I'm Here to Fix You

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Chapter 43

SILVIA

“Does this really help or are you just taking advantage of your condition?” I asked with a small chuckle as I rubbed his injured leg.

Jake smirked. “I’ll tell you that when you get to the red area.”

I frowned. “The red-ugh, you sneaky ...” I let go of his leg abruptly, slapping his feet, while Jake laughed. “You’re such a jerk.” I spat, standing.

“Yet you love me ...” Jake grinned childishly, stretching his hands to pull me back into his arms.

It was hard to keep the smile. “You’re so corny sometimes ...” I chuckled, sitting back on his lap. I smiled, wrapping my arms around his shoulders to peck his lips, only to then feign a heavy sigh. “Yet I do love you so ... how foolish of me, huh?”

Jake grinned, kissing me deeper as he wrapped his arms around my waist. “You’re a fool, I’m a lucky bastard.”

I laughed, reciprocating the kiss. I know, I know, we’re cheesy. But it’s taken us so long to get here, and I feel so lucky to have brushed past such a catastrophe mostly unscathed, that to be honest I don’t really care if we’re mushy and all that crap. I just ... I just love him. And it’s fine if that entails being mushy.

Jake pulled me closer as our kiss got steamier and more passionate, and I dipped my fingers in his hair, needing something to grip against as my hormones crawled through their awakening. I promised myself I wouldn’t go any further than kisses before a couple of weeks, but ... try resisting with such a devilishly hot man that’s already implied three times that he doesn’t need a functioning leg to do what he does best, and that’s tried already five times, within an hour, to get you naked. The concept of non-sexual cuddles on the couch doesn’t exist in Jake Watson’s vocabulary.

I wouldn’t mind, wasn’t I so sexually frustrated myself, and didn’t I know that he can’t stress his bones. To be honest, I wouldn’t even want to really wait, I’ve tried that route and it’s failed, but ... I’d rather not rush into it. The sexual pull between us has always been terribly strong, but I don’t want to base our relationship off of the simple fact that we just can’t take our hands off each other.

If we want this to truly last, we can’t just rely on love. Love conquers all is only a myth created by writers to sell their mushy books. Love doesn’t conquer all ... but it’s a great start.

We can’t just rely on our love, because it’s never enough. What we can rely on is a unite struggle to keep going no matter what. I’m willing to make this work, we just gotta figure out how. Because maybe now he has these ‘lapses’ where he says he wants to marry me and have children with me, but what if when we do have children and I lose everything he’s ever been attracted to, he changes idea?

That’s just a rough example. I’ll have to tell him someday that ... I don’t exactly uh ... plan to have children. At least I don’t think I want them now, who knows someday, I’m just 23. Well, I’ll be 24 in a couple of months. I won’t start thinking about children and marriage at least for 10 years, I hope he’ll be okay with that.

Jesus ... we’ve been together for barely 24 hours, yet I already think of such long term ... the relationship with Ryan definitely affected me. There was a time when I wouldn’t have even been sure whether we would last enough to celebrate my birthday together or not.

“You’re spacing out.” Jake murmured against my lips. Before I could reply, he pushed me onto the sectional sofa, taking me off guard. “I take that as an offense.”

“What ... hmm ...” I moaned when he began nibbling on my neck, his hand slyly slipping beneath my blouse, and my mind clouded enough to make me forget his predicament as well as my resolution to wait just a little more.

I felt his knee barely leaned against my thigh, and his body wasn’t entirely on me, because his injured shoulder didn’t even touch me, but ... his boner? Oh, that I could feel very vividly.

Jake didn’t waste any time, he just slipped his hand inside my jeans, pushing my panties aside, and I squirmed when his long fingers started rubbing my clit, but he held me there with his sane arm.

“Jake ...” I called in a moan, unconsciously opening my legs just a little wider, enough for him to have more room. “Jake, what ... hmm ... we can’t, I ... too soon, we ... ah, screw it. Just ...” I spread my legs, my hormones going crazy. God, I never realized just how sexually frustrated I was.

He was doing nothing I wouldn’t do to myself, yet it felt oh, so much more pleasurable. The more he pressed himself against me, uncaring of his wounds, the lower that voice telling me we really shouldn’t be doing this became, till it got to a mere whisper, so that I let go of every inhibition, and simply attacked his lips, unable to resist. Wait for what? Let’s be honest, I was ready to sleep with him on the first week.

I trailed my hands all over his perfect smoking hot body, eagerly reaching the hem of his t-shirt and breaking our kiss to pull it over his head, restarting to kiss him immediately, kind of fearing reason would get in the way at the wrong moment. It’s a good thing that his shoulder had healed faster than there, there was only a small bruise at level with his collarbone now.

Every single kiss was just as scorching as the very first one, so much so that my heart was already burning, aching, quivering for more. I ran my hands over his back muscles. He took off the bandage over his chest earlier, claiming he was fine and didn’t need it anymore. I’m starting to think he’d planned he needed more liberty of movement.

On his back, however, right at level with his shoulder blades, I felt something odd, like ... not exactly skin, but not a bruise either.

“It’s a tattoo.” Jake murmured against my skin as he went on nibbling on my neck.

“A tattoo?” Why am I even surprised? I should actually be surprised if he has only one.

Jake chuckled, then whimpered slightly, because for a moment he’d lost balance, therefore his injured leg had slammed against my knee.

“Are you-”

“I’m alright.” He laughed, kissing my cheek. “But seriously, baby, of all the things you should focus on right now, my tattoo isn’t one of them.”

I rolled my eyes. Always that smart mouth of his. It’s sexy and terribly irksome at the same point. “I was just curious.”

Jake sighed, pulling up, wincing the slightest when he recalled his poor leg, so that he then sat properly, and stood. “Fine. Let’s just get this over with.” He claimed, taking off his t-shirt. I pressed my lips at the sight of his perfect abs, but he turned around without even commenting on it, and I awed at the sight of his back.

Indeed there was a tattoo, it covered almost all his back, though the main parts went from one shoulder blade to the other. It was ... like nothing I’ve ever seen. It was like a painting on skin. It seemed to tell a story, the story of a rotten soul desperately seeking redemption.

“What ...”

“I’ll tell you the story someday.” Jake prevented me. He turned around, a bittersweet smile on his lips. “Someday I’ll tell you the story of the wretched Watson family. Then ... you’ll understand.”

I stood, worried, and went to him. Without crutches, he stood on one foot only, so when I offered him support, he took it, even though grudgingly. His words spun in my mind, though. The story of the wretched Watson family. I wonder what happened. But now that I think of it, I’ve never heard Jake talk about anyone from his family aside from Serene, and one or two sentences about that ball-breaking grump that is his uncle. No cousins, no grandparents, no aunts, no other siblings, no father ... no mother.

I killed my mom. Those words echo in my mind every time I stop to think. I killed my mom, he said. But how? And why? And what’s the story behind it? I know full well that it can’t be anything as easy as a matricide would be. Jake can’t have woken up one day and decided oh, I’m just gonna kill my mother today. No. He never would. So what transpired? Why does he call his family wretched?

“Way to be a buzz kill, huh?” Jake laughed humorlessly, trying to veer the subject onto more cheerful routes.

I half smiled, flinging his arm over my shoulder to better support him. “We should get something to eat.”

He smirked, biting my earlobe as he sexily whispered in my ear: “I have a pretty fair idea of what I’m gonna eat ...”

Damn frustration. I could do him on the couch right now. Virgin or not virgin, I would so crave to skip dinner and just get to the jackpot, but ... his conditions aren’t ideal, despite our earlier sexy moment. At this point it’s not even about sexualizing our relationship before due, it’s not about the waiting code, it’s a mere technicality to keep us from Heaven.

Sighing, I helped him hop to the side of the couch, where he grabbed his crutches. “Regrettably, I’m gonna have to pass ... no sex until you’ve healed, remember?”

“I thought I’d told you ...” Jake claimed smugly. “I don’t need two legs to do what I do best ...”

“Said he who couldn’t stand on his own without crutches.”

He laughed. “Alright ... fine. We’ll wait. I guess I’ll love myself until then ... as long as I still know how to. I’ve quit doing it since high school, I think.”

I rolled my eyes. “You’re so gross ...”

“What? I didn’t need to-”

“Ah! Shut up.” I covered his hand with mine, and he laughed. Well, at least the mood brightened up. “I’m gonna have to find a douche jar.”

“A what?”

I laughed as we headed to the kitchen. “A douche jar. In a TV show I watched with Tess a while ago, there was this guy that always said super-douche-y things, so his roommates had him put money in a jar every time he said something of the sort, to punish him and educate him at the same time.”

“I need a douche jar?” Jake laughed as he, half wheezing, sat on a stool at the island. You’d think at least the kitchen would be normal size in this penthouse ... tsk, no. Nothing is normal-sized in here. His bedroom is two times bigger than mine, and there’s one wall that’s all windows. His living room has a fireplace ... a real old style elegant one, I’ve never seen it in America. Beside the living room there’s actually another room that’s for books, games and alcohol.

He’s got his own open bar, people. No wonder he’s got drinking problems. There’s also a game room, full of every type of videogame or other sort of game one may want to play, from cards to Wii. Two bathrooms, one for each floor, three bedrooms. No wonder he deemed my apartment so little. Compared to his penthouse, my place is basically a hovel.

“Yes, you definitely need a douche jar ...” I glanced around the kitchen. “So, what would my poor, poor patient like to eat?”

His devilish grin promised a dirty comment. “I-”

“Food. Eating food.”

He cutely pouted his bottom lip. “Killjoy.”

I chuckled as I rummaged through his fridge, another huge part of his huge place. “If you’re a good boy, later I’ll let you touch my boobs.”

“Oh, wow, my 13-year-old boy dream comes true ...” Jake scoffed sarcastically.

I took out vegetables, the very few I could find, much to his displeasure, and placed them onto the counter. “Take it this way, the more we wait, the better it’ll feel ...” I winked. “Besides, it’s been barely 24 hours. Enjoy the romance.”

He arched an eyebrow at me, predictably surprised. “Ok, who are you, and what did you do to my girlfriend? Silvia Banchi does not speak of romance.”

I laughed as I gathered the rest of the stuff. I couldn’t find everything I needed, but I think it should be good enough. “I’m still me. Just ... a little bit more carefree.” I said as I opened the faucet to wash the vegetables. I’m not a great fan of vegetables, but my father cooked this dish for me every time I was sick, said it was healthy and tasty. It was an excuse to get me hooked on vegetables, because I hated them as a child, I know that, but it did work. I’m not mad about them, but I do eat them.

“I make you that?” Jake asked, tilting his head to the side, surprised. “Carefree? I make you carefree?”

“No ...” I chuckled, “...you drive me nuts. But ... knowing we’re out in the open now, that we’ve finally let out our feelings and we’re ... trying to live this, it makes me feel just a little less ... on the brink of disaster.”

“Enough not to need antidepressants anymore?”

The bowl fell out of my hands as my heart skipped a beat. I’d forgotten he knows about the medicines. “I ...”

“Sorry, sorry, my bad ... too soon to talk about that.”

“Jake ...” I turned around in a sigh. “You’re actually the only person that knows.”

“Is that supposed to be good? Because it isn’t.” He scowled, serious. “We’re not talking about some stupid habit here, Sil-baby.” He corrected himself in the nick of time not to make the talk too somber. Didn’t work. “We’re talking about drugs-sorry, medicines.” He changed when I sent him a dirty look.

“Exactly. Medicines. Like ... Tylenol for period pains, aspirin for flu.” I pointed out.

Jake snorted. “Antidepressants aren’t the same as aspirin. It can get really serious and really dangerous when you less expect it. Trust me, I would know.”

“Same as morphine. That one is a drug.”

He sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “Fine. Wanna play addict? Good. I win.”

“Jake ...”

“I’ve been addicted to morphine for over six months now. When I was 22 I started doing drugs, cocaine, to be precise. Heroin came afterwards. I cleaned up in 4 years. I still smoke. Tess and Serene don’t know, but I restarted smoking a few months ago, and I still haven’t entirely quit, although now I smoke merely 4 cigarettes a day. I’m seeing a therapist, and according to her, I should definitely, definitely join an Anonymous Alcoholics group.” Jake blurted out in one breath. “I’m a crappy human being that’s gone through every possible addiction, but at least I have the guts to say it out loud, while you, baby, you keep on hiding. Well, news flash, you can call them candies, but it won’t stop them from being a crappy cure for your worst problem, which is, brace yourself, depression.”

I know he’s right. I just ... prefer not to admit it.

“The worst way to win over depression is by sweeping it beneath the rug, Silvia. Medicines won’t help. They never do. The best you can do is acknowledge you have a problem, and start dealing with it.”

Talk about blunt. I sighed, placing the bowl with the clean vegetables on the counter, ready to separate them. “Alright.” I said. “You win. I have a problem.” No use denying it. Anyone else may be fooled, but Jake? No. He could tell whether I’m having cramps or not, he’s got a sixth sense when it comes to me, as weird as that sounds.

“Finally.”

“But I don’t need a therapist.” I scoffed. “I can deal with it on my own.” I stated as I grabbed a knife, and started chopping the vegetables. “You said it yourself, I’m the strongest woman you’ve ever met.”

“Yeah, but sometimes, even strong women need help. Doesn’t mean you’re less of a badass because of that.”

“I know that, I-”

“No, you don’t know that.” Jake stared at me intently, sending me one of his intense gazes that freeze me in my spot, telling me he’s about to quake my soul to the core all over again. “You think that strength is holding on until pain ends. You think you’re only strong as long as you take care of your own self without any help. But you’re wrong. Utterly wrong. Strength is also asking for help, Silvia. Strength is also ... strength is also having the courage to sit down, and write your full story, reliving it in every gruesome detail. Strength is also you abandoning yourself in my arms because you trust me. Strength is you loving me even while knowing I’m not enough.”

“You’re more than enough, Jake ... I told you before, you-”

“Forget that. Just listen to me. You’re not ready to see a professional? Fine. You don’t have to right now. But don’t sweep the problem underneath the rug, Silvia. Because it’s only going to get bigger that way.”

***

FOUR WEEKS LATER

“I need to go to the loo.”

I blinked my eyes, confused. “The what?”

“The bathroom.” Jake disentangled from my arms. “I need to go to the bathroom. Pause the movie.”

“Ok.” He stood as I pressed pause, and he grabbed his crutches. “Do you-”

“I swear, if you ask me if I need help to go to the bathroom, I’m gonna throw you out on your ass right now, Banchi.”

I rolled my eyes. “I was just asking ...”

“The day I’ll need a woman to hold my penis to pee, will be the day I’m officially a dead man.”

And I’m the one that needs to accept help, huh? I think the right answer here is to sigh heavily and say: “Men ...” I slumped back on the sofa while Jake made his way to the bathroom. He can be so stubborn sometimes. But then again, so am I.

Luckily this is almost over. He’s taken off every bandage, the one over the head included, the only trouble remains his leg. Doctor said it should have healed by now, but because Jake has overstressed it, it might take a couple of weeks more, hence the support to his knee and the crutches, which he can barely do without.

Bored, because I couldn’t watch the movie but neither did I feel like checking my phone, I looked around for a book. The back wall of the living room was full of shelves. For not being a great reader, Jake sure has many, many books. I could live here only because of his well equipped library.

The moment I decided to stand to look for a book, and maybe slightly check if my stubborn boyfriend needed a hand – literally, that is, given his predicament –, I heard the buzzing of a phone, clear sign of an incoming text message. I knew it wasn’t mine, so I decided to ignore it. It’s been buzzing all night.

So what, he might have girls calling him at night to have sex. Big deal, tsk. It’s pathetic, really, and I shouldn’t even be bothered. Tsk.

But maybe I should let these ... ladies know that their booty call is no longer available.

Yet maybe it’s not a booty call ... isn’t after midnight booty call time? It was barely 10 pm.

Maybe it’s Serene. Or Tess. Or Colin or any of his friends. Maybe it’s his uncle. Maybe it’s someone that’s texted the wrong number ... nobody says it was the same person to text him all night, right?

But maybe ... I should check. Just to be sure. It’s not distrust. It’s just ... um ... curiosity. And uh ... I’m just helping, right? I mean, in his conditions, Jake needs relax, and answering to all those texts might be too stressing, don’t you think?

Biting my lips, I eyed the corridor that led to the bathroom, then the phone on the coffee table. I really shouldn’t. It’s none of my business. He probably gets tons of messages every day, it’s no big deal ...

Huh. When I unlocked the phone, I saw all the notifications. And a lot, lot, lot were text messages from girls. I narrowed my eyes at the phone, as if it were all those girls that texted my boyfriend to know if they could swing by later tonight. A couple wondered how come he hadn’t called in a while. Most of them sent ... explicit pictures.

What is it with this generation? Why would you send your nude or semi-nude pictures to a guy you barely know? Don’t you know that everything that goes online, even if through private messages, can be spread throughout the whole Internet? What goes in the Cloud, stays in the Cloud, even if you regret it.

At the third time the phone buzzed since Jake left for the bathroom, I decided to be a psychopathic girlfriend and answer all those chicks. All of them. Each and every single girl that texted my boyfriend. I replied to all of them with the same phrase: ‘Hi, sorry, Jake is busy tonight ...with his girlfriend *winking face*’

I had to send the same text to 13 numbers. 13 numbers! Can you believe it? 13 girls actually wrote to my boyfriend today, seeking a one-night-stand. God, it’s insane.

Once I was done with those, I noticed the ones from the Trey, Paul and Colin, a couple from David, our new deputy editor. But I ignored them. What had my jaw drop was the series of messages coming from ‘Hillary’.

Throwback Thursday? [sexy pic of her in lingerie]

Cindy and I were wondering if you wanted to join us ... [sexy pic of her and said Cindy pillow-fighting]

Every time I eat ice cream I think of how good you taste ... [pic of her eating ice cream]

I’ve been a bad girl and I need you to punish me ... [pic of her in a naughty schoolgirl outfit]

Ewww!

I dreamed of you last night ... God, the things you did to me, I’m still wet thinking about it ...

I can’t shower without thinking of that time you banged me against the wet tiles ... [pic of her under the shower]

Double ewww!

“I thought we’d get to jealous girlfriend checking my phone once past the first four months, not four weeks.” Jake laughed as he came back, but I didn’t.

My jaw clenching, I showed him the phone. “Hillary?! Seriously?!”

Jake grimaced. “Oh, damnit ... I thought she’d quit texting ...”

“You’ve been with Hillary?!!” My voice raised as much as my anger seeped through.

“In my defense, it happened when you were dating Sir Douche ...” He threw his hands in surrender.

“How’s that in your defense?! You screwed the one woman I hate the most!”

“I know, I know, and I’m sorry! I was just ... I was in a ... uh ... complicated period, emotionally speaking. You were dating Sir Douche and I was heartbroken and ... well, Hillary served in on a silver plate ...”

“She sent you 6 texts in one day! 6! All reminiscing past moments between you two!”

“Hey, it only happened 4 times, okay? No more than 4 times.”

I scoffed, throwing the phone onto the sofa. “As if that made it any better.”

Jake sighed, coming to sit beside me. “Come on, baby, it’s a past mistake ... I swear, I regretted it the moment it happened the first time.”

“Then why did you do a repeat?”

“Told you, I was heartbroken.”

My jaw clenched and unclenched. I suppose I can’t hold it against him. We weren’t a couple back then. Sure, he could have chosen a hundred different girls, not Hillary, but ... I guess I can live with it. “Now I understand why the side glances lately ... she was basically bragging for having been with you before me.”

Jake smiled, pulling me into him. “What happened with her will never be like what will happen with you, baby ... it was mere sex. One of the legions of different girls I’ve been with. You ...” he kissed my cheek, “you’re my Angel with Horns. You’re the one woman I love.”

“Don’t sweet-talk me into forgiveness, Watson.” I scoffed, not moving an inch.

He chuckled. “I’m just stating the truth. What we have is different from all the flings I’ve had.”

“Tsk.”

His phone buzzed again while I was busy remaining cross, for the sake of my pride. I eyed it, unsure whether I should read or not. Jake grabbed the phone, and handed it over, deciding for me. “Here ... to show you I have no secrets for you, read everything you want.”

I eyed the phone cautiously. If he gives me permission so easily, that means he’s really got nothing to hide. Or maybe he’s just trying to prove a point. Either way, I’m the cat that curiosity killed, so ...

Boys night tomorrow 10 pm same place be there

I read out loud, disappointed and relieved at the same time. The text was from Trey. “Your friend needs to review punctuation.” I grumbled, and Jake laughed. Meanwhile another text came, though. This time it wasn’t Trey.

I frowned, confused. “What does it mean? It says ‘home sweet home in a minute J’.”

“What?”

I showed him the phone, reading his reaction on his face. He went from amused to confused to panicky in the blink of an eye.

“Who is ‘Liv’? And why is she telling you she’s home?”

Before Jake could answer, I heard the front door being unlocked. My mind put two and two together at the speed of light, but I didn’t want to believe it. I leaped to my feet when I heard a female voice getting closer.

“Hey, Boo, the movie finished earlier, so I decided to come home-hey ...” She looked surprised and definitely not happy to see me. “Hi ...”

My fists clenched and unclenched, my jaw nearly smashing my teeth for the same reason. I didn’t need him to tell me nor for her to introduce herself. It was as clear as the freaking sun. “Let me guess ... Olivia?”

Son of a bitch. I’m gonna murder his cheating ass. He’s a dead man walking.

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