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Just the Six of Us Ch. 29

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Thank you to my faithful readers. You guys are the best. If you want to get in contact with me and ask me questions, check my profile.

Please don’t read ahead to find out what happens. Just read. All is revealed pretty quickly. I never can keep secrets for very long.

Thank you to my editor, drew.

Yes, damnit, 30 is coming.

Chapter 29

“I know I give you a lot of shit, but just be careful! You’re driving like a fucking maniac! I’m worried about her, too.”

Mike sped through an intersection, barely tapping his brakes as he did so. ‘I’m worried. I’m so fuckin’ worried,’ he kept thinking over and over.

“Me too bro, me too.”

‘I’m gonna lose my shit if…’ the thought trailed off. He didn’t want to finish it.

“Dude, this doesn’t seem real. I know I change my favorites all the time with your sisters, but Danni really is my favorite, man. She’s just gotta be okay!”

That surprised Mike. That was the first time he could remember that the voice actually used one of his sisters’ names. The voice, whatever the hell it was, was actually concerned. His head was pounding against his temples. Another intersection flew by and he pulled into the right lane, slowing as the first turn came up.

‘She’s going to be fine,’ he thought unconvincingly. ‘Please God, not her,’ he prayed quietly.

He finished the turn and sped up again. His heart felt like it would leap right out of his chest and land on the dashboard.

“What do you think happened?” the voice asked. “We didn’t really stay long enough for that cop to tell us what happened.”

‘Honestly, I don’t want to think about it,’ Mike thought. All the cop had said was that Danni was in an accident, and that they had taken her to the hospital. Mike hadn’t waited for any more information, instead charging back upstairs and grabbing clothes and sneakers before rushing past the cop to his truck.

“I’ll bring everyone else,” Sarah had called.

His phone vibrated in his pocket. He squirmed around and peered down. “Sarah: Be careful, Mike. Drive safe, love you” popped up on the screen. He set it down and let off the gas a little.

“I keep thinking about the way she smiles at us. The way the edges of her mouth curl upwards.”

Mike sighed. ‘Keep it together, man, you’re freaking me out now.’

“Sorry,” the voice said.

‘Just keep it together.’ Mike turned another corner and the hospital appeared, looming in the distance.

He shook his head as he pulled into the parking lot, heading directly for the Emergency Room parking. He pulled in and hopped out, slamming the door and running towards the entrance.

“Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck,” the voice was saying over and over.

He nearly slammed into the automatic doors and squeezed through as they began to open, the next set seeming to open quicker. Rushing up to the desk he stopped and peered down at the girl behind the desk. “Dannica Matthews,” he asked. She was on the phone and typing at a computer, but she shrugged and cocked her head to the security door and pressed a hidden button on the desk.

The door buzzed as Mike headed toward it. Passing through it, he began to look around at his surroundings. There were several rooms, some curtained-off areas, and an area with several tired-looking nurses and one doctor talking quietly. One of the nurses looked up at Mike. “Help you?” she asked.

Mike nodded, heading towards her. Suddenly, an alarm went off and the nurses and doctor leaped into action. “She’s coding!” one of them said. They all ran quickly to one of the rooms.

“What?! FUCK!”

Mike’s heart began pounding, tears filling his eyes as he followed after the various hospital staff. His feet felt like they were encased in cement. He forced himself to push one leg forward, setting his foot down, then forcing the next one forward. He started to get lightheaded, the anguish he’d felt as a kid hearing about his parents’ passing rushing back to him. He saw himself sitting there listening to Sarah explain what had happened, and then in the next instant he saw himself sitting with Beth, Emma, and Sarah, telling them how Danni had died.

“No-no-no-no-no,” the voice droned.

He took another step, disbelief washing over him. He felt like he would fall to the floor, a pile of clothes and anguish. He took another step, then fell to his knees and closed his eyes. “No,” he said.

Tears stung his eyes as he knelt there. He looked down at his hands, both of them in his lap. He turned them over as a tear fell into his palm. “No,” he said out loud. Just then, a sound reached his ears that cut through every other noise in the hospital.


A wave of confusion swept over him as he thought, ‘I know that voice.’

He stood and turned quickly, tears blurring his vision as he wiped them away. A curtain was pulled tight across one area, but there was a small gap that he could see through. Laying back on a bed, with a bandage on one pretty cheek, was Danni. She had a pink cast on one leg and appeared bursa eskort to be very much alive.


Mike’s knees went weak again as he tried to move forward. He fell to the floor and covered his face with his hands. “Oh God!” he cried, a smile finding its way to his face. Regaining his strength, he stood and pulled the curtain aside.

“Tell me you’re okay!” he said.

Tears in her eyes, she held out one arm, the other clutching her ribs protectively. “I’m okay,” she said, her voice cracking.

Mike rushed forward and opened his arms wide, gently wrapping her in a hug. Her arm clutched him tight. “I love you so much,” she whispered.

Mike fought to hold his voice steady. “I love you too,” he said. He pulled away and looked down at the pink cast on her leg.

She smiled weakly at him. “It’s broken, but it’s not too serious. They set it before you got here.”

He winced at the word broken.

“Does this mean we can’t fuck her?”


“Text Sarah and tell her I’m okay. My phone is still with my car,” Danni said.

Mike nodded, pulling out his phone. “She’s OK! Broken leg, a few cuts, don’t rush,” he sent.

“Thank God!” came the expected reply.

Popping it back into his pocket, he looked back up at her and stared, unable to pull himself away.

“We were so worried about you,” he said.

She smiled. “I know you were. I’m sorry.”

He moved over to a chair in the room and pulled it close to the bed. “What happened?”

Danni’s face fell and she lowered her head. “It—” she began, but stopped. She took a deep breath then and looked back up at him. “It was him.”

Mike’s face went cold, his fists clenching into iron balls.

“I was heading to Megan’s and had stopped to get gas. When I pulled back onto the highway, I noticed someone following me. He pulled around to my side and I could just feel him looking at me. I turned and that’s when I saw him. I saw the hate in his eyes and his red hair. It was him. That’s when he slammed into my car.

“It’s kind of fuzzy after that. I remember a police officer and the ambulance ride. The next clear memory I have is sitting here in the room while a few nurses worked on me. They took me for some X-rays and some scans. I have no internal bleeding, I know that much. They gave me this bandage and were checking my leg. I heard someone yell something about someone coding, and my nurse ran out. That’s when I heard you.”

Mike nodded. “I’m going to take care of this little problem,” he said.

Danni shook her head. “Just let the police handle it, Mike.” He’d stood by then and peered out of the curtain.

He sighed, running a hand through his hair. “I just don’t get it.”

Danni didn’t answer. She was looking down, still holding the bandage to her face. “What?” she asked quietly.

“I just don’t understand why he hates us so much.”

“He’s just an evil prick.” She grimaced in pain then, groaning under her breath.

Mike turned. “What can I get you?” he asked, coming forward quickly.

“I’m okay, just… in pain.”

“Did they give you anything yet?”

She nodded her head. “It’s made it bearable,” she said, indicating her leg.

As if on cue, the curtain pulled aside and a young Hispanic nurse came in. “Hello,” she said. “I’m Esmerelda,” she said smiling at Mike. “I’m guessing you’re family?”

Mike nodded.

“I’m just gonna finish up that bandage and then we’ll get her stitched up so y’all can get out of here.”

“I’m okay if you need to go help with whatever that was,” Danni said, laying back against the bed.

Esmerelda smiled and moved a cart forward, pulling some tape from it. “They’ve got all the help they need right now, sweetie. I’ll get someone in here to stitch this cut up.” The young nurse was cleaning the cut on her cheek, Mike watching intently. He felt a surge of pain well up inside of him when he realized that she’d have a scar there now. Her pretty face forever changed now, because of one asshole. His anger surged again, but he pushed it back down. It would do no good to anyone to blow his top here.

Mike turned as he heard the security door open again and a familiar voice echo through the hall.

“I’ll ask a nurse,” Emma said.

He pulled the curtain aside and peered out. “She’s in here,” he said.

Emma, Sarah, and Beth hurried forward and peered in. Sarah began to cry, tears of joy as she saw her little sister. Smiles were abound, however, and Mike stepped out for a second while his other three sisters each gave Danni a hug and began to worry over her.

“I knew she’d be okay, bro,” the voice said.

‘Yeah right,’ he thought.

Turning, he reentered the small room. Esmerelda stood to leave, saying she was going to see if there was someone available to stitch up the cut on her cheek. She smiled and disappeared.

Mike moved around his sisters and sat next to Danni. They were asking her the same questions Mike had. What happened? Do you bursa merkez escort need anything?

Danni answered as best as she could, leaving out the part about who it was that had done this. Thirty minutes passed while she answered her sisters’ questions.

“Who hit you? Are they okay?” Beth prodded finally.

Danni got quiet then and sighed, looking at Mike.

He nodded.

After a long silence he lifted his head and looked at his sisters. “It was Dwayne.”

Beth shook her head, not knowing who he was referring to.

“Red, the guy that shot my truck tires out, that I knocked out at the frat house, that tried to rape Danni, that Emma punched.”

“Fuck,” said the voice, realizing something Mike apparently didn’t.

Sarah turned and looked directly at him. “Mike…”

He turned and looked at her.

“You said you couldn’t remember anything about the past year.”

He felt a wave of heat sear his face and a single thought passed through his mind: ‘Fuck.’

He stood, holding his hands out. “Sarah…” he started.

“Your memory is back?”

“Sarah,” he started again. “Let me explain.”

“Your fucking memory is back?”

Mike fell quiet.

“Please don’t be upset,” Danni whispered. “Mike just wanted some time alone with us—”

“Don’t.” Anger crossed Sarah’s face then and she turned and pointed a finger at Danni. “Don’t you fucking dare.”

Turning, she looked back at her brother, her gaze ice-cold. “How long?”

Mike sighed and shook his head. “Sarah,” he started.

Her face didn’t change a bit. “Answer me, Michael.”

He sighed and lowered his head. A long moment of silence passed. “Just let me explain!”


He was quiet for a few seconds before answering. “Since the night I went out with Emily.”

Anger, mixed with pain, boiled to the surface, showing clearly on Sarah’s face.

Emma and Beth wisely took a step back.

Danni wouldn’t be cowed, however, and tried to stick up for Mike again. “He just…”

Sarah stopped her cold with a glance.

A long, uncomfortable silence followed.

“Do you have any idea how much I’ve been worried about you? Do you know how inconsiderate and mean keeping something like this from me is? How fucking dare you!”

A tear rolled down her cheek.

Mike’s heart sank.

“Sarah, please!”

He turned to look at Danni for support, again.

Sarah moved forwards in one swift motion, bringing her hand up quickly and harshly connecting with Mike’s cheek.

A loud smack filled the room, Mike’s head slinging to one side and his vision blurring for a few seconds before clearing. His cheek stung like it was on fire.

Sarah turned, then, and flung the curtain open, pushing past her two stunned sisters.

Mike clutched at his cheek for a minute, then dropped his hand. “I deserved that,” he said.

An awkward silence filled the room again. Mike stood then. “I’m gonna go to the bathroom,” he said, moving to leave the room.

“Ouch, man,” the voice said. “She just slapped the fuck outta you.”

‘Thanks, Captain Obvious,’ Mike thought.

Mike walked down a hallway toward the bathroom. ‘I really don’t need this right now,’ he thought. He pissed, zipped himself up and moved to wash his hands. He turned and looked at this cheek in the mirror, wincing as he saw the redness. And there it was, plain to see, right there on his face: a white outline in the shape of a hand.

He turned and exited, slowly finding his way to the waiting room. Sarah was standing near the entrance, talking to a police officer. Mike hurried over and caught the tail end of what the cop was saying.

“…but he died at the scene.”

Mike came up to stand beside his sister, who ignored him.

“What happened?” Mike asked.

Sarah didn’t turn to face him, but did answer. “Dwayne’s dead,” she said coldly. “This is my… brother,” she said to the policeman.

The cop nodded. “From what we can tell, the deceased was trying to ram your sister off the road. She slammed on the brakes at just the right time and he flew into the railing, hard enough that he bounced over it and hit the road below. He died on impact.”

Mike was stunned. He didn’t know what to feel.

“How’s your sister?” the policeman asked.

“She’s doing okay, all things considered. She’s got a broken leg and a cut on her face,” Sarah said. “Were you the first one on the scene?”

The officer nodded.

“Thank you,” Mike said, reaching out to shake his hand.

The officer nodded. “Just doing my job, sir.” The policeman turned then and left, leaving Mike standing in awkward silence with his still-furious sister.

“Dude, don’t move, don’t even breathe. Maybe she’ll forget you’re here.”

“Sarah…” Mike said.

She ignored him, instead heading towards a seat to wait.

Nothing was going to work. Mike tried to talk to her, to get her to look at him. Finally he stood and bursa ucuz escort headed back inside to see Danni. Beth and Emma were exiting the room then and headed towards him.

“They’re working on her face now, so they want us to wait outside. They’ll let us know when they’re done,” Emma said.

“How’s Sarah?” Beth said.

“Pissed,” Mike replied.

Both of them looked at him sympathetically. “She’s probably just as mad at us,” Beth said naively.

Emma shook her head. “She doesn’t realize that we knew too, I’ll bet.”

Mike sighed, heading toward the exit doors again.

He held the doors open for his sisters and followed them to where Sarah was sitting. They sat quietly for awhile. Eventually Emma convinced Sarah to head home, knowing Mike would stay. The nurse eventually came and let Mike back in the room.

“The doctor should release her in a little while,” Esmerelda said.

Beth had a different bandage on her cheek this time. They must have finished stitching her face. She smiled as he came in. He looked down and admired her pink cast.

“So pink, huh?” he said.

She smirked. “They just gave it to me, I didn’t choose it.”

“Likely story,” he said. He peered down at it. “Can I be the first to sign it?”

She giggled softly. “As long as you don’t write anything dirty.”

Mike shook his head. “I’ll think of something clever, like a warning sign that says ‘Woman Driver’ or something.” He flashed her a cheesy grin.

She rolled her eyes and smiled. She scooted back on her bed to lay down. “So how’s our sister?”

“Pissed off and ignoring me.”

“Mike, I’m sure she’s way more pissed at me than she is at you. We’re supposed to be on the same team, I was supposed to tell her when you got your memory back.”

Mike shook his head. “I doubt it.”

“I had to lie to her as well, to keep our secret.” Danni said.

“My secret,” he corrected.

“If we were both lying about it, it was our secret.”

“What’s your point?” he asked.

“I’m just saying that I had just as much to do with it as you did. I wanted to have you all to myself too. I wouldn’t have told Emma and Beth if I thought I could have convinced you.”

Mike looked at her, surprised.

“Honey,” she said, looking at him. “I might have to share you with my sisters, but that doesn’t mean I like doing it.”

“Well, as mad as she is, I doubt you’ll have to share me with her.”

“Oh please,” Danni said. “She’ll get over it soon enough.”

He sighed. “I promise I’ll fix it.”

Danni shrugged, drawing another surprised look from her brother.

She looked at him in return. He continued to stare. “What?” she finally asked. “It’s not like you were keeping it from her to be mean. She can get over it or not, it’s up to her. I’m not saying what we did is right, but it’s not that big of a deal.”

“It’s definitely not right, but it’s a big deal to her.”

Danni sighed and nodded. “Yeah, I guess.”

Silence filled the small room then as they continued to wait. Twenty minutes later, they were released, Danni sporting a brand new set of crutches. Mike signed and paid what he had to, and helped Danni out to his truck.

“So,” Mike started as he drove home. “Dwayne didn’t survive the wreck. His car bounced over the guardrail and he died on impact when he hit the highway below.”

Danni turned and stared for a few seconds, unable to find the words to speak. “I, uh… wow.” she said finally. She looked a little dumbfounded. A look of unmistakable happiness crossed her face, followed quickly by a sickened look. Mike sighed, realizing what was bothering her.

“Danni, it’s okay to feel relieved. He was an evil fuck. He tried to kill me, Emma and Matt, and he tried to kill you, not to mention what he would have done if I hadn’t gotten to that frat party when I did.”

She nodded. “I know that. I’m glad he’s dead, I just…” she trailed off.

He gave her a sympathetic look. “It doesn’t make you a bad person to be glad that he’s dead. Having that conflict inside you is what makes you a good person.”

She sat in silence the rest of the way home.

Mike pulled in and hopped out as Emma and Beth came out of the house. He helped Danni down and pulled her crutches out of the bed of the truck, handing them to her. He paced her as she slowly made her way around his truck and hobbled up the steps to the house.

As they went inside, Danni headed to the living room to sit down. The puppies came out of Sarah’s room and began playing around at Danni’s feet.

Mike looked around and then up at Emma and Beth. “Where is she?”

“She’s in her room,” Emma replied. “Don’t bother trying to get her to come out. She locked the door.

“Come on,” Beth said, moving to assist Danni. “Let’s get you to bed.”

The three helped Danni inside, and then up the stairs to Mike’s room. She thanked her sisters as they helped her to the bed, and then assured them that she could handle it from there.

Mike headed back downstairs after making sure Danni was okay. He paused at the bottom step and glanced over at Sarah’s door. The light was off.

He sighed. The fridge light seemed blinding as he reached inside for the gallon of milk. He took a swig and put it back.

‘Nothing I can do about it tonight,’ he thought. He headed back upstairs.

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