The Trap Of All Rats

Previously on Bad Blood Bandits: Jackson and the notoriously wrathful and violent Grant had, out of sheer boredom, set up a still. Meanwhile, the new goody-two-shoes attendant, Josh, revealed to Jackson his suspicions about Charlie’s still. Jackson, however skeptical of the existence of two of the same kinds of alcoholic dispensaries in the same building Jackson found it to be true, albeit not actually IN Charlie’s room. Jackson was then presented with a problem: Josh who was determined to keep his watch clean and his own involvement in the more obvious examples of clandestine distillery and the distinct likelihood that his was to be discovered first.

Betrayal was never an option in Jackson’s mind. Night on canine faithfulness to your comrades was something he tried to instill in his own son and, had he any form of human empathy and gleaned even the slightest from his father, he would have shamed the most faithful of dogs.

It would have been acceptable to simply let it happen, turn a blind eye and let come what may. Anyone would choose not to choose. But that would leave a friend high and dry and he would have done nothing. The last thing Jackson wanted anyone to say about him was that he stood by and watched when someone needed him. No, if he had a choice it was his responsibility to make it.

It would have been easier to rationalize it by telling himself how stupid the two of them were to do it in the first place. “They couldn’t do something normal like pick a fight with Janine or ‘accidentally’ spill something on Luke’s shirt” but then he would have to include himself since he was involved, at least for some time with Grant. Sharing the blame is not a common character trait for Pride.

*            *            *

 

After it was done he thought it only fair to tell Charlie-just to let him know which way the wind was blowing. Unfortunately, whenever you want to talk to someone alone, there are always people around but when you have nothing to say to each other it seems like you are forced to be alone with each other. This is why we normally don’t say anything of value.

Breakfast was out of the question. Josh seemed to monopolize Charlie after the first meal as if he wanted to confirm What Jackson had told him. After lunch, Marilynne decided it was a good time to play her games with him and even Charlie can only take so much of that so he lost her in a monotonous game of bridge which still obstructed Jackson from passing down the information. Of course, just asking to talk to him would draw too much attention considering the reputation those two had so he was stuck stalking his friend until the right time to pounce.

He had given up after sitting at the dinner table for hours after. Lars was particularly lively that evening and Charlie never let an opportunity like that slide So after a full evening of verbal sparring and Lars admitting defeat by being the first of the two belligerents to leave the table- Marilynne had given up trying to get them to calm down long before- Jackson seized his opportunity. After looking around and making sure no one was in earshot he let it slip:

“I told Josh about Grant’s still.”

“It’s bound to happen anyway.” Charlie replied dismissively. Jackson wasn’t sure if he had heard or if he had merely replied without listening. The chance to repeat himself was gone almost as soon as he said it the first time. Donald walked by suspiciously listening, making sure they weren’t planning any trouble or at least making sure to make it difficult for the two to make trouble.

After a moment of silence Charlie added, as if he had processed what had been told to him “you know you’re a dead man right? Grant has not a bone of mercy in his body.”

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