Rowan woke with a yawn that instantly sent pain shooting through his face. It didn't take long for him to remember what'd happened, although he still had no idea why it had happened. Rowan blinked and looked around through faintly bruised eyes. His vision was still a bit foggy, but it was tolerable.
Rowan sucked in a breath. He sat up just the slightest bit and looked down along his bare torso, his eyes taking in the multiple scars and bruises until they reached the painful wound above his hip. It looked red and angry, and was still oozing a little blood. It also hadn't been stitched like some of the other cuts, but he figured it couldn't be. It was a stab wound, not a slice. Still, why didn't he have gauze on it or something?
Rowan was startled from his thoughts by a quiet, almost concerned voice.
"You fully conscious this time?"
Rowan's gaze travelled to Brett, who was standing in the doorway with his arms crossed lazily over his chest. His eyes narrowed as he watched the boy stand there.
"You're the one who helped me out?" he asked.
"Saved your ass is more like it."
Rowan rested back down, although he kept one eye on Brett, who walked over and sat on the arm of the couch. Rowan said nothing. He swallowed, still tasting blood, and waited for Brett to say or do something.
"Did you know that man who hurt you?"
Rowan shook his head. "Not in the least," he muttered.
"Oh, well, what's your name? I'm Brett..." Brett mumbled awkwardly.
Rowan hesitated. He was tempted to tell this Brett character that it was none of his business, but he figured saying his name couldn't do much more harm than had already been done.
"Rowan," he answered.
For a moment, Brett was silent. He wasn't quite sure what to say, and he hadn't expected such blunt answers. This kid didn't look like the type to sound so grim and blunt. He searched for some topic of conversation in his mind.
"What were you doing in the woods so late...?" Boy, do I sound like the conversational genius of the year.
Rowan gave him a look.
"Walking home," he replied flatly. He didn't want to talk, he just wanted to go home and forget this. He most certainly didn't want someone trying to care about him, either, because he didn't ever care back. Not anymore.
Brett frowned. He wished Rowan would offer more. Or at least lie so that he would have something to go off on. But no, he was left to his own devices. Brett tapped his fingers thoughtfully on the arm of the couch. He blinked at Rowan questioningly.
"You don't talk much, do you?'
"Why? I mean, I just wanna find out what happened. I could give more information to the police. If you want, I could call the hospital."
"No. That doesn't matter. I just wanna go home."
"Oh... well, maybe we should call first. Let your parents know what happened...?"
Rowan took a deep breath. He hadn't meant to react to surprisingly, and he was aware of the curious look Brett was giving him now.
"It's uh... best I not worry, um... them. I just need to go home without them asking any questions. So... please don't call them."
"Relax. It's not as if i have your phone number anyway," Brett said. His head was tilted to the side. Clearly family was a bit of an issue for Rowan. He wondered if it had something to do with abuse. He knew a lot of kids who were abused acted this way. But he didn't dare ask. It was rude, and he didn't know how Rowan would react.
"Okay, look," Brett continued, "I can probably get you home in a few days. You know, when that wound heals a little more. You could make up some lie to tell your parents, if you really want."
"Uh, yeah that'd be great," Rowan mumbled. He looked away now, hoping to put an end to the conversation.
Brett was able to get the message, but he still had questions. Things weren't matching up with this kid, and he was curious by nature. He'd get Rowan to open up somehow.
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