me a glass of wine and a can of beer for himself before he crouched down to start the wood burning fire that almost instantly warmed the whole room. He took a seat beside me and slung one arm around my shoulders. Silently, I lent my head onto his shoulder and he cuddled me closer. We said nothing, our eyes on the dancing flames on the fire, our hands full with our drinks and our heads filled with our own thoughts.
It worried me how Hannah hadn't shown up to me yet. Surely, this was what she had meant by It's starting. What happened if the worst was yet to come?
Who was this man? I then thought. The one who after almost four years of nothing suddenly knew something about Hannah? The one who would only speak to me.
I shivered and Jack pulled me tighter to his side. He lent his head on top of mine and that made me feel protected somehow.
"It's warm in here."
The sudden noise made us both jump and swivel our heads towards the open door.
Emma stood there, wrapped in her fluffy dressing gown, her feet innocently bare, no make-up on and her hair hanging limply around her face. She had her skinny arms folded across her chest tightly and was staring at us with blank eyes.
"Emma." I breathed. I hadn't heard her voice since I'd left and hadn't properly seen her face in months.
Even this late at night and this tired, she was the young, brunette version of Hannah. Maybe that was why I hadn't looked at her so hard.
Emma slowly walked into the room. Mine and Jack's eyes followed her every movement until she slowly lowered herself onto the opposite sofa and lent forward stiffly towards us.
"Jo," She paused as if considering what she was going to say next. Finally, she shrugged and looked at me. Her eyes were glazed over with liquid in the fire light and her whole body trembled. "I'm so glad you're home."
Her voice quivered and broke. But she didn't start sobbing and the tears only dripped down her face silently.
I shifted away from Jack and he reluctantly released me from his grip. I opened my arms to Emma and she slowly slipped within them, burrowing her head under my chin as I rubbed her back up and down.
"What does he want with you?" Emma asked, her voice heartbreakingly tender and unsure. "He won't hurt you, will he?"
I exchanged a look with Jack over her head.
"Not if I'm in the police station." I answered guardedly.
Emma didn't notice my reaction, reassured by my words as she nodded into my chest.
"This time we're going to get Hannah's killers, won't we?" She asked naively.
I kissed her hair.
"Of course we are."
"And you're not going to get hurt this time, are you?"
I froze. I couldn't answer that truthfully. Jack's eyes hardened as he stared at me.
"Jo." He whispered. "You're not going to get hurt are you? Tell Emma that you're not going to get hurt."
Tell me you're not going to get hurt. It was a sentence he didn't say out-loud but we both knew it was there.
I sighed and stroked my hand through her hair.
Her blue eyes looked out at me from beneath my chin. She seemed to be holding her breath.
"Jo," She whispered. "You're not going to get hurt, are you?"
I had to answer her truthfully.
"Not if Jack and I can help it." I answered as best I could.
Jack lent over to me as Emma dozed off in my arms, clearly comfortable and feeling safe within there.
"I can't always be there to save you, Jo." His eyes burned with intensity. "And this time Max isn't around to help either. Just," He paused. "Promise me you'll try not to get hurt."
"I'll try not to get hurt." I recited obediently, knowing it was a lie.
Behind me, I heard Hannah snort.
"Please. She's so going to get hurt."
I met the dark, sunken eyes across the hard metal table and resisted the urge to bolt. I had been informed that this man was mid fifties but he looked at least eighty. His skin was saggy and held a yellowish tinge to it, his eyes were dark and sunken into his skull and his clothes hung around his thin, wasted body like he hadn't eaten properly in months.
"Josephine." His voice was raspy and rough. "I've heard a lot about you, Josephine. I'm so glad I've finally gotten to meet you."
I tried to stare him down as I had to all those police officers years ago.
"Charmed, I'm sure." My voice held a hard, flinty edge to it.
He carried on as if he hadn't heard me, his eyes staring off into the distance.
"They used to talk about you all the time. You and Hannah." He shook his head, almost sadly, and looked down on his clasped hands. "Such a waste."
My hand fisted on top of the metal and his eyes flickered towards it instantly. He gave a small smile and looked up at me.
"Angry little thing, aren't you Josephine?" He asked with a smirk.
I kicked my legs out from beneath my chair and turned in my seat to face him, linking my hands together in front of me, keeping my teeth gritted.
"You came here to talk about Hannah, Mr O'Leery." I met his eyes and allowed all my anger and frustration show in my eyes. "So lets talk about Hannah."
He chuckled and shook his head almost ruefully, sitting back in his seat.
"I'm not here just to talk about Hannah, Miss Kennedy. I'm here to talk about you too."
I tensed. I knew there was a one sided window behind me and that mum, Aunt Selene, Jack and the police were standing there, listening to our every word.
"Me? I have nothing to do with Hannah."
The man opposite me shrugged.
"Maybe not whilst she was alive. But whilst she was alive, she had a lot to do with you."
One of my hands fisted, cracking my other hands knuckles threateningly.
"What the fuck are you talking about?" I hissed before remembering myself and pushing myself back, putting distance between us. "And we're not talking about Hannah when she was alive, though what you know about her is either lies or insanity. Do you have anything to tell me about Hannah or don't you?"
He stood up and lent forward, resting his hands against the hard surface of the table and leaning over me in an intimidating stance. I thought I could hear Jack's shouts of protests.
I wasn't intimidated by him though and I sat back, looking up at him with my hard mask on. In my bag beneath the table, my phone vibrated.
"Oh, I have something to tell you about Hannah." His face now seemed grave and with rising anger. "And I have something to tell you about you too."
"I had nothing to do with Hannah." I gritted out. "And if you think any differently you clearly have nothing of interest to tell me."
"I do!" He insisted.
My phone vibrated again and this time I stood up, sighing.
"As my phone will clearly tell you, Mr O'Leery, I'm a very busy person. I left my friends and my school and my home for this crap. And now, I'm tired of this. I'm tired of Hannah, I'm tired of this whole situation and, most importantly, Mr O'Leery, I'm tired of you. So, if thats all, I'll say good day to you and be on my way." I reached for my jacket which I'd hung casually over my chair. I then rummaged under table and brought out my bag, grabbing my phone out of it as I did so, trying to seem casual about the whole thing. Two texts from Marta. I then turned and started walking towards the doors. "Good day, Mr O'Leery."
My boots clicked clearly against the floor as I approached the door and wrapped my hand around the handle.
"Wait!" He finally cried, and I allowed myself a little smirk before turning to him, a confused expression on my face.
He sighed and flopped down on his seat again. I didn't move an inch.
"I'll tell you what I know about Hannah's death and what led to it." He finally assured me in a tired, weary voice.
"Will you now?" I asked, cocking one eyebrow.
"Yes." He nodded his thin face sagely and I shrugged, walking back over to the table and dropping myself into the chair, placing my bag and jacket beside me.
"Go on then." I gestured vaguely in front of me. "Amaze me. Tell me the story of what got my perfect cousin killed."
I couldn't keep the bitterness out of my voice and in my minds eye I could see mum, Aunt Selene and Jack's shocked face.
He didn't look shocked though. In fact, he smiled a little bit.
"Oh, Hannah was far from perfect." He assured me.
I rolled my eyes.
"Could've fooled me."
Gone were my tears, replaced by my unneeded bitterness that had long since festered within me.
"If she was so perfect, Josephine, how did she get herself killed?" He asked me rhetorically, familiarly.
That just brought my sadness and anger back to the surface.
"I don't know." I answered him icily. "That's what you're here to tell me, isn't it?"
He chuckled once more.
"What quick mood swings you have." He commented.
"Shut up about me." I lent forward. "And start talking about Hannah."
Finally, his eyes seemed to completely sombre and his sunken face took on a serious look. He seemed to recognise that now was the time to start spilling his guts on what he knew.
"I met your cousin almost fourteen years ago, on the London Underground." He started gravelly.
Quickly, I did a mental calculation in my head.
"She was seven." I stated but I made it sound like more of a question then anything.
"It was more of a coincidence then anything else that it was her that we met, and a horrible coincidence at that since only ten years later it would get her murdered."
I forced myself to keep my face blank.
"We?" I questioned.
He shot me an annoyed glance.
"Yes, Miss Kennedy, we. If you are going to insist on continuing to interrupt me I'm afraid I'm going to have to stop telling my story."
"That would be your decision, not mine." I told him coolly.
Still, he shrugged.
"Will you please let me tell the story my way?" He pleaded. "Without interruptions. I will explain everything you don't understand afterwards, I promise."
"I don't take promises from people who killed my cousin." I said.
He smiled and I saw all of his yellowing teeth.
"I haven't finished my story yet, Josephine. How do you know it is I who killed your cousin?"
I waited and his smirk widened.
"Are we all sitting comfortably, finally? Good. Then I'll begin. Again."
Rick O'Leery was on his last job. He had been working for the gang for thirty years of his life, along with his brother and cousin, and now he was finally getting out of it. His brother and cousin had chosen not to, but Rick couldn't have cared less. It wouldn't be his fault if they found themselves with a bullet in the back of their heads. Actually, it would be if he was the one who'd fired the bullet. Which was looking increasingly likely the more his relatives screwed up.
Supposedly, they were just meant to meet a woman, give her the package and leave. That was their job done. As long as they didn't get caught or killed along the way, they should be fine.
The woman was easily identified, for she had a young, blonde child on her arm and she was the tallest, most willowy person on the platform with bleach blonde hair and eyes to match. When she saw them, she flipped the sunglasses on her head so they covered her eyes and crossed her arms so both her hands cupped her elbows. It was the signal they'd been waiting for and they instantly went to her.
Beside the woman, the child was chattering loudly.
"When's the train going to be here? We need to catch the train quickly so we can see mummy and daddy."
The woman smoothed a hand over the child's soft hair and nodded comfortingly, momentarily diverting her eyes from Rick and his relatives.
"We will meet your parents at the hospital, don't you worry, pet. And don't forget about Jack. We're seeing Jack too."
The child pouted.
"I don't want to see Jack." She stomped her foot petulantly and would've continued had Rick, his brother Danny and his cousin Yacob not come up to them in that very moment.
"You stay here, pet, whilst I go talk to these men." The woman told the child softly. "Can you be a big, grown up girl and do that?"
The child looked around herself dubiously before shrugging.
"We'll be right over here if you need anything." The woman promised as she led the men away from the child.
Rick, Danny and Yacob were all grinning when they got a safe enough distance away, smirking from ear to ear which almost caused the woman to shoot their heads off.
"You care for the child." Rick said in his deep voice.
The woman shrugged.
"How could I not? She is an adorable child. This may be just my cover, gentlemen, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it. Besides, I am killing off her father. Whats a little nicety to the child who's about to loose everything?"
"Careful you don't get in too deep." Danny warned.
The woman's eyes flashed to them from behind the sunglasses and her lips tightened.
"That little girl you see over there," She swung her arm around and pointed to the blonde child who sat on the hard, cold metal seats, swinging her plump little legs. "Is a girl who is one of the most important people in our organization. You may not think that now, but one day you will have to listen to her. So don't you dare tell me to get in too deep."
Suddenly, an ear piercing scream pierced the air as a train whistled past, hitting the breaks on the platform as it squealed to a halt.
The little girl looked over to the woman once more.
"Hurry, Kelly, the trains here!" She jumped off the chairs and started to run towards the train.
"Don't get on without me, Hannah! I will be right there. Don't. Move." The woman, Kelly, cautioned.
Hannah stopped but continued to spin impatiently on her heel. Kelly turned back to the men.
"So, you're definitely bumping off her old man?" Rick asked, jerking his head towards Hannah.
Kelly nodded, a victorious smirk crossing her face.
"Oh yeah. He should be dead within the week. Boss's explicit instructions." Again, Kelly's eyes gleamed as the men gaped.
"You know who the boss is?" They exclaimed.
"Oh yeah. Gave me the orders themselves, personally."
"No shit." They still stared at her. "Who are they?"
But Kelly was shaking her head now.
"Can't tell you boys. Just gimme the package and I'll pass it along."
As the thick, white parcel appeared into view, so did Hannah's tiny face.
"Come on, Kelly. The train is about to leave." Hannah tugged on Kelly's free arm insistently and Kelly laughed, suddenly free and easy again.
"Alright, pet, I'm coming, I'm coming!" She laughed. "But first," She grabbed the white package off Yacob, who glared at her, and presented it to Hannah with a flourish. "This is a gift for you. Open it."
"Hey, what up with this?" Danny exclaimed angrily. "You got us ferrying around some kids toy? We ain't no package delivery service."
Kelly was watching Hannah scramble to open the package with a federal gleam in her eye, positively drooling as she licked her lips.
"Ah, ah, ah, boys." She whispered horsely as Hannah rummaged her small hand into the package, finally wrapping it around the object inside and withdrawing it. "This is no toy."
The gun in Hannah's hand gleamed against the light.
I stared at Mr O'Leery and he stared back at me. Finally, I could take no more of the silence and shoved myself away from the table, clawing one hand through my unwashed hair as I paced around the room, keeping as far away from O'Leery as possible. Eventually, I forced myself to be calm and faced O'Leery once more. This time I was the one bracing my hands against the stainless steel and I was the one leaning over him in the intimidating way.
"Bull." I spat in his face. "You're talking nothing but utter bullshit and I want you to stop it!"
O'Leery lent back from me as spittle rained down on his face. Even he looked a bit fearful.
"I can assure you, Josephine, that everything I'm saying is true." He assured me quietly.
"You're lying!" I screeched and whirled away from him once more, pacing like a caged tiger, feeling trapped and alone and more then a little bit goddamn confused. "My cousin was a good person. She was beautiful, she was rich, she got all the good grades, she got the all the boys she wanted too, she was athletic and she was good. She did not walk around with a handgun from the age of seven and her Aupair did not kill her father."
"No, she didn't always walk around with a gun." O'Leery allowed with a small shrug of his shoulders. "Sometimes it was a pocket knife."
I spun to face him and resisted throwing my bag at he stupid, smug face. I had a feeling that if I did that, I would finally be dragged out of here.
"If you've heard so much about me, Mr O'Leery, I would expect you to know some basic things about me." I met his eyes as I braced my hands once more against the cool, stainless steel. "But since you clearly don't, let me clue you in. So listen up. I hate liars. So don't even bother to lie to me because I will get you for it."
"But, I'm not lying!" He protested.
"Well, you're certainly not telling the truth!" I shot back at him.
Sighing, I turned my back on him slowly and approached the one sided glass, bracing my hands against it. I breathed heavily for a moment and waited for him to say something.
"I left after that mission, though for the next five years I did wonder about that little girl who I'd seen get her first gone."
And say something he did.
And say something I did not.
"Then, I got a call. I was needed back to train and do things with this girl." He paused for a minute. "And thats when I heard about you."
I turned and lent against the glass, studying him from beneath hooded lids.
"If you lay the lie on any thicker I might just suffocate." I informed him acidically.
He held his hands up in a surrendering type movement.
"I'm telling you the truth. I get back, I see Hannah again but all I ever hear about is the name Josephine Kennedy. And all Hannah ever talks about is Jo."
I crossed my arms across my chest tighter, as if I could keep all the bad things away.
"I'm sure I should be flattered." My voice was flat.
My head was pounding. If all the things he was saying were true, a number of cold cases were just about to be reopened.
He chuckled, but this time his chuckle sounded more like the last, dying sound of a wounded animal.
"So you should be. And grateful to Hannah as well." He stood up.
"I hate being grateful." I told him. "And what do I have to be grateful to Hannah for anyway?"
"She saved your life." He informed me simply. "She saved your life by giving her own. But now that she's dead she can't stop the things she's put in motion."
I looked at him expectantly as he skirted around the edge of the table.
"Care to elaborate, Oh cryptic one?" I asked sourly.
"Nobody can save you now, Josephine Kennedy, except one person." He smirked. "And I get the feeling they're not in a particularly rescuing mood."
He opened the bulletproof door and asked the guard outside something quietly. The guard nodded and took O'Leerys elbow.
"Wait!" I cried out and they both looked at me strangely. "I thought you were going to tell me about the reasons for Hannah's death. About her death. I thought you were going to tell me about me and my role in all this." I raised an eyebrow at him challengingly.
He looked at me consideringly.
"I have reconsidered. I think I've given you enough to go on." He told me.
"I happen to think differently."
He ignored me.
"I will give you everything I promised when you've done one thing for me." He finally compromised.
I waited. He spoke.
"I need you to kill the boss."
My mouth fell open as he was led out of the room. Then, for the last time, he stopped and looked and me.
"Oh, one more thing you might want to know." He said.
I glared at him.
"Really, only one more thing? And here I was thinking I could do everything the police should be doing just on that small bit of useless information you gave me."
"Well, this bit might interest you." He told me. "All murders are orders given by the boss themselves. So, the boss personally asked for Hannah to be killed." He cocked his head to one side, looking me up and down. "I'm sorry. You seem to be shaking. Are you afraid now, Josephine Kennedy?"