Chapter Two: Why Me?

Author's note: I think this will be in Rory's point of view unless otherwise stated. Joey will still be narrating in parts.

"Tell us more about Aurora Quinlan, Joey," The defense attorney ordered.

"There are three thing that made Rory turn out the way she did," Joey began quickly needing no other prompting. "First things first she had her to deal with her fuck of a father. The bastard spent everyday telling her that it was her fault her mother was dead."

"She died giving birth to Aurora correct?" The defense attorney questioned.

"Yes," Joey Ice Cream replied. "There were some complications they couldn't save both of them."

"Oh," The defense attorney muttered.

"The second thing was that despite Nate's best intentions her father did get his hands on her. He abused her: physically, emotionally, and sexually."

"Sexually?" The defense attorney gasped.

"He raped her," Joey Ice Cream whispered. "I'm the only one who knew. The only one she ever told. And to this day it was the one thing I never told anyone, I'm ashamed to be telling you now."

"You're telling me that her brother didn't know?" The defense attorney demanded. "Are you kidding me?"

"Nope," Joey replied seriously. "Think about it. Your older brother's spent his life trying to protect you. Beats himself up over every single cut on your body. How do you think he'd feel if he knew how sick his father really was?"

"Why'd she tell you?" The defense attorney retorted.

"She was drunk," Joey explained. "She was a very bad drunk told people are sorts of things that people had no business knowing about. She wouldn't touch a drop of alcohol if she could help it. Which brings us to the third thing. She came into the neighborhood a scared and abused little eight-year-old girl. But she had a fight in her. Fire in her eyes that could burn you to the quick. She was smart too. Scary smart she constantly got in trouble in school for not being challenged enough, eventually leading to her expulsion. She studied for a week for the GED passed the thing easily. She was accepted full ride to NYU."

"That's impressive," The defense attorney mused. "Coming from a bad neighborhood and getting a full ride to NYU."

"There was a reason why she eventually became Tommy's right hand. Her mind was freaking computer coming up with easy, legal ways to make money, loopholes that not even lawyers could see."

"So, she was the brain?" The defense attorney whispered.

"Oh, no," Joey shook his head. "The boys fought to keep her from getting involved. Lost cause from the very beginning if you ask me. You couldn't hide a thing from that girl."

I was suddenly regretting not going somewhere a lot further away from Hells Kitchen for college. It was way to easily to be tracked down. I was supposed to be in Greek Mythology but then I saw Tommy Donnelly wandering in one of the hallways right by her lecture. My heart jumped into my throat as I watched Tommy pacing back and forth in the small hallway drawing curious looks from fellow classmates.

"Tommy?" I whispered. "What's going on?"

"Did you know that Louie is Sal Minetta's nephew?" Tommy asked after grabbing me by my arm and tugging me away from my class.

"What?" I whispered. "I thought he was just some low level bookie."

"That's the problem," Tommy muttered. "They thought he was just a bookie too. Now it's not only money they're loosing, it's his nephew!"

"Do they know?" I questioned.

"It's only a matter of time," Tommy sighed. "This is going to get bad. It's not like we can give him back."

"Let me think of a few ideas," I asked. "We'll be able to fix this, Tommy."

Tommy nodded his head slightly before kissing my forehead. I hugged him tightly before rushing into my lecture. Luckily I wasn't late. I slipped into the back of the classroom and struggled to come up with an idea to five Louie back without things getting any worse then they actually were.

I couldn't find any way to make things better. We had to give him back but what if he told. And I knew he would. Louie Downtown was a spineless jackass who would screw anyone over to make a buck. How the hell could things get any worse? And then I realized it. Ransom money, Jimmy was pulling this entire stunt for money. I wonder how much they thought Louie was worth now.

The whole thought made me sick to my stomach. If you had asked me what I learned that day. I wouldn't be able to tell you. My mind was wrapping around the worst-case scenarios. But I couldn't let that dominate my thought processes I had a paper due tomorrow that I needed to finish unless I would fail that class. I walked into NYU's library and hooked up my laptop fully intending on finishing my paper.

I could be very single-minded when I wanted to be and I knew that I'd finish that paper. By the time I actually finished it was completely dark. I sighed backing together my stuff before climbing down the subway. Honestly, taking the subway at night wasn't the smartest move but people knew better than to mess with me. I got out on my stop and jogged trying to get to the Firecracker as fast as I could. I didn't like walking home alone at night.

I was almost a block away when I saw a group of people fighting. It took me a second to realize exactly who was in the fight. Shaun Donnelly, Nicky Cattero and Nicky's right hand Vinny. Oh, god. The Italians knew who had stolen the money and they were taking it out on Shauney.

"Shaun!" I shouted running towards the fray. I knew in the back of my mind that Nate would kill me for even stepping towards the fight. But I ran anyway just as the car was pulling away leaving Shaun and a girl I had never seen before on the ground. "Shauney!"

I dropped down on my knees by Shaun's prone body lifting his head into my lap. He was unconscious as the girl began to sob over him.

"Call the fucking hospital!" I screamed at her.

She scrambled away just as I saw Tommy and Kevin running down the underpass straight for us. When they got close enough I stepped away allowing Tommy to take my place.

"Shaun! Shauney!" Tommy cried as Kevin and I stood on either side of him.

"God," I whispered.

When the ambulance came I breathed a sigh of relief as they loaded Shaun into the back of the ambulance. They wouldn't let any of us ride with him, his condition was too bad. I clung to Tommy crying into his chest. How could this happen so quickly? How did they threaten Sal so fast: Why the fuck did the whole world just have to spin on its axis and fuck up everything?

"Come on, we gotta get to the hospital," Tommy grumbled. "Kevin, call Ma and Jimmy!"

We ran to the hospital that was at least ten blocks away. We slid into the ICU just as Mama Donnelly, Nate, and Jimmy came through the elevator doors. I gave Mama Donnelly a hug and then was passed to Nate.

"Let's sit down, Rorz," Nate whispered.

I sat down next to him unable to pull my eyes away from Tommy or even Kevin. I was so angry with Kevin and Jimmy. None of this would've happened if Kevin hadn't gambled and Jimmy hadn't come up with that hair-brained idea. Now their little brother was fighting for his life. In no time at all the entire neighborhood seemed to be in the small waiting area. I hated hospitals with all my being but I knew that I couldn't leave. I wasn't going to leave anyone alone.

Jimmy left a few hours into waiting to get some beer for everyone. The odd thing was he never came back and there was a corner store right there. Huey had came and went offering a pie that Kate had made. He had gone to talk to Tommy and when Tommy came back up he and Kevin left almost immediately. I wasn't stupid I knew what there were going to do, not that I could blame them.

I didn't see Kevin or Tommy for a couple hours. I had fallen asleep when I heard the elevator doors open up again revealing an exhausted looking Tommy and Kevin. Kevin sat down next to his mother. My eyes went to a blood spot on Kevin's sleeve. Mama Donnelly noticed the same instant I do tucking the ruined fabric in his sweater. I watched as Tommy looked at me before walking right past the waiting room. I hopped up rushing after him.

"Hey!" I shouted quietly, "You okay?"

"Yeah," Tommy whispered. "We just went down for coffee."

"Coffee?" I repeated. "For two hours? With your brother just outta surgery?"

"Yeah," Tommy responded.

"Cold sweat," I sighed. "Tommy…"

He looked at me before walking away from the vending machine we were near.

"Tommy!" I pleaded. "Wait! Tell me what happened? Tommy, it's okay. What happened? Tell me?"

I was getting increasingly more nervous as Tommy began to sniffle. Oh, god, what could be worse than all this? I found myself drawing closer and closer to Tommy before my lips gently pressed against his. He seemed surprised for a moment but his hand cupped my cheek before moving to the back of my neck; his fingers tangling in my hair. Tommy rolled us into a small alcove pinning me against the wall.

I shouldn't be enjoying this so much. Not when Shaun was fighting for his life only a few feet away. Not when everything seemed to be going wrong. Not when Jimmy had suddenly vanished. Especially since Tommy Donnelly was supposed to be my best friend, my confidant. This shouldn't be happening; and yet I didn't want it to stop.

"Tommy!" Mama Donnelly called. "Tommy?"

We broke apart slightly out of breath as Tommy came out of the alcove to find out what his mother wanted.

"The doctor would like to see us," Mama Donnelly said.

I stayed pressed against the wall for a few moments to catch my breath by the time I had walked up the doctor was already speaking to everyone.

"We'll repeat the cat scan to see if the edema, the swelling has decreased," The doctor stated. "Remember he is young and healthy and should respond favorably to treatment. We'll monitor him for the next twenty four hours and we'll do additional tests to determine the long term effects of what his injuries will be right now Shaun is stable."

"Thank you," Mama Donnelly replied.

I looked at the hurt in Tommy's eyes as his gaze landed on his youngest brother. I squeezed his shoulder lightly.

"We gotta step out," Tommy whispered to his mother.

"Okay," Mama Donnelly replied.

I watched once again as Tommy and Kevin vanished from sight. Mama Donnelly patted my shoulder as she walked back into the waiting room. I looked through the glass partition watching as Shaun slept fitfully. I rested my forehead on the glass. Even when he was sleeping he looked like he was in pain. Tears clouded my vision but I bit them down. I knew that those who had been directly involved would face retribution, some probably already had.

I shook my head getting the hair out of my eyes as I walked back to the waiting room I sat on the other side of Mama Donnelly with Nate on my other side. The atmosphere in the waiting room was tense but it noticeably increased when that girl from the other night came in with a coffee.

"How's he doing?" She asked Mama Donnelly.

"How do you think he's doing?" She growled not even sparing the girl a glance.

The corners of my mouth turned up in a smirk. Poor girl had no idea what she was getting herself into. Mrs. Donnelly was a hard-as-nails person who wasn't afraid to make her opinions known. She had grown up in Hells Kitchen all her life, the girl she had just ripped apart with only a sentence obviously didn't, not with those designer shoes and bag that would easily cost three months worth of rent.

I couldn't stay in the hospital much longer. Nate had left to go work and I left soon after that. Apparently the girl from the other night couldn't take Mama Donnelly alone because she climbed into the elevator right before it started to close.

"What is her problem?" The girl fumed. "I was just asking if he was all right!"

"You really didn't ask that question," I sighed.

"Yes, I did!" The girl growled. "It's a very good question.

"He is in the ICU how well can he be?" I demanded.

"Great, you're on her side," The girl sighed. "That just figures."

"Listen to me," I hissed. "That woman has been like a mother to be and she could sense sluts from a mile away. Obviously she doesn't like you so you should get out while you still can."

"Did you just threaten me?" The girl asked.

My blue eyes darkened considerably at this girl's attitude. Thankfully for me the elevator doors opened and I walked out without another glance heading towards the firecracker. A sudden loud crash sounded from inside and instead of going inside I hid behind the first door to hear what was going on.

"Wonder why we have to keep buying new stools?" Kevin snapped.

"I should've known Jimmy was too messed up to do anything!" Tommy yelled. "Now we gotta get rid of a body in broad daylight?"

"Okay, so we'll wait until tonight," Kevin replied.

"You're right, Kevin," Tommy hissed. "Because the smell of a rotting body isn't going to attract any attention. Let's wait."

"Again with the sarcasm!" Kevin complained.. "I'm getting sick of it, Tommy!"

"I mean how could he just dump it there!" Tommy screamed. "What the hell was he thinking?"

Come on where would you put it?" Kevin asked.

"Not in the dumpster behind the bar, Kevin," Tommy retorted.

"Okay, so where?" Kevin questioned.

"I don't know," Tommy replied. "How many bodies have you gotten rid of before?"

"Okay, how about the landfill?" Kevin suggested. "We sneak in they bury him for us."

"The landfill out in Staten Island?" Tommy asked.

"Yeah," Kevin said.

"We just take a ferry," Tommy suggested. "Just the three of us?"

"Okay how about we stuff him in a furnace?"

"Our furnace?"

"No, of course not, someone else's."

"You know someone with a furnace big enough to hid a body?" Tommy demanded.

"I'd have to think about it," Kevin sighed. "Okay, how about a tub full of acid?"

"Kevin, stop making suggestions you're really freaking me out," Tommy ordered.

"Yeah, Kevin, I agree with Tommy," I replied.

"How long you been standing there?" Tommy demanded turning around to glare at me,

"Five, ten minutes?" I shrugged. "Long enough, I guess."

"How about we bury him?" Kevin asked.

"You know somewhere in the city we could bury a body?" Tommy retorted.

"In Jersey I know a place," Kevin smirked.

"Great," Tommy smirked.

I was just about to question who the corpse was when the phone began to ring. Tommy snatched up the phone and they became abundantly clear that Jimmy was on the phone. I felt completely out of the loop because it was then I discovered that Jimmy was in the tombs.

"Not gonna do it," Tommy snapped. "You wanna talk to someone talk to Kevin!"

"Why me?" Kevin whined. "Hey, Jimmy."

"We're not gonna do it!" Tommy yelled. "We're not!"

I watched as Tommy disappeared into the back room. I stayed where I was as I watched Kevin move behind the bar. I heard him make another complaint about sarcasm as he rummaged around. He hung up the phone and I noticed he had a black bag lodged in his mouth.

"Kevin, please, don't tell me that's the ransom money," I pleaded.

"How do you know about that?" Kevin snapped.

"I'm not an idiot, Kev, I've known you most of my life," I retorted.

"Where do you think you're going?" Tommy demanded.

"Out," Kevin said snatching his coat and the bag.

Tommy lunged forward snatching the bag out of Kevin's mouth.

"What is this?" Tommy growled. "Is this the ransom money?"

"Give it back, Tommy," Kevin groaned.

"Are you insane?" Tommy said. "We have to give this money back."

"It's not your money," Kevin grumbled. "We can bail Jimmy out with five. It's my cut."

"There are no cuts," Tommy snarled. "We're screwed here. This levels the playing field. We're giving it back."

I had known Tommy since I was eight years old and I had seen him bail his brothers and mine out of trouble almost every second of every day. But there were only a few times where I had seen Tommy this wound up. He was truly frightening when he was this angry. I wasn't going anywhere. I was going to help get them out of this mess.