Thursday, December 6, 2012

Paradise Post #16


Notes: So, here we have…more plot!  Damn it, I know, where is the freaking smut?  For fuck’s sake, woman!!!  It’s coming, it’s coming.  Just a little more resolution, and then WHAM! BAM!  Thank you sir!  Except with a lot more descriptive prose, obviously.


Title: Paradise


Part Sixteen:  Here’s To Plan A






An hour before meeting with Jack and his lawyer, Robbie pulled Jonah aside and into his office.  When Jonah asked why, Robbie was uncharacteristically solemn, not even a hint of humor or camaraderie in his demeanor.  “Did Garrett get a chance to talk to you about the bug before he went under?”

Jonah was confused.  “What bug?”

“That’s a no, then.”  Robbie’s shoulders stiffened a little.  “I’ve got something you need to listen to.  Listen all the way through before you say anything, and don’t leave before I can explain.  Agreed?”

“What’s this about?” Jonah asked.  Robbie just stared at him, hands folded on one knee where he sat on the edge of his desk.  Jonah was in a regular chair, his head a couple feet lower down, and he had to stifle the urge to stand up so Robbie wouldn’t be able to look down at him.  The man was a friend of Garrett’s, hell, of his whole family.  He wasn’t being threatening.  Jonah just wished he didn’t loom quite so competently.  “Fine.”

“Good.”  Robbie reached behind himself and fiddled with something on his desk for a moment, and then sound filled the air.  It took Jonah a moment to realize that he was hearing his own voice.


“Jonah!  Sit, sit.” The sound of a chair scraping across a rough floor.  “I’m glad you could spare some time away from the Feds to see me, lad.”

“My fiance isn’t a Fed.”

“Sure he is, Jonah.  Just because he’s not a part of the government machine doesn’t mean he isn’t a Feddie.”

“Where’s Charlotte?”

“Oh, keepin’ an eye on things.”  A faint voice asks what Jonah wants to drink.  There’s a long pause.  “I didn’t invite you here just to scowl at me while I drank alone, lad.  Order something.  My treat.”

Another pause.  “Fine.”

Jonah looked up at Robbie.  “How did you get this?”

“A slimdisc set in the hem of your shirt.”  The voices keep going in the background, replaying a conversation that Jonah would be more than happy to forget.

“How the hell did it get there?”

Robbie didn’t pull any punches.  “Garrett put it there.  Just before you left.”

Jonah was dumbfounded.  “Why?  Why would he do that?”  A chill gripped his heart.  “Did he think I was gonna side with Kilroy?  What, he thought that I was gonna agree to help spy on his family?”  The idea that Garrett didn’t trust Jonah to do the right thing is…almost paralyzing.

“He was just worried.  It wasn’t a rational fear, and I told him that, but there was nothing I could say to change his mind.  You know how he gets when he’s determined.”

“Wait, so you knew about this?”  Jonah stood up, genuinely angry now.  When he stands straight he’s got an inch on Robbie; not much, but it helps a little.  Robbie just looks at him, cool and composed.  “Before he even did it?  Why the hell did you let him get away with it?”

“Because he asked me to.  Because I thought we’d get incriminating information about an attempt to infiltrate our facilities, which we did.  Garrett could have deleted the file at any time; he might have if he’d been thinking straight, but by that point I think he was already getting sick.”  That reference stabbed Jonah with just enough pain that it kept him from yelling, and Robbie pushed his advantage.  “The whole reason I’m letting you in on this now is because of the end of the recording.”  He works at the device again, and then Jonah hears—

“They could hang you for that, Kilroy.”

“Not if we were already gone.  I’m that desperate, Jonah.  Figured I might not be enough to convince you, though.  Soon as I heard you arrive here, I sent word to a mutual acquaintance of ours.  Someone you might be more willin’ to listen to than me.  Someone with personal business with you.”  A stutter, the sound of breaking glass, then static.

Jonah’s fingers curled in on themselves, biting into his palms.  “That’s the end?”

“The slimdisc got wet when the glass broke.  It was ruined after that.”

“You don’t have anything there,” Jonah protested.  “You can’t even hear Jack’s voice—”

Robbie immediately shook his head.  “We do have something.  It’s circumstantial, true, but the timing is right to indicate Jack’s involvement, and moreover, Kilroy Dechiara is willing to testify to the fact that it was Jack who was joining you right then.  We have copies of correspondence between the two of them setting up the meet and discussing what he was going to hold over you, and how.”  Robbie smiled very slightly.  “Mr. Dechiara is more than willing to work with us now that he has a vested interest in being on the right side of the government here.  We could sink him with this recording, completely void the agreement he came to with Miles, and he knows it.  He’s not going to protect Jack, and your ex won’t have a leg to stand on in his negotiations if he choose to reveal this recording and the testimony that goes with it.  Jonah.”  Robbie set a hand on his shoulder.  “This is the leverage you need to keep him from taking Cody.  That’s why I’m telling you this.  I don’t want to make trouble between you and Gare, and I know he feels bad about this.”

“I’m sure he does,” Jonah said, remembering how twitchy Garrett had been, kinda spooked, how he had tried to tell him something right before the first meeting and then didn’t have the time to.  Jonah wasn’t sure how he felt about any of it, not Garrett’s deception or his remorse, but he did understand what Robbie was saying.  “Thank you for tellin’ me.”

“It never hurts to have a Plan E,” Robbie said easily.

“What are plans A and B?”

“A involves Jack backing down gracefully.  B is considerably more complicated, but leaves Kilroy out of the mess by demonstrating Jack’s unfit character by digging further into the past, everything from business deals to personal relationships.  Which we’ve done, but it might not be enough.”  Robbie smiled, and it was a dangerous expression on him.  “And you don’t want to know about C and D.”

“Not with you grinnin’ like a shark, I don’t,” Jonah mumbled, taken aback.

“Precisely.  Now.”  He checked the desk chrono.  “You might want to go and get smartened up, then get Cody.  The meeting starts in half an hour and you look like you slept in a chair all night.”

“I did sleep in a chair,” Jonah confessed.  He hadn’t been able to pry himself away from Garrett, and those chairs were almost as good as a bed when you reclined them.

Robbie nodded approvingly.  “Good man.”

Jonah left and headed to the suite, more than ready for a shower and some time alone.  His mind was spinning with the implications of what Robbie had just told him.  Garrett hadn’t trusted him.  Garrett, his goddamn fiancé, hadn’t trusted him to do the right thing.  Hadn’t trusted Jonah to be honest with him, and then had gone right ahead and lied to him in turn. 

Jonah ripped his clothes off and stepped into the shower, making the water hot, hot enough to turn his skin red in seconds.  He let the anger he felt at Garrett take ahold in his mind, hotter than the water that poured around his shoulders and head and .  “Fuckin’ damn it!” he snarled into the emptiness.  Two-faced, self-righteous little bastard, lookin’ at him all lovin’ and sweetness while he was fuckin’ lying to Jonah, for no good goddamn reason—

Jonah slammed his hand into the shower’s mister, making it stutter, then shut down completely.  The gentle spray was replaced by a single hard stream that hit him squarely on top of the head, almost scalding him.  “Shit!”  Jonah shut off the water and pushed his hair out of his eyes.  He’d broken the shower.  Brilliant.

He had the potential to break a lot more than that.  Jonah stood there in the remnants of steam and shut his eyes.  This was the reason Garrett hadn’t told him, obviously; he’d been worried Jonah would fly off the hand and start yelling at him, which was exactly what he wanted to do.  Which would lead to nothing but pain for both of them.

Jonah remembered that morning, the same day Cody had gotten stung.  Garrett had been affectionate but somehow wary, chill in Jonah’s arms when he leaned in for a kiss.  He was already gettin’ sick.  Jonah hadn’t noticed; hell, no one had, but Jonah still hadn’t forgiven himself for it.  He replayed some of his conversation with Miles in his head.  He tried to kill himself.  He was only thirteen.  I knew he had the potential for it in his genetics.  A smile, and then, We love our flawed children.  It wasn’t just kids you had to love even when they weren’t perfect.

You’re still planning on going through with the marriage?

Of course, he’d said.  Had learning this changed anything about how Jonah felt for Garrett?  Really changed it?


That thought came so quickly, and with such a sense of relief, that Jonah had to lean against the damp wall of the shower to keep himself upright.  No, it didn’t change things.  He and Garrett needed to have a serious talk, there was no doubt of that, but he wasn’t gonna leave the man over this.  Hell, Garrett could have done a lot worse and Jonah would still forgive him, because that was how Jonah loved once you broke through his guard: without reservation.  It would take a lot more than this to break that bond.  Jack had managed it, but Cody was Jonah’s weak point, and Garrett had already proven he would go to absolutely stupid lengths to put Cody first.

They were good together.  That didn’t mean they didn’t have to work at it.  Jonah never shied away from hard work.  He straightened up, dried off, then went searching for some decent clothes.  He had a meeting to get through, then a lover to get back to.

He really, really hoped he didn’t have to learn about Plans C and D.




In the end, the recording wasn’t needed.  They went with Plan A, with a twist, and it wasn’t even Jonah’s call.  When he and Cody entered the office Jack and his lawyer were waiting for them, along with Miles and Sergeant Bowman.  Jack’s lawyer looked like she’d been chewing on persimmon.

“What’s goin’ on?” Jonah asked, keeping his hands on his son’s shoulders.  Jack tore his eyes away from the boy and looked up at Jonah.

“My client is withdrawing his claim to Cody Helms,” the lawyer said, hissing the last “s” through the very front of her teeth, like she wanted to bite the word off.

“It ain’t the right thing, for me to force something on him that he doesn’t want,” Jack said, and he looked resigned.  “That doesn’t mean I don’t want to get to know him.  I do, more than anything.”  He sounded absolutely sincere.  “But not if that means takin’ him away from you.  You and your man, you two love him.  You’ve got a home for him.  A kid needs that.”

“We’re interested in the possibility of visitation rights,” his lawyer said.  She knew Jack had just thrown away their advantage, and she didn’t look happy to be on the defensive side of the bargaining table, but she was doing her best.  “In the interest of giving Cody the most well-rounded experience possible.  Mr. Vendam would like to be able to see him for two standard weeks a year, said visitation taking place either here on Paradise or on Pandora, not to leave either location with Cody without prior knowledge and assent from you, Mr. Helms.”

Jonah was shocked silent.  Jack stared at him, more open than he’d ever seen him before, and Jonah knew he had the man’s hope in his hands.  He could break it, and break Jack while he did, or he could save him.  It was dizzying, having that kind of power, and honestly it made him feel a little sick.  He swallowed and looked down at Cody.  “What do you say, bucko?” he asked gently.  “How do you feel about seeing Jack every now and then?”

Cody looked thoughtful.  “But I’d still get to live with you.”


“And with Garrett.”

“Yes.”  Absolutely yes.

Cody shrugged, taking it in stride the way only a kid could.  “Okay.”

Just like that, the whole mood of the place changed.  Jack was smiling, Miles looked pleased and Cody wasn’t unhappy, which was probably the best Jonah could hope for under the circumstances.  There were holes to be plugged and details to be arranged, but the crisis had been avoided.  Thank fuck, as Garrett would say.

Speaking of that…Jonah still had to deal with Garrett.  But at least the wait would be easier to tolerate now.



  1. I'm not sure they should be so trusting of Jack and the visitations with Cody! I would have a few tracking devices planted. Just saying! The total commited and unqualifed love that Garrett and Jonah share is amazing! I love your writing! Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Denise! Yeah, there's still a lot of future to think about, but at least we're having some resolution right now. More soon! Thank you for reading!

  2. Yay for Jack doing the right thing. I love how Jonah forgave Garrett and seemed to understand that even people who love each other make stupid mistakes that can be redeemable.

    1. Jonah is kind of modeled after the way I try to be--I don't always succeed, but it's a high bar. And even Jack is redeemable:) Thanks for commenting, darlin.


  3. poor garret! he is soo gonna get it when he wakes up

  4. Ahh, Jonah is so logical! A great trait for Garrett's other half ! Lol! He didn 't even have to fight with Garrett about the slimdisk to realize he still loves him and forgives him! Though, the convo about it when he wakes up should be well as the one about Garrett's healthcare and medications. A truly good thing Jack did as well! We'll see just how trustworthy he really is. No matter what he does, Jack had some really underhanded schemes set up, and it didn't bother him then if he hurt Jonah. Especially when HE was the one who had a problem with Cody being a natural! We shall see.

    1. Scottie! Yeah, I think they balance each other fairly well. I love logical people, even if I'm not always totally logical myself. We shall see, as you say.