LondonCharles - your comment to the previous chapter made me so happy, I couldn't help myself post this earlier than I intended to. So here you go, just for you
9-1-1 sent help immediately to Victor and Jenny’s house, and by the time Aidan and Rick arrived, the area had been secured. A couple of cops led a handcuffed Victor out of the house as they both entered. He did not look happy at all to see either of them there, but they couldn’t care less. Rick hurried inside to check on his sister who seemed to be in bad shape.
Jenny sat on the couch in her tattered lingerie. It broke Aidan’s heart to see the multiple bruises and open wounds on her body. She cried and moaned in pain as the paramedic tended to her. Aidan looked down at Rick.
“Jenny?” Rick called out, his voice seemingly cracking because of the horrendous sight in front of them.
She looked up. “Rick…you came…”
He wheeled his chair closer to her and touched her carefully. “Of course, I came. You’re my sister, and you called me for help. How could I not?”
“I wasn’t sure.” Her voice broke with every word she uttered. “Victor didn’t let me finish talking to you. I didn’t know how much of it you heard and…”
He stroked her arm. “We heard enough to know you were in trouble and called 9-1-1 for help.”
“You did?” She looked surprised.
“Ma’am, we’ve got to get you to the hospital,” the paramedic spoke.
“Is she going to be alright?” Aidan asked.
The paramedic looked up, his handsome face looking worried. “It’s hard to say. Her husband beat her up pretty badly, and we don’t know if there are any internal injuries.”
Jenny nodded and looked at Rick. “Will you come with me? I’m so scared. I don’t want to be alone right now.”
“You don’t have to ask.” He made soothing sounds as Jenny leaned forward to rest her head on his shoulder and cried. Rick held Aidan’s hand and asked the paramedic, “He’s my boyfriend. Can he accompany us too?”
“I’m sorry. Immediate family members only are allowed to accompany the patient.” He looked apologetically between Aidan and Rick.
“That’s okay, Rick. You go on ahead. I’ll bring my car and see you directly at the hospital. We’ll need it later to get you home anyway.”
On their way out, the police officer assured them Victor was going away for a long time. They’d charged him with domestic violence, attempted murder and also resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. It was highly unlikely he’d get out of the charges that easily.
Aidan and Rick returned back home at around two a.m. looking completely disheveled and tired. It was only after the doctor assured Rick his sister was going to be alright, that they both heaved a sigh of relief. Aidan had to calm his very anxious boyfriend until that very moment. The doctor, however, wanted to keep Jenny at the hospital overnight for observation.
It turned out to be a task for Aidan to convince Rick it’d be best they go back home, rest for the remainder of the night and come back to the hospital bright and early next morning to see his sister. After a hell of a lot of argument, he dejectedly agreed.
Without a word, they both undressed and went to bed together. Aidan held his boyfriend close. Rick’s body was unusually cold, and he shivered in his arms. “Are you alright?” he whispered.
“Yea…just…don’t let me go, okay?” Aidan didn’t say anything. He simply held him closer and kissed his blond hair. It didn’t take long for his eyes to start feeling heavy due to exhaustion. It had been a long day for both of them after all. He thought Rick had dozed off too. But soon he sighed, and Aidan blinked several times to rid himself of his sleepiness. “It’s my fault, you know? What happened to Jenny?”
“No, Rick…Victor is a vicious man. How are his actions your fault?”
He could feel Rick’s head slightly shaking near his neck. His eyes were still closed, but there was a hint of tears forming at the edges. “He always beat her up even when I was around. I just feel if I hadn’t listened to Jenny and had called for help back then…none of this would have happened. She said she had it under control…”
Aidan stroked his back slowly. “There was no way you could’ve seen this coming.”
“Yes, I could have,” he spoke strongly. “I knew what was happening behind their closed door and I decided to stay quiet. I thought she loved him. I didn’t think my sister’s happiness was far, far away from that asshole. I was much more concerned that I would be thrown out of a home if I said a word against him.”
“I’m sure that’s not true.”
“But…it…is…” he said between the sobs. Aidan had to cradle him like a baby to calm him down. For a long time, Rick cried in his arms before giving into a restless sleep. Aidan kissed his forehead one last time and closed his eyes.
The next morning as they drove to the hospital, Rick remained silent through half the ride. It made Aidan uncomfortable as he didn’t know what to say. He knew Rick was worried sick about his sister and he could only imagine all the thoughts running through his boyfriend’s head at that moment.
As if he’d read Aidan’s mind, Rick said out aloud, “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking,” he said, still looking out the window. “I guess I’ll move back in with Jenny. I have to make sure she’s okay. She can’t be left alone right now.”
He processed it in his mind, repeating it to himself over and over again to allow it sink in. “You want to move out?” he asked after a few minutes and took a turn, exiting the freeway to get to the Sunset Boulevard.
Rick turned his head finally and met his eyes. He looked so pale, Aidan noticed. “No, but I have to. Besides, with Victor out of the picture now, it’s safe to return.”
“The hell it is,” Aidan almost yelled. “I know what the cops said last night, but I don’t want to take any chances when it comes to your safety. And now, Jenny’s too.” He shook his head vigorously. “There’s no way in hell I’m letting you go.”
He raised his hand and cut him off. “Jenny is going to come stay with us. We’ve plenty of room for her. So don’t worry, okay?”
“No, no, way.”
“No, Aidan. You’ve already done so much for me. My life problems…you didn’t sign up for this.”
“Listen,” Aidan said strongly, knowing he had to make Rick see the reality of the situation. “This is not up for discussion. Tell me this…can you assure me that when you go back to that hellhole, Victor will not come back and he will not go back to his old ways? Rather, I’m afraid that guy may be more vengeful toward you both after what’s happened.”
“I…” Rick’s voice faltered.
“Thought so, end of discussion.”
Surprisingly, the argument didn’t progress any further and Aidan was glad. Apart from Rick’s safety, he also had his own selfish reasons to not letting the guy leave. Since Rick had moved in, he’d become so used to having Rick around that the mere thought of him moving out scared him.
Jenny didn’t seem to bow down easily to the idea either when Aidan asked her, and it took a lot of convincing on his and Rick’s part to get her to say yes. The doctors ran some more tests before they announced she was good to go back home. They prescribed her some painkillers in case the pain did not alleviate.
It was almost time for dinner when they brought her home. To say she was stunned by the neighborhood was an understatement. She kept repeating how beautiful everything was around there.
“You live here?” she asked, her gaze sizing up the house through every corner. Her reaction pleased Aidan, so he smiled at her. “This place is huge. And it’s just the two of you living in here?”
“Technically, Aidan owns this place, andhe lives here. I’m just here on a temporary basis.” Aidan’s head turned to him briskly. Rick didn’t realize how harshly that statement affected Aidan and he continued to talk to his sister. “But that’s pretty much the same reaction I had when I first came here.”
She took a seat on the couch. “Everything around screams money. I feel a little intimidated right now.”
Rick chuckled. “Right? You’ll get used to it,” he said. “But don’t get too used to it either. Because when I get a job and can rent out a place for us, something tells me it won’t be this lavish.”
Jenny smiled. She reached out to hold his hand and squeezed it. “I’m sure it will be a happy place wherever we move to. No matter how big or small it is.”
He smiled back and suddenly, they both turned to look at Aidan.Confused, Rick asked, “Why are you still standing there?”
Aidan came back to his senses and realized he was still standing in the doorway. Pulling himself back to the present, he cautiously trod towards the couch and sat with them. Soon, the previous night’s incident came up while Jenny was talking and Aidan couldn’t help but ask, “What happened exactly?”
Jenny exhaled heavily. “Ever since Rick moved out, Victor became so suspicious of everything. He accused me of talking to you behind his back…he even accused me of…” She cringed and looked away, “…of having an affair.”
“That isn’t even the worst part.”
“What is the worst then?” Aidan asked.
She refused to look at either of them. “He thought…he thought I was…sexually involved with Rick,” Jenny yelled and broke into endless tears. “Can you imagine? He thought I was having sex with my own brother.”
“Fuck! That asshole…” Rick looked at Aidan, abashed. “It’s not true, I hope you know that.”
Aidan patted his back. “Don’t worry. Even if I didn’t know how much of a twisted man he is, I wouldn’t believe it for a second.”
Rick smiled sadly and consoled his sister as she cried. When she recovered, she said, “It was horrible. He went all crazy last night and wouldn’t stop yelling at me. I couldn’t take it anymore, and I slapped him.”
“Atta girl!” Aidan exclaimed, with a big grin on his face. “He deserves much worse, but you’ve got my respect, Jenny.”
She shook her head. “But that’s what unleashed the monster in him. I regretted it the second I did it. He beat me up so badly…I cried and screamed at him, I kept apologizing, but he was too far gone.” Nobody spoke for a while. There was only the ticking of the clock that could be heard inside the living room. “I wish he goes to jail and never gets out.”
Aidan glanced worriedly at Rick and then told Jenny, “I hope so, too. But, Jenny, have you ever thought about, you know, getting a divorce?”
Jenny gave a curt nod, her eyes cast down. “I don’t have any money. Victor always grabbed my wages. I’ve already applied to a few lawyers to take my case pro-bono but haven’t got anywhere so far.”
“I’ve just the guy for you.” Aidan stood up and took his cell phone out of his pocket. “Rick, you remember Brandon?” He received a nod. “His brother is a divorce attorney and one of the best, might I add. Jenny, I’ll ask him to take your case up pro-bono. It shouldn’t be a big deal for him.”
He did not wait for Jenny’s approval and dialed Eugene’s number. He spent about ten to fifteen minutes explaining the situation and got a positive response from Eugene. Happily, he cut the call and turned to the impatient looking duo still sitting in his living room. “He said he can’t take your case personally because he’s rammed full with a busy schedule, but he has a great team of attorneys working under him. He said he’ll get the best one out of the lot to take your case. He thinks you’ll do well with the case and get a good amount of damages and alimony.”
She grunted. “I don’t want anything from him. I only want him out of my life now. I think I’ve had enough.”