I Will Love You Forever Pt. 2 Ch. 12bykalamazoo707©
Peter kept a close eye on Andrew trying to figure out what he would do. If there weren't any other people around, he would just confront him and get it over with. As it stood, if Andrew pulled the gun and just started shooting; he would kill or maim more than just his original target.
The more he thought about it, the more he realized that the best course of action was to get Kenji and Joel out of the room. He glanced back at Trevor and winked. It was the signal to be ready to move. Peter wasn't worried about Trevor not understanding. They had worked together before and understood each other.
Peter looked at Kenji and Joel. Without a doubt he thought them two of the bravest men he had ever met. He had high regards for Kenji before he met him. When he heard his and Patricia's story, he had been nothing short of blown away.
That he would defy custom and the sentiments of the times made Kenji a much stronger man than he was. He didn't think that he could do it, but then he hadn't met anyone that he thought worth fighting for. He admired Patricia as well. For her to have married a Japanese man when they had been labeled the enemy was nothing short of amazing.
When he went to meet them, he could feel the love that they had for each other and their family. This eclectic family that was made up of whites, blacks, Japanese and Jews was closer than his family. He wondered what his family's reaction would be if he brought home a woman who was other than white. They talked the talk; but would they walk the walk?
The sound of someone clearing their throat brought him out of his thoughts. He looked over at Andrew who was studiously taking notes. He glanced back at Trevor and was pleased to see that the small, but wiry agent had moved several seats over and two rows down. By the end of class, he would be much closer.
The minutes ticked slowly by. The closer the end of class got, the tenser Peter became.
Kenji still couldn't fathom the intense hatred that Andrew had for him. In the beginning, he understood, but now the hatred that Andrew had was all consuming. He knew that Andrew had something in his bag by the way he moved his hand. He was equally as sure that it was a knife or a gun.
"A gun." He murmured under his breath.
He looked over at Joel hoping that he would look back at him. Finally, Joel looked at him.
"You must leave." Kenji whispered.
"No." Joel replied.
He had already decided that he wasn't leaving under any circumstances.
"Joel!" Kenji whispered urgently.
Joel ignored him and continued taking notes.
Andrew stole glances at Kenji. If Peter had been a just a minute later, there would have been one less Jap in the world. As he thought about it, he realized that Peter had probably saved his life. Once again, he had almost acted impulsively. Had he managed to kill Kenji, he himself would be either dead or in prison on death row.
He made a mental note to thank Peter when they had a moment alone. Even as he realized that he had been impulsive, Andrew's anger grew and he itched to take the gun out, aim it at Kenji's dark head and fire.
He took a deep calming breath and realized that he didn't have to do it alone. He would ask Peter, his new second in command to help him. It would be a test that Andrew knew no one else in his group would pass.
Considerably calmer, he turned his attention back to the lecture. The material would be included on the next exam that he had to pass as well as every exam afterwards. He looked at Kenji again and smiled before going back to taking notes.
Ernie sat in the back trying to make sense of the lecture. Parts of it just weren't making sense to him. He looked around the classroom trying to figure out who he knew well enough to ask for help. The student sitting next to him wasn't an option. He was already swearing as were several other people.
He kept looking around until his eyes rested on the forms of Kenji and Joel. Kenji was at the top of the class and Joel wasn't too far behind. He noticed the calm way in which they listened and took notes. They were his best chance of passing this class, but would they help him?
He had a choice to make. He could take a chance on try to pass the class on his own or he could increase his chances of passing by asking Kenji and Joel for help. It shouldn't have been a hard decision; but it was. There was Andrew to consider.
Ernie had no problem with admitting that he was afraid of Andrew. His conviction that Andrew murdered Milt Vaughn and could kill someone else remained strong. He gave up on listening to the lecture and made up his mind to ask Kenji and Joel for help.
Isadora laid her essay on the podium and took her seat. She heard Maeve's voice coming from the back of the room and wondered if she would acknowledge her. To her surprise and delight, Maeve sat next to her.
"Good morning!" she greeted Isadora cheerfully.
"Good morning." Isadora replied with a smile happy that Maeve was sitting with her.
"Did you get last week's work done? "Maeve asked as she got ready for class.
"Yes thanks to you." Isadora replied. "I even got the reading done."
"Are you serious?" Maeve asked. "It didn't put you to sleep?"
"I'll admit that it wasn't the most interesting thing that I've ever read, but it wasn't that bad." Isadora replied.
"So you say." Maeve remarked with a grin. "Are you free for lunch? We can go over our notes. I heard through the grapevine that Professor Bell likes to give pop quizzes. I don't know about you, but I study better with other people."
"I would like that." Isadora replied. She had always studied alone and was interested to see what it was like to study with someone.
Their conversation ended when Professor Bell walked in. Isadora saw his surprise when he saw her essay lying on the podium. She also saw his nod of approval as he sat the notebook aside.
Isadora settled in her seat mentally counting the day a success.
Patricia and Penny tried to keep busy by helping Dai clean the house. Every time the phone rang, they both jumped and then breathed a sigh of relief when it wasn't Nick or the school. Later they would wish that it was Nick calling to tell them that the nightmare featuring Andrew Kelly was over.
Penny stole looks as Patricia still unable to fathom how she had managed to keep it together when Kenji was in the camp. This was only the second day that Kenji and Joel had been at school and she was already a basket case.
Patricia, realizing that Penny was looking at her looked back at her and smiled. "I'm scared too." She whispered. "But Peter and his partner are there and they won't let anything happen to them."
Penny nodded, started to scrub the baseboard and stopped.
"Tell me how you survived all those months not knowing if you'd ever see Kenji again."
"Let's go check on the kids and get something to drink." Patricia said as she stood up and stretched.
Saul held his small bag of belongings in his lap and tried to sleep. At first he was excited that he was on his first trip outside of the state of South Carolina, but the further away from home he got; the more he missed it.
His stomach rumbled, but he resisted eating the food that his mother sent with him; he wanted to save it for as long as he could. He opened his eyes when he felt the train slow and wondered what was happening. He had his answer a few minutes later.
"There's a bunch of negroes getting on if you want to move up front." The conductor said as he passed by.
Saul gave serious thought to moving, but he was in the last row and had a corner seat. If he had to, he could put his bag between him and the side of the train. He thanked the conductor and stayed where he was.
On his way back through, the conductor gave Saul a curious look, but didn't say anything. Thirty minutes later, a black family was sitting in the back of the car with Saul. They eyed each other warily as the man got his family settled and then sat across from Saul. A boy sat with the man and stared at Saul with dark eyes that were filled with intelligence, mischief and curiosity.
"Why you sittin' back here with us?" he asked.
"Shush now!" The man said and then turned to Saul. "I beg your pardon sir, he means no disrespect."
"It's alright." Saul replied with a small smile.
He kept his eyes open for as long as he could. When he woke up it was early morning. Everyone was asleep except for the black man.
"Here." He said holding out a small parcel wrapped in paper toward Saul. "My wife said to give this to you when you woke up. Go on, take it." He urged when he saw Saul's hesitation.
"I can't take food from your family." Saul replied. "But I thank you for your kindness."
The man shrugged and put the sandwich away. It made no difference to him whether Saul was hungry or not. His wife however, had different ideas.
"Phillip Bishop! Did you feed that boy?" she demanded when she woke up.
"He said he didn't want it." Phillip replied wishing that he had pushed the issue.
"Ma'am, I told him that I didn't want to take from your family." Saul said in defense of Phillip.
"When you last ate?" she demanded.
"Yesterday, but I have food." Saul said weakly.
"Then why ain't cha ate?" Naomi asked.
"Phillip, give that boy the sandwich." Naomi said overriding Saul.
Not knowing what else to do, Saul accepted the sandwich with a polite thank you. As he slowly ate the dry sandwich, it occurred to him that each time he needed help; it had come from Negros. Even when his family had been near starvation, none of the whites had stepped in to help them. Ironically, one of the poorest black families had. It explained his mother's slightly softened attitude toward blacks in general.
The family got off at the next stop without asking him what his name was or anything about him. The woman however, insisted on him taking the rest of their food.
"We home now, so take it."
Saul knew better than to argue with her and tucked the food in with his belongings. After they were gone, he tried to sleep but his mind wouldn't slow down. What had he been thinking going to a place where he knew no one and had no way to support himself?
A feeling of panic and homesickness over took him. He was seriously thinking about getting off at the next stop and hitchhiking back home. It was almost an hour before he was calm enough to think rationally. Although his father had been an abusive bastard, he did teach him one thing.
"If you give a man your word, then you damned well better honor it." His father told him time after time.
"I gave my word." Saul murmured. The only problem was; he didn't know exactly what he had given his word for.
Eventually, the sound of the train's engines lulled him into an uneasy sleep.
Ty sat on his cot thinking about his future. It they found Ellen's body, it was over. He would be on the first train back to South Carolina no questions asked. Going to back to prison didn't scare him, but being back with Lawrence's followers did. He remembered what happened to Carl Tucker the undercover agent who had been Lawrence's right hand man.
Word had it that he was in a wheelchair and that he would never walk again and that was luck. If someone hadn't come along looking for him, Carl Tucker would be dead. Ty knew this because he had been there and an active participant in the beating.
He hadn't thought about that day in a long time. It wasn't because of any sense of guilt that he was thinking about it now. He was thinking about it because if they found Ellen's body and sent him back to the state prison, he wouldn't be as lucky as Carl Tucker. If it got out that he talked, he would be dead within days.
It wouldn't matter that he told the agents was information that they already had. It would only matter that he talked.
Ty stood up and paced. He didn't want to die like that. He stopped pacing when he realized that even if they found Ellen's remains, they couldn't prove that it was her or that it was him that killed her. He looked over at the breakfast tray that sat untouched.
Suddenly, his appetite was back.
As he ate the now cold breakfast, he thought about Becca and wondered how close she was to having the baby. In a rare moment of sentiment, Ty wished that he could at least know if he had a son. He knew that there would be no point in asking someone to find out for him. One, no one would do him that favor and two; Becca wouldn't give the information out.
Ty finished his breakfast and lay down on the cot. With nothing else to do, he dozed off.
Nick alternately paced and sat down in his office. Will sat in the chair watching him but not saying anything. While he admired Kenji and Joel and considered them friends, he didn't have the same emotional attachment to them that Nick did.
Several times he tried to get Nick to go home, but Nick had refused.
"The office is closer to the school." He said. "And Abby and Hattie are with Hana." He added almost absently.
He didn't want to believe that Andrew would be so reckless as to pull a gun at school, but Peter's concern had convinced him.
"I'm telling you." Peter told him. "Andrew Kelly is a loose cannon and if I can stop him at school I'll do it. To delay only increases the risk factor not only to Kenji and Joel, but anyone that he sees as an enemy."
Nick didn't want to admit it, but Peter was right. Now they were playing the waiting game.
The class was coming to an end and Kenji had been trying to get Joel to leave.
"Joel!" he whispered urgently.
But Joel ignored him.
With ten minutes of class left, Kenji prepared himself for a possible showdown. He had already decided that he would have to kill Andrew. There was no other way around it. He would feel guilty about it and he didn't know how he would explain it to his children. But that was for later, he had to get through today.
The issue he was having was that he didn't know what kind of weapon Andrew had. If it was a gun, the chances of him being killed rose exponentially. If it was a knife then his odds of being killed decreased. After thinking about what he knew about Andrew, Kenji was sure that the weapon was a gun. Andrew was too much of a coward to have chosen any other weapon.
As soon as the professor dismissed the class, Kenji stood and faced Andrew.
The anger was back.
Andrew had gotten lost halfway through the class. His notes no longer made any sense. He looked over at Kenji and Joel and scowled. Neither man looked stressed and seemed to understand the lecture. The longer he looked at them, the more he saw his chances for getting into a good intern/residency program diminish.
When the class dismissed for the day, Andrew reached for his bag. He really didn't know what he was planning to do when he reached for it. What startled him was when he looked up; Kenji was standing and facing him.
Andrew stared back at him not sure of what to expect, but knowing what he wanted. He wanted Kenjiro Takeda to be afraid of him. He wanted Kenji to beg for his life. It was an unrealistic want and he knew it. Kenji had never shown any fear where he was concerned, why should he start now?
What Andrew saw was the same cool demeanor that had always enraged him, but he saw something else; sadness and regret. For some reason that he couldn't understand, it increased his rage.
"You yellow bastard." Andrew thought, "Soon you won't be going home to your black whore."
Andrew wasn't surprised by his feelings toward Kenji, he had never liked him; but he was surprised by his anger toward Patricia. She had never been a major part of his vendetta toward Kenji, but a means of breaking through that calm demeanor that he hated.
This was the first time in which he had thought about her in a truly derogatory manner. He shook his head to clear it and turned his attention back to Kenji who was still looking at him.
Peter sat waiting. At the moment, nothing was happening. Andrew's hand wasn't near his bag and if he made a move for it, he was poised to intervene. He could tell by the middle of class that Andrew was angry and frustrated. The frustration and anger grew as the class went on.
"Shit." Peter muttered as he watched the two men staring at each other. He tensed, ready to jump in if a fight broke out. To his relief, Andrew backed down.
Before Andrew could change his mind, Peter moved between Kenji and Andrew.
"What time is dinner?" he asked cheerfully. "I can't wait for that meatloaf!"
He stayed between Kenji and Andrew while Andrew gathered his things and kept talking. He didn't dare look behind him to see what Kenji and Joel were doing, but glanced over at Trevor who gave him the slightest of nods.
Finally, he heard Kenji and Joel gather their things and move toward the exit. He kept talking until he knew that they had left the room.
"Go home." Trevor said as soon as he, Kenji and Joel were out of the room. "We'll call later."
He didn't give them a chance to respond to the order. He was already halfway back to the classroom leaving Joel and Kenji staring after him.
They stood looking toward the classroom for several seconds before they walked away. They were as far as the library when they heard their names being called.
By the end of class, Ernie was hopelessly lost. He could afford to not do well on one test, but the following ones would only be more difficult. He looked over at Kenji and Joel and saw that they were two of the few who didn't have the deer in the headlight look.
Swallowing his nerves, he decided to ask them for help. He pushed his fear of Andrew out of his mind and prepared to leave the room. He stopped when he saw Kenji and Andrew staring at each other. He could see Andrew's anger from where he stood.
Ernie stood transfixed as another student appeared to place himself between Kenji and Andrew and seemed to be distracting Andrew. He found himself holding his breath not releasing it until he saw Kenji and Joel leave the room followed by another student.
He hurried to the exit in the hopes of catching them before they left the building.
"Kenji!" he called just as they got to the library.
He wasn't sure that they heard him so he called out again. This time they stopped and turned toward him.
Ernie hurried over to them narrowly avoiding knocking the books out of the arms of a couple of female students. He mumbled his apologies and kept moving not stopping until he reached the library.
He hesitated for a minute then began to talk.
"Ummm I know that we're not friends or anything like that and that I don't have the right to ask for help, but this class is going to kill me. It looked like you two understood what was going on and I was hoping that you would see your way clear to help me."
"Kenji," Joel said. "We need to go."
"Look, I understand that you don't like or trust me." Ernie said. "But please... I'll meet you anywhere or anytime. I can't fail this class."
"Kenji, let's go!" Joel said urgently as he looked behind him.
Ernie waited hoping that Kenji wouldn't turn him away. After a long silence, Kenji spoke.
"Meet us for lunch after class tomorrow."
"Thank you!" Ernie said his relief evident.
Kenji looked at Ernie for a moment later before he and Joel walked away.
Ernie turned around and headed back toward the class room.
"I'm going to pass this class." He murmured. "I'm going to...."
"Friends with the Jap now?" Andrew asked.
Ernie stopped short not knowing how to respond. He looked at Andrew and the student with him and said nothing.
"Don't you understand English anymore?" Andrew taunted.
"I...I'm not friends with them." Ernie replied.