Author’s Note: I’m posting a trigger warning due to mention of rape. Please stop reading here if this is upsetting to you. It does not go into specifics or detail. It is just mentioned but I wanted to give you fair warning.
“It’s about time” Brandon hissed coming out from behind some nearby shrubs.
“Why are you hiding” January demanded.
“Just open the damn door” he snapped looking over his shoulder.
“Not until you tell me what you did” she glared defiantly at her brother keys dangling from her fingers.
Snatching them “I don’t have time for this.”
“Hey” Grant cried pushing his way past his girlfriend. “You can’t just let yourself into our home.”
“Out of my way little man” Brandon glared down at Grant.
“Just let him in” January said resigning herself to the inevitable.
“He can’t just…”
“I just can’t what” Brandon challenge grabbing fistful of Grant’s shirt and pulling him forward.
“Brandon if you hurt him so help me” she cried her voice deadly serious.
“Fine” he shoved the younger man aside laughing a little when Grant tripped and fell.
Once they were inside January demanded “no more stalling. What did you do?” Her eyes raked across him answering her own question. Brandon’s clothes were torn as if someone had struggled with him. White stains on the black material. The smell. It all said one thing. “Don’t tell me you did it again.”
“Alright I won’t” he shrugged chin jutting out defiantly. “I just need help getting out of town. Money. A car.”
“The usual” her voice dripped with disdain. “I thought you liked this guy.”
“I did” rolling his eyes “I don’t know what happened. Things were going great. Then he got nervous and refusing…”
“So you forced him” she shook her head as she opened her purse.
“You’re not seriously going to give him money” Grant snatched her bag from her. “He needs to be in jail.”
“He’s my brother” she reached for her bag. “He needs help and I’m going to give it to him.”
“You’re going to wind up in jail right along with him” he protested.
“What do you expect me to do? Let him go to jail” she tugged on her bag “give it to me.”
“No I’m not letting you throw your life away because your brother’s an asshat” he jerked away from her.
“You don’t have a say in this” January tugged again sending the contents of her bag flying in all directions.
“You mean that don’t you” he sighed all the fight draining from him. “You don’t care what he’s done or how I feel.”
“I could care less” she snapped gathering her things.
“Fine” he stomped towards the door “I’m gone.”
“You’re not leaving” Brandon blocked his path.
“Out of my way” Grant ordered hoping his voice didn’t betray the doubt he had of holding his own against the bigger man.
“Just let him go” January told her brother.
“What assurance do we have that he won’t go to the police” Brandon asked eyeing Grant cautiously.
“And tell them what” Grant inquired “that I suspect you raped someone.”
Growling deep in his throat Brandon’s fist shot out connecting with Grant’s chin snapping his head back. The younger man fell backwards landing flat on his back.
“Idiot” January snapped going to check on him.
Dragging her away from Grant he said “we don’t have time for this. We need to leave now.”
“I’m not leaving until I pack a bag” she jerked her arm away. “This is the last time I save your ass.” She glanced down at Grant “at least put him on the sofa.” She turned running up the stairs to pack.
Grunting Brandon did as she requested. “What did she ever see in you” he muttered as he moved the unconscious boy.
Ten minutes later January came down the stairs carrying two bags. She placed a folded note for Grant on the coffee table.
“He doesn’t need a Dear John letter” her brother grunted watching her.
“He deserves better than what I’m giving him. The least I can do is apologize” she snapped.
“If you’d rather stay just tell me. I’ll go on my own” Brandon said giving her the look he knew would get her to do whatever he wanted. “Just remember your promise.”
“I promised to look out for you” she snapped watching him “not to cover for you whenever you get in trouble.”
“Isn’t that the same thing” he asked a smug look in his eyes. “Come on, let’s get out of here.”
Nodding she leaned over giving Grant one last kiss on the cheek whispering “I’m sorry” low enough that her brother wouldn’t hear.
Walking from the house she left the door slightly ajar. “Where’s your bike?”
“I had to ditch it” he smirked “they’ll be looking for a guy on a bike. I’m not that guy.”
“Maybe you should have given some thought about your appearance” she said appraising him from head to toe.
As if seeing himself for the first time he groaned and headed back into the house. Pointing at Grant “does he have any clothes here?”
“Yeah but I don’t think they’ll fit” she said.
“It’ll have to do” he said taking the stairs two at a time. Haphazardly he pulled clothes out until he found something he could wear. Going into the bathroom he took a quick shower. Found some scissors in a drawer he called his sister into the room. Handing the scissors to her “not too short.”
“You’ll be lucky I don’t expose those big old dumbo ears of yours” she chuckled as she began cutting.
Groaning Grant slowly opened his eyes. The silence of his surroundings indicated he was alone. Sitting up he clutched his head as the room spun around him. Fumbling for his phone, he dialed the number of the only person he knew would drop everything and come. “Rex” his voice shook like it would before he burst into tears.
“Grant” his brother’s voice was instantly alert “are you okay?”
“She left me” he blurted. It was the least important thing that happened that night but still it was what hurt the most.
“Where are you” Rex asked.
“At the house” he moaned “please come. I don’t feel so well.”
The sound of someone throwing up came through the phone “Grant” Rex shouted “are you alright?”
“What’s going on” Sandie asked moving to sit beside him on the bed.
“I don’t know” shaking his head “Grant we’re on our way. Just stay where you are.” He wasn’t sure if his brother heard him or not but he jumped from the bed to struggle into clothes.
Yawning Sandie got up and started to get dressed. “I’m coming with you” she said when she caught him watching her.
When they arrived at the house Grant shared with January they parked by his car and the door ajar. Cautiously Rex stepped inside calling “Grant.” Looking down he found Sandie grabbing his arm and pointing. Pointing her fingers he found his twin sitting on the couch cradling his head. “Did you get robbed? Where’s January?”
“No” he shook his head “her brother.” He lifted his face revealing a bruised and swollen lip.
“Brandon did this” Sandie asked appalled.
“The one and only” he mumbled.
“I think we should take you to the ER” Rex suggested. “You could have a concussion or something.”
“Why’d he hit you” Sandie inquired sitting next to him. Tilting his face towards her she inspected the damage.
“I refused to help him leave town” he said unable to meet her eyes.
“I would have thought that was a good thing. Him leaving town” she said “wasn’t he always asking her for money?”
“Yeah” sighing he jerked his face away. “It’s not so much him leaving town as to why he’s leaving.” He could feel their curious eyes watching him and he told them everything from the moment he’d left their house and getting hit on the head.
“You have to call the police” Rex said with finality.
“And tell them what” Grant demanded “that I think my ex girlfriend’s brother may have raped someone? They’ll think I’m crazy.”
“It’s the right thing to do” Sandie added “who knows it might help them in solving other cases.”
“Alright I’ll call” he mumbled fumbling for his phone. “Will you stay with me?”
“Of course” Sandi assured him.
“That was unpleasant” Grant mumbled once the police left.
Nodding Rex tried to hide his smile. He received a glare from his girlfriend warning him “what?”
“Don’t say it” she cautioned.
“He doesn’t have to” Grant said finishing putting the last of his things in the bag. “It was obvious the police thought it was me who’d been raped and too embarrassed to admit it.”
“Well” Sandi gave him a concerned look “you are alright, aren’t you? I know they found evidence of some sort here. They took a bag and dusted for prints.”
“Nothing happened other than me getting knocked out” he growled hating to repeat himself for the millionth time.
“Are you sure you don’t know who his date was” Rex asked.
“I don’t know” he shook his head “I wish I did. The guys a jerk. I hate to think they’re going to get away with it.”
“You’re coming home with us” Sandi said abruptly causing both men to look at her. “He can’t stay here and I won’t hear of you staying in a hotel.”
“The EMT did say he should be watched” Rex added “Is this everything?”
“Yeah” Grant scratched his head. “I’m sorry I was such a jerk earlier.”
“Don’t worry about it” Rex shrugged off his apology.
“I wish I had listened to you guys” he continued as they walked towards their car. “You tried to warn me she wasn’t any good.”
“I wouldn’t say that” Sandi said twisting in the front seat to talk to him. “She liked you, didn’t she?”
“That’s not saying much” he mumbled staring out the window. “I was obviously a chump.”
“Don’t say that” she persisted “just because she didn’t appreciate you doesn’t mean someone else won’t. You’re a great guy.”
“I don’t feel like a great guy” he leaned his head back “I feel like an idiot.”
Sandi opened her mouth to refute him when Rex interrupted her. “He needs time to process things.”
“I know” she sighed turning to face the front. “I just don’t want him feeling bad.”
“He’ll come around. Right now it’s not going to matter what either of say to him. It’s too soon for him to see it any other way.” he glanced in the rear view mirror “we’ll try again in the morning.”