Chapter Seventeen: Our Sister Jessie
Once again we find our heroes at Pleasantville Dam, happily fishing.
“This dam has stood the test of time for two hundred years. My fore-father built it with his best friend, Louis.” Joe looked proudly at the feature. “However I don't think it will last too much longer.”
“Do they have a plan to fix it?” Sunny asked, rubbing some more suncream onto her arms.
Joe scoffed. Peter shook his head.
“Of course not. I've only been petitioning for it for the past three years.” He scowled as Belle hauled in another large fish.
“You know that they're corrupt in the Council Daddy, why don't you just take the money from the coffers and do it yourself?” She asked innocently.
“What, and be as bad as those I'm trying to prosecute? No thank you!” Peter admonished her.
“It was just a suggestion. Considering how much damage would be done if the dam DID burst, I think it's a good one.” Belle replied haughtily.
“You're having another good idea before me?!” Charlie yelped. “What on earth is going on?!”
It took Thomas, Daniel, TJ, Peter, Joe and Sunny to stop Belle from strangling her best friend with the fishing line.
Belle was still stewing later that afternoon. Charlie didn't help the situation any and insisted on needling her when he could. The others had gone home for the evening, and the pair were in their tree waiting for Bill and Betty to finish making dinner.
“Next you'll be able to use the-,” Charlie taunted, but silenced when he saw the look on Belles face. “You're hilarious when you're mad, you know that right?”
“You're a pain Charlie. Why do I hang out with you again?” Belle frowned at him.
“Because I know too much.” Charlie teased, pinching her cheek affectionately.
“Like Mr. Wuzzy-Fuzzles?” Belle smirked.
Charlie shut up after that.
Belle enjoyed her little victory. She looked out towards the road, noticing a beat-up old Crummydore mounting the curb.
“Visitors?” She said quizzically.
Inside, Peter had also noticed the Crummydore. He'd just finished giving Bill a piece of his mind when he noticed who was driving it.
“Get Beauty inside. NOW.” He commanded his brother.
“You do it yourself!” Bill snapped.
“Bill, NOW.” Peter gave him a Look. Bill stepped back.
“Okay, whatever. BELLE! GET INSIDE NOW!” Bill yelled as he headed up the stairs.
“What's up?” Joe asked.
“Jessie and Johannas.” Peter replied.
“BELLE! NOW! NO ARGUMENTS!” Bill roared as he entered her room.
“NOW!” Bill reached through the window and grabbed her. Charlie followed her inside.
“Close the windows and stay put!” Bill warned. He'd just noticed the car too – and he knew what it meant.
“Belle, trust me on this. Do as you're told.” Bill growled. That instantly silenced Belle, who was now a little scared.
Unlike her older brothers, Jessie looked like her mother, only with her fathers dark hair instead of the blond hair the boys shared with their mother. She was tall and thin with dark circles under her blue eyes.
Her boyfriend Johannas was just as thin, with a shaved head, numerous tattoos, brown eyes and a leering smile. He stank of alcohol and he hid his red eyes behind a pair of oversized sunglasses.
Jessie had left the Masters family before Belle was born. She couldn't stand the Masters Code nor the Improbability Clause, and thought both were old and antiquated (and in the case of the Improbability Clause, completely fictional). The fight that she'd had with Joe the night before she left was much, much worse than the petty squabbles between Joe and his sons, and it had left Joe in tears. That night Peter and Bill turned on their sister and refused to acknowledge her as their relation. It had killed Peter inside to do it, as he had been raised to believe his number one priority was to protect his siblings at all costs.
Seeing her now, he realised that she had never changed. Even as children, she'd been the odd one out. She'd never fully embraced the family Code, or the friendship with the Beglys for that matter. There was nothing anyone could have done.
“What does she want?” Bill growled after he got back downstairs.
“I don't know, but she better not think that Johannas is coming inside.” Peter said firmly. Last time Jessie had come back with Johannas, he'd tried to molest Belle in her sleep. Peter had caught him before he even got close though, and had earned himself his second scar in the process. Belle thankfully had no idea what the ensuing fight had been about, assuming that the argument had just been the stock standard one that was always going on.
The three went outside to meet the unwelcome pair. Belle peeked underneath her curtain, then quickly closed it again. Johannas scared her.
“Are you okay?” Charlie asked.
“Jessie and Johannas.” Belle replied. Charlie hugged her. He had a quick look outside too, and saw the three Masters men standing outside. Thomas was outside too, pretending to weed his petunias.
Jessie got out of the car, and walked towards her family. Johannas leaned back against the car, smirking. Two of his friends were sitting in the car, big, hulking men who oozed trouble.
“Jessie.” Peter frowned.
“Peter. Bill. Dad.” Jessie glared back.
“What are you after?” Peter asked unkindly.
“What, I'm not allowed to come and see my family after so long?” Jessie bit back.
“Considering what happened last time, I think I have the right to be wary.” Peter said, glaring at Johannas, who chuckled.
“Get out of it Peter, he didn't hurt her.” Jessie snapped.
“Only because I stopped him.” Was the cold reply.
The two siblings glared at each other.
“Aren't you going to say anything Dad?” Jessie turned to her father.
“I've said all I ever have to say to you Jess.” Joe said sadly. “You won't listen to me.”
“All you ever talk about is that stupid Code.” Jessie fired.
“It's our family Code! YOUR code!” Bill protested. “You're one of us!”
“Apparently not any more.” Jessie glared at him. “You're right Jo, I don't know why I came back.”
“I told you they wouldn't have a bar of it.” Johannas sneered. “They don't care about you.”
“Unfortunately that happens when you get your heart broken.” Peter snarled.
“You can't even let it go for the sake of your own niece or nephew? Pathetic.” Johannas got up off the car and walked towards Peter. Bill and Joe flinched as he stood right in front of the oldest Masters son.
“You're pregnant Jessie?” Peter asked, looking down his nose at Johannas.
“Yes. I am. I came to you for help and instead I'm being thrown out.” Jessie rounded on him.
“We'll help. Just keep Johannas away from us.” Peter said.
“Johannas is the father. If you help me, you help him.” Jessie bit back.
“Then we have nothing to discuss.” Peter finished the conversation.
“I'm your sister.” Jessie began to tear up.
“And you hurt my brother and my father. Your little boyfriend tried to hurt my daughter. I think I know whose side I'm on.” Peter looked at his baby sister. Pregnant with the fools child. He pitied her a little.
Two tears leaked from Jessies eyes. Johannas fumed.
“You made her cry you bastard!” He roared at Peter.
“She made us cry.” Peter replied.
Johannas swung violently at Peter, who dodged. With one hand to the chest, he sent Johannas flying to the ground.
Thomas roared with laughter. Johannas had landed in a muddy puddle, and his pants were now stained brown. Peters expression hadn't changed.
His two friends suddenly leaped out of the car and headed towards the three Masters. That's when Thomas got up and came over.
“I'll handle these two.” He smirked. Peter groaned.
“They're younger, stronger and faster than you.” He said. “You're going to get thumped.”
“Heh. Improbability time.” Thomas replied.
The two thugs rushed at him. One went to punch Thomas, and ended up getting his fist caught. Thomas threw him aside easily. The other tried to grab him around the throat from behind. Thomas merely leaned back, causing the thug to slip on the wet grass. He went down, Thomas landing heavily on top of him.
“And done.” Thomas got up, proud of himself.
“Come on Jo, let's go.” Jessie pulled Johannas up as his friends rushed back to the car. He swatted her away angrily.
“Get your hands off me bitch!” He shoved her aside and stalked back to the car.
Jessie took one last look at her brothers and father. Peter, the way she'd always remembered him, with his neat short hair and short build. Bill and Joe, both tall and solid with long hair, the only difference between them being the number of scars and Bills blond hair against Joes dark hair. With one last glare, she jumped in the car and the group drove off.
Thomas grinned and got up.
“Did you see that? How good was I Ow!” Thomas bragged as Peter smacked him upside the head.
“My ONE moment of badassery. ONE moment, and you RUINED it!” Peter fumed.
Sometimes it's hard to be a Masters.