I closed my eyes. “Yes. I understand.”
I didn’t think he would be able to hurt Max and Stella, not with Boden, Daniels, and Serg around. But then again, I never would’ve thought he’d be able to get me like this either. I’d once again underestimated man’s capacity for evil.
“Good.” He smiled wider.
Roughly, he flipped me around, slamming my face against the counter. Then he grabbed my ponytail and yanked my head back. As soon as he had my head up, the knife was pressed against my throat, the blade nearly piercing my skin.
“One wrong move, and I’ll slit your throat,” he whispered into my ear, his words soft and warm like we were lovers.
I could see him in the mirror, the look of sick satisfaction he had on his face. He let go of my pony tail so he could use that hand to pull down my pants and underwear. He jerked me back every time he tugged on my jeans, digging the blade deeper into my neck.
When he finally got my pants down, he licked his lips. I closed my eyes then, squeezing them shut, and I felt his hand roughly grabbing my bare skin.
“Remy?” Daniels called from the main room.
My eyes shot open, and I saw Clark frozen in the mirror. I didn’t say anything, and neither did Clark. I didn’t want Daniels to be dragged into this mess, but at the same time, I also really didn’t want to be raped.
“Remy?” Daniels repeated. “Are you okay?” He knocked on the bathroom door. “Are you in there?”
“Yeah,” I said, and Clark pinched my ass in punishment. “I’ll be out in a minute.”
“Are you okay?” Daniels asked. “Is everything okay with your incision?”
And then, since he’d seen me naked before and was afraid I wouldn’t tell him if something was wrong, he opened the door.
Clark jerked back, sliding the knife across my throat. It was enough to break the skin, but not enough to puncture my jugular or windpipe. So it hurt, but I’d live.
“What the fuck?” Daniels yelled, immediately appraising the situation.
He rushed at Clark, slamming him into the wall. I yanked up my pants in time to see Daniels get in one good punch, hitting Clark in the face. But that was all he got before Clark stabbed him in the stomach.
“Not so fucking tough now, are you?” Clark asked as he twisted the knife inside him.
“No!” I shouted.
He pulled the knife out of Daniels, who fell back on the floor, holding his stomach. I wanted to kill Clark and rip his head off, but I couldn’t just rush at him while he had a knife, not unless I wanted to end up like Daniels.
By then, Boden had come into my room, responding to the commotion.
“Clark has a knife, and he stabbed Daniels!” I yelled at him.
“You stupid bitch.” Clark shook his head, and then he turned and ran out of the bathroom. He thrust the knife at Boden, attempting to cut him, but he only succeeded in knocking Boden down. Afraid of a man to man fight, Clark raced out of the room, but Boden got up and chased after him.
“Daniels!” I fell to my knees next to him, and I put my hands over his stomach, trying to keep the blood in, but it pumped hot and fast through my fingers. “Oh my god, Daniels, what should I do?”
“You’re doing it,” he said, his voice tight “Just put pressure on it, and stay with me.”
“But how do I fix this?” I asked. “How do I stop this?”
“You don’t.” He winced, then he put his hand over mine, holding it. “Listen, Remy, I’m sorry about what I did to you and what happened to your brother.”
“You don’t need to be sorry.” I shook my head. “You didn’t do anything wrong. I understand why you did it. You did the best you could.”
“I didn’t,” he insisted. “I shouldn’t have let them cut you up like that. You’re a person, a strong, brave person, and they had no right to treat you like that.”
“It doesn’t matter, Daniels. It’s over, and I’m okay. I just need to know what to do to take care of you.”
“You can’t.” He had tears in his eyes, and he smiled. “I’m losing so much blood. But it’s okay.”
“How is this okay?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” He laughed and swallowed back tears. “I’m fucking dying, and it’s not okay. But shit happens, you get over it, and you move on.”
“Daniels, please.” By now, tears were streaming down my cheeks. “I don’t want you to die.”
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“Why’d you have go and be a hero?” I asked. “You didn’t need to do that. You didn’t need to protect me.”
“I did,” Daniels said gravely. “You’ve saved my life, and I owe you so much. I couldn’t let another person hurt you. Not anymore.”
“Daniels.” I let out a sob. “What do you want me to do?”
“Just stay with me,” he said. “It shouldn’t be much longer.”
And it wasn’t. He squeezed my hand and held onto me for as long as he could. Then he closed his eyes, and his grip loosened on mine.
“Daniels,” I said. “Daniels?” But he didn’t move. “Daniels!”
And then I lost it. I fell back, leaning against the wall behind me, and I held my hands out in front of me. They were covered in his blood, still warm on my skin, and they trembled.
I screamed. I don’t know why exactly, but there was nothing else I could do. Crying wasn’t enough. There was so much anger and frustration and hurt and I just couldn’t get it out, and I couldn’t live with it inside me.
I didn’t know if I could even live with what had happened to Daniels. That shouldn’t have happened. Not like that. Not after everything he’d done and tried to do for me. He shouldn’t have been killed by a person, by someone I let join us. And he never should’ve died protecting me.
“Fuck!” I shouted and hit myself in the thigh. “Dammit!”
“Remy?” Boden was back, and he came into the bathroom, kneeling down beside me. “What’s wrong?”
“He’s dead!” I yelled. “He’s dead, and it’s my fault!”
“No, Remy, it’s not.” Boden put his arm around me and started pulling me out of the bathroom, away from Daniels’ body.
“It is. Everything’s my fault.” I was sobbing, and I couldn’t stop.