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Chapter 17

When I wake up in the morning the sunlight peeking through my window blinds feels like hot daggers to my eyes. My body is still draped on top of Jacksons causing both of us to feel a little sweaty from sleeping this way all night. I finally manage to get my eyes to stop watering and I reach over to check the time on my phone, it is already almost 10:00 a.m. We both must have been so tired from everything yesterday.

“Finally, you’re awake.” Jackson says softly.

“I didn’t think you were awake yet.” I reply while looking up at him.

“I’ve been awake for about an hour.” He laughs and reaches his hand up to brush the hair off my face.

“Why didn’t you wake me?” I ask. “I feel bad making you lay here trapped underneath me.”

“I wasn’t trapped. I wanted to stay like this.” He replies. “I wanted you to get your rest.”

I am glad he didn’t move either, I was once again sleeping like a rock knowing he was by my side. It’s hard to put into words how safe he makes me feel but it’s like I just know that he will never let anyone hurt me.

“How sweet of you.” I tease while pressing a light kiss against his cheek.

“You need to be well rested for the rest of this weekend anyways.” He smiles.

“Wait, what’s going on this weekend?” I ask.

“We rented a cabin on the lake near Mt. Hood.” He replies with a smile. “It’s got a killer view.”

“What? When was this decided?” I question.

“Last night, I had my mom set it up for us.” He says. “I thought we could both use a relaxing weekend.”

It is the little things that Jackson thinks of to do for me that still astound me. I don’t understand how I came to be deserving of this side of him but I am so glad I am. I know we still have somethings to work on but I am genuinely happy again, something I thought would be hard for me to find.

“Is it just us?” I smile.

“Well, I invited Kelly, Kyler, Jake and His girlfriend Olivia.” He answers. “It is a three bedroom place.”

“Sounds fun to me!” I reply.

Part of me wishes we could be alone but I also wouldn’t mind spending time with friends to. Especially with Kelly, I know we have catching up to do and she will want to be with me after she learns of everything that unfolded after we last spoke at the party.

“I can tell them not to come, if you want get a me alone.” He says with a devilish smirk.

“Oh, shut up!” I laugh and pull myself out of bed.

Mt. Hood is one of the most beautiful places in Oregon. I have only been there a handful of times but every time I have gone it has taken my breath away. It doesn’t matter what season you go in; it is beautiful year-round. I think going this time of year in autumn will be heavenly with all the different colors on the trees.

I pad across my room to my closet and grab a black with white polka dots duffle bag from the top shelf. I know I need to pack warm clothes because we are at a higher elevation at Mt. Hood, it is always much colder over there then it is here in Eugene. I place a couple pairs of both jeans and leggings in the bag, a few of my cutest sweaters, socks, underwear and bras. I decided to grab my sexiest bra and panty set I have, not that I expect anything to happen between us but just having it on makes me feel more confident somehow.

“Jakes here to take me to my house, since I don’t have my truck here. I’m going to go grab a bag of clothes.” Jacksons says while pulling his shirt from yesterday back over his head.

“I will be back to get you in about an hour.” He adds.

“Okay, I’ll be here.” I smile.

He gives me a quick kiss before sliding on his shoes and walking out my bedroom door. I continue my packing by walking around my room to make sure I have everything. I need to throw my makeup in my bag but I decide to put a little on first. I apply my usual makeup look to my face and run a comb through my hair. Since I have extra time I add some loose curls to finish off the look. I decide on wearing leggings and a crewneck sweatshirt with my favorite all white Nikes for the ride there.

I gather the rest of my things in my bag and sit down on my bed to scroll through social media while waiting for Jackson to come back. As I am laying I hear the apartment door open and I can hear Kelly’s voice, then I hear Kyler’s. I walk to my bedroom door and open in, peeking my head out.

“Hey guys!” I say with a smile.

“There you are!” Kelly yelps. “Someone told me Jackson went to jail!”

She is staring at me with a confused, worried, and startled expression all wrapped into one look. I almost forgot that she knows nothing about what happened last night. I need to fill her in before we all go to the cabin because Jake knows what happened as well, which would leave her and Kyler being the only ones out of the loop.

“It’s a long story.” I say stepping out of my room to meet them in the kitchen. “He isn’t in jail anymore, he was released.”

“I kind of assumed that since he texted me and invited us to the cabin with you two.” She replies.

“What the hell happened?” Kyler presses.

“I got attacked.” I start.

“Excuse me, what?!” Kelly booms as her face goes completely pale losing all the rosy tone that is usually present in the apple of her cheeks.

“I am fine. Nothing happened, Jackson came outside and stopped him.” I assure her. “He saved me.”

I never thought about it like that last night but it’s true; Jackson saved my life last night. I don’t know what Dawson would have done to me had he not been interrupted. I could be raped, held captive or killed. The thought of that causes the hair on my arms to raise as fear creeps its way back in to my mind.

“How did Jackson end up in jail!?” she asks.

“He beat the guy who attacked me pretty badly.” I reply softly. “But they didn’t press charges because of the nature of the situation.”

“The guy deserved it, clearly.” Kyler adds.

“I don’t disagree but how bad is pretty badly?” Kelly asks.

“Bad enough to land him in the hospital.” I hesitate.

“Oh my god!” Kelly gasps.

I explain to them the rest of the story about who the guy was and how he has a history of stalking girls. I think telling Kelly this made her feel a little less shocked about Jackson sending him to the hospital, even though he didn’t know this information at the time. I assure them that he is going to be held for awhile in jail for assault, but I don’t know exactly the length of time they will be keeping him. I mention the restraining order which sounds crazier when I say it out loud. I never would have thought I would have to have one against someone, I never thought someone would want to stalk me or attempt to hurt me. I come from a small town that is one of the safest places to live in the united states according to a local magazine.

“I am glad we are getting away this weekend.” Kyler says after I finish giving them all the details.

“We are going to go pack!” Kelly smiles.

I go into my room to make sure I have everything I need and try to straighten in up before I leave for the weekend. As I am organizing my desk, I see the letter Tyler wrote me underneath my schoolbooks. Seeing his handwriting tracing along the letter doesn’t hurt me like it use to. I kept it because at the time I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. I pick it up off my desk and take one last look, before ripping it down the middle and tossing it in the trash can. I don’t want to hold on to my past anymore, I am ready to let go.

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