I wake up the next morning completely naked in Cal's arms.
I look up at him and watch as his lips move with each breath, his chest rising and falling slowly. He is as content as I am, I'm sure. I peel myself away from the warmth of the bed and make my way to the bathroom. I stare at myself in the mirror, realising that my make-up from last night was still on, probably most of it was on the pillow too.
I run the water in the shower and wait until the temperature is hot enough to step into. I walk into the steam, letting it cover my body, running my hands over my face and my hair, humming to myself. I wash my hair, taking time to massage the conditioner in before rinsing it out. My hair is an absolute nightmare if it isn't conditioned.
I still can't believe what Cal did for me last night, I feel like I'm going to burst with happiness.
I didn't hear the footsteps come into the bathroom, and almost jump out of my skin when I hear a deep voice say;
"Well, you must be the reason he isn't answering any of my calls."
I gasp, grabbing my towel from the top of the shower, turning it off as quickly as I can.
Through the steam I saw a tall, muscular man standing in the doorway, watching me with a lazy grin on his face. I gulp, wrapping the towel around me in horror.
Who the hell was this?!
Why is he staring at me like I am his breakfast?!
"What the fuck are you doing in my house?" I hear Cal growl.
The man doesn't even turn away from me as he runs his eyes down my body.
"See, I was just telling this young lady here now I understand why you haven't returned my calls."
His voice was thick with a New York accent and I feel panic take over, my whole body shaking in response to the situation.
Cal pushes in front of him, standing in front of me angrily.
"What the fuck is this Andre?"
I hide behind Cal, my heart pounding. I know nothing will happen to me whilst Cal was there, but I was still totally out of my depth and I'm terrified.
The man's eyes reluctantly leave me as Cal walks forwards, standing squarely in front of him. Andre spoke again.
"Let's go downstairs. Let the lady...get dressed."
The man licks his lips and I shudder. Cal doesn't move and the man steps backwards out of the bathroom slowly.
Cal moves towards me quickly.
"Get dressed Gretchen, don't worry. You're safe with me."
He kisses my head and fixes his eyes on mine, before turning in the same direction the creepy Andre had gone.
I quickly pick up a stray t shirt and some jeans that are way too big for me. I want to cry with frustration; why didn't I have any clothes?! I should have left some here. I find a hoody and pull that on, grateful for the large size. My hair was dripping wet, curls starting to form. I grab a towel and scrunched some of the moisture out, realising my hands are shaking.
I tiptoe to the stairs and listen to the voices as best as I can. I hear them but I can't make out what they were saying, and all I can think of was what I was going to do if something happened to Cal. I scream inwardly as I try to calm myself down.
How could we have been dancing on a yacht last night and now I was hiding upstairs from a lecherous prick who had let himself into Cal's house?! I grip the handrail as the voices got louder and less muffled.
''If you had answered my calls I wouldn't have had to make this trip especially Leo."
Leo?! Who the fuck was Leo? My heart beat hard in my chest.
"I told you. This is over now. What the fuck are you doing here?" Cals demands angrily.
"You can't ignore what happened. Does your pretty little girlfriend know?" Andre sneers.
"Don't even mention her. Forget you ever saw her." Cal is furious.
"It's hard though; she is such a pretty little thing. Remember the last pretty little thing you had? I liked her alot too."
He starts to laugh and I hear deathly silence.
"Are you still getting the threats Leo?"
I hear Cal bang his fist on the counter.
"You come to MY house, let yourself in and fucking stare at my girlfriend in the shower? Then ask me that? You are one sick fuck."
Andre laughs manically.
"But we are quite alike, are we not Leo?"
His voice is softer now.
"No we're not, we are nothing alike." Cal spits out in anger.
I want to go and hold him back, but I know I need to stay upstairs.
"You deserve to die," Cal snarls.
He clearly meant that, his voice was menacing. I have never heard him like that before, ever.
"I may go and see your little girlfriend. I hope she hasn't got dressed. I much preferred her naked."
I gasp then, running to the bathroom and locking the door. My heart pounds loudly in my chest, filling my ears with the sound of rushing blood. I feel like I'm going to be sick from pure fear. Tears start streaming down my face as I hear footsteps running up the stairs, followed by scuffling and shouting.
"You are a weak little boy. Maybe she needs a man? When I have finished with you I will make sure she knows what a man feels like."
His vile words make me retch and I rack my brain thinking of what I could possibly do. My phone wasn't in the bathroom, and if I go out there then I will be at risk.
I couldn't leave Cal there though.
That man was bigger than Cal and clearly fought dirty. I glance around the bathroom, desperately searching for anything I could use as a weapon.
All I can see is bottles of shampoo and shower gel. I can hear banging outside the door, then a thud. I start to panic.
I open the door slowly, peeking through the crack in the door; I can't see anything. I open the door more, slowly peeking around the door. I could see legs sprawled next to the bedroom door and I start to weep as I walk towards them.
They aren't moving.
I walk forward, my hand over my mouth as I see what once was the face of Andre. Blood covers his face and I see Cal leaning against the wall, his eyes wide and his face swollen.
"Baby," I whisper. He doesn't look at me; he doesn't even blink.
"Baby I need to call an ambulance ok?" I look around for my phone desperately, finally spotting it on the stand beside my bed and I run over.
I hear Cal order harshly. I stare at him, stunned.
"No. He needs to die ok? I will explain. But he needs to."
He sounds almost calm. He nods towards his phone which is on the floor near the bed.
"Can you pass me that? I am not sure I can move just yet."
He makes an attempt at laughing and winces. My mind races as I hand him his phone.
What was going on?
I knew the man was a bad apple, but did he deserve to die?
I slump onto the floor against the bed as I close my eyes. Suddenly Andre starts to gurgle and cough, and Cals eyes widen as he jumps up, crying out in pain as he does, to put his hand over Andres mouth and nose.
I gasp, covering my eyes as I saw Andre try to fight Cal pointlessly. Andres eyes are wide as he tries to speak, but Cal stares at him as he leans in close to his ear.
"This is for Lucia you sick fucker," he spits in his face as the light fades from Andres eyes. Cal doesn't remove his hands, pushing down repeatedly until he is sure he is dead.
I start to sob then, and Cal glances at me, as though he has just remembered I'm there. He leans back and reaches for his phone, indicating for me to come to his side.
I shake my head.
Cal makes a call, his hands on his head.
"Can I speak to Verno? It's Leo."
I stare at him, a million questions going around in my head.
Was this his name?
His real name?
I close my eyes and try to breathe normally. I am sat in a room with a corpse, who moments before was most certainly going to try to kill my boyfriend then do awful things to me.
Cal didn't have much choice. Well, Leo didn't. I have zero grip on reality right now.
I listen as Cal explains to whoever Verno is that Andre is dead, and that he needed someone to remove him.
I feel a wave of nausea sweep over me as the room starts to spin; was I now an accessory to MURDER?
Cal hangs up the phone, crawling over to me, holding my hands in his blood stained ones.
"I will tell you everything. Right now, just please listen to me."
My hands are shaking violently but I nod, desperate for him to shed some light on what the hell has just happened.
"Ok," Cal takes a deep breath. "First, we need to get out of here. Let me clean myself up."
He manages to stand, grimacing as he does. I help him to the shower, as he washes away the blood. I notice he has deep black bruises appearing on his ribs and chest. He winces as he washes, but he soon was out drying himself. He dressed with my help, and we stepped over the body of Andre, Cal pulling me close to him as we did. We make our way downstairs and outside to his car.