Do it, motherfucker. Hit me. I puff out my chest, hoping his drunken ass does it.
Weston narrows his eyes, then raises his arms. He swings at me, grazing my cheek enough to feel, but it barely makes a dent as I step back slightly.
“Bad idea, fuckface.” I lift my hands before he can even register it. My fist connects with his jaw, causing an ear-piercing c***k. It should’ve knocked him out flat on his ass, but somehow, he only stumbles. When he regains his footing, it’s as if he snaps like a crazed psychopath. His pupils are full of rage, and he transforms from human to monster in seconds. I allow him to swing at me again, but he misses when I move. He tries again, but then I throw another punch. This time, my fist smashes into his nose, and Weston releases a strangled cry as he curls down and covers his face. As soon as I do, Hunter and Liam pull me away, but I don’t budge. I need to make sure he stays down this time. Just when I think the asshole is done, and I step back to walk away, Weston fidgets and reaches behind his back.
“Hey!” he shouts, grabbing our attention, and that’s when I see a Glock pointed directly at me.
Where the f**k did that come from? I freeze, my heart pounding so hard I’m sure he can hear it.
“Now what, p***y boy?” He turns his head to the side and spits out blood. “Looks like you brought your fists to a fuckin’ gun fight.” Blood drips from his nose and lips that are split open and swollen, and his eye is nearly sealed shut. I slowly hold up my hands, hoping he’s not actually crazy enough to shoot me but knowing he just might be. You don’t pull a gun on someone unless you plan to use it, and I’m not stupid enough to call his bluff.
That insane cackle returns, piercing through me. I glance over and see Hunter and Liam standing behind me, both with their arms up too, and realize the situation I got them into. f**k.
I think about Sophie’s beautiful face and how amazing and sweet she is, and how long she’s been with this terror of a man. I wonder how many nights she’s gone to bed scared of him or, even worse, scared for her life. Just the thought of him hurting her has me seething all over again. She’s the reason I confronted him in the first place, because she deserves better than this piece of s**t who lays his hands on her.
“Not so brave now, are ya?” He steadies his hand, continuing to aim at me. I look down the barrel, hoping these aren’t my last moments alive.
“Just put the gun down, Weston,” Hunter says calmly. “You don’t have to do this.”
“Shut the f**k up,” Weston snaps. “If any of you says another goddamn word…I’m pulling the fuckin’ trigger. Fully loaded, but one bullet is all I’ll need for each of ya.”
My blood pumps faster when he narrows his eyes at me. I’ve seen enough s**t to know what happens next. In my mind, I can imagine it all so vividly, the evidence they’ll collect, and the pictures they’ll take when they find my splattered brains on the concrete. Everything seems to happen in slow motion, and I know whatever I do next has to be calculated with no sudden movements.
The gun clicks as he chambers a round, and the sound echoes in my ear.
This isn’t how I want to die.
This can’t be the way my life ends. The way all of our lives ends. Fear, guilt, shock—my emotions hit me in full force as I think about the Corrigan sisters and how this will destroy them. He’d kill us and then kill Sophie too if he gets the chance.
Fuck. I should’ve just let him walk away and let Lennon handle Sophie since they left the room anyway.
In my peripheral vision, I see Liam move slightly behind me, and Weston quickly points the gun at him. He aims right above Liam’s head and fires off a warning shot.
“I’ll fuckin’ kill you all if you try anything,” he threatens. “All. Three. Of. You.”
“Weston, we can all walk away from this,” Liam says slowly. “Don’t do anything you’ll regret.” Fear smothers Liam’s voice, but his actions are steady as he tries to gain control of the situation. I want to turn around and tell them both how sorry I am, how much I f****d up, and how much I love them as brothers. If these are my last moments, I’d at least want to make them count. However, I don’t want to add more fuel to the fire by talking and pissing off Weston.
“Now. What was that you were saying earlier?” Weston glares at me. “I’m gonna be dealing with you if I lay my hands on Sophie again?” His head falls back with psychotic laughter. “You don’t scare me, but by the look on your face, I scare the f**k out of you.”
“You’ve proven your point,” Hunter interjects. “Let’s just all calm down and leave.”
“Not fuckin’ happening,” Weston hisses.
I contemplate my options, which aren’t many at the moment. I could risk everything and charge him, fighting for the gun and taking him out, or it could all go horribly wrong and he could actually pull that f*****g trigger. I’d take a bullet for Sophie if it meant keeping her safe, but if I’m going down, then so is this motherfucking bastard.
“Weston…” I start.
“You’re gonna listen to me,” he cuts me off. Weston continues running his mouth, feeding from the control and attention almost as if he’s performing for an audience. If only he was a paid actor with a fake gun sent here to play a sick prank, but he’s not. Instead, he’s a maniac with the need to feel power; that much is obvious. Weston continues to wave it round, talking s**t and calling me every name under the sun. A car pulls into the parking lot, causing him to lose focus, and in that split second, I make a move and charge him with all my strength, just as I used to practice during my college football days.
We fall to the ground with me on top of him, but he keeps his arm above his head, causing me to struggle to reach it as he tries pushing me off. I knee him in the gut, and his arm bends just enough for me to reach his hand. He notices what I’m doing and pulls back, then points the barrel at me.
I hear Hunter on the phone, begging for the cops to come as I push against him. Liam shouts at both of us to stop, and I’m literally living my worst nightmare. I’m glad they don’t intervene, though, because Weston could easily turn it on them. I manage to grasp the gun in his hand so it’s no longer pointing at me, but his strength doesn’t seem to be waning as he continues to fight for control.
Moments later, police sirens can be heard wailing in the distance, but there’s no end to this game. There will be no winner. They’ll either arrive and aim their weapons at us or Weston’s gun will go off.
We continue to wrestle on the ground, and somehow, I manage to twist the gun to face him, but he’s relentless as our hands tangle for it.
Then it happens too fast.
I hear the shot.
I feel warmth.
I see blood and skin.
Then all that can be heard is my erratic breathing. Am I shot? Did he shoot me?
Hunter and Liam pull me off him, and it’s then I see Weston’s lifeless body on the ground. I’ve never seen them so shook up in my life. Adrenaline pumps through me, but my mind can’t seem to handle the rush or the shock as I push them off me, rubbing my blood-covered hands down my chest and stomach.
“I’m fine. I’m fine,” I reassure them.
The three of us gaze down and see the bullet wound to his head.
Oh my God.
“f**k!” Liam yells, running his fingers through his hair as he paces. A few people from the reception walk toward us, horror written on their faces as they screech. Hunter begins to panic as half a dozen squad cars race into the parking lot.
“Calm down,” I tell everyone, knowing s**t’s about to get hectic as f**k. The cops are going to take our statements, and a team will analyze the crime scene. The people who surround us look at me like I’m a monster, like I’m a murderer. With red on my hands and clothes, I look guilty as f**k.
It was self-defense. I can claim it all day, and I have witnesses. But it doesn’t mean a man didn’t die because of me, regardless of the f*****g circumstances. I didn’t like the guy, but I didn’t want things to happen this way. The emotions swirl inside my head, unable to sort them properly as the shock of this whole thing soars through me.
Several police officers whip open their car doors with their guns drawn, shouting at us to show them our hands and not to move. We lift our arms, surrendering so they know we’re not a threat. They can see Weston on the pavement, the gun next to me, and how I’m covered in his blood and confirm I’m the guy they want. The cops keep their guns pointed as one officer rushes over, shouting at me to get on my knees and put my hands behind my head.
I do as I’m told, and then he forcefully cuffs my wrists behind my back.
As the officer helps me stand, I look at Hunter and Liam who look distraught and scared as hell.
“Wanna tell me what happened here?” the officer asks.
I ignore him, knowing my rights. I’m not saying a damn thing without counsel, even if it was self-defense. I know how f****d up the justice system can be, and I’m not about to incriminate myself.
“Call Serena!” I yell at Liam as the officer starts pushing me away from the scene. “Tell her to come to the station, but not to tell my father!”
He immediately nods, knowing exactly why I’d trust her. Before I can say anything else to them, the officer jerks me to his car.
So many thoughts run through my head. Anger mixes with regret, but I remind myself why I confronted him in the first place. I did it for Sophie, for her safety, and I’d do it again if it meant keeping him away from her.
I glance over my shoulder and watch as one officer covers the body while others put up yellow caution tape around the crime scene. Seconds later, I catch sight of Lennon, Sophie, and Maddie talking to Hunter and Liam. The girls look confused and shocked, and I wish I could hear what the cops were saying to them. Sophie’s hysterical, so I’m sure they just told her the news about Weston. I turn my head, not able to watch her cry for that piece of s**t who hit and threatened to kill her. I have no doubt it would’ve led to that.
Right now, I want to be invisible. The world around me begins to fade, and I try to tune out the screams and cries of the guests as word of what happened spreads. As I’m forcefully shoved into the back of the squad car, realization of what took place begins to set in as an officer jumps into the front seat, then drives us away.
I killed Sophie’s boyfriend.
I f****d up, and I’m going to pay for it.