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45. Saving

I can see the fog from my breath making a small circle on my car window. I watch it expand and contract, growing and minimizing before me. Keeping my attention on something so small and meaningless is the only thing keeping me from a full blown panic mode, so I watch it, study it, calm myself as I feel my hair being held tightly, my face sealed to the glass before me.

I can feel his presence behind me as his body presses against the back of mine. It’s unfamiliar. It’s cold and hard.

“You stay still,” he warns in a deep, raspy tone with his hot breath against my neck. “And do what I say, got it?!”

There’s literally no one here to help me but me. Leonard is gone, Kid is at the station, Hawke is locked up, John’s at home, and Patrick’s...well who knows. I've never been in more need of saving.

It’s just me and the out of place “suitman” from the bar, outside against my car that’s parked next to the building.

He waited. He came back, waited and watched until I was alone for his moment to strike.

“W-what do you want from me?” I stutter out the words, trying to remain calm as the tears tease the edge of my eyelids.

He lifts my head back away from the car by my hair, turning only my neck to face him.

“I want to remind you, that no one says no to me. Not even white trash bar whores like you,” he growls before slamming my head back against the glass, my cheekbone burning from the pain.

“Please, please...don’t,” I cry.

“Take off your belt,” he says in a deep tone, the words instantly making me sick to my stomach.

“No, please...”

“Take off your fucking belt,” he demands again, tightening his grip on my hair.

I start to fumble with the front of my pants, removing my belt while racking my brain for an idea, a plan to get out of this.

What are the chances after everything I’ve been through that something like this would happen? I’d always believed in fate, hoped it would ultimately save me in the same way that it brought love into my life, but this? This is just gruesome. I try not to drown myself in self pity, but Jesus, what more can I take?

I hold the belt in my hand when he rips it from my grasp, tossing it towards the wall of the bar away from me.

I hear the sound of his pants becoming undone, the belt opening up as he starts tugging at the material near my hips.

“No,” I cry out. “Please don’t do this.”

I feel so helpless, so out of control of this horrible situation happening to me. I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to curl up and away from this person trying to hurt me in unimaginable ways.

He appears to be struggling with my pants so he releases my hair to use both hands. I take the opportunity to turn around, sending a quick knee to his groin.

Falling forward a bit while grunting, I make a run for it. I scream for help but don’t get far before he’s on my tail. He dives, grabbing for my leg causing me to fall, hitting the pavement, my elbows getting skinned from the rough landing.

He pulls my leg back and I continue trying to crawl away, clawing at the asphalt beneath me, kicking my legs to release his hold, but he’s just too strong. He overpowers me, climbing up my frame, turning me over while straddling me and sends a violent slap across my face with the back of his hand.

With both my hands in a fist above my head, I swing them forward, landing a hard punch to his gut. He gasps and falls forward but grabs my wrists in the process, rolling to the side of me.

We wrestle around for a minute as I attempt to free myself of his grasp before he wraps an elbow around my neck. He gets up with a firm hold on me now and begins dragging my flailing body back towards the car, my heels dragging beneath me.

I scream for help again as he pushes me back into position against the door. Before I get the chance to scream again, I hear the click of a gun to the back of my head. I suck in a breath, unable to breathe, fearful to move, my eyes wincing shut.

“Pull your fucking pants down!” He growls at me, pressing the gun roughly against my neck.

“Okay, okay,” I cry, my hands in the air before me, shaking as I try to abide.

I pull them down my thighs, leaving myself exposed in only my underwear. I swallow down the pain of the moment attempting to place myself somewhere else, anywhere else mentally as my tears drown my face, removing myself from the situation about to happen.

A happy memory comes to mind. Sitting on Cameron’s lap as he wraps his arms around me in the car. We’re watching the sun rise together as he gently rubs our hands together, weaving our fingers then gently pulling them apart before repeating the soft motion again. He kisses my neck and whispers the magnitude of how much he loves me into my ear.

“That’s right. You start listening and it’ll be a lot easier.” The hoarse voice pulls me out of my memory, bringing back into my terrifying reality. “Girls like you shouldn’t be working the bars alone late at night. Things can happen.”

He grabs for my underwear near my hips, pulling the thin straps down until they sit down around my thighs. I’m bare before him now and know it’s over. I can’t control what is about to happen to me. The gravity of it all coming down on me, as my mouth drops open to breathe, the tears drowning my face.

I’m sobbing, as he bends me forward again. I feel him rubbing himself against my backside, making me want to vomit. I instinctively put a hand back to push him away.

“Please stop. I’ll do anything else, just don’t...” I don’t know what I’m offering, I just need to try something, anything.

I feel him grumble something under his breath behind me, gripping my hand and twisting it painfully behind my back, using it as an anchor to hold me still.

I place myself back in that car, being held by Hawke. He brings his hands to my face, holding me before him. He grins, looking deep within me with those ocean eyes encased by those long black lashes, searching deep within me for the home we found in each other.

The man gasps before I feel his body leave mine with a sound I’ll never forget. It sounds like a rock hitting a wall, but there’s no rock, no wall.

I seal myself to my car, flinching my eyes shut as the man behind me falls to the ground. I quickly pull my pants up, bending down to grab the keys I’d dropped beneath me. I get in the car, locking the door immediately behind me. With trembling hands, I put the keys into the ignition, my chest heaving, before I start it up.

The headlights on my car turn on, illuminating the scene before me. I see a scuffle playing out between two guys in the gravel next to the bar. The man who was behind me is on his hands and knees. He dives for the other person. A struggle ensues, fists being thrown back and forth, rolling around on the ground until one of them ends up on top.

I put the car in reverse, turning my head to back out, when I peer towards them again, remembering the guy had a gun and whoever is attempting to save me could be killed.

In the shadows between the light, I see him. The sight, stopping my heart.

It’s Hawke. It’s Hawke above the man. Hawke, pummeling his fists, beating into him again and again, only the guy isn’t fighting back. It’s Hawke, on the verge of killing him. How is he here?

I put the car into park, opening my door, racing towards them.

“Hawke! Stop!” I yell, seeing the destruction that’s about to take place.

As much as I could care less about this man who tried to hurt me, I can’t see Hawke fall into ruin again because of me. I’m also painfully aware of the fact that this man had a weapon. There’s no way I can leave him.

“Hawke!” I yell again.

I see the gun sitting on the ground near where my car was parked and kick it across the lot, far out of reach.

I run up behind him, watching with wide, worried eyes as he continues to mercilessly obliterate this man. He’s like an animal. There’s no stopping him. He’s lost it. He’s out of control and before he knows it, he’s going to kill the guy. His muscles flex in his back while he continues his vigorous assault even though the man is clearly knocked out cold.

“Cameron!” I scream in desperation.

He pauses, with his fist raised in the air about to strike another blow. His chest is rising and falling as he slowly backs off the man who’s not even moving. The body is now limp, seemingly void of consciousness.

Hawke falls back against the brick wall of the bar, his head tilted back, his eyes barely open as his mouth hangs apart slightly, catching his breath.

“Cameron!? Oh my god, are you alright?!” I ask desperately, crouching down next to him.

The closer I get, the more I desperately need to see just how hurt he might be. There’s blood all over him. I scan his head and face which appear fine, no cuts or bleeding of his own. He’s holding his side and groaning, his eyes wincing in pain. He doesn’t seem to be able to breathe.

“Cole,” he groans, reaching out for me. “Ah shit, my rib.”

I lift his shirt, checking his torso, not seeing anything visible, but assuming in the struggle he took a hit to the side possibly breaking a rib.

“We need to get you out of here.” I place his arm around my shoulder, lifting his heavy body as the shock of the situation helps me to continue moving.

I get him to the passenger side door with his assistance, when he begins shaking his head, stopping me.

“My bike,” he groans, pointing behind the bar.

I was so mentally not present that I never even heard him pull up.

“Jesus, Cole,” he says through his pain, finally catching his breath, holding my face between his hands, his motorcycle gloves still on. “Baby, tell me your alright.”

His broken voice is killing me. The sickening feeling of seeing me in that situation must’ve destroyed him. He’s so angry yet so soft with me. I nod in his hands, never more thankful for his timing. But this wasn’t random. This entire moment felt planned. There was nothing left to chance. This was set up to break me.

"I wouldn’t have stopped,” he says through pants, leaning an arm against my car, his worried eyes killing a piece of my heart. “I wouldn’t have stopped if I hadn’t heard you.”

“How did you even get here?! What happened?!” I cry, relief finally taking over me. “I thought I was alone. He almost...He tried to...”

I break down into tears as he brings me into his chest.

“I know. But it didn’t. He didn’t,” he says breathlessly, his arms tightening around me. “You’re never alone. Not anymore.”

“Cameron,” I whisper, clawing at the shirt on his chest as he holds me.

I could break down now, I could fall apart at the what ifs, but we don’t have time for what ifs. I push him out at arms length, looking up at him.

“You gotta get outta here.” I nod at him quickly. “Now!”

He nods, looking back towards the unconscious man. Walking backwards towards his bike he calls out, “Where!? Where do we go?”

My mind is racing with what to do. It seems one step forward is ten steps back in the world of Cam and Cole. We can’t go back to the motel. We can’t go on the run because Hawke’s being watched closer than ever. It’s clear to me he needs to go back to Kid. He picked him up and now needs to act like this never happened and he was never here. I, on the other hand, have to go to the place I never wanted to return.

He starts up his bike, looking at me anxiously as his mind is working overtime.

I look back up into his eyes as I make my way around the car and into the driver’s seat.

“Go back to Kid’s,” I call out confidently, gripping my steering wheel as a deep, fighting instinct compels me to calm my nerves. “I have something I need to do.”

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