Despite the warmth from his touch that was quickly flooding my system, my anger took centre stage. The nerve of the man to not only show up unexpectedly but to stand here and behave like a neanderthal? Seriously?
Roughly tugging my arms back from his grasp, I backed away. His eyes narrowed, taking in my stance and a sound that was halfway between a growl and a sigh of irritation passed his lips. We stood apart and stared at each other as the anger enveloped us in a suffocating embrace. His eyes burned bright showcasing his displeasure at my defiance.
Our standoff, however, didn’t last long as a furious voice echoed in the silent room.
“Hey asshole! Leave her alone!”
The change in Thomas was almost immediate. His muscles bulged and his jaws clenched as he closed his eyes. He was breathing hard and appeared to be fighting an internal battle of his own. Taking my chance, I glanced around to see Chase up on his feet staring straight at us.
My heart dropped at the sight of him. He had a black eye and his lower lip was bleeding from a gash. All the anger quickly receded as concern for my friend had me shooting towards him in a flash. But just as I reached him, I was yanked from behind into a pair of constricting arms.
“Let me go!”
I began to struggle against him but no amount of thrashing and wriggling could loosen the iron grip he had on me. I started to curse and kick, trying to hit any vulnerable spots but that only served to piss him off even more.
Chase took a step forward with his arms outstretched ready to grab me and spoke in a commanding tone, enunciating each word with vehemence. “Let. Her. Go.”
It felt like the walls were closing in on us as Chase’s forceful words seemed to trigger something in Thomas. He let out a warning growl in response and tightened his grip to the point of pain. I could feel his whole body vibrate as I stood there with my back against his chest. An unrestrained fury seemed to roll off him in waves.
Quickly making eye contact with Chase, I shook my head, warning him to stay back. This side of Thomas had me genuinely worried. I did not know what he was capable of.
I winced as his arms dug into my waist, rendering me immobile. And as my struggle began to wane, I suddenly became privy to emotions that weren’t my own. Jealously and possessiveness combined with a murderous intent pierced its way into my consciousness like an arrow, bringing my pathetic attempts at escape to a complete halt.
This was the third time that I could clearly feel his emotions as if they were a part of me. And although I was confused and anxious by this realisation, the need to calm and reassure him seemed to take precedence and I had no idea why. But taking his current mood into account, I thought it best to give in to my instincts.
Forcing my anger aside, I turned around in his arms to face him. A shocked gasp left me as I took in his eyes. The usual grey eyes that always held warmth when directed at me were completely gone. The eyes that stared back at me were pitch black and filled with anger and a look of betrayal?
An involuntary shudder went through me as my body prepared to flee. Every part of me wanted to run. To get away from whatever that was lurking behind those dark orbs but I didn’t move. I couldn’t. The pull to comfort him and be near him was stronger.
Taking his face in my hands, I stared intently into his glowing dark eyes. “Hey… calm down.” Rubbing soothing circles on his jaw, I tried to send calming feelings through my touch. I didn’t know if it was going to work but I trusted this pull.
Minutes ticked by and to my relief, Thomas closed his eyes and leaned into my touch, exhaling slowly. I felt the warmth and tingles go up my arm and my body hummed with pleasure. I realised then, how much I had missed him and his touch.
Bending down, he pressed his forehead against mine as he continued to breath slowly. I could feel his whole body relax as the strange predatory aura left him. When he finally reopened his eyes, he stared at me for the longest time before he whispered, “I’m sorry.” He then let me go.
His eyes were filled with sadness and hurt making my heart clench painfully. I wanted to run back into his arms and make this right but my mind wouldn’t allow it. Not after what had just happened. And as he turned towards Chase, his whole demeanour took on a sinister bearing. His jaw ticked and his fists clenched as he sent him a hateful glare before turning around and walking out the front door.
And as I stared at his retreating figure, I didn’t know how to feel. I felt angry and hurt that he would behave like this and at the same time I wanted to hold him and reassure him. What the actual fuck!
“That was intense.”
I turned around to find Chase standing in the same spot, running his fingers over a small bruise that was starting to form near his jaw.
“Chase, I’m so sorry. I-I can’t believe that he did that. ” My eyes narrowed in on the gash that was still bleeding. “Shall we go see a doctor for those bruises?”
He waved me away as if I was being needlessly concerned. “Nah. Just some ice should do the trick. I have been in fights before you know. I’ll be ok”
“Are you sure?”
He looked at me with a crooked smile, his busted lip unable to stretch too far. “Stop stressing. I feel fine.”
“Well, that makes one of us. Hold on. I’ll get you the ice.”
I shut the front door and walked across the room towards the kitchen. Opening the fridge, I pulled out some ice and wrapped them in a tea towel, before heading back to Chase. “Here. Put that on the swelling.”
He hissed as he held the towel to his lip, making me wince. I was overcome with guilt and shame that this had happened to my friend who was a guest at my place.
Removing the towel, he looked at me with concern. “Who was that guy?”
I sighed. What could I say? My boss? My boyfriend? Who was he to me? Why do I feel this way with him? Why could I never explain things when it came to him?
Taking a seat on the couch, I stared at the front door and felt a pang go through my chest. “He’s nothing”
Chase snorted in disbelief. “Really? Didn’t look like nothing. At the end there I was beginning to feel like a third wheel”
Grumbling, I quickly retorted. “Well, that’s what it is. By the way, what happened before I showed up?”
Chase took a seat beside me and placed the towel back on his lip which had stopped bleeding. “I was sleeping on the couch and I heard a knock. Got up, opened the door and bam!” He smashed a fist into his palm to imitate the blow. “The fucker was on me!”
I took a deep breath. I really did not think Thomas was capable of something like this. He always seemed so gentle and refined. Ugh! “I’m so sorry Chase. I feel terrible.”
“Relax. I'm fine. I just want to get home. But if that fucker ever shows his pretty face again, I will fuck him up. Don’t care if he’s your boyfriend”
I growled. “He’s not!”
Chase chuckled before getting serious again. “You are safe right? With this guy I mean.... whoever he is to you.”
Leaning back on the couch I stared long and hard at the shattered pictures on the floor. There were moments when I wasn't sure if the person in front of me was Thomas. Like today - It felt like there was a whole other side to him. Like something dangerous that was prowling just beneath the surface waiting to come out.
But oddly, I knew that whatever it was, it would never hurt me. He would never hurt me. Not physically anyway. Emotionally? That was a different ball game.
Looking back at my friend, I mustered a small smile. “Yes. I’m safe.”