Bishop's Queen

By: Cristin Harber


Fifteen Years Ago

Some nights were worth remembering, and this was one of them. Laughter flowed in the car as Eloise leaned against the backseat window, unable to keep her Captain Morgan-infused lovey-dovey eyes to herself. “Hey, hot stuff.”

Bishop threw her a sexy smile from the front passenger seat. “What’s up, babe?”

“Hey!” Brie giggled from the driver’s seat. “How do you know she was talking to you? I think I’m the better-looking O’Kane.”

“Shut it.” Bishop play-shoved his hand in his sister’s face as she slowed for a stop sign. “You don’t look better to El.”

Eloise laughed as they turned and accelerated onto a two-lane highway. “He’s got you there.”

“She loves me more,” Brie said. “Besties for life.”

“Or does she?” Bishop gave Eloise a look that made her fly, and that had nothing to do with the Captain.

Brie fake-gagged. “Oh, puke.”

“Hey, hey!” Eloise threw her hands in the air, erupting into a fit of laughter. “Don’t make me fight over you two.”

Brie grabbed her phone, and Eloise’s chimed a minute later.

BRIE: I know who your real favorite is. ;)

Bishop grabbed Brie’s cell, read it, and scoffed. “Yeah, me.”

“Bishop! Don’t read Brie’s phone.” Despite the teasing, everyone knew Eloise belonged on his arm. Brie had nearly orchestrated the whole thing.

“Give me that.” Brie fired off another text.

BRIE: Such a JERK. Run for your life.

ELOISE: He’s in rare form tonight!! <3

“I brought this upon myself.” Brie giggled. “You two…”

“Are you two still texting about me?” Bishop eyeballed his sister and made a play for her cell.

“Touch it and die.” Brie swatted his hand then grabbed her phone. Steering with her knee, keeping an eye on both the road and her brother, she sent another message.

BRIE: Ask hm abt ihih

Eloise made a face. “What? That made no sense. It was all jibber-jabberish.”

Brie laughed. “Hang on—”

Tires screeched. Eloise’s arms and legs flew forward, while her torso stayed pinned to the seat. The seat belt ripped into her neck, and she slammed against the window, thrown back and forth as metal and glass crunched. The car rolled, and she slumped over.

Pain radiated as adrenaline surged, and Eloise couldn’t hold her head upright. The heavy weight lolled back and forth. Her ears rang. Blood seeped in her mouth. Painfully, she blinked until she could see straight, but that did nothing to take away the vibration in her temple.

She brought her fingers to her lips, which were wet, then slid them up her cheeks and into her hair. “Bishop.”

God, what had happened? They’d been in an accident. Shit. How bad were they hurt?

“Brie. El.” Bishop’s voice sounded so far away.

“We’re okay?” She swallowed bloody saliva. “What… are we…” Oh, her head hurt. Eloise unbuckled her seat belt, shaking the glass off of her, trying to see in the shadowed dark.

Oh… no. Brie was partly sprawled across the center console, an arm angled awkwardly overhead and another across her hip. Bishop was perched in the front passenger seat, angled over his sister.

“What’s that noise?” Eloise asked.

“That’s her,” he said. “Find your phone. Call 9-1-1.”

All Eloise could do was stare at Brie. Her friend didn’t scream, but how could she not be in pain? Her wheezing clamor gurgled, but she didn’t cough. It sounded as though she was drowning but without water.

“What’s wrong with her?” Eloise couldn’t look away; she had never seen or heard anything so terrifying. Was this her fault? She had asked Brie to resend the text. Oh, God. No. Did I do this to her?

“Where’s your phone, El? Call 9-1-1!” Bishop sounded frantic.

Eloise reached for the ground, numbly searching for her cell. Everything was strewn. This was bad. “She needs help.”

“No shit, El.”

This was her fault. Bishop knew it too. Eloise still couldn’t find the phone she’d just held in her hand. “I can’t find it—”

“Hey, who’s in there?” someone shouted from outside the shattered windows. “Fuck yeah. Couple people in there, Mary. Call the cops.”

“Bishop.” Eloise grabbed onto Brie’s hand and let the strangers call for help. She didn’t know where her phone was, and she didn’t want to let go of Brie to find it. “What’s happening?”

“Fuck if I know.” He took Brie’s other hand. “Come on, Brie.”