Jesse watched them go, and he didn't unclench until he heard the garage door closing again. At least JJ and the baby were on their way somewhere safe, and that was one less thing on his mind.
Jesse placed himself in front of Jayden, between him and Richard. There was never any other course of action, in his mind. "Like I said before, Ade," he said, staring into the eyes of the apparition. "Better me than any of you."
The power cord to the fallen lamp rose into the air, clotheslining him at the knees, and he fell. He hit the floor hard, but pushed himself back up onto his feet and stood in front of Jayden again. "You think that's going to hurt me?" he spat. "You bastard. I was homeless at 17. I've slept on park benches, under bridges, and on the ground. I turned tricks up against alley walls to put food in my mouth. I got beat up for what little I didn't have. So you do your worst."