Son, daughter-in-law, and my 2 granddaughters (6 months and 2 yrs) are visitin. :D So if I don't get the epilogue up tomorrow, I'll do it on Monday. Everyone have a great weekend. I know I'm going to enjoy my babies as much as possible.
Ryan jerked the cover up and quickly positioned himself so he could see inside the box, yet out of direct fire. His gun’s sight found its target.
“Shoulda known you’d play the hero, bro,” Rob sneered.
“Are you all right, Zack?” He couldn’t see higher than his lover’s waist.
“Peachy.” His voice strained.
Ryan’s heart swelled with pride. Zack was being brave, but how would this episode affect his mental progress of getting past what Rob had done to him previously?
“Mind if I drop in?”
“Of course I mind. You are interrupting an intimate moment between Zack and I.” Rob shifted his position and Ryan could see that the waist of Zack’s pants were undone and his shirt was pushed up. Still Ryan couldn’t see his head.
“Too bad. This can only happen two ways. I come down and we try to figure this out.” He paused and swallowed. “Or I shoot you here and now.”
Rob snorted as if unconcerned. “I dare ya.”
Shit. Ryan’s pulse raced and sweat slipped down his face. His finger tightened on the trigger, but he couldn’t do it. Not like this.
“Fuck me running.”
Rob laughed. “No guts. I knew you didn’t have it in you.”
Ryan ignored him. “Coming down.” He holstered his gun and slowly lowered his body into the elevator, hoping like hell Rob wouldn’t take a cheap shot. Luck was on his side.
He moved to the opposite corner of where Rob and Zack crouched. Relief flooded him as he saw that Zack wasn’t visibly harmed. Tears streaked his cheeks and fear swamped his eyes. Anger surged.
Rob stopped Ryan’s movement when he went to reach for his gun again. “Don’t do it.” The gun now pointed at him. Ryan lifted his hands, palms out.
“You’ve really dug yourself a deep hole, Rob.”
A variety of emotions slipped across his features. “It’s not my fault.”
Ryan sighed. “It’s never your fault.”
“Don’t pity me. Never! Do you understand?”
Ryan ground his teeth. Don’t get him mad, he reminded himself.
“You’ve never understood.” Rob shook his head and winced. “You had it all.”
“We’re twins. We had the same stuff.”
“No, you’re wrong. You’re the favorite. The good one. Never does anything wrong.”
I bit back another sigh. It’s the same old story. After all these years, he’s dragging up all this old garbage. It was a bunch of bullshit and he knew it. He just never accepted responsibility for his wrong-doing. It seems as if he never would.
“Listen. Let’s just finish this ride and get off on the next floor. I’m sure Dad will find a way to help.” Ryan suggested.
Rob jumped up, finally releasing his hold on Zack, and slapped the elevator wall. “Don’t you get it? There’s nothing anyone can do to help. And there’s no leaving this elevator. At least in the same condition as when we entered.”
Crap. Rob intended to take his life…and ours. That’s the only way out of this mess. Dying, he wouldn’t have to face a judge or jury. And he planned on taking Zack with him, to keep him from being with me.
“I can’t let you do this.”
Rob adjusted the barrel of the gun so it was aimed at Ryan’s head. “You don’t have a choice.”
Ryan tensed, expecting the explosion of gunfire, his muscles readying to surge forward, when Rob grunted and went down.
He’d kicked the back of Rob’s knees bringing him down. Luckily, Rob hadn’t fired…yet.
Ryan moved to intercept, but Rob and Zack were wrestling. Limbs entwined as they fought to overpower the other. He pulled his gun. If he could wound Rob, that would stop or at least slow him down. However, there wasn’t a shot. He couldn’t risk hurting Zack also.
A gunshot went off, temporarily deafening Ryan. The two men on the floor went slack. Panic caused Ryan’s lungs to constrict and bile rose in his throat. He couldn’t breath. Blood began to pool on the floor. Who was hit? Zack or Rob?
“Zack?” He stepped closer, his attention on Rob.
“Ryan.” It was said like a sigh, tinged with grief and fatigue.
Moving to kneel next to Zack, Ryan could now see that it was Rob who was bleeding. “You okay?” He ran his hands over Zack’s body, looking for wounds.
“Jesus. I don’t think I’ll ever be okay.” Zack groaned, but moved to sit up.
Ryan quickly brushed the gun from Rob’s hand before stripping off his shirt. He rolled Rob onto his back and pressed the shirt to the gunshot wound. Rob winced, opened his eyes slightly. His breath was choppy and raspy.
“Don’t talk,” he told his brother. “Zack, get the elevator going,” he demanded. “Now!” He screamed when his lover hesitated. It didn’t matter that Rob had tried to kill him or Zack. This was his brother. His twin.
“Loved him.” Ryan sputtered, blood now leaking from the corner of his mouth.
“I know. I know.” Tears were blurring his vision. Damn, it couldn’t end like this. Rob needed to be punished for his wrong doings. He needed help. But he didn’t deserve to be taken. Not yet. That’s when Ryan realized he still had hope that there was good inside his brother. Deep inside, but perhaps it could have been motivated to emerge.
The elevator doors slid open and a team of security guards, a couple of detectives, and the sheriff were waiting. Weapons drawn.
”Get a doctor. Hurry.” Ryan looked down at Rob. His eyes had closed and his breath slowed. “Please.” A tear fell on Rob’s cheek. He didn’t flinch. Only drew in his last breath.