A cool cloth on my forehead brought me around, and I screamed and started thrashing.
“Shh, it’s okay. You’ll be okay.”
I opened my eyes and saw Donnie leaning over me. I tried to cover my head with my hands as I screamed, but they were still behind me. “No! Don’t touch me!” My screams continued as I tried to scramble away from him. I didn’t have much success considering my legs were tied again.
“Sarah, stop. I won’t hurt you, I promise.”
I wasn’t listening, but after a long while, my voice gave out, and I curled up in as tight a ball as I could. The tears didn’t stop, and every once in a while, a strangled whimper came from deep within me. I closed my eyes, but images of what Billy had done flickered behind my eyelids, and I hastily opened them again.
“Oh, God,” Donnie groaned. “What did he do to you?”
He started pacing, and then the table and chairs crashed into the wall one at a time.
“I’m going to kill him for this!” he muttered darkly. Then he crouched in front of me, and I shrank away from him. “Sarah, I swear to you he will not touch you again. I give you my word.”
A car door slamming outside brought a cry from my abused throat, and Donnie swiftly stood and spun toward the door, his fists clenched at his sides. Billy and Quinn came in, the former laughing loudly, and the latter silent and stoic. Within seconds, Donnie was standing in front of his brother, shaking with rage. I watched cautiously.
“What did you do, Billy?”
Billy stopped short, surprise evident in his expression. “What are you talking about, little brother?” His words were slurred, and Donnie tensed even more. “Oh, wait. You mean the lovely Mrs. Desmond?” He reached out a hand to pat Donnie on the shoulder, but it was shrugged off roughly. “Trust me, little brother, I did nothing she didn’t beg for.”
“She begged for a black eye and a split lip? She begged for you to rape her?”
“Rape? Is that what she told you? Such an ugly word.” Billy tried to move past Donnie, but the younger MacCarthy didn’t budge. Billy sighed drunkenly. “It was completely consensual, I assure you.”
Abruptly, Donnie’s left fist flew into Billy’s stomach, doubling him over with a grunt. A split second later, his right slammed into his jaw, dropping him to the floor, unconscious. Donnie proceeded to kick his brother viciously, driving his boots into his ribs, his head, his back. Billy’s limp body flopped bonelessly until finally, Donnie tired.
Throughout it all, Quinn had stood, unmoving and seemingly unaffected, in the doorway to the kitchen. “Is he dead?” he asked coldly. It was the first time I had heard him speak. His voice caused me to shiver.
“I don’t know,” Donnie panted, his hands on his knees. “I don’t care.”
“Well, dead or not, the plan hasn’t changed,” Quinn said levelly. “I have no intention of being arrested for kidnapping, and I still want my money.” He shrugged. “And a million dollars split two ways goes a lot further than three.”
“You’ll leave her alone, Quinn.”
The man shrugged again. “I’ve no interest in a pregnant woman, MacCarthy. You just make sure I get my money, or you’ll end up like your brother.” He turned and walked out of the room, and I heard a car start up and pull away.
Donnie stared down at the battered body of his brother and then knelt down and felt his neck for a pulse. He grunted and stood up, glancing at me before righting one of the chairs and sitting, his head in his hands.
I uncurled myself and awkwardly sat up. “Did you kill him?” I rasped.
Donnie’s head came up slowly. “No, more’s the pity. He’ll be hurting something fierce when he wakes up, though. I’m pretty sure I broke a few ribs.”
I leaned against the wall and closed my eyes. I was acutely aware of my own pain. My eye throbbed, and my lip stung, and my throat was sore, but it was the other pain that made the tears come again.
“Sarah, I am truly sorry he hurt you. What can I do?”
“Let me go.”
He shook his head sadly. “I can’t. You heard Quinn. My brother may not be into murder, but I can’t say the same for him. We’d both die.”
“You can call me Donnie, if you want.”
My lip trembled, and I fought to say the words. “What if he hurt the baby?”
At that, Donnie snarled, “Then I will truly kill him. I don’t care if I am hanged for it.”
I shivered, and he quickly removed his coat and draped it over my shoulders before helping me lie down.
“I’m sorry I can’t offer you anything more, Sarah.”
I grabbed his hand as he turned to leave, and he looked down at me questioningly.
“Thank you, Donnie.”
He gave me a sad smile. “You’re welcome, Sarah. I only wish I could do more.”