The Fire Within

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“Come on, Dawn. Can’t you take a punch?” Flint sneers and I whimper as he punches me in the stomach. He trapped me in the janitor’s closet. No one is around to hear my screams of agony. Tears run down my cheeks and he laughs at my obvious pain. “This is because your father is the worst governor there is. His stupid little daughter is taking his beating for him. How noble.”

I scream as he punches me in the face, knocking me to the floor. He takes in my shaking form and I see something scarier than his beatings. Lust.

“Will you look at that? Little Dawn, on the floor with wide eyes. So innocent and naive.” He starts unbuttoning his pants and I shake my head wildly. I try to scoot away from him, but there isn’t enough room to go anywhere. “There’s nowhere to go, slut. It’s just you, and me.”

Flint gives up on his pants and lunges at me, grabbing my wrist.

I scream, my eyes snapping open and looking around with wide fearful eyes. I find Agent Cross standing beside me, gently holding my wrist. I snatch it away and I scoot away from him, the remnants of the nightmare still clawing at my thoughts.

“Calm down, Dawn. You’re alright. No one is here to hurt you. I’ve got you. Don’t worry,” he says softly and I take deep breaths, staring at Agent Cross. I slide into my original place, still staring at him fearfully. I start calming down but my hands are still shaking. “What happened?”

“I had a nightmare,” I say flatly with a slight shake in my voice.

“Well, no shit.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t ask stupid questions,” I bite back and Liam rolls his eyes. I sigh and I look at my hands. “I’m sorry for waking you up.”

“It’s fine.” I nod and silence falls between us. “You want to play cards?”

The agent gets a deck of cards from the small table beside the couch and I nod, looking for a good reason to use my hands.

“What are we going to play?” I ask, not really knowing how to play many card games.

“Well, there’s Black Jack, Go Fish, BS, and War. I don’t know many games,” he reveals and I give him a small smile.

“Let’s play war,” I say and he nods with a small, almost nonexistent, smirk. I narrow my eyes at him, knowing he thinks he is going to win. I can’t wait to wipe that smirk off his face.

Liam deals out the whole deck and I pick up my deck without turning them over. He does the same and we situate them into a comfortable pile. Liam counts down from three to start the game and we both aggressively slap a card down.

I smirk as I take mine and his card and turn them over so the backs are facing up again. I lay them on the corner of the table and we lay cards down again. This time, he takes them.

This keeps going, I am winning so far. Then, we both lay down twos. I glare at the cards and I sigh. I look at Liam and I see he is glaring at the cards as well.

I lay down three cards facing down before I lay on a card on top of the three facing up. It’s an ace, so I am hoping he gets something lower and not an ace.

He does the same and he lays down the last card. A ten. I laugh, stick my tongue out at him, and take all the cards. I put all of them facing down in my stack and we continue playing.

Hours later, I am the winner and Liam and shaking his head while cleaning up the cards he threw after I won. He wanted to see if he could embed a card into the bed. It didn’t go so well and one almost hit me in the eye.

There is a knock on my door and Liam walks over to it before cautiously opening it while keeping his hand where his gun is. Once he realizes it’s only the doctor, he opens the door and lets the man in. But he doesn’t remove his hand from his gun.

“Hello, Ms. Ozric. How are you feeling today?” He asks as he begins to check my vitals.

“I am feeling great, actually. I’m not in pain. But the bandages are causing me slight discomfort. I was wondering if you can check them?” I ask and he nods.

“It’s time we change them anyway.” He sees the cards. “I see you guys were playing cards. Who won?”

“I did,” I gloat and Liam scoffs. I look at him with a cocked eyebrow and he glares at my obvious smirk. He opens his mouth but I beat him to it. “I’m sure whatever you have to say can wait until you’re smarter, Agent.”

“Oh really? And what exactly have you accomplished in your life to make you Einstien?” He rhetorically asks while rolling his eyes.

“Keep rolling your eyes. You might actually find a brain back there,” I spit back and he shakes his head. “Uh-huh. That’s right. You already searched and never found one. Poor you.”

I notice the doctor smiling as he finishes checking my vitals.

“Do you think you’re able to stand?” The doctor asks and I nod. He helps me remove my blanket and I move to the side of the bed. I take a deep breath and I slowly stand, testing my strength. My legs start wobbling but before I can fall, Liam gently wraps his arm around my waist. I hold onto him tightly, not really wanting to fall. “I am going to remove your bandages from your leg first, check out the problem, then put new ones on. I will let you sit at that and check the other ones.”

I give him a nod and he crouches to unwrap my bandages. I watch him closely, and so does Liam.

When the bandage is off, I assess the damage on my leg. My brothers said I had third-degree burns. But now, I just have a small burn scar on my leg. The doctor furrows his eyebrows and he stands straighter. He lets me sit and Liam releases me.

The doctor finds the same result on my arm then he tells me he should check my gunshot wound. I become uncomfortable with him seeing my chest and I ask if a female doctor can check me out. He nods with understanding and he retrieves a female doctor. She comes in and I look at Liam.

“I am not leaving. But, I will be standing beside you with my back turned to you. You need to hold my hand in case of emergency,” he says and I hesitantly nodded.

The female doctor, Dr. Summer, helps me move clothing around to allow her to remove my bandage and check the wound. I can’t see it, but telling from Dr. Summer’s reaction, she has some shocking news.

“You’re completely healed. All you have is a slight scar.”

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