Pairings: Jack/various women, Jack/Sawyer
Summary: Jack narrows the field down to four women and a shocking secret is revealed!
Note: Thanks again to zelda_zee for the beta!
Part 1, Part 2
There’s one more group date for the week. Achara retrieves the date box, which is addressed to her, Sun, Gabriela and Cassidy. The other women gather around as she opens it up to find a small, paper kite with a dragon on it. “Come fly with me. Love, Jack.”
The women are driven by limo to a beautiful, deserted beach where Jack is waiting with several kites laid out on the sand. He’s wearing an unbuttoned madras shirt and swim trunks and the women ooh and aah over his physique, finding excuses to touch him.
Jack’s having trouble with his kite and Achara strategically steps in to help him, while the other girls look on jealously. Soon, she’s got the diamond-shaped kite soaring proudly. They both shield their eyes from the sun as they look up, following the kite’s progress.
She runs with it up the beach and he follows after her, laughing. She zigzags across the sand and they both wind up in the surf and he tackles her. She releases her grasp of the string and the kite flies free.
GABRIELA: Silly me, I thought we were there to fly kites. Achara is pretty brazen, if you ask me.
ACHARA: I think Jack and I made a real connection. Flying the kite was so much fun! I got to tell him a little about where I come from and my family. And I finally got to see his tattoos! I’m a tattoo artist, so I offered to give him another one, any time, for free. One that is very special, just for him.
JACK: Flying kites on the beach was just what we all needed right now. It wasn’t competitive, just fun. I got to know Achara better. She’s such a free spirit and I like that. I might take her up on that offer if I ever get another tattoo!
With Ana already gone, Jack has only two more women to eliminate this week. When all the roses are handed out, only Cassidy and Cindy are left emptyhanded.
Neither woman seem particularly shocked not to receive a rose. They say their goodbyes to the other Bachelorettes. Kate’s rose is clutched in her hand as she hugs Cassidy farewell: “This isn’t goodbye,” she says.
CINDY: Well, I’m sad to be going home but I’m not surprised. I think this is all because I was closest to Ana, so I’m guilty by association. I don’t think Jack ever got to know the real me and that’s a shame.
CASSIDY: I don’t know, I guess I’m just not the running-on-the-beach, kite-flying kind of girl. Jack and I never really had a connection. I’ve made some friends here and it makes me sad to leave but whatever’s meant to be....She starts to tear up and turns from the camera and walks towards the waiting limo.
Bachelor production office:
Isabel picked at the fruit plate in front of her. “Are we still pushing Juliet? Because right now it seems like Jack has the strongest connections with Shannon and Kate.”
“Don’t forget Gabriela,” said Tom, zeroing in on the strawberries. “There were some definite sparks at the spa. In the mud bath, where they were rubbing mud on each other? And then showering each other off? Oh yeah, he likes her. And who knew Jack’s Italian was so good?”
“It’s in his file,” Ben said with more than a hint of impatience. “Really, did any of you read the file? He spent the summer after high school in Italy. He still likes to order in Italian at his favorite restaurant.”
“Okay then, where are we with Juliet?”
”Have you seen their date yet? No? Okay, here it is.”
Juliet and Jack board a yacht and are taken on a cruise around the island. They sip champagne on the deck and compare med school stories. He points out a pod of dolphins and she smiles at him, trying to keep her hair out of her eyes as the wind whips it around.
“I’ve been admiring your tattoos,” she says. “It’s from a poem by Mao Tse Tung, isn’t it? The Chinese lettering?”
”Yeah,” Jack says, looking at her curiously. “How did you...?”
“I want to know everything about you, Jack. Is that so surprising?” She smiles, an odd-little half smile that could be read as smugness.
“Well, that puts me at a disadvantage. I still don’t know much about you.”
“We have more in common than you think,” she says mysteriously. “Hold this.” She hands him her champagne glass and, turning her back to him, lifts the bottom of her shirt, revealing a small fleur-de-lis pattern on the small of her back. “This represents the full extent of my ‘wild’ years. I went for a brand. Seemed faster than a tattoo but it still hurt like hell.”
Jack laughs and sets the glasses down. He runs his hand over the design. “It’s beautiful. Like you,” he says and kisses her on the cheek.
“Just the cheek?” Tom scoffed. “Gabriela got a real kiss.”
“Juliet’s reserved. She’s got class. Jack respects that,” Isabel insisted. “He was never going to go for someone like Nikki.”
“Well, that’s a given.”
“Okay, what’s next?”
“Tag football on the beach. In bikinis, of course. Love this shot where Kate tackles Jack....”
Jack should have been finding it harder to eliminate the women as their numbers dwindled and he got to know each of them better, but he didn’t feel bad about letting most of them go.
The language barrier with Achara was a problem. And when she let it slip that her brothers had beaten up her last boyfriend who wasn’t Thai, Jack mentally crossed her off his list. No hometown visit needed to tell him that the cultural gap was too big.
He regretted saying goodbye to Sun. She was beautiful and smart but he’d found it far too hard to get her to open up. He’d spent an entire afternoon alone with her at a nearby Japanese temple -- this island had been temporarily occupied during WWII, they told him -- and he felt a calm serenity from her that he himself was sorely lacking. But there just wasn’t that spark, and so he crossed her off his list as well. He just couldn’t get to know someone that reserved under these circumstances.
After the rose ceremony, he toasted the four remaining women -- Gabriela, Juliet, Kate and Shannon -- with champagne. He would be visiting them where they lived and meeting their parents. This whole idea was finally becoming real to him.
After the women were driven back to their house, Sawyer knocked on his door. He was holding up a cassette tape, which he tapped against the door frame.
“Thought you might want to see this, Doc.” He strode in without being invited and popped the tape into the VCR, fast-forwarding until he got to the spot he wanted. “Knew saying goodbye to Sun was bugging you, so I thought I’d set your mind at ease.”
Sun’s face filled the screen. She looked sad, but her eyes were dry. “I am disappointed. Jack is such a wonderful man and I think he would be a great husband and father. But this was really my mother’s idea, for me to get married. I don’t think this is the right way to meet a husband. If it’s meant to be, I will meet the right man, someday.”
Sawyer hit “STOP” and took the tape back. “See? You made the right decision there. Her heart wasn’t in this. You’ve gotta go with your gut.”
“Thank you, Sawyer.” Jack said, and he meant it. “It’s so hard to know... all of them are gazing into my eyes and telling me they think I’m this great guy ... I don’t know what to think. And next week I’m meeting four sets of parents!”
“C’mon, they’ll all love you, Doc. You’re the ultimate ‘take home to Mom,’ guy.”
Jack laughed and shook his head. “Yeah well, I’m sure the cameras will help everyone be on their best behavior.”
“Have fun and see you in a week, Doc.” Sawyer’s grin was the last thing he saw as he closed the door behind him.
Jack never gave the women he’d said goodbye to a second thought -- other than Sun -- Sawyer had been dead right about that --- but he realized now how much he was going to miss Sawyer. A whole week without his quick wit and his always on-the-nose advice? Jack felt like he was going into the lion’s den without a shield. He was on his own.
It was maybe 2 a.m. when Jack heard a rustling noise at the door. He wasn’t asleep anyway, so he thought he might as well get up to investigate. He opened the door but no one was there. He looked up and down the hallway and then decided it was nothing, until something crinkled underfoot.
He bent down to pick up the piece of paper someone had slipped under the door. He flicked on the light and his stomach lurched. It was a photocopy of a mug shot. Even without her name spelled out in block letters, he would have recognized it as a younger version of Kate. But what really got him was the handwritten word scrawled in red letters. “MURDERER.”
Coming up on The Bachelor: Paradise Island:
SHANNON: I just can’t believe all the bad things that have happened so far.
JULIET: It’s terribly upsetting, of course. I just ... I don’t want to sound petty, but I get the feeling there’s something else going on here.
END PART 3