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Blood Is Thicker Than Water

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  • Blood Is Thicker Than Water

    Between the moment James walked through the door of her house, Jamie spent her time thinking. She'd never realized how many memories and emotions could be jammed into those few seconds before his arrival.

    Breathing steadily, Jamie pushed the button to open her door and watched it slide back, James standing on the other side. She cleared her throat and then moved out of his way, "Hey... um, come on in."

    Jamie closed the door behind him, directing him to the living area where he could sit down, plumping the pillows on the couch to help make him more comfortable before he sat. "Do you need help.. or?" she asked, moving to his side to help him sit. "You're looking better." she complimented, meaning it. For everything that James had been through, he was making leaps and bounds in his healing progress.

    "So, Kaiya tells me that Faline is adjusting well, I'm glad... How's it been for you?"

  • #2
    Emotionally, James finally back together. The biggest struggle had been with Faline, how she had been keeping her distance, but that was water under bridge at this point. James and Kaiya were full steam ahead in every aspect of their relationship, and with James stamina returning, things in the bedroom were very much back on track for the couple who were soon to be married. There was one more thing James needed to deal with. It wasn't anything related to the business of asylum. No, he had purchased a house with Kaiya for residency, gotten his name on the official custody papers with Faline once again, and was getting ready to make a short trip to Telos for an interview concerning an internship. Today was about one thing. It was time for the Brend twins to make their peace. Something which was long overdue.

    The chime sounded, and Jamie answered the door. Her greeting was very gracious, though he could sense the tension. They were twins after all, and so they knew each other better than either would like ever admit. The truth was, family was more important than all the reasons why James had left in the first place. It took everything that had happened to him to see it, but this tolerance of each other for the sake of the children needed to end. It was to love each other again, as a brother and sister should.

    "Thanks Jamie, but really the ribs are better. Believe me, Kaiya has been more than diligent in making sure I take care of myself, and testing out how much better I really am," James said with a smirk.

    The longer he stayed on Corellia, the more the Corellian came out in him.

    "Honestly, Jamie I'm okay. I've come to terms with what happened, and we are moving on as a family, but something still seems out of place," James said before looking Jamie right in the eyes. "I want my sister back... really back. No more of this tolerating each other for the sake of Faline and Andi. I want to put the past behind us. Kaiya and I are getting married you know, and I want you want to be there, not feel like you have to be."

    James paused and rememebred something Kaiya had said about having the will and ring to show Jamie when they were deciding what to do with Faline. James wanted to be sure that Jamie hadn't felt slighted.

    "My will, the arrangements for Faline, it didn't offend you did it?


    • #3
      "Woooah, little brother!" Jamie made a face and poked out her tongue at him. "I don't need to be hearing about that." She forgot how liberally he spoke about certain subjects, and more and more they seemed to be coming out, now that he was home again, safe.

      Finally, a smile settled on her face and she rubbed her hands against her thighs, taking the couch opposite of her twin and staring at him, deciding it was time for a drink. "So, need some caf? Water? Anything?" Even though she was glad to see him again, it was awkward. And not in the sense that they'd left on bad terms, but a lot more to do with him not being 'dead' after thinking him to be so for a long time. It would take her a little while to come to terms with it all, but apparently James was in the 'fixing' mood, so she wanted to hear him out. It was time for 'the talk'.

      Little did Jamie realize that the event would take place so soon!

      Blinking several times, surprised by the turn of conversation to their personal relationship and feelings towards each other. Jamie listened to all he had to say and finally shook her head, answering his last question first.

      " I was worried that if she stayed with us that she would be uncomfortable, I'm glad she wasn't ripped away from where she obviously belonged, which was with Kaiya." Did Jamie feel slighted? Not exactly, per say. Faline was her niece, so a certain part of her wanted to nurture and shelter her, bring her under her wing, so to speak. But Faline needed Kaiya, just as much as Kaiya had needed her.

      "Look... James..." she didn't want to cry, damnit! She felt all out of tears any more, hand't they dried up yet? "When Dad died... I thought that you were just afraid to deal with his death. I know... that you two left on bad terms, but you and I had always been there for each other, no matter what. Right? 'Cause that's what families do. I believed you'd come back, but then you didn't, and I held a grudge against you that festered for years. But... you know what was worse than you not showing up to a couple family reunions and dinners? Your 'death', I came to realize that those grudges just aren't worth wasting my life over, that in holing onto them.. I'd lost something a lot more important that I didn't think I would get back. i don't want to hold onto that anger any more... I really want to get our fresh start, brother... and not for the kids, but, because we're family. And.. I would be honored to go to your wedding with Kaiya. And... I'm sorry. For everything."
      Last edited by Jamie Perris; 09-19-2014, 10:35 AM.


      • #4
        "Oh come on Jamie, you're just as Corellian as I am," he said sticking out his tongue. "You know you're happy I've found someone that I can be happy with in every aspect of life."

        James smiled softly as he leaned forward to place his hand on Jamie's shoulder.

        "You know I want that for you two. The single parent thing is hard."

        At least Jamie wasn't offended by James' will. He breathed a heavy sigh of relief when Jamie said that it had even made sense for Faline. Sure Jamie was his sister, which made her the natural choice, but Faline had really learned to see Kaiya as her mother. This made James so very happy, and now that he was home, James was wasting no time in making things ready for the three to officially become the family they already were.

        "Well you know Jamie, no one every wrote, called, or even tried to contact me. At least that was how it seemed. No one told me dad died. No one told me you got married, and then widowed. I mean I left, and it seemed like everyone was okay with that. It also didn't help that was foolish enough to hop into bed with some intel chick becasuse of the promises she made about getting my career on the fast track. The only good which came from that was Faline."

        James pulled his sister close for a hug.

        "I'm sorry too. These past six months I told myself a lot of things would be different if I ever made it out alive, starting with us. I'm coming home. So you know, the past two weeks, I have gotten asylum, my NR citizenship restored, I will be leaving for Thani within the week to interview for an internship, and Kaiya and I bought a house just outside Coronet City, not too far from here actually. You're stuck with me."


        • #5
          "Yeah," Jamie coughed, trying to hide her discomfort a little. Really, gross. "I'm happy for you, I am, really." His twin smiled with him, holding eye contact until he brought up her 'single' parent status and then brushed her fingers through her brunette mane like she was uncomfortable.

          "It can be... Yes." she answered vaguely. "The hardest part is being away from Andi, and just going on faith that he's ok. I'm sure you understand. Trying to be a Mommy and a Daddy isn't easy." The last three years had been difficult for their family, and carrying all the weight on her shoulders was becoming more and more unbearable. But Jamie usually looked to be taking it well, always with a smile on her face. Not until recent events, did she begin to wear her heart on her sleeve. As the oldest, and only child left, Jamie felt the need to be strong for everyone else, but lacked the ability to be strong for herself. "I'm just not sure if I'm ready. I don't want to jump into anything, that's what I did the first time... and look where I ended up. I built up a cocoon of safety around myself, and.. it might take me a while to crawl out." Jamie said with a sad smile.

          "And yeah, I know. I know nobody ever tried to call, but it's also a two way street. I don't remember getting a call from you, either." Jamie snapped, then sighed, rubbed her face, and breathing out. "Ugh. I'm sorry. Let's not argue. Um. The important bit, is that you're back. I don't care about what happened in the past, I just want to move forward and make up on lost time."

          Being grabbed for a hug, took Jamie by surprise at first, but squeezed back just as tightly when she was over the initial shock. She pulled away after a few more minutes and rubbed a tear from the corner of her eye. "Getting all sentimental on me, eh?" Jamie chuckled "What did they do to you!?"

          Standing from the couch, Jamie walked over to the kitchen and opened the cooler, bringing back a couple of waters and tossing one to James. "Sounds like you're making all the right steps. I'm proud of you... and for what it's worth... I think Dad would have been proud of you too." Jamie took a breath and slowly sat back down. "So, who was it that kidnapped you, James? What happened?"


          • #6
            "Yeah, we need to let the past stay where it is," James said as he got very quiet.

            What had they done to him. Plenty, more than James wanted to ever remember, but now it was all flooding his mind. He had gone days without food, beatings were normal for a time. That wasn't the worst of it. Pain had been James friend for a time. The one thing which reminded him that his experience was not a dream was the constant throbbing he had learned to live with. James finally lifted his shirt after catching the water to let Jamie see the remainder of the discoloration from the electric shock and current which had been sent through his system.

            "I started cooperating when they started doing this. I figured if they wanted me dead I would have been. My only chance of leaving alive was to give them what they wanted, but then they wouldn't let me go. They continued to question me, and prod me about details I had already given them. If it weren't for Kaiya, and her contacts, I would still be there. I'm just so glad she didn't give up on me."

            James opened the bottle as he plopped back onto the couch. He took a long, slow, drink as if he thought he may never get water again. The man shrugged at the last question. James didn't know who they were, just that the took him.

            "I don't know," his head shook, "but I know they wanted info on the Empire, and the New Republic. I wasn't the only one they had in the makeshift prison facility. I just know we were held in the lower levels of Coruscant. Starkos and Tark complained about the smell the whole way back to Corellia," James chuckled.

            Those two salty dogs were quite the pair. Jack had fifteen to twenty years on Tark by looking at them, but they both behaved like a couple of young bucks. Though Jack and James did talk dad stuff. The old man complained a bit about some Jedi who needed to make his girl an honest woman. Though he was surely proud of the granddaughter. Her holo was in the cockpit of the ship, and whenever Jack saw it, he beamed.

            "Kay and I are going to find out who they are. We're keeping Starkos and Tark on retainer. His daughter will help when she can, and sounds like they have a connection with the Jedi to help also. We'll find out what is going on. Enough about me though. I'm curious about you. Any men come calling while I was away?"


            • #7
              Jamie settled into the nerf-hide leather couches and angled herself to face toward James, giving him her full attention with brown brows knit together, bottom lip caught in teeth, and hand mindlessly rubbing at her chin in full concentration.

              The healing bruises along his torso and side, left her inwardly cringing. The physical signs were there: a clenched jaw, her fingers wrapped tightly around the plastic bottle in her hands, and finally, for a brief moment, her eyes bound themselves tightly together, wishing she could erase the image now stored to memory. Her throat became tight with emotion, and her eyes flooded, heart pounding heavily inside her chest. "James... I... If I'd known, or ever had an inkling that..." she sniffled, feeling the lump form in her throat, and using her palm to wipe away the tears that wouldn't quit falling. How could they do this to her brother? To ANYONE? Half of her was infuriated, then the other half was ashamed. She should have been there for him, should have known he was still out there and been searching for him. "Thank God Kaiya found you." She said finally, wiping furiously at her eyes. Both shoulders slumped downward, and a smile tried to wiggle it's way on her face, but it wasn't working very well.

              "Let me know if you hear about any more information on them." Said Jamie, bracing herself for his next question.

              She sighed. "Faline told you, didn't she?" That had been his daughters right, certainly not something she wanted her to hide from James, but there was a small part of her that had hoped to not have to cross this bridge so soon, or rather, EVER. "... Not only did they come calling... but I know who the person is, that kidnapped your daughter. Or... I thought I knew them."


              • #8
                "She did tell me, but that's not what I was asking about," James said with a forgiving nod, though now he was curious. "I wasn't going to bring you up, becasue I've already forgiven you for it, but now you have me curious. What do you mean you thought you knew him, the kidnapper?"

                James just let the question hang in the air for Jamie to pick up or not. He too was not wanting to bring up the past so they could move forward, but here they were on this particular topic. Before Jamie had a chance to answer though, James spoke up again.

                "You don't have to answer if you don't want. I was wanting to know more about your personal life, you know on the relationship side of things."

                For whatever reason, this was now feeling really awkward. How did he move on from something, he was curious about, but really didn't want to make Jamie dig up. James just sighed and joined Jamie in rubbing his face, and temples.

                "Do we stink at this or what?"


                • #9
                  "Oh, Heh. I guess so." Jamie coughed, blinking several times and swallowing. Guys come calling. She replayed, grimacing at her own misinterpretation.

                  For a moment, Jamie was tempted to conceal her thoughts and not share any more with him. It would be easier to throw more shields up around her emotions and try to take the lone wolf road in a hunt for revenge on the people who did this to her family, but that path was dark and lonely. Jamie wouldn't let her family slip out of her grasp again.

                  "I need to tell you. I'd feel like I was betraying you if I didn't... and if it helps provide any clues to the people who did this to you James, then I have no right to withhold that kind of information."

                  Jamie took her time to consider her next words. She was not introspective by nature; this had been on her mind since Kal kidnapped Faline.

                  "When you died James, I'd lost a brother. A grief that I couldn't even begin to try and define, or make sense of. But then when your daughter was taken? I went crazy. She was the only piece of you that was left, and I blew it. It was MY fault. And you know why? Because it was my husband that took her. You were dead. Faline, gone." Jamie stopped and breathed, trying to settle herself. "I buried him James. I was the one who identified his body after he died, and that was it. I thought that was the end. But if it wasn't him, then how would he have known where that family home was? That was a secured location, a place of safety that few know about." There were reasons for that, too. Their family had never been a stranger to conflict, but when it came to relationships, it seemed like every one of them was a little vague on the coordinates. How could she have not realized who the enemy really was? Even after Kal had terrorized Corellia, Jamie had still fought to try and maintain that he was an honorable man.

                  With great effort, Jamie pushed herself off of the couch and went to pull out a datapad she had swiped, tossing it at James. "I don't know what his motives were, or why he targeted us... but I managed to get my hands on that," she pointed at the datapad in James lap "It's locked tight, but a professional slicer should be able to get it open."

                  Jamie sat back down again, crossing her legs and taking another drink from the bottled water, trying to quite the roaring emotions that boiled inside her chest.

                  “I don’t want to be ‘reactive’ any more, rather… ‘proactive.’ As in find them first, before they find us. Whatever happens from here on out James, there’s only one thing that’s important, and that’s to look out for our own and not rely on others to protect us. Otherwise? We’re always going to be looking over our shoulder.”

                  "Um... as for my personal life... It sucks." Jamie said bluntly. "Mainly because of my own problems. I mean, Tadel was a great guy... but I was afraid to take our relationship to the next level, I know he cares about me and he respects me, he's sweet. I just can't, I don't want to ruin the friendship we have by complicating it with love. There's someone else, too, but I don't know if we have a chance. He's the nerf herder special! No... he's nice. We're just... different, really different. He reminds me of a time when I used to be fearless and full of adventure. He challenges me in ways that both aggravate and amuse me, but he also reminds me vaguely of Kal. The Kal that I knew, loved, and lost, and I can't do that again. Not to mention that both of them are fellow pilots! Do you know how much harder that makes my job? Andi needs a Daddy, I just want to be sure about the person I choose to share my life with."


                  • #10
                    "If you think you burried him, if you ID'd his body, then it was him. I would venture to say that you were dealing with a clone or some kind of twin. It's not all impossible with what the empire was into, especially on an intelligence end."

                    Having been an intern, and the elicit affair with a member of Imperial intelligence, James knew some things about what would be plausible or not. Just because Jamie thought the man that kidnapped Faline was her husband, it did not mean that was the case. Still there was something to look into. The questions Jamie had, James could not answer. A clone would not have known the location of the family home, a clone would not have had any information about who Faline was, and it was clear based on what both Faline and Jamir had idicated, Faline was the target. Then James had an idea.

                    "How long ago did this happen? This group seemed to know my movements. If this person could have been working with them."

                    James let it be at that, but before he moved on to what he really wanted to talk to Jamie about orginally, James looked his sister in the eye.

                    "Kaiya and I have already determined to do everything we can to find these people. The New Republic is going to look into this, and we are retaining Starkos and Tark for this investigation. His daughter runs the company, and she has connections to the Jedi, or to a certain Jedi, as well. We will get to the bottom of this, but in the meantime, live your life like there is nothing to worry about."

                    James finished his water, and laid into the back of the couch. He listened to what Jamie said about the two men, one James knew very well, the other, well Jamie didn't even name. To James the solution was a simple one, but he wasn't going to make her choice for her. As a brother, he wanted Jamie to be happy, well cared for, and loved.

                    "So to sum things up, Tadel is safe and comfortable. He gives you the companionship you want with you having to put your heart on the line. The other guy reminds you of you of who you were before Kal died, and makes you feel like you could live again... Does that about sum it up right?"

                    James sat forward again, reached into his pocket, and pulled out a portable device which carried a digital holo of Kay on one side and Faline on the other. It was a recent gift from the two ladies, one which made him smile. He sat it on the coffee table in front of them with the holo of Kaiya facing them.

                    "You know when I met her, we were getting in the same taxi speeder on Coruscant. We were both running late, and when she followed me in and our eyes locked, I just knew I had to go out with her. We paid the driver extra to get us there fast, and the way he pulled us in we were tossed around, the contents of her purse and my brief case got mixed up on the floor, and she got thrown into my lap. I just knew I had to see her again as she ran off. Fortunately our comms got mixed up and we had to exchange them later, which led to me asking her out, her saying yes, and well, for the first time since Faline had come into my life I knew I could love another woman. Since I had been a dad I finally found myself scared to death because I wanted Kaiya in my life. She had me feel like I could live again. I extended my visit and stayed an extra day with her. Then the best thing happened. She didn't get scared off when I told her about Faline. I have never been happier. Yes we had to deal with the distance for a while, was it ideal, no. Would it have been ideal for us to have been married when what Faline needed was a mother, but I chose a career woman, no, but sometimes love doesn't follow what's ideal. Andi needs a dad yes, and whoever you choose needs to be able to understand that, want that, and be selfless enough to actually be that. You though, you need to pick someone for you, because at the end off it the man who wins your heart needs to value that above Andi. So what if they're pilots. I know you don't want to get hurt again, but Jamie, the people who love you seems to be the ones who hurt us the most."

                    James paused.

                    "Now give me a name on this other guy. Tadel I know, this other guy, I'm gonna check him out."


                    • #11
                      "About two months ago, give or take. And I know Kal's parents, he doesn't have a twin..." But then that posed the question of why it was they had lied to her? Or, maybe, Gael and Kandra honestly didn't know what Kal had been doing in his spare time. "I just don't understand why anyone would want to clone him." That costed credits, resources; cloning wasn't a cheap venture and there was a lot of risk involved. Jamie herself, didn't like or support cloning. What's dead should stay dead. Angry was a huge understatement for how she felt about her dead husband being cloned. "There are too many unknown details at play. But I know that he was after Faline."

                      Jamie averted her eyes from James and folded her arms together, sighing wearily. James had been through a lot, but he had all the enthusiasm that a pilot had from having only flown one mission that was a successful one. If he and Kaiya kept probing the rancor, eventually it would turn around and bite 'em. He'd loose that exuberance in short time. "I'm always here if you need me, James. You don't even need to ask. Family is always my main priority." Jamie smiled, then listened for the next couple of minutes in silence to what James had to say. Not interrupting, but just letting him talk.

                      It was all true. What he said at the end. But the emotional turbulence wasn't there to overwhelm her like normal. Instead she regarding him silently and steadily.

                      "I know I have my own part in this, but it's not only about .." Jamie sighed. "I know the chance and the risk involved. I don't want to lose anyone else. I worry about Andi, about you, about Kaiya, about Faline. And this war we're in? It's far from over. Adding someone else to that list seems irrational and crazy at a time like this." Jamie heard the excuses pouring out of her mouth, even if they were justifiable. "But his name is Dirks Hutchinson. Just... don't go all 'crazy' brother on this, ok?"