It was dark out, and I was walking home from work. I’m ready for bed, especially after that announcement of yet another stressful meeting the next morning. I've been staying after to get all my work done. Thank god I lived alone, or I’d be nagged for coming home so late and waking them from their precious slumber. I wish I was sleeping now too.
I walked past an alley, when a man around 23, clothed in all black, with a scruffy face came up and grabbed me from behind and instantly pulled a knife under my chin. I knew instantly this guy wasn't messing around.
"Hello," he breathed. He smelled of alcohol. "How about you an' me go tuh my apartment up there," he pointed up at the building above me, "An' you an' I can have lots of fun." His breath smelt so bad.
"Get off of me." I breathed. He laughed in my face.
"Oh, no no no. You an' me are gonna have some fun," he grabbed my ass and chuckled. "Oh, you are gonna be A LOT of fun."
"Get off me!" I screamed. I elbowed him in the crotch. He bent over slightly, groaning, but not letting go of me. He stood up to full height again and put more pressure on the knife. Liquid flowed down my neck.
"I like to play games too." He whispered in my ear. More pressure was put on the knife and I bit into my lip, muffling a mix of a scream, a whimper, and a sob. I was going to die.
Suddenly, all the pressure on my neck was gone. The guy wasn't holding me anymore and I fell to the ground, sobbing uncontrollably. I heard noises in the background, but I couldn't comprehend them. Someone came up to me and picked me up. I shied away, thinking it was the drunk guy.
"Hey, hey, hey. I won't hurt you." The voice said. I opened my eyes. I looked up and saw Jared, giving me a fierce look. Jared is a coworker of mine, and a good friend to count on in the office when I needed help.
"Where am I?" I whisper. I motion that I wanted down out of his arms but he wouldn't let me. I felt so dizzy.
"What happened? Where were you here so late?" He asked, his jaw clenched.
"I walk this way every night after work, besides you’re here right now." I said simply, guessing that he already knew what had happened.
"I was in a car, you were walking outside. It's different." I stayed silent.
"Can you please put me down?"
Jared set me down, holding onto my shoulders to make sure I didn't fall. I stumbled a little, but Jared held me up until I could stand up straight, then helped me sit down on the concrete sidewalk.
"Okay, you are coming with me." He grabbed my arm lightly and took me to the passenger seat. He got in, started the car, and began to drive. I noticed red splotches all over his shirt and remembered that my throat was cut with that knife.
“Sorry about your shirt." I whispered, loud enough for him to hear.
"It's fine." He said without taking his eyes off the road. He was so tense.
I looked out the window and noticed that I didn't recognize this part of town. "Where are we going?" I asked.
"To the hospital. You might have a concussion and you need to see someone, at least to make sure you are okay." He clutched the steering wheel tighter.
I sat patiently in the waiting room, since I wasn’t allowed in the emergency room with Gi.
Why the hell was she even down that road in the first place? Why was she walking home alone, why not ask for a ride. I would have gladly obliged. I sigh. She really doesn't know. I haven't been dropping hints, but I thought girls had that sense.
The doctor came out with Gi behind, a bandage on her neck and her left hand wrapped up tightly.
“Nothing serious. Just a few bruises here and there, sprained hand and the cut on her neck, though it’s barely deep enough to be considered a cut,” The doctor rattled off, looking up from a chart to make sure I was following. I nodded for him to continue, “I gave her pain meds for the night, but she won’t need anything tomorrow. Right now, I recommend you get your wife home to rest after signing the release papers.” He concluded, walking back into the room without another word.
My stomach dropped at the word ‘wife’. Wife? I said nothing about Gi being my wife! Gi must’ve noticed, because her words flooded out of her mouth.
“I told him you were my husband so he’d let me go with you and not get suspicious! I meant nothing by it, and I apologize if it bothered you.” She looked up at me, her eyes settling on mine, her gaze sincere.
“Oh, um… No, it just took me off guard.” I said nervously before going to the desk and signing her out and leading her to the car, helping her in. I got in and started the engine, turning to her. “Where to?”
Gi shifted uncomfortably in her set as her eyes meet mine. “Well, I kind of said that to the doctor because I didn’t want to go home. That man was a little too close to my apartment and I don’t feel comfortable going back there…”
“And my apartment is safer than yours?” I raise an eyebrow at her.
“Well, no. I just thought since you stopped the guy, and you work with me. I’m sorry if it bothers you, but I just don’t want to go back there.” A shiver goes up her spine and she gives me a pleading look, something I had to give into.
“Sure,” I huff out, preparing for a very hard night as I put the car in gear and start driving in that direction.
She carefully leans over, planting a kiss on my cheek, and then leaning back in her seat. “Thank you.”
This is going to be a really long night.
Once at his house, Jared instantly set up the couch for himself and gave me his bedroom.
"You don't have to do this; I can sleep on the couch." I said, feeling really guilty for talking him into letting me stay here, now he’s giving up his bed? I pleaded with him or a while, but he denied all of my requests and went out onto the couch.
After about an hour of tossing and turning in his bed, I went out into his living room and sat in front of the couch, watching the fire burn in the fireplace. I sat there for I don't know for how long just staring at the fire, then he turned and sat up, rubbing his eyes.
What are you doing out here?" He asked groggily.
"It's not fair for you to be out here, while I sit in a warm bed." I said, still staring at the fireplace.
“It's 2 in the morning and you're bringing this up? Go back to the bedroom." He said, turning to go back to bed. I stared at the fireplace unwaveringly.
“Excuse me?" He said. His voice was on edge.
"You heard me." I said, still staring at the fireplace. There was silence.
"Go back in the bedroom." He demanded wearily. He actually thought that I would listen to him like that!
"No." I repeated.
He growled. I turned to look at him, seeing the furious look on his face. "I want you safe, so stay in the bedroom." His beautiful green eyes flared with fire. He truly was fighting with his anger, most from me waking him up in the middle of the night.
"What's the big deal? Why can't I stay out here?” I asked incredulously.
He sighs, and then wiped his face. "You know what, just do what want." He waved his hand at me, then turned around and drifted off back to sleep.
I watched him for a while, letting silent tears fall down. I let out a sob, get up, and walk to the bedroom.
Damn. Giana had an effect on me, but I didn't know what. I wanted her near me, but if she was, I couldn't control myself, like saying those things, well that is partially because I’m sleep deprived.
That was the reason I put her in my room, but when she came out and sat right in front of me, it was the hardest thing not to touch her, to hold her. I tried to tell her to go back into the room, but she is so stubborn.
I pretended to sleep, to ignore her. I heard her go back to the room, crying. I tried so hard to not reach up to her and hold her, comfort her. But then, I realized I was the reason she was crying. The thought just killed me.
I walk out to the kitchen, rubbing my eyes, to find breakfast set out strategically onto the bar. Facing the stove, Jared kept cooking, not noticing that I walked in. His back was shirtless and flexed his muscles as he moved. His jeans hanging loosely to his hips and his dark hair was lightly tousled from sleep. He looked sensual and sexy.
No. I'm not thinking this! He doesn't even care about me. He said his feelings last night.
I cleared my throat to get his attention. He whirled around with a spatula in his hand, a smile tugging a smile on his face. "Hey Giana, are you hungry?" He motions to all the food.
I sit at the table. "I prefer Gina or Gi." I look at every dish set down. "Why did you make all this food? Are you feeding the army?" I look up at him.
He chuckled and his hand moved through his hair. "Uh, I didn't know what you liked to eat for breakfast, so I kind of made everything." The thought warmed me. He made all of this, thinking one would be what I eat. I scanned the counters and frowned when I found there is nothing I eat there.
"Well, you're out of luck. It's not up here." He gave me an exasperated sigh and I giggled. He looked at me, amused. He leaned against the counter, watching me curiously. "So, what do you eat for breakfast?" I raised my eyebrows, looking at him dubiously.
"Cereal," The look on his face was priceless. I started laughing hysterically. He came over and grabbed me by my waist and dragged me to the couch, plopped me down, and started tickling me.
"No! No, stop! Stop! That hurts!" I gasped between each breath.
He stopped and lifted my shirt, seeing finger prints going across my stomach. His expression turned to anger.
He soon calmed, his face showing he was calm. He kissed each mark, trailing up. He looked into his eyes and found an endless amount of passion and warmth.
His hands found each side of my head and pressed it to his. Our foreheads touched and we stared into each other’s eyes for the longest time. He smiled and leaned in, grasping my lips with his. Slow, soft, steady, and sensual.
He looked back into my eyes, a smile playing on his lips. "I will never hurt you." Dazed, I didn't realize what he was saying until memories of last night flashed through my mind.
He was there through it all. He did it all for me.