Pulse

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Chapter 4

After I parked in the staff parking at the rehabilitation centre I race inside and hurried to Briggs room, I was not ready for what I saw. He was violently shaking holding onto the railing of the bed.

His eyes were closed I wasn't sure what to do. I go to his side and place my hand on his arm and he flinched. Knocking my hand away.

"Don't touch me." He yelled, his voice was coarse and shaking.

"Briggs I'm here," I say softly.

"Get out! He yelled again.

"I'm not leaving you like this. You need to calm down and take some deep breaths."

"I can't breathe." He says his lips shaking still.

"Briggs looks at me, he opened his eyes all I see is pain and fear. His eyes were red...his eyelashes wet from tears.

Tears I'm sure he doesn't want me to see.

"Hey, you're ok." I lean in close speaking softly.

"It hurts...everything. Not just my body but my heart my mind. It's all broken pieces." He was slowly calming down. I was able to slide my hand into his. I don't think he even felt it he was still too tense and panicked. But he didn't shoo me away.

"Let me help you." My voice felt shaky on the break of cracking seeing the pain and hurt he was going through.

"There's no helping the broken...the lost." He mutters, his other hand came up and he places it over his face. Heart-wrenching sobs ran through his body. My own tears hovered on the rim, nearly spilling over.

"Briggs feel my hand." He moved his hand away from his face. He looked at our linked hands.

"Do you feel this? I ask.

"Yes." He nods his head, a trail of tears slid down his face.

"What do you smell? Is this a trick question? He looked unimpressed.

"It is not a trick question. Just tell me what you smell? He seemed to calm down even more. He was less shaky and his breathing was evening out.

"I smell cherry and blossoms."

"What do you hear?

"You."

What do you see?

"You."

"Feel better?

"Yes."

His eyes reluctantly stare into mine. I can feel heat travelling through our clasped hands out through our entwined fingers.

But it doesn't last long before he pulls away. Like he forgot for a moment that it was okay to show emotions and temporary weakness. Then like a switch he was back to looking tough and unbreakable.

"I'll see you tomorrow." As I am nearly at the door I hear him let out a weak breath.

"Please stay." Surprised to hear this I take a moment to respond.

"Layla, don't make me beg, it's bad enough you saw me so vulnerable and low." He speaks gentle but gruff not showing his soft side. On the heel of my croc, I spin around and face him unequivocally.

"I'll stay for a bit, but I really shouldn't stay." He closed his eyes for a moment, which looked like relief. His hardened exterior smoothes out as I make my way over to the chair. He doesn't speak a word. I pull out my phone and scrolled through Instagram.

I looked up and see him studying me.

"What? I arched my eyebrow at him.

"Nothing." He says blankly, with no expression. Like he couldn't even pretend a hint of a smile.

"So how long have you been doing this job? He asks no sweetness in his tone.

"2 years."

"What made you want to do this? I guess he's trying. I lean in closer then to speak.

"There's just something about helping someone. Making them see that it's not over, that they can be just as strong as they were before." I say proudly.

"So you think I won't be a mess always?

"I don't think you a mess at all, you've been through a lot of traumatic stuff it doesn't just disappear, it takes time."

"What if I am never the same again."

"Maybe you'll be an even better you, it's okay not to be the same. We sometimes change."

"I just want to go back before I ended up here." He looked out the window that gave very little light now that there was complete darkness outside.

"Maybe you're meant to be here." I feel silly for telling him this when I know it's the last thing he wants to hear.

"Are you one of those girls that believe in fate and fairy tales? He crossed his arms over his broad chest my eyes get lost on his huge biceps that were stretching the sleeves of the gown. He had tattoos that we're very interesting like a story was being told or pieces of what makes him the person he is, like they each had sentimental value. They even went up to his neck. Beautiful.

I blush when I realize I'd gotten lost in checking him out and he's just staring at me waiting for me to answer him.

What did he say?

"Sorry, what did you say? I blush as I brush my fingers through my hair feeling flustered.

"Do you believe in fate and fairytales and shit? He repeated.

"Yes and no, yes I believe that we are all here for a reason and circumstances bring us to where we are supposed to be, the good or bad. As for fairy tales no I don't believe in them. Do I believe in prince charming and finding the one? No.

"No."

"Someone's jaded? He questioned me like he was curious as to why.

"I'm not jaded I just know guys only want one thing and that's sex. Anything more is too hard or they are just not into me."

"Shit, I shouldn't be talking to you like this." I try and recover by changing the subject quickly.

"Scorned by men? He sat there looking smug.

"I shouldn't have said anything."

"Why, I'm not good enough to talk to?

"I just don't think it's professional to talk about my feelings."

"I don't mind, it's better than talking about my pathetic self."

"So you think we only want sex? When he said sex he made me blush. I let my hair cover my face. I feel his fingers brush my hair off my face. I am surprised by her touch.

"Layla, not every guy is like that but if you're wondering if that's me, then your right." I knew it. Especially a man like him why would he want to be committed to just one when he probably gets woman begging to be with him.

"You're not a one-woman man? I am curious so I ask. My eyed floated up to his.

"No, I don't believe in one person who can satisfy me. Plus women are only good for one thing...sex."

"Why? I asked curiously.

"Why do I not believe that one can satisfy me or woman are only good for one thing? He asked.

"The last one."

"Women are not to be trusted. I choose to never let them in."

"You think we are that bad?

"Yeah." He nodded.

Ouch.

I stand up...

"I'm going to go. Have a good night."

"Why are you leaving!?

"Cause we are only good for one thing and that I am not giving you, so it seems I should just go." I try to cover the hurt I was feeling, I go to walk but he grabbed my hand.

"Briggs don't." I spoke but it was shaky.

"I bet you would like it."

"Like what? I follow our linked hands and travel my eyes up to his.

"Sex with me."

"Guess you'll never know as you are my patient and I don't have sex with men like you."

"Men like me, what does that mean? He said with a jagged offended voice.

"Someone that sleeps around."

"What if I just had sex with you? He smirked.

"No." I pulled my hand away needing to getaway. He was making me feel things just by his touch.

"We could have fun?

"No." I say firmly but he was making this hard to say no...my body was tingling just thinking about this man naked.

"Just once?

"No, Briggs, I don't need you or anyone."

"How do you know you don't need me if you've never had me." His expression looked teasingly devilish. Like he knew he could reel me in with his charm and I would do what he says just like all the others.

"Cause...I like you." I say softly. I say before I walked out.

"Wait!!! He called out but I kept walking.

I can't do this. I need to see if someone will take my position there's no way I can be near him and not fall for him.

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