Through the Storm (The Montclair Brothers), страница 1
Through the Storm
The Montclair Brothers
By Terri Marie
Copyright © 2014 by Terri Marie
All rights reserved
Table of Contents
A Special Thank you:
From the Author
BOOKS BY TERRI MARIE:
This novel is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real people, dead or alive, is strictly a matter of coincidence. Places and events depicted in these pages are from the author’s imagination.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.
Published by Gossamer Publishing
PO Box 972309
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
Cover art by:
A Special Thank you:
Angelique Luzader, my amazing editor and loyal Beauty,
I adore you!
To my Beauties, with love.
Very carefully, he sprinkled the gasoline around the right side of the house. Stupid field stones. Robert tried hard not to make too much noise, while trying to dodge the forest that engulfed the place. He'd just burn that too. Thank you Mother Nature. There were so many bushes to choose from. Who the hell would live in this dump? Tyler Montstupidclair. He thinks he's all high and mighty, but he can't even manage to cut his damn lawn.
The stupid weeds and trees made it impossible for him to get around back, but that was okay. When he emptied the can of gasoline, there'd be a nice little blaze. That was all he needed.
Robert walked about ten feet away from the house, and then lit the nice, big, fat cigar he had stuffed in his pocket. He drew on the end, and felt a little bad about wasting it, but it was for a good cause. With an immense joy flooding through him, Robert flicked the cigar into the gasoline, and then ran back to the gate to get his rifle. He knelt in the driveway, carefully aimed at the front door, and waited.
Once his dancing inferno ignited the roof, he only had to wait a couple more minutes before people started to run out of the front door. They ran out like scared cattle. Robert didn't expect so many people to be there, but there were enough bullets for them all to share. Easy pickin's.
With steady hands, Robert fired the rifle and dropped the first one on the porch. He fired again, and one fell on the lawn. This is just like shooting ducks! Robert laughed. He was able to fire a third shot, and heard a woman scream, before being hit on the back of the head by something hard.
Emma walked out of the cramped bathroom, where Tyler had escorted them to hide, and glared at the older woman from across the kitchen. She felt as if she had to fear every stranger who crossed her path, especially this woman who'd just walked into the Montclair house as if she owned the place. There was no knock, no announcement, nothing. Confused or not, this lady had made the hairs on the back of Emma's neck stand up. She was sick and tired of running from Robert Preston, the monster her friend Renee is married to. It would be just like him to pay off someone who looks trustworthy to get at us. As soon as the thought occurred to her, Emma grabbed the purse off of the woman's arm, and began rifling through it. After being shot at in the van, her fear of guns had escalated. You just never knew who was concealing a weapon; you never knew which one of Robert's minions was after them.
"What are you doing?! Stop it this instant!" demanded Angelique.
"Why are you here? Who the hell sent you?!" Emma was so angry she was trembling.
"Give me back my things!" Angelique pulled at her purse with such force, the clip in the back of her hair slid out, and long gray strands fell over her shoulders.
Finally, Emma hastily sat the purse on the counter and mean-mugged her. The silence in the kitchen was deafening.
"Get out. Take your ugly purse, and get the hell out of our house!" Emma had had enough. The woman was going to leave, one way or the other. She didn't understand why no one else saw this as bizarre. They're way the heck out in the boonies and some strange woman just walks in? She'd had to flee her apartment, dodge a bullet on the freeway, and hide out in the Montclair family home, hundreds of miles away, all because of Robert Preston. Emma wanted to go home, sleep in her own bed, wear her own clothes, and go back to her job at Montclair Pharmaceuticals. She felt Jacob's hand on her arm.
"Don't you touch me!" Emma spat. As she jerked her arm away, she heard her boss, Tyler Montclair, whisper to his younger brother, Jacob. "Leave her alone." The last thing she wanted was to be near Jacob. Each time she saw him, she felt those old wounds opening up again.
As Emma walked towards the front of the house to show Angelique out, she stopped suddenly. "Guys!" She heard rushing footsteps behind her.
"What is it, Em—" Tyler stopped and put his nose in the air.
"Do you smell that? Something's burning," said Sean as he walked down the hall, to the far end of the house. Everyone followed behind him.
By the time they reached the study, the fire had spread to the door; the curtains and rug were blazing.
"Everyone out! Now!!" Jacob yelled. "This house will burn in minutes! Meet in the driveway!" He spun around and grabbed Emma's hand and began to pull.
"Get out, Jacob!" yelled Sean, to keep him moving forward. "Everyone get out!" He quickly guided Jacob to the front door and pushed him out, causing him to trip and fall. "Get out guys!!" He repeated as the fire spread.
Renee grabbed Brian's hand and pulled him around Jacob and onto the front lawn. "Stay with me, Brian!!" she yelled.
"Tyler, Vincent! Get out!" Sean was shoving everyone out the door. The inside of the old house was quickly filling with black smoke and the sounds of glass shattering were loud behind them. Sean yanked Tyler and Vincent towards the porch. "Go!! Meet in the driveway!" He bent to help Jacob get up.
Tyler ran to the driveway, pulling Vincent around the flaming brush. Chaos grew in front of the old Montclair home. The night winds were howling off of Lake Superior, and the inferno was roaring, but their screams were even louder.
The raging inferno was engulfing everything in its path. The front yard, full of overgrowth, was starting to burn rapidly. The smoke was blinding them, even outside.
Tyler held Vincent's arm to make sure he didn't go back to the house. "Jacob, Sean, Emma, Renee, Brian!! Let me know you're okay and yell, so I can find you!! Get away from the house and front yard!" Tyler continued to scream with his hands cupped around the sides of his mouth. He couldn't get enough air, and it wasn't just because of the smoke; he felt like his insides were in a vise.
"I'm here, Ty!" Sean came lun
"Get hit?! Hit by what, Sean!!" Tyler yelled as he was being led by Sean.
"Someone's shooting at us!!" Sean yelled at the top of his lungs "Run and hide in the brush on the other side of the driveway!!" he yelled into the black cloud.
"I can't see!" Emma called out with terror in her voice.
"Emma, are you hurt?!" yelled Vincent.
"No! I can't get to the driveway!" she shrieked.
"Cover your nose and mouth, and continuously call out to me! I'm going to follow your voice! Keep your arms stretched out in front of you!" directed Vincent.
Emma began to sing a song, which came out in choking sobs and violent coughing. Soon, Vincent grabbed her wrist, and quickly guided her to the driveway, before running back to find the others. "Oh my God!!" Where is everyone?!" she cried.
"Emma!!" yelled Tyler, as he and Sean carried Jacob to a bend in the driveway and laid him down on the asphalt. "We have to help them. Don't break down on us!"
"I've got Renee!" hollered Vincent. "Get Brian!! He's in the yard, twenty feet behind me!!" He laid her down next to Jacob.
Tyler's anxiety mounted tenfold. After helping Sean carry Brian to the others, he yelled directives. The fire continued to consume over half of the large house and the brush around it.
"Are they alive?!" Sean asked loudly as his voice cracked. Tyler knew there was no time to examine them until they were safely away from the fire and shooter, or they'd all perish. He was resisting the urge to crumble by thinking fast and focusing on their survival. He'd been through a lot of crazy situations, but a fire was never one of them.
Tyler quickly looked at his brothers. "The garage door is wooden! We have to get the van out or these guys aren't going to get any help! There's no phone service!" When I count to three, we're going to cover our faces and run at the garage door! We need to knock it down! Sean, back the van up into the driveway and then we're going to remove the seats! You have the keys still?"
"I got em', Ty!" Sean yelled back.
"We have got to hurry! We'll place everyone in the back once the seats are out. Sean, you drive!! One, two, three! Go, go, go!!"
The three men brought their shirts up over their noses and mouths, and then ran like lightning towards the garage door. The smoke was thick. The sounds of wood popping, and the roof collapsing, were loud enough to make them jump. The flames were licking at the air around them. Winds coming off of Lake Superior were helping the fire spread rapidly.
The men yelled as they threw their bodies up against the door. Raw adrenaline gave them strength; their protective nature gave them a determination they'd never felt before.
"Again!" yelled Tyler as the garage door began to fall off of its track.
The men backed up. When Tyler gave the signal, they slammed their shoulders into the door with a massive force. The garage door hit the van as it broke free. Tyler and Vincent carried it away from the house; they didn't want it to ignite or they'd have to drive through fire. Sean pulled the keys from his pocket and jumped in the van, backing out blindly. Vincent banged on the side so he'd know when to stop.
"Let's get the seats out!" yelled Vincent.
Sean threw the van in park and jumped out.
"I need help holding these wounds!" pleaded Emma. "They're going to bleed to death!"
Sean and Vincent emptied the van, while Tyler put pressure on his baby brother's abdomen. Once the back door was opened, Sean helped him lift Jacob and carefully place him in the back; Brian and Renee were then laid next to him.
Tyler checked the pulse on Jacob; it was weak, but at least he was still alive. Emma placed her hand over Renee's chest wound. She was still breathing, but it was gurgling. Vincent took care of Brian, rolling him gently onto his stomach.
"They're going to die if we don't get them some help!" yelled Tyler. "Does anyone know where the hospital is?"
As Sean backed down the driveway, it felt as though he'd hit a small curb. The headlights lit up part of the driveway as they reached the road.
They briefly looked at Robert's unmoving body.
"Sean, go!! We don't know if he's dead or not! Just drive!" Emma shouted. "If he sits up and starts firing, we'll all die!"
Rot there you son of a bitch! thought Tyler. If there was time, he would have hopped behind the wheel and run over him again…and again.
Sean reached over and grabbed the map out of the glove compartment.
"I can't read this thing! My eyes are burning. Look, someone's running up the road!" Sean wiped at his face with his shirt.
Emma strained her neck so she could see. She was trying to keep it together, but it wasn't easy. Looking down at her three bloody friends, her first thought was of horrible scenes from overseas that she'd seen on the news; war. The fire, the bodies…"It's that woman! I bet she started the fire!"
"Let her in! If she lives up here, she'll know where the hospital is." Tyler held onto the wall of the van while Sean pulled to a stop. "She couldn't have started it, Emma. She was with us on the other side of the house." Normally, Tyler would have stopped what he was doing to calm her, but there wasn't any time for that now.
Sean leaned over and opened up the passenger door. "Get in! We'll get you out of here."
Angelique began to climb in, when Sean pulled her inside, probably with more force than was necessary.
"Oh my! You don't have to be so rough with me!" She jerked her arm back.
"Please direct us to the hospital. We have three people who've been shot." Tyler wanted to punch something.
"Go up two streets and turn left," she pleasantly answered Tyler, and then scowled at Sean.
"Yorkshire," said Sean as he read the sign. "Is this it?"
"Slow down some!!" Angelique pointed her finger and shook it in Sean's face. "I can't see much. I don't have my glasses on. But it's the second street."
As Sean drove, Angelique guided them to Castle Lake Memorial Hospital. Tyler wanted to ring her neck. She talked slow, she moved slow…"
Sean came to a screeching halt in front of the emergency room doors.
"Sir, this is for ambulances. You'll need to park over there," pointed a security guard.
"This is a damn ambulance!" Sean shoved past the guard and ran inside. "We need help out here! I have three shooting victims!"
As a doctor and several staff ran outside, Emma climbed out of the van, and then sank to the cement. Tyler pulled her up into his arms and sobbed.
As soon as Jacob was placed on a gurney, the doctor started doing chest compressions, as a nurse placed an Ambu bag over his mouth. Tyler knew then that his brother's heart had stopped.
"One of you has to go over to admissions. Are you relatives?" asked a nurse who lagged behind the others.
"Yes," said Sean, as he ran to the desk.
Tyler and Emma held hands, taking off behind the emergency staff, while Vincent ran beside them. Jacob, Renee, and Brian, were separated into different trauma rooms.
Tyler looked through the small window. A tube was being placed down his brother's throat, and they were starting IV's in both arms. Someone gently moved him aside, and pushed through the door with pints of blood.
There were stat calls overhead, directing doctors to trauma room one, where Jacob's lifeless body was lying. Tyler turned and threw his arms around Vincent, and they both broke down; neither man tried to mask their pain and sorrow. They opened up their arms and held Emma within their embrace.
There were no words spoken. After seventeen years of protecting the people he loved, he'd led them right into a trap. What was I thinking? Tyler wanted the ground to open up and swallow him, but he knew he had to be the fight inside of Jacob. Not for a split second did he ever think that Robert would find them here. He knew his youngest brother Vincent, was blaming himself
Doctors continued to run in and out of Jacob's room, while more were called into Renee and Brian's trauma rooms. Tyler walked over and looked through the glass at Renee. They weren't doing compressions, but they were sticking tubes into her chest, and hanging blood on an IV pole. Brian, he saw, was still on his stomach, and blood had puddled underneath him. Just as he was trying to see more, Jacob's door opened up, and his brother was rushed down the hallway.
"Where are you going with him?!" yelled Tyler.
"Go to the surgical waiting room and I'll come and talk to you. Let me help this patient first," yelled the doctor who was in scrubs, and had a mask over his face.
Tyler ran up fast behind him. He grabbed the doctor's arm and spun him around.
"Listen, I know you're probably really tired, but that's my brother, okay? I will give you every dime I have, and I can send you and your family on a nice vacation if you work extra hard. I'll sign anything you want. If you save him, I'll do anything for you or get you whatever you need. I'll donate to the hospital. You can have my car, my company…Hell, I'll…Please!" Tyler fell to his knees and put his face in his hands. "Please," he pleaded.
He felt Vincent lift him to his feet. "Come on, Ty," he whispered, as tears slid down his cheeks.
The surgeon placed both hands around one of Tyler's. "I know this is really difficult for you. All you can do is wait, and if you believe, pray. Pray really hard for the guidance of these hands, and for your brother." The doctor turned and ran up the hall.
There were sounds blaring all around Emma; but she subconsciously blocked them out when she saw one of the strongest men she's ever known, drop down on both knees to beg at the doctor's feet. A switch clicked off. There wasn't anything she could say or do to help Tyler see the bright side of things. There wasn't a bright side. Renee was struggling to breathe, spraying blood whenever she coughed. Brian was just a kid and he was gunned down in a front yard. Not on the streets, where you'd think a runaway would die, but in a front yard of a secluded, privileged neighborhood. Emma looked down at herself. She was covered with blood, looking like a victim herself. She recalled Jacob's face. It was painted red as the puddle from the wound on his abdomen, pooled beneath him.