Chapter 3.55 – Gunpowder and Pennies

Reagan got back to the apartment before Archer, so she quickly packed and got everything ready to go. Evan was right, he wasn’t going to make it easy for her to leave, so she had to rip off the bandage and just do it. Prolonging things wouldn’t help. As soon as he got back, she was going to say goodbye and leave. She hoped to be at her grandparents house by supper time.

She went to the bar and poured a glass of wine.  She figured a little liquid courage and something to calm her rattled nerves wouldn’t hurt.

Reagan sat down with her wine to watch TV, when finally, around 6:00 she got a text from Archer telling her not to wait up. Damn. She was going to have to stay another night. She called her grandmother and told her she’d be there in the morning.

After refilling her wine glass, she settled back down to watch a movie, killing time with a mindless activity.

Finally, close to midnight, she heard the front door open and Archer come in.  She got up to talk to him, but he was already in the shower.

He’d left a pile of clothes in a heap on his bedroom floor, so she picked them up to put them in the hamper.

The smell that assaulted her made her let out a help and she quickly dropped them like they were going to burn her.  They smelled of gunpowder and pennies, the same as Archer had that night when he carried her out of the game room. The memories almost knocked her over.

When her racing heart returned to normal, she began to worry that maybe he wasn’t okay and ran into the bathroom.

“Archer!”  yelled Reagan as she banged on the shower door.

Archer’s surprise at the interruption quickly turned into a smirk. He opened the shower door and motioned to her. “Come on in. The water’s fine,” he said.

That made Reagan mad. She was worried and obviously he was okay. Embarrassed and angry, she turned and went back to his bedroom and waited, the offending clothes still in a pile by her feet.

Minutes later, he waltzed out with a towel around his waist, looking scrumptious, wearing that smirk that she knew was meant to knock her off kilter and disarm her. “Sorry I was late. I tried not to wake you. But now that you are …”

“Stop it,” she snarled, “I was worried about you. What were you doing?”

“Working. I texted. You replied.”   She looked at his clothes and his eyes followed hers. “You’re mad because I left my clothes on the floor? I’ll pick them up.”

“No! What were you doing? And working doesn’t cut it. I want details,” demanded Reagan.

“I can’t tell you. It’s classified information. Like attorney/client privilege.” He was very flippant in all of his replies.

“You don’t have to name names. Quit trying to hide stuff from me. Were your involved in a shootout?”

“Yes. Satisfied?” he said, now getting angry.

“I thought you worked behind a desk. What do you do – exactly? Or is that classified too?”

“I manage Security and Investigations for BASE. You already know that!” he yelled, now angry and evidently tired of being cross examined.

“Is that why you were there that night? You smelled just like those clothes. Did you shoot my mother?”

“I …” he couldn’t finish his sentence.

“DID YOU?” she screamed.

Yes! Dammit! To save your life and your father’s!”

He paused, as he ran his hands through his hair, and took a calming breath. He turned around and unceremoniously dropped the towel onto the pile of clothes, then grabbed  boxers out the drawer and pulled them on before speaking again. “My team was the one that your father called. I guess I thought you knew that.”

“I don’t really know what I thought. Everything was a blur.”

“I would’ve killed her that night, if you hadn’t been in the way. I would’ve done it for you!” he yelled.

“You’re sick.” Evan’s words began to make sense now.  Except Evan said Archer did kill someone. He must’ve known Archer was the one that did the shooting. How? She began to feel sick at her stomach.

“Dammit Reagan, it’s my job,” he said through gritted teeth.

“My God, you killed Viviana…didn’t you?” Her voice was shaking as she spoke. “You shot her and then tried to kill my mother. I can’t. I’m leaving in the morning. I’m moving in with my grandparents and then I’m going back to work.”  She stood up and walked out.

“You can’t just leave me!” he called out after her.

She ignored him as tears began to fall. He had killed someone. Evan said he wanted to kill her, but that was a normal reaction.  This was calculated. He tried to kill her.  She couldn’t wrap her head around it. She just assumed it was the police that shot into the game room. Thank god he didn’t follow her.

Reagan laid in bed awake, trying to calm herself. She didn’t want to go to sleep because she didn’t want to dream. If she did, he’d be there in a heartbeat, and she knew, she’d let him comfort her.

Once she was satisfied Archer was asleep in his room, she decided to get up and make coffee. Maybe that’d keep her awake. She could sleep tomorrow, once she was safely at her grandmother’s.

She went as quietly as she could, in the dark, to make it, then she sat down at the bar to drink it, willing the time to go faster. Then, she remembered her ‘therapy homework’. That would keep her mind active.

Reagan got her laptop and began to write. Once she started, her feelings began to flow freely. She wrote about how she felt about Archer. It was difficult. She loved him, yes, but she wasn’t in love with him. And now she was actually afraid of him. Although she didn’t think he would ever hurt her.  But she no longer knew who he was.  She loved who he had been.

Then she wrote about Evan and that was easier. At first. She’d clearly hurt him badly. As did her mother. He didn’t tell her everything. So it had to be really horrible. But he had given her a small amount of hope that maybe they could start over at some point in the future.  At least they could be friends. He may never forgive her for sleeping with Archer.  But she had to get out of San Myshuno first before any of that could happen.

Maybe that was why she had nightmares about Evan now. She’d resolved her feelings for her father before she left. Sort of. At least they had called a truce. But when Evan started to be in her dreams, was it because she feared losing him because she thought she was falling in love with Archer? Or was it the because she doesn’t love Archer, but she cheated on Evan with him? And now, she may never be able to get back what she once had with Evan.  Maybe it was really her hurting Evan in her dream through Archer?

She’d been writing for awhile, and only realized she’d been crying when the tears dropped onto her chin.  She swiped her face to get rid of them.  She felt like crap and was completely exhausted, emotionally as well as physically.  Writing had only confused her. She was glad she had another appointment with Dr. Brown in a couple of days.

Who she didn’t write about was her mother. She simply couldn’t make herself think about her. It made her nauseous. She deleted the document she had started and checked the time. It was 3:00 AM. She had to sleep or she wouldn’t be able to drive in the morning.

Reagan laid her head down, and cried softly.  She didn’t want to dream anymore and sleep brought dreams. She needed someone with her, Dr. Brown was right about that. She couldn’t be alone. Archer wanted her and would do anything for her, but she rejected him. She wanted Evan and would do anything for him, but he rejected her. How screwed up was that? The story of her life, always wanting something she couldn’t have.

Ryan, that’s who she needed to talk to, but it was 3:00 AM. She knew though that she would want him to call her if he needed her, so she picked up the phone and dialed.

Reagan? Are you okay?” he asked, his voice groggy from being woken up.

“Yes … No….” she said,  then remembered to lower her voice.  “I just needed to talk to someone. I’m sorry. I know it’s the middle of the night.”

“Where are you?”

“At Archer’s apartment,” she said softly.

“Is he there? Did he hurt you?” asked Ryan, the sleepiness now gone from his voice.

“He’s here, but he didn’t hurt me.  He’s asleep.  Ryan, I can’t go to sleep because I’ll dream and he’ll wake me up and make me feel more guilty and I need to go home.” Her voice cracked as she confessed to Ryan.

“I’m coming to get you. I’m in Willow Creek, so it’ll take me about an hour. Can you stay awake that long?”

“You’re coming here? Now?” she asked, feeling relieved but guilty. She didn’t mean for him to come and get her. Just talk to her so she wouldn’t fall asleep.

“Of course. Stay awake. I’ll call when I get in the car we can talk while I drive.”

“Thank you,” she said and hung up.

“Who were you talking to?” asked Archer.

Reagan screamed and dropped the phone. She stood up to get it, but Archer was closer, so he picked it up.

“Who was that?” he asked again.

“Ryan … I couldn’t sleep,” replied Reagan.

He face softened.  “Come here,” he said and held his arms out. “I didn’t mean to scare you.  You can lie down with me, or I’ll go in your room and lie down with you. It doesn’t matter. I’ll just hold you. That’s all, promise.”

“No … I can’t,” she said, not moving from her spot and wrapping her arms around herself.

He dropped his arms to his side. “Is this because of what I said?”

She quickly shook her head.  “No, I just can’t sleep,” she lied.

“You’ve been drinking coffee? No wonder. But you didn’t have to wake up your brother. You know I don’t mind if you wake me up.”

“I don’t want to sleep,” she said truthfully.

“Why? Because you think you’ll dream?”

She nodded her head, chewing her bottom lip.

He sighed and looked at her tenderly. “My sweet Reagan. Maybe you should ask Dr. Brown to prescribe some anti-anxiety meds. At least until the nightmares go away. Maybe if you are relaxed when you sleep, you won’t have them.”

“She said I didn’t need them.”

“Then you probably need a new Doctor. Clearly she doesn’t understand how distraught you are. We can call her in the morning.” Archer took her by the elbow. “For now, let’s get you to bed. I’ll stay with you.” 

“No. I can’t,” she said and shivered harder at his touch.

“Why not?”

“I’ll dream.”

God you’re shaking, you’re on the verge of a panic attack. Let’s just go sit in the living room then.” 

“Okay,” she agreed. As long as it didn’t involve sleeping and knowing Ryan was on the way, she would go. He would be here in only another 30 minutes. But why hadn’t he called? Then she remembered. Archer had her phone and it was on silent.

She let Archer lead her into the living area. They sat down and he turned on the TV, keeping the sound low. Then he pulled her next to him. He smelled so good. Not like the clothes he discarded. She shivered again thinking about it.  She let him hold her, because she was afraid not to. Ryan would be here soon anyway, then she could leave and it would be over.  She closed her eyes, just for a second.

***************************************************************************

Reagan jerked awake when she heard noises and looked around to see where she was. She had fallen asleep on the couch, but where was Archer?  Than hushed voices drifted in from the front of the apartment. Ryan!

She jumped up and ran into the foyer where Archer and Ryan were whisper-yelling at each other.

When Ryan saw her he raised his voice. “Reagan! Get your suitcase. Let’s get out of here.”

“She’s not going anywhere,” replied Archer firmly, glancing at Reagan, “I already told you. She’s fine. You woke her up. Now get out Ryan. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll leave – now.”

The next thing she knew Ryan had taken a swing at Archer knocking him to the ground. “No!” yelled Reagan.

“You son of a bitch!” growled out Archer and jumped to his feet. “I’ve been wanting a reason to beat the shit outta you!” He swung at Ryan and punched him.

Reagan jumped between them before he could hit her brother again.  “Stop it! Both of you!” yelled Reagan.

Archer shoved her out of the way and managed to punch Ryan in the stomach this time, knocking the breath out of him. Then he pinned him to the wall. “Get out!”

“Not … without … my … sister,” huffed our Ryan between breaths.

“Archer! Let him go!” cried Reagan.

He ignored her and punched Ryan in the stomach again, and Ryan began to slide down the wall clutching his midsection.

Go to Chapter 3.56>>>>>>>

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54 thoughts on “Chapter 3.55 – Gunpowder and Pennies

  1. Oh shit 😱 This chapter was so scary! 😭 Archer is so controlling, and I felt like we were starting to see him come unhinged…

    And then… 😱😱😱 His fight with Ryan had me freaking out. Archer easily could have killed him if Reagan didn’t intervene.

    But… did SHE kill HIM? Oh god I hope not. 😭😭😭😭 Next chapter when????

    Liked by 1 person

    • He is definitely getting frustrated. Things aren’t going how he envisioned. 😬

      I wonder how far they would’ve gone. Ryan is strong, but not trained like Archer is. They are both hot heads. Ryan had hoped to just sneak her out without a confrontation. But she wasn’t answering her phone so he feared the worst, I’m sure.

      Sorry for the intense cliffhanger! It was supposed to be resolved this weekend. Guess it’ll be next week! 😱 At least Ryan is okay! 🤷‍♀️ 😈😈😈

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, he had it coming. Nobody is allowed to punch Ryan!

    What a huge mess. Now it really is better if she leaves and cut contact, at least for a while. She really cannot handle a guy like Archer. He needs someone as stubborn and firm as he is.

    And at least now Reagan is back home and in safety, able to recoup and lick her wounds, thanks to her bro.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He did have it coming. He should have just let her go instead of trying to stop it. Archer knows Ryan is stubborn and is going to fight him if he feels Reagan was in danger. The sad thing is even though Ryan could put up a better fight now, he is a lot stronger than he was, Archer is trained for that and Ryan is not. He could’ve hurt Ryan badly. It was stupid on his part. But that’s how his night was, he was already upset by Reagan’s questions and refusals.

      Now everything is bigger mess. Especially for Archer….. 🤔 😈😈😈

      Like

  3. Just what Reagan needed another trauma to deal with.
    Why was it relevant to her all of a sudden what Archer does in his job and if it was him or the police who shot her mother and Vivian? She was leaving anyway. Also, if she was afraid of him, she shouldn’t have waited until he returns home. I know she wanted to do it face to face, but her instinct clearly told her to get away from him as fast as possible. Just another bad decision on her part.
    Also what did Archer think? That beating Ryan into a pulp will convince Reagan to stay? Well, think again, jerk. Hopefully things will only get better from now on.

    Liked by 4 people

    • No kidding. Another trauma to add to her list. She didn’t know Archer’s job was that violent or dangerous. 🤷‍♀️ She doesn’t hate Archer, but she’s learning that there is way more to him than she bargained for. She wasn’t really that afraid of him until she learned what he was truly capable of.

      Archer and Ryan got into it before, but Ryan always throws the first punch. They were only arguing before Reagan come in. Archer tried to get Ryan to leave.

      Things escalated when Ryan saw her, maybe Ryan thought he could make him back down and get Reagan. But didn’t back down. I hope things do get easier.

      Like

        • They have! So true. But she did call Ryan. But it’s not a healthy way to live. I think that’s what’s different about Evan. He didn’t try to railroad her into anything. He’s still not. Maybe with continued counseling she’ll be able to begin to grow and stop allowing that.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m just glad that Archer decided to handle this in a mature, responsible way. I mean, after all, the best way to get your dream girl to stay is to beat her brother to a bloody pulp to force her to stay. That always gets me all hot and bothered, that’s for sure.

    Some sarcasm may have appeared in my comment.
    Good god, this is just… the last thing Reagan needs in her life.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The sarcasm was loud and clear. Archer was already in a mood and Ryan made it a thousand times worse. Not a smart move. They both should know better. Now Archer’s got lots of ‘splainin to do … if he can ….😬😈😈😈

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Omg!! Did she kill Archer? That’s one way to get rid of a suitor. 😏

    Well, it was self defense.

    I was at the edge of my seat the whole time! And what psychiatrist wouldn’t prescribe anti anxiety meds? Reagan clearly needs them if she’s scared of going to sleep.

    If Archer is dead, Reagan might face jail time. Following in mommas footsteps. There will be a trial to see if it’s murder or self defense. Reagan, you should have called the police!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What the hey-ho? Is Archer dead? :-O I can’t say I’m sorry about what Reagan did, though, although, it’s one more thing to pile onto her conscience. Not to mention something to get in trouble about. I hope he’s not dead. I always liked Archer until now, seeing how controlling he is.

    Great chapter, Audrey! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow. You and I talk a lot about our stories throwing ideas, it’s not often I am shocked….but I am shocked now. I know this could be traumatic and shit can fly but I have to say GOOD FOR REAGAN!!!. I hope Archer isn’t dead. Not for his sake, fuck him, but for Reagan’s.
    We all knew he wasn’t going to let her leave quietly. Also the gunpowder smell…it concerns me. He has a desk job, but we both know that BASE is not just a private investigation force…it is a “legal” mafia. Has Archer stepped over to the dark side of the Blake Family? If he survives…how will he react to this? Will Mickey react? Archer after all is the heir…sort of. So many questions, can’t wait to see the answers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How do you really feel? Lol… Reagan will be in an asylum if he’s dead. New twist. The asylum challenge! Lol…

      He has a desk job but I guess he gets in the field more often than he wants these days. Killing Avery like he did was a big step over the line. Lots of questions.

      Like

  8. Okay now that I finally had some catching up to do, I started with Taj Mahal about 2 hours ago and wound up here. Yay I’m caught up!!!

    Okay first all I’ve got to say is wow! Cliffhangers of the infamous black screen at the end! Audrey, you cruel little… 😟😟😩

    Ok just kidding. Omg, Reagan is in a heap of a clusterfuck with this trio of men! I honestly did steer my hopes towards Archer. She looks so much more comfortable and set with him. Evan… I just don’t know what to think.

    Okay I honestly hope Archer didn’t die though. That would really suck. He does appear to have some anger issues though, which scares me. What would’ve happened if Reagan wasn’t going loco with the wine bottle??? Would Archer have killed Ryan? Wow, the drama is sizzling it’s reeeeaaalllllllllllllly sizzling! 🔥😲🔥

    I just want to put in my part about Evan, I never really liked him that much. He’s nice and sweet but he’s just kind of dry and flat in my opinion. Archer is more full of emotion and has that bad boy personality that really gets women’s hearts on fire. Maybe that’s just my opinion though, I never really been into the “pretty boys”. I love a man with tattoos and hinted with a temper.

    Like

    • Congrats on catching up. Sometimes it is more fun to binge a few chapters!

      Sorry for the cliffhanger. Too good to resist. 😈😈😈

      Reagan is a big mess. She is/was comfortable with Archer because he made her decisions for her. Evan doesn’t do that. So he makes her a little uncomfortable. But, when they finally connected and she understood him, it was good. If Reagan hadn’t been going crazy with the wine, I’m no sure what would’ve happened. 😱

      Everyone likes Archer for exactly the reason you said. His personality is over the top. I know. Evan folded with the drama and didn’t fight back. He may have eventually, but things happened too fast. He’s not accustomed to this kind of drama. Like he said, he’s just a sales guy. Poor sweet man. 😢

      Like

  9. Wow, one cliffhanger after another! I will go through another patience test wondering what will happen next. Evan realizes that Archer is like a trained soldier/hitman very capable of killing through what he did to Avery and Viviane. Reagan does not really know/experience the tiger in Archer.
    So Ryan, even though he trained and was pumped up via his gym was not trained to fight like Archer and was getting the worst of it when Reagan intervened. With a solid hit by her liquor bottle. Knocked him out cold and bleeding….
    Very nailbiting suspenseful story development. Your pictures add “non verbal communication” whammy in a machinima of pictures, truly showing a picture or two is worth 1000 words.
    This is probably a surprise, but Archer may be right, that the doctor should have prescribed anti anxiety or sleep meds. Perhaps the first visit communication was not enough, in the doctors judgement, for the need of it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Evan does know what he’s capable of. Reagan and Ryan don’t. Ryan is strong, but not trained in combat. Very different indeed. Archer could very well have hurt him badly if Reagan hadn’t knocked him out or worse….

      Im happy you felt the pictures added to the suspense and the story!

      I agree, Reagan is at the point she may need something for anxiety. She’s only seen the doctor once. I’m sure she didn’t want to start medications if therapy could help. I’m sure that’s why she wanted to see her again so soon. Things are escalating now and she may need some short term help dealing with it.

      Like

  10. Gddang. Reagan needs to know how to level things, one minute she can’t stand up to Archer in the next second she’s breaking his skull with a bottle of wine like calm down girl.

    Jokes aside, this is all nasty, before comenting on the obivious, I’ll talk about what happened before.

    First, I guess what Evan said really shook her up and made her wonder more about what Archer actually does. She also had some more streght to push him into a wall and ask him to spill the tea and just tell her the truth. She should have just asked Ryan to come in earlier, but, hey, we are all human, and make mistakes.

    I’m glad she decided to work on her theraphy homework, but, again, not a very appropriate time. Sleep deprivation really messes with your brain.

    I was angry with Archer’s manipulation, like, really dude, saying she should get another doctor because said doctor doesn’t do what you think she should do? SInce when you’re a doctor? I was hella glad she was getting out of there, okay he cares about her, but, good intentions only don’t make you any better, dude.

    Okay, the elafant in the room. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I hope she didn’t kill him, that would just add a lot of trauma to the pile. I get why she did it (thought I don’t agree) she now knew he was dangerous, was worried about her brother, didn’t sleep, and didn’t see any way to break them apart, adrenaline and all.

    I hope, if Archer does Wake up, that bottle of wine was enought of a message to him. Like, bro, she almost broke you head. If that ain’t a ”no” then I’m not sure what it is. Heck, I would be happy if he was even slightly afraid of her, at least that way he wouldn’t try to manipulate her into doing what he wants, and maybe even stay away.

    He surely isn’t going to look at Reagan with the same eyes as before, but how will she see her, is still a mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry for the late reply to this well thought out comment – as yours always are! ❤️

      Reagan has no middle. That is true! She’s high or low. And it is nasty! A huge giant mess of nastiness.

      Evan did plant some seeds of doubt. She hadn’t listened to anyone before him sooo… it’s about time she did. She was fed up and fueled by a little liquid courage and anger. Those two together can be lethal. She should have called Ryan earlier but really wanted to give Archer the benefit of the doubt and be kind to him. Too bad it didn’t work out.

      Sleep deprivation is the worst and judgment is impaired. Big time. He was and has always been quietly manipulating her. He just wants her mellow and with him. I think k he loves her but maybe he loves the scared little girl she used to be that he could mold how he wanted. She’s stronger than he gives her credit for. She just went through something traumatic.

      I do hope ‘if’ he wakes up that nasty gash in his head will indeed be enough to make him back off. If he doesn’t – ugh Reagan might be broken beyond repair.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️
    That Archer and Ryan are not the ones to use their heads is nothing new xD

    Compliment onto the end of the chapter. I like the screenshot sequence that gets darker and darker. I assume Rea lost concience?

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Pingback: Chapter 3.54 – Going Back | New Beginnings

  13. Pingback: Chapter 3.56 – Grandpa | New Beginnings

  14. Wtf is wrong with Archer??! Did he really think that beating Reagan’s brother would earn him points to actually win Reagan’s heart? What happened to him to turn him into such a monster?! Or had that rage always been there..?
    This is… ugh. And just when I thought things couldn’t get more complicated for poor Reagan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The rage has been there. And it’s escalated thinking Reagan’s leaving him. He lost it. Wasn’t even thinking, just reacting. So sad for him to lose his sh*t. Not a good time for it to happen. Poor Regan too. Lol. Even more complications … 😱😈

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh wow, that was scary. To be exact, Archer was scary. I guess the monster comes out all the more when you know to recognize its face.
    Rea was super brave to knock him down and I’m glad Ryan is okay. I just hope this won’t have consequences. Archer has connections, after all. At least it would surprise me if he hadn’t, in his line of work. Let’s hope Mickey’s family won’t help him out but since they were who gave the order… Well, what a mess

    Liked by 1 person

    • That was intense for sure. Good for Reagan for being so brave. There may or may not be consequences. Hah! I’m not sure where Mickey’s loyalties would lie in this case. You can’t force someone to love you. At least Ryan was okay.

      Like

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