The Brothers and I

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Chapter 24

Fear. I thought I understood it.

After all, I had lived and breathed it my whole life. As a little girl, it had been my constant companion, forever shadowing my waking moments. In my teenage years, it took on the role of the invisible enemy that I constantly warred with. As an adult, it was the fear that came in dealing with an unfair and unjust world. And after today’s events, I thought I had finally learnt and experienced every type and facet of fear that plagued mankind.

Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

As I stood here and watched the scene unfolding in front of me, I experienced a new kind of fear – The fear for the safety of someone you love. And by far, I would say, that it is the worst kind. Propelled and fuelled by it, I hit the glass with my palms once again, the metal on my handcuff painfully constricting my wrists as it issued a loud clang around the little room.

“Thomas! I’m in here!”

I observed as he continued to look at the men and not acknowledge me or my presence. What the hell? I was quite certain that he had glanced in my direction that one time and I also knew that he would never intentionally choose to not respond. So, ignoring the pain in my wrists and jaw, I shouted louder and struck the glass once again. “Thomas!...... Thomas!”

It took another three tries before the moment of truth tore through me with a vengeance. Feeling physically sick at the realisation that only I could see and hear them, had me clutching my gut with worry. Why were they doing this? Was this the reason I was instructed to not look away? Were they going to hurt him and make me watch? My heart stopped for a moment as the sadistic reality began to sink in. No! No! This can’t be real! This cannot be happening!

I watched in panic as the four men began to circle around Thomas, only giving me brief glimpses at his face that was set in an expression of pure anger. I shivered, never having witnessed him in such an extreme state before. His eyes were glowing the brightest gold, as it continually flicked between the men who were surrounding him like sharks drawn to blood at a feeding site.

My eyes travelled to the men, as each of them came into focus when they passed by the spot that was directly in my line of vision. My breathing picked up and my heart thudded as one of them came into view.

He appeared to be the same height as Thomas, a bit broader around the shoulders but still quite lean. His movements were lithe as a wild cat, predatory and calculating. My eyes travelled over his form while my body heated up with a strange sense of excitement, wanting and needing him to devour me with that same predatory glint in his eye. What the fuck!

Gorgeous and cocky, he looked like the typical bad boy that unsuspecting women would easily fall for. The sleeves of his white shirt were rolled up, revealing an elaborate tattoo on his left arm that started from the back of his hand and disappeared under the sleeve of his shirt. The left side of his neck that was visible, also had a tattoo which I assumed was the continuation of the full arm sleeve that he had going on.

Short strands of jet-black hair fell carelessly over his forehead and eyes. A small gasp escaped me when I noticed the colour of his eyes before he moved out of focus. They were icy blue, similar to the Adonis-like man that had initially turned around.

And as the next one came into view, I genuinely blinked twice, questioning the probability of whether I had died at some point and gone to heaven. With short light-brown hair and striking hazel eyes, he looked like an archangel. That is of course, if angels had a habit of roaming around in expensive designer suits and missing a few details like the halo, the wings and the flaming sword!

He was definitely taller and broader than Thomas and the tattoo guy. The aura that he emanated was powerful and fierce but with an undeniable touch of gentleness that made you want to trust him with your life. I shivered as I began to feel the same magnetic pull towards him.

What the hell!

My confusion and uneasiness at my own feelings came to an abrupt halt as the third behemoth creature made an appearance. While Thomas had silver- grey eyes, this herculean man had stunning blue-grey ones. I felt my whole world shatter with a force like never before as I continued to stare open-mouthed at his glorious form. There was something dark and dangerous in the way he moved and carried himself. His eyes and body moved with purpose, constantly on alert and in tune with the surroundings but never straying too far from the target. And in this case, that target happened to be Thomas. I squirmed with unease and worry as that thought crossed my mind.

His extra-tall and bulky frame was nothing short of intimidating, muscles thickened in all the right places as his suit moved effortlessly to accommodate his massive build. With his dark hair styled back and his sharp facial frame in focus, he looked like a malevolent God, the kind that invoked your reverence and fear at the same time.

When the fourth one came up to the spot, I was once again utterly captivated. This was the same Adonis-like man that I had first seen. But that had only been a quick glance. Now, as I took a closer look, I realised that there was nothing about him that was normal. From his incredible physique that looked like it was hand-carved by the Gods themselves, to his cold regal demeanour that demanded submission from everyone in the room, this man was the perfect embodiment of all that is divine and all that is corrupt in this world. His electric blue eyes called to my soul, my body twitching compulsively as the pull intensified.

However, my unhealthy scrutiny of these absurdly good-looking men grinded to a stop when Thomas’s voice suddenly filled the room. A strange mix of desperation and wrath was combined in his tone making me tremble with worry. “Is she here? You brought her here? ...Brother don’t do this… You don’t understand who she is. She is my-”

And just like that, a scream ripped through me, as one of them moved unnaturally fast and grabbed Thomas by the throat, pulling him out of the seat. A loud growl erupted through the room before a furious voice replaced it. “Do you think we give a fuck? She could be the Goddess herself! And it still won’t stop us from fucking her dead and feeding you her heart!”

I felt the air leave my lungs as a sickening feeling descended on my terror-stricken mind. The realisation that they were talking about me and what they intended to do to me, caused a wave of panic to build until I began to hyperventilate. But I didn’t get the chance to dwell on it for too long as Thomas’s eyes turned completely black and a ferocious snarl issued from his chest. Somehow, he appeared to grow bigger, his muscles tearing through his shirt while his veins bulged on his forehead and neck. An eerie darkness seemed to consume his entire being, as his body began to shake uncontrollably.

Everything happened at once.

The one with the tattoo and the angelic-looking one quickly moved and grabbed Thomas’s arms on either side as the one who was choking him, let go. And before my mind could process any of it, I was banging the glass and screaming till my throat and arms felt like they were on fire. “Stop! Please stop!”

The other two men took it in turns to punch Thomas in the gut repeatedly, their powerful arms going all the way back before swinging in his direction. Each blow was more brutal than the last. My wrists had started to bleed, the constant striking causing the skin to tear and the metal to dig in. But I ignored it, the physical pain holding no significance when compared to the utter torment that was possessing every nerve in my body as I watched him being violently attacked again and again.

Thomas’s face was scrunched in pain when a sudden blow to his chest had him spurting blood from his mouth. His body which was held up by the two men, sagged, while the front of his shirt was splattered with his blood. The one with the electric blue eyes reached out and grabbed a fistful of Thomas’s hair, tilting his head upward. “In a way I blame myself for this brother. And that’s what makes me so fucking mad! See, if I had not taken it easy on you from the time we were pups, you wouldn’t have grown up to be such a human-loving-pathetic-mongrel. But it’s alright. We can correct that now.”

An insane laugh left him as he gripped Thomas’s hair tight before smashing the side of his face with his fist. A loud crack sounded through the room on impact before a painful yelp escaped Thomas’s lips, a trail of blood flying through the air before landing on the man beside him. And as he was harshly pulled back to the front, I felt the bile rise in my throat and my heart stop at the sight.

Thomas’s lower jaw was hanging loose, broken with his mouth agape and blood pouring out like a river. Unable to hold back any longer, I turned towards the side and threw up on the floor. My heart was tearing into pieces as my whole body shuddered from the aftermath of what I had just witnessed. I didn’t realise that I was sobbing uncontrollably until a mixture of snot and tears streamed down my face making it difficult to see and breathe.

“You need to stand up and look”

The voice stilled my crying for a second as I realised that I wasn’t alone. I had completely forgotten about the guy in the room, having been sickeningly transfixed at the scene in front of me. But as I slowly rose and looked back through the glass, a new feeling stirred within me. Thomas was now on the floor, curled into a fetal position as all four of them repeatedly kicked every inch of him while laughing and throwing insults.

The hurt, fear, confusion, pain and heartache whirled like a destructive hurricane until it centred on one feeling – Rage.

I let it build. I let it consume every cell in my body as everything that had transpired flashed through my mind. The kidnapping, the assault, Thomas’s pain, my pain, their devious laughter, their taunting, and their sick intentions kept repeating over and over until it exploded within me like a wildfire, intent on burning everything in its path.

A war-cry erupted from the back of my throat as I turned to face the man looking at me with a shocked expression etched across his face. His face sickened me. These people sickened me. None of them deserved to live. Not after what they had done to the man I love. I am going to kill them all! Letting out another cry, I ran towards him, the rage and adrenaline fuelling every step.

I flung my hands in the direction of his face, hoping to strike him with my handcuffs. And just as my hands were an inch away from his face, he reached out and grabbed them, his eyes flashing gold as it narrowed in my direction. But, it did nothing to scare or stop me as I raised my knee aiming for his male parts, wishing to cause him the same amount of pain my love had endured. I screamed in frustration as he dodged it smoothly before doing something very strange. His head tilted back as his eyes turned foggy.

Confused and still reeling from the rush I tried to get away but it was of no use. His grip was insanely strong. Suddenly his eyes went back to normal as he looked down at me and spoke coldly. “Come.” Dragging me towards the door that connected the two rooms, he scanned his thumb on the panel. The red light instantly turned green as the door opened with a click. My heart thudded loudly, worried at what was going to happen to me once I crossed the threshold.

The first thing to hit me was the strong smell of blood. My heart clenched painfully and a mournful sob escaped me at the realisation that it was Thomas’s blood. Desperation and dread took over as I wondered about the state in which I would find him.

Staggering into the room, my eyes immediately fell to the floor.

My world stopped as a gut-wrenching scream tore through my body and echoed in the empty space. Terror gripped my heart as my eyes took in Thomas who was lying in his own pool of blood, deathly still and unmoving. And as my eyes travelled to his face, I clutched my chest as another scream ripped from my lungs.

The handsome face that had once entranced and captivated me was now mangled beyond the point of recognition.

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