“Let me take you upstairs where you can rest,” Tristan said softly and for a second she was tempted, oh so tempted to take him up on that offer.
“No,” she mumbled, well aware that she was probably pouting and not really giving a damn at the moment.
“Get off yer lazy ass and get the lass an apple pastry!” someone demanded.
“My balls are about to explode, ye insensitive bastard!”
Knowing that it was only a matter of time before she was forced to seek out the comfort of a bathroom, she interrupted the bickering men with the hopes that they could just get on with it. “I’m fine,” she bit out.
“Maybe we should just get this over with,” one of the men said, sounding almost sad.
“Why don’t ye tell it, Liam?”
“He always tells it,” someone grumbled.
“That’s cause he doesn’t get distracted when he tells it!”
“I don’t get distracted, ye bastard!”
“Then what would ye call it?”
“Being f**king thorough!”
“Is that what ye call it?”
“I call it being a f**king-“
“Shut the f**k up,” Tristan snapped and for once Marty was grateful that he’d channeled the ass**le within. She honestly wasn’t sure if she could have handled another minute of bickering.
“Ye didn’t have to be so rude about it,” one of the men grumbled.
“Apparently I did,” Tristan said dryly before adding, “Can we get to the point of your visit without the bitching?”
“I don’t know how Shayne put up with you for all these years,” came the muttered response, which piqued her interest enough for her to open her eyes and chance the world spinning out of control. There was a little dizziness, but nothing like she’d experienced before. A long, loud suffering sigh had Tristan muttering under his breath and her attention shifting to Shayne.
“Some days were harder than others,” Shayne said solemnly.
“He always was a mean little bastard,” the man to Shayne’s left said with a sigh.
“Mmmhmmm, just a right mean bastard,” the man to the right said with a firm nod.
“Enough!” the man sitting in the large overstuffed black leather chair that didn’t go with the rest of the furniture snapped, sounding pissed and reminding her of a certain someone that was glaring at Shayne.
“Let’s get this over with,” the man said quietly, his tone and words instantly replacing the light mood in the room with a sense of foreboding.
Tristan reached down and took one of her hands into his. He gave it a gentle squeeze, letting her know that everything would be okay. She knew that he would never let anything happen to her, but that didn’t stop her from worrying. She didn’t want to lose him. Kick his ass? Absolutely. He had a lot of explaining to do and once he’d properly groveled, she would consider forgiving him for hiding this whole thing from her.
“We should give ye a proper introduction,” the man sitting down in the chair that she’d really like to get rid of, said. “My name is Liam.”
“And ye already know Shayne,” Liam said flatly, gesturing to Shayne who threw her a wink.
Shayne nodded towards the man that was still lying on the floor, whimpering pathetically. “And I believe ye’ve already met Finn,” he said cheerfully.
“And my poor, misunderstood precious balls,” Finn muttered, shooting her a pout that would have made her feel bad if he hadn’t added the over the top lip quiver.
“I’m Quinn,” a warm, deeply masculine voice said, drawing her attention to the back of the couch where the man with the thin scar running halfway over his bottom lip and down to his chin stood, holding a blanket.
“It’s nice to meet you,” she said, feeling herself blush as he shook the blanket open and laid it over her.
“The pleasure’s all mine, lass,” he said with a small, almost sad smile as he stepped away and walked back to the doorway.
“I’m Declean,” a man said, drawing her attention to the far left corner where a handsome man with a roguish smile stood. “And before ye ask, aye, I was always yer favorite.”
“She couldn’t stand ye,” Finn said, getting to his feet before he hobbled over to the wall and leaned back against it, taking great pains to look pathetic and making him appear almost sweet and innocent. Since he’d tried to use an obscene amount of charm on her upstairs to try to persuade her to do what he wanted, she doubted that there was anything innocent about the man.
“She adored me!”
“Uh huh,” the large man in the far right corner said dismissively before he added, “I’m Aidan.”
“And that’s Fergus pouting in the back,” Finn said, gesturing to the man standing near the windows with his arms folded over his chest and what appeared to be a permanent scowl on his face.
“We shouldn’t even be here,” Fergus said evenly.
“And what do ye expect us to do then, Fergus? Are we supposed to sit back on our asses and watch them die?” Quinn demanded, sounding irritated as he glared right back at his brother.
When Fergus’ glare landed on her, she felt a chill spread down her spine and when he answered his brother, she felt like her world was about to crumble down around her.
“Why don’t we cut the shit and get right to the point?” Tristan said, realizing that he’d never regretted anything more in his life than not locking Marty’s ass up and keeping her out of this.
She was frightened, but instead of admitting that, she was doing her best to hide it, determined not to miss a single syllable of this bullshit. She didn’t need to be here. This was his problem and he would take care of it. He knew that she wanted answers and he would give them to her, but he didn’t want to do it like this.
He didn’t know what these men wanted or what they were going to say and he didn’t want one of them scaring her again. She was doing her best to hide it, but he could feel the slight trembling of her arm. The death grip that she had on his leg also clued him into the fact that Marty wasn’t taking this whole thing as calmly as she would like them to believe.
“Why don’t we start from the beginning?” Liam suggested, sounding as though he wasn’t sure that was a good idea.
Tristan looked around the room, his fingers continuing to lightly caress Marty’s arm, and took in the stoic expressions of the other men. When his gaze landed on Shayne, he wasn’t too surprised to find him standing there, trying to hide his worry behind a small forced smile that told him everything that he needed to know.