We spent the rest of the weekend at Blake’s house. Either of us didn’t want to go out, me because of my dislike of crowds and Blake because of my cramps. He’s been rubbing my stomach for most of the afternoon and evening, his warm hand helping tremendously with the pain. I had to take my meds for the night, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to sleep. My cramps have been awful ever since I got my first period, so I always take my muscle relaxers when I know I’m close.
The Sunday was peaceful, following the Knights’ day plan. While Sam and Jared went on their date lunch, Blake and I had our own, followed by a quick nap in his bed. Later I helped Sam make dinner and, after we ate, I made Blake help me with dishes. Sam laughed at the sight. She told me Blake had never done much of the chores in the house before, so seeing him helping me so often was quite funny.
Today's Monday. I woke up with a bad feeling in my gut, and I’m not talking about my period.
I’m taking my stuff from Blake’s locker, making sure I have everything for my next two classes when two arms wrap themselves around my waist as a hard body is pressed against me. But it’s not the person I’m used to.
I stomp my foot on theirs and smash my elbow in their ribs, getting out of the unfamiliar hold before turning around and punching them hard in their face.
Declan falls on his ass and cries out in pain in his broken jaw and I stand above him seething as I glare at him.
“YOU MOTHERFUCKER!!!” I hear Blake’s furious voice before I can see him. He charges towards us with William and Tyler in tow, who look just as angry.
I’m crushed into Blake’s chest with a little too much force, but I don’t say anything. He’s mad, I get it. My books fall on the floor as I place my own arms around him, keeping him close to me.
“Get that fucker out.” Blake growls to William and Tyler, who roughly pick up Declan, before taking him outside.
“I will fucking kill him! He TOUCHED you!” His whole body is shaking with fury as he seethes.
“And I broke his jaw. He got what he deserved. Let it go.” I say into his chest as I try to calm him down, rubbing his back slowly under his shirt.
I relax when I feel his chest shake as he chuckles.
“You broke his jaw?! My badass sweetheart.” Blake leaves a firm kiss on the top of my head.
After I manage to calm him down, we pick up my books and head to class. I keep a tight hold on Blake’s hand, so he doesn’t do anything stupid, like go after that dick.
We go through the day without much problems, but I could tell by the look on Blake’s face that he’s still on edge. I wait for him by his locker, so we can go for lunch, but I don’t see him anywhere. Now I’m getting worried. He’s usually the first one out of class.
I catch the sight of Will and Ty around the corner, but as soon as they see me, their eyes widen comically and they turn the other way. That little idiot got in trouble! I think when I see the guys try to avoid me. Keyword – try, since I catch up to them quite fast.
“Where’s Blake?” I cut to the chase.
Tyler starts fidgeting under my hard stare, whereas William looks at me blankly.
“Where’s Blake?!” I repeat, getting irritated.
Tyler breaks first. “He went to deal with the dickhead.” He rushes out.
That idiot! “WHERE?!”
“Behind the bleachers.” William sighs after few minutes, realizing that I won’t drop it.
I run outside to the field with guys following closely behind me, calling out to me. But I ignore them.
We reach the bleachers, but the sight in front of me makes me falter in my step. Blake is on the ground with furious Declan pummeling his fists into his torso. I’M GOING TO KILL HIM!!!
I rush towards them, getting Declan off of Blake with a powerful punch to the side of his face.
“GET HIM TO A HOSPITAL!!!” I yell out to the guys, who finally snap out of their shock and get unconscious Blake up.
“What about you?!” William angrily shouts.
“I’ll be fine. Get him to a hospital, NOW!!!” I growl at them when they hesitate.
I wake up in a car, completely disoriented and in a lot of pain. Will is behind the wheel, while Ty is next to him in the passenger seat. They stay quiet as Will rushes through the streets.
“Blake! Oh god! Don’t move. We’re taking you to a hospital. We’re almost there.” Tyler is the first one to notice me awake.
“Where’s Lia?” I ask worried.
“She told us to take you with us. I think she stayed behind.”
“YOU LEFT HER WITH THAT FUCKER ALONE?!” I yell before falling down, groaning in pain. I did not expect the fucker to get me so bad.
I went to warn him to stay away from Lia, trying to keep my temper in check, remembering Lia’s plan to take him down. But when he started saying how soft she was in his arms and how he would love to take her from behind like earlier, I snapped, punching him in the face. Soon we were in a fight, but he got the upper hand when I collapsed after getting a kick in the stomach. With few hits to my head, I was out.
I stay down in the backseat till we reach the hospital. Guys help me walk in, and the state I’m in makes my mom gasp in shock when we catch her by the nurses' station. She rushes us to the ER, helping me lie on the bed.
My mom is close to tears when she sees my chest and stomach after cutting my shirt off. I couldn't take it off because every time I moved my arms, it was like someone hit me with a hammer in the ribs. Is that what Lia felt like when her ribs were hurt?
“Oh god, honey, what happened?” Her voice breaks as she speaks.
"I got in a fight."
Mom is called to go see another patient for a while, but she hesitates, realizing that it means leaving me. I assure her I’ll be okay and Will and Ty are here to help if I start getting worse. She comes back about 30 minutes later and checks my wounds.
She comes to a conclusion that nothing is actually broken, just bruised badly then turns to my face, but a nurse comes up to her before she can do anything.
“Sam, we have another boy coming in. ETA, 5 minutes.”
“Alright. Notify me when he’s here.” Mom is in the middle of putting stitches on the cut of my eyebrow when Lia storms into the ER.
She looks worried as she searches to room. Her white t-shirt is covered in blood, so is her face and arms. A male nurse approaches her, but she shrugs him off. She catches sight of me and visibly relaxes before running over to the bed I’m on. My mom gasps loudly when she notices her, but Lia ignores her as she takes my face in her bloodied hands and smashes her lips to mine. I wrap my hand in her hair, pulling her closer to me. I don’t care about the blood splattered on her face or her hands, concentrating on the taste of her mouth on my tongue, kissing her with fervor.
We pull away about a minute later. We’re both breathing heavily, our foreheads pressed together as we just relish the contact.
“You’re such a fucking idiot!” Lia hisses, but there’s still worried undertone in her voice.
“Lia? Are you alright?” My mom’s concerned voice reaches us, causing Lia to straighten up.
“I’m fine, Sam. How is he?” She gestures to me as she asks.
“I’ll keep him overnight, I have to do some tests. I’m suspecting a concussion. Badly bruised ribs, but I didn’t feel any breaks. He’s just beaten up badly, but I’m worried about you, Lia. You’re covered in blood”
“I’m okay, don’t worry.” Lia turns to me. “I’m going home to clean up, but I’ll be back later, yeah?” She tells me before giving me a quick peck and leaving before I can even answer.
After all my tests were done I’ve been moved to a room; Will and Ty stayed here with me. My dad is here now, too. He didn't even try to hide his anger when I explained what happened. The guys and I decide to keep watch on Lia instead of confronting the fucker. I told them what her plan is to take the fucker down and they agreed to help and even suggested getting the rest of the team on it.
But I can’t get the sight of Lia's bloodied body out of my head. She’s not back, yet. Is she hurt? Did that son of a bitch do that to her?! She seemed fine, there was not a trace of pain on her face, but I'm still worried.
After a while my girl enters the room, making me finally relax. After greeting my dad, she comes up to my bed and sits on the side of it next to me, taking my hand in hers. I notice her knuckles are wrapped in a bandage.
“What happened to you hands, baby?” I caress the bandage with my fingers as I ask.
“I punched the dickhead.” She answers offhandedly. “Are you okay? What did the tests say?”
“Slight concussion and a few bruises.” She nods in understanding.
“Here you are, you little bitch!” We’re all shocked at the sudden angry exclamation coming from the door. Lia gets up, facing the tall chubby man that just came in. She crosses her arms over her chest as he comes up to her and just listens to his rant about how she’s going to pay for what she’s done and whatnot. She regards him with no emotion, her face in a hard cold mask. My dad can’t take the man’s words any longer and gets up.
“Do-“ My dad’s cut off by an angry roar.
“DON’T TALK TO HER THIS WAY!!!” A huge burly man enters the room, looking furious. He looks to be in his mid-thirties, maybe older, about 6’6” tall, packed with muscle. Who is he?
I watch stunned as he pulls Lia behind him, facing the other guy.
“She almost killed my son! I will talk to her however the fuck I want!” What?!
“And I would fucking do the same had I known he’s followed her here! I warned you to keep that pedophile son of yours on a leash, Derek!” The man seethes into the other one’s face and we watch their exchange in pure shock.
“Pe-pedophile? Are you fucking serious?!” The shorter man is cut off before he can continue.
“He talked about having kids with a fucking 13-year-old!!!” The taller man yells out furiously, causing the other guy’s eyes to almost pop out.
“She’s the girl?!” Derek, as the taller man called him, exclaims shocked. “I will fucking disown that little son of a bitch! He told me she was 18 at the time!!!” He shouts before storming out.
“What the hell?” Tyler mutters, voicing my thoughts. What is going on?
The tall man turns to Lia, wrapping his arms around her shoulders. He embraces her tightly, kissing the top of her head. She’s letting him touch her. Who is he?
“Are you okay, little mouse?” He cups her cheeks as he looks at her with worried eyes.
“I’m okay, dad.” She keeps her arms around him. Oh, he’s her dad.
“I saw what you did to him.” He smiles down at her. “Great job, little mouse. I’m so proud of you.” He kisses her forehead.
“But what did you do to his arms?” He asks, sounding intrigued and amused.
“I ripped them from their sockets.” She shrugs. Her dad laughs, not at all surprised, while the rest of us stare at them completely dumbstruck.
“I’ve taught you well, princess.” Her dad praises, getting a happy grin from Lia. “But I still want to know what’s going on.”
“He beat up Blake.” Lia turns her head to me. I suddenly feel nervous as her dad’s gaze settles on me.
“And he is…?” He trails off, looking at her questioningly, even though I'm pretty sure he already has an idea who I am.
“My boyfriend. And that’s William and Tyler, our friends, and this is Jared, Blake’s dad.” She introduces everyone in the room.
Her dad pulls her into his side as he greets everyone with a firm handshake, getting a small cringe of pain from Tyler.
“Tyson Clarke, pleasure to meet you.” He introduces himself to my dad.
“Jared Knight. The pleasure’s all mine.” They shake hands.
“Why don’t you tell me what exactly happened. I came here as soon as Derek called me, but I have no idea what’s going on.” Tyson sits on the couch in the corner with Lia in his lap as my dad and the guys settle on the other one in front of them. I have to stay in bed, unfortunately. Lia is the one that tells him everything.
“Declan admitted himself to our school a while ago, but I was absent at the time. I came back last Wednesday and he started bothering me ever since. I warned him off, and he got the message at first. I mean, I’m me, so he should know better than to piss me off, but the next day he left a letter in my locker. I am not going to repeat its contents. – she shudders in disgust – Then when we were in class he sat in front of me and Blake. He kept giving me those vile notes and staring at me all the time.”
“My son got detention for almost attacking him, but after seeing what that kid wrote, I understood his reaction completely. That boy has a fucking problem.” Dad adds with a scowl.
“And today he touched me when I was taking out my stuff for classes. I broke his jaw.” Lia finishes her side of the story with a proud look, getting a grin from her dad. He kept stroking her hair as she talked.
“Such a good girl.” He praises, turning to look at me. “Let me guess, you confronted him and he beat you up.” I solemnly nod, feeling bad about being beaten up by such scumbag.
“I warned him that Declan is a kick-boxer, but he didn’t listen. – Lia looks at me pointedly – So when the guys told me he’s with the dickhead, I went to stop them. But I was too late. I told William and Tyler to get him to a hospital then I beat the fucker up.”
“I couldn’t let him talk about her the way he did. I wanted to just warn him off, since Lia planned to deal with him legally, but when he started to give those perverted comments about her, I just snapped.” I add, more to Lia than the others.
“You make me so proud, little one.” Tyson smiles adoringly at his daughter as he leaves another kiss on her forehead. It warms my heart to know that after all the hardships she went through she has such a loving dad.
“Is no one going to say anything about her breaking his arms? Seriously?” Tyler suddenly exclaims in shock.
“What’s there to say, young man? That little scumbag got what he deserved. I know my daughter and I’m sure she’s warned him before. He beat up her boyfriend with those arms, of course she would break them. – Tyson deadpans before turning to Lia – But ripping them out of their sockets? That was plain brilliant, princess.” He laughs. Lia grins as they fist bump. Those two are so weird.
“What if he goes to the cops about this?” My dad asks.
“Then I will take care of it. But I don’t think he will. He knows I would not let it slide if he did.” Tyson replies. “Besides, he will be too busy dealing with his injuries and his father. Derek is going to give him hell.” He adds with a chuckle.
After a while Will and Ty leave, with Tyson and my dad following them soon after. Lia stops Tyson when he gets up.
"Dad, wait a sec." Lia digs into her her bag, pulling out her house keys. “You’re staying at my house, right?” She asks, handing him her keys.
“Yeah. How did you know I forgot my keys?” He chuckles.
She gives him a deadpan look.
“Fair point. – he laughs. But she didn’t even say anything. – I’m guessing you’re staying here?” He tilts his head in my direction.
“Yeah. But I’ll come back later for dinner.” With a kiss on his cheek, she sends her dad off before coming back to sit next to me.
“I don’t think I left a good impression on your dad.” I take Lia’s hand in mine as she sits on the bed, getting a cute confused frown in response.
“What are you talking about? He obviously likes you.” My eyes widen slightly in surprise.
“Really? – I give her disbelieving look – It’s the first time he sees me and I’m in hospital bed, beaten up by that dickhead.”
“So what? That doesn’t matter to him. What does matter is the fact that you tried to deal with Declan because of me. You have nothing to worry about; I can tell he approves of you. Actions speak louder than words.” She squeezes my hand in reassurance.
“Besides, if he didn’t like you, you would know.” She adds with a chuckle.
After a while I decide to break the silence.
“Why were you covered in blood earlier?” I kept thinking about that.
“It wasn't mine. Well, most of it. My stitches ripped, so I had to redo them at home. That’s why I took so long.” She shrugs.
“You did them yourself?!” I reach for the emergency button, but she stops me.
“I did. Don’t worry, I know how to take care of myself.” She assures me.
“Also I didn’t know what room you were in and the old hag at the reception desk didn’t want to tell me, since I’m not family, so I had to find your mom.” She adds annoyed. Cute kitten.
“Well I’m glad you’re here.” I lean up, leaving a kiss on her lips, just as my mom enters my room. She has impeccable timing!
“Oh, am I interrupting?” My mom teases as she comes in.
“Yes, mom, you are.” I groan, falling back onto the bed, getting a slap on my arm from Lia.
“Rude.” She scolds.
“How are you feeling, honey?” Mom asks.
“I don’t really feel anything.” I answer her honestly.
“Well that’s because you’re pumped with painkillers.” Mom adjusts my drip.
“Mom, can you check on Lia’s stitches? They broke apart earlier and she did them herself.”
“Blake!” Lia whines.
“You can stitch?” Mom asks her surprised.
“Yeah, I learned first aid.”
“Would you mind if I take a look anyway?” Mom walks around the bed to Lia, who moves onto the chair next to it.
“No, it’s fine.” She pulls her shirt off before unwrapping the fresh dressing.
“You’ve got skills, honey. They’re really well done.” Mom says impressed as she rewraps the bandage.
“Thank you.” Lia puts her shirt back on. While my mom checked her sides, I watched the tattoo on her back. It’s a whole-back skull tattoo. It’s dark and menacing, but beautiful at the same time. It's completed with vines that wrap around the skull, before going through the eye sockets where they turn into blooming roses. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. For some reason it suits her, despite it being so violent.
Lia gets back on the bed next to me when my mom leaves.
“When did you get your tattoo?” I ask curiously. Not many places would agree to do a tattoo on a minor.
“Over a year ago. I was worried it would stretch with time as I grew, but I didn’t get much taller since then. One of my dad’s friends is a tattoo artist. He did it for free after seeing my scars.” She answers.
“Does your dad know how you got them?” I question, somewhat unsure and worried she’ll get angry.
“Yeah. When he found me I was having a fever because of the state of my back. It took almost an hour to even peel my hoodie away from my skin, it was stuck to my wounds so bad. Then dad got a doctor to take a look at me, but I was so afraid of everyone back then he had to keep a tight hold on me so I wouldn’t run away. It took weeks to heal. My body was so weak that the doctor said it was a miracle I didn’t die from the infection, considering I was homeless at the time. I told my dad about the man who gave them to me and we even reported it to the cops, but I haven’t seen his face properly to recognize him again. So he was never caught.”
I hesitate before speaking, but Lia is too observant to ignore the look on my face.
“You want to know about the rape, don’t you?” I wince at the word.
“You don’t have to tell me. I don’t want you to relive it.” I tell her softly.
“It’s okay. I’m over it. It happened weeks before dad found me. Some man offered me food, and I was hungry enough to take it. But then he told me it’s not for free. I was confused, obviously. I mean, what could I possibly give him when I had nothing? So I told him that I don’t have anything to give him. He just laughed at me and said I have my body to pay with. He hit me when I tried to run away then kept whipping my back with his belt as he used me. I was barely 11 at the time.” She tells me with no emotions on her face, as if she completely detached herself from the memory while I feel tears run down my face as listen to her. She really went through hell.
Lia wipes my cheeks with the pads of her thumbs, cupping my cheeks, but I just start crying more, my heart breaking for my girl. I pull her to me so she lies on my chest, the pain not even bothering me, and bury my face in the crook of her neck, letting my tears wet her shirt. How could anyone do that? She was 11!!!
I continue crying into Lia’s neck while she strokes my hair in a soothing matter.
“I’m so sorry, baby. I’m so fucking sorry!” A pained wail leaves me and I tighten my hold on Lia.
“Shh, it’s okay. I’m over it now. I don’t want you to see me through the prism of what happened, so why don’t you stop crying, hmm? That’s some really ugly cry you have there.” I can’t help but chuckle at her words.
“Are you serious right now?” I lean back a little. Lia wipes my wet cheeks with her hands, then pulls out a handkerchief from her pocket and wipes my nose, causing me to let out an incredulous laugh.
“You know I’m not weak, right? Yes, it was gruesome, but I survived and went on with my life. I’m completely over this. So please, don’t mention it again if it hurts you. I don’t want to see you in tears.” She puts her forehead on mine as she speaks quietly.
“You’re so incredibly strong, sweetheart. You have no idea how proud I am to call you mine.” I cup her cheek, caressing her soft skin with my thumb.
“You better.” She teases, making me smile.
“I told you this before, but I will tell you again. I will never, ever, see you differently than for what you are. And to me, you’re the most beautiful, smart, kind and strong woman I’ve ever seen.” I declare seriously, looking straight into her eyes so she can see the honesty in mine.
Lia gives me a beautiful smile in return before kissing me.
“And to me, you will always be this handsome, cute and dorky bad boy that managed to get past my defenses and stole my heart.” She gives me another kiss then gets off my bed to sit on the chair.
“I have to go now, my dad is probably waiting for me with my dinner, and we both know how much I love food.” She laughs, but I frown slightly at the thought of her leaving, which she of course notices.
“I’ll bring you some when I come back, okay? The hospital food is probably gross.” I laugh at that.
“You don’t have to come back. You have school tomorrow.” I say, but inside I’m hoping that she will actually come back and stay with me. I’m so whipped.
“You’re so cute. Your face says it all, Cakey.” She shakes her head in amusement as she leans over to give me last peck before she leaves the room.