My father was looking at me hatefully as he thought about it. I could tell by his angry expression that he knew there was no other option. If he didn’t want to be charged with attempted rape, child abuse and a couple of accounts of assault then he needed to go along with what I was saying.
“You’re just like your f**king brother,” he shouted venomously, as he shook me by the arm.
I smiled. “I’ll take that as a compliment. Jake’s the best brother in the world.”
“You little bitch,” he hissed.
I yanked my arm out of his grasp. “Call them now, drop the charges and I want to speak to them after to make sure it’s done,” I ordered. Oh my God, it’s working! It was really going to work.
I heard a car screech up outside and seconds later Jake burst through the door. He looked murderously angry as he bounded towards us with his fists clenched.
“Jake, everything’s fine. We were just talking. He’s decided to drop the charges and leave town. Right, Stephen?” I explained, sneering on his name. Jake looked at me, shock clear across his face. He grabbed my arm and pulled me behind him, as he glared at my father. Wow, if looks could kill! I gripped his arm, squeezing gently to get his attention. “Everything’s fine, Jake, just calm down. I’ve sorted everything,” I stated, fighting the urge to just let him kill him, but I couldn’t let Jake get into trouble too.
“Sorted everything?” he asked, his eyes not leaving my father’s face who actually looked scared of Jake right now. To be honest, I wasn’t surprised he was scared. Jake could be damn scary when he wanted to be.
“Call them and drop the charges,” I ordered. My father sneered at us both and turned to grab his phone.
While his back was turned, Jake looked at me. “What’s happened? What the hell are you doing here?” he asked quickly.
I smiled. “Check your phone.”
He frowned at me, and pulled out his cellphone. “One voice message,” he read, opening it and playing it. I watched his face as he listened to it; it went from anger, to shock, to happiness. He looked at me proudly and slipped his phone back in his pocket, wrapping his arm around my shoulders, holding me tightly to his side.
I started to feel a little weak on my feet, I needed to sit down and rest. All I wanted to do was go back to sleep. “Jake, stay calm and finish this, OK? He’s going to leave town. I sent that message to Mom, Liam, Johnny and Ruby too, so you just need to make sure he does what he says. I just need Liam free,” I said, as I sat down in the armchair behind him.
“You alright?” he asked, concern colouring his voice.
I nodded, smiling. “I’m totally fine. I just need to sit down. You can take it from here, just stay calm,” I replied, feeling my body relax knowing that I didn’t have to talk to him again. Jake would sort everything out, he always did.
I watched as my father called the police and dropped the charges. Jake called them from his phone and they confirmed that the charges had been dropped and that no further action would be taken against Liam. He was hovering protectively in front of me the whole time, staying in-between my father and me. He really was the best brother anyone ever had.
After about ten minutes, Jake turned to me. “We’re ready to go, Ambs.” He took my hand and pulled me up from the sofa. He pushed me towards the door in front of him, his eyes not leaving my father the whole time. “You better not come back, old man. Next time I see you, either I’ll kill you or we’ll be headed to the police station to press charges, all of us. I’m not sure which option I prefer, personally, I’d love to stand there and watch you burn,” he stated, with a small smile, as if he was imagining it. He wasn’t joking, I had no doubt in my mind that Jake would kill him, and if Jake didn’t, I was pretty sure that Liam would. “Leave town today!” Jake growled as he slammed the door, pushing me towards his car. He made sure I was in before heading around to his side and speeding off down the road without saying a word.
After about two minutes of driving he pulled over and cut the engine. His hands gripped the steering wheel so tightly that his knuckles went white. His jaw was clenched so tightly I was surprised his teeth hadn’t crumbled under the pressure. OK, I knew he’d be pissed with me! He took a few deep breaths, obviously trying to calm down.
“What the f**k was that?” he growled.
I winced and looked at him apologetically. “Jake, it worked.”
“Do you have any idea how freaking stupid that was, Amber? Think about it, what if it didn’t work? What if I didn’t get your message? What if he had decided to hurt you? Or worse!” he shouted, slamming his hand on the steering wheel angrily.
I flinched. He’d shouted so loud and it echoed in the car making it even louder. “Jake, I’m sorry. I needed to do it; it was the only way I could think of to get Liam free. Now we’ve always got that recording so he won’t come near us again,” I explained, pleading with him to understand my reasons. He didn’t say anything, he was still really angry. “You should be proud of me,” I whispered, giving him my puppy dog face.
He sighed. “I am proud of your idea, Ambs, but that was freaking idiotic. Just because it worked, doesn’t mean that what you did was right. You’re supposed to be in the hospital for goodness sake. How the hell did you get out? Oh crap, please tell me you didn’t sneak out or something and they’re looking for you,” he said, grimacing.
I laughed and shook my head. “I discharged myself. I’m fine, I just need bed rest, which I’ll get plenty of once my boyfriend is out of custody,” I said, smiling at the thought.
Jake laughed wickedly. “You know what? I’m not going to shout at you anymore. Liam is seriously going to be pissed with you for doing this too. I’ll let him deal with it,” he said, laughing as he started the car back up again. Oh crap, he was right; Liam was going to be really angry that I put myself in danger like that. Jake looked at me and laughed again. “Well, I’m glad I don’t have to be the one to rein you in all the time now. Liam can take over.” He smirked at me and I couldn’t help but laugh, he actually looked a little relieved. “Do you need to go back to the hospital?” he asked.
I shook my head. I felt fine, I was just tired and needed to sit down, my body felt like I’d ran a marathon but I wasn’t in pain or anything. “I’m fine, honestly. We can go pick up Liam and then go home,” I suggested, resting my head back on the headrest. I just needed Liam to hold me.
“They told me on the phone that he’ll be another hour at least. They need to process him out or something. I’ll take you home and you can wait for him there.” He smiled at me reassuringly and headed in the direction of our house.
When we pulled into our drive, Ruby and Johnny came running out of the house, looking at me concerned. “Oh, Amber, are you OK, honey?” Ruby asked, fussing over me as we walked to the house.
“I’m fine. I’m just tired.” I nodded.
“What was that message? Did you go and see Stephen?” Ruby asked, frowning.
I nodded and looked at Jake pleadingly; I just wanted to go to bed. “I’ll tell you in a bit, Ruby. Ambs needs to rest,” Jake interjected, steering me towards the back hallway. I smiled at him gratefully. I couldn’t deal with anymore; the reality of what I had just done was sinking in. I’d really been stupid. I tried not to imagine all of the things he could have done to me. I shuddered lightly and pushed the thoughts away, it was over now, nothing happened. I was lucky. Jake followed me into my room putting my bag down for me; I kicked off my shoes and got in the bed fully clothed. He sat on the edge of my bed, looking at me sadly.
“Ambs, I’m really sorry you lost your baby, you know that, right?” he asked quietly.
I nodded. “Yeah, I know. You would have been a kickass uncle,” I teased, smiling weakly.
He laughed. “Yeah, I would have spoilt that kid rotten, just to spite you and Liam.”
I smiled. “I bet you would have done too.”
He bent down and hugged me, kissing my cheek. “You were really brave, and I’m proud of you, but don’t you ever do anything like that ever again,” he said fiercely.
I nodded and yawned. “I won’t. Are you going to go pick up Liam?”
He shook his head. “No, I’ll ask Johnny to go and pick him up. I don’t want to leave you here until I know that as**ole out of town,” he replied. I nodded and closed my eyes, needing to go to sleep; I was physically and emotionally exhausted.
I woke up as I felt someone get on the bed. I opened my eyes groggily and looked over to see Liam getting in the bed with me. I burst into tears and threw my arms around him. I’d never been so happy to see anyone in my life. He hugged me back tightly, stroking my hair, rocking me gently as he pressed his lips to my neck, the same as he always does when I’m upset. I tangled my hands in his hair and didn’t ever want to let go. I never wanted him away from me again.
“It’s OK now, Angel. Everything’s fine. How are you feeling?” he asked softly as he pulled back to look at me. His gorgeous eyes blue were looking at me concerned. I smiled and kissed him, pressing myself to him tightly. He smiled against my lips and I pulled back.
“I’m fine. I’m pleased to see you,” I promised, tracing my hands down his beautiful face. He ran his hand through my hair, just looking at me tenderly for a couple of minutes.
“Jake told me what you did,” he said, his face turning stern.
I gulped and grimaced. “I’m sorry, I had to,” I mumbled apologetically.
He buried his face in the side of my neck. “I’m not going to shout at you, if that’s what you’re thinking,” he replied, chuckling against my skin. I let out the breath I didn’t realise I was holding and relaxed. He pulled back to look at me. “I am seriously pissed at you though. I hate that you did that, but I don’t need to put any more pressure on you than you’re already under. You’ve been through so much already,” he said sadly, his hand trailing down to rest on my now empty stomach. “I’m just going to say this; you don’t ever put yourself in a situation like that again. You never put yourself in danger again. I don’t care what the reason is; it’s not a good enough reason for you to get hurt. Do you understand me?” he growled.