Steph looked up into five scared faces and pushed a strand of long straight brown hair out of her eyes and smiled. The five faces around her relaxed a little bit but still looked tense.
"He'll be fine, honest," Steph said comfortingly.
Steph took a quick look at Julian and sighed inwardly, one broken arm, a cracked rib and a long gash down one side of his face. This time Philip had gone too far! Ok Julian shouldn't have cheeked him but he'd no right to hit him even if he was 13 it still counted as child abuse!
The row in the kitchen was at its peak at this time and Steph thought it had gone on long enough. She decided to knock on the door and tell that to them to shut their mouths up but considering this they shut up long enough to listen it wasn't worth her effort even to try.
So very slowly she reached for her mobile. The others didn't even try to stop her. This had gone on long enough. One week it was Nikki, then the next Dick, then Anne and now Julian. This had to stop.
Just as she tried to punch the numbers in to the phone, the kitchen door opened.
Steph looked up and had the sense to move away quickly as her uncle tried to hit her!
Slowly she looked up again. His fist was swinging her way. Ducking she saw his fist hit the banister and listened to the scream of pain and the splintering of his knuckles. She heard her Aunt screaming at her Uncle to stop, but he was out of control.
Steph ducked again and rolled away from her furious uncle. She heard her cousins screaming and the sound of her Uncle yelling at them.
For a second everything quietened down, but Steph knew her uncle was still mad. She moved over to Julian and whispered to him, "I know this is going to hurt, but you have to move!"
He nodded as she helped him sit up slowly. His face drained of all colour as the pain raced through him.
Steph bit her lip and didn't hear her Aunt shouting to her to duck. The impact sent her sprawling forward into Julian.
Gasping she rolled off of Julian and saw that he was in great pain. She didn't feel any better.
She bit her lip and gently and determinedly pulled Julian in to a sitting position and tried to help him stand. She felt her uncle's fist hit her hard in the back, causing her to buckle and spiral into Julian again.
"Sorry!" She gasped, as a tear escaped from her cousin's eyes.