CHAPTER THIRTY FIVE
Brian tried to kick away desperately but someone was holding his arms back firmly. He struggled in confusion as cruel hands gripped him so tight that he wanted to scream. Then he felt himself being pushed back upwards. There was a cold, steel blade pressed against his throat. From above him, he heard Sammy’s wails of terror. The fear struck Brian as well when he realised who held him. It was Pete.
“Thought you could just leave me to die, eh?” Pete hissed in his ear.
Brian did not dare reply with the pressure of a knife against his throat.
“Let him go!” Sammy cried. He tried to climb back down to the ledge above Brian but Kevin held him back.
“Shut up, you ungrateful little brat! “ Pete yelled. “I’ll get you later!”
“Let him go, Pete!” Another voice said and Brian recognised Harsen. Would Pete do anything in full view of a police officer? Brian would bet every penny on it.
Pete suddenly slashed the knife through Brian’s arm. He screamed as the warm blood flowed into the water and the salt stung the wound.
“Stay out of this or his throat’ll be next!” Pete screamed hatefully. “I want my son and I want you to let us go, otherwise I will kill this one! I will kill him!”
Nick made to clamber down the rocks to him.
“Stay where you are! All of you!” Pete said.
Nick froze. Brian saw his friend’s blue, fear filled eyes dart to Brian and the knife. He saw the agonisingly look upon his face as he meekly returned to the top of the cliff.
Brian felt tears in his eyes. He had been so close to escaping this nightmare but now it looked as if it would never end. He would not get out of this alive. He trembling so much that he was afraid Pete would put the knife through his neck accidentally. He was so icy cold and tired. He could see blood swirling in the water, HIS blood. It made him feel sick. He couldn’t move he was that paralysed with fear.
“No! No! Daddy!” Sammy screamed, trying to wrench himself out of Kevin’s arms.
“That had better have been directed at me!” Pete said and Brian felt the pressure increase as the knife was pushed further against his throat.
Sammy continued to cry.
“There’s no where left to run, Pete,” Harsen said. “Let him go and things will go easier on you in court.”
“I want my boy!”
“He’s not yours anymore!” Harsen said.
Pete growled and then began to drag Brian away from the cliffs. Brian tried to push him away but Pete delivered him a dizzying blow across the head with his fist. Brian gave a slight cry and felt himself go limp in Pete’s iron grasp. He was so tired… so tired…
“I come with you!” Sammy screamed. “ No hurt him!”
‘Don’t let him go, Kev,’ Brian prayed. He himself might not be safe but Pete would never hurt Sammy again now.
“I’ll be back later!” Pete snapped, as he continued to drag the hopeless Brian out to sea. “It’s time I dealt with you,” Pete muttered. “I’ve been looking forward to killing you and I’m going to enjoy it.”
“Daddy! Daddy!” Sammy continued to yell. The tears in his little voice were easy to hear and Brian had to muffle a sob. He would never hold his little boy again.
“Where are you taking me?” he whispered.
Pete did not answer.
Brian wanted to fight Pete and swim back to the cliff but he felt too weak. His head throbbed and he would never swim far with his arm ripped open and exposed to the stinging, salty water. He wanted to go back. He would do anything to get back to Sammy. He needed him still.
“A – are you going t – to kill me?”
“I told ya that already didn’t I?” Pete said. “My son will learn that the only father he has is me.”
“They’ll never let you take him.”
“Shut up! When I’m through with you I’ll go back for him!”
“You’ll never get him! You’ll never be a father to him!”
Pete lashed out at Brian’s face with the knife. Brian instinctively put his arm up and then screamed as the cold blade sliced through his skin a second time.
“Maybe I can’t have Sammy, but there’s no way they’re getting you back in one piece!” Pete advanced upon Brian with the knife.
Brian trembled and Pete laughed at his feebleness. It was becoming harder for Brian to stay afloat. He had lost all of his energy by his swim to the cliff with Sammy. Sammy… he had to get back to him. He couldn’t give up. He wouldn’t let Pete separate them.
Brian felt a small surge of energy at the thought of Sammy. He would get back to him, he promised himself. He suddenly kicked Pete between the legs. The older man howled and Brian wasted no time in knocking the glinting knife from his hands. Then he began to swim back to the others.
“You fucking bastard! I’ll kill you with my bare hands!”
“We’ve got to go after him!” Sammy heard Nick say.
“Find daddy!” Sammy agreed.
“We can’t! If we do, he’s dead for sure! Besides, you’d never catch them up now!” Harsen said.
“But Pete’s going to murder him anyway!” AJ yelled.
Sammy began to wail even more at these words. It couldn’t be true, he couldn’t be about to lose Brian.
“AJ!” Kevin yelled, putting an arm around Sammy.
Sammy tried to pull away but the big, strong man refused to let him go. He didn’t want him. He wanted Brian, his daddy.
“I want daddy!” Sammy continued to cry. Then he stopped as a fit of sneezes caught him unaware.
Howie knelt down beside him with a tissue and began to try and wipe Sammy’s face. “You’re not well are you?” Howie said, gently.
“There’s a helicopter coming in to help. It’ll be here soon. We just have to hope that Brian can hold Pete off until it arrives,” Harsen said.
“You saw what state Brian was in! Do you think he’ll be able to put up a fight against a murderous maniac?” AJ snapped.
‘Let him be okay,’ Sammy prayed.
“I’m going after him,” Kevin said, handing Sammy over to Howie and striding to the cliff top.
“You can’t!” Harsen said. “You know what’s out there as well as I do! You go, you’re as good as committing suicide! Are you relly going to let your family suffer two losses? You know you won’t make it out there in time and Pete would probably come after you when he’s finished with your cousin!”
“Brian’s fighting back!” Nick yelled, pointing out to sea. “Look!”
“Daddy!” Sammy rushed forward and used his hands to wipe away the tears that blurred his vision. Brian was swimming away from Pete. A small fire of hope began to flicker inside of him.
Nick placed his hands on Sammy’s shoulders. “Your daddy’s not through yet, hey?”