They all had fun watching the fashion shoot as Skye was the star and modelled everything for the new catalogue for Countess with a host of other stars from the launch show. What Skye loved best was he was allowed to keep all of the clothes he had to wear during the shoot and he ordered copies for his brothers and Napa as surprises for them.
Jules was fun and Skye was glad he was his manager of the fashion house. As they were having lunch, he explained that he loved of the longer jacket and matching trousers with a jazzy waistcoat. Jules liked the idea and drew as Skye was talking, as he finished explaining Jules handed him the pad, “Something like this?”
“I love it and my brothers will.”
Jules smiled, “If you’re all seen to be wearing it, others will follow. Let me make them for you and see what happens.” Once he had the suit and wore it to the Oscars that year, requests for Zuniga fashions to provide the style in off the peg ranges came flooding in. The design turned to gold overnight, but all of that was in the future.
* * * * * * * * * *
On the Saturday, they had serious retail therapy, with Glamma and Napa spending and spoiling all of them. Later that afternoon they turned up at the Broadway theatre, but it seemed odd as the name had been taken down. Wicked was being advertised on the outside but there were no poster or pictures to promote the show.
Skye looked around as he walked in, “Something seems off, can’t you all feel it?”
Colton looked at the others, “It’s because this is the opening week of the show bro. Nothing’s wrong, honestly. Plus, it’s not every day you have a big star attending your theatre.”
Maybe, “Let’s find our seats then.”
“We have a box remember, D” said David.
“I appeared here once as Peter Pan and had to fly from that box using a rope. Long time ago…”
The show started and they settled to watch Wicked, the kids were mesmerized by the show but kept looking at Skye chattering. As the interval started the curtain rose and the stars were standing there clapping in time. “We want Skye - We want Skye” The audience were on their feet in seconds and joined them.
Skye stood and the place went wild. “I’m here with my family for an afternoon out folks. I’m sorry.”
The star smiled, “Well we know that, but we’d love for you to join us on the stage and sing for us.”
“Go on daddy!” Exclaimed the boys.
“Well what would I sing?”
One of the chorus stepped forward dressed differently to the rest of the cast and at that several others walked on as if they were in the Ol’ Bam-boo scene from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. “Well guv’nor we happen to think these folks would enjoy a reprise from when you were that mad Potts inventor fella with us.”
Skye stood and took off his jacket handing it to his Glamma. “I suppose that’s why there’s this ladder up here… Oops you’ve done it again!” At that the box door opened and the manager growled as if it was the man chasing him. He stood on the chair, climbed on to the edge and looked at his brothers, “Don’t you dare try to do this!”
At that he reached the rope tied to the edge of the box, twisted it around his wrist and held on ot the support loop as he swung down to the stage to be caught by the guys dressed ready to dance the ‘Ol’ Bam-Boo’. At that the music started and he was singing dancing on the stage as if it hadn’t been over a year since he’d been in the show. As the music finished his jacket was handed out to him and the chorus of men changed. The ‘Ol’ Bam-Boo’ walked off and the characters for ‘How to succeed in Business without really trying’ walked on. He giggled ad shook his finger at the leading lady. With that the music started and he sang and danced his way through ‘Brotherhood of Man’.
The place was going wild by the time the song ended. In the break between songs he heard the kids voices. “We want Forever! We want Forever!”
He smiled, “Maestro the youth of today have spoken and then I’m going to watch the second half!”
Grandpa Jimmy stepped on the stage at that point and the place went wild. As it went silent, “Actually these folks have a complimentary ticket to next week’s matinee, as today is the Skye McElory Show. Welcome home kid! Singing is where you were born to be,” He said smiling.
He looked up at the box and shook his finger, “The rope, so conveniently in place, knowing that we’re here, all my music and now Grandpa Jimmy? I smell a setup. Okay you’ve asked for it but be warned you had all better be ready because ‘Anything Goes’, and if that ain’t a cue for a song I don’t know what is.”
Jimmy just looked out that the audience, “You asked for it! None of this has been rehearsed.”
After ‘Anything Goes’ Skye saw a selection of instruments at the edge of the stage obviously meant for him and he picked up the trumpet and played a section of a song and then started to sing as the orchestra joined him, the song was a stunning version of ‘Blow Gabriel Blow’. As he finished that he was well out of breath, so sat at the grand piano and played a selection of Scott Joplin and thoroughly enjoyed himself.
The show was a success, little did Skye know but it was being filmed by the TV company that Berto owned Blondeau Entertainment. As the camera swooped in for a closeup he rushed off stage and looked at the Stage Manager. “Close the Curtain, and do it now!”
“What the hell for? This is out of this world.”
“Yes, and yet again it’s a fucking setup! Did you know about this?” The curtain closed as he was shouting at the man.
James came to the stage as Skye as the stage manager the question. “What do you mean Skye?”
“Why Grandpa? Why? I thought you would have been the last person to be involved in making me their fucking puppet all over again.”
“What are you talking about?”
Skye just looked at Jimmy. “Why set me up like this? I trusted you. I loved you.”
“Margarite and her people contacted us and told us you had tickets and that you were willing to do an impromptu show. It is the Countess Theatre; you do own this place?”
“She did what?” He then went pale. “I own what? What did you say?”
“You own this theatre. The Countess left it to you, The Countess Theatre Company.”
“Something else they forgot to tell me about! Just like the Oscar.”
“You never knew? She said that since it was your theatre you wanted to do it. She must be part of it, she’s taking over running you.”
Skye smiled. “They want blood then we’ll fucking well give then blood and a hell of a lot more. When the shit hits the fan, I want them to be the focus of the investigation.”
Jimmy looked at him. “What investigation? What, are you talking about?”
“You’ll know by the morning. Just make sure that Brent and Charlie know to question them and the family about it. I want the pressure to be on them and I want it to be nonstop.” He looked at James, “I want none of their ‘FAMILY’ anywhere near my homes. No-one enters them. No-one enters the businesses either.”
James smiled, “You are making me worried, but you know that I’ll do anything for you. I get the feeling that I’m not going to like it, but you know that I support you, no matter what.”
Skye walked out to the front of the curtains. “Ladies and Gentlemen, you must have heard all of the news recently about how I was classed as a slave all of my life and run by the people who called themselves ‘family’.” He said that word looking at the box with pure hate in his eyes. “Well I’ve just found out that I own this theatre and my guess is more than just this one.”
The conductor looked up from the pit. “Three others on Broadway alone and two on the West End and loads of regional theatres.”
“Glamma you forgot to tell me about this. Just like you forgot to tell your SLAVE that he was working tonight!”
The place was silent, but a little voice shouted, “Were you really locked in your room Skye?”
He looked out at the audience and just said, “Yes, I was.”
“So am I, but Granddad here doesn’t know.”
“What’s your name little one?”
“Bobby Whittle. Sir mum and dad, beat me when I don’t get the house work done on time.”
Skye looked at the man that was with him. He had tears rolling down his face. “I swear to god I never knew any of this young man.”
Skye looked at him, “Do you need help getting Bobby out of that situation and to safety?” The man nodded. Skye looked to the side of the stage, “Shark where are you?”
From the side of the stage Shark walked on. “Hey Bobby say hello to my pet Gorilla. His name’s Shark and he’s the nicest guy you’ve ever met other than his brother Wolf.”
“Hello Mister Shark…” The kids in the audience shouted.
“Hello kids. Bobby?”
“Yes, Mister Shark.”
“My friend Willow is waiting for your grandfather and you out at the reception with a detective friend of Skye’s called Brent Gordon. I promise they’ll look after you. You see the gorilla standing near your granddad?”
“That’s my brother, he has a phone number for you and if you ever need help you ring it and we’ll get to you. I promise.”
“I love you.”
“How old are you darling.”
“Oh baby, I love you too and we’ll be here for you. I promise.” At that the two were escorted out to the waiting help. “Shark make sure that they get tickets to see another show and to visit a filming or recording when I’m involved.”
“You got it boss.”
“As I was saying I came here tonight to watch a show, but someone thought that they can control my life and continue to run me as a SLAVE. Glamma stand up and let everyone see what type of bitch it takes to hurt a kid, so much that he grows to wish he had never met his Grandparents.”
“How dare you?” Margarite stood and tried to leave.
Wolf stood there, “You ain’t going nowhere lady. Answer the boss.”
No answer, so Skye looked at the children in the audience, “Come on kids encourage the nasty witch up there to tell us why?”
“I will make you suffer young man.”
“What’s new there Glamma? Showing your true colors are we? Maybe it’s time that the tables were turned! I’ve suffered for almost sixteen years madam, why change now? I mean those Mastersons have dropped off recently, you must be the general by now madam!” He walked to the side of the stage, “I’m sorry folks, I’m going home. Margarite D’Alzony will refund all of your tickets just present them at the reception.”
At that he walked off the stage with Shark and through the audience until her got to the door where the turned and looked at the box. “Do not even try to follow us. I don’t think I want to be anywhere near any of you at the moment. I’m sorry Colton / David. I love you little guys but it is so obvious that you were in on this with them. I’m heading home. I don’t think anyone has ever hurt me like this.”
* * * * * * * * * *
That was it. As soon as Shark and Wolf got him in the limo, he looked at them. “Drive me to the airport and call ahead, I want the plane kitted out and ready to leave as soon as possible.” As he got to the airport he just climbed on his plane and looked at the waiting pilot. “I want to disappear for at least two weeks. Take me somewhere that no one will think to search for me.” That was it he went and sat down on the seats and fell asleep.
The pilot looked at Shark. “What are we supposed to do?”
Shark smiled, “Make him disappear. Fly to Texas, our family have a small farm out there. We’ll stay with them for the foreseeable future and then face the music.” He looked around the plane. “I warn you, if this gets out before Skye is ready, then you answer to me. He needs this!”
* * * * * * * * * *
Skye must have been exhausted as he slept the whole time he was on the plane. As they were landing, he woke. “Where are we?”
Wolf smiled, “You’ve disappeared.”
“Where are we?”
“Texas, Shark and I grew up here. We’ll be staying with mamma on the farm that we grew up on. Though she can’t work the land now she still owns it.”
“What why?” Asked Shark smiling.
“Why is it the only people that are ever nice to me are people that aren’t family.”
“Because we love you boss. Shark and I are bothers and we have never had family. Hell, we never even had a papa when we were growing; sure, the Bluebirds looked after mum but we joined up to get our heads together. It was only by serving in the Marines that we found out who we really are. WE will never let anyone hurt you.”
“I need to call Ella, so that she’s aware but so that she can play up with others.”
Wolf smiled, “I spoke to Mary, she says they’ve tried to take over the estate.”
“BLUEBIRDS Activate tell her, get them off my all of my properties and seal the boundaries! If and when they are allowed back, then they are invited by me. Let Glamma and Berto sweat for a little while… I feel guilty because of Colton and David though.”
“They’re in on it, boss.”
“I know, but they’re only five. I should be there for them.”
“Five and trained vipers, possibly rattlers. Anyway, you will be but only once a lesson has been learned. I’d even let Jimmy stew. He’s already rung three times.”
Wolf looked at them both as he was driving their hired car. “Did you see Berto tonight?”
Skye shook his head. Shark nodded, “You mean happily talking away, as if he could hear everything his men were saying to him. I swear he ain’t deaf.”
Skye looked at them. “So, what have they done to the original Don? If we own that land that the estate is on, we might own the land between all of the estates. Get Mary to do a search, there must be a way of doing an aerial scan of the land around or something like that. If we can find them, then I want to. This might just explain why she never left him anything.” He went silent for a moment, “Two weeks and we return to New York and from there to Los Angeles. Notify Central, no one is allowed in the New York mansions while we’re away.”
* * * * * * * * * *
That was it Skye McElory went missing. His disappearance was on every news channel and though it ripped him apart he had to do it. After a week of riding and loving the farm that Shark and Wolf’s mum was about to lose to the bank, he decided to use some of his money for something that he enjoyed. That night he spoke to Ma Donaldson and the next day they were in the bank together.
When they left, he was the proud part owner of the Donaldson farm and had agreed to cover the costs of setting up massive greenhouses and nurseries, so that they could farm more productively on the land that they had and make the most of the environment as greenhouses would mean better watering and a constant environment for the plants.
Most importantly the owner from the ranch two farms over, who was a Bluebird as well and he agreed to help hire the staff that they would need to run the farm. He also agreed to work with Skye and the people on the farm to ensure that it was a success. Ma Donaldson was over the moon, mostly as it meant that she was able to keep her house that the boys daddy had built when they bought the land.
The second week Skye loved as he was able to work the land and went and got involved with normal everyday things. Shark looked at him at the end of the two weeks. “You are amazing, you know that?”
“I know…” He was just grinning as he said that, “You know that my share is being left to you and your brother if anything happens to me. I want you both to have something that’s yours. It just wasn’t right that your mum would have lost everything because her men weren’t around to help.”
Shark had been listening. “You know baby boy, I love you. You are, so loving and generous.”
“Only to my boys.”
“Ma, what’s wrong?”
She held the deeds to the farm. “The place is paid off and I ain’t going to lose it no more.”
Wolf and Shark smiled. “Skye?”
“The partnership is the land and business side of things; the house, the barns and everything has been paid off by the Bluebird fund. Larry said there was a fund that was set up specifically to help the crew to make it in life. He did this for you. Your mortgage is fully paid and the deeds are in your mums name and can only pass primogeniture to her son.”
“You mean sons.”
“No sir. Shark, I know Wolf is your lover. You keep it private, so that I’m not embarrassed and my safety isn’t compromised.”
Wolf asked, “How did you know?”
He smiled, “Let’s say this week you’ve let your hair down a little and it takes one to know one. Texas was not the place when you were kids to be seen to be lovers. I’d say your mum stepped in and took Wolf in when his parents were killed. Am I anywhere close?”
Ma Donaldson had been listening. “His Grandma raised him as his mother was an unwed teenager who took off once he was born. She wasn’t a Bluebird but his daddy’s family was. We all knew who it was but by then the kid had been killed in the that blasted war. We have no idea what happened to her. I was their neighbor and loved that old lady. Then when this little one bangs on the door one morning still in his pjs we knew something was wrong. She’d died in her sleep. Long story short we took Sean in and bought the land for the farm. It was then that he said he wanted to be called Wolf in future since his brother was already a Shark.” She nodded. “Thank you, Skye.”
“Me? What have I done?”
“Nothing and that’s exactly why I have to thank you.”
“Randy Jenkins will be calling each day and assigning a farm manager to work your land Ma; you are the boss and what you want, as far as I am concerned happens.”
“Greenhouses? Fruit… herbs… vegetables… I could start experimenting with recipes and see if we can launch a range of produce grown on the farm. I have always wanted to create something. Thank you, Skye.”
Shark was smiling as they got in the car at the end of their time on the farm. “You can’t help yourself, can you?”
Skye was smiling and just asked, “What?”
“Even when you’re not singing you just make people happy. I love you baby boy. We all do.”
“I know, that’s why it had to happen. You are my family.”
At the car window Ma stood and leaned in to kiss Skye’s cheek. “Visit me soon baby, you’ve got a home here now. No matter what happens elsewhere. Remember that, now go before you make me cry.”
“Thank Ma. I love you.”
“I love you too darling.”
* * * * * * * * * *
The first day after Skye went missing Craig Mavers went against Berto’s wishes and the news segment was all based around Skye, he even interviewed Maggy Drummond but refused to interview either of the Grandparents.
When Ella was there with him in tears the people around the world were worried about their boy. As the days grew close to a week, the police search was finding nothing. No clues as to what happened or even where the plane went. When no debris was found to indicate a crash, the search moved to the oceans and water. When nothing was found the search was called off and his loving family moved have him pronounced dead and all of his assets transferred to them.
At the end of the fortnight Ella orchestrated it so that she was filming on a street in Chicago and Skye walked passed her, seemingly in a daze. Her program immediately became news and Doctors were called. He was examined and no one could understand what had happened, so they pronounced severe trauma causing a complete temporary loss of memory.
Once they were back in the motel room Ella looked at him. “Do you think they’ll come out here.”
Cormack laughed, “They were going to petition Colm to pronounce him dead tomorrow, his plane has been missing over two weeks. Yes, they’ll be here. By turning up like this he’s blocked them getting it all and they are going to be desperate.”
Skye looked at them. “I don’t care about the money anymore. I just don’t want to be used and they are just as bad as the others. Even Colt and David, that’s the part that hurt most in all of this.”
Ella hugged him. “Oh baby, there are some of us that don’t give a damn who you are. We love you, for you.” That night Ella announced a live show the next day from the Countess Theatre where Skye would be honest and talk to his adoring public. As promised the next night Skye sat on the Chicago Countess Theatre stage and Ella watched and they heard. “Three, two, one and you’re live!”
Ella smiled at the cameras. “I’ve got my boy back folks. We’ve got our boy and he is all safe and sound!” The place went wild and the audience were on their feet cheering. Ella stood with them and then as she sat, she asked, “So Skye do we know what happened?”
“Well Ella I went out for an afternoon with my brothers to see a show and ended up being told literally that nothing had changed and I was still under their control and had to do what they wanted.”
“Did they say that?”
“No, but at least my SLAVE drivers told me when I had to do a show or when I had an audition. These monsters never told me anything and I was expected to be a full show with no rehearsal time at all, without my Bluebirds as my backing.”
“You know your Bluebirds have been very vocal about your disappearance and spoken out in ever paper and on every show that they could get on. They even had an interview with Margarite on the show which ended in a shouting match. You have good friends there as they never doubted you.”
“We’ve known each other for years, ever since Forever the Nay. We respect each other.” A stage hand walked on with note and handed it to Ella, who showed Skye and he nodded.
“Well folks I’d like to introduce our surprise guests, Margarite and Alberto D’Alzony. You might as well come on up as we know that you are there.”
“Bring the little traitors with you as well,” Stated Skye.
He heard a little voice. “Daddy they made me do it!”
Colton spoke next, “Berto said you would have to do it and they needed you making money for them now you were theirs.”
“Your deaf Granddad said that?”
“Of course, he did. We all know he’s deaf… not! Well, come on up anyway and let’s see what we can salvage.”
He was seated across the stage from the family grouping and Margarite went to move her chair closer. Shark stepped forward. “Put that down and sit down madam.”
“Well I never!”
Colton laughed, “Oh don’t say that as Skye will tell you it’s about time that you fucking well did.” Berto chuckled.
Ella looked at him, “Your hearing must be returning Mister D’Alzony.”
Margarite looked horrified, “His worry about our grandson has had a reaction on his hearing ability, it’s not perfect but it is better than it was.”
Ella smiled, “Of course it is dear.” She looked as the kids. “What do you think boys?” Silence. “Have you missed Skye?”
David was sobbing, “We were scared.”
Ella hugged him. “Why darling?”
“Their people told us he was dead and they wouldn’t let our security people anywhere near us. They told Uncle Charlie to piss off and die!”
Skye looked at his grandparents, “Now why would you do that?”
“Because as Don we have our own people.”
“As the grandson of the don they should be my people as well, but they never have been. Have they?”
Margarite sighed, “No… I need to change. Will you forgive us?”
“Time will only tell madam.”
She glared at him. “Can we go home to the estate in Los Angeles then?”
“No, I’ll live on my estate and you can visit and work on healing the rift that you have caused between us. That is how we will move forward, if you cannot accept that, then move on!”
Berto said slowly and signed, “Accepted!”
As they were leaving for the plane Ella pulled him to one side. “You be careful, if those two were fish they would be piranhas.”
“I love you Ella.” They hugged and he climbed into the car and they drove off. No one deliberately speaking to the D’Alzony contingent.
That’s all for now folks ... Chapter 26 will follow soon. I will continue to try to get at least one chapter posted per week as promised...
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