Arrow Archer Remington Slate
The following story contains mature themes, profanity, and an explicit sexual situation. It is intended for adult readers.
MIX EMOTIONS played across my girls’ faces; exhaustion, satisfaction, motivation, and joy after an hour an half of exercise. It was a huge fulfillment on my part to see them participating in this program. Two years since I joined my best buddy teaching self-defense classes, I was never been sure if I made the right decision over choosing a security job to a self-made billionaire, and so far, I loved my job.
My fucking ass comrade, Kian chose to train male trainees, while I handled classes for women. I didn’t have a problem though—if I was trained to protect my country, how could I not teach women to protect themselves?
“Okay, we’re done with the hammer strike. Tomorrow, I will show you how to knee a groin.” I faked my grimace, and the room filled with laughers from sixteen women. Some of them were battered, divorced, some were just wanted to protect themselves, and others were victims of physical assaults by thugs.
“Thanks, Arrow!” they chorused and scattered to dismiss except for a young woman who seemed tense and distracted since I started the training earlier.
She startled and met my gaze. “Y-yes?” She was the newest member of the group—just started last week, and based on my assessment she didn’t have to tell me what she had been through, and it fucking hurt that as young as nineteen she had to go through that experience.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m fine. Thank you.” She smiled timidly. I was not nearly convinced by her answer, and I wouldn’t just stand here and do nothing.
“You know if you need someone to talk to, I am here not only as an instructor but as a friend, okay?”
She nodded. “I’m really good. Thanks.”
“Okay then. Take care. See you tomorrow.” I walked out of the studio, feeling queasy. I felt that I failed her. I needed to gain everyone’s trust; that was one of my goals. I wanted to help them, but there was always someone who couldn’t easily open up something painful to someone even as their instructor.
For fuck's sake, I sounded like a shrink, which was not part of my job by the way. There was just a part of me that if I could get to know them, it would be easy for me to teach them how to protect themselves.
From the moment my mother and my sister died in that collision, I had only one purpose, it was to protect. At twelve, my grandmother took care of me, then a year after, she died—all the women in my life just died and left me helpless, and I couldn’t do anything about it. It twisted my gut to see someone as helpless as I was.
I hit the shower and let the water into almost freezing cold. Bullets of water hit my skin which made my whole body shiver. It works. It made me numb and forgot the memory of how I left the job that I loved.
After I did my shower, I slipped into my old ripped jeans and black tees. I scrubbed my unshaven cheeks to find two missed calls from Imogen. We grew up together as we passed from foster to foster homes. She didn’t call me often, but we never missed at least a message or a meetup in a month. Now, she worried me.
I dialed her number and she picked up as if she was waiting for my call.
“About damn time!”
“’sup, bigfoot?” I could feel she was rolling her eyes from the other line. She hated that name, but I thought it fit her. She had size ten shoes and with five feet and eleven inches tall—a taller for a woman of my liking.
“I saw her, Arrow! But I think she didn’t recognize me anymore.”
“I didn’t even get a chance to introduce myself because I was about to leave and I just stood there like an idiot, and she was early for her appointment.”
“Can you stop for a sec, emoji. Who’s her?”
“The girl. Remember when you told me during our high school?”
My brows furrowed. My thoughts scattered. Wait. Oh, fuck!
How in the hell did she end up here? Or the right question was what the hell was she doing in the hospital? I let go of the breathing I’d not known I’d been holding.
When I first saw her in high school, it was odd that I felt something for her. I couldn’t get near her without thinking of someone I cared about and feeling something mortifying at the same time.
I was both glad and in pain when her family suddenly left. I didn’t even get a chance to talk to her because every time we bumped into one another, I ran away like my ass was on fire. Her exit had caused something terrible to me. I thought of her a lot until I ended up jacking off while thinking about her. I felt fucking guilty, distraught, and ashamed of myself.
“Arrow Archer Remington Slate!” Imogen’s angry voice jabbed me back from my thoughts. “Are you listening? Damn you, dude! You still got it bad.”
“Sorry, I was a little distracted.”
“Obviously,” she snapped.
“How did you know it was her? It’s been years, emoji.”
“She’s Brooklyn Paisley, isn’t she?” Her name did a flutter down my belly and my heart was in my fucking throat.
“Is she okay?” I asked hesitantly, hoping it didn’t sound like I was inquiring about something.
“No. And I can’t discuss it with you. I can’t break the PBR.”
I groaned. “Then why are you telling me? It’s not that I can help her, can I? You are the nurse, and it's your freaking job.”
“I just feel bad for her, Arrow. She’s not the—”
“Then don’t!” I swallowed. Something deep inside me wanted to press what happened to her, sate my curiosity, but the only person I considered family didn’t want to tell me. “Is that all you can tell me? Fine. I got to go.” Before I could end the call, she sighed.
“She’s blind, okay?”
My eyes widened. “What the—? How the—?”
My jaw clenched. I shut my eyes closed, and suddenly her face appeared in my mind. Her big hazel eyes. Those were the only things that made Brooklyn different from her who had a brown one just like mine.
I BOLTED up in bed, heaving. The thin sheet was sticking into my sweaty skin.
“Motherfucking world!” I threw my legs out of bed as the ringing of the doorbell never went off. It was probably Imogen, and I would fucking let her clean my apartment for disturbing my sleep. At least it was not the same fucking terror-filled nightmare I had—not the face of my ex in that fucking explosion or the car crash of Mom and my sister.
Rubbing my tired eyes, I strode toward the door. “Just fucking wait!”
I unlocked the door open and turned back to the kitchen. “Shut the door behind you.”
That sound made me stand stock-still. When I turned around, my world just suspended. My eyes widened at the sight of the woman standing right in front of me. I was stunned to the point that I forgot how to breathe.