The False PromiseMature

We drove home in silence, but I knew Christian wasn’t okay with what just happened. But this was better than him screaming at me like he had planned to before he realized how he sounded.

“Are we going to talk about this?” I asked, glancing over at him.

He blinked and said, “I think we should. We should have a special first date since you agreed to go out with me.”

“Since you badgered me, you mean? Wait, wait, that’s not what I was talking about. I hate when you do that.”

The smallest of muscle twitches in Christian’s jaw indicated what I knew was coming. I was prepared for the yelling, because he had this stupid short-temper. But what I wasn’t prepared for was him pulling the car over and stopping.

“Do you even want to go out with me?”

I stared at him, my eyes wide. “Why would you ask me that? If I didn’t I’d say so.”

“Then why,” he started, his eyes connecting with mine, “did you say yes now? Why not days ago when you were going through stuff and I kissed you?”

“Why does any of this matter?” I snapped. “I said yes and you’re getting what you wanted. Aren’t you happy?”

“I just want to know―”

“Fine!” I shouted, startling him. “Do you really want to know? I thought if I ignored how I felt about you that it would make things better, but it’s not. Every time you kiss or touch me, I want to cry; because I’m scared of what you’ll think of me when you know the truth.”

All I could hear after the last word left my mouth was his breathing, even and paced, and the sound of my heart pounding in my ears. I closed my eyes and tried to breathe. I didn’t want him to go away. He was my only safe place.

“I told you I was going to help you,” he said softly, gazing at me. He undid his seatbelt and reached for me, crushing my body against his in a brutal hug. “You’re the only good thing I have, Kendall. I’m going to keep you whether you want to be kept or not.”

I closed my eyes as I laid my head against his chest.

The next time my eyes opened, I was screaming. I was screaming and crying into the darkness with no idea of where I was. Staggering up, I stumbled; panic seizing my chest, across what I hoped was a room. I felt out in front of me for a wall.

Somewhere, a door let in footsteps. When it closed, the person drew closer. Hands reached out and pulled me close, holding me so that I stopped trembling. The screams had stopped but I hardly noticed.

“It’s okay,” a voice said. “Come on and sit down. Jesus.”

I could feel my body starting to shut down. I slid away from the shadow and fell onto the floor, trying to calm down.

“Kendall.” The voice was so full of concern, and as he wrapped his hands around me, I knew who he was. “You have to tell me what happened.”

He was so close I could feel him, so I touched where his face was, and drew his lips toward mine. He didn’t resist as I kissed him, my fingers tangling in his dark hair. I heard him sigh contently as he kissed back.

“You’re safe,” Christian whispered against my mouth. “I’m not going to let anything hurt you.”

I wish he knew how false his promise was.

The End

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