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Chapter 11

Briggs

My dad has just left after dropping me off at the rehabilitation center. I was pissed, hurt and worried too many emotions that I couldn't blame anyone but myself.

I sat in my bed feeling like the worst person, how could I treat Layla the way I did. I know the trance part wasn't my fault but when you can't control what is happening its scary as hell.

I never want her to be scared of me, or fear me like I am some monster. I could see she was trying to be ok with me, trying not to make it a big deal what I did. But I could see she was scared the look in her eyes tore at my heartstrings. I was a monster in her eyes, the bad guy the man she should steer clear of.

But damnit now that I've had a taste of her I don't go to let her go. She's too good for me but I'm not ready to let her go.

I hear a knock at my door and look over and see Axl standing there.

"Dude, what the fuck did you do?" He hobbled over with his cane. He took a swat beside me not before smacking the back of my head.

"Fuck!" I swatted at him.

"You hurt Layla pretty bad." He gave the the 'what the hell look.'

How does he know?

"How do you know?" I asked.

"Sadie, Layla's sister told me." He replied.

"So what the fuck happened?" He wasn't going to let this go.

I rubbed my face with my hands feeling sick to my stomach with what I did.

"I choked her man." I could barely say it my voice cracked as I feel my emotions breakthrough.

"Fuck, like for real?" He looked shocked.

"Yes, like I was in some sort of flashback and I was seeing a man that was a threat I was choking him all I could see was red and an enemy. I came to and I saw my dad pulling my hand away from Layla's neck." I rubbed my hand over my aching heart.

Axl shook his head realizing how bad this was. It's unfortunately not something we can control. It's like the panic attacks that will hit us nearly paralyzing us in erratic fear. Everyone's effects from the war are different.

"Sorry man." He rubbed my shoulder.

"What do I do?" I ask him.

"Honestly do you like her enough to show her every part of you, the good the horribly bad and ugly?" He asked.

"Dude, what if I hurt her?" We both share a look of unknowing. Not sure what to do. Even he can't say what I should do.

"Sadie really wants me to come over, who don't you come too." He offered me a chance to fix things

"What if she doesn't want to see me?" I mumble doubtfully.

"Sadie says Layla has been drinking so maybe she will be ok more receptive."

"Guess it might be better she's plastered to see me."

"Alright, let's go, enough pity party. We need to stop by the florist." I say.

"Now we are talking." He nodded in response.

"All girls love flowers." He asked Axl.

"Yes." He said as he helped me into the wheelchair, he pushed me out of my room and down the hallway.

He had ordered an Uber to take us to Sadie's place.

I was nervous as hell but I need to man up and set things right.

....

We walked in . . . or should I say we hobbled into the florist shop that was luckily still open?

To cripples making our way down the rows of bouquet creations. We got stares but I blocked them. The pain I was feeling in my body, I pushed through so I didn't give in and just lay down and give up.

I picked a colourful boutique and an array of pink shades of flowers and hoped this would work. I paid for the flowers the girl at the till was eyeing me over.

I could see she was trying not to stare or cringe but it was written all over her face.

"You got a problem?" I asked letting my temper get the better of me. My pain was throbbing all over making my highly irritable.

Axl shook his head not wanting me to get hot-headed.

"I...I'm sorry for staring. What happened to your face?" She asked nervously but curious at the same time.

"I got blown up darling."

Her eyes widened.

"You're in the military?" She asked.

"Yes." I nodded.

"I'm sorry, my brother was in the military too. He, unfortunately, didn't make it back." She teared up and started weeping.

"Oh shit, I'm sorry. What was his name?" I ask feeling bad now.

"Bradley Fin." She said through shaken sobs.

Shit, he was one of our guys.

She must have seen my recognition on my face hearing his name.

"You knew him, didn't you?" She smiled briefly.

I just nodded my head. "I'm sorry sweetheart. He was a great man. Top notice soldier."

Axl and I both came around the counter and offered her a hug. She fell into our arms.

It hurts more when you see the effects on the family members of soldiers who lost, the ones the didn't come home. It always makes you feel like it should be you not them. The brotherhood of seeing families without there son, kids without there fathers, a spouse losing their mate.

I gave the girl my number in case she ever needed to talk. I also said there is a support group for people who have lost a loved one who's served.

She thanked me and said she might do the support group. She told us it was just them, her and her brother. Their parents had died in a plane crash. Another tragic incident. Talk about losing a lot.

We left and once I got to sit down in the car I wept like a baby. Axl was holding it together but I could see he was affected by what we just witnessed.

I was getting nervous as we got closer to me seeing Layla.

The car slows down and we get out. We walked up to the door. I knocked on the door. The door swings open and a beautiful woman who looked like Layla stood at the door. They were definitely twins but Layla was for more beautiful in my eyes.

"Hey, aww, are those for me." She teased me. She was super laid back and pretty cool from first impressions.

"No, is Layla here?" I laughed.

"She is. She smiled wide with a sparkle in her eyes.

"Layla, your suitor is here." Sadie bellowed through the house.

We both laughed at her.

"Sorry, she's probably passed out in the hammock. You should have seen her she fell out like three times.

We walked through the house. Layla saw us walkout. She tried to get up out of the hammock but she teetered and feel out backwards

"Hahaha." Sadie laughed at poor Layla how was now on the ground.

She shot up and stumbled over towards me.

"You, what the hell are you doing here?"

She pressed her finger against my chest pushing me back until my back was against the exterior of the house.

"I came to apologize," I spoke softly.

"And you think flowers are going to fix what you did." She grabbed them and threw them on the ground and stomped on them shredding them into now mulched peddles.

"Layla, what the hell?" Sadie rushed over and grabbed Layla's face.

"He's here to make nice." She tried to get Layla to calm down. But I don't blame her.

"He doesn't want me. He yelled at me to leave." She turned away from me and I could see her body was shaking.

Fuck this is bad.

"I'm sorry Layla." I didn't know what else to do.

She spun around with tears that were on the brink of spilling over.

"Flowers don't take away the pain, flowers down make this better."

She walked off and didn't see the glass door was closed and she ran right onto it. She fell back onto the ground.

I kneeled down. Her nose was bleeding.

"Shit Layla." I sat her up.

"This is so embarrassing." She now was full-on crying.

I looked at Sadie for help.

She helped Layla up and she took her inside.

I turned to Axl who was trying to hold in a laugh.

"Don't dude." I scold him and smack the back of his head.

"I should go. I don't want to make Layla anymore upset."

I go inside and see Sadie cleaning Layla's nose. I use my crutches and make my way over to Layla.

Layla turned to look at me her eyes filled with more tears.

"I'm going to go," I say guiltily.

"Why wasn't I enough?" She asked as she slid off the chair she was sitting on and made her way over to me.

She was swaying as she walked.

"You were enough, I mean you are enough." I need to repair this but I am at a loss of what to say.

"Come with me." She took my hand and she guided me to the couch. My body was killing me. This is the most I have moved since I have been able to walk again.

She sat beside me. "Briggs, I want you to want me. I want you to fight for me. The scariest thing to me isn't whether you hurt me physically but that I lose you because you aren't willing to fight."

Her eyes are filled with watered-down tears.

"Layla I am here trying to fight for you but you are angry with me. How can I fix something when you clearly don't want me here and are visibly upset with me?" I try and talk to her logically.

"I'm sorry for overreacting I was just hurting I shouldn't have done that. Call that the very drunk Layla who should be in bed not talking right now." She blushed looking embarrassed for how she had acted.

"Would you like to lay down with me? I have a comfy none medical bed if you want?" She offered. I wasn't sure if she actually meant this or this was the alcohol talking.

"Umm. .Layla, maybe you should drink some water?" I suggest.

"I'd rather have some playtime with you." She suddenly leaned in and lay down her body over mine.

"You are beautiful Briggs. Can I taste you? I want to taste you and I've been dreaming about seeing your cock that has caught my eye a few times." She was completely hammered.

This is so bad she's turning me on and I just want to say fuck it and let her do whatever she wants. But the decent guy in me says don't do this she will kill me tomorrow when she remembers.

"Layla, why don't you go to bed?" I hope she listens.

"Why don't want me?" She teared up and I know this was in some part from drinking the overly emotional our bursts.

Hell, I've been there too. Drinking too much and then doing things you wouldn't normally do.

"Layla, I do want you but not like this. You need to be completely sober to want anything to do with me." I try and get her to understand.

"I am completely sober." She stood up and tried to show me she could walk in a straight line but she was wobbly and unsteady and falling over.

"Say the alphabet backwards", I asked her. Holding in my laughter.

"Hahaha, you're insane, you say it backwards." She shot back at me.

"If you can say the alphabet the right way I'll take off a layer of my clothing, your choice."

"Haha seriously?" She laughed.

"Yes."

She started saying the alphabet.

"A...B...C...D...E...F...H...K...M...J...no wait let me start again."

"Sorry, you lost." I laughed.

"That's just mean. But guess you don't get to see any of my goodies." She ran her hands over her breasts and she jiggled them. Then she seductively ran her hand down her body to her precious centre. She slipped her hand down the front of her pants.

Fuck she was so unbelievably sexy. She was making it incredibly difficult to not take her and have my way with her.

"You're playing very dangerously kitten." I rubbed my hard-on that was pressing hard against my pants.

"Well then I'll stop, I'm going to bed." She retrieved her hand and slid her finger in her mouth my cock jumped. I wished to be buried deep inside her.

I craved to taste her skin and sweet center.

She walked off and I didn't stop her or go after her. And Lord knows it's not cause I didn't want her. Cause I do.

But I need to mend what I broke inside her first.

I lay wide awake with the hardest erection. She has no idea how much I want her. Before her, I would just move onto whatever available pussy that was willing to spread her legs.

But Layla I want more and I've never wanted more. Her pretty face was all I saw as I closest my eyes. Her gorgeous sweet eyes that looked at me as a person, not a freak or monster.

I know my body is not what it used to look like. The burn marks would be fade over time but leave their scars. The war would fade eventually but never be forgotten. I hope she will be accepting of all of me.

I need to make a decision do I want a life with Layla or without? Without her hurts. Without her, I don't want to know that pain. Cause right now I feel it and it's the worst pain ever.

Guess I'll have to wait and see if she's willing to give me a second chance or say screw you I'm done.

...

Layla

Boom boom boom

My head pounded in my head. The awful side effects of drinking way too much. Through my slight wave of nausea, I could smell bacon. I sat up but the motion made my head spin and my gut clench with sickness.

The wave of nausea passed. Moving felt like the biggest task. I then suddenly noticed the time and it was nearly 8:30, shit I'm late.

I dashed into my closet and quickly peeled out of my clothes and found my discarded uniform from yesterday scattered around my floor. I had to pause for a few minutes to breathe through waves of nausea.

I washed my face and swished mouthwash in my mouth. Makeup was a no go and my hair would just have to be a nest of whatever it was.

I grabbed my canvas shoes and rushed out of my door. I hurried out an stop when I see Briggs in the kitchen.

Shit, my eyes scanned his body he was wearing no shirt. Before I could hide my gawking expression, he looked up.

"Hey!"

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