Author's Note: Hey guys, just want to let you all know that this story will be ending very soon, perhaps in the next three or four chapters but it won't have an epilogue to it for personal reasons. Anyway, enjoy and thank you all for reading my work. I will always love you all for it. Always.
Chapter 19: Am I strong enough?
Chris had brought out a first aid kit and wrapped my hand up. He did it so gently, and expertly.
I studied every facial feature of his as he worked on my hand.
I was so calm with him right now. I was breathing in and out normally. I felt no anger. Maybe just calm euphoria for doing something I wanted to do for such a long time.
When he was finished. he studied his work. "Ball up your fist." He said.
I was able to ball it up but it hurt a lot.
"It's not broke." He met my eyes.
"It's nothing." He said.
I tried to ball up my fist again but it came with a sharp, ache. I winced, and stopped trying.
"Do you need painkillers?" He asked.
I shook my head. "No. Um…I just…" I looked down to the floor and closed my eyes. How will I be able to express my gratefulness for him not falling for her. I think this was meant to happen. A true test of faith and loyalty.
"You just what?" He picks up my chin to make me look into his eyes.
"Thank you for not…being with her. For pushing her away. Just…thank you."
Chris dropped his hand. He sighed and leaned against his desk, his eyes on mine. "Did you doubt me?"
I shook my head. "Maybe a week ago I would have but not anymore." I whispered.
He tucks my blonde hair behind my ear and smirks at me. "You wanna know something fucked up?" He asked.
I nod my head.
"In that moment, with you so mad at her, and you fighting over me, it made me want to fuck you. Know how sick that is?"
"Because I beat her ass, it made you want to do stuff to me?"
He chuckles and looks down to the carpet.
"Well, no one's stopping you." I said.
Chris blinked back to me and sighed. "That's the one reason why I don't want you here. You are the biggest fucking distraction I know."
"Sorry." I said leaning against the desk.
He stares at me for a long time, his eyes becoming low, seductive. I can feel his breathing slow down. At the same time, mine picks up. I have a strong need for him, right now, right in the middle of his club. For him, he's turned on because I beat the hell out of a girl, for him.
And I'm turned on because he's so turned on about it.
Me and Chris are a weird couple.
Suddenly there was a violent bang against the door and it made me jump in surprise and fear.
What the hell?
Chris looked to the monitor and then went to the door and opened it.
A man, tall with ginger red hair and a beard stepped in, looking panicked. "We got to evacuate."
"What the fuck is going on?" Chris asked.
"Three men dressed in black threw some bottles of liquor stuffed with rags in the place with the rags set on fire. Then they ran off before anyone could get a hold to them."
"We have to go!" I said. The moment I hear the word 'fire', I was in no position to hesitate to evacuate like the redhead said.
"Shit, Vince, take her, get her the fuck outta here." Chris said to him.
Vince came over but I snatched my hand away, my eyes on Chris. "What the fuck do you mean?"
Chris stepped into my face. "You're going to go with him. Do not argue with me. We don't have time for that shit. I'll be right behind you, I fucking promise."
He looked to Vince. "Take her."
Vince didn't hesitate to scoop me up. "No! Put me down!" I screamed.
"Get her out!" Chris raised his voice in a matter I never heard, and it motivated Vince to follow his instructions. Vince me rushed me out the office, all the while I tried to fight for control. I couldn't just leave Chris. But Vince refused to let me go. He was strong, and thickly built. I wasn't able to break lose from his hold.
As Vince carried me, I could hear the flames, feel the heat, and just about smell the smoke.
Then the fight sparked back into my body. I started hitting and squirming out of his hold again, praying that it was enough to get him to release me.
But he continued carrying me down the narrow hallway and through the actual front room where the club was. It was cleared out, but I saw the orange and yellow flames flooding the place.
I shook my head. They're going to spread. They were already blocking the front door. And the next place will be the hall, then his office which wasn't too far away.
"Shit. The back door." He turned and ran back up the narrow hallway.
Oh god, I can't do this. I can't let Vince take me out of here.
"Put me down! I can't leave him in here!" I said, as tears began to fill up my eyes.
"I have to follow his instructions, ma'am." I tried wiggling away from him again but he effortlessly carried me to the back door of the club and out where it was now raining.
He put me down, and the second he did, I tried to go back and open the back door back but it wouldn't open from the outside. "NO!" I screamed, tears now streaming down my cheeks.
I banged on the door, my anger, my frustration exploding to the surface. "CHRIS! PLEASE!" I hollered and shouted his name.
When there was no answer, I turned to face Vince. He looked remorseful. "You piece of shit. You piece of fucking shit!" I ran up to him and pushed him with all my might. He took only a step back. "I'm sorry, I was just following his orders."
"FUCK his orders!" I cried at him.
Vince held his hands up. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
I had to do something. Anything. I can probably get in through the front. It was blocked, but maybe I can find a small opening. I stomped pass Vince but turned as I walked backwards away from the building. "If anything happens to him, I'm going to kill you." I said before turning and making my way to the front of the building.
At the front stood two girls that were obviously dancers, three guys dressed casually, and one security guard.
I ran over to them. "Did Chris come out?" I asked. I was afraid I already knew the answer.
The man shook his head. "But three of our guys went in to look for him. Don't worry."
Don't worry? Don't worry? The fucking place is basically up in flames and he says not to worry.
My fingers dove through my hair. I felt like I was going to lose it.
There was a manic feeling inside of me of wanting to go in regardless of the flames and get Chris and bring him out safely. And then there was this depressing feeling weighing down that I may never see him again.
Life throws so many curveballs and there was no way I would ever be able to dodge them all.
"I have to go in."
"Are you crazy?" One of the girls asked.
I ignored her, but the security guard shook his head. "No. You can't! There's too many flames!"
"I don't care! That's my fucking boyfriend in there!" I reached for the broken glass door, but security guard grabbed my hand and pulled me away. "You cannot go in there." he said grabbing me back from the building.
"Let me in. NOW!" I hollered as loud as I could.
I immediately turned my head.
There he was. He was there in one piece. His white button down was dirty with dust and grime, but he was fine. He was fine.
I pushed the security guard off of me and ran to him at the same time he was walking towards me.
I didn't give a fuck about anything else then. Just him. Only him.
I ran into his arms, at the same time I jumped on him, and it ended up knocking the both of us down, but not in a humorous way. Not a moment later, our lips were locked in a deep intense kiss. I clutched my fingers in his hair, holding it in a tight grip while his fingers held my hair by the roots.
I could hear the sirens in the distance, I could hear the relieved sighs coming from everyone at the front of the club.
But none of that mattered.
I was in too much joy to be embarrassed of whether or not the others were watching us.
I had grabbed hard onto his jacket as the tears continuously came down.
Our tongues tangled, and our bodies crushed together as our hands violently groped and pulled and one another. We were so damn close and it still wasn't enough. There was deep pain, and relief and joy, and desire all in one floating through my body. I grabbed for Chris's hair again as he broke the kiss, but had his forehead against mine, panting hard.
The thought of him actually getting hurt in that club brought forth a desperate need inside me. I should have realized it before, but now it was more clear than ever. I couldn't live without him.
I sniffed. "Don't ever do that to me again."
"I'm sorry," He whispered before he kissed my lips. "I'm here."
Moments later when the fire trucks arrived, I sat on the bench a few yards away from the scene and watched as they worked on the place, putting out the flames. Chris didn't even have the place for a long time, and already it was fucked up. I knew when he told me earlier tonight about the 'Criminal Activity' that there was something that would happen. I had a gut feeling.
I knew that me coming here wouldn't stop it or anything, but if Chris was going to go through it, I wanted to go through it with him.
This was just so random. And according to Vince, it was arson. Who would do this to Chris's club? It wouldn't be Imogene, she just left here crying.
Another name comes to mind that I don't want to think about. No. He wouldn't go this far. Sure he tried to kill Chris with a shard of glass from a liquor bottle but to do this, he wouldn't. Besides, he's being supervised by my mother, Rene and Aunt Evie right now. I doubt he got away to do this.
So who would that leave?
I could see Chris walking over to the bench from far away.
I watched him, relief and euphoria flooded through my body. I never thought…never ever thought that something could happen to separate us or put one of us in danger. Fire. This will be infecting my thoughts for a long time, maybe even forever. Fire would have killed him and separated us. Then where would I be?
Living in a beach house with no one. It would be empty, and so would I.
Chris finally made it to me and he looked down into my eyes.
I looked back up to him and the moment I did, my eyes watered again. I was so afraid. He was perfectly fine, right here, standing in the flesh but I was so scared that I would lose him. Any fight that we ever had before. Those strippers, the whole strip club thing, the thing about my dad, all of it was down the drain now. Every single thing. Those things were the stupidest shit to get into an argument about and they weren't worth it.
I grab both of his hands. "Chris…" I could barely get a word out. It felt like there was an ice pick stuck in my heart. Long, and deep.
Chris got down on his knees in front of me and released one of my hands to wipe my tears away.
They wouldn't stop.
"Shhh. I'm here," He whispered.
I nodded my head, hiccupping as I cried. My throat was dry and sore, and my mascara was burning my eyes. I just wanted to curl up and go to sleep with Chris holding me to him.
"Can we go home to our house?" I whispered.
He nodded. "Yes. I'll get Harry to come pick you up and I'll join you in a moment."
"I know you're scared," He grabbed the back of my head and rested my forehead against his. "I'm so sorry you had to see this."
"Stop it. Stop crying." He whispered as he brushed his lips against mine.
I couldn't. I was just a mess, my face fully coated in tears, and sweat, and I bet I looked really disgusting but I didn't care, and Chris didn't seem to care either.
I was too messed up to stop crying. Things could have been so different. He could have died.
I had to wait twenty minutes before Chris joined me in his limo. My face was mostly dried by then, but my need for him and my fear for losing him didn't change.
The limo began to drive away and Chris had pressed the button to raise the privacy glass up.
I watched him as he sat back, seeming a bit perturbed.
He sighed heavily and closed his eyes.
I just watched him, waiting for him to speak.
He grabbed a glass and poured himself a drink, but he didn't put it up to his lips, he just rested it on his thigh. He looked over to me, not saying anything, just staring at me.
I didn't know what to say. Imogene, then this fire. Was it karma? I don't want to think about it.
"I was scared," Chris said. "I'm not going to lie, I was scared shitless, Summer."
"I was too." I whispered.
"I was afraid that you didn't get out in time, that Vince maybe went the wrong way and it was too late. I didn't know." He finally took a sip and then offered it to me.
I took it and took a long drink before handing it back.
"I was going to kill Vince if he had got out but you didn't."
I chuckle, and it felt wrong to but at the same time, it made the depressing feeling let up a bit.
Chris looked at me like I was insane.
"I told him that if you didn't get out safe, that I'd kill him too." I said.
Chris smirked. "Sad we'd put it all on him."
I nodded and leaned my head back against the window. The atmosphere turned from slightly humorous, back to seriousness.
"Will it be okay?" I asked.
"What, me and you or the club?"
"The club." I already knew we were secure. I had no worries about that.
Chris nodded. "It did damage to the front room. It will take a bit of repairing but it will get fixed."
"You're going to continue with it?" I asked.
"What kind a man would I be if I said no?" He asked.
I didn't want him to. But I knew I couldn't stop him. I just had to let him do this. He invested time and money into it, and all I could do was support it.
We arrived to our beach house and I stare at it in wonder. It was more and more beautiful each time I saw it.
It was a crazy design on the outside, but so complicated and beautiful, surrounded by palm trees, and exotic looking plants. It calmed me down at the moment, and it really did felt like home.
Harry opened the door for me, and for Chris.
He took my hand in his and led us up a set of stairs. The stairs were up high and led to the front door of our home.
When we got there, Chris dug the key from his pocket.
I was surprised he even had the key. We didn't plan to come here until an hour ago, but maybe he just carried it around just in case.
He opened the door and we stepped in.
Like the club, glass was everywhere. I'm beginning to think that Chris has a thing for glass.
The kitchen was all white and had the most gorgeous view of the ocean. I'm going to have to get use to learning how to cook. Margaret has cooked for my family for a good part of my life before mom got all bad with the drugs.
The kitchen and living room weren't separated. They led to one another. We didn't get much furniture for the living room yet. Just a pool table. The carpet was the color of light cream, and it had a white fireplace facing the kitchen.
There was a dining room, a bathroom down here, a room that held a bar, and a room that led out to the patio that wrapped around the entire place.
Chris kept his hand in mine and led us up a staircase that twirled up, and had narrows walls hugging it on either side. And those walls held glass windows that showed the dark sky and the white waves in the sea.
Upstairs, there were five bedrooms including our master bedroom. The other four were already being passed off as guest bedrooms and were already made up and decorated.
Each bedroom had it's own bathroom and it's own way out to the top patio which wrapped around the top of the house.
In our master bedroom was our king size bed with a huge canopy over it with black curtains hanging down from it.
With the rest of the room there was shiny hardwood floors, and windows surrounded the room, covered with black curtains.
There was a walk-in closet, and on another side of the room was a big flat screen and a black couch facing it.
Chris walked to the bed and sat down on it.
I shut our bedroom door and walked over to the bed. I was exhausted and as I looked into Chris's eyes, I can tell he was too.
He looked up at me and his hands glided to my hips. The look in his eyes told me that he was still worried, but they also said that he was glad that I was safe.
The place was silent and I was happy that it was. I needed silence right now.
Chris leaned his head against my stomach.
My fingers drove through his hair, soothing him. I can tell he was still a little freaked out. I'll admit that I still am.
But I just tried to forget about. Dwelling on it too long will just depress me. But I couldn't help but wonder... "Who do you think did it?" I asked.
Chris shrugged his shoulders. "I couldn't tell you."
"Somebody that has a grudge against you?"
That could be anyone. Chris is an asshole to women, and the men that envy his money, his looks. Who would actually have the balls to do it though?
"I don't wanna talk about this anymore." He said.
I honestly didn't want to either.
His phone rung from inside of his pocket and he released me and grabbed it. He checked the caller ID and then handed it to me. "Tara."
I answered it and put it to my ear. "Hello?"
"Hey, I'm at your house."
"At my mother's house you mean?"
"Yeah. Where are you?"
"At my house. Tara, somebody set Chris's club on fire."
"I don't know. The security guard said three men. So I'm guessing somebody with money hired them. I have no fucking clue."
"Okay, I'm very pissed for Chris's club, but Summer, your dad is sitting in front of your house."
My eyes bulged out. "He is?"
"Yes. He's in his car, just sitting here. I'm sitting in my car across the street, and I don't think he can see me."
I closed my eyes. There is no break. Another karma for what I did to Imogene I bet.
"I can't escape this shit, can I?"
Chris looked up at me, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
"I think he's looking for you, or…maybe your mom…or maybe…Liam."
"Get out of there, Tara."
"So just leave him here? I do have a bat in my trunk, you know, just in case."
"Tara, you are pregnant and the last thing you need is to get in any shit with my dad."
The moment I mentioned my dad, that sparked Chris's interest. "Where is he?" He asked.
"My mother's house." I answered.
"Are you sure, Summer?" Tara asked.
"Trust me. I can't let you get into this shit. Okay? Go home, get some rest and I'll...I'll try to deal with it tomorrow."
Tara sighed. "Okay."
"But before you leave, can you see his face clearly?"
After a short pause, she says, "Yeah."
"What's his expression?"
"Um…normal. Maybe… a little frustrated."
I nod. "Okay. Thank you. Go home."
"Okay. I'll come over tomorrow so we can figure this out about Red Hot."
"Thanks, kitty. Goodnight."
"Night." She hangs up and I hang up.
I hand the phone to Chris who takes it and throws it onto the bed. "You dad's at your mother's house?"
I nod my head.
"We should go over there, Summer."
"And deal with the police again? We had enough bullshit for the night, don't you think?"
His hazel eyes looked down to the floor.
I was so irritated. It's like things become good, and then get back bad, and then go from bad, to worst. I can handle Imogene, I can handle Liam's anger, I can handle my mother's drug problem. But I don't think I'm strong enough to fully happen what happened to Chris's club and what may happen afterwards. And I may not be strong enough to handle my father.