Ryman Legacy SSS3 Liv and Let Die


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Ryman Legacy SSS3 Liv and Let Die

  1. 1. The Ryman Legacy<br />Substantial Side Story 3<br />Liv and Let Die<br />By Mzyra<br />
  2. 2. Rodney only realised the phone was ringing when he finished the chapter. That was Seth’s fault, of course; Rodney had been forced to learn to concentrate over background noise when they’d been living together, and now he couldn’t stop. But it served to remind him how much better his life was now. <br />
  3. 3. He was essentially eternally young, securely in power of all of Simfield, Juan Harris was scarcely a threat in any area, he had a daughter and grandkids who loved him, he was enjoying a casual relationship with actress and model Jessica Despret, and Seth was almost entirely out of his hair. <br />Life was amazing.<br />
  4. 4. “Hello?”<br />“Daddy?” the voice on the other end was small and frightened.<br />“Liv? Are you okay? What’s wrong?”<br />
  5. 5. “I did something bad, Dad. Really, really bad and I’m scared…!”<br />“Whoa, Liv, calm down. What have you done?”<br />“I- I didn’t mean to, but- but I just- I just got so lonely looking after the kids on my own, and- and he was there and…!”<br />“Liv, what did you do?”<br />“I- I cheated on Winston,” she said quietly.<br />
  6. 6. Rodney tried to remain calm. “Okay. Does Winston know?”<br />“Not yet…”<br />“But you’re scared he’s going to find out?”<br />“Yes!”<br />“Why do you think he’ll find out?”<br />“B-because… The triplets… They’re- they’re not-”<br />“The triplets aren’t his?”<br />“No,” she sobbed.<br />
  7. 7. Shit. “Is it obvious?”<br />“Y-yes.”<br />“Right. Right, okay. Hang on.” He took the phone away from his ear and allowed himself to panic for a moment.<br />Shit! This was bad. Very, very bad. He wasn’t certain how Winston would react – or Seth – but…!<br />
  8. 8. “Okay Liv, you’re at home now, right?”<br />“Yes.”<br />“And neither Winston nor Seth are there, right?”<br />“R-right.”<br />“Okay, we’re going to sort this out. I need to make a call and will be back in a moment, don’t panic.”<br />“Okay Dad,” she said quietly.<br />He put his home phone down and then hesitated before dialling the one he usually reserved for work. He really hated this, but the things he’d do for family…! <br />
  9. 9. “Hello?”<br />“Harris.”<br />Juan made a noise of disgust. “What do you want, Jalowitz?”<br />“I don’t have time for your crap, Harris; it’s not about what I want, it’s about Liv.”<br />
  10. 10. “What about her?”<br />“I need you to go by hers and bring her here-”<br />“I’m not a taxi service, why don’t you do it yourself?”<br />“Because I also need somewhere for the grandkids to go and I don’t have space!” he hissed angrily, hoping Liv couldn’t hear. “Take them to your kid’s or something and then bring Liv back here.”<br />
  11. 11. “’Here’? I don’t know where you live, as I’m sure you’re aware.”<br />Rodney winced. Goddammit, Liv… “Liv knows, she’ll tell you.”<br />This clearly made Juan suspicious. “What’s going on?”<br />“I’m sure you’ll find out when you’re done with all that,” he said and hung up abruptly.<br />
  12. 12. “Dad?”<br />“Yeah – I’ve asked Juan to pick up you and the kids: he’s going to take the kids to your brother’s and then bring you back here. Don’t worry, everything’s going to be fine.”<br />“Thank you Daddy.”<br />“No problem sweetheart.”<br />
  13. 13. ‘No problem’?! A million and one problems! Asking Harris’ help! Having Harris in his house! Dealing with Winston and Seth – he couldn’t afford to have Seth as an enemy too! <br />But he had to be composed. He could handle this. He would handle this. This was his family and nobody messed with his family. <br />~~~~~~~~~~<br />
  14. 14. “Nice place you have here,” Juan said suspiciously while Liv calmed down.<br />“Yes. It is.”<br />“I believe I’ve seen some of this artwork before…”<br />“They’re very convincing copies of famous pieces.”<br />“I’ll bet.”<br />
  15. 15. Rodney tried to ignore Harris in his house and moved over to Liv.<br />“So. You had an affair and the triplets aren’t Winston’s. But you’re sure the others are?”<br />“Yes!” she said desperately. “I- I didn’t mean to… I was going to be good and faithful and everything, b- but he was hardly ever at home and I was left to look after the kids all day and Seth is nice, but he works too, and I get lonely and even when Winston is at home… I don’t love him, Daddy. And- and I know all that’s no excuse, b- but…!”<br />
  16. 16. “Don’t worry Liv,” Juan said kindly, “I don’t blame you,” and shot a very significant look at Rodney instead.<br />Goddammit Juan Harris, if Liv weren’t here right now…! he fumed internally. <br />
  17. 17. “Liv. Who was it?”<br />Liv gave him an apprehensive look. “Daddy, it- it wasn’t his fault either- I- I knew what I was doing- i-it was m-my idea, h-he didn’t force me-”<br />“I just need to know.” She still didn’t look convinced. “Please, Liv.”<br />
  18. 18. “Briney,” she whispered. Juan gave a sigh of understanding, but Rodney’s mind had lit up with possibilities.<br />“Briney Lum…?”<br />She nodded anxiously.<br />“Right. Okay. I’m going to get Seth over and talk to him. Harris’ll stay with you and everything will be fine. Okay?”<br />“Okay Daddy.”<br />
  19. 19. “Rodneeeey!”<br />“Seth, are you drunk already?” he sighed.<br />“Maybe a little. ‘sup?”<br />“I need to talk to you.”<br />“Great! Have you only just discovered the telephone?”<br />
  20. 20. “I need to talk to you face to face.”<br />“Really…? There’s this really hot DJ here and she’s totally been checking me out-!”<br />“I don’t care, Seth: red alert; get your ass over here.”<br />~~~~~~~~~~<br />
  21. 21. “This better be worth it, Jalowitz: you should have seen that DJ’s-!”<br />“Liv’s been having an affair.”<br />
  22. 22. Seth stared at him. “Wow. Straight to the point for once. Er, okay… I’m probably not really surprised… What am I supposed to say?”<br />“You’re okay with that?”<br />“Well, can’t say I blame her really, so… yeah? Couldn’t you have said that down the phone?”<br />“There’s more.”<br />“More?”<br />
  23. 23. Rodney hesitated. “Some of the kids aren’t Winston’s.”<br />“Oh. When did you learn about this, exactly?”<br />“A couple of hours ago.”<br />“Oh. Some of the kids are his, right? I was sure Dwayne and Madison had my nose…”<br />“Yes, and they probably do. For better or worse...”<br />
  24. 24. “Soooo, I’ve been helping to raise grandkids that aren’t mine?”<br />“Yes,” Rodney said, tensing for a fight.<br />“Aaaand what do you think we’re doing about this?”<br />“Well not all of them may be your grandkids, but they’re all mine, and nobody’s laying a finger on my daughter or grandkids,” he said defiantly.<br />
  25. 25. “…So who’s the guy?”<br />“Briney Lum.”<br />Seth opened his mouth and then froze. “You mean that Briney Lum? Time-defying Briney Lum?”<br />“I’m pretty sure there’s only one.”<br />“Oh.”<br />
  26. 26. “So it comes down to you really; what do you care more about: your ability to remain young forever, or your son’s pride? Because you’re not going to be able to take it out on anyone else.”<br />It was amazing to see Seth silent and thoughtful for a few minutes, before he finally opened his mouth again. <br />
  27. 27. “Did I ever tell you how Winston was a complete accident? He could have completely ruined my plans to steal the legacy and he’s generally been a real disappointment in all areas,” he decided wryly. <br />Rodney finally let go of a deep breath he didn’t realise he’d been holding. “Good man. And Liv and the kids?”<br />
  28. 28. “Well Winston hasn’t been paying her any attention, and it’s not the kids’ fault, so… They never should have been together in the first place really,” he shrugged.<br />“Oh don’t start on that, I’ve already had Harris telling me this is all my fault,” Rodney complained irritably.<br />“Harris?”<br />“He’s inside.”<br />
  29. 29. “You’ve got Harris in your house?”<br />“Exactly! But I needed someone to protect Liv in case you went psycho or whatever.”<br />“Yeah, you totally would have failed at that,” Seth laughed.<br />“Oh shut up and come inside already.”<br />
  30. 30. “Harris! It’s been a while!” <br />“Jayapalan,” Juan frowned back cautiously.<br />“So, Liv’s been cheating on my son, eh?”<br />Liv stared at Seth in terror. “I-I’m so sorry-!”<br />
  31. 31. “Hey, chill: I wasn’t exactly a model of fidelity when I was married either. My brother did have to go and have a really hot – and easy – girlfriend…!”<br />“No wonder your family hates you,” Rodney sighed.<br />“Anyway, you know who I really blame for this? How is it that Liv can have three parents and not one of you has taught her about the proper use of contraception?! Honestly, you should all be ashamed…!” he shook his head and laughed.<br />
  32. 32. Rodney tried to ignore him. “What time does Winston get home?”<br />“Probably pretty soon,” Liv said quietly.<br />“Right, so Seth and I’ll go to meet him. Liv, you stay here with Harris and we’ll let you know how it goes. Harris-” there were a million and one things he wanted to say, and even more insults, but he settled on “…don’t touch my stuff.” And then tried to ignore Juan’s muttering about how much of it was really his as they left.<br />~~~~~~~~~~<br />
  33. 33. “Oh, uh, Mr Jalowitz, what are you doing here? And where’s Liv, and the kids?”<br />“They’re out.”<br />“O…kay…? What’s going on?”<br />“We need to talk to you about something.”<br />“’We’?”<br />“Your Dad’s around, he’ll be back in a second.”<br />
  34. 34. “Hey, I’m back – did I miss anything?”<br />“No.”<br />“Is somebody going to tell me what’s going on?” Winston asked.<br />“You may want to make yourself a drink,” Rodney said slowly.<br />“Bad news, I suppose?”<br />“Yes.”<br />
  35. 35. Winston sighed and moved to the bar. “Fine. Go ahead.”<br />“Liv… Liv had an affair,” Rodney said watchfully. <br />Winston poured a drink and then looked between Seth and Rodney blankly before giving a hollow laugh. “Oh, you expect me to be surprised? Angry? I’m not an idiot: yeah, I didn’t know for certain before and I’m not happy that my wife’s presumably slept with another man, but I’m not surprised. And if I’m annoyed it’s more on a matter of principle than because I particularly care. So you can stop worrying.”<br />
  36. 36. “It- It’s slightly more than that,” Rodney continued.<br />“She wants a divorce?” Winston guessed cynically.<br />“Wow. We didn’t even think to ask her that,” Seth observed at Rodney.<br />“So what else is there?”<br />“Not all of the children are yours,” Rodney said cautiously.<br />
  37. 37. Winston didn’t say anything for a few moments. “’Not all’…?”<br />“More than none, less than all.”<br />“…Where are they?”<br />“Somewhere safe.”<br />“Where’s Liv?”<br />“Somewhere safe,” Rodney repeated.<br />“You’re not going to let me see them?”<br />“Not until we’re confident that you’re not going to try and do something stupid.”<br />
  38. 38. “Alright,” Winston said, just about holding his voice steady. “Do we know who he was?”<br />“Yes.”<br />Winston stared at Rodney. “Don’t tell me you’re not even going to tell me who the bastard was.”<br />“He’s… a significant business colleague.”<br />
  39. 39. “’A significant business colleague’! So you’re not bothered that this significant colleague has been banging your daughter?!”<br />Rodney gritted his teeth and struggled not to clench his hands. “He’s valuable.”<br />“Oh, great, so you’ll be pimping her out to anyone, huh?!” Winston exclaimed. Rodney just glared back at him.<br />
  40. 40. Winston turned to Seth instead in frustration. “Dad – you don’t care about business!”<br />“Er, well no, not generally…”<br />“So tell me who it was!”<br />“…No.”<br />
  41. 41. “I’m your son! You thought those were your grandkids! What do you care about more: us or some stupid business thing?!”<br />“He’s irreplaceable,” Rodney interjected pressingly. <br />“And I’m his only son! That’s irreplaceable Dad, and I swear to god…!”<br />
  42. 42. Seth stared at him and finally just shrugged.<br />“God - you selfish bastard…! Fine. You won’t tell me?” he growled, heading for the door, “Liv will. I will make her tell me.”<br />“You don’t know where she is,” Rodney dismissed.<br />“I’ll find her!” he shouted back and ran out to his car.<br />
  43. 43. “Are you sure you’re okay with this? I don’t want you getting pissed at me later.” Rodney asked as Winston sped away.<br />“Sounds like he just disowned me anyway,” Seth shrugged.<br />“And you are certain you did it right, yes?”<br />
  44. 44. Seth just held up a finger and they listened, heads tilted, for a few moments until they heard the sound of a car smashing into a building. “Don’t doubt me.”<br />~~~~~~~~~~<br />
  45. 45. “What?!”<br />“He’s in a coma at the minute, though the doctors seem to think he has a good chance of recovery relatively soon.”<br />“But what happened?”<br />“Well, he’d had a bit to drink and then when we told him about the kids he got a bit angry too, then he got in the car and…!”<br />
  46. 46. “Oh god, this is all my fault!”<br />“No Liv; we should have stopped him, we just weren’t fast enough. Or he shouldn’t have tried to drive in that state. Just try and get some sleep, okay?”<br />“Okay,” she said miserably. “Thanks Daddy.”<br />
  47. 47. “You don’t think Harris is going to investigate and try and bring us down with this, do you?” Rodney frowned anxiously.<br />“Hmm, he might, but he’d be making Liv feel worse. And he’s going to struggle to find any evidence now; most of the car was smashed up anyway.”<br />“Think we’ve got time to make another visit?”<br />“I don’t think Winston will go anywhere too soon,” Seth half-laughed wryly.<br />~~~~~~~~~~<br />
  48. 48. Briney went through the routine resignedly. The science had been interesting once, but that was long gone. And the process itself was long, boring, and sometimes actually painful. <br />But you didn’t want to get on the bad side of Rodney Jalowitz and Seth Jayapalan, especially if you wanted to stay in Simfield, and Briney did want to stay, if only for Liv and his mothers.<br />
  49. 49. Thinking of which- as he sat down - Briney hadn’t heard from Liv as much as usual lately. He missed her really. And he felt bad that deep down he was really hoping this wasn’t a sign that she and Winston might have grown close or something instead. Fingers crossed she was just busy with her kids and he might see her again after everything settled down. <br />He sighed, plugged himself into the machine, switched it on, and prepared himself for hours of boredom.<br />
  50. 50. And then the door opened.<br />“Hello Briney.”<br />“Oh, uh, Mayor Jalowitz – hi. I’d get up, but I just set everything up…”<br />“No, no, it’s fine. You’re doing this for us anyway…”<br />“Yeah…” It was awkward. He wasn’t sure what it was, but Briney had always found Liv’s dad intimidating, and all the more so since he and Liv had started… well. Hopefully he’d never have to know about that.<br />
  51. 51. “You’ve been friends with Liv for a long time, haven’t you?”<br />“Er, yeah, we were at school together…”<br />“You like her don’t you? As in, more than a friend?”<br />“Er- I- Well, she’s married so-”<br />“But if she wasn’t?”<br />“Er, she’s a nice, attractive girl, so-”<br />“Do you love her?”<br />
  52. 52. Briney stared. “Er, I guess, in a way… yes.” What’s going on here?!<br />“Her marriage to Winston isn’t exactly working out.”<br />“No, I- I’d heard that.”<br />“Would you marry her?”<br />“D-does she know you’re here?”<br />“No.”<br />“So it’s just you wondering?”<br />“Yes.”<br />
  53. 53. Briney gave a choked sigh. “Yes, I’d be married to her if she wanted it, but she doesn’t. And I do love her, but… not enough, apparently. But it’d still be a lot more than Winston ever has.” <br />
  54. 54. “Hmm, you’re probably right.” Rodney headed towards the door and opened it before suddenly turning back to him. “Oh, and congratulations, by the way.”<br />“What for?”<br />“Being a father of three.”<br />“Wha-?” And then the pieces began to click in Briney’s head. <br />
  55. 55. And Seth Jayapalan entered the room. “Lum.”<br />Oh crap, Briney thought as the rest of the pieces fell together and he looked between the two in increasing fear. “I- I didn’t know th-that-”<br />“You didn’t know that you had sex with her?” Seth laughed dangerously. “Wow, you’d think you’d remember something like that, wouldn’t you?”<br />
  56. 56. Briney panicked and tried to freeze time, but only got a sharp headache for his troubles; he’d forgotten that he couldn’t do that during the procedure. “Oh god, please don’t kill me!”<br />Rodney laughed casually. “I don’t know what makes you think that we could ever do such a thing.”<br />Briney stared again. “…Call it a hunch…”<br />
  57. 57. “Well, let’s say, hypothetically, that we were the kind of people who were capable of killing somebody. And, hypothetically, some young idiot slept with my daughter, behind the back of his son. And then, hypothetically, his son found out and was so angry that he may have put my daughter and grandchildren in danger. And then, because we are hypothetically capable of doing such things, we cut his son’s brakes and he almost died in a car accident. Hypothetically.”<br />
  58. 58. “You mean you…” Briney gaped. “Oh god, please don’t kill me!”<br />“Do you know why, hypothetically, we wouldn’t kill the idiot who did that?”<br />He shook his head and whispered, “No.”<br />
  59. 59. “Because, hypothetically, that idiot happens to be the only source of elixir of life that doesn’t involve murdering people on a more regular basis. If, however, this idiot were to stop producing elixir of life for us, there would be no hesitation,” Rodney said with a softness that was so much scarier than shouting would have been, “because as far as we’re concerned that is all his existence is worth anymore. So it had better. Not. Stop.”<br />Briney just swallowed. <br />
  60. 60. “You know, hypothetically,” Rodney said coldly before slamming the door shut behind them.<br />
  61. 61. ~~~~~~~~~~<br />
  62. 62. Winston woke slowly, whole body feeling heavy and weak. <br />“Could Dr Tang report to phlebotomy, room 405, please.”<br />An intercom? Phlebotomy? Hospital. He was in hos- Car crash. His brakes hadn’t worked at all. His own father had cut his brakes! He could have died! He couldn’t remember for the life of him why he hadn’t disowned his father when everyone else had.<br />But if they had meant to kill him and failed… They might come back again. He was still alive right now, but maybe that was only so long as he was unconscious. <br />
  63. 63. “Yeah… yeah… He’s still out of it right now…” Seth’s voice came from somewhere in the room. He must have been on the phone. Wasn’t there a rule against using mobiles in hospitals?! God, Winston wanted to kill him. “No, they don’t know… Well even if he does, I’ll be either here or at home, so he can’t bypass me there… But he doesn’t even know who he’d be looking for! I guess we could keep an eye on Briney, but the probability-”<br />Briney. Briney Lum. He was one of Liv’s friends, wasn’t he? That would be logical enough. And he was apparently an ‘irreplaceable’ business colleague, so if Winston could get to him he could both get revenge for Liv, and screw over his father and Rodney at the same time.<br />
  64. 64. “-Yeah, yeah, I know… But it’s boring here, Rodney! I don’t see you sat here by comatose people… Oh, screw you… Well whatever, I’m going to get some lunch… I’m going to be less than an hour – he might not wake up for days or more! … Well you’re not here to make me!”<br />Winston heard Seth beep off, the sound of a door opening and then footsteps down a corridor before the door shut again.<br />
  65. 65. Winston opened his eyes and managed to pull himself up. He had to move fast. He glanced at the wires going into his arm and hesitated for just a second before pulling them out – really, surprisingly, painfully, and it started bleeding more than a little, but he didn’t have time for health concerns. <br />
  66. 66. He got out of bed, found some better clothes and slipped out of his room, heading for the exit as quickly but nonchalantly as possible. <br />He kept his head down, glancing around for any sign of anyone objecting, but nobody seemed to notice him.<br />
  67. 67. And finally there was the exit. <br />He wondered whether he’d have to walk back or if there might be some kind of free bus because he hadn’t found his wallet- <br />
  68. 68. And then everything started going hazy. And the whole room lurched to one side, and he was feeling very sick and hot but cold and his chest hurt and-<br />
  69. 69. “His heart’s stopped! Somebody get me a defibrillator!”<br />~~~~~~~~~~<br />
  70. 70. “If I come in are you going to hit me?”<br />“The possibility has always been there and it’s never bothered you before.”<br />
  71. 71. “He tried to make a break for it?” Rodney asked.<br />“Thought he would. The doctors think it was just because he was too weak so soon after the accident.”<br />“No suspicion?”<br />“Never write Harris off; it’ll probably occur to him.”<br />“But he can’t prove it?”<br />“I don’t think so.”<br />
  72. 72. “Have you told Liv?” Seth asked as they left.<br />“Yeah, she’s guilt-ridden.”<br />“I’m not breaking it to the grandkids.”<br />“I think she will.”<br />“How chivalrous of you.”<br />“Hey, they’re safe, aren’t they?”<br />“Well, there’s one small thing…”<br />“What?”<br />
  73. 73. “My daughters can bring people back from the dead. If they got their hands on this we could have Winston walking – or maybe lurching – around again in no time. And I still don’t think he’d like us very much.”<br />“What do we do, hide it?”<br />“Nope…”<br />
  74. 74. “You definitely owe me a drink, Jalowitz.”<br />~~~~~End of SSS3~~~~~<br />