Leaving the hospital was a difficult process; Sophie had agreed to take me home. I knew my husband, Luke would be at work so I could pack and leave for a hotel or I could stay at Corbin’s’. I had begged the hospital not to tell Luke that I was well enough to leave. I feared him now that I could stand up right; he could do more to me than squeeze my hand.
Now that I was free of the hospital I had to fight mentally with myself not to rush to the police station where Corbin was. Whenever I thought of him there, I was almost crippled with pain and an urgency to relieve him of such a place.
Sophie and I walked up my drive way towards the large house. It was painted a deep red, darker than the color of blood. The door was a large carved white door with a beautifully decorated knocker set into the middle.
Sophie gasped as more and more of the magnificent building came into view.
I unlocked the door and started for the stairs.
“Would you like some tea my darling? You sort out things, I’ll make some ok?” Sophie’s voice called sweetly. I smiled at her, I was so thankful for her. I was thinking of ways to make it up to her as I packed, folding my cashmere jumpers, jeans and socks into a large duffle bag. The last thing I packed was a hair brush.
I dragged the duffle down the stairs after changing my clothes and combing my hair up into a pony tail, even high up my hair swooped below my shoulder blades. Sophie was sitting on a stool next to the kitchen counter, sipping on her tea. A cup steamed opposite her.
“Sophie, thank you so much” I took her hands in mine tightly, smiling at her. Her kind brown eyes looked back at me.
“I didn’t know whether you wanted sugar” she said simply.
“I didn’t just mean the tea” I giggled, sitting next to her. I wanted the tea, but I also wanted to be rid of this house.
There were no photographs in the house, not of Luke and me anyway. It was one thing my mother before she passed had always mentioned.
The kitchen was large and modern, I hardly spent any time in here, and it was very clean. Every appliance gleamed in the dim lights.
Outside the weather was grey, the sky threatened rain. I had changed in dark jeans and a turquoise jacket. I drank my tea quickly then after hugging and saying goodbye to Sophie, I drove to the police station.
The police station was a large newly rebuilt building. The knowledge that Corbin was in there almost threw me from the car. I slammed the door and locked it, then ran up the steps and into the front door. At that moment, a rumble of thunder then the flash of lightening rippled through the windows.
An officer looked up as I walked towards him, scattered before him were many reports and mug shots. I tried to smile; he wore thin brimmed glasses in front of a handsome, young face.
“Hello” I said politely “my name is Nolita…Nolita Brescan” I had decided to divorce Luke early “I’m here to see Corbin Senka. Would that be possible?”
The officer gasped at me, his lips forming a perfect, horrified “o”
“You want – want to see Corbin Senka? But ma’am is he not the man that attacked you?” he glanced down at his files rearranging them until I guess he found Corbin’s.
“He did not attack me!” I exclaimed angrily. “Please can I see him? I will explain everything after” I begged him, looking longingly into his eyes. He seemed convinced.
“Of course, ma’am” he stuttered. He stood up stiffly and allowed me to follow him into the back door, and through several metal armored doors. I had never been into the police station before, it was exactly as I expected, silent apart from the occasional phone call. We started to pass cell after cell. Many fugitives were asleep or staring into space; none of them noticed me. We reached the last Cell separated from the others by two empty cells.
The officer gave me a polite nod. “Give me a bell” he gestured to the button on the wall “when you want to talk…” he glanced into the cell and then left.
“Corbin?” I asked, and lightening illuminated the cell. Corbin was standing in front of the bars, a tormented look on his face. “Corbin!” I gasped in relief. His face knocked the air out of me, I fell to the floor as he came closer taking my hand in his. He knelt on the ground with me.
“Nolita?” he croaked “Nolita, are you alright?” his warm hand cupped my cheek as I sobbed. I wanted to hold him, but the cold thick bars remained between us.
“Corbin…this is just awful, I will get you out I promise you!” I pulled on his hand harder, trying to get myself closer to him.
His dark eyes looked over me evaluating me as healed. His other hand reached back to my hair pulling it forward, he kissed it - cupping his hand.
“What happened?” I asked, sitting on the floor beside him.
“I took you to the hospital, and they must have called your husband because soon after he arrived with the police and I was arrested, I was being charged with attacking you…” he explained, his fingers delicately caressed my cheek.
“Luke will not get away with this…I will get you out” I wiped my tears, and held his hands tightly in mine.
“Nolita, I’m so sorry” he whispered suddenly. I was so confused, I pulled on his arms.
“Hush now, if we blame anyone we blame Luke…he is the one that harmed me, not you”
“Yes but his harm deserves some pre-mediation…that would be my fault-“
“-as much as it is mine!” I interrupted looking at him angrily. “Do you wish you had not? Corbin, I am fine! You are going to be fine! We are going to sort this out” I sounded hysterical but I wanted him to understand.
“Such harm has come to you…that I am sorry for” His voice was tormented he looked me over again. His fingered a newly acquired scar just above my eyebrow.
“Like I said, I am fine” I removed his hand and kissed the palm of it. “I will be back, Corbin, I must go…talk to this officer and get you out of here” I stood up, letting go of his warm hands. Hard rain had begun pelting down on the roof of the police station.
I pushed the red button on the wall and a bell sounded. I looked back at Corbin, his handsome features half hidden by the grey sky and the dim lighting of his bare cell.
I reached my hand through the cold, grey bars taking his hand in mine.
“I love you Corbin” I said for the first time. I kissed his hand, his fingers locked and tightened around mine as he gave me a pained look. I tried to smile then left.
I sat in officer Dent’s office. He had made me a thick looking cup of coffee and was reviewing the file before he began his questioning.
He asked me about Corbin and much too intimate questions about my affair with him, he asked about Luke before the attack and I was very clear about my surprise that he had harmed me – as I had believed it was out of his character. Officer Dent believed me; he recorded and took notes on everything I said. I had been in his office for hours when the question I most wanted answering almost exploded from me.
“Will you let Corbin go? Can he leave with me now?” I asked, trying to hide as much of the dread his answer would be “no”
“I do not see why not” Dent stood up again, and led me from the office. I waited in the room until Corbin was brought out. They took his handcuffs off and gave him a brown paper bag. He signed a piece of paper and turned to look at me.
I stood up from the little leather seat that was next to the exit. Corbin walked over to me and wrapped his arms around my back, hugging me tightly to him. My arms wound around his neck, I didn’t care if he couldn’t breathe for the moment. I was basking in the pure joy it was to finally have him with me. I sighed weakly as his scent, his presence overwhelmed me. I buried my face into his warm neck, almost grasping at his arms to hold me tighter.
I could feel Officer Dent watching, I opened my eyes and tried to pull myself away from Corbin, who took my hand. His eyes did not leave my face as I smiled and thanked Dent with teary eyes.
In the car Corbin and I were mostly silently. I asked how the police treated him in prison and I was thankful that they had treated him with as much respect as can be guessed. We pulled up outside Corbin’s house and we got out quietly. I brought the large heavy duffle round and was absent to everything as I carried it up the stairs towards the bedroom.
His room was dimly lit by the grey afternoon sky. I left the bag on the floor and curled up onto the bed, staring at the ceiling. They would be arresting Luke round about now. I would be called in to stand in court and testify against him, recount to total strangers that I had cheated on my husband and he had attacked me because of it. It did not matter to me now, Corbin was free and I could love him knowing that there were no longer any consequences to that.
Corbin came into the room shortly after this thought had left me. He got onto the bed with me, curling his body around mine, I turned to face him and his breath caressed my face, I could taste him on my tongue. His nose skimmed mine and he closed his eyes as his arms held me tightly to him. I was so happy in that moment my heart was hammering hard in my chest, I still felt very tired. I moved myself closer to Corbin, reminding myself again and again that he was truly there.
“Nolita…” he whispered “I cherish and adore you. I am so glad that you are alright” his dark blue eyes were now open and looking at my face, his handsome features were soft and he gripped the back of my neck so I would face him. I nodded and smiled pressing my lips lightly to his before falling asleep.