“Nick….please answer me….”
Nick was in darkness and he felt something soft cushioning him. He opened his eyes and everything was blurry, the lower half of him ached.
Even Brian was blurry.
“Thank god. I am right here, buddy.”
Nick allowed himself to open his eyes, feeling the tightness in his chest. He could hear Brian’s voice but it wasn’t matching up to his mouth, everything was in slow motion and his stomach did backflips.
“What happened? Where’s Kevin….” Nick whispered. His eyes watered at the thought of Kevin being shot, blood everywhere. Kevin was like a father….more than his own father. He knew he wouldn’t allow himself to live if any of his friends were hurt.
“Kevin is fine. Are you okay?” Brian’s voice asked again. Nick felt his hand on his face, he wanted to sleep.
“I’m so tired.”
“You had us worked for a bit there, kiddo.” AJ pointed out as Nick’s vision became clearer. They were by the creek, but no Russell.
Nick managed to sit up….he looked around.
“What happened?” he asked, blinking. Kevin sat in front of him, perfectly fine.
“We were all walking and you fainted. You said you couldn’t breathe and you just kind of, well you fell and hit your head on something. AJ was freaking out.” Brian explained.
“I was not.” AJ said, crossing his arms over his knees and staring off into the woods.
“Don’t let him fool you. How are you feeling?”
“Where’s Russell? He was going to kill all of you….he shot Kevin….”
Howie took his shoulders, shaking off a dizzy spell.
“Nick who is Russell? Is that the guy who shot at us earlier? You need to tell us everything…..why is he after you?”
Nick looked away, his head down. He felt like everything was his fault and the only reason anyone cared about him right now was because the guy was after him. If he could just get away from them, they’d be safe….
“Don’t pressure him, Howie. He just woke up.” Kevin warned. Howie eventually gave up and they left Nick alone, leaving him with Brian. Nick really started thinking when everyone was quiet. Russell in his dream seemed really angry, and he wondered who he had hurt. There wasn’t time to think about it. He needed to talk to him.
“Nick you okay?” Brian asked, noticing the look on his face. Nick nodded but stared off, especially when Kevin and Howie were discussing which direction they would head in next. Kevin said following the creek may help them.
It was late afternoon and they were all still at the creek, when a gunshot once again startled them. Brian helped Nick up and they ran….well, walked quickly because Kevin wasn’t able to. Nick cried out at the next gunshot, he managed to get his hand away from Brian and pulled back, wheezing. His chest hurt again…the dizziness was back.
“Nick, we have to hurry!”
Russell was a few feet away, his shoes splashing in the creek behind them. He had the gun raised, smiling like before. Nick fell to the ground, blinking because his head was spinning.
Brian turned around as Russell grabbed Nick, pulling him away from them. His arm latched around Nick’s neck, choking him as he struggled. Howie charged towards him but the gun was pointed at Nick’s temple. Everyone turned towards the two of them, horrified.
“Come any closer and I will waste him right now.”
“Why….why are you…” Nick whispered. He couldn’t get much more out because Russell had him in a headlock. Brian moved closer and Russell fired, laughing because Nick began to cry.
“Please don’t hurt them…”
“These people are important to you, are they? Well you took my sister from me….now maybe I should show you how that feels?”
It was then that it hit him. He knew exactly what Russ was talking about. Chloe. Russell fired at Brian again and Nick struggled, feeling once again like he was going to pass out.
“I didn’t mean to hurt Chloe!!!” he shouted. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Howie go behind them. Russell tightened his grip.
“You fucking left her, left without a goodbye and now she is dead because of you….women are just objects to you. I’ve seen your groupies lining up at shows. You took away my sister…and now you’ll pay.”
Nick didn’t think, he clamped his teeth down on Russell’s arm….hard.
“Fuck!!!” Russell screamed, dropping Nick.
Everything happened so fast, Howie tackled him and the two wrestled on the ground as Nick dragged himself towards Brian. Russell threw a punch to Howie’s face and he fell, not moving. Nick scrambled but Russell grabbed his leg.
“You’re not going anywhere. You will end up just like Jamie….in hell!”
“Son of a bitch!” Kevin yelled, jumping on him. Nick and Brian watched them, Brian frozen in his spot…..Nick felt like he wanted to throw up. It was already his fault that they were in this situation in the first place, and now everyone knew.
Russell was going to finish it once and for all. He wasn’t afraid to go back to jail once he knew that Nick was in his sights, and he was willing to do away with anyone else who got in the way.
He had to do it for Chloe.