The Little stranger chapter 1

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War Child
Dec 2, 2003
This story originated on this fanfic site around 2003 written about Bono, but I developed it further over the years and had it up on wattpad and changed the names. I just cant be bothered changed the names back again lol but I think you will recognise that Jake has shades of Bono and Gemma could be Ali in an AU kind of universe, any way hope you like it this is the first chapter some oldies here might recognise it
The raging ocean and the churning white foaming waves dashing against the huge jagged rocks a long way below Jake. Fear gripped him vividly, that it coursed through his body, making his heart pump loudly in his ears. His sole concentration and focus were on keeping a grip of Caroline’s hands, as she dangled over the cliff’s edge, ready to meet the raging water and rocks below.

Her eyes were as dark and stormy as the sea below her as she looked up at him clinging to her desperately, he felt the great strain on his body and the ache in his arms trying to hold onto her, to not let her drop, wanting to pull her up over the edge, but his body seem to have seized up, making it impossible for him to move

She was laughing at him now, that crazy taunting mocking laugh, “You promised you would always be there to catch me if I fell,” she screamed the reminder at him, tears now streaming down her face, “ “But now you have to let me go”

“No, Caroline, just hold on!” He called to her in desperation, his grip on her wrists tightening, as he felt her give up the struggle and slide a little out of his hold
“Just let me go,” her plea echoed all around him eerily. and he knew he was losing her, but he refused to release his hold on her and now found himself being dragged down by her slack weight, it pulled him over the edge with her, but still he couldn’t let go, suddenly feeling himself freefalling through mid-air, hearing her screaming his name as they both headed for the roaring sea below and now realising it was too late to save her or himself.. ........
Jake Kavanagh woke with a start from the nightmarish dream, that had left his heart palpitating, and his mind disoriented by his surroundings for a few moments, as he glanced around him.

Then he realised that he was not falling to his death but was sitting in an Airplane, high in the sky.

“Jake, are you alright?” the concerned enquiry came from his close friend and manager, Maurice Lewiston, sitting opposite him, and who happen to the owner of the private jet they were travelling in.

“Yeah,” Jake finally managed to reply after a few moments, as he mentally attempting to shake of the last images of his dream, He took few deep breaths to calm his thudding heart, as he shifted himself in his seat.

“I didn’t realise I had fallen asleep,” he then said rubbing his hands over his face in a further attempt to shake of the last dregs of his disturbing dream.

“Well that is hardly surprising, since you haven’t slept for almost about two days straight” Maurice replied, his grey blue eyes which were set in a podgy face of a middle-aged man, now frowned worriedly as they rested on his younger dark-haired companion.
“We will be in Chicago soon,” he then informed him, “So you better get yourself prepared for what’s to come. If that is even possible.” he finished dryly.

“True,” Jake agreed, “thanks for the loan of your plane, and for coming with me, I am not sure I could have handled this on my own” he admitted

Now his mind was returning back to his dream again, seeing his estranged wife Caroline’s face again. The cold reality of the cause of his nightmare, hitting him in the gut all over again.

He was on his way to identify her dead body. The phone call he received two days before, from the American authorities to inform him about it, had shaken him.
He realised his worst fears had indeed come true, after Caroline had just disappeared out of his life, ten months before.

If that had been not enough shocking news for him, he also discovered in the same space of those few moments, that she had given birth to a child, and he was now father to a four-month-old, girl as well He was still having a lot trouble trying to take it all in.

Having made his career in the music world as a popular singer, at first in rock band, then later after the band split up, going solo, He had been engrossed in finishing his latest album, and getting ready to promote it, going on a six month European tour, when he received the phone call that had completely knocked him of kilter, which had informed him that Caroline had died of a heroin overdose.

He had been a mixture of emotions; anger, guilt, sadness, hurt, confusion. Questioning his actions continually over these past few days.

He should have tried harder to find Caroline, when she just disappeared out of his life all those months ago.

Why had she not got in contact with him when she discovered she was pregnant? Why not let him know about the baby? Had she come she despised him so much? How had she run to America and somehow manage to remain unnoticed for so long, without anyone letting him know.

The least shocking part of it all was the cause of her death. He sadly realised It was something he had almost been expecting. Jake had been quite aware of Caroline’s problem with drugs over the last few years, and he had tried to do everything to help her.
But it had been hard for her, he knew why she chose the drugs to help her chase away the demons that haunted her past. He was one of the few who knew the real reason behind the cause of it.

She had been petrified and ashamed that people would find out about the sexual abuse she suffered at her father’s hands when she was just a little girl. It was made worse by the fact, that on finding out about it, her had mother blamed it all on Caroline, that she was a wicked girl who had made her father do such things and telling her she would be punished in hell.
Even thinking about it made Jake’s blood boil. He had been horrified when he had finally learned the truth, and the reason behind Caroline’s unstable behaviour

He had tried to encourage her to get help, but it seemed like it was already too late. The drugs had a tight hold on her just as much as the bad memories, and no matter how hard he had tried, Jake found it impossible to reach her in that dark lonely place she dwelled.
Which was why he was now feeling a certain amount of guilt. Because, deep down, he found himself admitting he had almost been relieved, when Caroline had finally decided disappeared out of his life.

In the beginning he had been fascinated and drawn by her volatile personality, and her crazy wild ways. His young confident idealistic self, feeling sure he could reach out and help her, and understand what made her tick, maybe even tame her.

She had always warned him not to get close that she would end up destroying him along with herself. She had resisted him at every turn, but that had made him want her all the more. making him more determined to prove her wrong.

He had continued pursuing her, despite the warnings from his friends and family. His youthful arrogance had been his own downfall he now regrettably admitted
The fascination he had first felt for her had ended up in pity, and a sense of helpless frustration that he didn’t know what to do with her in the end.

She had solved his problem by disappearing out of his life. But he had never wanted it to end like this. And now he had a daughter he didn’t even know about, into the bargain.
Fatherhood was something he had never even contemplated. He had always been too wrapped up in his ambition to make it as a successful musician and promoting his career to even think about it.

But now he was coming to realise had no other choice in the matter, and it scared the hell out of him.

Once he had landed on the ground, everything became a bit of a blur for Jake.
He stepped off the plane, and was then whisked into a waiting car, to meet with the relative authorities to sort out what had happened, and find out what he needed to do.

He wanted to get this over as swiftly and as quietly as possible, before the news broke out and the media had a field day with it.
He knew it would be impossible to keep it out of the papers, although he had not made it big in America quite yet, His fame back home in the United Kingdom and Europe would ensure some interest and no doubt the news hounds would want to report it, in all its sordid detail and speculation.

But right now, he was trying to keep what happened, contained as much as possible from hitting the headlines.

Having to identify Caroline’s body had been the hardest part. The only thing that gave him a little comfort, as he looked at her pale lifeless face, was the fact that at long last she would have peace. It just saddened him, that this had been the only way for her to find it.
He also discovered more now about what had happened to her, after she left him.
She had arrived in New York where she met up with Alexis, someone she had befriended there when she and Jake had been on his first tour to promote his album over two years ago. They had met in some seedy bar, where Alexis was a lap dancer, how the friendship developed from there Jake wasn’t sure, but imagined it had to do with their same interest in recreational drug use

Jake now thought he understood exactly why Caroline had chosen to run off to America. It was easy to get lost, and hard to be found, if you wanted it that way.

Alexis had moved back to Chicago, where she originally came from, to be back with her family, and apparently trying to clean up her life, Caroline had gone with her, and they had shared an apartment. Alexis found a job working in a coffee shop. Whilst Caroline managed to made some money from her artwork.

Art and drawing had been her talent, and she could have made a career out of it. Jake had tried to encourage her, but she never had the confidence or believed in herself enough to make a proper go of it much to his frustration, she had preferred losing herself in her drug habit.

Now Jake was on his way to the apartment to meet this Alexis, who was apparently also caring for his child until he arrived.

The area where the apartment was situated, was not exactly the upmarket side of town, but from what he had learned of Caroline’s circumstances it was hardly surprising.
He was just glad he had Maurice with him for moral support. He still felt a little dazed by all the events of the past few days. It still seemed all very unreal to him, even as they were knocking on the door of the apartment.

It was opened by a dark-haired young woman, with olive toned skin, dressed in denim jeans and a red top. she had been expecting them, and hurriedly ushered them in.
Despite the furnishing being a bit shabby, the place seemed clean and tidy.

Jake had not been sure what to expect as he had stepped warily into the place, he had visions of junkies' needles lying around the place, and was relieved that this was not the case.

They young woman Alexis, was about in her mid-twenties she seemed slightly uneasy in their presence.

“I am so sorry we had to meet under these circumstances” she said, “This is not how I imagined it would be, I always hoped-” she broke of there, now looking openly upset.
“I tried I really did, to persuade Caroline to get in contact with you when she found out she was pregnant,” she then said, “But she kept putting it off. Please you mustn’t think the worst of her. because, when she found out she was pregnant, she did everything to stay clean and away from the drugs, I made sure of that. That’s why we came here” she then hurriedly explained.

“We both wanted to clean up our acts, and support each other, Y’know, have a new beginning. Only after Ellie was born, Caroline started to suffering from serious post-natal depression. I think that’s when she turned to the drugs again, and suffered that fatal overdose. I am sure it was the one and only time she took it again, When I came in and I found her lying on the floor, I tried everything to help her, but it was too late” she finished with a small sob

“I’m sorry,” she said again now hurriedly wiping her eyes, “I still can’t believe that she is gone”

“I know exactly what you mean” Jake replied, feeling too caught up in his own turmoil to offer much sympathy, although he was glad that Caroline had found such a friend who cared for her and had wanted to help her.

“I guess I should thank you for all you have done, I am sure Caroline appreciated it” he then said feeling a little obligated to try and make her feel better about the situation
“I just wish I could have done more to try to help her” Alexis sniffed, echoing his own guilty feelings that had haunted him these past few days.

But perhaps they had done all they could do, and in the end, it was never going to be enough Jake realised sadly.

“So, do you have their daughter here?” It was Maurice who spoke up, now glancing around him.

It brought back to Jake exactly why he was here again, and suddenly he felt a pang of anxiety at the prospect of having to deal with this new addition to his life.
“Oh yes, of course, she is sleeping in the next room in her crib. The poor little dear, thank goodness she is too young to understand what has happened, and at least she has you” Alexis now spoke up with a small smile, “Of course you must want to see her, I will go and get her for you.” she then said turning and going across the closed door that led into the bedroom

Jake felt his palms sweating, and his was heart pounding in his ears. He was not sure how he was supposed to feel right now, but the nearest he could describe it was something akin to the backstage nerves he felt before he went out to perform, because he didn’t know what to expect.

Alexis finally reappeared carrying a bundle wrapped in a pale pink and lemon checked blanket in her arms. She walked over to Jake, “Here she is, your daughter, Eleanor Louise” she smiled at him, as she held out the bundle towards him, which was now wriggling slightly and he could see one chubby little pink hand that was curled into a fist.

Automatically he held out his arms to take his child, who until a few days ago, he never even knew existed. It was almost surreal. He found himself looking into a pair of dark eyes that just stared back at him with her childish curiosity, as if trying to figure out who is this new face?

She looked so much like her mother, and suddenly he felt completely overwhelmed as he held this wriggling little bundle realising this was also his flesh and blood, and the remaining legacy of his relationship with Caroline, as messed up as it had been.

He found himself studying her with wonderment, with her chubby pink cheeks, and dark wisp of curls. Then she smiled at him, the emotional impact was so powerful he suddenly felt like the rest of the world had vanished. and there was only himself and her.

He had to do his best to gather his overwhelming emotions, so that he wouldn’t break down in front of Maurice and Alexis,managing a weak smile, “She is beautiful,” he managed to get out, sounding a little in awe, not quite believing that he had made her and she was part of him.

But now he had been introduced to her, he knew this was one little lady he was never going to let go out of his life ever again.
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