Deception

It was a peaceful day on May sixth without a cloud in the sky, while the engine of Peter Conrad’s Toyota Corolla roared through the streets of upstate New York. With luggage in the back seat Peter glanced over at his new bride, Alexis. With her long dark hair covering her shoulders she glanced back at her husband and shot one of her breathtaking smiles his way. Her jaw dropping blue eyes, that could leave any man stop in his tracks, made Peter smile from ear to ear. As he glanced back at the road, Alexis didn’t take her eyes off of him, looking upon the man she married. His short brown hair just covering the tip of his ear with a smile of his own shooting back at her. A smile that could make any woman faint. He took his eyes off the road and looked at Alexis with his smile showing bright. With his light green eyes making Alexis blush. As all the trees on the side of the road flew by, Peter knew this move was a good idea. Moving to Somersworth, New York, was a decision years in the making, a decision they never felt comfortable with until just recently. The day that he proposed to Alexis changed their lives forever, not only did he have to protect his well being but he had to worry about hers as well. Something he had been used to for years before the proposal. Through the years they dated, they had been an on again off again kind of couple, just never really knew what each other wanted. One day Peter decided that the only person he ever wanted to spend his life with was Alexis, the one person who he trusted with his life. The feeling was mutual and he knew just that after he proposed and she grew a smile that he had never seen before.
Somersworth, New York, was the type of town were you could raise a family, a suburb of New York but a great town nonetheless. Houses on each side of the road, where everyone has a neighbor, but driving by all the houses, Peter didn’t mind it one bit, as he loved the company. As the Corolla began to slow down, Peter couldn’t take his eyes off their new home. Pulling up to the curb he started to get filled with such passion. This was their new life, this town, this house. This is where they would be starting their lives. Putting the car in park he realized that Alexis hadn’t said a word about their new home.

“You like it don’t you?” Peter asked placing his hand on her shoulder.

Looking over at Peter, Alexis replied, “Yea, yea its fine”

He knew a fake smile when he saw one and the one that Alexis tried to cover up by exiting the car quickly told Peter that something was wrong. I know it’s not her dream house, it’s not mine either but this house is perfect for us, Peter thought to himself as he exited the car, shoving the keys into his pair of blue Levi’s jeans. He felt the sun hit his blue v neck t shirt being covered slightly by his thin leather jacket. As Peter walked over towards his new wife, who was now standing in front of the house, he was sure that the sun couldn’t get any hotter, as his hair was being cooked already.

“What happened? The last time we talked about the house, you loved it,” Peter spoke up after looking at their new home.

“And I did, but look at it Peter, I just wanted our first house to be perfect,” Alexis responded with a loving smile on her face and hope in her eyes that he would understand.

It’s not everyday that you drive up to a house that’s a “work in progress” and plan a future around it, but that’s exactly what Peter did when he drove by it one day on a business trip. He hoped that Alexis would appreciate the hard work they would put into it and admire the house that they would build together. The next couple days after having seen the house, Peter spoke to Alexis about the the conversation they had the previous night. When she told him she was happy to start a family in a house like that, Peter felt beyond happy and couldn’t wait to move in. Now that she felt differently about it, after buying the house, made him worry however.

“You were so happy to move into this house, what happened?” Peter asked looking down at his wife as he towered over her. His six foot frame always made her feel comfortable.

“And I am but do you want your future son to run into a nail that we forgot to hammer down and was hiding all that time until that very moment?”

Laughing at the fact that Alexis could be very cautious about their future to that extreme made Peter take her hand in his and take a second look at their house. With a light blue color covering the house and dark blue shutters on each side of the windows towards the roof. The broken windows with cracks and holes made the house seem like an eye sore, but Peter found promise in it. He once said, It has a type of “charm” in it, the type of “charm” where you can raise a family and feel completed. Looking at the pale color yellow that covered the door, which was hanging on one hinge, had Peter realizing that this house would take a lot longer to complete than he thought.

“A son?” Peter asked as he placed his hands on her hips.

With the smile of Alexis shining bright, she placed her arms on his chest allowing him to hold her, “That’s only if you get lucky,” she jokingly responded as she gazed into his eyes.

Little did the couple know that a very serious Simon Kenrick was on his way through town riding in his all too expensive limo with tinted windows. The tinted windows that someone like Simon would need to keep their privacy, important people like Mr. Simon Kenrick, would never take any chances. With the leather interior keeping Simon more comfortable than he needed to be, he glanced out the window making sure they were on track. Something he had learned in his lifetime was to always stick to the plan and always stay on track.

“Are you still sure you want to do this sir?” The voice coming from a body guard for Simon Kenrick. With his short black hair above his ear and his black sunglasses completing the ensemble with a black tuxedo covering his body.

“I don’t have a lot of time on this planet. I’m not getting any younger Chad, It’s time I do something different with my life,” Simon responded running his fingers through his wavy brown hair falling and ending at his neck. He caught his reflection in the window and noticed his weathered skin creating a map of his life.

“Were almost there Mr. Kenrick,” Chad said taking his attention from the window to his employer.

Taking a slip of paper out of his suit jacket pocket with the address that read, Forty Seven Daniels Street, Simon answered, “Good good we must not be late.”

The wind rushed through Peter’s jacket while on his cell phone trying to speak with their realtor. After getting put on hold a few times, he started thinking that they may be stuck with this house that they were so fond of before. Maybe it wont be so bad if we end up getting stuck with this house, he thought while he watched Alexis walking around the house surveying the scene. The thoughts of having to work hard at this house flooded his mind and he started thinking that he may have taken on more than he could handle. Picturing all the stacks of wood and new glass windows he would have to buy made themselves visible in front of Peter, he would need money, the kind of money they didn’t have.

“Yea know, I don’t think were gonna get anywhere,” Peter said taking his cell phone from his ear, and watching Alexis walk towards him.

“Why what’s going on?” Alexis asked putting her hands in her back jeans pockets.

“I haven’t been able to reach the realtor. I spoke to some secretary.”

“You told her why your calling right?”

“Yea I did,” Peter answered.

“Then I think I know why she’s not picking up,” Alexis replied laughing all the while.

“Oh you do?” Peter asked with a smart ass tone in his voice.

“I don’t think she wants to put the house back on the market,” she said smiling as she walked closer towards Peter.

“We might have to go visit our realtor.”

“You know Lacey doesn’t want visitors, that’s why she gave us her phone number remember?” asked Alexis.

As soon as Peter answered “Yes I remember,” they watched as a black shiny limo began driving up behind the Toyota Corolla. Wondering why such a fancy vehicle had stopped behind their car, Peter placed his cell phone in his jacket pocket and walked weary towards the limo with Alexis trailing behind. The opened door of the limo is what stopped the couple in their tracks as they watched a shiny black shoe step out onto the ground. Peter watched as a gentleman’s hand grab the top of the the limo’s door and lift himself out. He saw the weathered face of Simon Kenrick with brown whiskers covering mouth, with strands of white hairs poking out. A friendly face Peter thought, but he was used to wolves in sheep’s clothing so he stayed as cautious as he could. As Simon closed the door behind him, Peter heard Simon speak as he eagerly walked towards Peter offering his hand.

“Mr. Conrad, it is so nice to meet you.”

Shaking Simon’s hand Peter looked upon this stranger, “Excuse me, who are you?”

“My name is Simon Kenrick, I run a few businesses around this general area,” Simon replied adjusting the middle button on his suit jacket.

“How do you know my name?” Peter asked with a puzzled expression on his face.

“I have endless resources Mr. Conrad. And quite frankly no one has moved into this town for a long time, so I know a new face when I see one,” Simon answered with a bright smile.

“It’s nice to meet you sir, but I’m still confused on how you found us,” Peter explained.

“Let me explain something son,” Simon said trying to make Peter feel comfortable. “This part of town is very special to me. A lot of big things have happened in my life around this area. My family, when they moved to this town ages ago, built that house your now standing in front of,” Simon finished, gesturing with his hands on the importance of the area.

“Well that’s great,” Peter answered.

“Let me finish, son,” Simon interrupted. “Just recently I made a promise to myself to change the lives of the next couple who want to move into this house, forever,” Finished Simon as he stepped closer towards Peter and Alexis.

“What are you trying to say,” Peter asked with a more puzzled look than before.

Reaching his hand into his jacket pocket, Simon fumbled with trying to find what he was looking for, “I’m prepared to offer you this,” He said as he pulled out a white colored check and handed it over to Peter.

Looking upon the check he had just received from this stranger, Peter was lost for words. His eyes widened at how many digits this number had, when he felt Alexis place her hand on his back. He noticed her jaw dropping just a little further than his. Peter noticed that he started gripping the check tighter than he had thought he would ever grip a check. Even though he didn’t know who this Simon Kenrick was, he was not about to let the wind take this large sum of money.

“What’s this for,” Peter asked narrowing his eyes, not losing focus on Simon Kenrick.

“It’s my generosity, Mr. Conrad. I told you that I wanted to change the lives of the next couple who move here, didn’t I?”

“I’m sorry to be a little cautious sir, and no offense but people like you don’t give away money without a catch,” Peter explained.

With a small laugh, Simon responded, “People like me? Well Peter I won’t take offense because I do believe your right.”

“What would you want?” Alexis spoke up with a concerned tone.

“Oh, Mrs. Conrad,” Simon said as he started gazing upon Alexis. “Has anyone told you how remarkably breath taking you look today?”

“No, but thanks,” Alexis replied with wide smile.

“I wouldn’t be asking for much, just a few favors here and there,” Simon answered gesturing with his hand.

“What are the favors for?” Peter asked.

“To suite my needs Mr. Conrad.”

“What kind of needs are we talking about sir?” Peter asked.

“My strategical needs son,” Simon replied with a pause after. “Strategy my boy. The favors I would request you to do would suit my Strategy. Nothing more and nothing less.”

“What kind of Strategy are we talking sir?”

“Oh, Peter no need to worry yourself with all the semantics, just know that I am someone you can trust through and through. I know that your going to need that money to start your family,” Simon mentioned as he narrowed his eyes onto Peter, who couldn’t take his eyes off of the check.

“And how do you know we want to start a family?” Alexis asked folding her arms.

“Well Mrs. Conrad, why else would you buy a two story house?” Simon laughed.

“Let us discuss this please?” Alexis asked as she placed her hand on Peter’s arm.

“Oh. Of course. Take all the time you need.”

Walking towards the house and not letting go of the money, Peter still had yet to breathe after seeing the large number printed on the check. Nothing like this had ever happened to him and he felt his body melt and he became ecstatic. Alexis noticed the very wide smile on her husbands face and he noticed the twinkle in her eye, he knew she was excited just as much. He began to remember why he was cautious to begin with while he forced himself down from cloud nine. The feeling of his wife’s hand on his chest meant that they needed to talk.

“This money will help us out a lot!” Alexis explained without losing her smile.

“I wanna trust him, I do,” Peter replied with worry in his eyes.

“This may be a blessing in disguise Pete. We need that money, for once we can get out of debt. I know we don’t know him, but an opportunity like this never happens.”

“There’s just something about him,” Peter answered, sounding worried.

“You need to learn to trust again. I wanna believe that Simon is nothing like your father,” Alexis said as she tried capturing Peter’s eyes with hers. Looking down at Alexis and seeing how much hope was in her eyes, it was hard to say no.

As Peter looked back down at the check he replied, “I want to do something special for us. I want to protect us with all my heart and provide a roof to live under. I won’t be able to do that with this house, so I guess were gonna take the money,” Peter replied, looking back into his wife’s eyes.

The peering eyes of Simon Kenrick looked on from the limo as he watched Alexis grab Peter’s body tight. With the biggest hug Simon had ever seen. With his elbow leaning through the rolled down window and leaning himself to look through it, he caught his body guard, Chad in his eyes and started to grin.

“Did he accept it?” Chad asked from in the limo.

“Yes, yes he did,” Simon responded while tapping the inside of the car with his hand.

“Our lives are going to be perfect,” Alexis said as she gazed into Peter’s eyes.

“We can make it perfect,” Peter assured her.

“I see you two came to a decision!” Simon yelled from the limo as he started making his way towards the house.

Walking towards Simon, Peter replied, “Were going to take the money sir.”

“Oh, perfect, that’s fantastic,” Simon said as he took Peter’s hand in his and shook it. “But from now on, you call me Simon, got it?”

“Absolutely sir,” Peter said before correcting himself, “Simon. Thank you for this.”

“No need to thank me son,” Simon answered before walking back towards the shiny limo. “Enjoy your new life together!” He shouted while looking behind him.

It’s not often that someone comes into your life and hand’s you a check to start your future with, and when Peter Conrad accepted that check he understood that he would be hearing from Simon Kenrick a lot sooner than he had hoped. The five months that past since the Conrad’s accepted the check had been blissful. They bought a new house just down the road from “the ol’ eye sore” Peter would say. Two stories is all they needed for their bright future, with a large garage out front and with their brown front door to the right surrounded by a porch is all they needed. With the three rooms upstairs Peter knew there would be more than enough space for future guests, along with the color gray covering the house with brown shutters along the windows, it made for a comforting home. The small walkway leading to their front door cut in half the small front lawn Peter dreamed of having. Relaxing in their bed, watching T.V. together, even buying new furniture together on occasion, was nothing more than wonderful. Nothing could ruin anything they worked so hard to make in Alexis’s eyes and the same in Peter’s. On occasion Peter would think all of this a dream because in his mind no one get’s this lucky. Only when Alexis would cuddle up with him in bed, is when he knew his dream was in fact reality.

On a cool autumn day in September, everything seemed to change in the life of Peter Conrad, and that dream of Peter’s became a nightmare, and all it took was just a knock at their front door. Sorting through the pile of bills they now had to face, the young man wearing his blue jeans and red t shirt, contemplated on how they would spend the remainder of the money after the bills were paid. Standing up from the all too comfortable black leather couch, facing their small fireplace with their plasma T.V. hanging on the wall above, Peter tossed the bills back onto the hard wood coffee table and began walking towards the front door after hearing loud thuds coming from it. Placing his hand on the doorknob Peter saw a blurred face of someone waiting outside, through the door’s glass window. Opening the door he saw the all too familiar face of Simon Kenrick, and he heard the words spill from his mouth, “Peter! How are you son?” Simon said reaching his hand out to Peter’s.

With a puzzled look on his face, Peter reached out his hand to shake Simon’s, “Mr. Kenrick. I’m doing just great how are you doing?”

“Now Peter have we already forgotten that you don’t need to call me Mr. Kenrick. From here on out it’s just Simon, alright?” Simon replied as the wind brushed through his hair.

“I’ll remember that,” Peter said as he placed his hand on the door frame. “How are you doing these days?”

“I’m doing just fine son, may I come in?”

Lowering his hand from the door frame, he watched Simon walk past him with his hands in his jacket pocket, probably to keep warm from the cold, Peter thought. As he heard Simon’s footsteps turn left around the corner into their living room, and the sound of Alexis walking down the staircase ahead of him rang through the house. “Can I help you with anything Simon?” He asked.

“Who’s here?” Alexis asked taking the last step off of the staircase.

“Oh! Mrs. Conrad!” Simon shouted across the room, as he made his way back towards the staircase.

“Hello Simon, how are you?” Alexis asked.

“I’m doing just fine my dear,” Simon replied taking her hand in his and gently shaking it. “I just wanted to see how things were going in the new house,” he finished.

“Things are going great, thanks for asking,” Alexis answered with her bright smile.

“May I get you a drink or anything?” Peter asked.

Something about this visit from Simon made Peter feel uneasy. He was hoping after receiving the check, that he wouldn’t see this generous man anymore. Peter was a trustworthy individual, but it was hard to trust someone who acted the way Simon Kenrick did. As Simon walked into their kitchen the bright color white on the ceiling and the floor caught his attention. Taking his time and looking around their well put together kitchen, he walked past their large stove on the right with wooden cupboard space above, holding a large vent above their black stove. Peter noticed Simon peering outside their large window to the left of the vent above their marble counter.

“No I’m all set,” Simon answered. “I see you put some time into choosing everything,” Simon said as he wrapped his hand around the handle of their large steel refrigerator.

Just that sentence made Peter look around and remember all the hard work they put into creating the kitchen they had today. The hardwood throughout the kitchen made him remember the struggle it was to find the right kind of wood to make it all feel like home. Home, Peter thought. Something he hadn’t had for quite a while. The memories Peter had of building everything rushed back as he began to smile.

“Yea we did. Were very happy with how everything turned out,” Peter replied.

“I see you chose the best of the best here,” Simon said as he rubbed his index finger along the side of their steel oven built into the wall, with their hard wood cupboards above, all the while checking for dust.

“I feel that we made a good decision in picking that out,” replied Peter.

“Then may I ask why you’re still dressed as if your not living like a king?” Simon laughed.

Unsure of his intentions, Peter replied, “I still appreciate the small things in life.”

“Good good. Never lose that,” Simon replied as he rubbed his index finger along the top of their white marble kitchen table, checking for dust on that as well, while it stood in the center of the room.

“What are you doing exactly?” Peter asked.

“I just wanted to see how you came out with creating this home for yourself,” Simon replied sounding pleased with his inspection while walking out of the kitchen. “I see you came out very well, very well indeed.”

As Peter followed him back into the living room, he felt the hand of Alexis rub his back. Neither one of them knew Simon’s intentions, as she felt it would calm them both down if she rubbed the one area where he held all of his stress.

“We made this home our own, and we love what became of it,” Peter answered, trying to make Simon realize, that he made a good decision five months ago.

“I know you did. I’m not here to take my money back Peter. Let me assure you of that,” Simon said adjusting his middle button on his jacket.

“Then may I ask why you’re here?”

“Mrs. Conrad, can I please talk to your husband in private?” Simon asked as he smiled, trying to calm Alexis down. Assuring her that everything was fine.

With a puzzled look on her face, Alexis slapped a smile on her face, as she hoped not to offend Simon. Worried as to what might happen if she left, she took a deep breath in and replied, “Sure. I’ll be upstairs,” she finished while looking up towards Peter.

As he watched Alexis leave, he turned back towards Simon who was waiting for her to leave the room. Hearing her footsteps make their way upstairs, Peter felt a little worried now that he was alone with Simon. What could this be about? He thought, as he narrowed his eyes on Simon Kenrick, the one person who he hoped he could trust.

“Is anything wrong?” Peter asked showing his nervous expression.

“No son not at all. I just want to discuss something with you,” Simon explained with one of his bright smiles.

“What did you want to discuss?”

“A few months ago I told you I’d come knocking looking for a favor. Well Peter I’m here and I’m knocking,” Simon said not taking his eyes off of Peter. The tone of Simon’s voice told him how serious he was.

“Well, alright. What is it?” Peter asked.

“Peter I want you to kill someone for me,” explained Simon as he pierced a look into Peter’s eyes making him well aware of how serious this situation was.

Alarmed by what he just heard, Peter didn’t take his eyes off of this billionaire who he once thought of someone who he could trust, “Simon no. I’m not a murderer.”

“It’s funny, I thought you’d say that,” Simon said as he turned away and began looking around the house. “Need I remind you what happened just a few months ago when you generously took my money? It would be a shame if you came home from work one day and all of this was gone.” Simon finished, turning back around, as he spread his arms to collect the house.

Shocked by what he just heard, Peter managed to say, “You wouldn’t do that!” While he pointed towards Simon Kenrick.

“You don’t know me,” he replied, walking towards Peter while glaring a hole into him. “I’d do much more for very little.”

“I’m not going to do it Simon. I’m not a murderer.”

Walking past Peter towards the front door, Simon replied, “Take some time to think about it.” Before reaching the breezeway to the front door, Simon turned back towards Peter and finished, “Something tells me your thirst to kill will get the better of you. Send my apologies to Alexis about my leaving so abruptly, I just realized I have more pressing matters to attend to.”

With a concerned look on his face, Peter watched Simon walk through the breezeway and through the front door, hoping what he just heard wasn’t real. He wanted so badly to tell Alexis what just transpired, but as he heard the front door close shut, he swore to himself he wouldn’t put her in such a dangerous situation.
That night found Peter staring up at his bedroom ceiling which was now cloaked in darkness. Wide awake, he was hoping that what Simon had said earlier was just a joke, a good old fashioned ribbing for the new guy in town. Simons eyes however, told a different story. Remembering when he looked into the eyes of Simon Kenrick, he found that he wasn’t joking around at all, in fact he was serious dead serious. That very thought scared Peter to death and as he looked up towards the ceiling in the comfort of his bed, with his wrists crossed behind his head, he knew he had to protect this life he had made for Alexis and himself. The questions began swimming through his mind, what’s the next step? What do I do now? So many questions surfaced since Simon told him to commit homicide. The one question that didn’t seem to escape him kept him awake longer than he hoped, why was Simon so sure I was going to agree to do this? Why was he so certain I would kill?
Alexis with her loud moaning in her sleep created a smile on Peters face while he turned around to face her. Laying by her side, he watched the moonlight glow upon her body from the window to the right of the bed. He knew he couldn’t hurt her, he knew he couldn’t keep the news from her. Something inside of him wouldn’t let him speak as he tried to wake her. With Alexis stirring in her sleep and not waking, Peter found comfort in deciding not to tell her after all. With the worried face of Peters glowing in the moonlight he thought to himself, what would happen if I told Alexis? What kind of situation would that put her in? Put us in? He didn’t want to worry her as he closed his eyes and tried to find some piece in the night.
With the morning sun rising over the mountains, Peter Conrad was already adjusting his blue stripped tie in the bedroom mirror above their dresser in front of their bed. Adjusting his white buttoned shirt, Peter glanced into the mirror and noticed Alexis who was still fast asleep, with one leg laying on top of the bed covers. He began to smile at how ridiculous she looked with her other leg under the covers and her arms sprawled out in the middle of the bed. The loud snoring made Peter well aware of why he woke up so early. Peter looked down and brushed any lint off of his black dress pants he may of had before walking out the bedroom door to the right of the dresser.
He made sure to pay Simon a visit, a visit that was strictly business. A meeting, Peter thought, just a business meeting. He tried looking as professional as he could to let Simon know things were going to go differently. While Peter made his way down the hall with blue colored walls on either side of him, he looked towards his right and looked over the living room and towards the kitchen to gather enough strength to look Simon in the eye and tell him he wasn’t going to do it.
With the cold metal doorknob of the front door in Peters hand he started realizing he had no idea where Simon lived, let alone worked. Opening the door, he took in the cool breeze that created this cool fall morning.
The echo of a door closing shut caught Peters attention making him glance towards the right at his neighbor who was carrying rolled up papers under his arm, walking out of his house.

Glancing over his shoulder, the gentleman who had dressed quite professional with his dark blue buttoned shirt and short blonde hair just above his ear, caught Peter in his eyesight “hello, you must be my new neighbor.”

“Yea I am. My name is Peter Conrad,” he said as he watched the gentleman walk closer to him. The well shaved friendly face of this man, put Peter at ease.

“My name is Jake Porter. It’s good to finally meet you,” Jake said extending his hand towards Peter.

“Yea sorry about being so secluded, we’ve been really busy with furnishing the new house,”Peter explained while shaking Jake’s hand.

“Oh it’s fine, don’t worry about it. I remember when i first moved in, I was pretty much hibernating in that house,” Jake said as he gestured towards his two floored house with grey trimming around it. “Have you found everything around here alright?”

“Yea for the most part. I’m just having trouble finding someone,” Peter replied.

“Yea? Who’s that?”

“His name’s Simon Kenrick.”

“Simon huh?” Jake asked.

“Yea, you know him?” Peter asked, hoping Jake could help him find Simon.

“Yea I do. But you know, everyone around here knows all about Simon,” Jake responded.

After Jakes comment regarding Simons history Peter was very curious to know just what Jake meant. Not giving himself time to think twice, Peter had decided it was best to find out more about Simons history on his own. He was sure he wanted to find out about Simons history on his own, with hopes Simon wouldn’t turn out that bad. Peter instead asked, “do you know where I might find him?”

“Yea you bet. He would be at Kenrick Enterprises around this time.”

“Kenrick Enterprises?” Peter asked sounding confused.

“Yea it’s the skyscraper just at the south end of town. You can’t miss it,” Jake laughed. “Why are you looking for him?”

“I just have a meeting with him.”

“Oh well I can give you a lift you want?” Jake asked taking the tube of papers from under his arm into his hand, while gesturing towards his Cadillac ATS parked in his driveway behind him.

“Thanks but I think I’ll be just fine,” Peter answered as he made his way towards his new silver BMW Sedan.

“Hey yea know if you ever need anything, I’m always here,” Jake mentioned spreading his arms to make himself known to Peter.

“Thanks,” Peter responded with a smile before walking around to the drivers side of the BMW parked by the curb.

Brushing her long brown hair, Alexis watched from the window that allowed the moonlight to caress her body the night before, as Peter drove off. Wondering where he drove off too, she set her hairbrush down on the windowsill and grabbed her mid cut jean jacket from off of the bed. As the empty house began to get flooded with the footsteps of Alexis, she swung her jacket over her shoulder sliding her arm into her sleeve allowing it to cover her white spaghetti strapped tank top. Taking her last steps off of the staircase, Alexis walked through the breezeway and opened the front door allowing the cool wind to take her by surprise.
With a bright smile on her face and her arms folded, she watched while everyone around her went on with their daily activities

“Hello my name is Alexis,” she said extending her hand towards Jake who was still on their lawn looking off into the distance in the direction Peter drove off in.

“Oh,” Jake said surprised. “Hi my name is Jake Porter. Seeing how you came from Peters house, you must be Mrs. Conrad,” He replied shaking her hand.

“Good work detective,” Alexis laughed. “Do you happen to know where my husband took off to?”

“He said something about going to see Simon Kenrick. I offered him a ride but.”

“That’s strange. He didn’t mention to me he was going to go see Simon,” Alexis explained.

“Hey I hate to just take off like this, but I’m actually late meeting someone,” Jake said urgently, looking at his wristwatch.

“Oh that’s fine,” Alexis answered. “It was nice to meet you Jake.”

“Yea it was nice to meet you too,” Jake said smiling before making his way towards his silver Cadillac .

Watching Jake drive off, Alexis ran her fingers through her hair unsure of the reason why Peter didn’t tell her he was meeting Simon. Thinking nothing of it, she smiled at the thought of having a new friend in Jake Porter while the sun shown on her face.
Peter found himself in front of a pair of glass doors as he watched Simon scribble something down on a piece of paper at his desk. The sun shown through the large windows behind Simon and let the world see his black business attire with his white buttoned shirt underneath. Peter saw his red tie, realizing how much more professional Simon looked compared to him. With the elevator behind him, Peter knew there was no turning back. While he reached out for the steel door handle Peter couldn’t stop thinking, how can Simon look so calm, after asking me to do something so cruel? Peter watched Simon steer his attention from the paper he was writing on, to the glass doors Peter was now storming through.

“Simon we need to talk,” Peter said with urgency in his voice, walking past the dozens of books collected on the book cases belonging to the business man.

“Indeed we do Mr. Conrad,” Simon replied standing up, shuffling the papers in his hand that he had been working on. “The polite thing to do nowadays is to knock.”

“Since you asked me to commit murder, I figured we were past that,” Peter smiled.

“Excellent point son,” Simon laughed. “Since you’re here, I’m going to assume you came to a decision?”

“I’m not going to murder anyone Simon. I can’t I’m not a murderer,” Peter said with hope in his eyes. Hope that Simon would understand.

“Peter Peter, it’s so much more than that, it’s about doing the right thing.”

“Killing an innocent man is not doing the right thing,” Peter explained sounded determined to make Simon see his point of view. “Murdering someone is never the answer.”

“Innocent? My god Peter this man is far from innocent let me tell you,” Simon laughed as he walked around his desk towards Peter. “This man is nothing more than a mere parasite. If someone needs to be stopped, it’s him.”

“Who is he?” Peter asked sounding curious as to why Simon wanted this man gone so bad.

“His name is Connor Brice. He’s an employee of mine who has been embezzling money from me for months,” Simon explained as he adjusted the middle button on his suit jacket.

“Why not just fire him?” Peter asked more curious than before.

“Peter your new here so let me explain something. There has been an evil that has sucked this town dry of its life. You see before I came here, this town was on its knees begging for mercy and I gave new life to this town,” Simon answered with pride in his voice, raising his fist to his chest. “Connor is part of that evil Peter, he’s trying to rid this town of me so he can feast on the remains of Somersworth. He’s part of a far more greater darkness.”

“What’s this evil,” Peter asked sounding intrigued.

“That’s not important son. What’s Important is that Connor be stopped and stopped soon before its too late. I’m sure Alexis would understand,” Simon said making sure Peter did the right thing in his eyes.

Looking down from Simon, the thoughts of why Peter didn’t tell Alexis about the meeting in his house, came swarming back. He knew he could never forgive himself if something happened to her, he had to keep this to himself. He had to protect her, not only from this unforgiving act that he was requested to do, but from this “evil” Simon was talking about.
Peter started realizing the strong feelings he had for Simon, began to vanish once Peter saw the kindness Simon truly had. He knew that murdering someone was never the answer but the fact that Simon wanted to hurt a guilty man, changed some.

Watching Peter look away, Simon lowered his head to try and catch the eye of Peter. “She doesn’t know?” Simon asked.

“I didn’t want her to worry,” Peter said while he tried thinking of any logical reason as to why he didn’t inform Alexis.

“Yea know Peter, when you get married there’s a part in the ceremony that states, “for better or for worse,” I guess you missed that part though,” Simon laughed.

“I wanna protect her,” Peter mentioned trying to make his point as to why he didn’t tell her.

“You can protect her all you want son but this town is calling for your protection as well. Be what Alexis wants and be what this town needs. Be our savior!”

“Simon I’m sorry i can’t. I can’t kill anyone. It’s not right,” Peter said worried he let Simon down.

Looking down at his feet and back into Peters eyes, Simon said with a smile, “that’s alright son. It’s fine.”

“I hope you can understand,” Peter said trying to assure Simon that he wasn’t right for the job.

“Oh I most certainly do Peter. I understand just fine. Now how about you join me in a drink and we’ll put this matter to rest?” Simon asked as he walked over towards a table that held small glasses along with a glass pitcher full of Simons favorite alcohol.

“That sounds good right about now. What is it?”

“Gin my boy. The beverage of men,” Simon said as he poured some of the gold liquid into one of the glasses.

“I hope my decision doesn’t change anything between us,” Peter mentioned while accepting the glass from Simon.

“Oh don’t worry son, I believe we will be in each others lives for quite sometime,” the words smoothly escaped Simons lips while he held a glass of his own, placing his hand onto Peters shoulder.

Smiling, Peter tipped the glass and allowed the not so smooth liquid to slide down his throat unaware of what would happen next. “Simon what’s going on?”

“What do you mean?” Simon asked as he watched Peter drop the glass and take his head into his hands.

“My head is killing me!” Peter yelled as he fell to his knees. He felt an urge take over him as he yelled from the feeling of shards of glass scratching at his skull. With a thirst like he had never experienced before, he allowed the urge to take over his body while he focused on the one thing he now knew he had to do.

Setting his glass back onto the table, Simon turned towards Peter kneeling down, taking him into his arms trying to console him, “we need some help in here!” Simon yelled.

Sighing from all the pain he was just in, Peter released his head from his clutches and began to feel the pain subside, “what the hell was that?” Peter asked rising to his feet while rubbing his head.

“I don’t know. Are you alright?” Simon asked as he watched his body guard Chad, walk through the glass doors.

“Everything alright sir? I heard some screaming,” Chad asked.

“I’m fine,” Peter answered, rising to his feet, not sure what just took place.

“Yes we’re all fine Chad,” Simon responded. “We’ll pick this up tomorrow then?”

“Yea we will,” Peter said, rubbing his head. “It must’ve been just a migraine.”

“Go get some rest Peter. You don’t look well.”

Watching Peter open the glass doors and leave, Simon walked back over to his desk with Chad trailing behind. “Did it work?” Chad asked.

“The drug had been tested so many times since Jake. I’m proud to say that, yes it did work quite well,” Simon answered with a smile. “Quite well indeed.”

The elevator doors opened allowing Peter to walk into the lobby of Kenrick Enterprises. Stepping out of the elevator onto the marble floor of the lobby, the piercing stare of Simon Kenrick made itself known as Peter walked past a giant oil painting of his friend hanging on the wall to his left. With a rounded reception desk on his right, he rubbed his head and began to wonder what just happened to him. He had never felt pain like that before. Remembering how he clenched his head, he knew something wasn’t right. As if walking through a fog, a vague light shown itself in the mind of Peter and made him focus on something he never thought he would be focusing on. Taking the last few breaths from somebody. The mere thought disgusted him but something urged him to do it. Peter had never felt this sensation before and experiencing something new is always scary but nothing is as scary as wanting to murder someone. Placing his hands on the giant letters “K” and “E” for the door handle, he walked through the glass doors of Kenrick Enterprises, when he found himself in an odd situation. Thinking back to just a few hours prier, he made the decision to say no to Simon and yet Peter was now ready to do the unthinkable.
Walking amongst the dozens of people entering and leaving Kenrick Enterprises, Peter continued down the long staircase leading towards the street and to a large parking area to the right. With a figure so familiar to Peter leaning on a large boulder under a large pine tree to the left, Peter didn’t think he would see this man here.

“What are you doing, following me?” Asked Peter after seeing his neighbor, Jake Porter with his sleeves rolled up to his forearm.

“Following? No. Protecting, yes,” Jake replied following Peter into the parking lot. “You don’t know what your getting yourself into.”

“And you do?” Peter asked, turning around while trying to figure out the point Jake was trying to make.

“I know a thing or two about Simon Kenrick. I just wanted to make sure you knew who you could trust.”

“Your saying I can trust you? I’m not trying to be rude but, I don’t know you,” Peter replied trying not to push Jake away from this hopeful friendship.

“Peter, you don’t know Simon either. Well not the real Simon anyway. You seem like a nice enough guy. I just don’t want to see Simon treat you like he treats everyone else.”

“Like everyone else?” Peter asked seeming concerned.

Taking a deep breath in and surveying the scene, making sure it was safe to speak about this subject, Jake closed in on Peter before speaking, “Simon Kenrick is an egotistical, cowardly, heartless human being who only gains success and only feeds his own ego by making every business around him crumble to the ground without hope of survival. Trust me I know,” Jake said nodding, letting Peter know how true he really was. “I’ve experienced it first hand Peter. He will use you for his own benefit and not care what happens to you.”

“I appreciate you looking out for me Jake, but I try to find the good in people, even if they are as bad as you make Simon out to be. I don’t want to give up on him just yet. I’ve seen some goodness in him so far,” Peter replied looking deep into the eyes of Jake Porter, trying to make him understand his point in not wanting to give up.

“I know what kind of web Simon spins and something tells me your caught in it right now aren’t you?” Jake said while concentrating on Peter.

“What do you mean?”

“No one pays Simon a visit without having a meeting set up first. Thats how he operates, and when we talked earlier it didn’t seem like you did.”

“Of course I did,” Peter lied.

Sounding annoyed at this point, Jake refused to give up before getting to the truth, “Peter, you didn’t even know where the man was.”

“I just forgot alright?” Peter replied with a half smile.

“Your a grown man Peter you can make any decision you want but just remember I know what I’m talking about and I’m warning you to be careful. This time around I’m not letting Simon win. Keep me in mind when you need to dig yourself out of a hole,” Jake laughed extending his hand towards Peter.

Shaking Jake’s hand, Peter returned the friendly smile and said, “if I ever need you I know where you live,”

What took the smile away from Peter was the thought of Jake knowing more than he admitted. What did he mean WHEN I need to dig myself out of a hole? He thought. Squinting from the bright sun overhead Peter began to think about the realization of his new friend knowing what kind of problem he got himself into. He seemed so certain I would need his help, Peter replayed the conversation in his head. Watching Jake drive off Peter started to look forward to getting to know his new friend more, and even if there are two sides to every story, he wanted to know who he could really trust.
Back on Daniels street, the two story house was filled with chatter coming from Alexis who now had a concerned look on her face while talking on the phone just in the kitchen entrance. Looking out the kitchen window she watched as the silver BMW pulled up alongside the curb in front of the house.

“I’ll be sure to tell him Simon. Thank you for calling,” Alexis said before turning the phone off and placing it to the side of their sink.

The front door opened as a not so worried Peter walked through noticing a worried Alexis standing idly by waiting for her husband to say something. Noticing the concerned look on her face, Peter spoke, “hey, what’s wrong?”

“I just got a call from Simon and he told me you fell in his office. Just past out. He wanted to make sure you rested. Are you alright?” Alexis asked walking closer towards Peter.

With a loving smile Peter replied,”yes, it was just a migraine that took me by surprise. But I’m fine now. Honest.”

Walking into the living room Peter noticed Alexis breaking the silence, “then do you mind telling me why you kept going to see Simon, a secret?”

Turning around, he saw a scene that told the world Alexis was annoyed. The fact that she had her arms folded told Peter just that. He had been around this scene so many times in the past that at this point, he was used to it. With care in his eyes he put a smile on his face and replied, “I didn’t keep it a secret. I just didn’t want to wake you. You looked..” He trailed off trying to find the correct word to describe how his wife looked in the early morning. With the word Ridiculous coming to mind, Peter finished.

“Peaceful.”

“Did this have anything to do with what you two talked about yesterday? What did you two talk about anyway?” Alexis asked allowing her curiosity to get the better of her.

“Well,” he said taking his eyes off of Alexis and focusing on anything but the truth. “He just wanted to offer me a job,” Peter answered.

“That’s incredible!” An excited Alexis said with her bright smile.

“But I went to him today and told him I couldn’t do it. It’s not something I wanted to get involved in.”

“From the tone in your voice, you don’t seem so sure,” Said Alexis focusing on Peter.

“It’s not something I wanted to get involved in, but something inside of me is telling me to do it now,” Peter explained while walking over towards the wide window to the left of the couch.

“I’m sure you would be making more money than your making now at Global Insurance. But Pete that’s something you have to think about. Honestly it would be good to be making more money.”

With a concerned face on Peter, he knew the right thing to do at this point was to tell Alexis the truth about everything. But knowing what he would put her through if he had told her, strengthened his reason for keeping this dark secret. Feeling bad that he had to lie to Alexis just to protect her, he turned around and walked towards his wife with his arms opened wide. Holding her in his arms he noticed his mind speeding up his thought process. With his thoughts swarming everywhere like bees around their hive, he closed his eyes and concentrated on the one fact he couldn’t ignore. The darkness. The darkness that is Connor Brice, or Simon would say. Something inside of Peter was yelling out to him and that voice urged Peter to take drastic action soon.
Opening his eyes Peter was now more focused than anything. He knew what he had to do. The fact that he wanted to do it however, made him feel uneasy. Smiling now, Peter kissed Alexis on the cheek and held her tight.

“I’m going to take the job,” Peter answered as he felt a power like never before, surge through his body.

A swift right jab to the red punching bag hanging from the ceiling. Left, right, left and right again. The beads of sweat formed on the face of Jake Porter. An uppercut here an uppercut there, stretching the muscles and tightening the hard abs he worked so hard to achieve. Not by choice however, when your on the heels of your enemy you learn quickly how to keep in shape. Physically and mentally. With each jab to the hanging bag, Jake imagined himself back in his bare knuckle boxing days. Relentless on trying to find the person who murdered his brother. Wallowing in self pity, he would’ve done anything to punish himself and punish the others around him. Is there something i could’ve done? He thought as he took the bag into his arms and began throwing his knees into it. The memories of his past became a big blur as he heard the voice of Simon Kenrick.

“So how do you like your new neighbor?”

Wiping his face with the towel he picked up from the hard wood floor, Jake replied, “that’s funny, I don’t remember letting you in.”

“Oh Jake I always thought my company was welcomed after I bought you this house. This extravagant house I might add,” Simon laughed.

Walking past Simon towards a counter holding the finest liquors, Jake grabbed his bottle of water and turned back around, “well I always assumed you knew you were never welcome here Simon. After all, you tried turning me into some experiment. Tried having me murder people. Just like your doing to Peter, am I right?”

“My relationship with Peter is none of your concern,” Simon answered not taking his eyes off of Jake.

“Relationship? Man, yea know I remember a time when you and I were close as well.”

Looking up at the high ceiling and the staircase behind Jake, Simon replied, “there’s a reason Jake, why we ended things so badly.”

“Your right, there is. It’s because I was done being your bitch. Test after test after test. And I did everything I was told with a smile because stupid me, I thought you were helping me,” Jake explained before taking a sip of water. Walking past Simon again, this time towards his fireplace, he finished. “But no, you were just using me for your own advantage.”

“Jake, Jake, Jake,” Simon answered. “You were like the son I never had,” he finished with a disappointed look on his face.

“Never had?” Jake laughed.

“I took you in Jake because you reminded me a lot of myself.”

“I am not like you at all,” Jake interrupted.

“Jake you had that fire inside of you when I first met you. The fire that told me you would do anything and everything to find the person who killed your brother!” Simon replied with anger in his voice. Trying to convince Jake he was a lot like him.

Storming over to Simon face to face Jake answered, “that fire is burnt out. I’m not like you. Not anymore.”

“I found you a homeless wreck with anger consuming your soul. And when i took you in, do you remember what you wanted from me? You needed help in seeking vengeance for your brother. And I helped you as much as i could,” Simon said before taking a breath and taking a step backward.

“Yea you were some help. You, one of the most powerful men in this town and you couldn’t even help me!”

“And do you know what happened Jake? After so many demanding efforts in trying to help you. I asked you to help me instead and you were too focused on seeking revenge that you blew me off. You wanted so badly to get revenge that you forgot you had potential to be somebody!” Simon yelled with pride as he shook his fist.

“You tried turning me into some mindless soldier who only did what you wanted. You may have wanted to help me in the beginning Simon, but things changed. And I can honestly say that I’m better off now by making my mistakes in the past. Now I know I can’t trust you.”

“Trust. Isn’t that what brought us together in the first place? Is that not what made you into the man i see today? Its sad Jake it really is that you can’t trust me,” Simon replied putting emphasis on “trust” while putting his hands in his pants pockets.

Glaring a whole into Simon, Jake replied “get out of my house.”

Laughing at the thought of Jake calling it “my house” Simon walked towards the large oak door leading outside. Stopping in his tracks Simon had the last word in, “you still have that fire inside of you, don’t you Jake? I can see it. I can sense it. Your still very much angry as you were when I met you. You can’t hold it in forever. If you ever need to talk, you know where I’ll be,” he finished while wagging his finger towards Jake.

Watching Simon leave the house. Jake clenched his fist as he held a disgusted look on his face. Looking at the two staircases on either side of the front door, leading to the balcony, Jake recalled the time he first got the house. It was a beautiful day in July and Simon had dropped the house key into Jakes hand while they both stood in the doorway. Glancing at the fire place to his right, Jake smiled wide and walked into the center of the room. He noticed the kitchen to his left and a large leather couch towards his right in front of the fireplace.
Wiping his face now, Jake remembered why he hated thinking back to those days. He was like a father to me, he thought, remembering why he cared so much for Simon back then.

The garage smelled of gasoline from days prior while Peter found himself eyeing his old Toyota Corolla. Placing his hand on the hood of his car and rounding the corner of it, he remembered the work he had to put into it as he now stared intently at his past. The past that he kept sitting in his garage for months, not wanting to let go of his old life. With the day of judgement coming soon for Connor Brice, Peter needed time to reflect on his life and the decisions that lead him to this point. He found comfort in remembering the old days with his family, with his best friends, and now with Alexis. If only the old Peter could understand why he had to do, what he was about to do, maybe the decision would’ve gone down smoother. A lot smoother than that gin, he thought while remembering his meeting with Simon.
Each scratch, each dent and each rust spot, all memories for Peter Conrad. With each imperfection on the car, he realized it all made him into the man he is today. So maybe, just maybe, he thought. When I make this dent in my life with Connor, I will learn and become stronger. Stronger than I was before. The light from overhead shown on the Corolla and unmasked the smile Peter was afraid of showing himself. Glancing up into a mirror across the Toyota, Peter saw first hand what that hideous smile looked like. Wiping it off, he looked deep inside himself and searched for the reason as to why he was happy to do this dirty deed. Simon wanted me to protect this town and Connor seems like a scum bag. A virus even a cancer. Finding pride deep within his heart, he found the best reason why he was going to commit murder. If I’m the light that’s supposed to bring this town and everyone in it back to life, then ill do it. I’ll do whatever it takes to protect the civilians in this town, he thought.

“There you are,” Alexis said with intrigue in her voice, after opening the door connecting the garage to the rest of the house.

Turning around to face the now open garage door, Peter replied while leaning on the Corolla, “Yea I just wanted to come out here and think.”

Replacing her glowing smile with concerned eyes Alexis answered. “The only time you come out here is to get away from your problems. Is everything alright Peter?”

“Yea I’m just nervous about this new job that’s all,” he responded while he watched Alexis walk down the small wooden staircase in front of him.

“What is this new job anyway?” Alexis smiled.

Thinking hard about a good description for the job, he replied. “Oh ill be eliminating viruses here and there. You know keeping Somersworth safe and sound.”

“From computer threats?”

“Umm,” Peter stumbled. “Yea,” he finished, while regretting what he had said.

“Why are you so nervous then? It’s not like your going to murder anyone,” Alexis laughed.

“No of course not don’t be ridiculous,” he replied in the form of a nervous laugh while folding his arms.

“Alright then,” Alexis laughed seeming aware of the reaction she just received. “Just be confident Peter, and I’m sure you’ll show Simon you can be the man he’s looking for.”

Taking her hand in his, Peter replied with a smile, “I’ll definitely be the man he’s looking for.”

“Okay. Good. Who knows, this job might be what you’ve been looking for all along. No more dead end jobs.”

“No more dead end jobs,” Peter said with his bright smile.

“See. Just stay confident,” Alexis responded, leaning in for a kiss. “I’m going to make something to eat, do you want anything?”

“No. I’m fine, thanks,” answered Peter.

“Don’t stay in here too much longer, I’m starting to get lonely,” Alexis laughed before walking up the stairs and back into the house.

“Deleting computer viruses?” Peter said to himself, while regretting he couldn’t think of something better.

While watching Alexis leave the garage, Peter began focusing on what needed to be done. Deleting computer viruses? Peter thought to himself. He couldn’t believe he told Alexis something so absurd seeing how he only knew the basics of using a computer. Well it’s not a lie, he began thinking. I will be getting rid of a virus soon enough. And the worst virus of all, the type of which could end this town for good. Letting his mind get back on track, he walked over towards his long wooden work bench, leading to the corner of the garage to the far right. With all kinds of colors of paint splattered on the counter, Peter started searching for the weapon of choice through all the unfinished projects and the tools hanging along the wall.

“Ah, perfect,” Peter said out loud taking some wound up wire in his hand, that had been hanging on a nail in the wall.

He remembered why he still had it. Thank god I didn’t give up playing guitar, he thought unraveling it to the perfect length. Wrapping the end around his hand and tugging on it, he knew this would be the perfect thing to use.

Sitting on the edge of the bed feeling Alexis stir in her sleep, Peter stood up blending into the darkness of the night. His black sweater keeping him warm from the cool breeze coming in from the open window by the bed. Looking at Alexis, he wondered what she would be thinking if she found him gone. Just taking a late night walk to the park. Getting some fresh air, he thought in case she asked. He would have to leave quietly, to try not to wake her. With each step Peter took towards the bedroom door, the more brave he got about seeing Connor Brice. Placing his hand slowly on the doorknob to the door Peter began thinking, I hope he’s ugly. It would be a waste to take a handsome man from this world, they can get anywhere in life. Ugly and stupid, he finished his thought.
Walking down the hall quiet as possible, he made his way to the front door opening it as slowly as he could. With the night covering his body, he closed the door behind him not wasting time to breath in the crisp night air. Knowing he was about to do the unthinkable, Peter stopped walking and turned his head up towards his bedroom window, making sure Alexis didn’t notice he left. The street lamps glimmering off the puddles formed from the rain through the night, glowed on the sidewalk and were now disturbed by the shoe of Peters splashing through them. Something inside Peter disturbed him as well, the fact that he knew exactly where Connor Brice lived didn’t settle so well with him. It was like he had been there before, and he knew inch by inch Connors house. Every corner the sun wasn’t able to hit and even how to open the door which Peter assumed was locked this late at night. Rounding the corner walking closer to the house that held Peters first victim, he saw the eyes of all the individuals who couldn’t sleep, just like him. Although Peters reason for being up this late was far more different than anyone else’s. They know what I’m about to do, Peter thought while walking faster. Looking at the night walkers he felt their peering eyes tearing a hole deep within his chest. Their all looking at me, every damn one of them. They know I’m going to kill Connor Brice. Peters thoughts racing at this point, uncontrollably, allowing him to fall victim to paranoia. He knew however, something was wrong he had never felt like this before. But he loved it while he rubbed the guitar wire which laid in his jeans pocket, between his fingers. Smiling that disgusting smile he saw in the mirror in his garage, Peter walked up to a long black gate with two lion statues on either side, protecting the house of Connor Brice. Looking at the large house, Peter was more than ready to make this chapter of his life a lot more interesting.

Moving his hand in circles allowing the red liquid to stir in his wine glass he was holding, Simon Kenrick sat comfortably in his black leather chair behind his desk. With the stars shining upon the city he was staring down at, Simon smiled. Showing it to the world while leaning back in the chair placing his feet upon his desk. Only with a dim light coming from the small counter that held his finest alcohols, interrupting the otherwise darkened office, the strong frame of Chad made his presence while he walked towards the desk away from the bookshelf sitting beside the front door.

“It’s getting late,” Chad mentioned.

“Your point being?” Simon asked watching Chad walk closer.

“You think your boy Peter is going to take care of our problem?” Chad asked watching Simon steer his attention away from the wine.

“I don’t think he will let us down. He has that promise I used to see in myself. That killer instinct,” Simon laughed while Chad joined in.

Holding his wrist in front of him Chad asked, “doesn’t he have more than promise, sir?”

“Lets not forget Chad, he has done this before,” Simon responded, putting an emphasis on “has.”

“What do you want to do about our other problem?”

“What other problem? Oh right Jake. Just give it time and we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Jakes smarter than you give him credit for sometimes.”

“He better be if he knows what’s good for him,” Chad answered.

“I wouldn’t worry about Jake, he’ll come around. I’m sure of it.”

“Do you think Peter will ever find out about his past?” Chad asked

Looking back at the red wine now motionless, Simon peered up at Chad and gave him his answer in the form of a chilling smile. Knowing he’s holding all the cards, Simon knew the answer to Chads question and his haunting eyes matched the chilling smile of Simon Kenrick, “I don’t doubt it for a second.”

Silence is golden but not when your hearing the door creak open as you enter a strangers home uninvited. Only the sheet of night covered Peter as he made his way into the house of Connor Brice. Placing the pick he had used to unlock the door back into his jeans pocket, he began feeling a pair of eyes burning the back of his neck. Turning around he saw a familiar figure of a lonely owl sitting upon a tree branch, belonging to a large tree sitting to the right of the house. Hoping the owl was the only thing watching him, Peter sighed out of relief and continued in.
Through the moonlight splattered on the floor, coming in from the window to the left, Peter noticed a long staircase just off the wall. Turning to his right, he saw the full moon breaking through another window allowing him to see. The night still taking over but just enough moonlight to make out certain objects. Listening so carefully to any sign of Connor Brice, Peter made his way down the hall leading to the living room, also allowing the moonlight to splash onto the floor from the large windows up ahead. He really should invest in some blinds for those windows, Peter thought. Anybody could just make their way into his home. Eyeing his surroundings, he turned around and looked down the hall he came from, making sure he wasn’t followed. Blinds and better locks, he thought again while looking at the front door. Glancing up to his right he noticed a very large flat screen T.V. Stepping back after seeing how big it really was, Peter started realizing how much money his first victim must’ve had.

Turning back around, walking towards a large couch leading into the corner of the wall, Peter began wondering if Connor would ever notice if someone was in his house. Breaking the silence, Peter heard the front door open and shut and alarmed by the noise, he reached into his jeans pocket and pulled out the guitar wire. While wrapping the end around his hand and holding the other end in the other hand, he walked close to the noise with his back against the wall. Inch by inch under the cover of night Peter moved so cautiously closer to the sounds of footsteps which were now seeming closer than before. While Peter gripped the wire firmly in his hand, his heart raced faster and faster. Sweat forming around his face. His body tensing up. Peter was nervous. Seeing the shoe poke into the living room from behind the archway, he lost all thought and became scared. The one thought Peter couldn’t shake however, poked at him like a sharp stick. What if he sees me before I strike? What if he has a gun? What if I die tonight? The scared and nervous thoughts subsided as Peter lunged down wrapping the wire around the throat of the individual who had just placed his briefcase on the floor. Is this even Connor Brice? Peter asked himself while listening to his victim scream from sheer panic, before strangling the individual. Peter felt his victims hands latch onto his trying to make Peter let go. Breaking the surface of the skin, Peter felt the warm blood pool out of his victims now open neck. While struggling to survive, he heard his victim scream one last time before falling limp in Peters arms. Deciding not to cause more of a scene by screaming as well, Peter dropped the limp body of the individual, allowing the moonlight to shine onto his face. Kneeling down, he looked closely at the face belonging to the man he just killed. He had never met Connor Brice before but something inside told Peter that the man laid out in front of him was indeed Connor Brice. He had no idea how he knew it was him, but Peter was sure it was the right man. It was as if he had met him before.

“Thank god,” He said to himself, breathing a sigh of relief.

As he sat down, he surveyed the living room and noticed a picture frame sitting perfectly on an end table beside the large couch. As he stood up he walked over to the photo which had been caught in the moonlight. To Peters disbelief he saw a family of three sitting under a tree so peacefully. The smile Connor was showing the world in the picture, was perfect. It matched his short brown hair and his brown eyes. Peter looked as close as he could under the moonlight and saw how hard Connors face looked. A man who has been through a lot, Peter thought. Wiping off the blood smudge he left on the picture frame, he looked at the woman next to Connor. They must be together, he thought again looking at how happy she looked sitting beside him.

“Damnit,” Peter said to himself as he placed the picture down. He couldn’t even bare to look at the child sitting between the couple.

While he walked back over towards Connors body, Peter had no idea why he wasn’t crying at this point. Knowing he just killed someone’s father or someone’s husband, he knew he would be distraught at this point. He knew something happened to him, he would never act this way. But that evil smile replaced the tortured frown of his. After standing there staring at the mangled body, Peters knees gave out on him and feeling his knees hit the floor rushed a single tear to his eyes. What have I done? Peter thought while falling to his hands which interrupted the moonlight splashed onto the floor. Blood, Peter thought as he looked at the blood covered glove covering his hand.

“No!” He yelled while ripping the glove off his hand before sitting back down on the floor.

Peter was scared. Scared at what he had just done and feeling his hands shake didn’t help matters. He couldn’t calm down no matter how hard he tried, he started thinking that all of this was a dream and all he had to do was wake up. But when he glanced at the the body belonging to Connor Brice, is when he knew this was reality, and he was awake. No matter how much he wished he wasn’t, the fact is that he was and he couldn’t shake it. Peter watched the blood trickle from the neck of Connor before shutting his eyes tight. As he felt his head collapse and his chin hit his chest, he was happy he was no longer looking at the body that was laying in the moonlight.
After what seemed like hours later, Peter snapped awake and wiped the sleep from his eyes. He looked ahead at the large windows and noticed the moon was replaced with the most beautiful sunrise he had ever seen. The warm morning glow of the sun made everything visible to Peter and he was now able to see how much blood Connor really lost. He stood himself up still shocked at what he had just done and looked around to see if anyone had noticed him yet. To his amazement he didn’t see anyone around even after poking his head down the hall to the front door. Where is everyone? Peter asked himself. They must’ve found me past out and decided to call the police. There on their way right now to get me, he thought again this time allowing paranoia to settle in. He had to leave, he couldn’t get caught. He made a future with Alexis and he had plans to start a family. He shook his head unable to look at the all the blood any longer. While he rushed to the front door he looked at all the family portraits he missed the night before. He saw all the smiling faces of the family Connor Brice had made. Peter was disgusted in himself, but something inside of him told him he did the right thing as he made his way outside into the warm sunrise.

The very same sunrise that warmed Peters now cold body, was also warming the body of Simon Kenrick who was glancing down into the city from his large office windows.

“Jake you abandoned your responsibilities to me. You went off the radar and did what you thought was right. I know what’s right for you,” Simon talked into the phone as he turned away from the window to face his desk.

“Peter is going to find out what you did to him, and when he does I’ll be there to make sure your life is ruined,” Jake responded while on the other line.

“Your petty threats have no meaning anymore Jake. If you want to be intimidating you have to take action which I am doing now,” Simon said before hanging the phone up while he watched a bloodied, distraught and exhausted Peter rush into his office.

Placing his cell phone down on his desk he heard Peter say, “I did it Simon. I did it. I killed Connor Brice.”

“You did?” Simon asked acting shocked.

“Yea I did. I couldn’t let it go. Something was telling me it needed to be done and I would feel better after,” Peter explained while he walked towards the large windows, behind Simon.

“Well Peter I had no idea you had it in you. I’m grateful for what you did it, but I had no idea you were really going to do it,” Simon lied.

“The strange thing is, I do feel better now. I feel a lot better,” Peter replied with a peaceful smile. “Now Somersworth will be safe.”

“And you’ll be safe as well Peter,” Simon said turning around to face him. “You can trust me.”

Feeling Simons hand on his shoulder Peter replied, “I want this to just be between us.”

“You don’t need to worry son. Put your mind at rest. This will always be between you and I.”

Looking worried Peter asked, “What’s going to happen to Connors body?”

“I have it all under control Peter. There won’t be any sign of a murder, believe me. And Peter?” Simon asked.

“Yea?”

“You can rest easy tonight knowing I’m protecting you. And you can be relaxed by the thought that our friendship will be marked in history. It will be the stuff of legends,” Simon explained as he looked on into the sunrise.

Peter looked at the sunrise shinning off all the buildings, the sun beams bouncing off all the sky scrapers. They shown themselves through every coffee shop window and off every car. The cars carried the sun through the neighborhoods until they were protected by the shade. The sunrise glowed in the face of Jake Porter who had been standing in the home of Connor Brice. Body free, the house never seemed cleaner while he scrubbed the floor of the blood stains that sat there before. He raised himself off the floor and looked out the window at the sunrise. He wondered if Peter and Simon were looking at it as well while he began thinking that Simon needed to be stopped. Something has to break this cycle.

“Peter you best be ready for what your getting yourself involved in,” Jake whispered to himself, before closing his eyes to the morning sun.

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