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Chapter 5

Briggs

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

She seems to hurt as she's getting worked up. I want to see what she says when I ask this...

"How do you know you don't need me if you've never had me? I smirked seeing I was working her up, I can tell she was not expecting me to ask this.

"Cause...I like you." She says softly before she walked out. Holy shit. Did she just say she likes me?

"Wait!!! I called out. But she kept on walking. I throw my sheets off and wince in pain as I tried to move. I bite the inner part of my cheek screaming as I stood up, completely forgetting about my injuries I just wanted to make her come back. Shooting pain went up to my back, my hip gave way and I fell to the ground.

Fuck!!! The pain was like a fire burning and stabbing in my back. It took me three tries to get on my knees, I grabbed hold of the bed and pulled myself up. My legs were shaking. Like a young deer trying to walk for the first time.

With all the strength I had in me I gripped the handrail of the bed and pulled myself up. I take a seat, beads of sweat slid down my forehead. What a fucking joke. sweating getting into bed.

I used to be able to run with a man on my back or drag to men for a mile until we got to safety. I was like a child learning to do everything again.

Now I have to sit here in pain, because of this girl that is not like most girls I've met. I hope she comes back. But knowing me she'll run. Why do I even care?

I closed my eyes and turned off my thoughts of Layla I can not let her in.

......

Layla

I left him, I was crying not sure why. Maybe because he made me feel things. But he literally is like what all guys, after just one thing, sex. At least he's honest.

I don't really know what I expect from a man but I would like to think that at some point one will want me for more than my body.

I was almost home when my phone rang in my purse. I pulled it out and sneak a peek and see its the rehabilitation center.

I answered it, I put it on a blue tooth speakerphone.

{Conservation}

Layla: Hello?

Briggs: Hey!

My pulse skipped a beat hearing Briggs's voice. Caught off guard I couldn't form a word.

Briggs: Hello? Layla?

Layla: Sorry uhh...hey!

Briggs: I'm sorry.

Layla: You don't have anything to apologize for.

Briggs: Yes I do. I made you uncomfortable and I shouldn't have said what I said.

Layla: which part?

Briggs: Just the way I went about things. I was trying to get a rise out of you.

Layla: It's fine, at least you told the truth instead of lying about who you are.

Layla: I think I should stay at my previous job.

Briggs: No, please stay.

Layla: Briggs it's better this way.

Briggs: I want you, I don't want anyone else.

Layla: I don't know if its a good idea.

Briggs: I'll be good.

I wipe the tears that were sliding down my face.

Briggs: Are you crying?

Layla: No.

Briggs: Yes you are. I can hear it in your voice.

Layla: I need to go.

Briggs: Why are you crying?

Layla: You'll think it's stupid and I'm some loser.

Briggs: No I won't just tell me.

Layla: Even you being a huge ass I like you and I think I could see myself with you. But I know that's not your thing so it's best to just move on.

Briggs: Just come tomorrow, please?

Layla: Okay.

Briggs: Thank you.

I pulled into my parking garage and turn my car off.

Layla: I just got home I'll see you, tomorrow soldier.

I suddenly hear a loud knock on my window, I screamed. I looked and saw my ex standing there.

I opened the door.

"What are you doing here? He looked drunk his eyes were bloodshot, his face was pale.

"I want..ted to see yooouuu. I mi...ss you. His words were slurred he staggered as I stood up.

"Chris you should go home your drunk."

Briggs: Layla?? Shit, I forgot he was still on Speakerphone.

"Who the hell is that? Chris was getting upset.

"Just a client from work." I stuttered nervously.

"Why are you lying to me? He yelled spit was flying everywhere. I wiped my face. His breath stank of stale whiskey.

"I'm not," I yelled back.

Briggs: Are you ok Layla?

Layla: I gotta go.

Before I could grab for the phone he pushed past me knocking me to the ground and grabbing it.

"Who the hell are you, leave my girl alone. She's mine."

"Chris stop it. Give me my phone back."

I jumped up and grabbed for it but he swung his arm back and hit me in the face. Pain rang through my head leaving me with throbbing pain.

He came at me and swung his fist at me I was able to dodge it but then he grabbed for my hair and yanked me hard and throw my head into the side of the car.

"Chris just goes home, I sobbed."

"We are going upstairs and getting what I want."

"No, Chris." I pleaded with him. He chucked my phone at the cement wall it shattered into pieces. He grabbed for me as a ran, but I knocked his hand away I started running.

I suddenly remember I don't have my keys or purse. But I just ran. I ran up to the front entrance and hammered on the glass, I pushed on all the buttons. Please someone answer.

One person answered then another.

"Please let me in, its Layla from 34 D."

The door buzzed I opened the door and get inside just as Chris ran up the stairs he tripped up the first step. He was fuming, swearing at me. He got up and pressed the buttons. Shit.

I ran to the stairwell and ran up I didn't stop until I reached my floor. I hurried down the hallway but I have no keys.

I knock on the door beside me. No one answered. I ran to her next one. The door swings open and Stephen looked at me with concern.

"Hey, what's wrong?

"Can I just sit in here for a little while? My ex is acting crazy.

"Chris?

"Yes. Just for a little while." I beg. Stephen nods and lets me in. Stephen keeps to himself and doesn't leave his apartment much. He's kind of like I am introverted and likes to stay home.

I go to work and do the occasional coffee or walk around the park and hang out with my sister. My twin sister.

She's the outgoing one I'm the more reserved one timid more nervous of people. It started when I was 7 I had something bad happen which has made me standoff-ish with people.

Then in high school, there was another incident that I try to keep buried but I still get nightmares to this day.

Stephen brought me a glass of water.

"Thank you."

.......

Briggs

I can hear muffled voices. One is a male and he sounded angry. I couldn't really hear what was being said but it didn't sound good. I tried to call out to her but she obviously couldn't hear me. Then I hear the guy yelling at me.

"Who the hell are you, leave my girl alone. She's mine." I thought she said she was single?

"Chris stop it. Give me my phone back."

Layla was frantic. My heart was beating fast and my mind was racing with what the hell was going on. She was obviously in trouble but how the hell do I help her. Before I can think of what to do, her phone goes dead. Shit. What the fuck am I supposed to do? I use the nurse call button. A nurse slowly walked in.

"Nurse, can you help me out of here?

"What? She seemed less than impressed to help me.

"Nurse someone is in trouble."

"Are you hallucinating." She laughed.

"Fuck, listen to me Layla the other nurse is in trouble I need to talk to Axl."

"I'm sorry but we can't disturb the other residents."

"Fuck, this woman could be in trouble." I needed to help her.

"Could be? are you sure she is?

"It sounded like it."

"Wait till the morning there's not much you can do." She walked out. Fuck. I tried her phone number but there was no answer. I have no way to move and attempt to help her. I hope she's okay.

.......

Layla

I could hear Chris outside my apartment door banging being loud. I jumped every time he banged on the door. He wasn't like this when we were together. Only the last little bit since I broke things off he's been showing up as of late. Drunk every time.

Finally, he left I thanked Stephen for letting me stay there. He understood and said anytime I needed a place to stay I could. I thanked him and went down to the parking garage I kept looking everywhere making sure Chris wasn't waiting for me.

I walk to my car and grabbed my purse and closed the door. I suddenly feel someone grab me from behind. I was shoved against the car. His hands ran over my body then he pulled my pants down. No...

I tried to move but he was strong and I had no way to stop this.

"NO, PLEASE!! Don't DO THIS. I yelled hoping someone would hear me.

His hands ran over my ass then between my legs.

"Just be good, you'll enjoy it," Chris spoke close to my ear. With all my might I threw my head back and hit him square in the nose. He stumbled back I lift my pants up get in the car and locked the doors.

I search my purse for my keys my hands where shaking. I find them at the bottom and pulled them out and slide it in the key slot. Chris was banging on the window I could barely think straight but I somehow got the car in reverse and I was driving away.

I drove to my sisters. She was a few blocks away from me. But then I remembered she's at work. She works at a gentleman's club called "Men's lounge."

So I just drove around shaking. I somehow ended up parked outside the rehabilitation center. I got out and walked in through the side door. I see a nurse at the central reception desk. She smiled at me.

"Can I help you?

She rushed over when she saw me closer up. She eased me down to a chair.

"What happened? She took a seat beside me.

"I...he...

I hear a crash come from Briggs's room I rushed in and see him on the floor. I hurried to his side.

"I got you."

"Layla? What the hell happened to you?

"I'm fine." I hid my tears and kept them back. I got him onto the bed.

"Miss you can't be in here." The nurse says being more snotty.

"GET OUT! We both snapped.

"Geeze, do I need to call security?

"I'm Layla the nurse. I'm new." I say breathlessly. My body was shaking. I was trying everything not to toss my cookies.

"Oh."

"Can you leave? I snapped.

"I'm sorry.'

"Do you need me to call someone Layla?

"No, I'll be fine." My voice shook, her nurse nodded and left us.

I feel Briggs's hands around my waist as he sat on the edge of the bed. He reached up and touched my bruise's face.

"Did he do this to you? His eyes scanned my face. I just nodded my head.

"I tried to get help but the nurse wouldn't help me and I didn't have a way to find out where you lived." He says sincerely. He was actually worried about me?

"I'm ok." I take a seat beside Briggs on the bed

"I'm so sorry." He brushed his finger over my arm. He was being sweet.

I covered my face with my hand and turned away. His hand ran up my back. Again he was being sweet. His touch was comforting and light. He didn't speak, but honestly, I didn't need him to. A tear slipped down my face, which was the first of the tiny stream that followed. I sink to his bed and curled up in a ball.

"What do you need? He asked us with concern.

"Just don't talk its ok. I just need quiet." I held my body trembling.

"Okay."

I sat up suddenly.

"I should go."

"Stay."

"I have nowhere to go." I whimper.

"Stay."

"He's going to get me again," I spoke my voice was shaking.

"Layla? Stay." He repeated.

I can't hear him its like blankness. My senses were lost and I couldn't think or feel anything.

"Layla, what do you see? I look around the room, I look back at this handsome soldier. Staring at me with concern.

"I see you.'

"What do you feel? I felt his hand brush over mine."

"You, I feel your strong weathered palm on my hand."

"What do you smell?

"Hahaha." I don't know why I was laughing but I couldn't stop.

"Hahaha, why are you laughing.?

"I don't know." I shook my head as tears ran down my face. He reached out and brushed them away.

"Smile bright eyes." He winked at me making my body spread with warmth.

I stood up his hand grasped mine and he pulled me back, I lost my balance and fell into him. He winced at first, I moved away but he wrapped his arms around me, keeping me close.

"Just let me hold you, I need this so bad." He says almost desperately. All his defences came down and he was just as raw and vulnerable as me, falling apart. His hands ran up my back sending a spark of tingles up with them.

"I need you too, Briggs." His body relaxed at my words. I lean out and our eyes locked on one another. I touched his face, his hands brushed my hair off my shoulders.

"You're so beautiful Layla." I closed my eyes scared to look back and this not be real. He ran his hands over my face.

"Look at me." I shook my head at first.

"Layla, please."

I open my eyes.

"You are so beautiful." I held him closer and wrapped my arms around his neck. We just held each other. Silence and just the soft breathing of us filled the air.

Time wasn't even a thought only feeling each other. Holding onto something so real, scared that if we let go it would all fade away. A moment of heavenly bliss.

I let out a shaky breath then moved away.

"Let me help you get more comfortable."

"Would you lie with me? He surprised me.

"I shouldn't I could lose my job, Miss snot ass will probably snitch on me that I was here after hours."

"Damn, I thought I could get lucky."

"Hahaha, you did not just say that."

"I believe I did." He smirked.

"It might help both of us?

"You are naughty aren't you? I blushed from his playfulness.

"If I say yes does the make you unlike me? His hand caressed my thigh.

"Hahaha, what does unlike you mean?

"Like a take-back, and unfollow in the tech world of social media."

"Hahaha, well I am not following you cause you want to get lucky. I am following you for some strange reason I find you annoyingly attractive. Just don't be one of those creepy guys that stalk our profile or pretends to be someone he's not."

"I will definitely not be either of those guys."

"If you won't jack me off will you at least sit and hold my hand? He held back a smirk but I can see his eyes are completely amused with himself.

"That I can do, but no funny business."

"What kind of funny business?

"Whatever thing you are thinking of doing with my hand."

"Now who's the naughty one? He laughed. He looked good when he laughed.

"I am not."

"Then show my hand who's boss," I smirked.

"Why does that sound dirty? He laughed. A deep heartfelt laugh one that I don't think he lets out too much. "See you've come to the dirty side." He wiggled his eyebrows.

"Hahaha, you're crazy." I take a seat and slide my chair across the floor right up to his bed. I linked our fingers together.

"I know you want a peek under my gown." He surprised me by his comment.

"Hahaha, you're so bad." I was shaking I was laughing so hard. He was making me feel so much better. I almost forgot what happened tonight. Now my mind was drifting to what was under his gown.

We chatted for a bit, I was chatting away when I look over and see he's asleep. I brought his hand up to my lips and kissed it. Then I laid it back down and walked over to the two-seater couch and laid down. I place my legs over the armrest. I started at Briggs he was the last thing I saw as I drifted off to sleep. Not a bad image at all.

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