“I did what needed to be done. You two need to get your heads out of your asses and see what’s going on here. She is still the enemy and you treat her like a fuck buddy, like an actual fucking princess. She’s nothing to us. She and her father are playing you and the sooner you see that, the easier this is going to be.”

Declan’s words hurt, they hurt far worse than any slap or punch ever could. He doesn’t believe me, even after I submitted to him after I let him use my body. Tears stain my cheeks, my lips trembling as I try and hold back the sadness. Looking up at all three men, I can see the conflict in both Trey and Wes’s eyes. And still, Trey comes over to me, taking me into his arms. If I could disappear right now, I would. He lifts me bridal style cradling me to his chest.

“It doesn’t matter anymore, Declan. None of this does. Sending that tape will change nothing. Hurting her doesn’t bring them back, it doesn’t make any of this right.”

Declan’s gaze drops to me, even he can’t hide his emotions right now. He looks conflicted, angry…though I’m not sure who he is angry at… me, his brothers, my father, the situation, maybe all of it?

“We’ll see about that. Send him the fucking tape,” Declan orders, and stomps out of the room. When Wes grabs the SD card from the camera, a sob escapes my lips. I don’t know why I expected things to be different. Why I thought they would care for me more.

“I’m going to take her upstairs and get her into a bath,” Trey tells Wes right before he walks out the door.

“Are you hurt?” Trey leans down, his voice meeting my ears, the sound so soft that for a moment I’m not even sure he spoke.

“I don’t know.” And truthfully, I don’t. I know I’m going to be sore, very sore, but I don’t think he tore me, or anything. If anything, it’s my heart that’s hurting, my mind for thinking that I could reach him.

“You have some blood on your thighs again,” He states, and I lift my eyes to his, see the guilt reflect down on me.

“I’m fine,” I lie, well partially. By the time we make it upstairs, I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. I haven’t eaten anything since lunch yesterday, my stomach rumbling then to remind me of that. I know I need to take a bath, that doing so will help ease the pain between my legs, but I just can’t manage it right now. I’m beyond exhausted. As soon as we reach Wes’s room and Trey sets me down on the bed, I close my eyes. I’m distinctly aware of the sound of running water, but within seconds I’m fading away, sinking into the darkness.

Chapter Ten

Trey

I stare at her sleeping form for far longer than necessary. I don’t want to wake her up, but I don’t want to leave her like this either. Getting a clean washcloth, I soak it in some warm soapy water. I clean the apex of her thighs as gently as I can without waking her up, wiping the blood, and the evidence of my brother’s betrayal away. Then I wrap her up in a blanket and move her to the center of the bed.

I’m angry…angry at myself, at Declan, but most of all her piece of shit father.

I don’t understand the things I’m feeling, why I want to make sure she’s okay. Declan is right. She is the enemy, but she’s not the enemy by choice and hurting her makes us no better than her father. I’m conflicted, caught between right and wrong, between getting revenge and protecting her from all the bad in the world.

“You’re getting attached,” Wes says as he enters the room, his eyes going straight to Jessa’s sleeping form.

“I’m not attached. I just have a conscience, and all I can picture is Jessa being hurt like our sister…we’re no better…”

“Don’t. Do not compare her circumstances to what our sister went through. We’re nothing like her father, not even close. She’s given food, a bed to sleep on, she’s not dead yet. That’s a thousand times better than what our family ever got, let alone our sister.”

A blood vessel in Wes’s neck bulges and I know he’s angry, livid even. And I get what he’s saying, because he’s not lying, our sister, our family, they didn’t get a quick death, they were tortured, beaten, and raped, but that doesn’t mean I can shut off my humanity. I still feel like shit for what’s happening to her.

“Did he hurt her?” he asks, and even though I know he doesn’t want to admit it I know he feels shame over what happened. Declan has wanted her dead since we kidnapped her and while the dynamics of everything have changed, he’s still hung up on getting even, burying the knife into her father’s chest so to speak.


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