Brian and A.J. just stared at the girl, speechless. Her left eye was black, blue, and purple, and there was a little dribble of blood coming from a cut in the corner of her mouth. There was a bruise on the side of her left cheek, near her ear. Her entire right cheek was one huge, swollen bruise, with a small, raised red circle just beside her nose. There was a cut on the bridge of her nose and a red patch on her forehead, like a large, shallow scrape. Around her neck wa a reddish-blue bruise, a ring about an inch wide.
Kevin slowly lowered the jacket he had put over her to reveal cuts and scratches all over her chest and torso.
"Who could do this?" Brian asked in a shaky voice.
Kevin felt her head for a bump. "She's got a huge bump here, guys. That's probably why she hasn't woken up."
A.J. picked up his cellular phone and hit a few buttons. "Mom? Can you meet us a the house? We found an unconscious girl on the side of the road...yeah, clothes would be a good idea...she's pretty small...I'll explain later. Thanks Mom." Everyone was silent as A.J. pulled back on the road and headed home.
About half an hour later they pulled up to a large gate in the middle of nowhere. Brian opened the glove box and pushed a button towards the back.
The gate slid open and A.J. drove onto a paved driveway surrounded by tall trees.
After several sharp turns, he came around a slight curve and pulled up to a large, two story brick house. The garage door opened automatically and A.J. slowly pulled in. A light came on and the door shut smoothly. As the guys got out of the car, they heard the sound of a car pull up..
"Moms are always so punctual." A.J. said with a smile as he opened the door for Kevin.
Denise McLean came in the front door as the guys were coming in from the garage. She walked towards them rapidly and gasped when she saw the girl's face.
"Now I know why you brought a strange girl home. Has she woken up?" she asked.
Kevin and Brian shook their heads no as A.J. walked towards the back of the house. In the light they could see that her arms and legs were also scratched and covered with dry blood. A.J. came back and handed his mother an instant camera.
"Before you clean her up, take pictures in case she wants to press charges against whoever did this to her."
Denise took the camera and nodded, saying, "That's a good idea. Is the spare bedroom clean?" Denise knew better than to assume anything in the home of five young men.
"No," Brian said, "But Howie just cleaned his room today and changed his sheets and stuff."
"Okay, we'll put her there." Denise said, going up the stairs.