Put Up Your Kingdom For Sale

Chapter 22 - The Ultimate Love

Eve stood up from the grave and brushed the grass of her clothes. She walked to the entrance of the cemetery and glanced back at the grave. She quickly turned away and headed to her car.
“Eve…Eve…” The voice called for her.
“STOP!” She screamed as she pressed her foot on the gas and squealed out onto the road. She could hear his voice, plain as day, calling her. She didn’t know what to do. Everything she did, wouldn’t block out the voice echoing in her head. It felt like Zac was sitting right next to her. She had to get away. The voice overwhelmed her. She sped away as fast as the car would take her and just let the road guide her.

Eve pulled in and turned off the engine, resting back against her seat and closed her eyes. She opened her eyes and looked in shock. She had pulled into the driveway of her mansion.
“…prove your love…” The voice beckoned. Eve jumped out of the car and up to the front door. She put her hand on the knob and noticed, surprisingly, it was unlocked. As if Zac was waiting for her to come home. She closed the door behind herself and locked it. The mansion looked the same. Nothing out of the ordinary. Like she had just left it. She put down her pocketbook and went up stairs to the bedroom they had shared. It was left the way she had last seen it. The bed looked unmade, like Zac had just slept in it. She sat on the bed and looked down at the pillows that still had the imprints of Zac on them. She laid on the bed and buried her face in the pillow, still smelling his scent. She sobbed to herself, remembering him. Remembering how he was so innocent, so young…so vulnerable. She sat up quickly and wiped her eyes with her hand.
“…prove your love…” The voice boomed. Eve looked up at the ceiling.
“ZAC!” She screamed so loud her voice started to crack. She got up from the bed and ran down the stairs as the voice kept repeating the same words in her mind.
“…prove your love Eve…prove your love…”
Eve ran into the living room and grabbed her cds off the shelf. She rummaged through them and threw one on the stereo. She turned up the volume full blast as the song began, hoping to drown out the voice.
‘Rock on- gold dust woman, take your silver spoon, and dig your grave. Heartless challenge, pick your path and I’ll pray, Wake up in the morning, See your sunrise-loves-to go down. Lousy lovers-pick their pray but they never cry out loud. Did she make you cry, make your break down, shatter all your illusions of love. Is it over now-do you know how to pick up the pieces and go home, Rock on-ancient queen, follow those who pale in your shadow. Rulers make bad lovers, you better put your kingdom up for sale. Did she make you cry, make you break down, shatter all your illusions of love, is it over now- do you know how to pick up the pieces and go home…black widow…she’s a dragon…’
The song kept repeating and Eve tried to switch it. It would just keep repeating. Eve ran out of the living room screaming. She ran into the only room she thought she could get away. She ran down the dark corridor and opened the door. Eve almost feel backwards. All on the ceiling and walls were no longer pictures of Zac but of both of them. Both Zac and Eve together. Smiling, kissing, hugging…being happy together. Eve shrank to the floor and sobbed as she pounded her fist against the floor. She attempted to contain herself. She got up and staggered over to the desk on the other side of the room. Sitting neatly on the desk was an envelope with Eve’s name on it. With a trembling hand, Eve picked up the envelope and opened it. She pulled out the piece of paper inside and opened it carefully.
“Eve…my beloved. I will always love you. I can’t stop loving you. I realized that you may not think you can feel the same way. It is so hard for me to live without you. You are my world. I can’t stand being without you so…by the time you find this…I’ll be gone. I’ll be waiting for you. I love you, no matter what. Zac.” Eve let the tears flow down her face as she held the letter in her trembling hands.
“…prove your love Eve…” The voice said. Eve could still hear the song in the other room.
“…Did she make you cry, make you break down, shatter all your illusions of love, is it over now, do you know how to pick up the pieces and go home…”
Eve ran out of the room and out the mansion to the garage. She grabbed a gas can she used for the lawn mower and ran back in the house. She opened the cap and threw the cap to the floor. She ran around, drenching the walls and floors with gasoline and ran back down the corridor, to the room. She covered the floor and walls with gasoline and put the gas can down on the floor next to her. She reached in her pocket and grabbed a book of matches and held them in her shaking hands.
“ I LOVE YOU!” She screamed and with that, she struck the match and dropped it.

Taylor and Phyllis drove home in silence. The kids were asleep in the back seat and Phyllis looked back to check on them.
“Phyl…” Taylor said and cleared his throat.
“Yeah hon?” Phyllis said, turning back in her seat.
“I saw Eve.” He said plainly.
“What?” Phyllis asked with a puzzled look on her face.
“I saw Eve at the grave when everyone had already left.” He said and quickly wiped a tear away that had escaped and trickled down his cheek.
“Wha…what did she say?” Phyllis said with wide eyes.
“It’s not so much what she said but what she did…” Taylor answered.
“Tay…what did she do?” Phyllis asked.
“I was sitting there with the kids, crying and she…she…she hugged me.” Taylor said, choking a little.
“She hugged you?” Phyllis said in astonishment.
“She was consoling me. I didn’t know what to do so…I…I left.” He stammered. Phyllis looked at him and then back at the road. Taylor didn’t further the conversation. He remained silent. The cell phone rang and Taylor jumped in his seat. Phyllis looked at him and answered it.
“Hello?” She said.
“Phyl? This is Kodiak. The mansion is on fire!” Kodiak yelled.
“What!” Phyllis said in a shocked tone.
“It’s burning down!” Kodiak yelled.
“I have to get there.” He said and hung up. Phyllis turned towards Taylor and swallowed hard.
“The mansion is on fire.” Phyllis said with wide eyes. Taylor looked at her in surprise and turned the car around and sped down the road towards the mansion.

They pulled in the driveway along with countless fire men and police and his family. Ike and Candy jumped out of their car and ran to Taylor on Phyllis. Taylor jumped out and looked up as the mansion became engulfed in flames. Police came over and ushered the family away out of danger. Phyllis and Amanda got the kids out of the car and walked out to the family. Taylor took Cat from Amanda and held onto Phyllis as she held Jordan in her arms.
“I can’t believe it.” Phyllis said as she watched the fire men attempt to put out the rising flames.
“How did this happen I wonder.” Candy said, looking at Taylor.
“I…I have no idea.” He stammered. Taylor glanced over to the garage and noticed, parked there was a black corvette, or the remains of one anyway. Taylor gasped to himself, knowing what or more like who had caused the fire. He wondered to himself if maybe she had found a way out and was fleeing the scene. He actually hoped that was the case. He couldn’t be angry anymore. It was no one’s fault any longer. There was no one left to blame. Taylor cradled Cat in his arms, kissing his daughter on the forehead as he watched the last remaining support beams fall, causing the whole thing to crash to the ground in a flaming heap of rubble.

Taylor and Phyllis finally got home. He walked in the door, feeling exhausted and overcome with sorrow. Phyllis took the kids upstairs to go to bed and Taylor sat down on the couch. He ran his fingers through his hair and stared down at the floor, thinking about how much he missed his brother. He longed to see him again. He stopped, thinking about what Eve had said to him. Could she have been lying to him in some sort of crazed state. Was there really a child. He couldn’t believe it, he didn’t believe it but it was still in the back of his mind.
“Hon, come up to bed. You look exhausted.” Phyllis called from the top of the stairs.
“All right.” Taylor said as he got up off the couch. Phyllis came down the stairs and stood in front of him. She reached out to him and he put his arms around her waist as she hugged him. He could feel the feeling of emotion rise in his throat as he scrunched up his eyebrows and let the tears spill down his face.
“I…I feel so guilty.” He said in a raspy voice.
“Tay…sweetie…you shouldn’t. You tried to protect him. You loved him and deep down…deep down, he knew. He knew.” Phyllis said as she consoled him. She wrapped her arms around him tighter and sighed.
“Let’s go and get some sleep.” She said, turning and looking at him. She reached her hand to his face and wiped away the tears from his cheeks. Taylor nodded and took her hand as she led him upstairs. He got undressed and laid down in the bed. Phyllis came in after using the bathroom and made herself comfortable. Just before she was about to close her eyes, she turned over and looked at him. He had his hand over his eyes, as he cried silently to himself. Phyllis moved him so that he was in her arms and laid his head on her shoulder, carressing his hair while he wept. Taylor could only think about Zac. It would never really leave his mind. Even when he looked at his children, he was reminded of him. Whenever he would see a drumset, he would be reminded. Whenever someone was laughing. He couldn’t help it. No matter what anyone said, he still felt guilty. He was amazed, although, how incredibly strong Phyllis was being. He eventually fell asleep in her arms and dreamt only of the funeral and of Zac and the burning mansion.

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