Chapter Thirty-Eight - Cory
We showered together, taking turns wiping the grime off of each other. The warm water mixed with her scent felt amazing as I scrubbed her soft skin. I kept everything clean though, not wanting to push her into anything right now when we were both so weak. She took the wash cloth from my hand and wiping it crossed my chest. She paused when she saw my cuts from Alexz’ attack. Ever so gently, she cleaned them, pink staining the water that flowed down the drain. She also kissed each one, her lips feeling like butterflies on my skin. Rinsing off, I cradled her in a clean towel and dried her off. She yawned as she pulled on a t-shirt and a clean pair of underwear. I tossed the shirt I had been wearing before back on with a pair of men’s basketball shorts she had.
“I feel so much better.” She said, sitting on the edge of the bed. She brushed out her hair, beads of water running down her skin.
“I know what you mean. I feel like we just washed half of Mexico off in there.” I ran a towel over my head, drying my hair.
“So, when do we go back to the CIA?” she asked. I looked at her confused.
“What do you mean?”
“For my training to become an agent. You said once this was all over, we could start the process of me joining you. I figured we could spend a few days here recuperating and then head back.” Sighing, I sat in the chair across from her.
“Abby, I don’t think it’s a good idea any more. After everything you’ve been through, I think you should focus on figuring yourself out rather than jumping into something like that.”
“What? Why? Do you not want me to be your parent anymore?”
“It’s not that. I just don’t think you should be an agent. You just risked your life trying to stop your father from killing an entire town. You need to take a break.”
“He’s not my father and no I don’t. I’m fine. Really. I just want to start training so I can be your partner.”
“You’re not going. That’s that.” I replied, standing. Walking over to the dresser, I leaned my hand against it with my back to her. I heard her stand, the hair brush crashing to the floor.
“You’re the one who asked me to do this. Damn near begged me to become an agent with you! Said I was a natural at it and that we’d make one hell of a team. Why the sudden change of heart? Is it because I don’t have the crystal anymore? You don’t think I’m good enough with that rock around my neck now!”
“No!” I exclaimed, turning to face her again. “You are more than the crystal. I just don’t want to see you get hurt. I lost my brother doing this line of work and I’ve almost lost you twice. I’m not going to just let you sign up for a suicide mission. Too many people know now that we are an item. You’ll be a target for all of my enemies if you join the agency.” She gaped at me for a second before anger flushed her cheeks.
“I can’t believe you right now. You are giving me the same line of bull shit you gave to Alexz when people found out you two were dating! How naïve do you think I am, Cory? Do you honestly think I would waltz into a situation without making sure I was safe and had you as a backup?”
“Well, you sure as hell did just that when you went hunting for Alexz! You went walking right into the lion’s den without a plan in mind and got yourself capture. There’s going to be a time and a place where I won’t be there to save your ass in time and I will not be responsible for that. I’ve lost way too much in my life to see you go too.”
“It’s not up to you! This is my life and if I want to do this, it’s my decision. I just got rid of one tyrant in my life. I’m not about to let you become another one. Cory, I love you with all of my heart but you don’t need to protect me from everything.”
“Yes. Yes. I do. That’s why I told them to bar you from joining the agency. You’ve been black listed due to your ties with Scorpio and Alexz. They feel like you are too much of a risk to have you be an agent.” I confessed. I knew it was going to piss her off but there was no way I could let her sign up to risk her life every day. This whole mission has taught me how important those I love are to me and there was no chance in Hell I was going to let her.
“That’s not fair!” She yelled. “How could you do that to me?”
“I’m sorry but I had to do it. It’s bad enough that I need to go back in a few days to be assigned my next mission. At least this way I know you will be here, safe from any harm.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me. You stop me from signing up but you are still going to do it? Well, it’s so nice of you. You are no better than Lucas.” Anger swelled in my chest as she spoke. She was comparing me to that asshole who tried to rape her just days ago? Was she nuts?
“Well, if you feel that way, maybe I should have left you with Scorpio. Maybe you would have been happier living with someone who made all your decisions for you instead of letting you be your own person and making up your damn mind. You don’t want to be an agent. You only do because that’s what you think I want you to do. Fuck, I don’t even want to be an agent! But it’s my job. Just like it’s my job to keep you safe now.”
“Well, consider your job as terminated. Your services are no longer required. You want me to be my own person and make my own choices, well here we go. Get out.” She walked over to the door and opened it.
“What are you saying?”
“I want you to leave. I don’t want you here right now and I don’t think I will for a while.” Tears brimmed her eyes as she looked at me. “You clearly are not ready to be with anyone. Thank you for giving me my life back but I think our time together to over.”
“Abby, please don’t do this.” I said, my heart sinking into the pit of my stomach. Her hands were shaking as she held the door open. “I want to be with you. You’re the most important thing in my life.”
“More important than your shield?” She asked. Silence fell over us as my eyes fell to the floor. “That’s what I thought.”