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ProfNigma Stories #10: Schneider’s Island #6

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ProfNigma Stories #10: Schneider’s Island #6iCarly/Victorious: Schneider’s Island #6 – Cough[Warning – there is no sex in this story, please don’t hate me for that, but I hope you enjoy it nevertheless]”Do you have any idea how busy I am right now, babe?!””Yes…” Freddie said slowly, putting his hand on the shoulder of his bride-to-be and kissed her cheek before she was able to pull away and start freaking out about something else. “But you need to relax.”Jade looked over the main area that would serve as their reception space and couldn’t believe how much there was to do, and for Freddie to just assume that she could take a break was ridiculous. “I will stop when this gets done.””You just need to take the day…” he argued. “We have the rehearsal tonight and the wedding tomorrow night.””Exactly, and there’s like 50 things that need to get done between then and now!” she hollered back. “I love you Freddie, but you need to get the fuck out of here before you make me hurt you.””Look, you nearly died last night. That’s a big fucking deal. You are not in your best mind right now, and I just think it would be best if you just relaxed, de-stressed, and cleared your mind of this stuff. At least, for the morning.”Jade was going to say something but her father walked by, and was immediately grabbed by Freddie.”Mr. West, tell your daughter that she needs to rest.””Sweetie…” he said, as warmly as he could, putting his back to Freddie. “He’s right. I nearly lost you last night so I can certainly advocate a rest.””But-“”But nothing, Jade,” he said firmly. “Your… Freddie… can handle things here for a while. Right, son?””Yes sir,” Freddie said, hatred put aside so that his love could recover well.”Fine…” Jade sighed. “But I’m not just going to lay around. I need something to do at least.””Good deal,” Robert said, putting his hand on his daughter’s shoulder as he used his eyes to tell his future son-in-law to scram. “How about you and I take a bike ride? Like we used to when you were little, and not so… y’know… this.””Sure, dad,” Jade said sarcastically. “Let me just take away the last 20 years, and it will be like nothing ever changed.””I’m not asking you to change…” West sighed with a sad sigh. “You’re my only daughter and I have to give you away tomorrow. I know I haven’t been perfect, but I’m doing the best I can. Can you please give me this?”Jade wanted to say no and every fibre of her being wanted to stay right here at the inn and get work done, but the sad look on his face was just too powerful and she couldn’t help but just nod her head.”Good girl,” he said, kissing her forehead, and pulling her along to go upstairs to change and then get some bikes.* * *”It’s a real shame that mom couldn’t make it,” Jade said in her most monotone, uncaring voice possible as they slowly made their way through the woods along the path…”I can feel the worry in your voice dear,” Robert said with a slight smirk, proud that his daughter had gotten his dry sense of humour. “Island air just didn’t suit her I suppose. She texted me from LA this morning, but I couldn’t get her at the house.””Maybe she’s having another affair,” Jade said coldly, speeding up to pull away from her father a little bit as he scoffed. “But whatever… guess that’s typical behaviour for her.””Well, you weren’t exactly the most gracious ch*ld, especially here.””What’s that supposed to mean?!” Jade said, coming to a quick stop.”We go through all of this trouble, do the best that we can considering and you couldn’t be bothered to let your own parents know that you’re al-ready married? Your mother was-“”Look…” Jade said softly, realizing the gravity of the situation. “It was in Vegas, and we were just messing around, and we were drinking and it just happened. We didn’t keep it from people to hurt anyone… it was more… I don’t know… embarrassment.”Robert West reached over and kissed his daughter’s head once again, making it the most he’d ever done it in a single month since she was elementary school. “I guess that makes sense. I guess it’s the same reason we don’t talk anymore.””You think I’m embarrassed of you?””No…” he said softly with a heavy sigh. “I’m the one who’s embarrassed. I don’t know what happened, but you and I used to be so close… and then you just grew up, and I just stopped having anything to talk to you about. And when we would talk, I would be so out of the loop, I just stopped caring and I guess I intentionally distanced myself from you as much as you were doing for me. I’m just sorry I was never there for you.””Dad… its ok. I… I’m sorry, too.” Jade was fighting back tears. Her father was never emotional and he certainly never discussed his feelings, so this truly was a momentous event. “I was a pretty shitty daughter, I guess.””No…” West said, firmly. “Difficult, but not shitty. But you were a teenager and that’s natural. I guess I never really had any idea it would be that hard.”There was a good bit of silence as the two started moving forward again, peddling slowly, but steadily. After almost two minutes of silence, Jade cleared her throat and spoke.”I’m really happy to be out here with you, dad. I really missed this.””I missed you… but I promise I’m going to be better and do everything I can to put you first.””And this wedding…” Jade said, taking a deep breath, “We don’t even discuss the Vegas wedding anymore and only a couple people knew about it, like Tori, so it wasn’t like I was keeping it from you guys specifically. But the point is that this here is going to be our wedding, and nothing else matters because this will be the real one and the one that truly matters to Freddie and I.””I’m so proud of you, sweetie.” West said, pulling ahead of his daughter slightly. “You really do mean the world to me and I-“West was cut off as he hit a thin fishing line trip wire, stopping his bike, and curving the wheel in front of Jade. This random act of physics saved them as a huge log swung in pounding into the side of Jade’s bike and leg as it threw her to the side, along with her father, and the two just rolled down the steep hill, with West’s body cushioning Jade’s fall a bit. However, Robert West was barely conscious, his head bleeding from being stopped by a rock.”Dad?” Jade said softly, as she quickly sat up and shook her father a bit to get him roused, but it was no use. Grabbing a water bottle from his bag, she doused his face, praying that would work.”Ah!” he shouted, sitting up with a start, instantly clutching the side of his head. “What was that?!””I don’t know,” Jade said, turning to look up the steep hill where the log was still swinging back and forth before seeing the mess of plastic and metal around them. “Don’t think you’ll get your deposit back on these bikes, dad.””Great…” he said weakly, trying to stand, which, after a little wobbling for balance, he managed to do before offering his hand to Jade.The moment she grabbed onto it, and put pressure on her left ankle, Jade knew she was in trouble as a searing pain flew up through her leg. “Shit!” she screamed the sharpness coming as a complete surprise.West managed to help his daughter up all the way and to lean on him for support as best she can. “I don’t have my phone,” he said calmly. “Left it at the inn… figured getting away would be nice.””Great…” she said coldly, reaching into her pocket for her PearPhone, but what she pulled out was a shattered piece of plastic, and cut her finger on one of the shards. “Fuck!””We’ve got to have a talk about your language, baby…” he said, trying to lighten the mood as the two hobbled through the massive woods, searching for a path and calling for help.* * *This will teach her for sure, Robbie thought as he stood out on the main balcony, trying to open a package of firecrackers. Then her, of course, was Trina, who had apparently made a complete bitch of herself at the party last night. While he had no plans for the epic honey/feathering revenge that Noelle had sought, Robbie knew he wanted to set the mean girl off. Now he just had to decide what that would entail.”You’re gonna get in trouble.”Robbie spun around and came face to face with Savanna, being her usual precocious self. “Oh yeah… how’s that?””You’re messing with fireworks… that’s bad. You are going to get in trouble.””No, miss… I’m not.””Why?””Because,” Robbie said, unsure of how he would explain himself to this little girl. “Because everybody thinks I’m crazy. No one’s going to treat me different at all.””I heard that you were crazy and that I shouldn’t talk to you.””And yet here you are…” Robbie said, sounding creepy as he spoke, and he immediately pulled back.”You are crazy, mister,” the little girl said with a laugh. “We should be friends. I want to help you.”Robbie was unsure of how to take this, but he shrugged and smiled, and for some reason, spilled his plan to the far too precocious little girl.* * *”Jade… I’m dying here.”Freddie paused on the deck outside as he left his voicemail, when someone rushed past him, throwing him off for a moment.”Not really, but I could really use a talk with you if you could give me a call back. I know you said you’d be back in an hour, but it’s been almost three, and I’m…. I don’t know what tablecloths go with which tables and I barely know how napkin rings work, let alone when they should be used. If you could give me a call or just come, I would be forever grateful. I might even marry you… just k*dding… but seriously… love you and talk soon.””Still can’t get her?”Freddie spun around and faced Carly, who had a notebook, which meant that he was about to get asked some ridiculous preference question again.”No…” he said with a sigh. “I’m hoping she’s alright.””She’s fine…” Carly said, looking over the list once more. “You said she was bike riding with her dad… maybe she just has her phone on silent. From what I’ve heard, they could use the alone time.””Maybe…””Look, I hate to keep dragging you back into planning, Freddie, but we only have enough table runners for half the people that are supposed to be here, so what should I do?”Freddie looked at her blankly for a few moments. “I have no idea what a table runner is but just use your best judgment, Carly.””Ok…” the dark haired young woman said with a heavy sigh before turning back around to head inside, but doubled back as her eye caught something on her notebook. “Hang on… as I’m sure you noticed, Tasha and Nate seem to be an item now, but I have them seated across the room from one another… do we want to move some people around or what?””Ahh… illegal bahis siteleri that’s actually something that makes sense to me,” Freddie said, coming over to look over her shoulder at the table setup. “What if we-“BANG!”No…” a voice whimpered from up above.Carly and Freddie jumped back in an instant as the tiny firecrackers exploded, and immediately looked above to see a dark curly haired person run from the balcony, along with the laughter of a ch*ld. For Carly, there was no question of that ch*ld’s identity, and she more than enough reason to suspect Robbie of this.Freddie just simply laughed and shook his head, more out of exasperation than annoyance, before turning back to Carly and heading back inside to discuss things.* * *KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK”Knock, knock, Robbie.”The dark and curly haired teacher knew who was on the other side of that door, and after she had screwed up what he was trying to do. But she was still a k*d, and it felt wrong not to try and reach out and help her if he could.”Come in,” he said, before he even had the door open all the way.”That,” she practically shouted with a smile plastered to her face, “was so much fun!””Was it?””Yeah…” she said, holding her voice out. “We should do it some more.””I can’t…” Robbie said, deciding that lying a bit couldn’t hurt. “You used up all my firecrackers.””We don’t have to do fireworks… we could throw a chocolate bar in the pool so it looks like someone-“”Savanna… I’m kinda busy this afternoon,” Robbie walked over and shut the bathroom door where all of his copious pills sat around. “So I can’t do anything else today.””Why do grownups always say they’re busy even when they aren’t really doing anything?””Well…” Robbie quickly scanned his brain for an excuse for this situation. “Sometimes adults are busy but they just don’t look busy. You know… because they are busy thinking about stuff.””I think about stuff too, but I’m never too busy to have fun. But I guess I should go practice being a flower girl.” Savanna headed for the door, but then turned and looked at Robbie and she could tell something was wrong, but decided to shrug it off. “I need to get my flower girl walk just right. But I might not have to.””Really? Why’s that?””Because… my friend told me I won’t have to if I don’t want to.”Before Robbie could ask who her friend was or what was up with that, she was gone out the door, and he was left alone in his room, pondering what he could do to pass the time.* * *”When I said that we should spend more time together, honey… this isn’t exactly what I meant.””You sure you should be making jokes, dad?” Jade asked, half seriously, still hanging onto her father for support. “Pretty sure this is the longest time we have spent in the same place since I was a k*d.””Sounds about right…””I just feel so bad for Freddie,” Jade said with a huff as they tried to move past what looked like a junkyard in the middle of the forest. “He doesn’t know a candlestick or a chafing dish from a callow lily. Carly and the others are probably eating him alive.””Wouldn’t be that healthy of a meal,” West snarked as he pulled ahead.”Ugh…” Jade groaned, stopping short and giving her father an evil glare. “I really thought we would be past this.””What are you talking about, Jade?” he asked, seemingly unaware of his comment.”You hate him… you don’t do anything to hide it.””I don’t…” Robert desperately searched for what he wanted to say here, “hate… the k*d. He’s smart, ambitious, and it’s pretty obvious that he loves you, and-“”He’s just in the wrong tax bracket, right?” she said with a sneer as she crossed her arms.”Jade… it’s not that… really.””Then what is it?!” she shouted back. “What the hell is so wrong with him that you have to cut him down every step of the way.””I don’t… trust him,” West said with a heavy sigh. “I know you love him, Jade, and I’m sure he loves you too, but my gut tells me that there’s something very wrong with that boy. The same goes for everyone on that side- Carly, her br*ther, the blonde girl-“”Because they aren’t like us… you don’t trust them?!””No, it’s not-“”No dad… clearly, that’s the problem.” Jade was practically red, and she pushed past her father and tried to make move up the hill using trees for support. “You’d rather listen to your stomach or your fucking instincts than your own goddamn daughter.”Robert West tried his best to follow his daughter to make sure she didn’t fall, but still stayed back feeling ashamed and angry at the same time, shaking his head as he trekked on.* * *”Thank god…” Freddie said, plopping down on a couch inside the conservatory of the inn. “Thought I was going to lose my mind picking all that stuff out.””I would have thought Jade would be doing all this?” Tasha asked, now that she was no longer alone in the room, stirring her glass.”She normally would, but after what happened last night, I told her to take some time off,” Freddie said, checking his phone and looking very un-happy that he still had not heard anything back from her. “Kinda regretting it now.””Well,” the full lipped model said, slightly licking her lips at the groom, “Maybe you just need an escape to distract you from all of this while you wait for her to get back. I could make you a drink.””Umm… maybe,” he said, unsure if she was flirting with him or something, which was somehow was one of the more awkward things he could experience. “I think I-“”Freddie?!”He was cut off as Carly, who had been running all over the whole day, came rushing ahead, with a phone attached to her ear and a very angry look on her face.”What did I do?” he asked, knowing he was about to catch hell for something.”You? Nothing… Sikowitz says that the church is still locked, the key isn’t working, or the door is stuck or something.” Carly was clearly frustrated and visibly getting more annoyed as the voice in her ear continued to drone on. “Think you can head over there?””Ugh… I just sat down, and-“”Then you stay here and map out food placement for the reception.””What I was trying to say…” Freddie said, recovering and desperate to get away from all of this, “was that it would be my honour to go and help.””Somehow I guessed that,” Carly said, before heading back over to finish up her call, leaving Freddie on a couch with a suddenly closer Tasha.”Gotta go… I will talk to you later, Tasha,” he said, stretching for a second when he got up. “I’ll have to take a rain check on that drink, I sup-pose.””You bet,” she winked, as she waved him off, as did Carly when he headed out towards the old church.Using his travel time as well as he could, Freddie dialled Jade and unsurprisingly got her voicemail again.”Baby… I am so sorry for ever saying that your work here was simple or easy. I’m really missing you and I would kill to see your face at this moment. Please give me a call back, or come back… I will be at the church for a little bit to help out so check there if you can’t find-“A recorded voice cut his message short, and Freddie considered erasing it and starting over, but decided against it, as the first draft was usually the most real.A couple minutes later, Freddie reached the church and found the nearly bald man sipping a drink as he just stared at the door.”Freddie, my boy!” he called out. “Seems we have a problem.””Yeah…” Freddie said, not nearly as excited. “Carly told me about the door… I’m going to try and pick the lock since it’s an older door.”As if by magic, it only took a few seconds of picking and prodding for the door to open, but both men quickly regretted the opening almost instantaneously.The smell, wafting through the door was horrendous, and Freddie nearly vomited as he opened the door further to find the source of this hell. What he found was somehow even worse than he could have ever expected.On the alter, there were the bodies of four a****ls that had been opened up and dissected essentially, still fresh since the last body was still drip-ping. It looked like a raccoon, a cat, a fox, and worst of all, a skunk.No longer just a movement, Freddie rushed back outside into the air to spit up everything that he could get to come up. Sikowitz, on the other hand, just stared in horror, almost unable to move or look away from the grisly scene.”We have to clean this up,” Freddie said, completely emotionless.”We should just find another place to do the ceremony,” Sikowitz said, offering real advice for once.”No way… this needs to be taken care of, and if we can get some cleaner and find something to get those bodies into the woods, we can do this.””Why?” Sikowitz asked, in the awkward position of seemingly answering to someone considerably younger than him.”Because you know Jade, after all she did to decide and plan for this wedding, she’s at her wits end. And if she ever found out that this happened, she would probably murder us.”The older teacher considered a retort, but after realizing that Freddie was right, decided to swallow his words and search for something to help clean with.* * *”Look… I’m sorry, sweetie.”Jade stopped ahead of her father and turned around. “For what?””I’ve been perhaps too… hard on Freddie, and maybe you’re right.”Jade was not anticipating that he would get to the point so quickly since he was much more passive aggressive with his issues. “Ok…””You’re my only daughter and he’s just… but you know…If you think he’s a good k*d, and this is what you really want, then…” West was clearly struggling in admitting his defeat on this topic, “you have my support.””I really appreciate that, dad. I’m sorry for being such a brat and for… you know… everything between us.””Of course, I…” West’s words were stopped suddenly as the pair spotted someone up on a higher hill walking their dog. It looked like a man, but there was something wrong, as if he was disfigured, but the exact details were hard to see really thanks to the distance and the shade of the trees above. “Hello?!”There was silence as the man just stared at them.”Can you hear us?!” Jade called out waving her arms. “We need some help!”The man leaned over towards his dog and it looked like he was petting the b**st, but as his hand pulled back, the end of the leash came with it, and the dog, which was a b**stly German Shepherd raced down the hill towards them, barking.”Shitfuck!” Jade screamed, as she looked for some way to move or stop the creature, but Robert grabbed her and pulled her back the way they came as fast as the two them could move.”There!” he shouted, pointing at an old car that had just been abandoned in the woods, youwin güvenilir mi and he reached and opened the door, practically throwing Jade inside before getting in himself as the b**st bit into his arm. A quick jab from the reasonable spry father, pushed the dog off, and he man-aged to shut the door as it lunged and scratched at the rusted metal door and thick window.Are you ok?” Jade asked, a fearful quiver in her voice as she saw the blood on her father’s arm.”Yeah… I think he just nicked me. I’ve had worse,” West lied as he clutched his injured arm, hoping that Jade wouldn’t notice his pain. He could take solace in the fact that they were safe for the moment, but now they were trapped.* * *”You ever think this is how you would spend your last day as a bachelor?”Freddie looked over from scrubbing the church’s carpet to the older teacher who was hard at work wiping the alter table.”Cleaning up a big mess before my fiancée finds out? Yeah… seems to be a good prep for this marriage.””Ha ha!” Sikowitz gave a deep laugh and kept on working. He might have also said something else, but Freddie couldn’t hear it.His eyes were instead trained on a small piece of red and white paper tubing that looked burned. It was exactly like the fireworks that were tossed at him this morning, and there was only one person who could have left them here. And only one person who was sick enough to commit this horrible act.Freddie Benson decided at that moment that he was going to strangle Robbie Shapiro.* * *”Dad…” Jade said in a quiet whisper, her voice trembling with fear. “I don’t hear anything anymore.””You think that b**st is gone?” he said peering out the window.”I don’t know…”West’s eyes scanned the inside of the forgotten car and his shoe touched something glass. Using his foot to roll it into sight, it was an old beer bottle, and it was intact. Or at least it was, until Robert West grabbed the neck and smashed the bottom to create a jagged stabbing weapon, and took a deep breath. He leaned over and kissed his daughter’s head before slowly opening the creaking door and slipping out.Just before he could get his last leg out, he spotted their would be assailant that was hiding on top of the car. West couldn’t even scream for Jade as the mighty dog tackled him to the ground, the bottle slipping out of his hand, and he did his best to keep its strong jaws away from his neck as it thrashed around, desperate for a kill.”Dad!” All Jade could do was scream as her father was on the verge of being mauled, and West pulled his foot from the door, and then kicked it closed, just in case this really was the end for him. Jade smashed her hands against the window, desperate to help her father, but he was keeping that door pressed shut.After a lightning fast bite to his shoulder, he began pressing his arm against the neck of the German Shepherd, West had just enough reach to grab the neck of the bottle and thrust it upwards as he moved his arm back, stabbing it. Despite the loud yelp of immense pain, West pulled back and thrust hard once again, as the heavy dog bled out over him. Robert used all his strength to push it off of him as Jade jumped from the car to rush to her father’s aid, unable to tell the dog’s blood from his.Robert staggered to his feet and as his daughter hugged him tight, he began to realize that bite might have been much deeper and more serious than he had anticipated.”I don’t…” he said, trying to breathe so he spoke as quickly as he could, “suppose you will be expecting tonight to be formal?”Jade was so thankful that her father was alive, that she didn’t mind his stupid joke. Ripping the bottom of her old t-shirt, Jade used it as a make-shift bandage, and hoped that would do the trick until they could get back to the inn.”Don’t worry about me, princess,” he said softly. “You’ve got a big day tomorrow, and Freddie’s going to be a lucky guy.”Jade wanted to say something but she was completely choked up, and tears were starting to stream, leaving clear tracks from the dirt that had applied itself from the fall. So, she just nodded a thanks for his approval, and held onto her father tight as they used each other for support, heading towards where they believed to be safe.* * *Miles from the forest, Cat and Noelle had ventured out into the town, the raven haired woman bored of the inn and Cat was too jumpy to sit still. So they did what any lesbian couple bored at a wedding would do – go to a local bar.This was the same bar of course, that Noelle had visited for the scavenger hunt, and also the home of Freddie’s incredibly awkward, by most ac-counts, bachelor party. Today however, it was pretty loud and boisterous, which was great for Cat, but less so for Noelle. The petite redhead excused herself to the bathroom upon entry and Noelle took a seat at the bar.”What’s the occasion?” she asked when the female bartender came to get her order.”Oh, it’s a big deal. Frank Harris, the factory foreman, been with the same woman off and on for like 8 years, proposed to his girl, Jo, last night.””That’s… great.” Noelle nodded, completely unaware or uncaring of who those people were. “Frank the factory foreman… that’s interesting.””Yeah,” the woman said, leaning over a bit to share the story. “They were walking down the beach near the big inn when he found this ring, and he just proposed on the spot. Like fate or something.””Fate…” Noelle trailed off, and knew she had to see this for herself. “Would you excuse me?”Slowly, Noelle made her way to the table where the woman was proudly showing off her ring, and the moment she saw it, there was no question in her mind where that ring originated. Taking a deep breath, she headed to the table where a burly man was getting slaps on his back and beers raised to him.”Frank, is it?” she asked, tapping him on the shoulder.”Get away, little girl,” one of the guys said, slurring a bit and proving he was already probably too far gone.”Yeah, that’s me,” the burly man said, turning toward her just barely. “What do you want?””Well…” she started off, just now realizing that she might not have the easiest time with this. “First off, congratulations. This is certainly a big deal to get engaged and whatnot, but the thing is… that’s actually not your ring.””Oh really,” he said, with a puff of hot air.”Yes, ‘Prove it’ you will say. ‘Gladly,’ I respond. That ring…” Noelle said, taking a deep breath to remember the details. “It is 1.5 carats, with a brilliant colour rating, and a clarity of BBH1, which, if you didn’t know, is very good, and…”The table of guys just stared at her looking more and more pissed until their silence was broken with a cracking of a neck as Frank stood up, towering over the young woman.”I’m not getting my ring back, am I?” she asked, already well aware of the answer. The guys turned their attention back towards each other and ignored the almost crying raven haired girl in the room as she made her way back to the bar.As she sat down, the bartender didn’t even ask, and just served her a shot of something amber coloured.”What’s wrong?” Cat asked, coming up behind her girlfriend. “You look sad.””Kitty Cat… do you remember the first night we were here, and we went swimming, and you got mad and threw my purse in the water?””Yes,” she said shortly. “But we agreed not to talk about it ever again.””Well… there was one piece that I didn’t mention when we talked…” Noelle took a swallow of air, and grabbed a nearby shot and downed it. “I forgot to tell you that there was a… ring that got washed away.””But why did you have a ring in your purse? You hate jewellery…” There was a pause there as the synapses in her mind started firing until the truth became clear. “Omigod, ohmigod!” the redhead started practically jumping.”The thing is… that… couple over there…” Noelle pointed as Frank posed for a pic with his new fiancée. “The man, Frank, he found the ring and proposed… so they have it now.””Oh, fuck that!” Cat said, in a rare moment of cursing for her. “That ring’s for ME.”The redhead grabbed the other shot in front of Noelle, and took a breath before racing over to the guy and tapping him on the shoulder.”Oh you’ve got to be k*dding me!” Cat shouted at the guy before slapping his mortified face as hard as she could. “After everything we shared, Frankie, and you just up and propose to some cheap whore?! I mean… I gave… everything to you. Even that thing I swore I would never let a guy do, and you just pretend like I mean nothing?!”Frank was utterly speechless, but Jo stepped in front of him.”Who is she?!” the blonde woman screamed.”I- I- I don’t know… I’ve never seen her before-“”Liar!” Cat shouted, and Jo slapped Frank across the face, completely believing Cat’s tirade. “And just so you know, I’m keeping this baby!””Fuck you, Frank!” Jo screamed, pushing the stunned man against his table of guys. Then she unscrewed the tight ring from her finger and threw it at him, and thanks to some quick manoeuvring by Cat, she managed to catch it.Noelle could just stare with wide eyes as the love of her life became a totally different person, but once the tiny jewellery was in her hands, the sweet girl that Noelle had fallen for years ago popped back up, and before she even realized it, Cat had grabbed her hand and pulled her outside.”That was…” Noelle began, but quickly realized that she just didn’t have the words for what it was.”Let’s just get out of here,” Cat said, now fully back to her old self and running from the bomb she had just lit.* * *”Help!” Jade called out, now carrying her father a lot more than he was supporting her, as she stepped onto the grounds of the inn. “Somebody! Please!”Freddie rushed out, followed quickly by Tori, Carly, and everyone else that could manage to help. As his future father-in-law was helped to the door, Freddie took a moment to take in his love and hold her tightly, kissing her face as many times as he could.”I was so worried, baby…””I was too…” she sighed. “Phone got destroyed. Then some inbred backwoods local set his dog on us, and nearly killed us.””Oh my god…” was all Freddie could manage, as he shook his head in disbelief.”Yeah… I need a shower,” Jade said, pulling from Freddie a bit, but still holding on to his hand. “Speaking of… what, uh… what’s that smell?””Dead raccoon…” he said, quickly and confidently. “Don’t ask.””Ah… and that was what part of planning this wedding for me?”Freddie wasn’t sure for a moment if she was serious or not, but just laughed and helped perabet her up the grass to the inn. After a few steps, Tori and Carly rushed out to check on her, and they take much of the weight.”I’m going to clean up, Benson…” Jade said over her shoulder, and Freddie secretly hoped this was a subtle invite to join her. “Don’t you dare come see me until I’m presentable.”Freddie looked sad for a moment, and took a deep breath. Now that Jade was back safely, there was really only one person left that Freddie needed to see.* * *KNOCK KNOCKSpencer was pleasantly surprised when he found Freddie on the other side of the door to the room.”Hey buddy… I figured you’d be helping Jade after what Carly told me happened.””That was fast,” Freddie said, cocking his eye.”Yeah… but you know Carly and her texting. Like lightning, my s*ster,” Spencer said, backing up so he could come in. “Amy’s down looking at her dad. She was going to school to be a nurse when the art thing happened. Plus, someone needed to stay up here with Savanna.””Yeah…” Freddie said, looking around the room, “Look, Spencer, have you seen Robbie?””The weird black curly haired k*d? Ummm… not really. Not since the boat ride at least,””Hmmm… you mind if I talk to Savanna for a couple minutes?””Sure,” Spencer said with a confused look. “She’s in her room, playing with her dolls probably. Pretty much all she’s done since she got here.””Oh really? Hmm… ok,” Freddie said, unsure of how much attention Spencer actually paid to the girl’s activities. He made his way to her room and looked in on her, playing with her doll’s hair, as described.”Hey, Uncle Freddie,” she said with a quiet excitement that quickly turned into concern. “You aren’t mad about this morning, are you?””Oh no…” he said with a plastered smile. “I’m sure it was very funny… Plus, I know how tough it’s been since there aren’t really any k*ds here for you to be friends with.””Oh, I have already made a friend here,” she said, matter-of-factly.”Really? Would Robbie be that friend?””I’ve made a lot of friends, Uncle Freddie…” Her voice trailed off into a whisper as she leaned towards him. “But I can’t tell you about them be-cause you aren’t supposed to know.””Well, I suppose we all have our secrets, right k*ddo?” He said, hoping to gain her trust. “I need to know, though… did Robbie take you to the church to play with the firecrackers today?””No… but that sounds fun,” she said with an innocent smile. “I wanted to play more, but he said he was too busy and he made me leave him alone. I think he’s sad.””Well, that’s very perceptive of you, Savanna,” Freddie sighed, thankful that the young girl wasn’t a part of the atrocity he committed at the church. “Well, you keep being a good girl, and I will see you tonight for the rehearsal, ok?”Savanna gave Freddie a thumbs up as he left her room, and let himself out, not saying a word to Spencer. His mind was set on his final stop be-fore the rehearsal, where he would deal with Robbie right away without making a scene.* * *As Robbie nervously walked out of his bathroom when he heard the room’s door open, he was already on edge to try and defend himself against the intruder. When he saw that it was just Freddie he breathed a sigh of relief.That relief was quickly killed as the stronger of the two pinned Robbie against the wall.”I got your message in the church today, Shapiro.””Oh really? And what did you think of that?” Robbie said, unsure of what he was talking about, but trying to give him just as much attitude back.”I think you’re a sick fuck is what. And just so we’re clear, you are no longer invited to the wedding.” Freddie’s eyes were practically bulging with rage and his sneer was overpowering on its own. “I can’t believe I actually took pity on you all those times.””Yeah…” Robbie said, feeling Rex deep in his mind try and jump out, and squirming from Freddie’s grasp. “Well, you just wait for the biggest surprise, Freddie. I’ve got something coming that you and Jade are going to just looooove.”Robbie had no earthly idea what he was talking about or why he was antagonizing one of the few people that was ever truly nice to him, but he didn’t know what else to do.”Whatever… get your shit, and first boat out, I want you on it. And I don’t ever want to see you again.”Before Robbie could say a word, Freddie was out the door, leaving Robbie to struggle against the voice in his head that screamed for some revenge.* * *”Any update on your dad?” Noelle asked, as the girls all sat around a table waiting for the grand march over to the church.”He seems like he’s going to recover. He said he won’t be there tonight, but he wouldn’t miss the real thing tomorrow.””That’s great,” Tori added, touching Jade’s shoulder. “I’m really happy you got that time to bond with your dad at least. Seems like it helped you guys.””Yeah… not sure getting on good terms with him should have cost us all that time, energy, injury, but I guess it balances out,” Jade said, smiling. It was a rare event to have a smile from Jade, but people couldn’t help but marvel whenever it happened. “Is everyone going over tonight?””I think a few of the guys aren’t,” Carly said, looking around. “I know Amy’s staying with your dad just in case he needs anything, and I actually don’t know about anyone else.””I texted Trina like an hour ago,” Tori chimed in, “and she said that she might, but she’s nursing a serious hangover apparently. Didn’t even want to see me.””I might actually skip out for this evening too,” Tasha said, looking dazed. “I started feeling really sl*epy earlier. I might just need a nap.””God forbid you miss out on your beauty sl*ep,” Sam cracked as she slid back so Tasha could get up and leave.”I’ll be back for dinner,” she called back.”I’m sure,” Sam shot, almost yelling. “You’d never turn down a free drink.””Is everyone who is coming… coming?!” Sikowitz called out in his usual yell-speak.”Yeah… I think so,” Freddie said, taking Jade’s hand and leading her out the door, followed by the rest of the group. “I need to tell you some-thing,” he whispered to Jade.”What?” she responded, scared that something was going on.”I love you.”There was silence from Jade for a few seconds before she punched his arm.”Don’t do that!” she said in a hushed tone. “I’ve had enough scares today without your help, Freddie Benson.”The group piled into the church and small talk started up again, and the rehearsal was underway, even though they lacked a father of the bride as well as a small chunk of the wedding party. After a couple quick rehearsals, that Freddie and Jade kept snickering through, unable to stay serious, it was a nice change of pace for all those hectic and dangerous moments of the day.After nearly an hour, they decided they could rehearse no more, and Jade called her dad to check on him but got no answer. She then tried Amy to see if everything was ok.”Hello?””Hey, Amy… its Jade. I was just calling to see if dad’s ok.””Oh… yeah, I think so. Give me a sec. I’ve been trying to check on him every 15 minutes or so, and he’s been doing fine. Mostly resting. I gave him some painkillers I just happened to have, so please don’t ask, and…””Amy?…” Jade said into the phone but there was no response. “Amy are you-“”Ohmygod…Jade… you… don’t come back here… Send someone else. Send Spencer over! Now!”Jade practically dropped the phone as she heard screaming from the other side and she could hear foot steps, and voices, but her mind was buzzing so hard she couldn’t think.”We need to get over to the inn now!” she practically yelled, and Freddie rushed to her side, and with a f*rce of voice like Jade’s no one was going to argue.The group quickly filed out of the church, save for Sikowitz who volunteered to clean up, and practically ran to the inn, but when they got to the lobby, Nate and Beck were there to stop Jade and hold her back.Freddie went on ahead and headed to the room where they had West resting. His stomach completely turned when he looked inside and saw his future father in law laying there with his throat slashed from ear to ear practically. From the look of it, it was done with something very sharp be-cause Robert bled out quickly and no one heard a sound.”Let me see him, goodammit!”He turned and looked to the doorway where Jade had pushed her way through and as if in slow motion, her face went from fear to horror, to pure agony as she fell to her knees weeping uncontrollably. Her father, who she just made peace with and had plans for a whole new future… was dead. And worse, someone had murdered him.* * *Thankfully for Sikowitz, cleaning up the mess of the day earlier was infinitely more difficult than tossing some drinks and other trash behind. The church looked spotless after about ten minutes of work, and he happily walked out, whistling some island tune he had playing through his Pear-Pod. Before locking up, he hit the lights and went on his way to see what all the fuss was about.* * *Just as the lights went out downstairs in the church, upstairs, in the small windowless storage room, Tasha sat, strapped tightly to a chair and the lights became very bright rousing her. The model slowly started to groggily regain her faculties when she realized that she couldn’t move her hands.And when she attempted to cry out, that’s when she felt the hard plastic in her mouth. As consciousness slowly returned, she began to realize that she’d been roofied, sadly not for the first time, and she was scared. Waking up in a dude’s bed was one thing, but strapped to a chair with a plastic tube down her throat was another thing.Doing her best to make noises, Tasha screamed and scrambled, and her eyes darted all over until she saw a clock that seemed to be counting down to something in 28 seconds. Now more frantic than ever, she wriggled and writhed around and tried everything she could to get out but the duct tape binding her arms and legs was strapped too tightly, and as the clock counted down, she saw what it was connected to.It was like the game of Mouse Trap where one thing would lead to another in a long Rube Goldberg type experiment. As the clock hit zero, a bottle of something tipped over, and once it tipped, Tasha could read the bottle, written in crude Sharpie: DRAIN CLEANER.The fear she felt when she woke up was nothing once she felt the cold, sharp thick liquid slowly ooze down her oesophagus. She coughed as hard as she could, trying to f*rce it up but it was so heavy that she didn’t stand a chance. The pain was almost instant and it was excruciating. She was completely powerless, helpless, and within a couple of minutes, she was as still as everything else in the church, her eyes open and face bleeding.The only sound left in the old church was the faint dripping of what was left of the now hollow superstar model.

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