Sammy took cover behind the piers of the dock.  Frantic, and not thinking clearly, he yelled out to Moira. "Moira! Get back here! You're going to get yourself killed!" He'd be damned if he lost her again.

Moira fell to her knees at Paulie's side.  His body was skewed from rolling down the embankment a few feet.  She leaned in towards his face.

"Paulie? Paulie, you're gonna be alright, okay? You're gonna be just fine...just fine." Her voice was quavering and Paulie could feel her hot, frantic breath against his cheek.  He fluttered open his eyes and looked into hers.

"Ouucch." He groaned.  Moira smiled and let out a sad laugh.

Meanwhile, Moira could see Sammy running past her once there had been some silence from the unknown shooter.  He pulled out his gun as he ran and booted it up over the embankment.  A minute later he skidded down the hill next to Moira and Paulie.

"Did you see him?" Moira asked, wide-eyed.

"No, I couldn't see anyone; there's no one along the beach for miles.  Maybe they ran up to a car and took off." Sammy panted. "Hey, baby bro, how you doin?" Sammy directed his attention to Paulie.

"I've been...better." He croaked out.

"Sammy, we gotta get him to a hospital."  Moira knew she was asking for a lot but she kept her hopes high. "It may be in the shoulder but he's bleeding like crazy."

"Moira..." Sammy was unsure.

"C'mon Sammy! He's your brother!"

"I know, okay! I know!" He was getting flustered now.  He stood up and began to pace.  He knew they ran a huge risk taking Paulie to the hospital but what else could he do?  He wasn't going to lose one of his brothers like this.  And fghting with Moira was the last thing he wanted.  He looked back down at them on the ground; Paulie's eyes were closed while Moira stroked his face in a motherly sort of way. "Alright, let's get him into the car."

Moira sat in the back seat with Paulie's head across her legs.  She made soothing noises while he drifted in and out of conciousness from losing so much blood in just a matter of minutes. 

"Who do you think it was?" Moira asked after minutes of silence.

"I don't know."

"You think Bud was behind it?  Maybe he figured out what's going on with you and Martin?  Maybe he thought Paulie was you.  It was pretty dark out there.  Or maybe he just wants everyone out of the picture now; all of us."

"So Bud's going to kill his entire family?" Sammy was skeptical. "Besides, how would he know we were even down at the beach?"

They were all silent; Paulie, because he was unconcious at the moment.  The other two because they just didn't know;  they had no answers.

"Anyway, I think it will be alright.  Paulie hasn't done anything; he's barely even associated with you or Bud." She was talking about the hospital again.  She was trying to convince herself as well as Sammy.  Sammy kept quiet.

At the hospital, Sammy pulled up to the emergency room entrance.  He swivelled around in his seat to  face Moira.

"I can't go in with you."  He said it sadly, regretfully.

Moira understood. "I know.  We'll be okay.  Paulie will be okay."  She smiled weakly.

Sammy cursed for having to leave Moira's side once again.  He decided that when all this was over, he was never leaving her again.  She leaned forward and kissed him, a deep kiss that would last him for hours.

"Be careful, okay? Please."  She knew he was off to get answers.

"I will.  I'll see you soon."

"Christ, can we s-stop and get me some frigging help?" Paulie was concious and chattering his teeth; shock was setting in.

"Demanding!" Moira teased.  She helped Paulie out of the back seat and held him up as best she could as they limped inside.

Sammy took one more glimpse at the two of them before tearing out of the parking lot.

The End

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