Chapter 32 | Hashing It Out - Part 2
I hurriedly follow Ethan outside of the building, as he answers the phone call from Jeremy’s prison.
I look at his face, trying my best to read it.
“What? What do you mean?”
I can tell Ethan is upset.
“Are you sure? Is he… you know?” Ethan trails off, giving me a short glance.
This cannot be good.
“I don’t know where my parents are, I think they went out for the night. I’ll try calling them, but in the meantime, what do you want me to do?”
Ethan takes a few steps away from me, before turning around to look at me directly in the eyes.
“I don’t know if I can.” Ethan says timidly.
“Okay, damn! I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Ethan sighs, quickly hanging up and stuffing his phone into his pocket.
“Baby, what is it?” I ask immediately after he has his phone put away.
Ethan shakes his head. “Dallas, I am so sorry, but I have to leave.”
I frown. “Why?”
“It’s Jeremy.” He says slowly. I feel my chest tighten. “He’s been jumped. It’s bad.”
“How bad?” My hands are suddenly shaking.
“He’s in medical right now, but they are in the process of transferring him to the hospital.”
I look down at my feet. This cannot be happening. Not tonight.
“What about your parents?” I look back up at him. “Can’t they go be with him?”
“They left town for the night after we left to come here. They knew we had a hotel room rented, so I’m pretty sure they went and got one for themselves somewhere.” Ethan sighs, clearly frustrated.
“Try calling them anyway.” I urge.
Ethan pulls his phone from his pocket again, dialing for his parents.
After a few rings, Ethan frowns.
“Hey mom, dad, please call me back as soon as you get this. It’s important!”
Ethan ends the call again, cursing as he shoves his phone back into his pocket.
“Relax babe, it’s going to be alright. You can go to the hospital.” I find myself saying to him. “The prom will be over in an hour anyway, you won’t miss much.”
“That’s not the point, Dallas. This is our prom night. Why does Jeremy always have to ruin everything?” Ethan shouts angrily.
“Technically, he was jumped, so this isn’t entirely his fault.” I try to think level-headedly.
“Oh I’m sure he did something to deserve it, knowing him.” Ethan replies dryly. “Are you sure about this? I don’t want to leave you here alone, dateless.”
I look around, trying to find an answer to his question. My hands are still shaking at the thought of Jeremy, and I feel my wrists beginning to burn, but I push those feelings aside. I can’t let Ethan go to the hospital by himself, especially in the frantic state he’s in. I also don’t want to leave Liam and Lexi here at the prom without telling them what’s going on, but I know that the second I do, they will be against me going.
“I’ll come with you then.” I finally say.
Ethan immediately shakes his head. “Are you insane? Do you remember how he acted the last time I mentioned you were with me? He broke my arm trying to get to you. There’s no way I’m letting you come with me!”
“Will you just relax and listen to me? The last time we went, he wasn’t hurt or in the hospital. Right now he’s probably doped up on pain meds and sedatives. Besides, he’s a prisoner, so I’m pretty sure they have him handcuffed to the bed. He won’t be able to touch me, I’ll keep a distance, or I can stay out in the waiting area.” I explain as calmly as possible.
It’s not that easy, if I must admit it.
Ethan is clearly having an internal debate. His face is red, and his hands are shaking also.
“I don’t know about this.” He finally replies, walking over to place his hands on my shoulders. “Are you sure this is something you can deal with? I don’t want to put you in any weird positions.”
“Trust me, it’ll be fine. Let’s go.” I urge.
“Don’t we have to tell the others?” Ethan asks.
“Why? So they can waste more of our time by telling us not to go? We can text them once we’re on the road.” I say, as I pull Ethan toward our rented limo. It’s supposed to take us all to the hotel after prom. Unfortunately Liam, Claire, Lexi and Carter will all have to carpool with someone else. Luckily a lot of the seniors are going to the same hotel, so it shouldn’t be hard for them to score rides.
I don’t want to ruin their night. They deserve this night to themselves. I just know that I need to be here for Ethan, because I know he can’t do all of this by himself.
Jeremy is a touchy subject for both of us, but I know that right now, I need to be with him.
“Hey, Randy, we need a ride. It’s pretty lengthy, so I’ll have my dad pay you extra.” I tell the limo driver, who nods in agreement. Ethan gives him the address to the hospital that the prison is transferring Jeremy to, and Randy plugs it into his GPS before pulling out of the parking lot.
I sit in the back with Ethan, rubbing soothing circles against his back as he leans forward in his seat. His head is in his hands, and I know he feels horrible for our prom night being cut short.
“I promise, it’s fine. I’m not mad at all.” I say soothingly. “We will get through tonight, and then we can stay in a hotel over the weekend.” I promise.
“It’s not about that, Dallas. I just wish I didn’t have to be his brother right now.” Ethan sighs. “Every time I think about him, I think about what he’s done to our family, and more importantly to you.”
I internally wince at the mention of my rape. Both times it happened.
“It physically pains me to know that he hurt you, that he’s caused you so much physical and emotional pain. I just wish I could’ve been there to stop him or to do something. You have no idea how badly this eats me up every day.” He finally admits.
“Why haven’t you ever talked to me about it?” I ask.
“Because, I didn’t want to add more stress to your life. You’re already going through so much, not to mention still grieving over your mom, I just needed to handle this on my own. I guess I did a pretty shitty job at it though.” Ethan laughs humorlessly.
“I’m so sorry you thought you couldn’t come to me with this. A relationship is about both of us being there for each other. I’ve been so wrapped up in my own shit, that I completely forgot how much this might be affecting you. I want you to know that you can come to me with anything. I don’t care what I’m dealing with or going through, I will always make time for you.”
He turns and wraps his arms around me, pulling me onto his lap. I place my hands around his neck, slowly pulling his head closer to my own, gently resting my forehead onto his.
“I love you Ethan, and I will always be here for you.” I say quietly against his lips.
“Fuck Dallas, I love you so much.” He says in a deep voice that honestly makes my legs feel like jello. It’s a good thing I’m sitting or I would’ve just melted onto the floor of this limo.
I lean forward, pressing my lips against his. Our lips mold perfectly to each other, the both of us fighting for dominance. I suddenly hear Randy closing the window that separates the driver from the back, as he lets out a small laugh.
Thanks for the privacy Randy, we’re going to need it.
Ethan hungrily grips my hips, turning me slightly so now I have to straddle his waist. We apparently don’t care that we’re in the back of a limo, both not wearing our seat belts.
I open his tux jacket, yanking it down his arms. He pulls away from me, temporarily leaving our lips pleading to be returned to one another. He tosses his tux jacket on the opposite seat, pulling my face back to his again.
Our lips reunite, and it’s the most incredible feeling in the world. His hands reach up and find my hair, lightly tugging at it, causing me to look up as he leaves hot kisses down my neck.
I let out a small moan, and suddenly I feel something poking me from inside of his pants.
It must seem completely odd that the two of us are seconds away from banging each other in this limo, as we drive to a hospital to see his hurt brother, who also happens to be a prisoner and my rapist.
What’re you gonna do?
I pull the top of my dress down, revealing my black strapless bra. Ethan reaches behind me, and without looking, unzips my dress. I hurriedly push it down my legs, stepping out of it and tossing it aside as I sit back down onto Ethan’s lap.
I straddle him once more, reaching for the belt to his pants. I unbuckle it, yanking it out of the belt loops, and tossing it aside.
Ethan breaks our kiss, both of us panting heavily.
“A-Are you sure about this?” Ethan asks in between breaths.
I nod, not able to use my words.
“I just don’t want to-“, but I instantly cut him off with another passionate kiss.
“I want you, Ethan. Right now.” I practically beg, pushing my hips against his own. He’s definitely hard as a rock, and I can’t help but smile a little.
Suddenly, Ethan reaches over and opens a small compartment inside the limo. He then pulls out a box of condoms.
I look at him skeptically. “Did you plan on having sex or something?” I raise an eyebrow.
“Of course not,” He laughs, “These are Liam’s.”
I laugh, and he smirks at me before pulling me in for another kiss.
I suppose Liam won’t be having any sex tonight, not unless Claire came prepared.
Before I even realize what’s happening, I’ve got Ethan’s pants unzipped and pushed down to his ankles. I reach underneath me, and yank down my panties, letting them fall to the limo floor below.
“Dallas,” Ethan looks into my eyes, his intense stare nerve-wrecking. “Are you one-hundred percent sure?”
I look back into his eyes, resting my forehead against his. “I wouldn’t want this to happen with anyone else in the world, Ethan. You’re it for me, and I love you. I’m just sorry you weren’t my first.”
Tears begin to build up in my eyes, and as each tear falls, Ethan is right there to catch them. He kisses me so deeply, yet so tenderly, that it leaves me breathless. I glance down and reach for the condom. I rip open the package carefully, and pull the condom out. I giggle as I begin putting it onto Ethan’s member.
I’m immature, I know.
He smirks at me, “I could’ve done that myself you know.”
I only shrug, before I finish the task. Ethan suddenly moves us so I’m lying down on the seat of the limo, and he’s over top of me. He leans down to whisper.
“I need to make you wet, before I stick it in.”
I nod. “Already half-way there.”
He chuckles, before reaching his hand down to gently rub against my exposed skin. My hips instantly curl upward into his hand, giving him full access to me. I feel so vulnerable, yet so safe at the same time.
This experience is definitely one I am always going to remember.
As soon as I’m practically begging him to push inside of me, he’s already a step ahead of me.
As soon as I feel him enter, I let out a breath I had been holding. It felt a little funny at first, but once his thrusts found a rhythm, it suddenly felt intensely amazing.
Every nerve-ending in my body was on fire, and everything felt like ecstasy. Every tingle, every whimper, every noise, sounded more beautiful and more passionate than the last.
I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling him as close to me as humanly possible.
I wasn’t sure I was ready for this at the beginning, but now I am more sure than ever that this is exactly what I needed. I completely forgot about everything else. About prom, about Jeremy, about the hospital, about prison, about my wrists, about my rape. The only thing I focused on was Ethan and I in this moment together.
More importantly, I can’t believe our first time having sex was in the back of a limo on our way to a hospital.
That’ll be a fun story to tell.
Or… maybe we just might keep this to ourselves. I want to stay like this forever.
Just me and Ethan.
Eventually, we make it to the hospital. Randy knocks on the window separating him from us, informing us that we’ve made it. Ethan and I are both already dressed, so we tell Randy that it’s okay for him to roll the window down.
“We’re here.” Randy says. Both Ethan and I nod as I try to hide my pink cheeks. I’m sure Randy has an idea of what happened in the back of this limo. His smile tells me so.
Ethan lets me step out of the limo first, and then he’s right behind me as we walk into the hospital. We probably look weird, him wearing a tux and me wearing a prom dress.
Ethan walks up to the receptionist at the front desk in the ER. “Hi, I’m here for information on patient Jeremy Hart. He’s also a prisoner, so I’m not sure what the protocol is for family members and visitation.” He explains calmly.
“What is your relation to the patient?” The dark haired woman asks.
“He’s my brother.” Ethan says dryly. I know he doesn’t want to acknowledge that fact, but we can’t change his DNA.
“He is currently in critical condition. They’ve placed him in the ICU for observation. I can take you back to see him if you’d like.” The woman says, a look of sorrow on her face.
Ethan doesn’t even look like that bothers him, but I know that deep down, it does.
Ethan turns to me, pulling me into him. I hug him back, resting my head against his chest.
“Are you okay to wait here? I just need to go see what’s going on. I need to be able to tell my parents whenever they call me back.” Ethan says soothingly.
I nod. “It’s fine babe. I’ll be here.”
Ethan releases me and follows the receptionist into the back rooms. I don’t know how far away the ICU is, but I made sure to keep my phone on me, in case he needs me for something.
I hesitantly walk over and into the waiting area, debating on if I should check my messages or not.
I texted Liam and Lexi briefly about what is going on. I haven’t had the guts to see their replies.
Before I open my text messages, Ethan is already calling me.
“What is it Ethan?” I ask immediately.
“I d-don’t think I can do this.” He says after a short moment. “He’s really bad.”
I take in a deep breath, and let it out slowly. “Do you need me to come back there?”
“No, Dallas, I don’t want you to have to see him.”
“Well I don’t want you back there by yourself, Ethan. He’s not going to do anything to me in the state that he’s in, please.” I urge. “Let me be there for you.”
There's a long pause, before he finally agrees.
I ask the nurse to point me in the direction of the ICU, and after passing by a few rooms, I see Ethan.
Visiting hours are over soon, so I would have to leave the room, but for now I’m here for Ethan and Ethan only.
I hesitantly walk inside the room, and all of the air leaves my lungs.
Jeremy’s leg is propped up, in a cast and clearly broken. Both of his arms are covered in bruises, and his face is bandaged up so much, you can only see his eyes and mouth.
“Apparently, whoever jumped him, broke three difference bones in his face, as well as his nose in two places. He has a deep concussion and his leg is snapped in two places.” Ethan explains slowly. “He’s also got a few cracked ribs and some internal bleeding.”
“Do they know who did this, or why?” I ask, trying my best to tear my eyes away from Jeremy.
It’s no use. I can’t stop looking at him. He looks so small, so helpless.
He looks exactly how I felt when he raped me.
Funny how things go in full circle.
I always imagined hurting Jeremy the way that he hurt me. I pictured someone beating him to a bloody pulp in my defense. I imagined him being hit by a car or struck by three volts of lightning. I imagined the absolute worst for him, and now that it’s happened, I’m stunned to learn that I feel guilt.
How is that even possible? How can I feel any guilt or remorse for this guy? This guy who raped me and took everything from me. This guy who took my innocence, and gave me panic attacks a long with anxiety. This guy who caused me to cut myself as an escape for all of the pain I’ve been feeling.
Okay, maybe that was more so on myself, but it all stems from the same place.
“They couldn’t get who did it on camera. Apparently one of the guards was in on it or something. They don’t know what happened, and they probably won’t ever know unless Jeremy tells them.” Ethan replies. “If he’s even able to tell them anything after this.”
“Ethan, I know he’s done a lot to both of us, but it’s okay to feel sad over this. I know you don’t want to acknowledge this, but he is still your brother.” I find myself saying.
Ethan is suddenly glaring at me. “How can you even say that? He’s a fucking rapist and a liar and a complete stranger to me now. He hurt you immensely, but he hurt me too. He also hurt our parents. He’s scum to me. I hate him.”
I don’t know when, but somewhere during his rant Ethan began crying.
He turned to his brother, lying helplessly in his hospital bed, and Ethan began hitting Jeremy against his chest. Not hard enough to hurt him, but enough to let him know that Ethan was there.
“Do you hear me? I hate you!” Ethan shouts to his motionless brother, tears falling down his face in waves.
My own eyes begin to tear up again, my lower lip trembling as I watch Ethan. I take a step forward, but immediately stop when I notice Jeremy stirring.
Ethan immediately stops hitting him and pulls back, leaning back in the chair he eventually sat down in.
“E-Ethan?” I barely hear.
“Jeremy? What happened?” Ethan asks, his voice void of any emotion as he furiously wipes at his damp eyes.
“I-I d-don’t know. Ugh, my head.” Jeremy moans in pain.
Ethan presses the nurse’s button, and a few seconds later, a male nurse walks in.
“Kids, please step aside so I can examine the patient.” The nurse instructs.
Ethan stands up and walks over to me, both of us stepping toward the back of the room.
The nurse flashes a small light into each of Jeremy’s eyes, checking his reaction.
“Jeremy? My name is Dawn. Can you hear me?”
“Y-Yes.” Jeremy answers, his voice still barely audible.
“Can you tell me what happened?” Nurse Dawn asks.
“I d-don’t know.”
“Alright, just relax. We’ve got everything under control. You’ve suffered some serious injuries to multiple parts of your body, including a severe concussion. We’re taking care of you.” Nurse Dawn says in a really calm voice. He acts as if Jeremy is just any other patient, not a criminal in handcuffs.
His amount of professionalism is something that I can only dream of acquiring.
After nurse Dawn does everything he needs to do, he leaves us alone again after telling me specifically that visiting hours are almost over.
“E-Ethan?” We both hear Jeremy again.
Ethan slowly walks back over to the side of the hospital bed.
“I’m here.” Is all Ethan says, “I’m here.”
I don’t know what possesses me to do this, but I walk over and stand on the other side of his bed. Ethan looks at me as if I’ve grown two heads, but this is something that I need to do for me.
Jeremy just barely moves his head to the side, his heavy and tired eyes glancing up at me.
“D-Dallas?” He almost sounds shocked to see me.
Maybe he thinks he’s dreaming. Maybe he doesn’t think any of this is real.
I sort of hope that is the case.
“W-What’re you doing-“, he can’t even finish his question.
“I’m here for Ethan, nothing more. I just wanted to say, I hope you get better. I hope you get better and really put your life into a new perspective. I hope you continue therapy and I hope you really allow yourself to get the help that you desperately need. I hope you never do to someone else, what you’ve done to me. I hope you live with that guilt for the rest of your life, as a reminder to never go back to that place again. I hope you finish your time, and finish your therapy, and do whatever it takes to get your life back on track. More importantly…” I trial off, stealing a glance at Ethan.
His eyes are solely on me, completely stunned by what I’m saying.
I’m stunned myself.
“I forgive you.”
Ethan is immediately taken back by the words that just left my mouth. I can’t even believe that I was able to get them out either. I never wanted to say those words to him, I never wanted him see me vulnerable ever again.
But right now, I feel stronger than ever. My wrists are on fire, but it’s manageable. My hands are shaking, but it’s manageable. My chest is tight, but it’s manageable.
Everything is manageable, and I needed to do this for myself, not for anybody else.
“W-What?” Jeremy finally says, “F-Forgive me?”
I only nod once. “I’m forgiving you, only so that I can move forward with my life. This does not mean that I want anything to do with you ever again, because I don’t. This is simply just for me, nobody else.” I say firmly, my eyes sternly locked onto Jeremy’s. “And honestly, I don’t give a shit how you feel about that.”
Jeremy eyes me, and he can’t really move his face, but I know that he’s silently agreeing with me. His eyes say it all.
Finally, Ethan’s phone rings and he answers it. “Mom, dad, something happened to Jeremy, you need to meet us at the hospital. I’ll send you the address.”
I’m relieved that Ethan’s parents finally returned his phone call. They told Ethan that they will be on their way here as soon as possible.
Visiting hours end, and Ethan walks me back out toward the waiting area.
“I have never been more in love with you, than I am right now.” He leans down to whisper into my ear.
My stomach erupts in butterflies as I lean up and kiss his cheek. “I love you too, Ethan.”
Just as we round the corner and walk into the waiting area, I spot them.
A worried looking Lexi, accompanied by Carter.
And a very pissed off Liam.