Written by Princess Juliet
Broken and crushed
The moment Jayden opened his eyes, his blood froze in his veins. In his terrified mind, every breath of wind was as loud as a blood-curdling scream.
�Greg,� He gasped at the terrible sight before him and shook his head in disbelief. For one reason or another, he didn�t want to believe his elder brother was the one who lay on the cold floor, bleeding profusely from the stomach and just watched him helplessly as he groaned in pain.
Greg caught his eyes and tried to speak, but for once, his voice had left him. He clutched his stomach, trying to breathe deeply and slow down the flow of blood but it was to no avail. His face was beginning to turn as white as sheet and he felt his life sliding out of him. But despite all of these, he still felt satisfied. He was right on time to save his brother from his mother�s wrath and that was all that mattered to him.
In the distance and getting closer, about five to eight gunshots went off, filling the air and the tension in the room increased. It was so thick you could cut it with a knife.
Feeling panicked, Mary crawled across the floor to her son and gently lifted his head in the crook of her arms. His whole chest heaving, he began to gasp for breath and cough violently. She squeezed her eyes shut tightly, feeling the sting of tears behind her eyelids. �D*n you, Mary! D*n you.�
Sorrow and despair washed over her and she blamed herself heavily for pulling the trigger at her son, even though she knew it was not entirely her fault. In actual fact, it had happened so fast that she could barely understand how it came to be.
Greg had jumped out of nowhere and had taken the bullet in his brother�s stead. �Oh God!� Tears of regret rolled down on her cheeks and she reached down to touch his pale face. A cold breeze made goosebumps rise on her arms, and she sneezed and shivered.
�We need to get out of here, Mary,� Connor�s voice was filled with fear and trepidation. When she didn�t respond, he added. �The police have surrounded the building and we are trapped.
Mary looked towards the window and shuddered as she heard footsteps approaching, followed by the sound of guns cocking. Dammit! Her heart caught in her throat and she began to stand up.
�No, don�t do that.� Jayden stopped her, his voice weak but clear.
She glared at him
�You�ve got to surrender.� His eyes silently pleaded with her to listen to him. Atarah twisted in his arms and he held her even more tightly, not minding her bloodstained dress. And then he swallowed hard and said calmly. �That’s what my brother wants.�
At that moment, Mary’s eyes softened and she rested a hand on Greg�s shoulder, gazing down at him lovingly. �I know you’re in pain, but hang in there�help is coming.� She whispered, running her fingers lightly through his hair. Greg coughed in response and Connor snorted in disbelief.
�You can’t be serious, right?� Without waiting for a response, he fished his motorbike keys out of his pocket and jumped out of the window.
Jayden was probably too shocked to stop him and Mary just stared after him with an unreadable expression.
But when her eyes landed on Atarah, her mood became sullen and she gritted her teeth so hard, reminding herself of her revenge, her plan to hurt Atarah in her mother’s stead. �D*n the little b*ch.�
Anger and humiliation boiled up inside her and spilled over in a froth of rage. In one swift move, she reached for her gun which was laying on the floor and pointed it at Jayden first, then at an almost unconscious Atarah.
�Not again!� Jayden�s heart began to hammer against his chest and a bolt of panic flared in his eyes. Fortunately for him, three policemen barged in through the door and pointed their guns directly at Mary�s forehead.
A slow emotionless smile bloomed on her lips and she cocked her gun as quietly as she could, threatening to sh00t.
One of the policemen, a tall, thin middle-aged man with cornrows returned her smile, faintly and said calmly. �If I were you, Mrs Hobson, I will drop that weapon on the floor and raise my hands in surrender.
Mary withered him in derision. �Not when I�m still alive, Thiago.� For she knew him too well and hated his guts. Gosh!
He laughed mockingly at her. �Give it all up, woman, your accomplice has been apprehended already.�
�You mean Connor?� Mary couldn�t believe her ears. She had thought he was smart enough to distract the police and escape.
Thiago smiled, nodding his head in response and she felt her heart turn over in her chest. �What a bummer!� � And he�s ready to confess his crimes to receive a lighter sentence.� He told her point-blank and held her gaze without blinking.
�No, that’s not true.� Mary cringed at his words and shook her head in disbelief. �Connor won�t betray me just like that.� Confused and bemused, she let her gun fall to the floor and let out a scream of fury and frustration.
Jayden seized the opportunity to pick up the gun and fling it out of the window, lest she becomes crazy again and use it on them. Satisfied with how everything had played out, he said a silent prayer and made Atarah sit with her back resting against the wall. She winced at the sharp pain in her abdomen but didn�t open her eyes.
�Are you all right, Princess?�Jayden stared down at her concernedly. When she didn�t react, he brushed the hair off her face and kissed her forehead lightly before crawling up to Greg and holding him in his arms.
His lips quivering, he swallowed hard nervously and pleaded with him. �Open your eyes, bro. Please open your eyes.�
Greg shifted in his arms and in spite of his obvious pain, actually smiled.
Jayden�s fear escalated into a panic. He tried not to breathe but he knew it was impossible. The whole incident had left him in complete shock. For starters, his brother had taken a bullet for him and he was at a loss as to what to think. �Greg loves me, he loves me too much to risk his life for me.� His whole body trembled from emotion and he bit his lips hard in a vain attempt to hold back his tears.
Greg’s lips were moving as though trying to articulate something; no sound came, but still, his lips moved. With a heavy heart, Jayden squeezed his hand to assure him of his presence and only then did he feel somewhat relaxed.
For a moment, Jayden just stared at him and studied his face silently. Seeing his brother struggling to breathe sent resentment blossoming within him and he gazed up at Mary, seething with anger. She was now flanked by two police officers and was watching her son with huge teary eyes. All the while, she was praying to wake up from her terrible nightmare as everything still seemed surreal to her.
�Have you seen what you have caused?� The cutting acidity in her stepson�s voice made her flinch. Slowly, she turned her eyes to him and met his blank, emotionless gaze
�Hun! Are you satisfied now?� He glared daggers at her, but before she could say anything, Trent barged into the room and he looked so angry.
�Oh my goodness, honey. Thank God you’re here.� Mary wanted to run to him, but the policemen held her back and bowed politely to Trent.
He nodded in response without sparing his wife a second glance, for he was disgusted by her. �A crazy demented woman.� He let his eyes wander around the room and when he saw Greg’s unmoving body, he screamed.
�What the hell happened here?�
�It was my mistake.� Mary’s heart was racing, but she forced innocence into her voice. �I didn’t…erm…intend for it to happen. You should know I can never hurt a fly, let alone my own son.�
If her words hurt Trent�s feelings, he didn’t show it. He merely scoffed at her and raced over to his elder son, quietly swearing under his breath. Hastily, and without wasting time, he lifted him on his shoulder and then whispered to Jayden. �There is an ambulance waiting outside.� For he�d come prepared.
Jayden jumped to his feet and wiped his bloody hand on his jacket. �Just what he had been waiting for.� In one swift move, he yanked the rope around Atarah�s wrist, setting her free and then checked her pulse before lifting her in his arms bridal style and rushing out of the room.
�What should we do about your wife, Mr Hobsons?� Thiago’s question brought him to stand still.
He grew impatient waiting for his father�s response.
Finally! After a few seconds of thinking, Trent�s voice echoed around the hallway. �Lock her up in an underground cell as she awaits her trial.�
Jayden smiled faintly and continued walking. He was so glad his father put his feelings aside and made the right decision. Family or not, Mary deserves to spend the rest of her life in prison and he could already see that happening.
When he stepped out of the building, he stopped short in surprise.
More than a dozen policemen were lying in wait in case of any possible danger. �Amazing!� He muttered and turned to look at his dad, Trent looked so disoriented as he carefully laid Greg on the stretcher.
He moved his head up after strapping the belt around him and caught Jayden�s gaze. His face dimpled into a sad smile and he motioned him to come over.
Jayden started toward him, but before he could cross the lawn, two male nurses in blue uniforms came with a stretcher. Carefully, he laid Atarah on it and strapped the belt around her. �I�ll be right behind you, Princess,� He whispered close to her ear before the nurses rolled her away.
Right at that moment, his brain clicked and different questions began to pop into his head. �Why the hell was she bleeding so much?� She wasn’t hurt that much, right? Or wait a minute……�His heart skipped a beat and he stared down at the dried blood in his hands…….. �Was she pregnant?� The mere thought of losing his first child through a miscarriage filled him with terror and he ran a frustrated hand through his hair. Dammit!
�Are you all right, son?� The sudden sound of his father�s voice should have startled him but it didn’t as he was not in the right state of mind.
�Yes.� He grunted his response. Without looking at his father, he matched over to his car, climbed into the driver�s seat and slammed the door behind him. His heart pounding in his ears, he started the engine and sped off down the road, heading to the hospital.
He wasted no time in getting there as he broke the speed limit, driving as fast as he could.
When he pulled into the parking lot, he alighted from his car briskly and walked into the building and straight to the emergency room.
Without knocking, he barged in through the door and found one of the female doctors, Brenda by name administering a test on Atarah. She was collecting her blood samples and was at the same pumping her with antibiotics.
�What is wrong with her, Brenda?� He demanded
Brenda let out a deep sigh before replying. �She had a miscarriage.� And his stomach twisted into knots. His worst fears have been confirmed. She was pregnant, she was pregnant with his child. Good lord!
�Not only that…..� Brenda continued but he was only half listening. �There is a slight tear in her uterus and we need to perform surgery on her to fix it. When Jayden�s eyes grew wide in shock, she added. �That’s the only option if she really wishes to get pregnant again.�
�Pregnant again?� These were the only words Atarah heard as she regained consciousness. Slowly, she opened her eyes and found herself in a strange room. The strong smell of antiseptic made her nostrils wrinkle and she coughed and sneezed voluminously.
in an instant, Jayden was beside her and he stared down at her, his expression a mixture of concern and confusion. �How�re you feeling now?� He wanted to be sure that she was alright.
Atarah frowned slightly at the words that kept replaying in her head. Ignoring his question, she asked instead. �Who is pregnant?�
Jayden�s face turned pale.
�Is it me?� She held her breath as she waited for his answer.
Before Jayden could think of a perfect response, Brenda blurted out carelessly. �Yes, but not anymore.� And he felt like slapping the living daylights out of her. �What a loud-mouthed b**ch.�
Atarah shifted uncomfortably on the bed. �What does that supposed to mean?� Try as she might, she couldn’t understand the doctor’s words.
�You lost the baby.� Brenda foolishly replied and shrugged her shoulders indifferently.
Biting his lips and cursing silently, Jayden made a mental note to reprimand her and talk some senses into her head.
For one horrible long moment, Atarah was silent and then she let out a piercing scream, taking both doctors by surprise. �I want my baby.� she started to sit up, but Jayden pushed her back to the bed and held her down.
�Leave me alone.� She sank her teeth into his arm, biting him hard and deep.
He gritted his teeth to stop himself from crying out in pain. And then signalled Brenda to sedate her.
When she did, Atarah stopped struggling. A dizziness overcame her, blurring her vision and she fell into a dreamless sleep.
Jayden covered her with a blanket. For a little while, he watched her sleep and then slowly walked out of the room and down the hallway to the operating room.
A feeling of dread crept up from the pit of his stomach as he stared through the glass doomed window and at Greg who lay helplessly on the operating table, fighting for his life as the surgeons open him up to take out the poisonous bullet.
Unable to control his pain, he fell to the floor and buried his face in his hands, his breath catching and halting.
�He is going to be alright, Jay.� Hearing the familiar voice made his blood boil and he snorted in disgust. Without bothering to look at her, he yelled angrily. �Go away, Nancy.� And when she did, he broke down and cried like a child.