“NO!!!!” Howie screamed as the gun went off. Kristen was on the floor, Brian on top of her. She held onto him tighter as he went to stand up. He was shocked to see Nick next to Valerie, face down. Valerie lay next to him, her chest covered in blood.
“Val?” Kristen whimpered, tears forming in her blue eyes as she ran to her. Valerie was not moving, her eyes open and staring back at her. Brian took advantage of his freedom to check on Nick. He rolled him over and saw a grin on Nick’s pale face. “Bout time you showed up.” Nick said. Brian cracked a smile, crying but laughing at the same time.
“You scared the crap out of me…you know that?” he whispered, wiping his eyes.
“It was not easy just laying here while that girl had you in a headlock. I wanted to strangle both of them.” Nick commented. He had pretended to faint in the hall when he heard the guys coming so Valerie brought him into this room…had laid there as still as he could…waiting for the right moment to take her down…He knew that Kristen would show herself…his mind flashed back to the conversation he had heard between Valerie and Kristen…their plan to get the others to rescue him…now that they were there, Nick couldn’t wait to get out of this basement of horrors.
“Get me the fuck out of here.” Nick said, sitting up. The other boys came over and hugged him in turn.
“Val….No…” Kristen said between sobs. Valerie was drenched in her own blood, laying motionless on the floor.
“You….this is your fault…” she said, pointing shakily at Nick. Nick stared at her as she raised the gun again.
“Kristen, you don’t want to do this. Is killing Nick going to make everything okay?” Brian asked, his hands out in front of him. Howie stepped in front of Nick as well as AJ, protecting him.
“She’s dead….she’s dead and I killed her.” Kristen sobbed, the gun shaking in her hands as she cried. She didn’t mean for any of this to happen….Valerie was dead, her best friend was dead. She had nobody. Kristen stared at her favorite band as they watched her with fear in their eyes. She felt horrible for everything, wondered what the hell she was doing going along with all of Valerie’s plan…she had a turn with Nick…he stared at her, knowing all of it.
“You guys were such a big part of my life…Valerie and I loved you all….I never wanted any of this…but…” KrIsten sobbed, lifting the gun.
“Kristen, please don’t do this! If you kill him you’re no better than that crazy bitch!” AJ shouted, pointing at Valerie’s body.
“I’m so sorry…” Kristen sniffed, the gun clicking as she got ready to fire. Nick’s eyes went wide and the other boys flinched as the gun went off. When they looked up, Kristen’s body was on the floor, blood pouring from a hole in her head. Nick looked away, burying his face in Howie’s leg.
“It’s over…its all over.” Howie said, rubbing Nick’s back as he cried. They helped him up, police just now arriving and an ambulance waited for them. Nick blinked as the sunlight hit his face.
“You all right?” Brian asked as Nick sat in the ambulance. Nick thought about the last few days, shaking his head.
“What do you think?” he replied.
“Sorry, I guess that was a loaded question.” Brian chuckled.
“How did you guys find me?” Nick wondered, his back bothering him as he laid on the stretcher.
“Long story…but AJ and I are thinking about opening up a detective agency,” Brian said, grinning.
“That would be interesting to see.” Nick smiled. He was so happy to be out of that basement…with his friends again. After nearly seven days of being tortured, even a trip to the hospital seemed like a vacation.
“So I guess you’re going to be in the hospital for a little while. Jay and I are gonna follow you there.” Brian explained once the paramedics finished prepping for transport.
“That’s fine with me, I am sick of that house already. Only been living there a month, must be a new record.” Nick said darkly.
“Well, Leighanne says you can stay with us for a while until you’re back on your feet.” Brian offered. Nick grinned at him, he could always count on Brian when he needed him most, whether he was a figment of his imagination or three in person.
“Thanks, I might just take you guys up on that offer.”
“Love you, man.” Brian said, putting a hand on hai shoulder.
“Brian? Do me a favor?” Nick asked as he was stepping off the back of the ambulance.
“What’s that?” Brian said, looking back at him.
“I don’t want to hear that word again.”
“No problem. See you at the hospital.” Brian grinned. The paramedics closed the door and the ambulance pulled away as the sun finally came over the horizon…it had been a long night but he was glad everything was finally over.