Title: THE BODYGUARD
Chapter: 51 - Bandito (Additional Chapter)
Warnings: Language, Death, Crime
Chapter Overview: Link
About the Story: The death of their parents broke Taylor and Zac apart. Each of them went his own way of life, Taylor became a famous superstar and never thought that his profession would bring his life in danger someday. Blade (Zac) buried the past and lived his life contentedly in his dark and dirty world as a pimp. Because of some unexpected circumstances Blade got hired as Taylor's bodyguard and the brothers saw each other for the first time after almost a decade. How will they overcome the shadows of the past?
Authors Notes: This second additional Taylor dream Chapter is for the happenings between Chapter 50 and 52 when Zac and Taylor arrive at Santiago's bar. It is an alternative story what might have happened if Taylor decided differently. The content of this Chapter does not affect the main plot in any way because this is a "dream" that Taylor is having. Hope you enjoy ♡
The next main plot Chapter will be updated in the following weeks.
Special thanks: to itztigress3 for the great help!
Excerpt: "You are overprotective."
Additional characters for this Chapter: James Franco (Ronny) & Juliette Lewis (Delilah)
previous Chapter 50
Zachary and I had finally reached our destination. Since our visit at the barber's shop I felt that my last strengths had left me completely. I couldn't walk anymore and I didn't know what I could do.
"We are here Taylor, over there is Santiago's saloon." Zachary pointed to a window pane above which a sign was with the inscription 'Santiago's bar' about twenty meters away from us.
I nodded. "Yes, I can see it. But there's a problem."
"Uhm... I believe I'm too weak to walk."
I didn't want to remind myself and him that I had the strength of a puny ten year old school girl in my current state but I knew that I had no choice other than to rely on his help if I didn't want to get in a hospital.
"I'll carry you then." He answered simply.
"Zac, I don't want to get carried. That's awkward. I'll feel embarrassed. Is there no other possibility?"
He considered for a moment. "Santiago has a wheelchair. He walks on crutches but I know he owns one. If you want, I can go and ask him for it."
"Yes please. I would appreciate that." I quickly agreed.
"It will take a while though. As far as I know, he has it in his storeroom somewhere."
"That would be great. By the way, is Bandito okay? He did choke from time to time." I looked over to Bandito who sat panting on the backseat.
"He does not feel well because of the car drive." Zac explained. I watched him stroking Bandito's head caressingly who immediately clinged to my brother.
"Poor Bandito. I feel sorry for him."
"Yeah I hope that you both feel better soon." He said and turned to me after that. "During my absence, don't talk to anyone Taylor; it’s dangerous out there and this area is not safe for a famous glamour boy like you."
"Zachary...please." I felt the blood rush to my cheeks in an instant and wished the ground would engulf me.
Even though I knew he didn't intend it, it was still strange to me that my little brother told me not to talk with strangers. Would it ever not feel awkward?
"Don't embarrass me! I can decide for myself to whom I speak." I defended myself.
"I don't want to embarrass you Taylor. Look around Taylor, crime happens faster than you think in this area, which is the only reason I said it."
"You are overprotective."
"I am your bodyguard. I just do what anyone would do in my position. That's my job."
"I'll be fine as long as Bandito is here. Can you leave him here with me in the meantime?"
"Of course. I'll go in the bar and get the wheelchair for you. See you in a bit!" He said before he got out of the car.
"Okay Zac..." I said, hating the way my voice shook. The thought of being alone was still scary for me. I was so weak and defenseless without my younger brother. But I had to make a decision and in my dream I chose the wheelchair alternative.
Silently I watched Zachary walking away from the car and through the passing passersby towards the bar like an invisible person. The district here was full of hobos and prostitutes, the streets were dirty and a smell of fumes and trash hung in the air. Shady characters were walking around like in a ghost town. It worried me that my younger brother lived in such a district. A safe life seemed to be nearly impossible in this district.
With his inconspicious worn out clothes Zachary didn't even attract attention.
It was like he was one of them, none of the people paid attention to him. All of them wore similar looking ragged and worn out clothes like Zachary did. He didn't care about the dirt and I knew that he also never cared about styling and fashion like I did. Though Zac's clothes were plain and unremarkable, he walked each step casual yet with authority, so fucking bossy and confident... I assumed he was already used to the criminality and his confident posture was his own protective shield. I sighed. Again I found myself comparing with him and wished I wouldn't be as self-conscious as I am.
Looking around at the dirty area, I slowly began to understand why Skye got mugged a few days ago in this district. I could imagine that he must have sticked out like a sore thumb between those people.
Just like me with my new expensive suit...
I wasn't even a full minute alone before I heard a knocking against the car window next to me.
I winced because I hadn't seen anyone approaching. Since I had seen my stalker in person on that video, I was scared of my own shadow in all honesty. I sighed relieved when I saw that it was a young woman. She must have seen me through the windshield because I didn't climb onto the back seat to hide this time. Maybe she just wanted an autograph?
I cranked the window down and greeted her as friendly as possible, like I could manage it in my weak condition.
"Hi, can I help you?" I asked politely.
"Hey Sweetie, I don't know. Can you? Hey, have I seen you before? You look kind of familiar." She smiled some and threw her long dark brown locks flirtatiously aside.
"That is possible," I replied, ruffling Bandito's fur who had laid his head warily on my shoulder. Apparently she had seen me before, but couldn't come up with where or when she had. I could hear a slur in her tone and as she bent down to the window and laid her red manicured fingernails onto the passenger door I smelled the alcohol on her breath and some cheap female perfume on her clothes.
"Well, I was wondering if you might be interested in having a little fun with me. I could come inside if you want me to..."
"No, thanks. I'm not interested," I responded politely, but firmly. I stroked Bandito's head as I heard him quietly growling.
"Hey, why not? Am I not good enough, or what? Come on baby, you'll get a special price." She reached her hand out to me when Bandito began to bark and snapped to her threatening. Why are people alwas so obsessed with me?
I wanted to say something, to explain her one more time that I wasn't interested in having sex with her, but Bandito drowned out my weakened voice. Hopefully Zachary would come back soon with the wheel chair...
"Warf! Warf! Warf!" And then it happened. Bandito bit the girl on her hand as she tried to stroke my neckline with her fingers.
"Ow! Hey! Restrain your dangerous dog! What is wrong with you? Have you lost your marbles?" She quickly pulled her hand back with a painful expression and stepped a bit backwards.
"Oh no, I'm sorry Miss. That was not his intention. He just wanted to protect me." The situation was terribly unpleasant for me. I pulled Bandito's collar a bit back and commanded him to calm down.
"Bandito! Drop it!" I could see that she had a bleeding scratch at her hand, it was not a big wound but my apology didn't soothe her.
"What if your dangerous dog has rabies, huh? Who will pay for the doctor's fees? It's not my fault you can't control your dog!" She shouted in rage.
"Hey there Delilah, what's going on? Are you in trouble?" Suddenly a strange guy appeared with dark shaggy hair and laid his arm around the young woman.
"This guy giving you trouble?"
"Ronny, the dog of that guy has bitten me," she nagged angrily and pointed her finger towards Bandito with her sound hand.
"I'm sure that we can settle the matter decently." I quickly interjected. I wanted to soothe the animosities before even more people recognized me.
"Who is that guy? Do you know him?"
"Maybe yes, maybe no. I don't know Ronny. I'm sure I've seen him before, he has a famous face. I can't remember right now. Here, look at my hand." She held her hand up to him. He gave it a short once over, then turned to me and stepped towards the car.
"Hey model boy, my girlfriend says your dog bit her. I don't allow anyone to get my girl in hot water, got it? You going to get out on your own or do I have to get you out?"
Shit. Now, I really was in trouble. I felt my knees shaking, it seemed the lack of food burden my strained nerves all the more and even the smallest commotion made me upset and gave me stomachaches. I couldn't say if it was naive, optimistic, or maybe both but I still believe in the good in man. That's why I hoped to find a peaceful solution this time too. I didn't know if and how long my weak legs would carry me and if it was right to climb out of the car.
Maybe, I should call Zac and have him come outside and solve this problem. But despite my weak condition, I wanted to solve the matter without my little brother's help. If I could not do anything on my own without Zachary's help what would be left of me and my own personality?
So I took all my heart and carefully opened the car door. Actually, I wanted to hold back Bandito but he was quicker, jumped out and interposed between him and me protectively. I had to smile inwardly; he really was a kind and loyal dog. Without Zachary's dog I would be completely defenseless in my weak state. He was my only protection.
"Bandito, stay here!" I tried to give my voice a steady and firm tone, but I internally felt so empty and powerless that I didn't even know where to take the energy from for another serious contention. I regretted that I didn't try to eat something at least; maybe I would feel better now.
I needed two attempts to get out of the car. I thought my legs would give in directly, so I leaned my back against the car for balance. My body already had deteriorated too much and I felt so damn weak. I knew that I wouldn't be able to walk. All I could do was to try to soothe the anger of those two strangers and to mediate.
Bandito growled threatening when the guy named Ronny rose up in front of me. I swallowed anxiously and pulled him a bit back to me by his collar. Even though Bandito was the cause of the young woman's injury, I was glad to have him with me. To know that he stood in front of me and wouldn't allow something to happen to me gave me the feeling of safety.
"Like I said before, it was an accident." I began to explain. "I told your girlfriend politely that I'm not interested in having sex with her but she..."
I couldn't say more because the guy cut me off. He was at eye level with me but with a more broadly body frame.
"Listen up city boy! I don't fucking care what was going on between the two of you. Delilah is my whore and her hand is hurt which means that she can't work anymore today. Who pays for the damage? You or your dog?" He spitted hatefully as he spoke and pointed with his finger at my chest. I heard Bandito growling louder and hoped that it would keep the guy at distance. I tried my best to hide my fear, even though I felt my legs shaking and threatening to give in any moment. I couldn't deal with another turmoil right now, but it was too late to chicken out.
"Hey, aren't you Taylor Hanson? Yes of course. I didn't recognize you at first." The girl suddenly looked up to me in surprise.
"Yes I am Taylor Hanson. I'm sorry my bodyguard's dog hurt you." I sincerely apologized, trying to clutch at any straw. Usually, I always found a diplomatic way and was used that my cultivated manners found a sympathetic ear but I had to admit that I've never been in such a dirty downtown district before and to my dismay, Ronny looked utterly unimpressed and unaffected by my apology.
"I don't believe a word of it. That guy is talking nothing but bullshit. What would a rich person like Taylor Hanson be doing in skid row?" He gesticulated wildly with his hands as he spoke as if it was some sort of street language. Ronny's unpredictability intimidated me and I looked unobtrusively towards Santiago's saloon as if it would help to bring back my brother. I wished he would be there and deal with that strange guy.
"Ronny, it is Taylor Hanson. I am certain of it." Delilah tried to soothe her pimp and grabbed his arm gently but he shrugged it off.
"Shut your puss Delilah! Because of your dimwittedness, I have financial losses today. Do you think your johns want to get satisfied from a whore with a wounded hand?" As he became verbally abusive, I felt sympathy for the girl that let her pimp who only thought of the earnings exploit her. I had to say something.
"No need to become abusive, I'm willing to pay for the medical fees if your girlfriend does not have a health insurance. Miss, I'm hoping you accept my apology." I said patiently and turned around to fetch my wallet out of my bag in the car.
Actually, it wasn't a big injury but I didn't want to get into debt. Eventually, it wasn't the girl's fault that Bandito bit her and she wasn't to envy for her situation. She didn't look angry at me anymore; instead she linked her arm with her boyfriend and tried to pull him away from me a bit because Bandito was still growling.
"Ronny, I can continue work; the injury is not that bad. I'm going to put a bandage around my hand and nobody will complain..." She explained pleadingly.
But instead of giving in, it seemed that Delilah's efforts to make him mad even more. He suddenly raised his hand and slapped her face. She recoiled, jumped with fright and held her cheek in pain. Bandito began to bark but nothing could calm down the guy. Somehow, my instinct told me it wouldn't come to a good ending...
"You better keep your nose clean! Didn't you learn anything I taught you, stupid whore?" He screamed at her furiously.
"Hey! Stop that!" I heckled, let go of the car door and turned back to them. Ok, maybe I was crazy. Suicidal probably. But to hit a woman is pretty much the most lame and most pathetic thing a man can do. I couldn't stand on the sidelines watching needlessly, even though I didn't have the strength to intervene, was just barely standing on my own legs.
"You don't like how I handle my business? Better step off chinless wonder before I handle you!" He hissed belligerently at me, his dark eyebrows furrowed.
The brown haired girl looked surprised at me. "Ronny, please. You can't talk to Taylor Hanson like that. Didn't you hear that he had to cancel his tour because he has a stalker who killed his wife?"
"Not my problem that wimpy glamour boy can't take care of his broad. I'm only interested in the payday. If there's not enough, someone has to pay for it! I don't give a fuck who that is."
He shook her pulling arm off, and then turned to me. I felt my trembling hand grabbing my cell phone in my pants pocket. I had to press only one button to call Natalie's, now Zac's phone. I was sure that Zac would come and kick that guy's ass. He would protect me without hesitation. But I didn't want to be a coward. I've always been a spokesman for myself. It just so happens that there's a bunch of people that are concerned with what I have to say and weigh every word. I find that frightening at times because I'm just as confused as most people. I don't have the answers for everything.
Still, I wanted to solve the matter alone so I let my phone slowly slip back into my pocket.
"It doesn't matter who you are in this part of the town, the laws of the street are the laws we abide by."
"Don't you have any feeling of shame at all? You beat a hurt woman and still want to continue exploiting her."
I may have been weak and wimpy but I could project an air of confidence when I needed to. I turned my head to Delilah and gave her an empathetic look. I almost didn't notice that Ronny was moving closer and I flinched a little when I turned back to him and Bandito.
"Well, well, well. The rich boy is getting cheeky. So you think you are better than us, huh? Oh hoity-hoity, are we? Who do you think you are in those fancy clothes?" he spat in a mocking tone, looking disparagingly at my suit.
If I hated one thing, it was when people had prejudices. I might be rich, but I never considered myself to be above anyone else just because my income was higher than others. I would never speak down to anyone just because he is short on money. On the contrary, everyone who knows me, knows that I support agencies which fight against poverty and hunger.
"I don't consider myself better, but when a man beats a woman that is pathetic. YOU are pathetic!"
The way he looked at me after that didn't need words to express that I just got a new enemy. He looked at me like he was ready to kill me. Even though it was risky and dangerous to start an argument with someone like Ronny, I couldn't take back my statement, nor could I regret it. Our parents always raised us to stand up for things in which we believed and even though I had blood on my hands for the guilt of my parents I would never forget what they taught Zac and I. No matter what that violent, wicket blackguard was planning.
"All right, you womanizer. That was your choice." He gave Delilah a push to the side. She lost the balance on her red high heels and crashed to the ground. I realized in that moment that I talked too big. To get carried by Zac into Santiago's bar didn't seem to be a bad option anymore in this moment.
If only I could turn back time and decide differently...
My pulse was racing, I felt my body couldn't bear the commotion very well in my weak state. I was too weak to walk, I could barely stand on my legs and now I just insulted a violent pimp, who was probably also a drug addict the way he looked. I wished that Zachary would come back, but even if he did come out of the bar in this moment it would have been too late because the guy was already coming at me.
"Sick'em!" I shouted to Bandito, but it wasn't necessary. Once the guy came just a tiny bit closer to me, Bandito had already bitten into his leg.
"Aah! Fuck! You damn shithead!" The guy screamed in pain and he tried to shake off Bandito but he couldn't manage it. For a while, it even looked kind of funny how he was fighting with the dog. I extended my arm to Delilah and helped her onto her legs. Thanks to Ronny, she now had a wounded knee on top of that. I could imagine that it surely wasn't the first time she got treated this way by him.
"Are you okay?"
"Yes, thank you Taylor. I'm alright." She stood next to me beside the car and covered her mouth with her hand. "Serves him right," she whispered and suppressed a laugh. I sensed that even though her pimp was fighting with Bandito, she still had too much respect for him to laugh out loud.
"Ow! Take your damned combat dog away! I'm going to kill you, you fucking son of a bitch!" He cursed furiously and I felt my legs shaking harder. I didn't know what to do. Actually, I hoped the guy would give in and abscond, but he was still flaming mad and continued threatening violence.
But I didn't have a chance to contemplate. None of the passerby's seemed to care about us. I remember I found it disturbing and unsettling that the situation for the people here seemed to be so totally mundane and unusual. I knew that nowadays red light districts are legal and nothing unusual, but when I look around and see how the daily routine of that kind of life is so normal for those people, I find it saddening. I can only imagine how hard the lives must be for those who didn't see another choice than to sell their bodies for money, drugs or to pay their pimps.
It could have been like a bad dream, a dream that never follows through because no one commits, but we just forced ourselves into it. Into a world in which things like these are completely normal.
Sometimes, I ask myself does it have to be like that? I wished I could do something, when I see those people, I wished I could help them. I always dreamed to do something, to make a change.
But I couldn't let my dreaminess distract me right now, because the danger wasn't over yet. Zachary hadn't promised too much because Bandito fought mercilessly. Then I suddenly saw that the guy grabbed into his pants pocket and pulled something shiny out of it. It was a knife.
"Oh my god," was all I could utter in the moment when I saw it. He actually planned to use it.
"Bandito! Stop it! Come here!" I shouted in panic. I couldn't allow this thug to hurt my brother's dog.
"Ronny LaMarca, stop it!" Delilah screeched and earned a few curses and more abuses from her pimp for revealing his full name. Even though it was extremely dangerous to meddle between that insane thug and Bandito, I couldn't forget that Bandito was an important part of Zachary's little world. Bandito was his family, so he was my family too.
Unfortunately, I was too weak to be fast enough. Once the guy whipped it from his pocket, he bent down in front of Bandito with an angry scream and then I wanted to shut my eyes...I didn't want to see what he did... I couldn't see it... but I couldn't allow myself to look away.
"No!" I cried out desperately, as the knife blade swished into Bandito's neck as swift as an arrow. I heard a heartbreaking yelp and saw blood spraying on the pavement.
I gave the guy a push to push him away from Bandito but I was so weak that it was pretty pointless. Desperately, I flung my arms around Bandito's neck who yelped loudly, rivers of blood ran down on my hands and my pants. I slowly sank on my knees with him when he collapsed in my arms.
"Bandito..." I broke down and sobbed like a child. "Why... Bandito?" I cried, making loud, convulsive gasps.
"What have you done Ronny? You killed his dog." I heard Delilah fighting with Ronny but I couldn't listen to them anymore. It was as if they were talking through a tin can, even though they're standing around me, I almost couldn't hear their voices anymore. Even their bodies were suddenly blurry, but I knew it occurred because I had a mist in front of my eyes caused by my tears.
The passerby's that ignored us moments ago began to give us attention because of the blood that was on the pavement and the bleeding, helpless dog on my lap. Ronny seemed to become worried and afraid as people came, the knife fell from his hand and he ran away.
"I'm sorry about your dog Taylor. I didn't want that. Forgive me." Delilah laid her hand on my shoulder for a moment. I could not utter a word, I just sat there with the tears streaming down my face. "I will not forget what a gentleman you are Jordan Taylor Hanson." She said, and a moment later she disappeared as well.
Not a minute passed until I heard Zachary's voice and looked up to see him running towards me and Bandito.
"Taylor! What happened?" He shouted from afar as he saw a few people standing around his car. I looked up and saw him carrying a wheelchair that was folded under one of his arms.
"Zac, I... Bandito is... There was a guy who attacked me and had stabbed Bandito in the neck." I sobbed as new tears filled my eyes.
"Where is he? Are you okay?" He threw the wheel chair aside before he kneeled opposite me.
"He scooted. He is gone. It couldn't be helped. I couldn't..." I was so upset; I couldn't formulate a sensible sentence anymore.
"Give him to me." I nodded and Zachary took him carefully out of my arms. "Are you hurt Taylor?" He asked worriedly and gave me a once over. I shook my head, because I couldn't answer. His voice sounded pressed and agonized, Bandito whimpered quietly on his lap. Zac kneeled down in front of him and bent over to lean his head against Bandito's head. It broke my heart when I saw that Bandito could recognize Zachary and licked his face.
"Good boy. I'm proud of you Bandito. I am so proud of you..." He soothed calmly. I knew that it was tearing Zachary's heart apart but he still tried to remain composed. I believe that Zac knew that if he collapsed in front of me, there would be nothing and no one anymore in whom I could find strength and stability. It was unspoken but Zachary still acted like my big brother who wanted to protect me. I realized in this moment how hard his job must have been.
When Bandito whimpered for a last time, I saw Zachary closing his eyes and his tears were rolling slowly down from his face and over Bandito's head.
"I'm so sorry Zac." I carefully moved closer to him and laid my arms around my brother who held his dead dog in his arms. It was the first time that I saw my brother cry and I wasn't sure if he would push me away. But he didn't. Instead, he laid his arm around me as well and we held onto each other.
Bandito died on my brother's lap and my heart broke because I knew that his little world just got even smaller than it already was. Bandito was his best friend and he gave his life for me. But I couldn't let myself drown in guilt and think about my own sorrow, I was here and I wanted to comfort Zac and let him feel through my hug that he wasn't alone with his sorrow. I hoped that Zac could feel through my hug how much I felt sorry for Bandito's sacrifice. He didn't sob, didn't whimper, he just cried silently in my arms. For unknown reasons he still could keep up his composure. It wasn't forever but for that moment nothing and none could separate us. We held onto each other in silence as Bandito lay lifeless between us.
"Do you... do you blame me Zac?" I asked carefully after a long while.
He shook his head. "No I don't. Bandito has... he has made his job. He was my watchdog; it was his job to protect you like it's mine. I had to expect that something might happen anytime."
He explained in a very quiet tone, sadly looking down to his dead dog.
"I know Zac. He has. He protected me with his life. I am here Zac, I'am not going to leave you alone." I wanted to take his hand but he pulled it away from me after the last sentence before I could take it.
"Do not give me promises you can't keep Taylor." He said in a sad but serious tone and immediately shifted away from me. I realized in this moment that Zac wouldn't open up his heart to me as long as I planned to get rid of him. Zachary has always been someone with strong convictions and never liked it if someone didn't stand by his own no matter how well meant the intentions were.
Silently, he stood up, opened the rear car door and put Bandito carefully down on the back seat. I saw him covering a blanket over his body. Then he closed the car door and folded out the wheel chair he had brought.
"What do you expect me to do?" I looked up to him concerned, trying to read his read his thoughts.
"That you act like a brother. Nothing more and nothing less."
He spoke those words very calm but I could feel his pain and it made me feel endlessly guilty. I didn't want to leave him again and I knew that Zachary wouldn't leave me as long as I was in this weak condition. Knowing my little brother's unpredictable temper, he would probably handcuff me to him to not let me go. So what the future holds for us only God knows.
Silently, he wiped his tears away with the sleeve of his black leather jacket. "I didn't intend to hurt you Zac. Right now I'm here and I'm not going anywhere. So I can comfort you Zac if you'll let me." I said insightfully.
He gave me a long glance after that and eventually nodded as he saw that I was struggling to stand up on my own. I figured that my weak state was the reason he didn't reject me. I looked up to him as he reached out his hand to help me into the wheel chair. I took his hand in mine and didn't let go of it as he began to shove me slowly towards the bar in the wheel chair.
Both had different opinions on staying together. I know that I just couldn't allow my little brother to put his life on the life for me and intervene between a sick stalker and me. But how could I leave him again? What if we would never see each other again? My body literally aches at the thought of never seeing him again.
If only we could stay together forever...
God, what shall I do?
Disclaimer: Taylor Dream Chapter for the happenings between Chapter 50 and 52 when Taylor fell asleep. This is an alternative story what might have happened if Taylor decided differently. Bandito is still alive in the main plot!
previous Chapter 50