Rafferty has his gun trained on the older man. His hand isn’t shaking any longer. Don is on the floor, laid on his side with his legs curled up and his hands grasping his belly. Nausea rises violently within me.
I did that.
I might hate the man, but I've never badly hurt another human being before in my life. His face is a sickly gray, and there is a sheen of perspiration coating his skin.
Brody is standing next to me now, and he leans down and offers me his hand. I take it, and he pulls me gently to my feet. I cry out as the weight goes onto my leg with the wound. I’m still naked, apart from the thong, and I wrap my arms around my torso. There’s blood on my skin, and not all of it is mine.
Brody takes off his jacket and slips it over my shoulders. It’s huge on me, but that means I can pull it right around myself, hiding my naked form.
He bends down and inspects my leg. “That bullet just grazed you. You'll be fine, but you need this cleaned up and a bandage applied. Thankfully, it didn't penetrate. Unlike Wilder over there. This time, Honor, please stay put. I need to go see to my friend, okay?”
I nod forlornly, guilt eating at me, and shuffle back until I'm leaning against the wall, needing the support.
Asher has finished fastening all the men's ankles and wrists, and gagging them, so now he goes to Don. I expect him to tend to him and perhaps give first aid. I'm shocked when he wraps his fist in Don’s hair and yanks his head back with vicious strength.
“Okay, you fucking piece of shit. If you want to live, you start to tell usnoweverything you know about that other piece of shit sitting on the sofa.” Asher points at the older man.
I'm confused. Why do they want to know about him?
“As if you're going to stitch me up if I help you.” Don gives a raspy laugh.
“Actually,” Asher says, “wewillstitch you back up. I want to see you stand trial for what you've done. You need to pay, and the full weight of the law needs to be applied to you.”
Doesn't Asher know anything? I'm horrified by what he's saying. Don will never feel the full weight of the law. He will have a judge in his pocket somewhere. He is corrupt to the core, and clearly has multiple connections that run very deep.
“I think I'd rather die than go to prison, thank you very much. You know what happens to cops in jail.” Don coughs.
Asher reaches around with his free hand to the front of Don’s body, where he's holding his stomach. With a nasty grin, he presses his hand down hard on top of Don’s folded hands. The scream that is wrenched from Don’s throat almost sounds supernatural in its intensity.
“Oh, my God, stop it.” Don’s eyes roll in his head as he drops back down to the floor, except he can’t do that as Asher is still holding his head up by the hair.
“I can make it hurt a lot worse than this. I can also leave you to slowly bleed out in agony. Or worse, I can get some dirt and rub it right into that wound, so you die slowly as your flesh decays and infection eats you alive. So, I’m going to ask again, nicely. I want you to tell us everything you know about your friend on the sofa there. Once you finish telling us everything you know, I will clean this up and stitch you back together.”
“You breathe a word of this, and you’re a dead man anyway,” the old man says with satisfaction to Don.
Don’s eyes narrow, and even through the pain he must be feeling, I can see him bristling at being told what to do by this man.
“Don't be an idiot and give these fools what they want. They are nobodies. You know the powerIhold, on the other hand.”
“I hold power, too, old man.” Don forces the words out as if through a straw.
The man laughs, and that's his mistake. I see the moment Don decides to start speaking. It's not Asher’s threats, or even the pain, but it's the old man laughing at him with such a superior tone that pushes my stepfather over the edge. A narcissist to the very end, he can't bear to be made to look or feel small.
“What do you need to know?” he asks Asher.
“Tell me everything you know about our friend Pastor Wren here.” Asher jabs his index finger viciously into the older man’s forehead. The man stares at him with hate-filled eyes. “I mean, everything.”
As Asher turns away from the pastor, the older man lunges forward, but Rafferty raises his gun and pistol whips him around the head. The man staggers back and falls back onto the sofa, cradling his head in his hands.
Rafferty's hands are squeezed in tight fists, and the muscles on his forearms bulge with tension. Wilder, still sitting and leaning in the corner, lets out a weak laugh and shakes his head.
“You're so fucked, old man.” Wilder grins, and there's an almost deranged edge to it. “We’ve waited our whole lives for this moment.”
I'm beginning to understand there's something way bigger than these guys just rescuing me going on here.
Just what, exactly, is happening?
I don’t get to ask because the door bursts open and two armed men appear, their weapons trained on us.