Loving Her

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(10) Grateful

Grateful;
feeling or showing an appreciation for something done or received.

Skylar Stryker

I stared at my reflection in the mirror. My black hair fell in messy, knotty mess down my shoulders and my face was pale and tear-stained. Dark bags rimmed my forest green eyes which made me look like the undead.

My mind was running through the information that was given to me. It was surreal to imagine that I had been drugged and almost raped. Tate said that it was Adam that drugged me and he didn’t understand why someone would do that to someone they claimed to love. But I knew. Adam was a monster and it didn’t surprise me to know that Adam was the one who did it.

Turning on the tap, I splash the water on my face and relished in the coldness that greeted me. Apparently, the house that I was in was Tate’s half-brother’s mom’s home. I couldn’t help but wonder where was Tate’s mother.

A knock on the bathroom door alerted me and once I opened the door, the woman was standing there. Maria was smiling brightly at me but there was a hint of sympathy and pity hidden in her eyes.

“Here you go, dear.” She handed me what seemed to be undergarments, a casual dress and a white towel. “The underwear is new, don’t worry, I’ve never worn it and the dress is the only thing I have that may fit you.”

“Thank you.” I answer honestly. After all, she was the one that gave me the anti-dote that quickly flushed the drug from my system.

This time, Maria allowed her sorrow to show. “It’s no problem. I don’t think you’ll want to be walking around in Tate’s tee shirt.” She chuckled at the end.

I force a smile. She quickly bids good bye and I close the bathroom door. I quickly undress and enter the shower. After a much needed shower, I put on the clothing given to me. The dress fitted me nicely and was actually quite pretty. The upper part of the dress was black and had a v-neck while the skirt had was navy blue and was decorated with pretty colorful flowers.

Using my fingers, I combed my hair until it wasn’t so knotty and messy. I checked myself out in the mirror and was pleased with my appearance. I exited the bathroom and almost smacked into Tate.

“I’m sorry.” I apologize quickly and look down at the floor boards.

Tate’s hands were gripped onto my upper arms as he steadied me. He released me from his hold and took a step back.

“No, I’m sorry.” He countered, “I was coming to see if you were done. Maria has breakfast waiting.”

“Oh, you didn’t have to wait for me.”

Tate bit his lip, “Maria insisted.”

There was a moment of silence between us.

“You look really pretty.” Tate blurted out causing me to look up at him wide-eyed. His cheeks were a light shade of pink as he rubbed the back of his neck and avoided eye contact with me.

My heart warmed.

“Thank you.” I respond meekly.

Tate smiled and met my eyes before leading me into the kitchen. Everyone was already seated at the table, empty plates in front of them.However, there were now two more boys seated at the table. The table was filled with tons of delicious food such as pancakes, bacon, eggs, hash-browns and toast.

“Finally, now we can eat.” One of the boys exclaimed as he began filling his plate with pancakes.

My cheeks burned red with embarrassment as I was the cause for them stalling breakfast. Upon seeing my embarrassment, Tate scowled at the boy.

“Have some manners, you asshole.”

As soon as Tate said that, the boy to the left of the first boy smacked him on the head. The boy frowned but turned to me and muttered an apology. I accepted it instantly.

Tate and I sat beside each other at the table which made my heart race. He was so close to me that our chairs were only a couple of inches away from being connected. To distract myself from Tate’s closeness, I look at the breakfast items. I took one pancake with two slices of crispy bacon. When I looked up, I was surprised to see that everyone was watching me. It was then I realized that everyone had piled their plates high with food and here I was with my one pancake.

“Are you one of those girls that starve yourselves to stay small?” The same boy from earlier questioned which once again made Tate scowl.

“Owen!”

“What?” The boy named Owen exclaimed, “It was a genuine question!”

Everyone at the table seemed used to Owen’s awkward remarks as they simply returned to their meals.

“I have a small appetite.” I explain.

“With what happened, I think you should probably eat a little more.” Tate grabs my attention, “Just so that you have some strength.”

Tate’s eyes were filled with worry as he gazed down at me.

I pulled my bottom lip into my mouth and glanced at Maria whom visibly agreed with Tate. I couldn’t help but worry about what Adam would’ve said. He would obviously be upset and what if he found out that I ate too much?

I wince at my thoughts and push them away.

Adam was not here. I reinforced into my mind. Then I placed another pancake as well a hash brown onto my plate. Tate smiled at me which caused a smile to come to my own face. Everyone continued eating in earnest while they shared a few jokes and conversations around the table.

Soon, I learned each of the boys’ names. The guy with ebony hair and crystal blue eyes was Maria’s son and Tate’s half brother, Sean. Apparently he was the one who drove Tate and I to Maria whom was a certified nurse. The other man was Erik, he had red hair that was highlighted with brown and hazel eyes. He was shorter compared to all the boys. Then there were the identical twins; Owen and Oscar. They both had raven colored hair that was cut short to their heads and dark brown eyes. The only way I was able to tell them apart was by the piercing that Oscar had on his right eyebrow and the septum piercing that Owen had. Also by their behaviors; it was obvious that Owen was the more loud and extroverted twin while Oscar was introverted and barely said a word.

I was surprised to learn that the boys also attended the same school as I. Other than that, it was a relatively good breakfast. The best one I’d ever had in a long time. It was refreshing to see the love and warmth between everyone and it felt nice to be apart of that. But, I knew it wouldn’t last for long.

After eating more than my tummy could hold, it was time to say good bye to everyone. Maria hugged me and said that I was welcomed anytime as did Owen. Oscar and Erik simply nodded their goodbyes and soon it was just Tate and I.

I gripped onto the material of my skirt as we walked down the drive way towards his car. He unlocked the car and we got in. Instantly, a wave of deja vu hit me. It was my second time in his car.

We sat in silence as Tate started the car and pulled out of the drive way.

“Why aren’t you pressing charges?”

I glanced at Tate and noticed how his knuckles were white as he gripped the steering wheel tightly. My mind flashed to when I told him and Maria that I don’t want to press charges against Adam, something that Tate quickly got upset over.

But the didn’t understand. I wasn’t able to press charges and even if I did, Adam won’t get in trouble. His family is powerful, more than mine. Charging Adam would simply be a death sentence for me. Nothing good would come from it.

“At least tell me you’ll break up with him.”

My silence was again confirmed my answer.

The car suddenly came to a halt. Thankfully, I was wearing my seat belt and the road was bare.

My head snapped in Tate’s direction. My wide eyes took in his tense body. He was staring straight ahead with his jaw clenched.

“You were drugged and almost raped.”

Tears brimmed in my eyes as I thought about my horrid situation. I would have to face Adam this evening at the dinner.

Tilting my face out the window, I softly answered, “You don’t understand.”

He faced me then, his brows furrowed. “What do you mean I don’t understand? Is this about the scars?”


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