Chapter 24 -1
This is a repeat of Chapter 25 but in Axel’s POV
The boys and I just got done doing a short stretch. I took off my jacket and tossed it on the bench. My body was drenched in sweat. Javier was deckie on this job while Link was running truckie. A typical day at work.
Javier tossed me a towel and I caught it in my hand, “Are you going to go home?”
“No, I think I’ll stick around and see what other jobs might come up,” I replied not meeting his eyes because I already know what he was going to say.
Fuck, I’ve been messed up ever since I came back from Spain. I couldn’t sleep, eat, or think. Work seems to be the only thing that keeps my head on straight. It hurt like a bitch returning back to my apartment and walking past her apartment.
There is an ache in my chest. It tightens when I see flashes of her. A small hint of her sweet scent and I’m fighting blindly against the pain. It hurt too much to live next to her and not want to kiss her senseless-not wanting to run to her door and demand her to love me-to see me.
“You’ve worked since ten last night,” Javier mentioned.
“Yeah, well, I ain’t got nothing else to do. Might as well get some cash while I’m at it.” I grumbled. I shuffled through my work bag for some spare clothes to change into. I haven’t gone home.
I moved back to my mom’s but I had only gone home to crash for a few hours before I got up and headed back to work.
Suddenly, Donnie turned up the volume on the TV that was in the station. Newscasters were outside a familiar building. I read the headline and my blood ran cold. Suddenly the alarms blared. My eyes snapped to the alarm.
“We got work boys.” Donnie shot up from his seat.
I dropped the towel and moved to grab my jacket again. Javier stopped by placing a hand on my shoulder. I gave him a glare.
“We will handle this one. You need to go home.”
“I’m not fucking sitting back. I’m going.” I growled at him, shoving him aside. I shoved the exit door open and headed for the truck.
Javier swore behind me before grabbing his own jacket and following after me. I glanced at him as I hopped into the truck.
“I’ll be damn if I let you go alone. I can’t believe I have a fucking conscience. You better hope the boss doesn’t hear about your fucking crazy mood swings. You’ll be benched.” He grounded before putting on his seatbelt.
I flipped on the switch and drove out before everyone else. My heart was pumping with each wasted second. I needed to get there. I knew she was home because I heard her the first night and I knew without a doubt she was home right now.
“Fuck!” I swore and slammed my hand against the wheel. Javier glanced over at me.
“Calm down, Axel. You won’t be able to help her if you are acting like this.” He warned me but his words fell at deaf ears.
When we made it on the scene the fire was raging. People were rushing out of the building. It was chaos. The chief was trying to maintain some kind of organization but it was hard when fear was present in this crowd. The fire was already raging. One look up and I saw it completely engulfing my apartment building. It was already eating its way to the Ryleigh’s bedroom. Her living room window burst against the heat and people screamed.
“Fuck!” I turned to my chief. “We need to go in.”
“There is no way we are going in until we can tame that beast.” He turned to pin me with a look.
I ran a hand through my hair, letting out a fucking frustrated exhale.
“I can’t. I have to go.” I mumbled. I was in a frenzied state, pacing back and forth. I ran my fingers through my hair.
The chief eyed me suspiciously, “We are not going in. Do you understand?”
My hands curled into fist. I gave him a brief nod before I paced and waited. A minute later another window shattered. My chest tightened so painfully I couldn’t breathe. Shaking my head I knew what I needed to do. All I could think about was her. I needed to get to her.
“Fuck this!” I grabbed my helmet off the truck and dashed inside. I heard the chief and Javier calling my name but I don’t give a fuck.
I can’t lose her.
I pulled on my helmet and ran up the stairs. The fire was a monster. It left me nothing but a lethal path up the second floor landing. I jumped over fallen ceilings and over burnt floorings. Her door was completely engulfed in fire. I kicked it down in one kick. The door was already weak with the fire but it didn’t mean it wasn’t angry with me. The fire blew in my face and I recoiled slightly. My eyes roaming her apartment.
When the fire pulled back, I went inside. Her kitchen and living room was completely destroyed. There was nothing left. I saw a cleared path close to the wall that was closest to her bedroom.
“Ryleigh!” I shouted. My heart was in my throat. My blood was pumping with fear. I only had one person on my mind and I was not leaving until I found her.
“Ryleigh! God damn it, answer me!” I roared, driven by fear.
A second later I heard her voice but I thought it was my imagination. I stopped breathing and then I heard her again. God, it was what I needed to push me forward.
“Axel!” She shouted. “Axel, please I am in here!”
She was scared. I can hear it. It was coming from the bathroom.
“Ryleigh?” I shouted through the door.
“I’m in here.” She said in a weak voice.
I nodded, swallowing the lump in my throat.
“Everything will be okay. Step away from the door.” I ordered. “Let me know when you are safely away from the door.”
It didn’t take long before I heard her voice. I broke the door down. When I saw her on the ground of the bathroom, I nearly fell to my knees in relief. She was safe. She wasn’t hurt. I called out to Javier that I had her and for him to meet me by her bedroom window.
I took off my helmet to give to her.
“I did what you told me.” She cried and my chest tightened once again with an unbearable grip.
“Good girl. You did good, Hermosa." I said, my throat clogged up with emotions.
I kissed her forehead and placed the helmet over her head before sweeping her up in bridal style. I carried her out of the bathroom and to the bedroom, making sure to slam the door close. The fire was thick and strong. Javier was at the window waiting. I handed her to Javier first before following after her.
The minute we were both outside and safe. I pulled her into my arms. I needed to feel her close. I needed to feel her warm body pressed against mine. My heart was beating so fast in my chest I have never been this scared in my life.
I can’t lose her. I love her. I have always loved her. Just the thought of her...
“Fuck, Hermosa, I thought-” I tightened my arms around her. Just the thought of not being able to see her smile or laugh again, it killed me.
“I’m sorry.” She said.
She didn’t have to be sorry about anything. This was not her fault.
“I’m so glad you are okay,” I whispered before admitting. “I have never been so scared in my life.”
“Me too,” She whispered. “Axel, I’m sorry...”
Her voice dropped at the end. Her body slumped and my heart stopped beating for the hundredth time tonight. I pulled back to look at her. The light was leaving her eyes. Her face was ashen.
“Shit! Javier, get a fucking gurney over here!” I growled, feeling the panic rise in my chest. Javier hopped off the platform and ran towards the EMS. He shouted and pointed towards me. The EMS team came running with a gurney.
I took off her helmet and gripped her face in my hands. I needed her to focus. I needed her to look at me. I can’t lose her. I can’t.
“Stay with me, baby.” I pleaded.
God, please stay with me.
Days of not seeing her and even though the pain in my chest has lessened it was only replaced with a death gripping fear.
“I’m sorry, Axel,” She said again.
“I know, baby, I know but keep your eyes open,” I begged, fighting back the fear and tears that were threatening to escape.
Don’t leave me.
But even when I spoke those words I knew I was losing her. The minute her eyes fluttered close I picked her up. The EMS was waiting for me to hand her to them. There was a part of me that screamed for me to hold her close. I needed her. She was the only person that will take away the pain in my chest but I knew I need her alive and I can’t do that by holding her in my arms.
My eyes never leaving her unconscious form. I swallowed the lump in my throat and followed the EMS into the ambulance. I didn’t care about anything else. I only cared about her at this moment. My hands wrapping tightly around hers as the EMS worked around me.
Fuck, I never prayed to god but this time I prayed. I prayed for him to not take her. I prayed for him to bring her back because I needed her to breathe. I needed to her to live because without her my world was dark.