Put Up Your Kingdom For Sale

Chapter 21 - “…Prove your love…”

Taylor crawled over to Zac’s lifeless body. Taylor cradled him in his arms and screamed and sobbed as he held him close. Ike and Kodiak ran from where they had been searching and came into the room in a rush.
“ZAC!” Ike screamed. He fell to the floor next to Taylor and held onto his younger brother as he racked with sobs.
“HE’S DEAD!” Taylor wailed as he buried his face in Zac’s shoulder.
“NO!!!” He screamed. Kodiak stood in the doorway, not knowing what to do. He looked all round, up at the ceiling and the walls and all he could see were pictures of Zac and Eve, covering the room He couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t actually believe what was happening right before his eyes.
“I’ll call an ambulance!” He said, rushing out of the room. He ran to the kitchen and grabbed the phone. Kodiak was shaking so hard, he was having trouble actually hitting the numbers.
“Uh…hel…hello…yes…uh…we…we…just found my cous…cousin. We…we…think he’s dead.” Kodiak said into the phone as he tried to calm himself in spite of the overwhelming urge to cry. He hung up the phone and immediately called home. Amanda answered the phone like she normally did.
“Ma…man?” Kodiak said as he quivered.
“Kodaik?! What’s…what’s going on? Is everything all right?” Amanda said in a concerned voice.
“We…we…found Zac…” He began.
“Is he all right?”
“He…he…he’s dead.” Kodiak said and burst into tears.
“OH MY GOD!” Amanda screamed and dropped the phone.
“MAN! C..call Phyl…an…and Candy…this is important…and call Mr. and Mrs…Mrs. Hanson. Do you hear me!” Kodiak yelled into the phone. Amanda made a sound, agreeing to what he had asked. He could hear her sobbing on the line and he had to hang up.

The ambulance came along with Phyllis, Candy, Amanda and Mr. and Mrs. Hanson. The place was swarming with people. Not just police and medical personal but press and fans from all around. Taylor sat on the floor in a ball and sobbed uncontrollably. Phyllis held him as he cried. The medical personal came in and looked at Zac’s body. One man came over to Taylor and knelt down.
“Mr. Hanson…I’m sorry…your brother is dead…” The man said. Taylor looked up at him with wide eyes and looked past him as they were wheeling Zac’s body out on a stretcher.
“NOOOO!” Taylor screamed as he ran past everyone to the stretcher. He uncovered Zac’s face. He embraced him, crying so hard that he started to feel sick.
“ZAC!” Taylor screamed.
“Mr...Mr. Hanson, we have to take him away now.” The paramedic said, running over to him and grabbing him by the shoulders.
“ZAC!” Taylor yelled as he was led away.

“Erickson…Eston…Fae…Eve Fae.” The jail guard said as they made their way down the line of cell blocks. Eve raised her hand and the guard handed her a letter.
After Eve had left the wedding, she bought a plane ticket to Europe. She was planning on staying with a friend of hers by the name of Sophie. Eve, unfortunately had made some bad decisions when she had left. She was laundering money from Zac’s accounts and was also caught on tax evasion. She had been arrested and taken to jail while in Europe. Another unfortunate thing that Eve didn’t know until she was arrested was that she was pregnant…with Zac’s child. She knew she couldn’t handle taking care of the child while she was in jail and she didn’t want the baby to be put in foster care. She put the baby in Sophie’s care until she had gotten out and she would be free to do as she pleased.
Eve fell back on her bunk in her cell and ripped open the letter.
“Eve, I just heard on the television the other day that they found a body in your mansion. I don’t want to tell you so impersonally in a letter but…I think I should come by with the baby to tell you myself. Sophie.” Eve looked at the letter curiously.
“I wonder whose body was in my mansion?” She thought. She didn’t even think that it could be Zac. She had tried to wipe any memories clear from her mind. But she couldn’t. Every time Sophie brought the baby to visit, she could see Zac, staring back at her. She had been thinking that maybe she should give the baby to Sophie when she got out and just…just disappear again.

Eve walked over to the visiting station and sat down. She waited patiently as Sophie made her way in with the baby. Eve smiled at her and took the letter out from her pocket and put it on the desk in front of her.
“Hi Eve.” Sophie said. Sophie was a friend of Eve’s ever since they were in kindergarten. She was the only one Eve could trust. She was a shorter woman with blonde hair that she normally wore in a tight bun. She had fair skin and brown eyes. She always made Eve feel as if she were at home. Like, she could relax.
“So…you wrote me this.” Eve said, pushing it to her.
“Yes. Eve…this is going to shock you…but…the body was of Zac Hanson.” Sophie said with a concerned look.
“What!” Eve said in a shocked tone. She could feel the tears well up in her eyes. She immediately wanted to oppress any feelings of remorse or even of love for him.
“Uh…what…uh…what happened?” Eve said, gulping hard as she tried to contain her feelings of sorrow.
“He overdosed. The reporters said that he was showing signs of depression and was trying to medicate himself. The weirdest part is that they didn’t come out with this until now. They tried to get some words from the last person left in the house. His brother…uh…uh…” Sophie paused, trying to think of the name.
“Taylor.” Eve said, finishing her sentence. She gritted her teeth at the thought of him.
“Well…I just thought that you should know.” Sophie said and got up.
“Thank you Sophie…Uh…I need to ask something of you…” Eve said, motioning for Sophie to sit back down.
“What?” Sophie asked.
“Uh…I can’t ask you right now…but…I’ll write it down for you. I want you to follow what I say to the letter. And I mean it.” Eve said, looking in her friend’s eyes.
“Sure.” Sophie said.
“I knew I could count on you.” Eve smiled.

Eve made her back to her cell and sat there, on her bunk. She started to sob and cry, thinking about Zac. She didn’t realize how she actually felt. She truly loved him with all her heart and soul. She couldn’t believe he was gone. She didn’t want to believe it. She thought it would be better to just leave.
“He’d be safer without me around.” She had thought.

“Eve….” Eve looked around suspiciously at the voice calling her name.
“Wha…what?” She stammered as she looked all around her cell.
“Eve…you did this to me…you never loved me…” a voice echoed in her head.
“Za…Zac.” She stammered, wide eyed.
“Why Eve…why?” The voice continued.
“I did love you. I…I…” She stammered, letting fresh tears fall down her face.
“You never loved me…” The voice said and faded away.
“Zac…I…I…I love you now!” She yelled into the air. She sobbed and fell onto her bunk and buried her face in the pillow, eventually crying herself to sleep.

The family gathered around the gravesite, waiting as the services began. Taylor felt like his heart was breaking into millions of pieces. He felt so incredibly guilty. He felt that it was all his fault that Zac had done it to himself. Had drove him to try and “medicate” his troubles. If only he had been there. If only he had just listened instead of just ignoring Zac and his silent cries for help.
“Daddy?” Jordan said as he looked up in Taylor’s eyes as he held his son. Taylor looked at him and smiled even though he felt he was being torn apart. He fixed Jordan’s clothes so he was more comfortable and looked over towards Phyllis. She had Cat in her arms and she was looked down silently at the coffin. She looked like she was on the verge of tears but lately she wouldn’t, to try and save Taylor of his sorrow. She was trying to be strong for him. Phyllis never had any siblings and when they first got together, their relationship grew into a relationship in which she felt his family was her family. She considered Zac a little brother. It hurt her just as much knowing that he was gone. Taylor moved closer to her and grabbed her hand, squeezing it slightly. She looked back at him and smiled.
“Tay?” Ike said, walking over to his brother. Taylor looked up at him and waited for him to say what he was waiting for.
“They want you to give your eulogy now.” Ike said, keeping a straight face. Taylor nodded and handed Jordan to him. Taylor slowly made his way up to the head of the casket. He looked down and took a deep breath.
“And now…Taylor will give the eulogy…” The man said. He moved out of the way and squeezed Taylor’s shoulder in reassurance. Taylor stared down at the ground and held his hands in front of him. He looked up in the sky and took a deep breath.
“What can I say? Zac…Zac was my brother…my…my song writing partner…a best friend. He didn’t deserve to die so young. He was the one of the most influential people in my life. He was the one that pushed me to pursue my relationship with Phyllis, my wife…” Taylor paused, taking another deep breath as he tried to contain the tears that were welling in his eyes.
“He made me laugh so hard that I would have to hold my stomach from the pain…he would cheer me up when I was so incredibly down…He was…He was…” Taylor said, starting to feel the emotion rise in his throat, causing him to choke on his words.
“I love him. I will always love him. Many people were touched by him…and…I…and…I’m sorry…this is incredibly hard for me. I can’t believe that he is no longer with us. He meant so much to me and I never had the chance to really tell him…I…” Taylor said, feeling the tears spill down his face.
“I…I…miss him.” He choked out. He looked over at Phyllis and he started to tremble, seeing her bow her head as she cried. Ike handed Jordan to Candy and ran over to Taylor. Taylor fell in his arms and sobbed.
“Thank you Taylor. We know how hard it is for you to talk about it considering how close you were.” The man in the beginning said as he moved in front of the casket as Ike led Taylor away.

Eve looked from behind a tree at the funeral service. She knew that she couldn’t join the rest. They would hound her. She felt so bad. She kept hearing Zac’s voice, telling her that she didn’t love him.
She had recently been paroled and was keeping her baby with Sophie back in Europe. She had to go to the funeral. It wasn’t just that she felt that she had a duty or an obligation to be there but she needed to be there as if something was drawing her there. She turned her back as they began to lower the casket into the grave. She turned back and looked around. She waited patiently as everyone left but one person and two small children remained. She couldn’t tell who it was but she hoped that they would leave soon. She wanted to get to the grave to pay her respects to the only person she could ever say she really loved. She watched and waited.

Taylor stood over the grave. He had sent Phyllis away and he had had her leave Jordan and Cat with him. He knelt down with the kids in his arms and sat them on his knees.
“Zac…Zac…I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I never wanted this to happen to you. I love you…” Taylor said, as the tears fell from his eyes. Taylor touched the casket and lowered his head as he cried.

“Eve…Go to him…” The voice beckoned.
“What! I can’t do that!” She yelled and quickly quieted herself so as the remain anonymous.
“You must…go…go to him…prove your love…” The voice echoed in her ear. Eve growled and decided she couldn’t take it. She marched up to the gravesite and stood there, stiff as a board. Taylor seemed oblivious, only the children looked up at her. Jordan smiled and reached for her but she hesitated. She couldn’t just go over there. Jordan started to reach for her more and made whining noises.
“Shhh.” She said, putting her fingers to her lips and looking around. Taylor still didn’t hear her. Finally, out of pity, Eve knelt down. Jordan put his hand on her shoulder and she put her hand on his. She smiled at him. Eve looked over at Taylor but his face was masked by his hands as he wept. She couldn’t take it. She reached her hand, trembling…and put her hand on his shoulder.
“Phyl…” Taylor began when he looked up. His eyes went wide.
“EVE!” He said.
“Taylor…I…” Eve stammered as she quickly took her hand away.
“Wh…why are you here?” He stuttered again, not believing what he was seeing.
“I…I…I had to come.” She said and bit her lip. Taylor had a look on his face of total helplessness. She felt so incredibly guilty. She looked in his eyes and put her hands on his shoulders. He looked at her hands and back in her face. Finally, Eve pulled him in and embraced him, rubbing her hand against his forehead, moving his hair. Taylor burst into tears.
“Taylor…there is…there is…” Eve stammered, remembering her baby.
“There is a child.” She said. Taylor wrenched away and looked at her. He stood up, with both Jordan and Cat in his arms. Eve stood up quickly and looked at him, wide eyed and in shock. He turned away and left. Eve sunk to the ground in front of the casket. She put her hand on the coffin and let a tear fall down her face.
“Zac.” She whispered.

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