An hour later, AJ and Kevin's house was
quiet as Rachel slept peacefully in AJ's room. Kevin and Brian sat
watching TV in the den.
"I'm glad Howie and Nick went home."
Brian said. "Howie was not saying anything right! I was surprised he
didn't get smacked!"
"Yeah." Kevin replied. "I've spent
enough time with Nick in the past year than anyone should humanely be
They laughed, as AJ paced into the
room, and plopped sleepily into a recliner opposite Kevin. He
reclined the chair and closed his eyes.
"So?" Kevin asked.
AJ opened one eye. "What?"
"How's the girl? I mean Rachel?" Brian
asked. He leaned forward and grabbed the remote, which he used to
reduce the volume on the TV.
"She's real messed up." AJ said. "Man,
if I could just get my hands on the freak who, ugh!" He pretended to
pound someone's head in.
"How messed up?" Brian asked, missing
"Well, she has bruises all over her
back and shoulders, and she's lost all trust." AJ said. "It was all I
could do to get her to relax enough to fall asleep. She kept sayin'
'he'll kill me, he'll kill me.' "
"Geez!" Kevin said. "Did she say who
"No, she wouldn't." AJ said. "It's as
if she's protecting him."
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