~Chapter 30: How will I know?
I didn't know how long we stood in silence. Could have been three
minutes, could have been five.
I wasn't going to beg for mercy. What he was doing was completely irrational. My eyes were dry, and my tears dried up against my cheeks as I stared at him.
I already knew he was going to try to beat me.
Of course, pregnant or not, I'd try to fight back. I've been dealing with this shit my whole life and I couldn't fight back then. Now I can, or I can at least try.
I turned my head the other way to see if any cars were
approaching or if any people were approaching. No taxis. No cars.
I turned to look back to Joshua.
He took a few steps towards me and I backed up a bit.
His eyes were about as hateful as Brian's eyes were.
I studied him for a second, wondering how fast he was, and how strong he was. He was in the military. I could see he was very buff beneath the hoody.
Out of nowhere, I broke out into a run.
I didn't know where I was going to go, at the moment, I didn't even care.
I was just hoping someone would see me and maybe help me.
He suddenly grabs harshly onto my hair and I fell back into his
He held me to him and carried me into an alley between two brick buildings. It was dark, and undetected.
He let go of me and pushed towards the dead end.
There was no escaping.
My heart was beating really fast. I could feel it throughout my entire body.
Joshua began to close in on me. I can tell he was growing
I backed into the corner, glaring at him as he came closer and closer to me.
He shakes his head. "It's a shame, Peyton, honestly. You seem like a good girl and you started to date the wrong man."
I shrugged my shoulders in carelessness. "That's my
He nods. "It is." He closed the distance between us, reaching back to yank my hair back hard and I kneed him in his balls.
He snatched his hand from my hair and clutched onto himself grunting in pain.
I pushed pass him, making a run for it, but before I could, I was stopped at the end of the alley by another figure.
He too had on all black, trying to blend into the night with
He was apart of it.
I looked to Joshua who was regaining his posture.
I turned to look back at the stranger. The second I did, he punched me hard in my jaw with angry force.
I yelped as I fell to my back on the ground.
Wincing at the pain, I looked up at my attacker.
"Stop," I hear Joshua say. "She's mine."
My attacker stepped back and I felt my hair being yanked.
I squeezed my eyes shut as I felt his breath at my ear. "I am going to kill you."
I couldn't respond.
My head was growing dizzy.
Joshua slammed my head hard into the ground.
A painful whimper escaped my lips.
He raised my hair and did it again.
My face stung with furious intensity.
A puddle of blood produced onto the concrete from beneath my
face. I could taste the metallic substance of blood in my mouth.
I spit it out as my face stayed on the ground, turned to the
I breathed slowly and measured as the pain kept hitting me constantly.
Over and over, I contemplated telling him that I was
That he was going to kill me and my baby if he continued this. I didn't care, but maybe he would have a singe of remorse.
I didn't think he would have, I can see the heartlessness in his eyes and how they mirrored Brian's so perfectly. It felt like it was happening all over again, but without the rape…hopefully.
I was turned on my back.
I felt my blood covering the side of my face and stared as Joshua as he straddled me.
I stared at his fist as he raised it.
My hands flew up to catch his fist before he could hit me. I
pushed it away and instead, threw my fist, making a connection to
his nose, and then again.
He grabbed my wrists, slamming them onto the concrete, holding me in place. A line of blood trailed from his nose, down to his parted lips. He leaned in close to my face. I turned my head to the side so I wouldn't have to look at him.
Some of his blood dropped onto my cheek.
"He's going to know what it feels like. To have the most important person in his life taken from him."
I struggled from his hold.
"And you're going to know what it's like, to be a fucking vegetable." He growled.
"Hey, hey!" Someone calls, frightening me.
The voice is unfamiliar and accented.
Joshua immediately moves from my body, and he disappears
instantly. I hear his fast steps as he began to run, but he stops
and I hear arguing.
Then I hear the words, "Get help!"
A man ran over to me and dropped to his knees to look at my face. My left eye was closed shut but I could see out of my right eye. Blood seeped into it and I squeezed my eye shut as it burned.
"What is your name?"
The arguing didn't stop. It sounds like I had more than one rescuer.
I felt that point of unconsciousness about to take over but I tried to fight it.
He nods. "My friend is calling the ambulance as we speak. Just
please hang on."
I gasped. My breath was getting shallower and shallower.
I tried to hang on, as long as I could.
I was thankful to hear the loud sirens that normally annoyed me, but now sounded like heaven.
They grew closer and stopped right in front of the alley.
I heard the sounds of doors opening, and people rushing over with something that sounded like a cart.
"Be gentle. She's hurt pretty bad." The man said.
I wanted to thank him, but I could hardly find my voice.
I was being picked up and settled in what felt like a gurney.
I blacked out on the way to the hospital………………
The next time my eyes opened, I was staring at the passing bright lights on the ceiling of the hospital.
"What is your name?" Asked a man who I'm guessing is a nurse. He was staring down at me, looking dead in my eyes. As he ran the gurney down the hall. I looked over to a woman who was running the gurney with him. Then I look back to him.
He looked to the women who nodded and left from the side of the gurney.
Only two people were running my gurney through the halls now.
I was in too much pain to stay awake for too long.
Yet I couldn't fall back into that deep sleep.
I was being wheeled through a door and into a room.
My eyes looked around at all the faces of the people who began to work on me. I wasn't paying attention on what they were doing, just their faces.
They were lucky.
They seemed to have normal lives….just showing up to work and not having to worry about getting killed.
Why did people feel like they needed me for leverage? Why was it always me? Why did I have to play the damsel in distress? Why was it always me that needed to be rescued? Brian, Jamie, and now Joshua. All of them hated me. Hated me because of someone else. Brian hated me because my mom wanted me. Jamie hated me because my father bailed on the business. And Joshua hated me because he wanted Lukas to feel the pain he felt when he lost his sister…forever.
I watched a nurse as she got an IV ready and injected something
into the tube.
Already, I began to feel drowsy.
I felt like everything, the room, the people, were spinning.
I couldn't take it anymore. My eyelids drooped and I fell into sleep.
By the next time I woke up, I felt dizzy. Maybe a little
I turned to my side to see the IV stuck in my arm.
I swallowed hard and sat up in the bed.
I felt uncomfortable and…numb.
I reached up and felt the lines of stitches running down the left
side of my face.
It felt more like a nightmare, than reality. It all happened so fast.
I was grateful that I wasn't killed last night. But this really got to me. Here's another thing to have nightmares about now.
My fingers moved to feel the stitches settled into my face.
They felt weird, prickly beneath my touch.
These weren't battle scars or defense wounds. These were the vicious cuts from my attacker. I should have fought back harder than I did.
I thought I was seconds from death but now I'm here, I'm alive, and I'm sitting up in this bed.
The door swung open and a nurse walked in.
I looked to her.
She looked shocked. "Hi, Peyton, I see you're woke finally."
"How long have I been out?" I asked. My voice didn't sound like me.
"Three days," She answers. "You need some more pain medication?"
I shake my head. "No. I can't feel anything."
"Well, I suggest you drink some water, and eat some food. I can go get that for you. Anything in particular?"
"I'm not hungry."
I nod my head.
She turns and walks out of the room.
I looked to the right of the room, out the window and notice a vase of red roses sitting in front of it.
The vase is familiar. I believe it is the one from Lukas's mansion.
I look away from it, down to the thin sheet laying on my body.
She didn't tell me about my baby.
Then again, some part of me didn't want to know.
I lay back against the bed, staring at the ceiling.
So where was Joshua now? Jail? Still on the loose? Still stalking Lukas? Did he hurt him? Or did Lukas 'get rid' of him? I didn't want to know. I just never wanted to see Joshua ever again.
A few moments later, Justin walked into the room, with a cup of what looks like coffee in his hands. I couldn't decipher his expression exactly but I knew he wasn't happy. His eyes looked tired, and he seemed to be uncomfortable as he stepped into the room. "Peyton…" He sat his coffee down and walked over to me.
I kept my eyes on his as he sat on the bed.
He looked at my face. My face, not my eyes. He was looking at my stitches.
"Peyton," He shook his head.
"What, you're going to blame me?"
He shook his head and met eyes with me for once. "No. I'm blaming Kary. Isn't he the reason this happened? Wasn't it Joshua Lewis who did this to you?"
I nodded. "Yes, but-"
"No. Listen to me. Joshua was blaming Lukas for something that was not his fault."
"So you had to take the fall for it?"
"It's my fault. I'm the one who ran out in the
"Why were you running?"
"Because I told Lukas that I was pregnant and we argued and broke
"Sort of…what does that mean?"
"I told him I needed time to figure out what I was going to do."
Justin's eyebrows furrowed. "Wait…you're planning on going back
"When I decide its time, yes, I am. Why is that a problem?"
"Peyton, Would you look the fuck around?"
I sighed and dropped my head into my hands.
"You're in the fucking hospital because of this asshole. You and
your baby almost died."
I lifted my head up to look at him. "But are we dead? No. And who are you to make the decision of who I can be with? I don't recall you fucking my mother and becoming my father over the past three days."
"Your father doesn't want you to either."
I shook my head. "Well I'm grown, last time I checked and I can decide who I want."
Justin sighed in irritation.
The nurse came back in with a paper cup full of water.
She handed it to me and I thanked her before sipping from the straw.
"If the medication runs out or if you get hungry, just push the
button for the nurse."
I nod my head and then look back to Justin.
When she left, Justin glared at me. The conversation wasn't done and for some reason, he felt it was okay for him to give me a lecture. "He's fucking poison, Peyton. You don't need this shit in your life. You been through enough. By you staying with him, you're just inviting more baggage in. And who knows rather this Josh dude is going to come back and finish the job?"
"I don't know that. I don't even care."
"So you don't care. This asshole is going to continue to wreak hell on your life and you honestly don't give a fuck?"
The door opened again and I met eyes with that shade of green I
know all too well.
He looked disheveled and tired, but kept his eyes on mine.
His eyes then met Justin's, and his dead expression turned to irritation.
"What are you doing here?" Justin asked.
Lukas met my eyes again. "I'm here to see her."
Justin stood up. "She's stressed out, you need to give her some space is what you need to do. And Victor told you he wanted you to stay away from her."
"I know what he said."
"So, you can leave."
"No." I said.
Justin looked to me.
I shook my head. "Me and him need to talk."
Justin glanced at him and then looked back to me. "Peyton, Victor does not want the two of you nowhere near one another. And I agree."
Lukas stepped towards the bed. "Peyton can make her own decisions. She doesn't need anyone controlling her."
Justin looked to Lukas, his face filled with malice. "You are going to end up getting her killed, Kary"
Lukas looked to me, and it seemed that he agreed with Justin. The look in his eyes said so.
Justin looked into my eyes. "And you know this, Peyton. So why are you even trying to pretend that shit can go back to normal after this?"
I stared at Justin, deliberating how true his words are. After a few moments, I said, "Justin, please, give us five minutes."
Justin rolled his eyes and stood to his feet. He looked down at me. "He's going to break your heart. And you're pushing me away, for him. Don't come crying to me when he leaves you, Peyton." With that, he walks out of the room.
I never seen him like that.
He felt like I just betrayed him, and I'll admit, I felt like I did also. All of this shit was falling apart and there may be no turning back afterwards.
Lukas walked to my bed and stared down at me. His eyes were dry and red. "I'm so sorry." He whispered.
"For what?" I asked.
"How I acted when you told me about…the baby…our baby."
"Why are you here? I told you I needed time."
I could see the hurt in his expression. It matched the hurt I felt in my heart. The closer he was to me, the more longing I felt.
"I know. But when I heard what happened to you, I lost control and had to come here anyway, despite your resistance."
"You think this is easy for me? Pushing you away?"
"Then lets figure this out together."
"No. Didn't you see? We claim to each other over and over that we are going to spend the rest of our lives together, yet the second that something comes along to make our commitment a little more permanent, we lash out on one another."
Lukas sticks his hands in his pockets and his eyes went to the floor. The normally, lustful shade of green looked more dead to the world. Dull and Disappointed.
I stare out the window.
We both stay silent for what seems like forever.
When I feel a tear trail down my cheek, I close my eyes. I was sick of crying.
Crying over the baby.
I was so damn sick of it.
"Your dad told me to stay away but…"
I looked to him.
His eyes looked into mine. "I don't think I can do that, honestly."
"You're going to have to. For a little while. Maybe a week or two." A week or two. Almost seemed unbearable. Three fucking days were unbearable. "I mean, until I figure out what I'm going to do. I have to tell my dad and…everything."
A grim expression came over his face.
"He's not going to be happy about it but," I shrugged. "He'll deal." I whispered.
Lukas stared at me, as if waiting for something.
"What?" I asked.
"What would you say if I asked you to marry me right now?"
My look turned into a furious glare. "I'd say go fuck yourself. The only reason you'd ask me that is because of the baby, and because you're scared I'm going to leave you permanently. Don't ever try that shit on me and use it as a weapon. That shit will never work."
Lukas ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. "Then I'm running out of options, Peyton. I don't know where your head is. How will I know you'll want me back when you're done from the break?"
"You'll just know."
"I can't rely on that."
"You're going to have to. I know you're use to being in control
of…everything, but you're not in control of me, or my decisions.
I am. You just have to wait. And if you end up moving on…" I look
away from him. The thought of him falling for another girl was a
knife in my heart, twisting and turning, slicing through veins
I look back to him, a fresh coat of tears covering my eyes. "If you move on…I'd just have to deal with that."
I closed my eyes. "Shut up. Just leave me. Please leave me alone."
Lukas didn't move.
And I didn't want him to.
I heard movement, stepping to me and a gentle pull of my hair as
his lips crushed against mine.
I grabbed his face, desperately as I tasted his tongue.
My tears were falling onto his face.
His pull on my hair became more intense. I could feel his frustration, his anger, his sadness at me pushing him away.
More than anything, this is what I was going to miss. The
closeness of our intimacy and how it made us feel. Like we have
no control, like we gave it up.
Despite wanting him gone, wanting to be alone, I wanted him.
I was so deep in this, I couldn't end it even if I wanted to.
All too soon, he broke the kiss but stayed close enough so our
lips just touched. "Do not make me wait long. Understand?" He
I nodded my head.
He leaned his forehead against mine, his breathing even, slowed,
relaxed while mine was frantic and shaky.
"I love you, Peyton." His voice held so much promise and truth in his words.
"I love you too."
He releases my hair and steps away from me. He gives me one last look before he turns, and walks to the doors. It was the hardest thing in the world to watch him walk away from me. But it was for the best…for now.