2.24 – The cost of freedom

Chapter tune: Brian May – Last horizon

A/N: Hello!! πŸ˜€ ❀ Guys, I did it!! I finally managed to break my own record of chapter delay! Lol, let’s see: three months and seventeen days. Awesome 😁 I still have no idea why this chapter took me so long to write, but I do know that for very long, I dreaded opening my save in Bridgeport to take the remaining pictures I needed (I still think there should be a couple more and that the existing ones could be a lot better, but oh well. It is what it is) – but the lag man, the lag! Game save in Bridgeport… never again! πŸ˜› Anyway, I kind of rushed some events (as you will see), because I couldn’t deal with that cursed storyline that was going on in my story anymore. The result may be kind of weird, without a lot of dialogue and with a fair deal of imbalance between the pictures and the text, but the good news is that there will be one or (most probably) two more chapters and then we’re finally done with this gen!! Woohoo! And those chapters won’t take long, because I actually look forward to writing them and I already have the pictures for! Double woohoo!! Also, big warning: I’m afraid after all this time my writing has become a little rusty. Okay, you’ve been warned lol! πŸ˜› Well, that’s all I wanted to say πŸ˜‰ Oh, and I’ve missed y’all! πŸ˜€ Thank you so much for reading! ❀


Two years later:

Jesse was in deep thought, sitting on the surprisingly comfortable chair of the band’s dressing room. He couldn’t stop thinking about the events that led him here tonight, at one of largest, most prestigious concert venues of the country.

It still hurt a little to think about that night. He was certain that he was done for. And he would be, if it wasn’t for the fact that his phone was easily traceable – something he always found irritating to think about. The police wouldn’t bother searching for him before at least 48 hours passed since his disappearance. Those news, along with the disappearance itself, had sent his otherwise quick and efficient sister into an emotional breakdown. Jesse would be eternally thankful that at least Dylan proved cool headed enough to think about tracing his phone while Calla was crying in Skye’s arms, in a strange act of reconciliation.

No, it wasn’t just the phone. He would surely be done for, if the one who found it wasn’t his dad, who came to Bridgeport for a surprise visit with his mom.

They were both so happy and proud of their son’s first big concert, that they booked a flight for Bridgeport a week earlier than what they had originally planned. Jesse remembered Calla saying that delivering the news to their parents that day was the most difficult thing she ever had to do.

After this, she had no strength to do anything else but sob on her mom’s shoulders, who was also a big mess.

Fortunately though, his dad had always been a man of action. As soon as the phone’s location was found, he took every member of the band to the place. Of course, Jesse wasn’t immediately found as his phone fell the minute he was attacked, but Jared’s buddy Xander – who still had some connections with the underworld – advised them to look to a very particular nearby bar.

The bartender immediately recognized Jesse in the picture that Jared showed him. And he easily pointed his finger to the man he was lastly seen with – Travis.

Apparently Travis had been hooked on several kinds of drugs since his teen years, a habit he briefly managed to get rid of when he decided to help Skye. Sadly, it took one encounter with Sinbad’s crew and he was hooked all over again. If Jesse hadn’t gotten Skye out of that sorry excuse of a house Travis put her in, it would have been a matter of time for her to be found.

But his bigger weakness was his fear of almost everything that moved. And Jared saw that in no time.

It only took a couple of words from Jared, something along the lines of “It’s been a while since I’ve hit the gym, or a face for that matter; but I’ll gladly break yours, you fucking pipsqueak. Tell me where my son is… or else.” Jared, to that day, was still bragging about how quickly he got him to talk.

So Travis quickly gave up Jesse’s location, a seemingly abandoned warehouse fortunately not far from where they already were.

Jesse would always remember that mixed sensation of relief and dread he felt when he saw his dad and his friends passing through the carelessly left unlocked door, as he knew that Sinbad and his ape were still somewhere in the building.

It didn’t take long for the two criminals to get that something was going on. But he completely misunderstood the situation. Simply put, he was outnumbered. As Owen and Bryce called the police, while Dylan and Basil swiftly overpowered Sinbad’s lackey, Jared took care of Sinbad himself.

The fact that his son had been captured and tortured by that scumbag, the knowledge of what he had done to Skye, and the memories of the way he had treated his wife and him, gave him an almost superhuman power. Sinbad might have been in better combat shape, but that moment he didn’t stand one chance to fight back. And Jared would have killed him right at the spot, if the sound of the police sirens and the bright lights of the squad cars arriving at the warehouse.

After that, everything became a blur for Jesse. He remembered almost collapsing onto the ground, before his dad grabbed him and got him the hell out of there. The drag of having to give the police their statements was still ahead of them, but for the moment he was finally safe. He was in the arms of the man who loved him more than anything in the world – the realization of this fact had finally sinked in.

The days at the hospital flew by in no time for Jesse, as most of the time he was kept drugged anyway. The news that Sinbad was found dead – most probably killed by cops themselves, in an act of revenge for their murdered colleagues – in his cell after a couple of days since he got arrested again, made his heart a little lighter in relief. She was finally free. But not him. Not yet anyway. The trauma of what had been done to him was too fresh to get over with. He felt empty, broken.

Skye was by Jesse’s side the whole time of his recovery. He only remembered part of that time, but she was always there. The sad fact though was that something had changed in him. He had lost his will to live, to love – properly love – another human being. He knew it would be hard to let her go, but she had to know.

She had never linked her misfortunes with him. It was her mother, her stepfather, her cursed childhood; anything but him. Her misery had always been her cross to bear and in a way it had been engraved in her, hardened her, became a part of her every day. But Jesse had never been miserable, not in that sense anyway. Only since he met her. It was just a brief time of suffering for him, he had suffered greatly. He didn’t think he would ever blame her in the slightest for this, but the painful truth is that deep down he might have; if only for a moment. And she probably already knew.

When Jesse finally opened his eyes in his bedroom, he raised his hand to gently touch her teary face before he spoke.

“Skye… please don’t cry baby. You’re free now. You shouldn’t waste your time here, with me.”

“Jesse… no, what are you talking about? I want to be here for you.”

“I think it would be best for you to leave Skye… I’m… I’m damaged goods now.”

Skye felt the inevitable tears streaming down her eyes as she tried the most determined look she could muster. “Jesse… you feel like this now but you’ll get better. I’ll help you.”

“I will baby, I know I will… But I’ll drag you down with me until I do. Skye… you should only be happy now. You can finally make all your dreams come true. And you truly deserve it… I could never hold you back. I won’t hold you back.”

Eventually, after a lot of protest – as well as tears, cursing and anger – he got her to leave. It wouldn’t be fair for her to not explore what the world had to offer now. Now that she could see everything under a brand new gaze, one without fear, only with hope for the things to come. She promised she’d be back one day and he just had to believe she’d keep that promise.

It took two years for the band to finally have that big concert they were all dreaming about. The one in Bridgeport was simply canceled. But the story of what had happened to the band’s cute guitar player became viral, and it only served for their popularity to rise even more. Fortunately Vito had the ability to maintain that popularity and cash in the situation to the band’s advantage, for longer than anyone would expect. As for Jesse, after a lot of therapy and quality time with his family (his dad mostly), he was finally ready to face the crowd. The new concert would be held in Starlight Shores. Bridgeport would be out of the question forever.

As he was hearing the crowd cheering, the girls with the short skirts and tight tops screaming his name, he knew they had made it. They had finally achieved money and fame, and was finally well enough to enjoy them. But he didn’t actually care for all that now, not deeply like years before. His mind was leading him to only one thought. Her.

“Ready man?” Dylan’s voice woke him up from his thoughts.

He raised his head to see his buddy and his sister together, inseparable as they had been lately. “Nice tank top, sis’ ” he said with a smirk “Did you lose a bet or something?”

“Bets are your area of expertise, smartass” she frowned “I just wanted to support my dear future husband. Besides, that was our deal if I wanted to get married to that beautiful, exclusive, year-long waiting list venue so… it was worth it. Yeah, totally worth it…” she mumbled those last words under her teeth.

“Yeah it was! Baby, I wanna see you in that top every day!” Dylan exclaimed

“Well, don’t count on it.” Calla scoffed.

“I’ll think of something to persuade you baby, I’ll count on that. So…” Dylan turned to Jesse “Vito wants us to start gathering soon, we’ll be starting in about thirty minutes. Are you sure you’re okay man?”

“Yeah man, I’m great.” Jesse smiled at future brother-in-law. If it was one man that could tolerate his sister’s difficult, abrasive character it was him. And Jesse knew that he was crazy enough to be looking forward to each and every day with her.

“So… you think she’s gonna take the hint and show up? Last I heard about her she had a gallery show at Sunlit Tides. It’s not very far from here but… still.”

The band’s concert in Starlight Shores was named Full House, and it was as much a wish as a rather straightforward reference to poker, and consequently the nickname Jesse had been calling Skye for so long. For him, it was a signal that he was finally ready. He was hoping that she would get the reference… and that she would still be in love with him too.

“I don’t know man… I mean, I hope so. But maybe she’s busy, or maybe she hates my guts by now. …I’ll try to be okay with whatever she chooses though, as long as she’s happy. Shit… I’ve become a total clichΓ©. Maybe I should stop writing songs for a while.”

Suddenly, Dylan turned his head with a troubled expression on his face. “Man, I can hear Vito yelling for us to get ready… he said to gather in half an hour and that was five minutes ago. He always does that!”

“Hey” Calla told him “he’s been a big help for you guys, don’t nag about him.”

“But I wanted to spend some more time with my ginger ale…”

“Me too bear, but we’ll have all the time in the world when you finish. I’ll be with my parents. We’ll be cheering for you my big plush teddy bear!”

Jesse was rolling his eyes at the whole conversation, but they didn’t even paid attention. “Stop it you two, please. I don’t wanna throw up right before our big show!”

“Oh shut up” Calla said playfully “we’ll be cheering for you too! Jesse, aren’t you excited? It’s about to begin!”

The truth is, he was excited. And scared, and restless and inspired… He was feeling all kinds of emotions, something he hadn’t experienced for a long time, something he had always taken for granted. It would take one more thing for him to feel complete, and tonight he was hopeful he’d get it. That was one more feeling on the list. Life was looking good once again.

“Let’s do this.”

27 thoughts on “2.24 – The cost of freedom

Add yours

  1. I’m so happy to have you back. I missed you! πŸ™‚ ❀ And I missed your characters. I totally get that you want to wrap this all up. Sometimes, you're just so freaking done with a generation, lol. I know I was with my first version of gen 1, lol. πŸ˜› I like the way you did this, though. I think Jesse is a silly face for sending Skye away and she's a saint if she's really going to take him back (as I suspect), but he has always been a little bit of a drama queen. πŸ˜‰
    I'm super excited to see where the rest of the gen takes us, and of course the next one! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad to be back too!! ❀ And quite relieved to be over with this particular chapter, haha! Oh, I am so, so over with this gen already πŸ˜‚
      Gah, Jesse is such a freaking drama queen, you're so right about that! 😁 But let's hope that's what Skye's type is eventually, lol!
      Thank you sooo much for reading and commenting! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back! ❀️❀️❀️ I have missed this story and Jesse and Skye! Jesse! ❀️❀️❀️ So it was okay to rush it. So don’t feel bad! And really I didn’t notice a huge lack of pictures. And damn Jared! You go! πŸ˜€. Haha….but youbleft us on a cliffhanger. Will she or won’t she! She better! It’s been soooo long though. 😒 But it sounds like Skye found something she can get into, which is good. The time apart may have been good for both of them. I hope so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Woot!! ❀ ❀ The hard part is finally over! πŸ˜€ ❀ Yeah, Jared should have once last(?) fight in this story lmao, he deserved it after so long of being a good boy, haha!
      Hmmm that's a fair question… will she or won't she? πŸ˜‰ She has a good life now, so let's hope that something's missing!
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Woah, I read it a few hours ago, but had to put commenting on hold, because I’d never finish taking pictures for my new chapter. I am finally free now!
    So, it’s very good to have you back! And every character we’ve come to love as well. Only two chapters left? Wow! I can tell you’re so done with this generation and I understand. Hm… Hopefully, Skye shows up. But I think she will. Oh, come on, they have to be together after all they’ve been through!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, no worries Jowita! ❀ I'm always happy to see you here πŸ˜€
      Yep, I'm done, done, done! Every time I opened my game to take the remaining pictures, I ended up messing with the next gen save instead πŸ˜› So everything next will happen very quickly πŸ™‚ (the only thing bothering me is that Jared and Rose will be old… but oh well πŸ˜›)
      Hmmm it's been really long though… let's see if she actually shows up! πŸ˜‰
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s wonderful to see you back with a chapter! ❀ You've been missed! And so has your story and characters. πŸ˜€ I think despite the fact you are OVER this generation, it's going along well. I'm glad Skye is finally free but Jesse, man, what are you doing? lol Well, I do understand, though, that she probably needs to see the world from her new point of view. That's the issue I had with Dax way back when. Oh! I loved seeing Jared and Rose. πŸ™‚ And I loved the "I prefer the drummer" shirt! That was awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you so much, I’ve missed you too!! ❀ That's a relief to read! Hmmm you're right, maybe Jesse did they right thing no matter how much it hurt her… maybe she should experience life from a new point of view like you said! You're so right about Dax – to their core, these are very similar situations πŸ™‚
      Jared and Rose ❀ I've missed them too!
      Haha, I planned to make Calla wear that shirt the moment I saw it (about a year ago)! She never stood a chance πŸ˜‚
      Thank you so much! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome back. Ha what a joy to see back at Rose and Jared , they look so young lol. I am glad everything is done but Jesse needs time to cure from the hell he lived.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so nice to be back! πŸ˜€
      Haha, they do! I thought the exact same thing when I was looking at their pictures, lol! Well, as we’ll soon move to gen 3, they’ll inevitably will have to look much older than that!
      You’re right about Jesse. I think they both needed some time on their own – again. But who knows, maybe someday they’ll meet again! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Of course, time is running up for Jared and Rose as for Jesse and Skye if they’ll meet each other again, they’ll be older too. I hope they’ll meet them again we don’t know what their fate will lead them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome back, we’ve missed you! ❀ I can't believe this generation is over, but Skye is finally free and able to explore the world. I wonder where she is and what she's doing right now, and if she'll go back to Jesse. Can't wait to see where they both end up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I missed everyone too!! πŸ˜€ ❀
      Yes, that's a very good point – Skye never truly felt free, so now she has a chance to finally see what the world has to offer. Who knows if there's room for Jesse in that new life of hers! πŸ˜‰
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Welcome back! It’s great to see this story continue.

    I love seeing Jared and Rose again. All those years of bar fights paid off for Jared, lol. Sinbad finally got what he deserved!

    Hmm, Jesse sending Skye away is so crazy. He probably regretted it the next day. Idk, it’s pretty far-fetched of him to expect Skye to show up if he didn’t actually invite her. He always gets some crazy ideas though.

    Hearing that the name full house was a reference made me think of the TV show first. xD Also I love that last pic of Jesse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, it’s so nice to be back!! ❀
      I loved using those two as well, I had missed them (especially Jared, lmao)! Yep, I couldn't leave Sinbad around any longer – and although I initially thought to have Skye or Jared or even Jesse pull the trigger on him, I know that this would leave a whole new and bigger scar in them, so I took the easy way out πŸ˜‰
      Haha, I so get what you mean! I thought Skye deserved some alone time to pull herself together, and we all know how irrational Jesse can get, right? :p Let's hope she'll show up..!
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You’re back!! They’re back!! I didn’t realise how long it had been, my God. This year has gone soooo fast…
    I think it was good for them both to separate for a while. Jesse was mature to realise that, though I wonder if that decision was part of a self-destructive trauma spiral. Still, he got through it and looked after himself, and I’m proud of him for that.
    I loved the looks of your pictures! The one where Jesse is sitting and smoking especially πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, they’re back!!!! πŸ˜€ ❀ Man, when I realized how long it'd been, I told myself to stop dicking around and just write something; anything! Lol!
      It might have been strange from Jesse's part to send her away like that, but I think it was crucial for Skye to be alone for a while at this point (but I didn't want it to be her to leave him again).
      Hmmm, I think it was a little bit of both actually :p And yay, he's finally okay! πŸ˜€
      Oooh, thank you so much ❀ I especially liked those pictures myself, haha πŸ˜‰
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the filters you put on the flashback pictures, giving them a dramatic ‘past’ quality without doing the standard black-and-white!
    Yes, Jared to the rescue! I’m relieved Sinbad is now gone for good and won’t ever be able to hurt Skye again. Although I’m quite surprised that Jesse pushed Skye away after all that he’s been through for her, I think it’s good for them to have spent those two years apart to simply focus on themselves. I can’t wait to see their reunion.
    So Calla and Dylan are getting married! Along with Jesse I was rolling my eyes at their ridiculous pet names, but I think he has an excellent point in Dylan being the only man to be able to ‘tolerate’ her, as in he’s much more laidback and passive and won’t clash with her ambitiousness. I think they balance each other out quite nicely in that way.
    Welp, sorry it took me this long to comment! I’m incredibly behind on Reader 😣 I definitely understand the feeling of wanting to get the gen over and done with, to the point of sacrificing quality. Even so, what a great chapter! I’m hyped to see what you have in store for the next generation. Miss you ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! πŸ˜„ ❀ Haha yes, I'm always bored with the standard black and white filter too πŸ˜‰
      Yeah, the only way for Skye to feel safe was for that scumbag to finally die – but I didn't want to throw that kind of baggage upon Jared or Jesse..!
      I still have my doubts about whether Jesse pushing Skye away was the best thing or something he'd actually do, but I think they both needed some extra time apart! Hmmm their reunion will not take long, I promise! πŸ˜‰
      Yay!! They're getting married and I plan to show some pictures of their wedding because truthfully, Calla deserves to be seen in her wedding dress, lol! You are absolutely right about them – they surprisingly do balance each other in a way! πŸ˜€
      I wanted to post the next chapter the week that already passed, but unfortunately I had a sudden workload increase and couldn't do it 😭😭 so hopefully it will be posted in a couple of days! πŸ˜„
      Oh, don't even worry about it, I'm very happy to see you here! I missed you too πŸ˜€ ❀ Thank you so much for your comment! πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you so much for saying this! πŸ˜„ And I’m sorry about this, lol! Yeah, Jesse was a real mess and probably regretted it immediately… who knows! (Well… I suppose I know) πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooof, such a late reply – I’m so sorry! I was away since Friday but I’m back now – again! πŸ˜‰
      Welcome back! I’m so looking forward to reading your thoughts! You’ve been missed ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Haha, three months compared to my nine, isn’t so bad, haha πŸ˜‚ I get your feeling of wanting to move forward. I quite like the flashback style you used. It was easy to follow everything that happened, and the colors were nice πŸ™‚ Yay, sexy-dad Jared to the rescue! Even though I wanted Sinbad to die, his death left me feeling unsatisfied. I’m glad we got to see Jared beat him up first, hehe, this makes me sound so violent – I swear I’m not, lol. Even though I personally dislike Jesse’s decision to push Skye away, because I want to see them be a cute couple, it’s good that they’ve taken some time apart. A relationship where one individual is dealing with personal demons or distress never tends to work out. I’d much prefer seeing them reunite after becoming strong individuals, I’m assuming that’s going to happen 😏 Speaking of strong individuals, Calla, my girl, and Dylan are back together! ❀ And they are getting married (eventually) Hooray 🎊 I'm excited to see how things shall wrap up as the end is near~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe, sexy-dad Jared… mhmm that’s him alright, lmaooo! I totally get what you’re feeling about Sinbad’s death – it was such an anticlimactic ending, but I didn’t want to burden Jared or Jesse (or even Skye) with the guilt of killing him… so I took the easy way out! πŸ˜‰ And I totally get you on that beating up thrill, hehe! I figured I at least owed him that much >:)
      Yup, Jesse’s decision was not the most pleasant, but it *should* at least lead to a stronger relationship..!
      Ah, I kinda regret not having included a make up scene for Calla and Dylan, but I effed it up a bit there. But yeesss, they are getting married! Those two have always been too cute to be separated! ❀
      Thank you so much for your comment Amy, so glad to see you back! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

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