Miss Perfect and Her Brothers (Part I&II)

34. Help

I woke up being sore. My wounded leg was stinging and the whole left side of my body was pounding with pain. However, the reason for my brief confusion was a numb headache. I blinked a few times and looked around the room I was in. Almost immediately, I noticed Will who was leaning against a doorframe. Apparently, he was talking with someone on the phone, frowning and looking on the floor. No one else was here. 

I wanted to ask him about what is happening but he hadn't been raising his eyes for a while and I couldn't find my voice so I focused on digging in my memory. That's when the happenings from the forest hit me. I almost groaned, feeling their heaviness. The motorcycle, the bald guy, the shooting, the injured Tony, the dead body... Shivers went through my spine in react to all those horrible pictures that just popped up in my head. 

The injured Tony. 

Now the shivers doubled. 


"Hailie's awake," I heard Will's words and glanced at him right away. He was looking at me too now and came closer to my bed, giving me a small smile that didn't reach his dark-circled eyes."Yes, I'll text you."

He hung up and slide his mobile into the pocket of his khaki trousers. 

"Hi," He greeted me and gently stroke my cheek. His touch was so soothing that I just wanted to grab his hand and glue it to my face. "How are you feeling?" 

I shrugged. 

"You bruised yourself and you have to watch your leg but you'll be fine," He informed me and sat on the stool next to my bed.

I opened my mouth and only after a moment was able to make any sound. 

"W-what with T-tony?" 

Will broke the eye contact and looked aside, pursing his lips. I noticed now how tensed his shoulders were. He seemed to be... angry. 

"He's been operated. He hasn't woken up yet."

I needed a moment to decide if it's good or bad news.

"But he'll wake up soon, right?" 

Will moved his eyes back to me. 

"For sure," He whispered and squeezed my tiny fist with his big hand. 

"So he may not wake up?" I asked, panicking. In one moment my heart rate sped up and my eyes opened widely. My head also pulsed dangerously, forecasting another wave of pain. 

Will started to calm me down and he caressed my cheek again. 

"The doctors keep him in coma purposely so he can get better sooner. That's all," He explained to me patiently and when my bottom lip didn't stop to tremble, he added "Tony's very strong. He's going to pull through." 

I nodded slightly, accepting his reassurance for now. What else could I do? I couldn't allow myself to believe anything other than that Tony'll be fine. 

"Hailie..." Will started in a changed voice. More serious. Thanks to that he got my full attention. "I'm sorry. It shouldn't have happened." 

I looked into his eyes and frowned. 

"It wasn't even your fault..." I protested. 

Will just sighed and looked away again. 

After that, a nurse came in. Will called her using the button hanging above my head during our conversation. I completely missed it. It was an older lady, a bit overweight and with a very kind face. A moment later, a doctor showed up too. He was also quite older and neat but much more formal. He examined me, asked me some questions and finally delivered a verdict. I could go home. 

I won't deny, I felt relief. At home, I'll feel much safer than here. I was afraid that if I fell asleep, Will'd go somewhere and that bald guy would appear to finish his job. I'm not even joking, my head was now stuffed with these kinds of thoughts. 

I actually wanted to ask Will about this man but I decided to wait. At least until we get home and I can relax. 

It was nine in the morning when I was discharged from the hospital. The nurse helped me to change into my sweatpants and jumper which one of my brothers fetched from our home at night. She sensitized me to be careful with my leg and not to overstrain it. I gasped at the sight of a huge, purple bruise that was covering the left side of my body - spread from my breast to hip. I was also scratched everywhere. I noticed how Will, who at my request ignored the nurse's instruction to leave the room and stayed, clenched his fists just at the sight of my bruised body. 

"I would like to visit Tony," I said decisively when I was getting out of bed and my brother wrapped his strong arm around me. I hung on him to spare my leg as much as I could. He also offered me to carry me to his car but I didn't agree. I didn't want to make a show. 
"Not now."


"Not now, Hailie," Will repeated a bit sharper. 

"But Will... Tony saved my life," I whispered, stopping and trying to force him to do the same. I was staring up at him with my big, innocent eyes. His face immediately got gentler. 

I hadn't fully thought it through yet but I knew one thing - Tony really had saved my life. My brother, the one I was most unsure about, he saved me. He took a bullet that was aimed at me. It was supposed to kill me. That's what would happen. It'd kill me. I wasn't even half as strong as Tony. I wouldn't survive it. He may not survive it... 

"Tony was very brave. So were you, baby girl. I promise you, you'll see him soon. However, now we have something to do. All right?" 

Reluctantly, I dropped my gaze and nodded but almost immediately looked up again. 

"We have something to do?" I repeated, frowning. 

"Let's go to the car." 

I remembered that yesterday was quite warm and nice. Well, so today was the opposite. I shivered when we went outside. Whoever brought my clothes to change, they forgot about a warmer jacket. But almost right away, Will put his coat over my shoulders. His car was parked quite close so I wouldn't freeze but I appreciated his gesture anyway. He also lifted me so I could get in his jeep without hurting my leg. I winced when (although being very careful) he touched my bruise. He quickly made it up to me by placing a kiss at the top of my head. 
"What do we have to do?" I asked when Will took the driver's seat and started an engine. 

"One more moment, Hailie," He replied and I breathed out, demonstrating my impatience but he just ignored it. 

This moment he told me about turned into forty minutes of driving. Ok, it took us a while to get out of the town. Every time we stopped at traffic lights, Will was texting on his phone. 

"We're going home, right?" I asked when I felt that we'd been riding for too long. Will didn't have to answer me because at the same time the foresty road ended and this is how we stopped near a nondeceptive, wooden cabin. It looked tiny, old and was tightly surrounded with trees. On the (also wooden) steps leading to the front door, there was a huge man sitting. He shot us a look but didn't even move. 

"Will?" I squealed unsurely, watching the stranger. 

My brother turned off the engine and the silence sounded around us. Then he faced me. 

"I know, you're tired but it's important. It won't take long," He promised mysteriously. 
"Will, what's going on? What's this place?" I asked, getting nervous. 

"We need your help."

What now? 

Will got off the car and went around it to open the door at my side. I was staring at the dashboard, wondering what I could possibly help my brothers with. I was useless. My brother unbuckled me and with the utmost delicacy, he lifted me bridal-style and helped me smoothly stand on the ground.

"Will, can we go home?" I mumbled when we were getting closer to the cabin and to this enormous man. He was sitting there in a casual manner. He didn't have much hair on his head but his beard was really long and thick. Although I was freezing even with Will's coat, he only had on him some baggy jeans and vest that just brought his big shoulders up.

My brother's embrace tightened as if he tried to comfort me a bit. The huge man looked at us again when we passed him. He didn't say anything, just nodded at Will. He threw him a small, polite smile and we both entered the steps that creaked under the weight of our bodies.
"Slowly," He muttered to me as if the pain wasn't a sufficient reminder.

The front door led straight to the kitchen which was quite ugly, old and gloomy and those charming, wooden accents didn't help much here. I wasn't admiring this ancient, creamy fridge or shabby table and metal chairs for too long because I noticed two men inside. One of them was projecting next to the microwave and apparently was waiting for food. The other one was leaning against the wall and smoking a cigarette. They both looked rather tidy, fit and they were wearing dark clothes. They made a completely different impression than this guy outside but I tensed up at their sight anyway.

"Willy!" The one next to the microwave called out, breaking in whatever his colleague was saying. Then he looked at me and smiled at me friendly. "Hi, Hailie, nice to meet you. I'm Patrick," He extended his hand towards me and I shook it shyly. I didn't answer him verbally but I tried to smile back. 

"Finally, you're here. Vince almost lost it," The other man laughed. 
I wanted to ask Will if it means that Vince is somewhere here too but the answer showed up itself after a few seconds when my oldest brother came into the kitchen. He looked a bit different than usual. He had a black T-shirt and dark trousers on. It's been a while since I saw him wearing such casual clothes. However, a nice watch was presented elegantly on his wrist and the signet was shining proudly on one of his right hand's fingers. His hair was sweptback and the expression on his face was tired but cold and a bit annoyed. 

And then I saw that a black gun was poking out of his waistband. It was barely visible because his outfit was so dark but I noticed it. I felt shivers running through my body because I have never seen him with a gun before. Of course, I knew that he had to have experience with it. It became obvious to me a long time ago. But I have never seen him actually being in a possession of it. For some reason, it creeped me out.

 "And?" Will asked and Vince shrugged. Of course, they couldn't speak the way I would understand... 
My oldest brother and I shared a look. I remembered how he'd helped me to calm down there, in the forest. Now I was waiting for him to ask me how I was. Come on... It's just one, stupid question. 

"Let's get over with it," He said and turned away, disappearing in a corridor. Will pushed me gently to follow him and I just saddened a bit. The corridor was short, dark and upholstered with wood. I saw Vince's back and how he entered into some room. A few seconds later, Will and I walked in there too. 

The fact that another room in this cabin was sordid didn't surprise me. There was an ugly, dingy, green couch and a huge, creepy wardrobe. Windows here were covered with big, heavy curtains so the natural light had no chance to get through. It wasn't a problem because the room was lightened with some exceptionally bright light-bulbs. 

There were some more men. Also two. Why were there so many people? One of them stood near a covered window and another one in the corner. That one held a weapon. I was pretty sure that all those men I'd seen here were armed but this guy was the only one who had it in his hands. He held it low but looked like he was ready to use it at any moment. 
But the scariest moment was when I had a better look around and moved my eyes from the men to the middle of the room. There was a long, metal table with some weird stuff on it and a massive chair which was taken by someone whose back was facing me. 

Vince rounded this chair so he stood in front of the person. He looked down at them with a face that made me shiver. 

"Hailie, come here, please," He said quietly. I had to admit that in his tone there was no unnecessary severity but anyway, I didn't feel safe here and I was sure as hell that I didn't want to find myself in the center of this weird situation that was happening here. 

I didn't make any move but Will decided for me again and led me towards Vince. 



Now I noticed that the men sitting on the chair actually was tied to it. Both his hands were paralyzed with handcuffs tightly locked on the armrests and his legs were attached to the chair with some belts. A similar one was also girding on his waist. 

I took a deep breath. If Will wasn't holding me, I'd take a step back. 
What does it mean? What is happening? 

Behind his bald head, there was also some band. 

A bald head. 


"I-I want to go home," I stuttered, clenching my brother's shirt with one of my hands. 

"In a moment," Will muttered to me, giving me a quick kiss on the top of my head. This time it didn't give me any relief. We stopped next to Vince, so close that when Will released me from his embrace, my oldest brother immediately took his place. Being held by Vince felt differently. He's also strong but much less affectionate. As if he only held me so I'd not fall, not caring about comforting me. 

The exchange made me face the guy on the chair. Just as I thought, it was that ugly trap of the psycho from the forest. A bit deformed because of many bruises and mouth stuffed with a gag (that's why he had a band visible at the back of his head) but I was sure as hell it was him. You just don't forget the face of a person that held you at gunpoint. 

"Hailie, do you know this man?" Vince asked me and I barely heard him. I just bored into this monstrous eyes, remembering how soullessly they were back in the forest. And this reluctance they were looking at Tony with... I knew he recognized me now but he seemed to try to hide it. 
Vince did a few steps forward and forced me to do the same. We were standing now much closer to this guy that I would want to. It's for me to have a closer look at him, I guess. But I didn't need it. 

I nodded. 

"Was it him who attacked you and Tony?" Vince's voice became colder. 

I nodded again. 

"Hailie, it's very important that you're a hundred percent sure," Will said. Now he was standing behind the bald guy's back, looking straight at me. 

"Take off his gag," Vince commanded. 

I didn't want to hear his voice, I was already disgusted with his look.

Will pulled the cloth, untying the band. The man started to cough and sputter as soon as his mouth was free. 

"Speak," Vince demanded and when the man stubbornly didn't make any articulate sounds, Will hit him at the back of his head. Hard. I winced. 

"All right, all right! Fucking hell..." The bald guy grunted, tilting his head as far away from Will's hand as he could. Then he raised his eyes at me again. A smirk appeared on his lips. "And who's that little girl?" 
I didn't want to listen to him. It was the same voice that threatened me with death.

"It's him," I whispered to Vince, trying to make my voice sound confident. 

"What him? What's happening?" The man barked playing his role the best he could. If this wasn't such a serious situation, I'd roll my eyes. 

How did he even end up here? My brothers had had to catch him somehow. But how? I wanted to ask some questions but felt uncomfortable at his presence. 

I remembered how he'd ran away. Oh yeah, about that...

"His wrist was bleeding a lot and he was limping..." I said out loud. These kinds of wounds wouldn't heal in one day. 

A dark smile started to form on Will's face when he looked down at the man's paralyzed wrist, resting on an armrest. It was wrapped with some dirty and bloodstained bandage. 

"Little bitch," He spat, staring at me with sudden hostility. Something flashed and out of nowhere in Vince's hand appeared a small but cruelly sharp knife that my brother pointed at the guy. 
"Say it again," Vince challenged him quietly, looking at him blankly. The top of the blade was now almost touching his eyeball. If my brother's hand shook now, the guy would probably lose it. No surprise, that he froze. I did too. 

He was quiet for a couple of long seconds so Vince slowly took the knife from in front of his nose and threw it on the metal table with a loud clink. Will, who was still standing behind the man, surprised him by stuffing the gag back in his mouth and tying it. His movements were so indelicate that I almost winced again.

Then, Vince led me to this ugly, green couch. Oh no, no. I didn't want to stay here, I wanted to go home. Vince sat down, still holding my arm and then he gently pulled me to himself and before I knew, I was seated on his laps. The chair with the bald guy was only a few big steps away but Vince made sure that I was turned away from it, so I didn't have to watch this terrible man. 

Will's coat fell a bit from my shoulders. I didn't have the courage to put it back on me, I didn't dare to move. I was very tensed, especially that Vince probably still had this gun stuck behind his waistband. Besides, that was the first time I was sitting on his laps, the first time I was so familiar with him. Under different circumstances, that could be even cute. 
"How are you feeling?" He asked me suddenly and my jaw almost dropped because I got over the thought that he just wouldn't ask me this question. He put one of his hands on my back and the other on my knee and I looked into his light eyes checking if he's not joking. 

"Good," I whispered, seeing that he's waiting for an answer. 

"As I texted you, she's an awful bruise..." Will broke in. 

Vince caught the bottom of my jumper and glanced at my face. 

"Can I?" He asked and I nodded because I didn't feel as if I had a choice. I didn't want him to strip me in this room full of men and I didn't want him to see my naked body, especially that I still struggled a bit with accepting myself but Vince (very gently) pulled up my sweater in the most discreet way possible. 

His eyes darkened at the sight of a huge, purple stain. 

"Tell me, dear Hailie, where did you get it from?" He asked, moving his eyes back to my face. 

I started to stutter and in a very chaotic way told him how I'd fell from Tony's motorcycle and rolled down on the litter. He kept asking me more and more questions and created a sensible story out of my testimonials. 
I felt really weird speaking about the bald guy, knowing he's right behind my back but Vince tried to make me comfortable by stroking my back and drawing my whole attention at himself. 

"He said that he hoped he'd catch Tony with one of his brothers but when he recognized me, he said that it was his lucky day..." I mumbled. 

"Ah yes?" Vince muttered and his face stiffened. 

"Tony said that you'd k-kill him..."

Corners of his lips lifted for a second. 

"... but he just laughed and asked how would you know it's been him... He said that... you'd go insane out of powerlessness..."

I remembered those words very well and now, repeating them out loud, I was trembling just at the memory of the fear they'd made me feel. 

Vince just nodded, inviting me to continue but I could notice that he was getting really angry. I dropped my head, watching my hands. 

"Earlier he also said that he had a message for you and that... that its content would be your youngest siblings' dead bodies..."
It was extremely hard to sit at Vince's lap and repeat him all those terrible stuff that had been said by that psycho. I felt how my brother stiffened even more. 

"He said he wasn't a monster and that he'd k-kill me f-first so I'd not have to s...see how my b-brother... dies..." This sentence was impossible for me to finish nicely so I just started to cry. I was so close to death... 

The room was silent and I was weeping, trying to do it as quiet as possible. Vince tightened his arm around me and when I raised my eyes at him I saw how he looks at something behind my back. At the bald guy most likely. I felt shivers just at the thought of what would happen if I stayed with him alone and he broke free somehow... 

Quiet, stop thinking about such things! It won't happen, no one will leave you alone with him. 

After that Vince looked back at me with some fondness visible in his eyes that totally surprised me. He caught a lost strand of my hair between his fingers and placed it behind my ear. 
"Thank you, Hailie, you helped me a lot."

I wasn't sure how exactly I helped him but I nodded shyly. 

"I want you to go home now and get some rest, all right?" 

"Yes," I whispered quietly, having in mind his preferences about verbal answers. 

Vince gave me a hand so I could stand up and he got up too. At that moment, I quickly dried my face with my sleeve. He then helped me put on Will's coat in a gentleman style. He led me to my other brother who immediately took me over and hugged me to his side. 

"Tell Eugenie to get her anything she wants but she has to lay and rest. And make sure she eats something," Vince turned to Will, who nodded and gently but firmly pulled me to the exit. 

I turned my head away just to see how Vince approaches the chair with the bald guy and he reaches for his gun with this elegance of his. With his other hand, he grabbed a silencer and started fitting it to the gun. This brief softness he treated me with was definitely gone now. 

"It's going to be a long day," Vince whispered to the guy quietly and ominously but I heard it because his voice was clear as always. 
Now we were going through this small corridor and Will almost pushed me to the kitchen. Patrick was sitting at the table eating mushy lasagna and he gritted at our sight. 

"And was it him?" He asked but Will just nodded fastly and didn't even stop. Why was he suddenly in such a rush? 

"Will? Will! Is Vince going to call the police now?" I asked, knowing exactly well that it's not what is going to happen. 

"I don't think so," My brother muttered, not even trying to pull the wool over my eyes. 

"So what is Vince going to do with him?" 

We stopped in front of the jeep Will opened the passenger's door, lifted me gently, seated me and buckled up my seatbelt. Only after he did it, he looked into my eyes. 

"He's going to talk with him."

His glance was so meaningful that I almost gulped and was more than happy that Will quickly took his place behind the wheel, started an engine and left from here before any crumbs of this conversation reached our ears.