“He wants me more than you do,” I tell him. “He loves me. Properly. Not with a pathetic little sausage dick like yours.” I point to the front door. “Now get the fuck out before I call the cops.”
He staggers onto his knees. “You fucking wouldn’t.”
“I fucking would,” I say. “Don’t fucking try me.”
He laughs. “Just as well I already found what I’m looking for. You took your time getting back.”
My heart drops when I see the envelope in his hand. I already know what’s inside there, but I open the kitchen drawer anyway.
“Give that back!” I hiss, but he slips it back into his pocket.
“For my time,” he laughs, but it’s so much more than that.
That envelope is thick with money. Thick with Jack’s money.
“Fuck you, Carrie Wells,” he says. “No wonder Mum and Dad hate you, you’re nothing but a filthy little cunt.”
Tears prick. Stupid fucking tears.
Not just for the hold he keeps over me, but for the money I know he’s going to be walking out of here with unless I want to risk him slamming me down and taking my body along with it.
“I hate you,” I hiss.
“You love me,” he laughs. “I’m your brother. I’ll always be your brother. And I’ll always be your first. Don’t ever forget that!”
I hate that he’s my brother.
I hate that I ever fucking landed in his family.
I hate him even more when he trashes everything he can on his way out. He pulls a knife and slashes at the sofa in the living room, the curtains too. He kicks at the display cabinet and glass showers the floor along with the new piece I’d bought for Jack. He puts his foot through the big TV and laughs when he does it.
And I stand and watch without fight, because for the first time in my life I have something to stay in one piece for, even if they’re going to hate me for what they think I’ve done to their house.
He smashes the mirror in the hallway on his way out. “See you around, slut,” he says and slams the door behind him.
I don’t even know where to begin with cleaning up this mess, so I don’t.
I don’t even know how I can begin to explain what happened here, so I think about leaving before they come back, but I can’t bring myself to do that either.
So I sit.
Sit and wait and think about all the reasons I hate my twisted brother.
I don’t move when a car sounds on the drive a few hours later.
And I don’t move when someone steps inside either.
I’m done.Chapter Twenty-SevenJackMy crazy idea for Mike’s career wouldn’t let go once it started. That’s why I called the bank today and set up an appointment. That’s why I marched in there with a hastily drawn up plan and opened a new account all ready to start.
It’s crazy but perfect. Perfect for both of them.
I can’t fucking wait to fill them in on the news.
I’ve got more money than I’ve ever known what to do with, and more than enough time around work to help with the practicalities of setting up something like this. I make sure I’ve got my folder of ideas on the passenger seat as I buckle up and head for home.
I know I’ll be earlier than Mike, I’ll just have to keep my mouth shut until he gets there.
There’s a crunch of glass under my foot as I step inside. My brow creases as I stare down at it, and it takes me a second to realise it’s the mirror from the wall, smashed to pieces.
What the fuck?
Memories of walking in on Carrie for the very first time come flooding back to me, and I guard myself against any incoming crows. But there are none.
There’s chaos like I’ve never seen it, but no bird in sight.
I stare open-mouthed at the carnage. My TV’s been put through and my sofa’s been slashed to shit. A kitchen knife is sticking out of the cabinet and the frames I replaced just days ago are smashed all over again.
What the holy living fuck?
A stool’s been smashed apart in the kitchen, another has oil and glass all over it. My fruit bowl is in pieces amongst it all.
I don’t want to look inside the dining room but I do it anyway. The display cabinet doesn’t have a single whole piece of glass in it, not in the windows and not inside either.
My breath catches in my throat and stays there at the sight of my new glass sculpture in pieces on the floor.
It takes me a moment to see her, curled into a ball by the back door in her new boots.
“Carrie–” I begin, but she shakes her head.
And I don’t understand it. I really don’t understand it.
“Are you alright?” I ask, racking my brain for an explanation other than the obvious, but fuck knows what that could be.