Disclaimer – See chapter one
It had been two and a half years since that day that her family had been split from her. She was not allowed to visit her brothers in that time, if anyone caught on to her being there it could place her and them in further danger.
The contacts they had inside had informed them that Romeo had woken up, she relayed that message to Romeo's uncle as soon as she found out. His sentence was short compared to her brothers so he was going to be released soon.
Patrick's operation had grown even larger since then as well.
In those years Buffy had been working with new and old connections and today was the payoff of all that hard work. She took her time getting out of the limo that had taken her to HAOG.
“How do I look?” Patrick, Romeo and Smecker grinned at her and Eunice rolled her eyes.
“You look fine love, now go get those two idiots of yours.” She grinned and got out of the car, the wind made a mess of her hair and she wrapped her coat more tightly around her. Once she was escorted inside she took a moment to fix her hair to once again cover the scar that was still there.
She heard them before she saw them and nearly cried at the sound of their voices bickering.
“Who the fuck is requesting a meeting with us?”
“Calm the fuck down Murph. Let's hear them out.”
“You calm the fuck down.” The arguing was followed by the familiar sounds of them scuffling and she laughed out loud.
The fighting stopped and she heard Conner call out. “Lizzie?”
“Really, only took my laughter all these years to get you two dumbasses to stop fighting?” She approached the table where they were cuffed and smiled. They stood as much as the length of the chain would allow and she embraced them, inhaling deeply. “I missed you boys.”
“What are you doing here? It is not safe.”
“Shush Conner, don't be such a worry wart.” She went over to the door and knocked for the guard. “We are ready.” The man nodded and came into the room with keys and unlocked the cuffs that held them, and another guard carried in the clothing that Buffy had brought with her.
“Get changed boys, time for you to come home.” They changed in silence, just taking in the changes that their sister had gone through, more sophisticated may be the best way to describe it, the wedding ring on her finger may have something to do with it as well. They followed her out of the prison and into the sun, the three falling back into a pattern of placing the sunglasses on their faces at the same time. “Get your smoke on now boys, no smoking in the vehicle.” She tossed them each a pack and a lighter and they raised an eye at her statement as they lit up.
“Why is that then?” Conner asked this and she shook her head.
“Now that would be spoiling the surprise, so shush.” She crooked out her elbows and each brother took an arm as she led them to the limo.
“Lizzie. You didn't do anything stupid to get us out did you?”
“Yes, I became a mob boss so you would have to eliminate me. Put out the smokes and get in.” They each dropped the butt to the ground and climbed into the limo behind her.
“Got a call from Doc, Liam and Noah are awake and hungry. Threatening to give them whiskey. Good to see you boyos. Your sister has been a monster to live with for the past two years.” Patrick smiled at her as she hit him in the arm.
“Ha, I blame the hormones for most of that. Call Doc back and tell him if he gives my boys alcohol I will end him, slowly.” The brothers looked around the limo and listened to the conversation with confusion.
“Okay, I think we have been covert long enough. Strings have been pulled and you two are free of all charges. It was a case of mistaken identity by a former FBI agent that has since been fired, you two were deep undercover by the direct order of our dear Smecker this whole time. Eunice provided the 'proper' documentation, and the state and agency is going to be providing compensation for the wrong doings.” She paused for a moment then hit the intercom button. “Is Annie awake?”
“Yeah, the little hell raiser is awake..” The car came to a stop and the side door opened and a pink wrapped bundle was handed back to her by the driver, none other than Romeo. She took her daughter from the man and smiled at him.
“Thanks Rome, take us to McGinty's and you can have your boy bonding time. Conner, Murphy, meet Annabelle McMannus, your niece.” The two brothers looked at their sister then down at the small infant in her arms.
“McMannus?” Conner asked with a raised eyebrow in Patrick's direction.
“When Liz puts her mind to something all you can do is go with it.” The three men gave a knowing look to the woman in question, who just smiled sweetly.
“How old is she?” Murphy asked this.
“Three weeks today.”
“Are you feeling okay?” Again Murphy asked the question, as he looked at their little sister with concern.
“I am fine, Murph.” She smiled at her brother and then Conner cleared his throat.
“Can I hold her?”
“You never have to ask, of course you can.” Buffy handed over the tiny girl and placed her in the arms of her uncle.
“Look at this Murph. We're uncles.” The joy in Conner's voice made her smile.
“That we are Conner, that we are.” Murphy reached out a hand and gently stroked the face of the baby.
They arrived at McGinty's in no time and the boys followed at a more sedate pace behind them all.
“Ma, ma, ma!” Two small voices cried out and came toddling out from behind the bar and came running towards Buffy. She handed Annie to Patrick and bent down and picked up one boy with each arm and stood up.
“Boys, meet your Uncles Conner and Murphy. Conner, Murphy these are my oldest Liam and Noah.”
“Jesus, Lizzie. How many are you plan on havin'?” Conner asked this in a playful tone.
“Three is enough, twin boys and a sister to get them out of trouble. Worked out well for us didn'it? Come on little men of mine, let's get you fed. Patrick can you feed Annie?” With a nod in her direction she made her way to the former store room that was now a play center for the kids. They all took up a table after she left the room and Doc handed Patrick a bottle.
“So what did happen while we were out of the game?”
“We have been working on getting you out for a few years. Patrick and Elizabeth were working their own angles. With the help of Romeo's uncle, they made the right connections, started climbing the ladder. She controls the East side of Boston now, everything is on the up and up, she just does what needs to be done on the not so up and up to protect the people. Crime is down sixty percent since she took full control last year.”
“She wasn't kidding then, she is a mob boss?”
“Well she would call it seedy underbelly manager.”
“'Course she would.”
“She did what she had to in order to get you out of there. Probably would have happened sooner, but the pregnancy with the twins took a lot out of her. She was already pregnant with them before she left Ireland, we didn't know until they informed me when she was in the coma.”
“Jesus, if we had known, she never would have been there.”
“I know that, we all know that. You two are more protective than anyone of her. We just wanted you to know that she built everything that she did in order to get you out and back to what you were called to do. She does what she can, but she has a family of her own now to protect. She wants you safe and always have a place to come back to.” The group continued talking for a while, only Patrick got up and left the table to put Annabelle down to sleep in the play room and came back out. He sat down and lit up a cigarette, the others following his motion now that they baby was out of the room. They heard the door open and a sleepy looking Buffy exited and sat down next to Patrick with a head on his shoulder, eyes closed.
“Pushed yourself today.”
“Told you not to.”
“You are supposed to be on maternity leave, letting your second in command take over.”
“I know, but he is a hot headed Mexican.” She smiled softly as she Romeo began to make noises of protest.
“Wait, you made Romeo your second?”
“He stood beside us all in a battle that was not his to fight, how could I not? Plus, the boys love him, their favorite babysitter.” Buffy let out a yawn as she said this.
“Okay, let's get you and the kids home. Here is the key card boys, come on when you are ready.”
“Where is home these days?” Conner asked this and Buffy opened her eyes and gave him an evil grin.
“Fortieth floor of the Prudential. Apparently there was a revenge shootout there and no one wants to own it. The Saints Curse and all.” The laughter of the table followed Patrick, Buffy and Romeo out as they gathered the kids and headed to the Prudential.
Four hours later the brother found themselves using the key card given to them and entered into the suite that they had a showdown in years ago. The panic room was still there, one would assume for the children now. The walls were not covered with pretentious artwork but with photos of family and friends. To anyone who did not know, this was not the place of a mob boss, but of just a family. As they walked further into the living room they spotted two framed photos on the mantle next to the photos of children, it was the two photos that they had slipped into her pocket years ago. Exhausted and not knowing what room to go to they took up the chairs and passed out.
They were ripped from sleep by the turning on of a light above them and reached for guns that were not there. A soft voice stopped them. “Just me boys, sorry about the light, didn't know you were sleeping out here.” Buffy yawned as she spoke and made her way to the kitchen, they followed after her, not having a real alone moment with her since they got out. Now they could really tell the difference in their sister. With her hair pulled back to sleep in, they could see the scar left behind by the bullet, the other scars that were new to her body since they had been incarcerated. The signs of motherhood finally made her look as if a stiff breeze would no longer blow her away. She grew up and seemed so much older than them at this moment, with just the air of calmness in her demeanor.
“You two going to stay?”
“We would like to, if you have the room and do not mind.”
“If I minded you never would have gotten a key, not that it would have stopped you. You would have just used the window again.” She smiled at them, her face lighting up.
“Patrick being good to you?”
“Yes, Conner. He is being good to me.”
“You need help with anything?”
“No Murph, I got it. Just have to fix a bottle for Annie.” As she opened the fridge they both spotted the four cakes in there.
“Dear Little Lizzie. Are you running a crime ring for cakes?”
“Forget you saw those.” She quickly closed the door and stood in front of it.
“Now Lizzie, you know that will not stop us.” The two came around the bar top and Murphy lifted her up and tossed her over his shoulder while Conner opened the fridge and looked inside. That was the scene Patrick walked in on, Buffy thrown over Murphy's shoulder and was pounding on his back while Conner was examining the cakes. She shook his head and bounced Annie in his arms while he retrieved the bottle from the counter. All three siblings froze.
“Carry on.” Patrick walked out of the room feeding the baby as he walked and the three siblings started to laugh.
“Okay, tomorrow is your birthday.”
“Is it? We forgot.”
“I figured you would.”
“Why are there four cakes?”
“Tomorrow are the twins birthday too. Well today actually I guess.” Murphy placed her back on her feet in front of them.
“The boys share our birthday?”
“Yes, so I have four times the trouble every year from this day forward.”
“So which one is older out of the two of them?” Conner asked this and threw an arm over her shoulder, Murphy did the same on her other side and they guided her into the living room.
“So not telling the two of you. That will be for their sister to know and to tell them when she deems it time. Just like I will tell you one day.” She smiled cheekily at them and sighed as she sat down on the couch in between them, head in Conner's lap and feet in Murphy's. Time apart did not matter at this point with the familiar pose. As she drifted back off to sleep between them the last thing she uttered before succumbing was. “Happy birthday boys, Conner is the oldest.”