Logan is being nice but I sense it. I have been around men all my life and I know when they are thinking only of sticking their thing into a willing warm body. Or even not that willing. I should be flattered that I am his pick for the night, seeing the way most girls eye him and give me the stink eye.
I get it. Compared to them that have gone to extreme lengths to secure that they will be desirable – probably for Logan’s sake – I have gone with a plain t-shirt and my jeans. The other pair Wood bought for me. Not the one I chopped down that day that I... That night! That night I was like those girls, dressed to lure men in. Not all men. One particular man, a wild animal, a prey hard to catch. And I did. God, I did!
I shake my head to dispel the effect those memories have on me. Wood took me and gave me the only pleasure a man has ever given me. A true man. And then he told me he thinks of me, he wants me before he left. I need to stop thinking of him.
“So, how about it?” Logan says beside me.
I haven’t been paying much attention to what he’s been saying all night. He tries to be nice and fun and he introduced me to his friends. He is goofy and that is cute most of the time and I can tell he is trying hard but... He simply isn’t Wood.
“Ah!” Logan grasps his chest as if shot. “You hurt my feelings, Tamie. Here I am trying to entertain and help you out and you ignore me. Kill me already."
I relax and smile at his child-like shenanigans. I promised myself that I would have fun tonight and I will do exactly that.
“Sorry," I widen my smile. “Loud music.”
“I was telling you I have some old laptop you can borrow somewhere in our office."
We talked about it and I told him I had no laptop and though I could use Iris’s, I would have to take it with me to college and I have taken so many things from her already. I bite my jaw down and look at him.
I know it, I know that the laptop thing is an excuse. He may think he is smooth and perhaps any other girl would fall for that innocent smile, those clear eyes and his funny disposition. But I see the way he glances at my chest every chance he gets and the way he licks his lips when he thinks I am not watching.
“I can show it to you," he beckons at the stairs. “Plus, I think I got that book you wanted."
"Really? It’s not your major."
“Some girl left it here when she came," he says and winks. “We didn’t do much studying that day."
Smooth. I weigh the situation. I will not give in for a laptop and a book but I can at least see if he telling the truth. I can take the book that is useless to him and save me the embarrassment of having to ask money from Iris. That does it for me.
“OK," I decide.
In and out quickly, I think to myself and I am on my toes. He seems sleazy but not all that dangerous. A push and kick in the groin will get the message across. He will be off looking for another girl in no time. I have dealt with worst in my life. I can handle a damn college boy.
So, I follow him up the stairs and to the end of the hall, to the last room on the floor. He has placed his hand on my waist and when we reach the room he pushes me gently inside. He closes the door behind him and opens the light. I glance over my shoulder and I see that he locked the door. Shit!
“I got it here somewhere," he shuffles through the small library he has there. “Ah!”
I am genuinely surprised when he hands me the book I want. It was by far a long shot and I only believed that he may have it is because he knew the exact title.
“Oh, thanks,” I smile and go through the book.
It has been used before, that much is evident and has notes on almost every page. I look through it and I imagine a shy, hard-working girl Logan managed to corrupt. Hope she is fine.
That’s when I feel him drift closer, wrap his arms around my belly from behind and grind his erection shamelessly on my ass. Hell no! I try to push away but he holds me tighter.
“Come on, Tamie. A little gratitude is due, right?" He says.
“Let me go!” I ask firmly but not in panic.
“Nah." His hands push me more to his pelvis that he is rubbing on me. “I will have a taste first."
First?Before what? The phone is still in my hand. I simply press 2. I have told Iris where the party is taking place and I am sure Rage will not even answer it before he climbs on his bike and come here. I doubt he’ll think I called him for a lovely chat. But if I do that, neither of them will let me get out of the house again. Plus, he is a good half an hour away. I need to do this alone.
And that’s what I do. Internally thanking Lysa for her lessons, I turn my body slightly to the left, I form a fist and hit him hard on the groin again and again. His grip slackens and I go for the door. But he grabs me from the hair and pulls me to him once more.
“They said you are a good girl,” he growls.
They? Good girl? Fear grips me harder this time but Lysa’s teaching come to me once more. “Fear is your only enemy. Don’t let it freeze you. Attack and run.“. I grab the hand he has in my hair, twist my body, bent and once more, harder, I elbow him in the groin. This time, he folds and falls on the floor.
I go for the door but the key is not on the keyhole. I turn to him and know it’s on him somewhere. But he is quickly coming to.
“Bitch!” He snarls and gone is the relaxed boy that flirted with me. “They said not to damage you, especially not the face but I don’t think they’ll mind a few bruises.”
I freeze as I see him get up. I move the window, determined to jump than let the threat I hear drip from him come true. But I don’t get the chance.
The door blasts open, splinters falling on the floor as it’s completely unhinged before it falls with a thud. Logan turns to the door the same time that I do. And I cry out in joy.
There, standing at the threshold, his hands in fists and his menacing look fixed on Logan, is Wood. He came! He came for me once more. He is here! I am safe! Safe! Safe!
Logan takes one step back on pure instinct. Wood’s eyes drip blood and though he holds no gun, he can break that silly boy in half. I don’t think and I run to Wood. The moment he senses movement he turns and his dark eyes land on me.
Immediately his disposition changes. His body leans to me and his arms open without even thinking about it. I sink into his embrace and inhale his scent. Home!
“You OK, kitten?" He kisses the top of my head.
I say nothing, just nod in his chest and let tears run down. He caresses my cheek to wipe them and I cry some more. How have I longed for that simple affection from him! Wood places one more kiss to my forehead before pushing me away.
“Wait for me in the hall, Tamie,” he says in that deep voice that makes me shiver before he turns to Logan. “I got something to take care of."
That last sentence was so filled with threat, that Logan shakes evidently. Wood’s jaw is set and his eyes turn even darker. He looks exactly like a falcon I saw in a documentary once, right before he strikes. And he strikes as fast as the falcon.
He grabs the shivering boy by the throat and lifts him. Logan tries to breathe but Wood’s steel fingers bury deeper in his throat.
“You thought you could touch her? I will motherfucking tear you apart!"
And I know he will, he can, he wants to. One more squeeze and Logan will be dead. But he can’t. People have seen him, he will get in trouble. I don’t want that.
“No, please, no!" I go to him.
I wrap myself around his free hand that is coiled, ready to rain hell on Logan and I pull back.
“Wait for me outside, Tamie," Wood orders.
“Let’s go. It’s not worth it, please. Don’t do this."
“That asshole," Wood brings Logan’s sniffling, red face close to his, “locked you in and tried to force his little prick in you! I will feed it to him so step outside, Tamie!"
By then, I see that there are a lot of people standing at the door, looking at Wood in awe. Too many witnesses. Roughing him up is one thing. Killing him is another. Wood can’t go to jail because of me.
“Please, I beg you, take me back. I need to go home," I implore not sure I will get through to him in this state.
But I do. The tone of my voice must have done it for he turns to me and drops his hard façade. He searches my body for injuries but I shake my head.
“Just, please. I need to get out of here. Please."
Our eyes lock and I beg him even more through that connection. Everyone is watching while Logan still struggles for a breath. Wood then bents his powerful arm and catapults Logan to other side of the room, against that library that crumbles down from the force.
Logan gasps for breath while Wood walks over and looms over him. It is comical that this boy ever considered himself a man. He looks so frail and small before Wood’s feet.
“Thank her for saving your sorry ass," Wood demands.
Logan looks at me with tears in his bloodshot eyes.
“I... Thank you," he strains out through his damaged throat.
“Ever look at her again," Wood growls, “and I will bury you. You feel me?"
Logan looks up to Wood and I am sure he will be out of the state by morning. I tell Wood nothing about his vague threats cause then he won’t let him go ever again. All we need is to get out of here.
“Wood," I beg.
He turns and walks up to me. With one swift move, he puts one hand on my back and one behind my knees, swipes me in his arms and holds me close to his chest. He goes down the stairs while people are making way for him. The music is still blasting but everyone has their eyes on him. No one dares challenge him and I see how the girls look at his broad shoulders and his perfect, brutal face. It’s probably the first time any of them has seen a real man.
I cozy closer and I wrap my arms around his neck. When I look up, he has a faint smile on his face as he crosses the street outside the house.
“My car," I say.
“I’ll take care of it."
“Will you... Are you taking me to Iris?" I ask softly.
I don’t want to face my sister, her worry, her “I told you so", Rage’s overprotectiveness.
“No," he says simply and I rejoice.
I let my head fall on his warm chest and I let go in his arms.