Chapter 12 - Alexandria
Alex watched, as Mario carefully dabbed at the deep scratches on her chest. The antiseptic hurt, but she grabbed the quilt in her fists, and kept quiet. She knew he was cleaning them, and next would be the ointment. She really hoped that didn’t hurt.
“When did your dad die,” Mario asked.
Startled, she looked up at him. He hadn’t said a word to her since the doctor had left.
“About six months ago,” she answered him. “He had cancer.”
“I’m sorry Angel,” he said, as he kept working. “How did you end up living in the shed at the motel,” he further questioned.
“I quit college to look after him, when he got sick. It took a year for the cancer to kill him. Medical bills piled up, house bills piled up,” she sucked in a breath before she continued, “and funeral bills piled up.”
She looked up at him, to find him looking down at her. “You didn’t come to me,” he whispered.
“You didn’t want me,” Alex stated. “And I didn’t want to have to pay anyone back.” She looked away from him then. “I sold the house, the furniture, his car. I had a garage sale and sold anything I could, including most of my clothes. I did what I had to so the bills would be paid. Then I saw the ad for the motel, a free room for a bit of cleaning,” she said. “I had nowhere else to go.”
He had finished applying the ointment while she talked, so he moved onto taping on some gauze. “And the stripping?”
“I ran out of options. Because of the room, the motel doesn’t pay much. I didn’t want to strip, but I figured if I stripped, I could make some fast money and start fresh somewhere else. I want to live in a small cottage by the water,” she told him. “I want to fall in love and live quietly.”
“Firstly, you’re not going anywhere. Secondly, you aren’t working at the motel, or the strip club anymore,” Mario ordered, and Alex could only stare at him in shock. “Thirdly, you’re not marrying anyone but me. And lastly, I’ll buy you a dozen cottages if that’s what you want,” he growled. Then he threw the supplies on the nightstand, and leaned over her.
“You’re mine, always have been, always will be. I should have kept a better eye on you, this should never have gotten this bad. But, I know everything now, and I’ll damn well fix it,” Mario snarled.
“But you sent me away, you told me you didn’t love me anymore,” Alex whispered.
“I was just starting out, and you’re life was in danger. Anyone that tried to manipulate me threatened you. I didn’t have the resources or the manpower back then to keep you safe. When I let you go, I had to do it in such a way that everyone would think I was done with you. I couldn’t let anyone hurt you,” he admitted. Again, all she could do was stare at him.
“But I’m fucking done. You’re mine, and you’ll stay with me now. I’m older and stronger. I can protect you, and I’ll make sure nobody ever hurts you again,” Mario snarled.
“But,” Alex tried to get out, when he cut her off.
“Did you sleep with my coat in your arms,” Mario asked. She could only frown at him, not knowing how he would know that.
“Did you come with me willing,” he continued, but he didn’t wait for her to answer.
Mario stood up, and pulled his wallet out of his back pocket. Then he reached inside and pulled something out. When he thrust it in her face, she gasped. It was a picture of her, when she was sixteen. Then he picked her up, and stomped down the hall. He kicked a door open, and crossed the room to dump her on another bed.
When he moved to the night stand, her eyes followed him in curiosity. On top of it was another picture of her, from when they were dating. He opened a drawer, pulled out a bundle of letters, and threw them at her. She touched the top one, and knew these were all from her. She was painfully shy, and she’d always found it easier to write him letters, explaining how she felt.
“Does all this look like a man who forgot about you,” he growled. “Because youre in my head and my heart, and I couldn’t forget about you if I tried.”
Tears pooled in her eyes. “You still love me,” his angel cried.
“Thank fucking god,” he growled, then he crushed her to his chest and kissed her for a long time.
“Mine,” Mario growled possessively.
“Yours,” she immediately agreed.