It was not long before they had all made their way to the cars to drive off to the Countess Hotel for the luncheon that Skye’s family were laying on for the people who came out to say good bye to Marcy. It meant that Skye would have to endure the laughter and joking that invariably happens at the end of all funerals.
We have all been to funerals that are pretty quiet and sombre affairs, but eventually someone will say something that will make Aunty Mavis laugh as she remembers poor Grandpa Joe who they just buried. She will then have to tell a rude joke about Grandpa when he farted one day at school and got caned by the headmaster who had caught him.
Of course, Aunt Mavis being Aunt Mavis will take great delight in saying that with every whack that the head laid on Grandpa the poor boy farted in the man’s face again. By the time the story ends the place is fits of laughter as everyone tried to remember the worst stories of the poor bugger that they just buried. Shame times change as that could never happen now, but the stories are fun.
With that one story and the laughter as it erupts other stories would be born and soon the whole wake would turn into a party remembering the poor bugger that they just buried by sharing the most embarrassing story. Some families are worse than others, but Skye had been to funerals and also in films that had funeral scenes in and it was the one part that failed to make any sense to Skye. He never like his mother, but the way they laugh about her hurts him possibly more than it would do if they had been close.
* * * * * * * * * *
Before that though as they are walking out of the cemetery and towards the cars one of the many men that were there in the church walked up to him, “So, you’re the bastard that I’ve been paying for all these years. I’m your father, come on, we’re leaving.” Skye screamed as he grabbed him painfully by the arm and marched him off to a cheap dirty looking Toyota. As he dragged him, he also ripped the arm in his newly measured suit jacket.
Before they reached the car, Officer Jake had the man handcuffed and on the ground with his foot holding him there until he could get the attention of everyone. Rory looked at the man. “Who the hell are you?”
“Josh Bell, I was school star quarterback when Marcy was cheerleader. Don’t you remember me? I remember you as you were always a Wimp!”
“Oh yes. I remember you as a complete and utter pillock! Why were you kidnapping my son?” He held up his hand to hold off Officer Jake from arresting the man.
“Marcy was with me when she got pregnant.”
“Wrong! Marcy was my wife. I had a paternity test done when we separated to protect Skye from something like this happening. Skye is one-hundred percent mine!”
“Fuck! That little bitch has been claiming child support from me for years. Been paying her too, so ma wouldn’t find out. That fucking bitch took me!”
Skye laughed, “You should have insisted on a paternity test and called her bluff then!”
Another voice from off to the side by the front of the car suddenly joined in. “She also took me good and for the same reason; from what I can tell there are at least six of us walking around thinking the little bastard’s our kid. I figure the boy owes us!”
Etta looked on horrified. “You figure wrong Marcus Bowman! Marcy fleeced this child for over two million dollars and worked him like a plough horse since the day he was born! Now if any of you have paid that much to the bitch and still feel you have claim then I’ll listen to your claim when we take you to court!”
* * * * * * * * * *
Colm and Cormack were watching the proceedings from a distance. Father Patterson, the priest, was standing with them. Cormack was about to head over to the men. “No Mack leave it, let them protect him for a change.”
Cormack looked at the priest. “Did he see everything in the Crypt Robert?”
Father Patterson smiled, “He never said, but he knows the Bluebirds are watching over him and always will be there if he is in danger. I think he knows the secret because he asked for time alone in there and bolted the door once they were out.”
Colm smiled, “If he is just standing there smiling like he is, he’s found the secret and will protect it with his life like the others have if I know Skye.”
“Has Wimpert made their move yet?” asked Colm.
Father Patterson shook his head, “Not yet. We’re ready when they do. I think there’s more to it though and I think their family is divided going by all of the reports that are coming in. Do we know any more about the General?”
Cormack shuddered, “Only that she has been placed in that position by McRoy and we have to be ready for anything.”
Father Patterson nodded. “All we can do is watch and protect as our families are sworn to do gentlemen. I am available at your call as usual. Colm I think Skye needs a butler and a chef of his own, that way Mark and Ryan can be placed as his watchmen.”
“Mark Patterson and his lover Ryan Abram both Ex-SAS. Your son and ancestor of the Bluebird Quartermaster. I cannot imagine anyone better to in place to watch over him.”
“Quint Patterson all those years ago. I wonder if he knew his family would be quartermasters for the Bluebird for over three hundred years?”
Cormack looked at him. “Robert your family earned that position and have guided the ancestors in protecting the Captain and his lover ever since. Father Robert Patterson, minister of the church where the Bluebird himself rests; his future protection couldn't be in better hands. Just like Larry Fawkes and his family have always been the Bluebird Bursars, even the Bluebird himself recognized that.” They nodded and separated.
As they were doing so Father Patterson looked back to the tomb, “I think things are about to unfold gentlemen and their secrets revealed.”
* * * * * * * * * *
Skye in the meantime looked at the man, “Josh? I know your face and your voice. You used to visit mother when I was locked in the basement. She always had money when you’d left, so I assume you paid for her services. Sex, as she literally couldn’t do anything else. I know your voice as you’re a screamer when you cum. ‘Fucking take that bitch!’
“Sorry Nanna, but the language I heard was usually far worse than that. His wife might like to know that he uses prostitutes.” He looked around at the men gathered. “There at least seven or eight other faces that I recognize for the same reason. I may have been locked in the basement gentlemen, but it has a window that I could see the world out of… I have ears and could hear most of you since you very vocal. The script? A little predictable and I quote, ‘Oh fuck that feels, sooo good Marcy!’ and then there’s always ‘Get ready bitch here cums daddy…arghhh…’ I think that was you mostly Josh.”
Etta continued, “Exactly dear, but I do not need to know any more. Now will your wives like to know that you use prostitutes, gentlemen? As to whether Skye owes you all or not, well… In order for us to entertain that claim you would have had to have been beaten every night and locked in your room when you were not working with only a TV that could tune into news channels and a basement window to give you any sanity…”
She looked at them all. “I have never heard anything so disgusting from grown men. Now I’ll tell you, continue with this and all of your families will find out! You say six men? I say nine wives are waiting for me to indicate that I need the chat I’ve already spoken to them about. Two of the wives are married to the same person Edward.”
“Etta, you wouldn’t dare! It would ruin me. Nan’s pregnant and her family has the money. We’d be homeless!”
“Marcus, think very carefully then, especially since you work for my accountants. I might be retired, but I do still own them and your employment is currently under review.”
“No, it isn’t! I excel in all my work.”
“When you threaten my family sir, believe me it is definitely under review! I have the power to ruin every one of you that tries to hurt my grandson. Consider that!”
Adam had seen the commotion and was not well pleased. “I also have the power to have each and every one of you arrested. I have files of past misdemeanors the police ignored but they are still, shall we say… not time served? Spread the word and think very carefully boys. This boy has my family’s protection. I suggest you all leave now and forget the past.” Everyone left after giving their condolences to Skye and none of them turned up to the get together at the hotel.
Etta looked back at the family mausoleum where the body of Marcy lay in the McElory family plot. “I think it’s time we said goodbye once and for all. Let’s make a move people.”
Skye looked back to the McElory mausoleum. There placing flowers with the rest that had been strewn around the door was a small boy. Suddenly he placed his hand on the door and started to talk as if someone could hear him. He was alone, but there was two women standing off in the distance. “Let me head to the tomb for one last time. Daddy do you know who that boy is?”
Rory looked up, “I’ve never seen him before. Let’s go and find out together.”
“We can head up there together, but I’ll talk to him privately by myself as he looks upset and I don’t want to scare him.” Together they all walked back to the McElory family mausoleum and Skye walked the final distance alone. “Hello, did you know my mother?”
"Are you Skye?" the boy asked as Skye walked up to him. Skye nodded. The boy continued. "They told me not to give this to you, but I think you need to see it. I know Father Patterson and he said I should go with my heart."
“You know the priest here?”
“Yes, he visits the Academy and we can talk to him when we need to. He has been there for many of us boys.” Skye smiled, the Bluebirds were there looking out not only him but boys just like their ancestors. The women with the boy, even though standing in the distance looked surprised that he handed Skye an envelope. All Skye could do was wonder who would tell him not to hand him not to it. Obviously, the women but there was more to it and Skye could feel that.
“Come on, let’s sit on that bench and chat.” Skye sat down with the boy and slowly pulled pictures out of the envelope. He looked around as he wanted to make sure no one else could see them and then carefully he looked at the pictures. He was going to show Etta, but remembered how she had been the night before and kept what he saw to himself.
There on the photos, he could see his mother in a hospital bed with a baby. What shocked him most was that he could clearly see Rory sitting at the bedside, and from the date on the picture they had already separated. More worrying was he also saw Etta and Travis as well. He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up to see Father Patterson, “All will be well my son.”
“Thank you, father. I know now.”
Patterson smiled, “Keep your own counsel at the moment Skye.” Skye looked at the old man and nodded putting the pictures back in the envelope. Finally, he pulled out several certificates from the envelope. First, there was a birth certificate which read, . “Colton? I like that name.” He said to the small boy which made the boy smile.
Skye opened the final document, it was an adoption certificate. “Colton Phillip Peabody, male child, $200,000.” He looked up at the women. “You bought Colton?!” He then looked at the boy. “How old are you mate?”
“Five. They agreed my mummy and daddy would adopt me as mother signed away all her rights… is that the words? It was legal as it was witnessed by daddy’s attorney, Uncle Adam.”
Skye remembered the private investigator and his investigation. “Adopt? They paid for you though Colton, I’m afraid that’s not adoption…” He never said anything out loud but looked at Adam and saw Father Patterson shaking his head for him to keep his own counsel.
Colton smiled. “I guess it was a bit dangerous...”
What Rory said next confirmed it had involved him. “Walking across a road can be dangerous these days. They purchased a commodity, all we did was bank the benefits.” All of the family were standing close to him by now, having moved over when he said about buying Colton.
“We?” Skye looked at Rory and then at the others around him and wondered if he really knew any of them. Just who were his family? “Yes, it can be dangerous Rory, especially if you’re with the wrong people; or if it involves Adam or the general.” No one said anything, but many were left taking particular notice of their feet. He was shocked to see that included Officer Jake.
Colt looked adoringly at Skye. “Anyway,” that told Skye he was also involved in some way, “my adoptive Mummy and Daddy have a house in New York and so does my Texan Meemaw, mummy’s mummy.” He pointed at the grave, “That lady called Piss-a-booby.”
Skye giggled. “Peabody.”
“Yea her. Anyway, she never wanted me, daddy says I was a business transaction. I think that’s the word.”
Skye looked horrified as the women walked over to them. “Is that all he was to you?”
“What do you mean?” asked the older woman.
“Is that all he was to you? A business transaction? No more, no less?”
Skye was an actor and a flipping good one so he could see that they were feigning offense, and badly. It was the younger woman that spoke, “No! He’s the son we could never have.”
Little Colt looked at Skye in almost hero worship. “The lady never wanted nothing to do with me. Daddy’s married to mummy, but she can’t have children. That’s why they paid for me. I wanted to say thanks for having me and goodbye.”
“Is your father really your daddy?”
“No, it was George Winters or something like that…”
“That’s him. Well, that’s what they said. Daddy didn’t want to do it, so he and went to this lady that Meemaw knew. They said my real mummy was already pregnant after getting this man called George to have a wank and to give it to her… Mummy what’s a wank?”
“Skye giggled. “I don’t think you need to know that at the moment.”
Colt smiled. “Ok, Skye…”
Skye got thoughtful, “I wonder what happened to her, to make her do such a thing?”
Colton looked at him, “Mummy said that Meemaw knew all about my real mummy and that she regularly got pregnant and sold the babies on to others. Meemaw said that she was a right little tramp!” He paused and looked at Skye trying to think what to say. “It was Uncle Adam that arranged it all. Daddy said she used a turkey baster, whatever that is; I sure hope it wasn’t the one he used on the turkey this thanksgiving!”
“George...” He shook his head and changed the subject. Then he realized that George hadn’t turned up at the funeral, saying that he couldn’t get the time off work. Skye looked at his brother and smiled. “She used to beat me…”
“I know. I think I could feel she’d do it to me if daddy had purchased me. Now it’s him when he’s angry.”
“Where’s your dad?”
“At home, working. I don’t think he likes me. He works from home a lot and only goes into the office when he needs to process a new kid. Mum and Meemaw came with me to say goodbye and to see my big brother.”
“Process a kid?” Skye mumbled to himself. He looked at his brother, “Why doesn’t your daddy like you?”
“He hits me. Only when Meemaw and mummy won’t see, but he hits me.” Skye had tears in his eyes realizing that they were kindred spirits. “Where were you when she was having me Skye?”
“She sent me off to Ireland to appear in a Disney film, after that I went to Europe to do photo shoots and promotions in the different Disney stores for the film. I stayed with the director and his family until we came home. We were gone for more than a year. I was ten and by myself in strange countries, with only the director and my tutor looking after me. Would you believe Mother never even called me on the phone? Now I know why, she was having you and she never told me.”
Colton looked shocked, and yet excited. “I thought I knew you. Connor O’Donal from ‘Forever the Nay’ about the young magician that saved Ireland by receiving the Dragon’s blessing. It was a ruddy good film mate. Disney films always are though you know. They never told me who you were… Conner please don’t hate me.”
“Hate you? Oh Colt, no matter what’s happening I could never hate you little one. Did you know that I’m about to appear in another Disney film? I think they’re calling it The Dragon’s Breath, a sequel to Forever. I’m not sure as I know very little about it so far.”
Colton looked thoughtful. “It’s weird really, Dragon’s breath and Dragon’s blessing and yet so far we haven’t seen a ruddy dragon. Do they exist?”
“Connor’s magic was given to him by the Dragon so they must do; well, I believe in them anyway.”
The little boy was nodding. “Me too, it makes sense that they have to.”
Rory had been listening and looked at the boy. “Forever was Skye’s best work. You know it is based on an Irish legend about a boy over there?”
“I know sir, in the academy we have been studying the Irish legend and watching Forever the Nay in class. Skye was magnificent sir.”
Looking at Skye, Rory said rather guilty, “I never knew she sent you alone or Travis would have come out to stay with you.”
Skye knew that he was lying and Colton looked at the envelope and knew as well but kept silent wondering what he had gotten involved in. Skye looked at Rory, “The producer was Petrov dad. I’ve worked for him many times when he was the director, but this time he was the producer and executive director. Grandpa Jimmy was the main director. I call him Grandpa Jimmy now and Petrov I even call Pops as I work with them so much. I loved staying with them, for a whole year it was like having a proper family at last…” He looked at Rory as he said, “I’ve never known a proper family before daddy.” Rory looked angry.
Skye smiled as he looked at Colton, “Would you believe that they even took me on holiday to London after we completed the filming. That was followed by a schedule of appearing at Disney stores to promote the film, which started in Oxford Street. Once the tour around Europe was complete, we returned to London, months later, for the premier of the film which was held in the West End. That was the first time I met the Queen of England and Prince Harry. You’d like him as he was funny and reminded me of Connor.”
“Grandpa Jimmy? Is that James Noble-Clarke?” asked Rory.
“Yes. Petrov was the first director I did any acting for; it was through him that I met James and from then onward I got most of my work from him. We just clicked and he knows that we work well together.”
Rory put his arm around Skye’s shoulder. “James is a good man, it was him that was feeding information back to me about you. He’s a good friend son.”
Two women walked closer and put their arms around Colton. Skye looked at them as the younger one gasped “Connor O’Donal!”
“Mum, Connor is my brother, isn’t that way cool! Of course, his name is really Skye McElory.”
Skye looked at the ladies. “We were just leaving. Ma’m, I’d like to stay in touch with Colton if I may. I want to stay friends as we grow up. After all, we are brothers.”
Stella Castillo, Colton’s mother stepped up to Colton and pulled him to her. “I think he would love that.” She rummaged through her handbag. “Look, here are my details on this card, I work in Real Estate and own my own business; Colton’s father Stefan is a patent attorney in Manhattan.”
“Patent attorney, and yet he works from home?”
“No, he goes into the office. Here let me put Colton’s personal details on the card. He has a mobile and an email. Even when he’s away at school, he has those with him.”
Skye looked at the woman. “He goes into the office to process another child. Out of the mouth of babes Stella? What do patent attorney’s do with children?”
The older woman looked at Skye. “He works with patents of course! Why all the blasted questions?”
“I want to know my brother ma’m.”
The old woman smiled. “He works at home to prepare documentation for the requests, he finds the peace of home better for his work.”
“Ahh that makes sense so when he is processing someone it’s not a child; it’s the patent request of someone. That makes a lot of sense.” Skye just knew that they were letting more out about what was really happening than what they meant to do. He looked at the younger woman. “You said about school?”
“Yes, even when Colton is in school, he has his phone and emails with him so you can stay in touch.”
“WOW! I’ve never been to school. My tutor travels with me and I have eight hours a day starting at 6:00am before filming. Study lasts for four hours and then it starts again at 15:00 in the afternoon until supper at 19:00. He says I’m only fifteen but equivalent to someone in Junior year at high school. I can speak four languages already and I’m learning my fifth.”
The younger woman, who he had found out was called Stella asked, “Have you ever taken a placement test dear?”
“No, always too busy acting, I guess. My tutor gives me regular tests and assesses where my level of understanding is. I must admit if schools push you to learn new things like he does, then I don’t know if I’d like to go there. His attitude is that if you find a subject easy, then he isn’t setting the work at the right level,” Skye replied.
“Will you ever be back in New York?” Stella asked.
“I live there, but it’s only fleeting as I tend to be whisked off all of the time to the next job. If all goes well, we’ll be moving to Los Angeles.” Skye thought for a moment and then added, “I will be working on interviews here soon and soon I’ll be filming here in a new series.”
“Then plan on having a free day while you’re here and we’ll get the academy to test where you would be if you were in school.”
Skye looked at Rory. “Can we daddy? I have to film here with the new series if it comes off. We could visit the school then.”
Rory looked at the strangers and Skye could tell he was not happy. “Skye is about to star in a new TV series called Soaring High, so although he’ll be moving to Los Angeles he’ll be here as filming demands even though he’ll travelling between here and the studios in Los Angeles all of the time.”
Colton was jumping up and down from one foot to the other as if he needed the toilet. “WOW! That’s the new musical TV show they’re raving about. Supposed to be starting at Christmas with a special feature length edition.”
Travis had joined them and was standing with Rory, as Adam and Etta looked on. “The Christmas episode is the feature length launch of the series that will be shown in America, England and Australia at the same time and on massive cinema screens in major cities like London, Sydney and New York. I’m glad you like it as I’m the composer of the music and creator of the show. In the Christmas edition you’ll meet Coyote Hawkes and his dad as they move to a new town.”
“You’re Travis P Doony? That means he must be Rory McElory the famous film director. Oh – My – God, of course you are! Skye McElory would have a daddy call McElory! Silly me I should have known.”
Skye was laughing at his brother’s antics, “These are my dads Colton.”
Colton looked at him and then said, “You have to be joking… I mean they are the best in the business!”
Rory looked around conscious they needed to move on. “Anyway, we’ll be filming some of the series her New York, perhaps you and your family would like to visit the set and watch him filming. He’ll also be recording the music, laying down the tracks, so you could have a tour of the studio and then sit and watch him record the songs. Newspapers and TV reporters will be there at the same time and when he’s finished singing, they’ll be the usual questions and answers session.”
“Can we mummy?”
Stella looked from Colt to Skye. “Well… he is your brother! How can we say no? We’d love to Mr. McElory… Thank you.”
Paula M Vicourt, Colton’s Meemaw smiled when Skye spoke to her alone. “Please ma’m watch over my little brother for me. If ever he comes to you… protect him.”
She looked at her daughter and then Skye. “I know what you mean young man. Trust me, I love the little one, so I will protect him with my life. You never know, you might like the family. I mean, you already know his uncle Adam.” Thoughts of the reports from the Private Investigator ran through Skye’s mind and the fact Adam had a sister called Paula. Could it be possible?
Skye looked horrified and gulped. “Adam?”
Paula smiled, “Yes, he’s my brother. That’s how I found out about the pregnancy. Of course, I told my daughter and her husband straight away and they then took steps to adopt the child once it was born.” Child not Colton, it not him Skye thought. She continued, “You must have known.” Score one! Proof that Adam knew about the ‘Adoptions’. “You must… I mean he’s here with you.”
“Yes… I must have… known.” Skye was lost in his thoughts.
She smiled, “Poor Marcy…”
“You knew my mother?”
“We never actually met, but I heard of her when we got involved with the adoptions. I mean, we now work with Adam and the adoption people to find suitable parents for the children that need placements. You must admit giving a child to people unable to have one is a good thing. That’s why when you were talking about patent attorney, well I just couldn’t understand as we work for the agency now.”
As Skye was about to say “I need to go...” Cormack and the Father Patterson suddenly appeared. “Skye, we need to talk to you urgently please.”
“Father Patterson, is something wrong?”
Patterson nodded. “We have an emergency and need your help son.”
Cormack looked at the family, “I’m sorry something has come up with his latest job that we need to sort out. James is aware and will be with him.”
He looked at the women, “Excuse me…” He looked at Rory who was fit to spit blood. “I’m needed… elsewhere.”
Paula looked at him and then Adam, “I’m sorry, have we upset you?”
Skye shook his head, “No... It’s nothing like that. I… I’m just needed by the church at the moment.”
Colton hugged his brother. “I’m sorry if I’ve upset you Skye.”
Skye smiled and knelt down to the level of Colton. “Little one you could never upset me. How they went about adopting you upsets me. I wish you had been adopted properly. Your parents broke the law. Now, you be a good boy for them, and we’ll see you when I come back here in a few days’ time…”
He turned and walked away with Father Patterson, ignoring the looks of his family. He turned, “Colton?” Skye called out to his brother.
“I’ll always be there for you from now on. We’re brothers, if you ever need me then just contact me and I’ll be there.”
He went to walk away, but was stopped by Etta. “Where do you think you are going young man?”
Father Patterson looked at her, “I have asked him to sing for the baptism that is about to happen. It is a young family that he worked with in the documentary that he hosted last month for children’s TV. They don’t have a lot of people there for them and have asked if Skye could sing.”
“I want to do this Nanna.”
She was about to say something when Cormack stepped forward. “Etta, Colm and myself will stay so that we can bring Skye home once the service is over.”
She looked at them. “Well, if you are sure that you don’t mind.”
Colm smiled, “Of course we don’t mind being there for Skye.”
“Very well then. We’ll expect you when we see you.” When Skye got home later that day, he never told them what had happened.
That’s all for now folks ... Chapter 5 to follow soon. I will try to get at least one per week from now on..
Let me have you comments and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org ... All suggestions considered.
I have to say a huge thank you to Nigel Gordon for his guidance and editing that has helped me so much.