~Chapter 21: Grateful
I stumbled out of the restaurant, everything in me panicked, my heart was racing and my whole body was trembling from fear.
I yanked my phone out of my blazer pocket and dialed Lukas’s number. I don’t know why. I just needed to hear his voice.
I put the phone to my ear as I walked along the sidewalk, trying to gather myself.
“Kary.” He answered.
“Lukas,” I say breathlessly.
“He’s here. I just saw Brian.”
There’s a pause. “Go home to your apartment.”
“Lukas, I need you.”
“I’ll be there, love. Go there and wait for me.”
“Okay.” I hung up the phone and rushed to my car in the parking lot. I’ll tell Ian later that I won’t be coming back.
I slammed my car door shut and started it up.
I hurried out of the parking lot and rushed home as fast as I could.
I couldn’t even think straight. I hurried to my apartment and slammed the door shut.
I threw my shoes off and dropped my purse onto the floor. I wiped my eyes as I leaned against the door.
What did she do?
Why did she bring him, knowing what it’d do to me?
I exhaled deeply and slid to the floor.
I squeezed my eyes shut.
All I could see was those murderous brown eyes that will never leave my brain.
The speaker buzzes.
I get up and press the button to let him in and I unlock the door as I wait for him.
A minute later, he comes through the door and slams it shut.
He stares at me. “Where was he?”
“This restaurant called ‘Getty’s Restaurant.” I couldn’t calm down and I still couldn’t breathe.
He pulls his jacket off and drops it to the couch. “Did he touch you?”
I shake my head. “I was leaving before he got to the table.” I whispered.
He studies me. “You don’t want me to leave you, do you?”
I shake my head. I wanted him to do something to Brian but I needed him more right now. I needed him to make me forget everything the only way he knows how.
I could swear he was reading my mind as he walked to me and his lips went to mine.
I was so hyped up, I didn’t care about anything but him at the moment.
Lukas slammed me against the wall as our lips moved in sync. There was vulnerability, desperation, and lust in this kiss. That’s all I felt right now.
Lukas slides his hands beneath my thighs and lifts me up to him, without breaking our kiss. I wrap my arms around his neck, tangling my tongue with his, tasting the sweetness of his breath.
He presses me into the wall, kissing me hungrily, like I was the only thing that mattered.
Lukas moves me from off the wall and carries me to my bedroom.
He lays me on my bed and pulls my skirt up.
I lift my body slightly as he pulls my panties down.
He’s moving fast, non-hesitant in his movement.
He moves over my body, taking himself out.
He takes my mouth before pushing into me. I moan loudly under the kiss and gasp as he fills me.
Lukas grabs my hands and holds them down beside my head. He entwines his fingers through mine and starts to move.
He’s taking me hard, and fast, claiming me as his.
Claiming my body as only his, and taking me higher and higher towards climax.
When I woke up, I was wrapped up in my sheets.
I wiped my eyes and sat up in bed.
The last thing I remember was Lukas and me together. I looked to my side. He wasn’t there.
I went to my drawer and got out a pair of panties, shorts, and a tank top and put them on.
I opened my door and peeked out. “Lukas?” I called.
No one answered.
I walked out to the hallway and walked to the living room. Justin was sitting on the floor organizing what looked like photos on the coffee table while Nirvana played in the background on his iphone.
He looked up when he saw me. “Hey, Kary told me what happened.”
“You seen him leave?”
“Yeah. He looked pissed when he left. I never seen that look on someone’s face before.”
“Well, did he say where he was going?”
“He said he has to go ‘take care’ of something, whatever the hell that means.”
Fuck. I knew he was going to do that. All I can do was wait for him to come back.
Why did I go to sleep? I could have kept him here with me. I think he intended for me to sleep so he could sneak out.
He fucked me so I’d calm down and made me sleep so he could ‘take care’ of something.
“I’m going to leave him a message.” I turn and go back to my room and grab my phone. I dial his number and put the phone to my ear. He didn’t answer, and I didn’t expect him to.
His answering machine came on.
“Lukas, where are you? Whatever’s going on, just be careful, okay? I want you home, safe. And,” My voice cracks. I was scared, I’ll admit. I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know if he’s okay. I swear to god, if I find out that someone hurt him, I’m going to go crazy, and I will kill whoever hurt him. “Come over when you’re done with what you’re doing or just call me. I just need to know that you’re okay, Lukas. And um…I love you.” I took the phone down and ended the message.
I put my phone down and began to pace back and forth in my bedroom.
I just pray that he doesn’t get hurt.
God, I pray that he doesn’t get hurt.
“Peyton?” Justin asks from the other side of my door.
I open it and look to him.
“Want me to make dinner to get your mind off things?”
I nod. “Sure.”
By ‘him’ making dinner, it meant ‘I’ was making dinner. Justin just can’t cook for anything.
So I made chili. It was simple enough.
“What do you think he’s doing?” Justin asked.
I shrug my shoulders. “I don’t know.”
“You think he’s going to do something about Brian?”
I slam my pot spoon down. “I don’t know, Justin. I don’t even want to think about it.”
Me and Justin sat and Justin ate but I could hardly stand to.
“I don’t see why she brought him along. I mean this woman is bananas. What the hell is wrong with her?”
I shrugged my shoulders carelessly.
The woman had the audacity to beg for my forgiveness yet she is still married to that man. “I think there’s something wrong with her.”
Justin scoffs. “Obviously.”
“No, I mean something is really wrong with her. Mentally, the woman is fucking crazy. I don’t think she’s….you know, stable.”
Justin shook his head. “I still can’t get over it. The woman needs to go to the loony bin.”
“She has it in her head that there’s nothing wrong with coming to see me eleven years later. Technically six years later because she claims she was locked up for the first five years because she knew what Brian was doing to me but didn’t do anything about it.”
“That could be a fact, thought.”
“Fact my ass, what about the other six years? This woman ruined my fucking life and what am I supposed to do? Welcome her with open arms just because the bitch spread her legs and conceived me?”
“Calm down. I’m not the one you should be mad at.”
I sigh. It wasn’t fair for me to be taking this out on Justin. “Sorry I kicked you in the balls.”
“It’s cool. I’ve had worst.”
I look to the corner of his forehead. There was a bruise there from when I hit him with the phone.
“I’m a shitty best friend.”
Justin chuckles. “I’m over it, Peyton. Girl, it was three fucking days ago. I‘m still alive and my balls are still in their place.”
I smile and use my spoon to toy with my food.
“The chili is good. You need some cheese and sour cream.”
I furrow my brows. “Justin, every time I make it, you try to get me to try that shit, no. I’m satisfied with my crackers and hot sauce.”
Justin rolls his eyes. “Don’t know what you’re missing.”
I glance at him and then look back to my food as my thoughts wander back to Lukas.
Justin must have noticed because he rubbed my arm. “Peyton, he’s going to be fine. Okay? I don’t know much about the guy but he seems like he can take care of himself. Have faith in him. You love him, don’t you?”
I nod my head.
I look to Justin and nod. “Yes, I love him.”
Justin smiles. “Then trust that he’ll be back for you. Okay?”
He grins. “Anytime.”
I stared at my clock next to my bed reading two A.M. and no call from Lukas.
Not a visit. Nothing.
I have to admit, I’m scared.
I don’t know if he’s alright or anything and my lack of knowledge is killing me.
I grab onto my covers and tighten my fist around them to get out my frustration.
I looked over at my sleeping pills. Sleep is a distraction. But I don’t want to be that deep in sleep.
I just closed my eyes and tried to sleep on my own.
Suddenly, I hear my bedroom door open.
I was half awake.
I know it couldn’t have been Justin because Justin normally announces himself before he comes in and he normally knocks on my door.
The room is completely dark and I hear the shuffling of clothes.
I turn and I see a figure crawling into bed with me.
I exhale in relief and turn my body towards him. “Are you okay?” I asked. I take his face in my hands. I wish I could see him but feeling him was enough for me.
“I’m fine. We should go.”
“Yes. David is downstairs waiting for us.”
“Hold…hold on.” I take my hands from his face and sit up. “You had me worried for hours and now you’re telling me we have to leave?”
“For a weekend, Peyton. I just want to get you away from this shit. Okay?”
I stare at him through the darkness, and I can tell that something bad…very bad happened.
I nod my head. “Okay, but I have to tell Justin….I have to call work.”
“You can do that on the way, but for right now, I need you to pack some clothes.”
I pull the comforter from my body and turn my lamp on.
When I do, I look to Lukas and he has a little blood on his shirt and a little on his face.
I stare at him, speechless, unable to move.
He notices this and he sighs. “I know that this may scare you but I would rather talk about it later.”
I shake my head. “It doesn’t scare me.”
Lukas’s green eyes narrow. “It doesn’t?”
“No. I know what it means.”
He blinks at me.
“You did that….to him….for me.”
Lukas leaned against the canopy of my bed. “I had to, Peyton. What he did to you,” He swallows hard. “no one should ever experience that. No one.”
I ran my fingers through my hair trying to absorb what I know now. “I called you. I left you a message. Did you get it?”
“My phone dropped out of my pocket and I lost it. Why? What did the message say?”
“Just that I wanted you home safe. That’s all.”
“I’m here. I’m here with you. Home is where you are, Peyton…always.” The gaze he held in his eyes showed me that he meant it.
All I could do was nod.
I began to pack my clothes and Justin appears in the hallway.
I look at him as I zip up my suit case.
He yawns. “What’s going on?”
“I’m going to be going away for the weekend.” I said.
His brows furrowed and then he looked to Lukas. “Why?”
“He was in Chicago. If he’s here, I don’t want her here. That’s why.” Lukas said as he grabbed my suit case.
“You’re just going to drop everything and leave?” Justin asked looking to me.
“It’s for a weekend. Okay? I’m going to call you.”
Justin glances at Lukas and then nods. “Um. Okay. What if your dad calls?”
“Tell him the truth. I’ll be back, Justin. Okay?”
He nods and watches as I pull random clothes on.
Lukas leaves out of the apartment with my suit case and I look to Justin.
“Is everything okay?” He asked.
I nodded. “Yes. Everything’s good.”
“What did he do?”
“I saw the blood, Peyton.”
“I know what you saw. Just keep quiet about this. Please.”
Justin looks uneasy.
“Justin, I know its asking too much.”
“I don’t feel right about it, Peyton. I’m glad and hoping that it’s Brian’s blood. But what if someone finds out he did something and Kary goes to prison?”
“We haven’t figured that much out. We’re going to talk about it in the car. I’m going to call you when we get to wherever we’re going. I promise.”
“Be careful, Peyton.”
I nod and kiss Justin’s cheek. “I will.” I pull on my shoes and pull my purse strap over my shoulder and rush out of the door.
I got downstairs and got into the limo.
David shuts the door for me and I exhaled.
I looked to Lukas who looked perfectly calm.
It was Brian he hurt. Of course he was calm. The thing for me was not that he hurt Brian. It was the fact that he did this for me.
Because he cared and wanted to hurt anyone who hurt me whether it was the past or the present. The limo started to move.
Lukas glanced at me.
He was sitting on the other side of the limo, studying me. “I get it if I scare you, Peyton. If what I did, scares you,”
I blinked at him.
“I know that maybe it was odd to you why it was so easy for me to do what I did to him and not care afterwards. But Peyton, you have to understand, when you told me what he did, I knew what I wanted to do to him. What I was going to do to him, just because of all the shit he’s done.” Lukas looks out the window and shakes his head. “From the minute I met you, all I wanted was to protect you,” He looks back to me. “And I’m going to continue to do that until you tell me you don’t want me anymore. What I did, may make you look at me in a whole other way. You may push me away, feel disgusted with me. I don’t know. But if you want me out of your life, let me know now.”
I just stared at him as my vision grew blurry. What could I say?
He wanted to know whether or not I still want him.
“I don’t know what to think of what I learned tonight. I’m numb. I’m fucking relieved, but numb. I’m starting to see that you really give a damn about me, about us. And what you did tonight,” Tears streamed down my cheeks. “No man would do that for just any girl. At all. I don’t know what to…to say.”
Lukas nods and looks to the floor.
I move out of my seat to sit next to him. I sniffle as I stare into his eyes. “Thank you.” I whispered.
He snakes his hand to the back of my head and brings his forehead to lean against mine.
He closes his eyes and I do the same.
Should I be at least a little afraid of what happened? Yes.
Am I? No.
Am I relieved that Lukas is safe and that he took care of the demon that’s been effecting my life, my sleep, my emotions since I was ten? Yes.
I am relieved. But this could be figured out by police, detectives, anybody.
“What if someone finds out?” I whispered.
He sighs. “Don’t worry. I have an aunt who is a detective. She knows. She knows the whole damn story. I trust her and she’s going to make sure things are okay.”
“She’s not mad at what you did?”
“She grew up taking care of me for half of my life, Peyton. With what I had to go through in Manhattan, she knows how I feel about people I care about getting hurt like I was hurt. I couldn’t control my anger and she understands it.”
“I wish she was my aunt.”
He half smiles and breathes out slowly. “I just want us to go away and not worry about anything else in the fucking world for a little while.”
I nod. “Just us.”
Lukas kisses my lips. “Just us.” He whispered.