Boy, I waited until the last minute to post this today! Some of you on Facebook and Twitter might remember seeing part of this already, but here’s most of the scene. I’ve been a terrible tease lately with these snippets, so I decided to spoil things a wee bit. Well, then again it’s not spoilery if you believe in happy endings I suppose. Lots more story ahead though so who knows where these crazy cats’ll end up! 😉
I blinked. To hear those words coming from Jeremiah’s lips was more than slightly odd. “Sorry for what exactly?” I asked, not quite sure what to think about his apology.
“For not keeping you safe.”
Eyes closing, I leaned my head back against the seat. “You really don’t get it, do you?”
“Well, what would you have me say then?”
“What would I…” I let out a frustrated groan, crossing my arms. “I’d have you figure that out by yourself.”
“I was almost raped, almost killed! Maybe you know how to deal with those kind of situations, but I don’t. I needed comfort, and I didn’t know if you even…”
The conversation was making me angry, dredging up emotions I hadn’t yet dealt with. Letting out a shaky breath, I stared out the window, the bumps from the cobbled road beneath us rocking me gently.
“But you blame me for what happened.”
I sighed. “No Jeremiah, I don’t blame you.”
“Dammit Jeremiah, I don’t know!” At that moment, I wanted to tear my hair out. “Why are we even talking about this? You made it very clear from the beginning that I was no more than a dirty little secret, making me sign that contract.”
“So you think it is my fault.”
“Oh my God.” I covered my face with one hand. “Why am I even arguing with you?” It was like beating my head against the wall.
“I need to understand,” he persisted. “One day, you say you love me…”
“Which you rejected.”
“Lucy, I went for a drive.”
“You told me no and then you. Walked. Away.”
“I looked everywhere for you,” he exploded, pounding the steering wheel. “Dammit, when I got back to that fucking house and realized you’d been taken, I did everything I could to find you. Being without you, knowing you were somewhere dangerous and there was nothing I could do, hurt. I couldn’t breathe, could barely function, because…” He trailed off, going completely still.
“Because why?” The anger had leached out of me with his rant, like his outburst had been my own catharsis. I didn’t know why I was holding my breath, but I was. “Because you loved me?”
He didn’t answer for a long time, staring straight out the window and gripping the steering wheel tight. Then he peeled his left hand off the wheel and laid it across the dash, palm up, as if asking to hold my hand. “Maybe.”
Emotion welled up in me suddenly, spilling over into anger. “You son of a bitch,” I choked out, hammering my fist into his shoulder once, then again. There was no way for me to express myself in that moment; all I wanted to do was hit him for being such a, a man.
He didn’t move a muscle, letting me vent my frustration and keeping his open hand between us. I hated the implacable calm, the patience with which he sat there; my fantasy in that moment was to beat him into submission, but I sat there, stewing in my own juices. “You think holding hands is going to fix everything?” I muttered, glaring out my window.
“No I don’t. But it’s a start.”