Love Stripped

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Chapter 27

The moment Jake had gotten out of her room, to call his mother and her sister, so they could help him finding out what was wrong, Kimberly had grabbed the sheet and had ran to her room, right next to Jake’s.

She didn’t open the door to anyone; she locked herself inside the room. Jake, Eric, Angeline and Sidney were outside, yelling.

“Kim, let me in!” Sidney yelled, “What happened?”

“Let me go!” Kimberly yelled, the tears still kept falling, “I want to be alone!”

“What happened?” She heard Eric asking. Only that this time, the yells weren’t directed to her.

“That’s none of your business!” Jake yelled, furiously. The same fury he had talked to her when she had walked in his room to confront him about hitting Eric.

“It is my goddamn business, the moment she gets out of your room, crying and yelling and doesn’t want to see anyone!”

“I don’t-”

“Jake.” Angeline’s calm, but determinate voice, was heard and they both shut up. “This time I have to agree with Eric.”

Kimberly closed her gray eyes, filled with tears of pain and disgust for herself, when Jake started saying, “We were fighting…” Jake started, “Then… we… forgot why we were fighting and kissed.”

“You guys kissed?” Both Eric and Sidney asked. One had a hurt voice and the other, Sidney’s voice, had a happy tone.

“Yes. She said she didn’t know me, but she knew she wanted me.” Jake told them, “We… started making love when-”

“What?” Once again, Eric’s and Sidney’s voice altogether.

“When?” Angeline’s hard tone of voice, cut off Sidney’s and Eric’s surprise.

“When she started yelling and pushing me away!” He raised his tone of voice and once again, started punching her door, “Kimmy! Shit, let me know what’s wrong! What did I do?”

“You know what you did!”

“What?”

“You ruined everything!” Kimberly cried out as she remembered the pain she felt when that man hit her. The dark had kept his face unknown for her.

“Baby, please…” His voice was pleading. “Don’t do this to me.”

“You...” Her voice broke down. “You’re the one who did it…” She whispered. “Leave me alone.”

“Kimmy… You remember? You know… what happened?”

“Yes!”

Silence in the hall.

Kimberly heard someone whispering, and then, steps. They were walking away from her room.

When she heard nothing else, she collapsed on her bed. How could that happen to her? When did it happen? Was Jake really the one who had done that? And if yes… Just because she fell for Eric?

So many questions without any answers at all.

God, she was ready to let him have sex with her! Where did she have her head? He was a fucking stranger! How could she let herself trust him? She may have fallen for him before… but now… No. That was impossible for her to happen.

Suddenly, Kimberly got up and ran to the bathroom. She felt this need to clean the dirtiness in her body. She felt filthy, unclean… She needed to take all of that obscenity out of her body.

The second she got in the bathtub, she scrubbed her entire body with everything she had at her reach. For hours she stayed there, but the water, the soap, the shampoo… everything she had there, didn’t take the dirtiness out of her body.

She stayed for hours in the bathtub, sat down, her arms around her legs that were leaned on her chest.

When she finally had the courage to leave the bathroom, was when her stomach started complaining for food. It was about 2AM so maybe they were all sleeping… Kimberly wouldn’t handle if they came near her and started making her questions. Especially Jake. He knew damn well what he had done!

Kimberly put on a robe and slowly opened the door of the bedroom. Nobody was there. When she started walking slowly, so that no one could hear her, she heard voices in Jake’s room.

The door was leaned and she saw who was inside.

Sidney and him.

Jake was sat down at the edge of his bed, with his head bent down and his hands supporting it. “I can’t sleep either.”

“I stayed in my room for a while, but I just couldn’t stay there alone. I had to talk to somebody. I don’t want to disturb your mother and I surely don’t want to speak with Eric.”

“It’s ok.”

“I still can’t believe she remembered after that happened like… a week ago?” Sidney said. She sat down beside Jake. “And I still can’t believe that she was capable of letting you have sex with her, if she didn’t even know you.”

“Yeah… She may have lost her memory, but she didn’t lose her feelings, I hope.” Jake lifted his head and looked at Sidney. Oh, those green eyes were capable of getting through everybody he wanted. “I just can’t believe she remembered that when I… When we started. I think she thinks I’m the one who did that.”

“Why do you say that?” Sidney was shocked.

“Because that’s the only explanation to the why she acted like that towards me! She barely could look at me! And when she locked herself up in the room, she didn’t even want to speak to me! She said I had ruined everything.” Was Jake being sincere in his words?

“Come on, Jake. She probably just remembered she was raped…” Oh god, that word… it made her feel dirty and made her feel disgusted, “…because… you know… you started the action, if you know what I mean.”

God, Jake was talking to her own sister! Sidney was just seventeen!

“I can only wish she remembered that just because we started to have sex.”

“You’ll see that’s the reason.” Sidney put her hand over Jake’s shoulder. “I still want to know how you made her go to bed with you. She just knows you for like a week.”

“I didn’t make anything.” Jake laughed sadly, “We were just fighting, she slapped me, I kissed her and everything started.”

“Oh…” Sidney smiled.

“What?”

“Come on, Jake, you don’t get why she let you?”

“No.” His eyes were watching her sister. He seemed curious to know. And so was Kimberly. What was Sidney’s explanation to why had Kimberly let him have sex with her?

“It’s so easy, Jake! How did your relation with Kim start?”

“Rough. We were always fighting and we didn’t like each other at all, I guess. I started to provoke her… She got irritated… She provoked me, sometimes. Then… it just evolved.” Jake laughed bitterly, “I would give anything to go through that again.”

So, Kimberly didn’t like Jake before she started dating him? That was interesting.

“That’s what you have to do!” Sidney got up and turned at him, waving her hands.

“What? I’m really not getting the point.”

“If you’re not getting the point, I’m really not getting how you are going to command a whole pharmaceutical company.” Sidney said without patient at all.

“Just tell what the hell you mean.”

“You just need to act towards her like you acted since the very first time you met her! Be just like she loved you to be! She simply couldn’t resist you whenever you were arrogant and cocky! She said tons of times she didn’t like you, but she did!”

“You want me to act like I acted before? She hated that. Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“Let’s bet.” Kimberly had never seen such an amused smile on her sister’s face. “If Kimberly falls for you again, you will have to pay my college.” Wow. Her sister played harsh. Pay for her college? God, Kimberly paid for her college and it was fucking expensive! Sidney was going to get in college and she didn’t even need to pay! That would happen if… Kimberly fell for Jake.

“You’re a hard gambler.” For the first time, Kimberly saw an amuse smile growing in Jake’s lips, “That’s fine. I’m rich, ain’t I? What if I win?” The smile vanished and his eyes darkened, “What if I waste my time being an arrogant and cocky ass while Kimberly’s looking for a smooth heart like Eric’s heart? I swear I’ll kill you, Sid.”

“She won’t. I know my sister. She would never fall for Eric.”

She would never fell for Eric.′ Sidney said. Her own sister, who knew her since the day she had born, had said something that went against to what Eric had said. Who the fuck was telling the truth?

Sidney, who she knew her entire life, or Eric, who she knew for like a week, but told her things she wanted to know?

“Why do you say that?” Jake’s voice called her from her mind.

“Because Kimberly never fell for soft hearts, like Eric for example. Her last boyfriend, Damien, for example. He wasn’t like Eric. He was cocky and could be arrogant like you. The only difference was that he never slept with girls whenever he felt like. Above all, he loved my sister.”

“Yeah, I bet he loved her.” Sarcasm in Jake’s voice. Did he know Damien? “I get your point.” Jake finally said after some seconds. “I’ll do it. I’ll act like I was before. I’ll act like myself. She was in love with me before, wasn’t she? She will be in love with me in a matter of days.”

“That’s it.”

“Besides, I’m sick of acting like a fucking sick guy. I thought if I acted better than I acted before, she would remember me right away. But I guess not.” Jake shook hands with Sidney, “I’ll think about your punishment later, in case you lose.”

“You won’t lose.”

“I know.”

“But will be harder this time. Because of-”

“Eric. I know.” Why was everyone against Eric? Had he done something to them?

Kimberly had something much important to focus on. If Jake had really been the one to… rape her and… she needed to be careful about him now. She didn’t want to fell for the guy that could have possibly raped her because she fell for his younger brother. The again… Kimberly remembered Sidney’s words. She would never fell for Eric.

Was that a lie? Or was the truth?

Kimberly needed to be careful from now on. She needed to be careful with Jake, Eric and her own sister. Which one was right or was lying? She had to find out for herself.

Right now, Kimberly couldn’t trust anyone.

Her stomach complained again and she walked away from his bedroom. She was sick and tired of hearing them talking about her.

There wasn’t anybody in the kitchen. Great, she was alone, hungry and she didn’t have any idea where the food was. She felt like eating pancakes… Oh god… she needed to be careful with what she ate now. She was getting fat…

Kimberly looked for something to make the pancakes. Then, she looked for the butter, eggs, etc; everything she needed for the pancakes was over the table. Including the chocolate that she had found in the fridge.

When she started making the pancakes, she heard behind her, “Hungry?” She knew the voice already. She was scared of that voice. Why hadn’t Sidney stayed with him in the fucking bedroom?

“Y-yes.” She looked over her shoulder. Oh, he was fucking gorgeous. “What are you doing here?”

“I heard the noises and I came to see what it was. I thought it only could be you, hungry, since you lock yourself in the bedroom and didn’t eat anything for the rest of the night.” Jake walked till her, stopping right behind her, “Chocolate pancakes?”

Kimberly could feel the hot breathe on her neck coming from his mouth. The conversation her sister and Jake had had, appeared on her mind. He was provoking her. But no, not until she knew he wasn’t the guy who… had done that to her… she wasn’t going to let herself fell from him… again.

And right now… she felt disgust for a man’s touch.

“Could you please… step away from me?” Kimberly asked nervously.

“No problem, baby.” Jake said with no smile. He stepped away like she had asked and went to sat down in front of her.

He was looking at her belly, when she started baking the pancakes. She felt uncomfortable. Was he noticing she was fatter than she was before? That was so embarrassing.

“You’re still afraid of me.”

“Please.” Kimberly said suddenly, “Leave me alone.” She couldn’t see him there! What if he was really the guy who had done that to her? God, she couldn’t stay there. “I think… I’m… n-not hungry anymore.”

With that said she ran away from the kitchen to her bedroom. She locked the door and sat on her bed. God, she was capable of waiting the whole night for the food! She just didn’t want to see him…

Oh god, why had she remembered that? Why? She was fucking fine before! She was capable of handling with the fact that she had lost her memory but now… she has been raped… And she didn’t know if it was Jake or not.

Kimberly was there… in his bed… enjoying his kisses around her body… and she had to remember that when he started it…

Someone knock on the door. “Who is it?” Kimberly asked her voice trembling.

“I’ve got the pancakes.”

“I don’t want them!” Kimberly yelled.

“Would you please speak lower? They are already sleeping and I know you’re hungry. I can even hear your stomach complaining.” Jake said, “Baby, come on, open the door. The b- the stomach needs the food.”

“I don’t want you to come in.”

“I didn’t do it. It wasn’t me.” Jake said after a while of silence. “If you don’t believe it’s fine. You’ll find out it wasn’t me. You’ll remember the guy and the police are already investigating what happened.”

The police? Already? They hadn’t talk to her yet… it was because she still didn’t remember anything?

“Open the goddamn door.” Jake raised his tone of voice a bit. Kimberly didn’t answer. “Do you think if it was me, I would let you stay here? Do you think I would even try to have sex with you again?”

Yeah… that would be stupid from him.

“You swear it wasn’t you?”

“I swear over our ba… hum… love.”

“Love?”

“Yes.” Over their love. Everybody made it seem she was in love by him, except Eric. He was alone in that. Yes, for now… she would let him enter. But, the second he touched her… she would yell.

Kimberly got up and unlocked the door. He was standing by the door, without no shirt and the same boxers he had before they started… almost having sex. In his hand were the pancakes.

“Let’s go to the kitchen.” Kimberly didn’t want to be alone in a room with a bed and Jake near it. She also had to be careful with him because of the conversation with Sidney. It would be good if Kimberly hadn’t to pay Sidney’s college, but she was not going to fool herself and Jake. She didn’t even want his touch anymore. Nor his violent… and wild… and passionate kissed.

Jake didn’t complain when he followed her to the kitchen. Besides, Kimberly was not going to lock herself up in the room. She had to face what had happened. She had to face them all about that issue. The faster she faced them, she faster she would get over that… right?

When they reached the kitchen, Kimberly sat down right away and Jake placed the pancakes in front of her. She started eating even before he sat down in front of her.

God, she was fucking hungry.

“Do you believe me?”

“I don’t know.”

“I’m sure you believe me.” Jake said right away with an amused smile, “If you didn’t believe, you didn’t be here. For how much you’re hungry, you wouldn’t be alone with me, in the middle of the night if you thought I had done that to you.”

Jake put his arms behind his head, like if they were just talking about a random issue.

“What if I do? I’m not going to-”

“I know you’re not going to start again what we didn’t finish.” Jake completed her sentence. He leaned forward and said, “I can easily find some girl at the company. I’m the boss, ain’t I? They all want me.” He returned to his previous position. His smile was even more amused. What a jerk! He was supposed to be her boyfriend; he was supposed to act like one!

“You’re not the boss yet. I remember you saying you were still studying some things about the company.” Kimberly said sharply. “Your mom still owns it.”

“If you worked there, and my mom still owned the place, wouldn’t you like to sleep with the owner’s hot son?”

This time, Kimberly was the one to lean forward, “Not if he acted like a complete jerk.”

Jake smiled to what she said. God, he was annoying. Just like Sidney and Jake had talked about. This had been how he had managed to get her and make her fall for him? No way. They could only be lying. Sidney had said she only fell for these guys. Damien wasn’t this arrogant!

“You loved this jerk, didn’t you? I know you already know we dated.”

“I must have been out of my mind.”

“Oh, you were out of your mind when I had my hands all over your body before you lost your memory.”

She fell in love for this shit?

“You’re a bastard.”

“I heard that a lot of times before, baby. Before you knew I was the best guy you had ever had sex.” Kimberly didn’t even answer to that. She just stayed there, eating her pancakes.

When there weren’t any more pancakes, she got up and started to walk towards the exit of the kitchen, when suddenly, Jake grabbed her. “Don’t.” She said, with her eyes closed and the memory that she had had on her mind.

“I said I’m not him.”

“I know. But hell if I let you touch me.” She followed her way without him.

When she lay down on her bed, it was hard to fell asleep. That memory haunted her the entire night. She had had nightmares with a faceless guy that kept harming her in that bed, while her arms and legs were tied to the corners.

It haunted her even when she was awake. She spent the days in her bedroom; she didn’t want to disturb anyone. They felt uncomfortable whenever she was with them, because they knew she remembered.

The day after Kimberly remembered, Angeline called the police to make her questions. She cried and yelled at everyone when she had to tell what she had remembered. It was something she wanted to keep for herself. It was embarrassing to know that herself, they had to know?

It seemed she had everything against everybody. But then, she heard the police saying to Angeline that the fact that she yelled and started to cry just like that was normal. It was an expressed style that every raped girl had.

Angeline told that to everyone, Kimberly heard her when they all were locked up in her office. She told that whenever Kimberly started crying, yelling, showing too much anger, restlessness, tenseness, lost of trust in everyone, fear, disbelief or just started smiling and joking, was normal. It was the rape trauma.

She heard nothing else after. She ran to the bathroom and threw up.

The only one that didn’t feel uncomfortable around her was Jake. The others never smiled and seldom talked to her, even Eric, who was so supportive with her at the beginning.

But Jake… he seemed that nothing had happened to her. At least, when he acted like a jerk and fought with her, she didn’t remember she had been raped, since her mind was too busy to answer quickly to his provocations. Amen to that.

When Kimberly had heard that conversation in Jake’s room, she wasn’t expecting that she had fallen for this complete jerk. He really provoked and annoyed her! It made her angry! But at least, while he behaved like a fucking jerk, he was always worried about her.

Sometimes, she would hear him asking to the others, “How is she? As she eat already? She didn’t throw up today? Is she in a good mood? As she smiled today?” The questions didn’t end. But when he would come to see her, he would fight with her about whatever damn thing that seemed to be annoying him or her.

Just like right now.

“Eat that!” He yelled at her.

“I said I don’t want to eat!”

It was a Saturday afternoon and unfortunately Jake hadn’t gone to work. “You have to eat! You didn’t eat anything at lunch!”

“I wasn’t hungry!”

“Don’t lie to me, Kimmy!” Still, he always called her Kimmy in their fights. “I know you’re hungry!”

“Didn’t you date with me before I lost my memory?” Kimberly got up from her bed wearing a sundress.

“What does that have to do with eating?” He raised his eyebrow.

Kimberly grabbed some jeans that were on a chair and pointed at them and then at her, “Are you seeing this? These jeans were damn good on me before! Now, I can’t even dress them because they no longer fit me!”

“That isn’t an excuse.” Jake’s voice calm down. “That’s normal.” He whispered.

“What’s normal?”

“Nothing.” He shook his head. “Kimmy,” he said in a much calmer way, “You have to eat, really. You can’t spend hours without eating. If you don’t feel like eating this, just tell what you want. I’ll ask the chef to cook whatever you want.”

Great, she would ask him for something that surely wasn’t good to do now. “I want seafood. Grilled seafood with lemon sauce.”

He eyed her for some seconds and then declared, “Ok.” He turned around, taking the other food he had brought with him and walked out of her room.

Was he really going to bring her what she had asked? The chef surely wasn’t going to prepare that for her to eat in the middle of the afternoon. But Kimberly was really hungry. The fact that she was getting fat just didn’t stop her eat more, and she needed and wanted to get slimmer, like she was before. Otherwise, Bob, her boss, was capable of fire her from the strip club… She really didn’t want that. Just a few more days and she would be ready to get back home and would be back to work, since the bruisers on her skin were disappearing.

But… what if the guy that had raped her… was someone from the strip club? Some usual client? Kimberly fell on her knees when it came to her memory. She could feel the pain that she had felt when that man had hit her in her memory.

Later, someone knocked on the door. It had passed like almost an hour. Could it be Jake with the food?

“Kimberly?” It was Eric this time. “Can I come in?”

“Sure.”

Eric was different towards her since she had remembered she had been raped and was rare the time he talked to her after that. “I just wanted to say that… I know the grades of your finals.”

“Oh my god! I already did the finals? I had totally forgotten that! How stupid I am! We’re already in July!” She put her stormy eyes on Eric and asked, “So?”

His mouth opened in a huge smile, “You were the best in every single one. Straight A’s.”

She had finished college officially. She had been the best in every single one. No more studying for college while she was dying to go to bed, sleepier than everyone in the whole world.

Tears of happiness filled her eyes. She had gone through the most difficult period in her life, she had to work every night, she had to attend college every day and had to study whenever she could. Still, she had been the best. She had finished.

“Those are tears of hapiness, right?”

She didn’t answer, she just smile. Finally, something good she could smile about. She wasn’t expecting when Eric ran to her arms and hugged her.

“Congratulations.”

“Thank you!” Kimberly laughed. “I can’t believe I made it through…”

“I know you would. Despite the fact you had to work every night, I knew you would.” Eric revealed and then, he got her full attention.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, you told me that you worked as a stripper. So I know how hard it was.” As soon as Eric said that, Kimberly stepped back. She had never told anyone, why would she tell him?

“I never told anyone-”

“Didn’t you fall for me?”

“I fell for Jake too and I think he doesn’t know.” Kimberly eyed him carefully. He had helped her before, then he had stopped and now he had re-started saying her things? “When did I tell you?”

“Soon after I met you. You trusted me right away, on the contrary of Jake. You never told him. Although you dated him, you didn’t trust him. I had to tell you this, Kimmy. I had to show you you trusted me!” Eric answered right away, with this need to explain what she wanted to hear.

“I-”

“I’m sorry I haven’t been around.” Eric interrupted her, “But… since you found out you were… sexually abused, I… I though you needed some time to think.”

“I didn’t need time to think, Eric!” Kimberly suddenly raised her voice, she started felling anger, “All I needed to think was anything else but that! You said I fell for you and that you like me too, but you never supported or talked to me after I remember!”

“I’m sorry-”

“Only that jerk talked to me! Only he felt ok near me!”

“Now he’s a jerk? I thought he wasn’t a jerk when you almost went to bed with him.”

That hit her in the right spot. “I wasn’t quite myself…” What a filthy lie. She wanted him herself.

“Great excuse. I thought you were going to see right away that he was a bastard and that you loved me, but instead… you were ready to let him fuck you.”

She raised her hand in seconds, slapping him.

“You want me to see right away that I want you and not him, but talking to me in that way isn’t going to make me remember that I preferred you instead of him.”

Suddenly, someone opened the door. Kimberly looked past Eric and saw Jake at her door, with something on his hand. He looked at both for some seconds and then said, “I have the food.”

Thank god he had arrived. Eric annoyed her, “Oh my god, you’re serious? The chef made you the food?” Kimberly acted like nothing had happened.

“No, he didn’t. I went to an Italian restaurant to pick this up.” Jake walked past Eric, not even looking behind him, “Next time, we’ll go the both of us and we’ll have a nice lunch. It’s boring to wait for the food all alone.”

“You wanted to go.” It was impossible for Kimberly to not let out a simply smile.

“Whatever.” There was no smile in his mouth, though. He turned around and faced Eric. “Your face’s red.”

“Yeah, thanks for saying what I already knew.”

Jake looked at her now, “What happened?”

“Nothing that matters to you!” Eric yelled out of a sudden.

Jake’s eyes darkened, “In case you didn’t notice, I asked Kimmy.”

For Kimberly’s amazement, Eric didn’t attack his brother, “Kimmy, when you want to-”

“What did you call her?” The package that Jake brought fell on the floor. “You called her Kimmy?”

“Yeah, so?”

Those dark green eyes pierced through her body this time, “You let him call you Kimmy?”

“Why? You call me that.” She was so used to Jake calling her Kimmy that she didn’t feel sad anymore when she thought about the name her dead father called her. She was still getting used to Eric calling her that, but it was weird whenever Kimmy came from his mouth.

Jake didn’t answer. He let out a deep breath and walked towards Kimberly. He reached her, leaned his head on hers and whispered in her ear, “Because I was the only one who called you that, baby. Whenever you came to see me to…” His hand ran through her neck, giving her a shiver down her spine, “…give you pleasure in my bed… Whenever you came to me when you wanted to talk, I was the one who called you that. Not Eric, baby.”

The way Jake said it, he said it like a jerk, but in his voice… she sensed a flinch. Something wasn’t right this time. Jake was really the only one who called her that?

“Ask him if you want.” Jake’s amused smile met her eyes, “He stayed in our house for some days. He even called you Kimmy then. You know what you said?”

“I…” She paused and she sensed it. A new memory coming to her mind, another piece of her forgotten life.

"Did you ever like him?” Jake was sat down at her front, looking straight into her eyes. A table was between them and they were dressed formally. There was a beautiful sunset at their right side.

"No, Jake. Eric would be sweet to me, he would talk to me whenever I needed, he would be there whenever I needed or whenever I needed to spit out everything about you, but no. I never liked him. Although you treated me really bad sometimes, you’re the one.”

"I’m the one?”

"You’re the one I like.” Kimberly added quickly.

"But you don’t want me.”

"I don’t wanna talk about it, Jake.”

"Did he ever call you Kimmy?” Jake asked, changing the issue.

"I’m not sure. Once, I think.” Kimberly answered.

"You let him call you that?”

Kimberly laughed, “No, I didn’t. Although it reminds me of my parents… it also reminds me of you now. I don’t want anyone to call me that expect you. It’s yours now, Jake. It belongs to you.”

“Kimmy! Kimmy!” She heard someone call her from the real world. She was in Jake’s arms. She had lost the strength on her knees but he had caught her.

“That’s why…” She opened her eyes, pointing at Eric, “That’s why whenever you called me Kimmy… it was weird coming from your mouth but not Jake’s.”

“Kim, I-”

“What did you remember?” Jake’s loud voice overpowered Eric’s.

“Us.” Kimberly said. “I remember us. I remember saying you were the one I like.”

The jerk form disappeared from Jake’s body for now, “You remember me!”

Before she could say something, she heard the door of her room being closed aggressively. Eric had walked out of her room.

Jake helped her lying down on her bed. This time, her head only hurt a bit. “What did you remember?”

“I… remember us having dinner… I was wearing this beautiful dress… and there was a beautiful sunset…” She closed her eyes remembering again.

“I remember that.” Jake smiled. “I prepared you a romantic dinner before we spent the first weekend here. You loved it, you told me yourself.”

“Why… if I liked you… why did you ask me if I liked Eric?” Jake had his head bent own, too close from hers.

“Because… you got really close to him when he spent some days at our house. We weren’t… I mean… I was jea- I… liked you. But when my brother started acting really bad towards me, I knew he liked you. I just wanted to know if you liked him.” So, now she was sure Eric really liked her. But how was she going to know if she liked Eric after she met him? Could ever be the possibility that she lay when they were in that romantic dinner?

“Why did you think I liked him?” Jake ran a hand through her red hair.

“Because… I was a jerk and he was sweet. He had what I didn’t have. You wanted sweetness that I really didn’t want to give you or show you. Eric was able to give you what you wanted. Besides…” This time he looked away and when his eyes met hers, they were this dark green and he had an angry expression, “I heard you saying you preferred him to my mom.”

“But…” He was confusing her. If she had admitted she had liked him when they were having a romantic dinner, why would she say she preferred Eric? And why would she say it to his mother? “I said I liked you.”

“Yeah.” Damn him. Now that she needed to know something, he didn’t tell her? She was fucking confused! Did he want her to know she liked him? Then why the fuck didn’t he explain her why she had said that?

Fury stroked in a second, “That isn’t possible!” She got up quickly, avoiding his touch.

“I remembered I liked you! How could I say I preferred him? I don’t remember anything with Eric! I even remembered us having sex…”

“What? You didn’t tell me that!”

“…and I was happy! How did I end up saying I preferred him?” What a fucking mess!

“Kimberly calm down. You have to remember. I can’t say you things! I want you to remember everything! If I say you things, you won’t remember!” Jake seemed angry too, “You think I don’t want to tell you? Hell, from all of the fucking persons that know you and like you, I’m the one who wants it the most!”

She calm down for a second. She looked like she was fucking crazy. One minute she thought he was a jerk and now she seemed she wanted to remember that Jake was the one she liked.

Then why? Why did she prefer Eric?

She heard Jake’s voice, “You remembered us having sex?”

“Yes. It was one of my first memories.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I don’t know.” Her mind was thinking about that question, but Jake was distracting her. She wanted to remember. If she thought about why she preferred Eric, she was sure she would end up remember something.

To make him shut up; Kimberly went to her nightstand and picked up a book. She opened in a page and took a photo out of there. “I saw this and I remembered.”

Jake grabbed the photo and said right away, “I was looking for this! I thought I had lost it! I loved this night, baby.”

“Oh really? Why?” She answered, with no attention to what Jake was saying.

“We had this night… so good. I love every time I have sex with you, but I loved this night. We made love till the sunrise. It was your n-… I mean, you didn’t go to w-… What I’m trying to say is that we had sex the entire night till the sunrise. After, I played the guitar and you fell asleep. Damn, you were so beautiful.”

Kimberly looked at him. He couldn’t take his eyes off the photo.

“You were lying in my bed…naked. The sheet covered just bit of your body. You slept like an angel. I was capable of doing it all over again with you.”

Boy, Jake was really into her, wasn’t he?

“Then… I fucking messed up everything.”

“What?” That caught her attention. “What did you say?”

He realized his mistake and looked at her. The jerk came back to life again, “Nothing, baby. Well, I’m going to swim a little bit. I would invite you to see my abs, but you’re still embarrassed. You’re still hot, you know?”

“Don’t get near me.” Kimberly said as he started to walk towards her. She had only let him touch her in the bed because she was way too occupied thinking about what she had remembered. She still didn’t want any of them to touch her.

“I won’t. But you will get near me in the future. I know it. If you remember anything else again… You know where to find me.” Jake was going to turn around, but then he said, “Don’t forget to eat. I didn’t spend my time there so I would get home and you wouldn’t eat.” He turned around and left her alone.

God, he could be so fucking cold sometimes. Sometimes he would be worried about her; sometimes he would act like a jerk, like Sidney had said to. Kimberly still didn’t believe how she had fallen or him. She liked when he was sweet, like minutes ago, telling her what they did when they took that photo that night. But when he would behave like a fucking jerk… she just felt like slapping him and yelling at him!

Then again… the night they almost had sex… hadn’t started like it? Hadn’t he yelled at her and hadn’t she slapped him? What had happened next? He kissed her and seconds later she was willing to let his hands caress her whole body.

It was frustrating to know that.

Kimberly sat down on her bed and grabbed the package Jake had let go. She could smell the grilled seafood. When she opened it, she saw he had brought her what she had asked.

When she started eating, she starting thinking again on the memories she had already remembered. The problem was… which memory came first? Which memory was last? Because without knowing that it was the same thing as not remembering them.

The rest of the day was ok. She just spent her time in the bedroom. And after dinner, she had fallen asleep.

In her sleep… she remembered.

She slowly turned around and faced his beautiful and dark green eyes, “What do you want Jake?” Kimberly asked with a tired voice.

"I want to know why. I want to know why you prefer him, Kimmy. I mean, you said you went…”

"Let it go, Jake.” Her voice didn’t seem strong enough to make him stop.

“… to bed with me, that I was the one you had sex, that it had been with me that you had gone to the hotel, then why, Kimmy?”

Suddenly, she exploded, “BECAUSE ERIC IS NOT THE ONE WHO DISMISSES GIRLS LIKE IF THEY WERE JUST AN OBJECT! BECAUSE ERIC ISN’T THE ONE WHO JUST WANTS THEM FOR SEX! BECAUSE ERIC CAN REALLY LIKE SOMEONE! BECAUSE HE CAN BE NICER THAN YOU! BECAUSE HE ADMITS HIS FEELINGS! IS THAT ENOUGH REASONS FOR YOU?”

All of a sudden, Kimberly woke up. She was sweating all over her body and instinctively, she put her hand over her belly. She questioned herself when she saw what she had done, but the question was replaced by the memory.

So, she really did prefer Eric. And she even had the reasons. She said it herself. Was Jake that bad? Was he that bad for women? And did Kimberly prefer Eric that bad?

It was midnight. She had fallen asleep after dinner. She got up from the bed, put a robe over her body that had just some underwear and opened the door of her room.

Eric. She had to talk to Eric. She needed answers.

God, her breasts hurt. This wasn’t normal.

In her way towards Eric’s room, she passed by Angeline’s office and she heard voices. God, everyone conspired during the night? The door was closed, but Kimberly knew the voices.

“She’ hasn’t found out yet, hum?” It was Angeline.

“No.” Jake’s voice. “And I don’t know how.”

“She’s been here for two weeks!” Angeline said amazed, “How can she possibly not know? When you found out the doctor said one month right? Which means… one month and two weeks! I already knew the first two weeks when it was you!

“She said she’s getting fat.”

“She’s denying the inevitable.” Angeline declared. They were talking about her.

“Give her a break mom. She lost her memory. She probably doesn’t even remember when her period didn’t come.” What the fuck? Why had Jake said that? “She already knows we… had sex.”

“At least that.”

“Mom, I’ve been thinking.”

“What, dear?”

“I think I should take her home now. We spent our time together there; maybe she remembers more things when we get back.”

“You can’t leave the company, Jake.” Angeline answered impatiently.

“Do you think I don’t know that? But Kimberly comes first! I have to make her remember! Besides… That’s not my only reason to take her home.”

She heard steps inside. Someone was moving around. “Eric is your other reason, right?”

“Yes.” Silence. “He’s been taking advantage of this, mom! Can you believe he even calls her Kimmy? She lets him because she lost her memory! And I think Eric has been telling her lies.”

“You think… he’s trying to make her fall for him?”

“Yes.”

“Your brother wouldn’t do that to you.”

“Yes, he would.” Oh, Jake seemed secure. “Eric’s obsessed with Kimberly!” Maybe Jake’s the one obsessed with her! Eric has done nothing wrong! He’s the one who helps her!

“You need to calm down, Jake.” Angeline said. “Listen, you can’t take her out of here because-”

“Yeah, I’ve thought about that too. I know she will want to get back to work. I can’t imagine her working at night and being pregnant at the same time.”

“WHA-” She didn’t finished her word; someone grabbed her from behind and put his hand over her mouth.

“Calm down, Kimmy.” Eric whispered in her ear. “I will give you the explanation for what you just heard. Just don’t do any noise.”

When Eric took her to his room, she immediately opened her mouth to talk, “How-”

“First of all, calm down, Kimmy.” Eric said as he closed the door of his bedroom. Kimberly kept walking from one side to another, thinking about what she had just heard. She couldn’t possibly be pregnant!

“I can’t be pregnant, Eric!” She tried to keep her voice down, but she had too much emotions to think about.

“But you are.” His greenish eyes were waiting for her reaction.

“I’m pregnant… because of the guy who raped me?” Oh god… not that.

“No. You heard the conversation, didn’t you?” Kimberly waved yes. “Then you heard that you’re pregnant for a month and two weeks.”

Oh yes… She had forgotten that. “I was… you know… after I got pregnant, right?” She fell on his bed, “Then how did… How didn’t I lose the baby?”

“Miracle.”

Kimberly felt tears in her eyes and her vision blurred the second after.

She was pregnant. That was why she wanted to eat that bad and why she just felt like throwing up out of nowhere. That was why she was… getting fat and the clothes didn’t fit her anymore.

But how? She was on the pill! That isn’t possible! And she never wanted to get pregnant this early! She was young! Too young! And she was a stripper! She couldn’t get pregnant!

And… who was the father? Jake?

She looked at Eric. He said they had fallen in love. But... had she ever had sex with him? Because if she had… Couldn’t Eric be the father? Oh god… this couldn’t get worse…

She had been raped… She had lost her memory… She didn’t know which man was the one she loved… And now she was pregnant? What more could happen to her?

Her eyes met Eric’s. “Jake’s the father, isn’t he?” It could only be Jake. She had already seen herself having sex with him. And the fact that she was able to have sex with him again only after a few days of meeting him, made her think Jake was the one.

Wasn’t he? After all she had heard him saying to his mother that she already knew they had sex. It was a precaution? If she knew they had had sex, she would know Jake was the father.

Eric’s voice cut her thoughts, “No. I am.”

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