Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and mature content.
Previously: After having a vision of her Mom's death, she rushes off to the hospital with a worried James and Mrs. Borden behind her. When she gets to the hospital room, her Mom is fine...until a blonde nurse comes to ruin it all. With a new sense of purpose now that her Mom is dead, she searches for this blonde.
I fidgeted in the elevator. It was going so slow! How long did it take to get to the main floor? The metallic doors finally opened wide enough for me to slip through first. I ran to the double doored entrance and burst through them onto the sidewalk beyond. People walked around me and gave me a funny look as I scoured my surroundings for the blonde. Any other day, I would have cared.
I whipped around and tripped on my own feet, causing me to fall flat on my face. I gasped sharply as I got up and looked at the palm of my hand. A piece of broken glass, with its serrated edges was dug deeply into the flesh of my hand. In anger, I ripped it out and ignored the blood that had started to pour out slowly.
When back on my feet I continued my search for the woman. I grunted in frustration, stomping my foot like a child when she didn’t come to sight. I ran around the parking lot for a while, hoping to catch a glimpse of her but to no avail. She was long gone.
“Katie!” I heard James yell from the other side of the parking lot. I watched him as he jogged over to me. Any signs of annoyance he had before was completely gone and was replaced by worried softness to his face. His shoulders were still tight but I passed that off for worry.
He placed his hand on my shoulder and before I knew it, I was sobbing uncontrollably in his shoulder. I was aware of Mrs. Borden watching us but I shut my eyes and let James hold me. He smelled of sweat and salt. The salt, no doubt, came from my eyes gushing themselves out. He held me tight and his lips found my ear where he whispered something. I couldn’t hear him over myself but I guessed they was some reassuring words.
It felt like an eternity before I pulled myself away from his grasp. Reluctantly, mind you. I could have stayed there forever.
He smiled sadly and brushed a strand of loose hair behind my ear. My face felt wet and sticky but that didn’t stop him from wiping the tears away gently with his thumbs. He wrapped an arm around my shoulder and turned, where Mrs. Borden stood silently. She waited until we walked to where she stood before taking my hand gently. They both led me to the car in silence.
I’m sorry for your loss, Katie. It must be hard on you, Zander paused for a long moment, especially at such a time in your life.
Too tired to feel any anger towards him, I simply replied. Thank you, Zander.
I shuddered and wrapped my arms around my knees as I settled into the seat of the car. I didn’t know if I was supposed to stay at the hospital for the doctors to ask me questions but I didn’t argue with Mrs. Borden as she started driving home. Well, her house.
Single tears flowed slowly my cheeks and my eyes began to burn. Where would I go now? It was almost a definite that Gabriel wouldn’t be able to keep me around with his job as a police officer. And if I was being honest with myself, I wouldn’t be able to live under his hand. He was never as bad as Dad but he still had an awful temper that would have me tiptoeing around him, trying not to bring any attention to myself.
But surely he wouldn’t let me go into the system. Would he?
I sniffled and wiped my eyes with the bottom of my shirt. I couldn’t do this now. I couldn’t think about what was to come when I could barely handle what was happening at the present moment.
James relaxed in his seat and glanced over at me. He asked me something, his tone soft and imploring. His blue eyes sunk deep into my own and I was lost for a second in his concern. It wasn’t until he repeated his question that it actually sunk in what he had said.
“Are you okay?” He asked again.
I sucked in a deep breath, hoping it wouldn’t cause my voice to crack, “Yeah, I’ll be alright.”
He grabbed my hand gently and held onto it. The small squeeze he gave it was reassuring and I smiled to myself, thinking about how only a few days ago, if he would have held my hand, I would have swooned. I knew though, that he was only doing all this to be helpful.
I winced as he touched the palm of my hand more sharply.
He basically pounced on it and asked, “What happened? You’re bleeding!”
I looked at my hand and choked out a laugh, “I fell and a piece of glass caught itself in my hand. Not thinking, I ripped it out. Don’t worry, James, it’s better than it looks.”
Despite my reassurance not to worry, he looked at it thoroughly. Every time he touched it, it sent a jolt of stinging pain down to my wrist but I didn’t have the heart to tell him he was making it worse while he was trying to help.
I chuckled, thinking of every movie out there and hoping to lighten the mood I said, “Isn’t this the part where you tear off the bottom of your shirt to wrap my hand up?”
He chuckled and my eyes widened in anticipation at his smirk. I knew that look and that a sarcastic remark was about to follow. He was more like me than I sometimes realized.
“If you wanted me to take off my clothes, you could have just asked.”
I gaped my mouth open in fake scandal before rolling my eyes and slapping his arm playfully, hoping to shrug off the uncomfortable topic. A topic that closed too much in on the truth of my wishes. The truth of my desires.
I sighed a quiet sigh of relief when we pulled up to their house. I practically jumped out of the car but waited for James to get out behind me before walking to the front deck. Mrs. Borden was awfully quiet. She hadn’t said a word during the drive and the look on her face troubled me. The small fact that James had joked about his nudity and she didn’t reprimand him was enough to curdle milk.
What was making her so upset? I didn’t think it had anything to do with Mom; the two hated each other. Maybe it was more about the effect it was having on me. I’m an orphan now, after all.
Once we stepped inside, I couldn’t take her silence anymore, “Mrs. Borden?” She looked my way so I took that as a cue to continue, “You haven’t said a word. May I ask what’s wrong?”
She sighed as she kicked off her sandals. She stayed quiet until she took a seat at the counter, “I’m trying to think of where we’re going to put you.”
Confused, I asked, “What do you mean? Where you’re going to put me?”
If I had ever seen the woman anywhere close to rolling her eyes, it was now, “You’re obviously going to need a place to stay. I have already contacted Gabriel about the situation this morning and he told me that if worse came to worse, he wouldn’t be able to care for you. Therefore, you are going to need a new home and I’ll be damned if I let you go to a foster home.”
I wanted to say something but nothing came out. I just stood there gaping at her.
She smiled kindly and said, “I know. Everything’s hard to take in at the moment. Why don’t you go lay down for a while. Maybe James will keep you company until Jennifer gets back from school.” She gave me a sly wink and I blushed slightly. Perhaps she hadn’t been so oblivious in the car.
The thought passed though because a wave of fatigue hit me like a brick wall and for the first time since it all started, I was out of adrenaline to stay energized with.
“Thank you, Mrs. Borden, for everything. You’ve been an amazing help.” I smiled and James walked with me upstairs to Jen’s room.
James walked behind me as I took the wood steps slowly, taking my time. I couldn’t explain it but I felt like I was hit by a truck and left as roadkill to be hit numerous more times. When I put some thought into it, I couldn’t decide which disastrous event in my life was the truck.
“Hello?” James said in a sing-song voice. It wasn’t until then that I realized I was standing at the top step, not moving as I had stared off into my thoughts.
“Sorry. I just got lost in thought, I guess.” I stuttered in reply as I forced my feet to move. I dragged myself into Jen’s room. I plopped down onto her bed face first with a big phlufff as her endless amount of pillows encased me. I scooted over when I felt a finger poke my ribs and felt oddly content as another phlufff announced James’ arrival into my space.
I caught my breath as his shoulder brushed against my arm. He was laying on his back and the steady rise and fall of his chest moved the blankets around him softly. We didn’t say a thing but rather just lay there in silence. It was perfect.
Within minutes, I found myself drifting off and didn’t fight him as he moved my head onto his shoulder. I subconsciously moved my arm to fall on his abdomen, leaving my hand on his chest. My heartbeat slowed down to the rhythm of his breathing and I fell into a deep sleep, unaware of another’s presence in the room.