Miss Perfect and Her Brothers (Part I&II)

33. Too much everything

One more time. 

I was looking at the gun barrel aimed at me. The feeling that accompanied me at that moment is not even possible to describe. I wanted to glance at Tony. I knew that even though our relationship was quite rough sometimes, he was still my brother, my family and the sight of his face would comfort me. 

But I couldn't move my eyes from the gun. I was sure I'd die. But I didn't want to. I thought about my death only once and that was right after my mom and grandma's accident. I questioned myself "What am I going to do in this world without my mom?". I considered following in their footsteps but only during one, really tough night when I couldn't sleep and shed many tears. The next day, I was told I have brothers. 

Although I still missed my beloved mom so much, I wasn't ready to die. 

The bald guy didn't ask me for an opinion though. I heard the click when the safety was taken off which I knew very well from action movies and I squeezed my eyelids. My heart was pounding crazily. 


My scream was jammed by the sound of a few next, quick bangs followed by loud swearing. 

I was laying pressed to the ground. I needed a moment to understand what was happening. Tony was kneeling in front of me, his back facing me. He was the one pushing me. He held the ground with one of his hands and the other was extended in front of him, grasping a gun. 

I lost consciousness and then got it very quickly back. 

He shot again. Twice. Some swearing was incessantly sounding in the background. After a moment I managed to distinguish two spewing voices. One of them was my brother's, the other - the bald guy's. 

Tony's wide back was interrupting my view but what I could notice was the bald guy running away from his bullets. He was limping, a lot. He clumsily mounted the motorbike he came here on. I saw his ugly face twisting out of pain. He barely managed to start an engine. He moved rapidly, with only one hand on the bar. The other one he was pressing tightly to his chest, staining it with blood. 

He was escaping. 

I couldn't get what was happening. I didn't even understand I was alive. 

Tony was still swearing. He shot several more times in the direction of the leaving motorcycle but his aim was getting worse. 

 "Fuck!" He yelled so loud that I jumped and the echo of is voice spread through the forest. 

Then he slowly turned around, panting a bit out of effort and, I guess, pain. I looked at his tensed face. That terrified me. I'd never expected to see that kind of expression on him. What scared me, even more, was that huge, red stain that was forming on his T-shirt.

"Tony!" I squealed weakly. I wanted to tell him to look down, to do something, stop the bleeding or whatever... But he turned away just to focus on me. 

"Did he shoot you?!" He asked with slight panic in his voice. 

I couldn't move nor use my voice. I was staring at him with wide eyes. For me, that was too much of everything. 

"Hey, answer me!" He rushed me, snapping his fingers in front of my face. 

It didn't snap me out of a shock I was in. I gaped numbly at his hand not understanding what he meant. He didn't waste time though. When he wasn't satisfied with my lack of reply, he decided to look for it by himself. 

His hands flipped my hair behind my back and grabbed the zip of my jacket opening it with a quick move. All his moves were quick. And not really gentle. He almost ripped my dark, baggy sweater when he pulled it up with another rapid tug. I felt cold air smacking my naked skin and normally I'd break away from Tony and accused him of invading my privacy but he quickly finished his examination, carelessly letting go of the fabric, leaning his head back and breathing out. 

"You're fine," he muttered. I wasn't sure if he was turning to me or to himself. 

"Tony..." I started again but my voice was too weak so I cleared my throat and tried it again, "Tony!" 

Now I sounded better. 

Tony concentrated on another action. He got his phone out of his pocket. 
"Tony, you're bleeding," I mumbled but he probably knew about that. What am I saying, every moment he was painfully gasping. 

"Fuck," he growled to himself another time today and he wanted to get up but he hissed through his gritted teeth at the try. Then he raised his eyes at me from above his phone. 

"Hailie, can you stand up?" 

I looked blindly at my legs. But I was laying. Wait, what was he asking about again? 

"Hailie!" He called me sharply what drew a bit of my attention, "Listen to me. You have to get up and walk around to catch the signal. You have to call Vince and tell him what happened. Doy you understand?" 

I didn't. I couldn't focus but I nodded anyway because I knew it was important. 

"Hailie, look at me," Tony said, this time a bit calmer. Oh, how good that he stopped screaming. I met his eyes, "If you don't put yourself together, I won't make it. I need your help."

Those words finally hit my sluggish mind. Tony needs help. I just almost died and Tony saved me. Now he needs help. My help. 
Suddenly, the wave of shivers spread through my body when I got aware of the situation I'm in. I got my feelings back. An awful pain in my leg that made me groan. My whole left side was smarting. My body was bruised. I had a headache. I was breathing too fast. My face was wet because of tears. I could barely move, leave alone standing up. 

But I did stand up. Slowly, I made use of my legs, stopping the fresh tears from appearing in my eyes. Oh God, how sore I was, how awful I felt. 'You're stupid, Tony is laying here with a gunshot wound,' I thought and it helped me a bit. 

I was dizzy. I held a tree to catch balance. I'll fall down...

"I don't know where my phone is," I whispered. 

"Take mine. Find reception. Just stay close," Tony instructed me. He was still speaking through gritted teeth. He extended his hand with his mobile. I grabbed it and started to walk around, waiting for these longed-for lines to appear on the screen. 

"Tony, shouldn't I call an ambulance first?" I asked, forcing myself to think logically. 
 "Call Vince," He grunted. 

I came to a dead stop and gasped when I almost stepped on a hand. Then I saw the leather jacket and those jeans... I didn't want to look at his face but my eyes moved there involuntarily. 

I shrieked and almost dropped Tony's phone. 

"T-there is a dead b-body!" I stuttered, staring at the pale face of that boy. He had a bullet hole in his cheek and his eyes were wide open and empty. It was the freaking scariest thing I'd ever seen in my life.

"Don't look at it, Hailie. Just keep walking. He's dead. He won't hurt you," Tony said with a big effort sounding in his voice, which made me keep my cool. 

I limped forward, deliberately wandering off the corpse. I was almost pulling my leg behind me. The pain was lighter this way. 

Suddenly, three lines popped up in the up-right corner of the screen. I stopped and started to shake out of emotions. 

"G-got it!" I screamed out to my brother, at the same time frantically going through his list of contacts. 
"Very good, Hailie. Call Vince and tell him shortly what happened." 

After this, Tony cussed again and although he did it very quiet, I caught it and bit my lips. It wasn't a joke, he was really bad. I tapped the green button next to Vince's name and waited, prying for him to answer as fast as possible. My heart was pounding like crazy at the sound of the signal.


Never, I repeat, never ever I have been so relieved at the sound of his cold voice. 

"Vince?" I cried. 

"Hailie?" He asked, a bit surprised but he followed immediately with another question, "Where's Tony?" 

I took a deep, shaky breath and started to tell him the story. I was speaking with no rhyme or reason but Vince, as soon as he got aware of the seriousness of the situation, took over the conversation and started to ask me some concrete questions. This way it was easier for me to pass him all the information he needed. 

"Are you hurt?" 


I could hear him telling some instructions to Will. Then he turned back to me. 
"Hailie, leave the phone where you're standing, where the reception is and go back to Tony. Do what he tells. We'll be there soon." 

He hung up and I sighed, feeling a bit comforted. Vince will take care of everything. He knows what to do. But quickly I started worrying again because I came back to Tony who was now just laying and puffing heavily with squinted eyes. He held his jacket pressed to the place his wound was bleeding. 

"Vince's coming," I informed him, hoping that those words will make him better. Tony just nodded acknowledgingly. 

I stood above him for a while, having no idea what to do. 

"Tony, how can I help you?" I asked in a trembling voice, hating myself for lack of knowledge in the first aid field. I theoretically knew how to stop nose bleeding or do heart massage but I couldn't help with a gunshot wound. 

"You can't," He muttered half unconsciously. 

And I remembered all those movies in which injured people were slowly drifting away and their companions were always panicking and yelling, 'Don't fall asleep!". Was I in the same situation now? With my brother? 
A cruelly unpleasant shiver went through my spine when I imagined that Tony would fall asleep now and never wake up again. 

I caught his shoulder and yank it a bit. 

"Fuck, Hailie, what?" He growled, not opening his eyes. 

"Y-you can't sleep," I whispered. 

"I don't," He clicked his tongue. 

"Then open your eyes." 

He didn't reply. And his eyelids were still shut down. I tapped his shoulder. 

"Go away." 

"Open your eyes," I demanded and pulled his shoulder again.

He listened. And looked at me with reluctance. 

"You're so fucking an..."

"Yes, yes, I'm fucking annoying. I've heard that before," I broke in impatiently. I was tired of him constantly insulting me. 

Tony smacked my hand. Not very hard but also not as light as I'd expect, considering his weakened state. My hand stung a bit so I hissed and rubbed it. 

"Don't swear," He growled. 

Today, Tony has said in total more cuss words than even normal ones but, of course, I was the one who needed to be told off. Mhm. I didn't talk back though because I reached my goal. Tony was conscious again. 
"Who were those people?" I questioned in a moment.

"I don't know." 

Silence again. I didn't know what to say and Tony wasn't in a mood to pick up any subjects. At some point, he closed his eyes again and when I noticed that his breath started to slow down, I panicked one more time.

"Tony, Tony!" I yelled, moving his arm but he just twisted his face a little. 

Do something, Hailie. 

"Fuck, fuck, fuck!" I recited in a shaky but clear voice. I swear I have never before said something that'd sound so vulgarly. It was hard to believe that this kind of words went out of my mouth. It just wasn't me. But Tony opened his eyes again, so I made it. 

"What's wrong with you?" He hissed, boring into me icily. Even in this position, he was able to intimidate me. 

Then I heard something. An engine. I turned my head away, begging with every part of my body for that vehicle to be coming with help. 

"Someone's coming," I whispered to Tony, not dragging my eyes away from the car. After a few seconds, I was almost sure it was Will's jeep. Behind him, there was one more car. Both were crossing the speed limit. Soon they stopped close to us. The black jeep didn't even park properly yet and Vince got off it, coming straight towards us. At his sight, I wanted to jump out of happiness. Oh God, how good he's here. He passed the motorcyclist's body and shot it a quick and totally unaffected glance. Will followed right behind him. Some two men get off the other car. They were both quite massive. When Will was passing next to the corpse, he snapped his fingers at them and pointed at it, saying something to them. I didn't hear what exactly because I focused on Vincent who squatted in front of us. 
His bright eyes slid from my injured leg and puffy eyes to Tony's pale face and his wound. He sorted out his priorities right away and concentrated on helping his brother. I sat next to them and watched how he calmly put away the jacket to see that ugly wound. I felt sick at the sight of such an amount of blood but I didn't dare even to squeak. I didn't want to bother them. 

"Have it gone straight through?" Will asked, kneeling next to us. 

"No. But I can't see it," Vince muttered, carefully examining Tony's injury. In response, he winced but didn't scream, biting his lip. 

"Shhh. Hang in there, an ambulance is coming," Will reassured him. That means they called the emergency. Good. I was afraid they'd try to help him by themselves. 

One of the men, who came here with my brothers, came to us. He wore casual jeans and some T-shirt but his hands were covered with rubber gloves and he was holding some cloth. 

"Where's the gun?" He asked. 

Will looked around, trying to localize it. And I figured out what was happening. At least more or less. Those two men are here to dust the fingerprints and cover the tracks and who knows what else...But why would they do that? I mean, Tony didn't do anything. We were heading home. This bald guy was the one who attacked us. That's how it was, right? He attacked us. 
I had so many questions! If not the fact that Tony was almost bleeding out, I'd start screaming at the top of my lungs at all of them. What the hell was happening?!

Will was still searching for Tony's gun and I just noticed it right next to my leg. 

"Here," I said. My voice was back hoarse. I reached my hand out to grab it and pass it to him. 

"Leave it," Will snapped sharply. His voice sounded so rough that I felt sad. I took my hand back. I just wanted to help... 

The man went to the place I pointed at and lifted the gun from the ground, wandering off and doing his job. 

"You're not allowed to touch any guns, remember?" Will reminded me, a bit gentler. I dropped my head feeling like yelling at him that I remembered it perfectly but the situation we're in is quite exceptional so we can forget about rules for this one moment, can't we? 

Suddenly, the ambulance signal sounded. It was getting louder and louder. 

"You should go," Vince commanded to the two men, turning away from Tony for a second. 
They both were leaning now above the dead boy's body. I noticed that one of them put Tony's black gun in his hand. What were they doing? Of course, I didn't ask it out loud as no one would answer me anyway. 

"Tony, one more moment," Vince promised, slapping our brother's cheek gently but firmly. His hand was bedaubed with his blood and he left a bit of it on Tony's face. Tony had his eyes closed but Vince's gesture made him blink. 

I was sitting quietly, starting panicking again. That's because I noticed something in my two oldest brother's eyes. Something, that they hid very well. Fear. And if Vince was afraid then it had to be really bad. 

I started to cry again, hating myself at the same time for being so useless. 

A moment after my brothers' companions left, two ambulances drove in the glade we were staying. Literally two minutes later, a police car appeared too. Firstly, Tony got the needed help. Vince talked with one of the paramedics. The police officers were investigating around the corpse. One of them came to Will and asked him some questions. 
Someone waved in front of my eyes. I tried to focus my confused and frightened gaze at the face that appeared in front of me. Some pretty woman with tied hair and paramedic's uniform was looking at me gently. 

"Hey, can you hear me?" She asked. She'd had to repeat this question a few times but I just realized now that she was speaking. 

I nodded weakly. 

Then she started asking me about how I felt and what hurts me. She also wanted to examine my leg. 

"It looks like a cut but I don't think it's broken," She muttered to another paramedic who just joined her. Then she asked me louder, "Can you walk?" 

I nodded again, a bit puzzled. Too much, too much, too much was happening. 

I watched how Tony was being carried to the ambulance in a hurry. Vince was saying something to him. Will got closer to them and after a few seconds, he ran to his car. The ambulance left turning the signal on and Will's black jeep followed it. 

"What's your name, love?" The woman asked me, smiling reassuringly at me while another paramedic was doing something with my leg. 
I burst out crying. Those weren't just tears rolling down my cheeks. Now, I was wailing like a baby. 

Everyone started to calm me down immediately. And I felt overwhelmed by them all. Someone was hanging above my leg, the woman was irritating me with her questions and some other person pulled my sweater and pressed my tensed belly. I tried to break free. 

"Easy, love, you have to let us help you," The woman told me balmily but I didn't listen. I kicked something or someone with my injured leg and I screamed even louder out of the new pain. 

Then someone's strong arm wrapped around my shoulder.

"Hailie, shh," Vince muttered to my ear. His cold tone, which I was usually scared of, now brought me some kind of relief. I was still crying and breathing too fast but I stopped scrabbling what was highly appreciated by the paramedics. 

"It's a panic attack," The man who was taking care of my leg said. 

I don't know what exactly happened after a moment but firstly, I heard some quick exchange between Vince and the woman and then I felt a sting which made me flinch and my eyelids became heavy. 
"Vince..." I groaned. I was so afraid. I didn't know what to do. Should I sleep? I was sure that I wouldn't be able to fight my sudden feeling of exhaust for too long...

"Get some rest, Hailie. Close your eyes," He whispered to my ear and that's when I relaxed.

I trusted him so I let myself drift away, having no idea what'd be next.