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Shea held up the tire iron, gripping it until she could feel the cold metal grind into the palm of her left hand. “Look, just get the hell outta here,” she pleaded. “I don’t want any trouble.”
The three men she faced were a sad surprise to her vacation. One of them—the largest—grinned and came closer. She backed away, hoping he’d leave her alone.
“Sure’n she doesn’t want any trouble, lads, but she still doesn’t want to hand over her pocketbook, either. Now, to my way of thinkin’, that doesn’t seem like a friendly gesture, does it?” Paddy Flynn remarked.
Shea glared at the brown-haired giant of a man who’d just spoken to his two friends. Of all the places to get robbed. She could have stayed in New York instead of coming all the way to Ireland for that particular experience. Still, her purse contained all her money, her ID and passport. She wasn’t giving it up for anything. If they wanted a fight, she was ready. Though some small voice in the back of her mind advised that getting hurt wasn’t worth it, she hadn’t saved for months to come on this vacation to have it spoiled. The part of her brain housing her considerable temper overruled the more prudent region.
“If you leave now, I won’t go to the police,” she declared and backed against the small car she’d only just rented.
“Now, be reasonable,” Paddy coaxed. “Just give us your pocketbook, and we’ll be on our way. ‘Tis your sad luck you broke down where ya did. You’ll be callin’ no one for help.”
Shea was shaking so hard she was almost paralyzed with fear. Still, she gripped her only weapon with both hands and brandished it higher. One of the two men behind the larger one was suggesting something that caused more concern than the loss of her money.
“Go on, Paddy,” one of the younger men insisted. “Take her damned money and shag the bitch! It ain’t like she’s gonna be here long enough to do nothin’ about it. She’s American from the sound of her.”
Paddy laughed even harder and glanced back over his shoulder at the other men. Then, he fixed his gaze on Shea again. “Now, that would be my brother, Luke. I suggest you give me the pocketbook, lass. Else you’ll have to fight off my little brother, and we’ll still have your cash.”
“If I g-give you the money, you’ll g-go?” Shea shakily asked.
Paddy shrugged. “Oh, I’m not makin’ promises. But the quicker I get Luke outta here, the safer you’ll be.”
The third man finally chimed in. “That’s the truth. Luke has got a taste for takin’ women the hard way. Don’t you, boy’o?”
Shea saw the men’s expressions, and instinct told her they weren’t going to let her just walk out of this situation. She could identify them and even heard them call each other by name. She took the bull by its horns and swung the tire iron. It struck the outstretched hand of the biggest thug.
Paddy howled in pain, withdrawing his broken hand and its dangling fingers.
“Now you’ve done it,” Luke growled out, and proceeded to unzip his pants. “You’ll think this is the longest day of your life by the time I’m done, you stupid bitch!”
Shea’s mouth went dry, but she wasn’t going down without a fight. She was bent on drawing as much blood as she could, deciding there would at least be enough evidence left behind to convict them. It was far, far too late to get back in the car and simply close the doors and lock them. She should have done that when she’d first seen their old truck rumble over the nearest hillside. Instead, she’d fallen for their faked smiles and offers of assistance. For that, all of them were going to have at least a few broken bones before she was done.
“Shaggin’ hell! What the fart does ‘e want?” Paddy exclaimed as he gazed down the road.
“Let’s get outta here, Paddy,” the third man warned. “I don’t want nothin’ to do with ‘im! This is ‘is territory.”
Shea looked in the direction the three brothers did and saw only more trouble. Coming down the road at breakneck speed was a very large man on an incredibly shiny, black motorcycle. God, not another one. The man approaching had long black hair which flowed behind him like a flag on a pirate ship. Even from that distance, she could see he was larger than any of the three robbers, who’d come upon her a good sixty miles away from the nearest town. If this was ‘his territory’, as one of the robbing brothers had put it, she’d just jumped from the flames and straight into hell. She could only stand there silently praying as the huge giant pulled his bike up behind her broken-down rental. The slow, lazy grin he presented made Shea’s heart fall. That was when she believed that all four of them would take turns with her. For that very reason, she wasn’t putting her tire iron down. She simply licked her dry lips and confronted this new, bigger man the way she had the others.
“If you want a piece of me, I swear to God I’ll put this right up beside your head, just like I will with these other sons-of-bitches,” she yelled out.