But if it is, why is the pain so real?
Steve fucked him up, his face is healing but I still hardly recognise him. If it wasn’t for those fucking evil eyes of his, the one’s that looked down at me as my body stilled on the floor of the elevator. There’s no life in there, no soul. How didn’t I notice it before? He’s completely empty.
I’m cut off as the gun smashes across my face, my cheekbone immediately split open on impact and blood already trickling down my face. Don’t cry Brie, don’t you dare let him see you cry.
“Don’t you ever say my fucking name again you bitch!” He steps in closer to my body, I want to scream but no sound will escape my lips as I feel his breath against my skin and it all tries to crawl free from my muscles in an attempt to escape him. Everything about him is pure revulsion. “Not so big without your bodyguard, huh?”
He smirks down at me, forcing the cold metal gun under my chin as he lifts my face to meet his own. “Now, little flower, shall we continue what we started?”
Little flower? How the fuck does he know that?
I can’t stop it, the sick rises into my mouth and almost chokes me, the acid burning my throat as I try to force it back down. He sees the look of horror on my face and begins to laugh. “Oh Brianna, I read your file. Mr Thompson was quite specific in his descriptions... you really have been a dirty little tramp all your life haven’t you?”
Of course that cunt would tell them about what happened to me, he probably has plans to include it in his fucking autobiography.
I will never let this, or any other man, touch me like that again.
I’m done being his victim.
Clarisse starts to stir behind me and I know I don’t have much time. Launching forward I tackle Tommy to the ground with everything I have, my ribs pop in and out around the break but I know if I can just get that gun away from him I can fucking end this.
The fear and adrenaline go into overdrive as a shot rings out from the glock held between our hands. It’s so fucking loud I want to let go and grab my ears to stop my own damn head from splitting in two, but I know if I do I’ll be dead.
A door at the other end of the hall splinters and I realise the bullet went that way, the shot immediately followed by the high pitched shriek of a terrified woman. Fuck, there’s someone else here.
The door swings open and Tommy becomes distracted as a tiny frail lady appears through the entryway. He’s still got a good grip on the gun but I smash my whole body weight against it and it goes flying out of his hand, skidding across the wooden flooring and landing at her feet.
Oh fuck, I know who that is. She’s his wife.
Tommy smirks, taking hold of my ribs with both hands and squeezing so tightly I scream. Pain like I’ve never felt in my life inflicts my whole body, causing me to collapse onto the ground at his side. Fuck, they’re truly fucked now.
He stands, shoving his boot again and again into my side as I begin to convulse from the pain.
This is it. This is how he’s going to kill me.
“Charlene! Bring me the gun!”
He gestures to the woman as he continues to drive all of his force into my ribs until I’m watching blood splutter and choke out of my own mouth onto to rug by my head. I’m bleeding from the inside out, I can feel it drowning me and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.
The woman leans down slowly and picks up the gun like she has no idea how to hold it, her hands shaking so much it’s like she’s vibrating and I can see so much terror in her as she looks at her husband. He’s destroyed her, there’s nothing left.
She takes a step towards us as she continues to watch the man she married beat me on the floor. There are tears running down her face but I know she can’t help me. She’s just as terrified of him as I am.
He stops kicking me, giving me a short reprieve as he stands up tall and places his hand out to the woman walking towards him in tiny movements. Don’t give it to him... please...
“Hurry the fuck up you stupid bitch!” As I lay on my side, clutching my broken ribs and praying for this all just to fucking end I look at Clarisse, standing against the doorframe for support as her silver grey hair becomes drenched in the blood leaking from her skull, a trickle running down her forehead. At least I fucking look a bit of her with me.
Her voice seems to have an effect on the poor woman that Tommy’s didn’t. She stops, looking at the two people before her, her loose grip on the gun becoming stronger until she is holding it at her side with her finger on the trigger.
Tommy’s eyes flare with anger as he looks at her small act of defiance.
“Charlene, you better give me that fucking gun before I make last week look like a fucking cake walk... you’ll need stitches again next time.”
Looking at her I can’t see a mark... there’s nowhere she could need stitches I can see... then it hits me...
My god. How could he do that to her? How could any man do that to a woman? He’s still doing it, he’s still raping her.
She looks down at me and I beg her with my eyes not to give him the gun, I can see her wavering as the tears run down her face. I know this isn’t the first time she’s seen him do this to a woman, from that look in her eye she knows what’s going to happen to me.
Tommy walks towards her without any signs of stopping.
“Give him the gun now Charlene! Or I’ll make sure the next bullet he lets out is in your daughters fucking head!”
There is not a creature alive today more pure evil than Clarisse Vanderbilt.
Charlene’s eyes fly open at the sound of her mother in law threatening her daughter, I watch the mother in her taking over. Tommy pauses as she grabs the gun with both hands and lifts it to where he now stands, he stops but almost immediately begins to laugh.
“What are you going to do sweetheart? Kill me? You’d be nothing without me, I made you what you are! You need me!”
Her voice is just like her, tiny and timid, but there’s a strength there as she looks at the man before her with nothing but utter disgust.
“You did Tommy. You made me this... You want this back?.. No!” Her hands are shaking as he takes a step closer, clearly unafraid that she’ll really go through with it as the gun bounces around in her hold. “You’ve always had the power! You starved me, you beat me, you raped me and took away my fucking children... you monster!”
He didn’t see it coming, even now he looks surprised as the blood flows. The shot echoes throughout the empty halls, as Tommy’s body hit the floor at my feet. I push myself back as his mother’s screams fill the hall.
Clarisse hardly notices me as she runs to her son, the blood pouring out of his chest as he convulses on the floor in agony.
I know this is my only chance, I let the fear guide me as I force my heels into the floor, dragging my body back and back until I reach the top of the staircase.
Then I hear the gun hit the ground.
All the cries of pain from Tommy stop, his body stills as Clarisse wails and screams for him to come back to her. She kisses his lips, her arms drenched in his blood as she cradles his head in her lap. It strikes me that the scene before me is so familiar to the one Al described to me between her and Chad, but this time there are no angels coming to welcome a precious new soul. Where he’s going, there will only ever be pain.
Good fucking riddance.
Another cry fills the hall, this time one of fear. Charlene standing with her hand over her mouth as she stares down at her dead husband, at the man she just killed.
Oh god. “No!”
She doesn’t see it, she doesn’t move. Clarisse discarding Tommy’s body to the floor as she throws herself towards the gun at Charlene’s feet.
I howl as I watch the poor woman crumble to her knees, her blue silk dress becoming a strong shade of maroon as blood leaks from her stomach into the fabric. My heart breaking as she falls into a pit of black, her eyes closing as the blood continues to flow.
Clarisse keeps the gun pointed at her and I wish I could do more to stop her. I want to run and tear that gun from Clarisse but as I try to rise to take a single step I scream at the pain that ripples through me.
It’s too much. I can’t fucking get to her...
“YOU!” Looking up I see Clarisse climbing onto her knees, gun still in hand as she leaves Charlene in a puddle of her own blood to come towards me. “You killed my son!”
She lifts the gun and points it at my head, my fight or flight instincts triggering and I know I have no choice. Letting my body go floppy I throw myself down the flight of stairs just as the shot fires.
My body tumbles, my ribs splitting and splintering on the impact of each step. Everything hurts, there’s so much pain I know if I don’t get from this house right now I know I’ll collapse and she’ll make sure I never wake up again.
The moment I hit the bottom I hear a ear splitting crunch, my elbow connecting with the marble floor, but I have no time to feel it. I have to run.
I force my limbs to move against all my better judgement, crawling with the last fumes of my energy towards the front door as the blood leaking from my hand causes me to slide repeatedly every time I put any weight on it, the loss of my life force making me feel dizzy until I cab hardly see where I’m going.
My vision blurs almost entirely, my pain turning into a burn that coats every inch of my body like I’m laying in that bonfire at the beach. Nobody is supposed to suffer this kind of torment.
Harley... I need you...
“STOP!” Clarisse’s voice screeches from its place on the stairs. It’s too late. I look behind me to be greeted with the image of her standing on top of her Palace, glaring down at me covered in her sons blood, her gun raised to aim for my chest. This is it.
I will not go out on my knees.
I’m Brianna fucking Parker.
Something takes over my body, a force greater than myself, holding me by my arms, pulling me to my feet and eliminating the pain. I know who’s strength it is, and I thank him for his mercy in this moment. I love you, you make sure Granny is waiting for me when I get there.
Standing before her on shaky legs I refuse to cower, she is nothing, she is no-one. She may take me from this world but she’ll never erase me. I am forever.
“Any last words Brianna?”
My breath hitches in my throat, the words I had planned for her coming to an abrupt end as the front door behind me swings open. A rush of wind that almost knocks me from my stance as an overwhelming shadow moves to stand before me in an instant.
I force my eyes to look into it, only to be met with his deep brown eyes. The eyes that tell me I’ve never been safer than I am with him by my side.