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   Chapter 19 Men At Work

Broken Past By Arathi Characters: 10669

Updated: 2018-09-11 00:21

To say that the house was a mess, was an understatement. For the past forty-eight hours, JT and his friends spent most of the day and the evening camped out at Gwen's. They had roamed the market and purchased everything they needed to make her property more secure. New doors and window frames, glass to fit them with, mesh, more wooden fencing, solid wrought-iron gates, and the likes. They consulted contractors, big and small, to get quotes on construction jobs as well.

Once deals had been placed, men of all kinds waltzed through the house; electricians to check on the wiring, masons to build walls, laborers to carry construction material up and down the hillside, technicians for alarms and cameras… you get the idea.

At the end of the first day, everything was coming along well enough. After endless hours of listening to the pounding of hammers, whirling of drills, shovels hitting the ground, and clanking of metal against metal, the house now sported double door entrance and exits, and double paned windows. The north and east boundary that ran parallel to roads were sporting partially built walls while the south and west boundary that faced the cliffside had barbed wire fencing. The intimidating front gate was resting in a cement foundation, awaiting a shiny new coat of paint.

JT, Aalam, and the others pitched in when necessary; digging holes, shoving posts into the ground, cutting through the undergrowth, checking security camera placements, and providing direction for where the fencing was to go. JT threw in a pretty wooden gazebo as well. An open airy yet sheltered spot where Gwen could sit and enjoy her evenings, or read on a calm afternoon. It quite matched the rustic look of her house with its faded tile roof, and rough log supports. Since she liked bonfires so much, he had a pit dug, cemented and bricked in to serve that purpose. They oversaw the cementing of the spirally staircase behind the house and installed a rustic banister for greater safety.

When night fell, the property found itself deserted. Everyone had gone home feeling exhausted yet encouraged by a sense of accomplishment.

JT was no different. He was so excited that he could barely contain himself. He groaned when he realized that in all this, he had forgotten his promise to call Gwen. After their magical evening and his hasty retreat he knew he'd have some explaining to do.

He cursed himself for not calling her first thing in the morning and now, the whole day had gone by, and he had been preoccupied. No time better than the present, he said to himself mustering up the courage to call her. A perfectly reasonable explanation, he reminded himself. Not like he was intentionally callous or cold. She'll be happy once she knew. JT thought of every reason to convince himself to make that call when he felt his courage wane.

Taking a deep breath, he dialed her number and waited for an answer. "Huh, " he said looking at the screen when the call disconnected. She didn't answer. Perhaps she's busy? He decided to wait for a little before trying again.

Joining his group in front of their bonfire at the army barracks, he began the proceedings for their meeting.

e's mad at you, " Aalam said grinning. He was quite enjoying this messy situation. JT considered wiping the smirk off Aalam's face. Then decided against it.

"Really? I hadn't noticed, " he said plopping back in his chair and reaching for another can of beer.

"Don't bite me. You ran out on her."

"Back to business shall we?" he sighed.

Dev tried keeping the conversation in the right direction, "Right, so what's the plan now?"

"We've got another training scheduled in three days. Reckon he'll appear before, during or after the training?" Etash mumbled, his mouthful of peanuts.

"What if he does more than just hit her this time?" Brij wondered out loud the one thought no one else wanted to think about.

"What about this business about returning to London in a week with Gwen?"

"Think she'll go with him?"

"He must have something to force her with. I don't see her leaving voluntarily."

"Shit, shit and some more shit."

Round and round and round the conversation went. No one offered any suggestions, brilliant or otherwise. Only doubts and fears were voiced.

Beep ...beep… beep… beep

"What the fuck is that?"

"It's the fire alarm at Gwen's!"

"You installed a fire alarm? Excessive but smart. Let's run."

Twenty minutes later, the five men stood in the clearing in front of Gwen's house surveying the damage.

"What the fuck happened here?"

"Well from the looks of it, someone didn't approve of the changes."

"Think Tom swung past?"

"I wouldn't put it past him. Sleazebag that he is."

"Did you leave the camera running when we left?"

"Sure did."

"Well let's take a look then, " JT said turning around to face the house. "Dev, stay here and be invisible."

"It's not here."

"What do you mean?"

"The room is trashed, the equipment is damaged, and the disc is gone. No way to tell who did this."

Aalam cracked his knuckles again. "I'm telling you, let's go grab the fucker and have him spill his guts."

A crash echoed through the quiet property, and the men rushed out just as Dev was rushing in.

"No need to go looking for Tom. He's still here."

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