Weird, I had almost hoped for this. It makes me strange I guess because it meant two things to me and they were that I hadn’t hurt him too badly and that I hadn’t been a part of him loosing freedom. So yeah, the first emotion I felt was relief which is the opposite to what I should have felt. I wasn’t scared for myself at all because he was my brother after all and what could he do that he hadn’t done already? Kill me was the obvious answer to that question but then, would he? I doubted it because even though he had no qualms causing me pain I thought he would stop before he killed me. I mean, he already had shown that because I survived that initial stabbing after all.
I was scared for Charlotte though because Mark had sunk to a whole new low there. He might kill Charlotte to relieve his guilt or to hurt me. It would hurt me, there was no denying that. I depended on Charlotte in so many ways and if he took away my source of confidence where would I be? Charlotte looked after me, she cared, she listened, and she spoke to me. She shared the blame and made me see that what was happening wasn’t entirely caused by me. Without that? Well, without that Mark would see me crumble and break. If he hurt Charlotte then Mark would see me die.
My blood ran cold at the thought of losing the one thing I needed to survive. I gripped Charlotte tighter against my chest and looked at Agent Lockley. “So... Um... What now?”
“We will keep searching for him and circulate his description. For now though our top priority is you two. Medical examiners are on their way and while you are here you will be safe. I know you say he is bold but I don’t think he is silly enough to walk into the station.” She smiled and tucked some stray blonde hair behind her ear. She came back to the table and sat down. “The question is; what happens after that. Do you have someone to go to?”
“I’d rather not involve more people unless we have to,” Charlotte said quietly, her hand still locked with mine in her lap. I guess she was more scared by this than me I was but then she hadn’t had the time to get used to the brutality. Used to it? Fuck, I really was insane. I shook my head and tried to focus on what Charlotte was saying. “I have a house and I gave the address to Agent Garner here.”
Agent Garner sucked in a breath. “Charlotte, this might be the time you have to involve others. Is there nobody like family you can call?”
“Well, my family is out,” I remarked unhelpfully. They all shot me a look and I bit my lip. “I mean, Mum is out of it on alcohol and has probably not even noticed I have disappeared yet and I haven’t seen Dad in years.” Charlotte’s free hand closed over our linked ones and she smiled reassuringly. “I don’t want to involve others though because it is bad enough Charlotte got involved. Look how great that turned out.”
“Don’t blame yourself for that baby, I involved myself.” I could tell from her tone that she knew I wouldn’t believe her. Well, it was my fault because she had investigated a noise I had made. I stayed silent though and gave her a weak smile. She turned to the Agents. “I have no family round here either and no job anymore. I guess nobody knows I have gone anywhere either.” They looked at her waiting for her to elaborate on the no job anymore statement. “I quit my job astthe packing firm because I was going to become a music teacher. You know, one of those that you call to the house to teach an instrument. I was designing leaflets at the house because Mark had Simon’s art stuff there. That’s why I was there alone when I heard the noise.”
“We can have your place watched round the clock then,” Agent Garner said as a knock at the door heralded the arrival of the medical examiners. “I will go and organise that for you and I will see you both soon.” He left.
Agent Lockley smiled and led us down some corridors until we reached a small white room. “We will take photos as evidence. Simon we won’t use these photos unless you decide to officially report your brother but we will take them just in case, is that OK?” I nodded at her and stepped into the room with Charlotte in my arms. “When you get out ask for me or Garner, see you soon.”
I turned inwardly cringing at the fact that people were going to see the damage that Mark had done. I took a deep breath and turned to the table and set Charlotte down on it. I gave her a reassuring smile as I withdrew my hand from hers and I turned to face the two doctors and several nurses in the room.