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Chapter 8

It hurt to move. It felt like every nerve in my abdomen was on fire. I left a pretty big bruise on Jordan’s face. Although the bruises he left covered my torso. We were at lunch now and I was glaring at Jordan. He was glaring at me. “Okay, usually I’m the one glaring at Jordan, what’s up? Why does Jordan have a bruise on his face, not that I’m not enjoying that or anything. But why are you wincing, Riss?”

I looked away from both Jordan and Adrian. “She plays dirty.” I looked up and glared at Jordan. I just wish he was 6 feet under.

“Like you didn’t bend the rules yourself.” He rolled his eyes.

“There are no rules in a real fight. This is one reason why you aren’t ready.” Now it was my turn to roll my eyes.

“Why I’m not ready? I’ve trained for this position since Vera and Damien took me in. I’ve been learning how to run everything since then. I have put everything into this job. You took cheap shots but I still managed to knock your ass out. my entire torso is black and blue but I still manage. You, you look like you’re about to pass out.” It was true. All of it was true.

“You left bruises on her,” Adrian questioned threatenly. “You lied to me.” I looked down. “Frenchie, you aren’t allowed to lie to me.” I didn’t meet his eyes. I’ve been lying to everyone. He lifted up the side of my shirt just enough to see the bruises. “I’m gonna kill you Jordan.” I didn’t like his tone of voice.

“No you aren’t. I’ve been left with worse. Damien is a worse trainer than Jordan is.” I was telling the truth but even then, Adrian didn’t like that answer. “It’s okay. I’m okay.”

“No you’re not. Based on the discoloration, your ribs could be broken. Come on we’re taking you home.” He stood up and made me go with him. We got to his car and he helped me into the passenger seat. He started the car and looked at me really quick before backing out and taking me home.

***

When we got there, no one was home. The boys had classes and work so it’s not completely terrible that they weren’t home. “Where is everyone,” Adrian asked as we both got out.

“Classes or work. Let’s not go inside,” I said. I stepped onto the porch and set my bag down and took off my shoes. It hurt to walk. Every step I took sent waves of pain throughout my body. I made my way onto the sand. It was beginning to get colder. The sand was cold on my feet but I didn’t care. I sat down and watched the waves.

Adrian sat next to me. It’s weird that this is peaceful. It’s weird that this is what calms my racing heart. I rested my head on his shoulder. “A cosa stai pensando? (What are you thinking about?)”

“Nothing really. It’s just calm. The sea is calm. For some reason everything makes sense but nothing does at the same time. Yet right now my mind isn’t swirling with a bunch of thoughts.” I just wanted to stay right here. I just wanted this moment. I wanted to stay. I wanted to sit right here with him forever. Sadly, as it got darker it got colder.

“Come on, let’s get you inside. You’re shivering.” I nodded and he helped me stand. I winced instantly. He ignored it until we got inside. No one was home yet still. He sat me on the couch. “Let me see your ribs.” I hesitated before I took off my shirt. His eyes stayed on my abdomen.

His cool hands touched certain spots that caused me to wince more. There was a dark look in his eyes. “Che cos’è? (What is it?)”

“You have 2 broken ribs. I’m gonna kill him.” I shook my head.

“I’m fine. 2 broken ribs aren’t gonna stop me.” He shook his head and looked at me incredulously. “What? I have work tonight.”

“You’re the boss, call in sick. You aren’t going anywhere. You aren’t even going to school tomorrow.” I have to get this assignment done. But I just know that Adrian isn’t gonna let me leave. I have to sneak out. “I’m not leaving.”

“How did I know you were gonna say that?” He smiled at me. There was just something about the way he was looking at me. “What?”

“Nothing.” A smirk played on his lips. “You can put your shirt back on now. Not that I don’t mind looking but... It’s just a thought.” I playfully slapped his shoulder and put my shirt back on. “I’m not leaving you tonight.” He sat next to me on the couch now. “I need to make sure you don’t injure yourself further.”

“I won’t.”

“I’ll be the judge of that.” I smiled at him and turned on the tv. I connected my phone to it and went onto Disney Plus. “What are you planning on watching?”

“I don’t know. Any suggestions?” He took my phone and put on Pirates of the Caribbean, Curse of the Black Pearl. “Good choice.” I took the blanket off the back of the couch and I covered up. “Wait.” I paused the movie and ran upstairs to change. I put on a pair of sweatpants and a tank top. I went back down and pressed play.

“Really? You just had to change?” I nodded and shushed him. “You are something else Anima Gemella.” I looked at him confused. “Oh, something of my language you don’t know. Good.”

“Don’t be mean Mon Roi.” Now it was his turn to look at me confused. “Wow something you don’t know.”

“I don’t know any of your language. Maybe I should learn? Maybe you could teach me, Anima Gemella?”

“Shush. Movie.” He chuckled. I laid down so my head was on his lap. It hurt to breathe. He played with my hair and eventually I fell asleep.

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