Chapter 17 - Scars
Song #Years&Years #Shine
Iris pulled up the sleeves of the hoodie and looked at him. His eyes looked like the ocean blue and beautiful. They somehow had a calming effect on Iris and she couldn't explain why she felt at home.
As fast as her heart was beating before it was beating faster and in a good way.
For Javier it was a totally different feeling ; he was captivated by Iris in more ways than one...
The flight was an hour and a half long and given the time they left ,they would be in Madrid by nightfall. For the first half of the flight, Javier filled Iris in on the night they first met at the new years party in Bilbao.
Javier brushed a lock of hair off her face and continued to help her remember...in a very unconventional way.
"You know; ever since that night you disappeared I've wondered where you were?. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw you board the plane...you were here on assignment but left without saying goodbye."
"Oh is that why you thought causing a scene about the window seat would get me to remember who you were. I hate goodbyes. "
" No I really wanted the window seat but you and your stubbornness won."
" Ha ha okay so you've jogged my memory for the first part of the flight and I remember the party very well now thanks to your muscle memory trick it worked wonders ."
"Do you want me to smooch you again? You know I don't mind right? Its one of my favorite pass times"
"Don't push it "
Iris cracked a smile ,slid back comfortably in her seat,and looked outside. Her moment of lull was disturbed by Javier brushing her cheek gently with his knuckles .
"What happened? Baker you're not the same carefree friend I remember. You might be smiling yes, talking yes, but your eyes tell me a different story."
Iris turned on her side and was met by Javier's concerned face . He looked worried.
"How is it that you are able to see what most guys aren't able to..."
" Well I'm Aphrodite's half man demi whatever son and I have super natural powers which make woman fall at my feet and call me other things ... Like Greek god maybe ?"
Iris burst out with laughter and sounded like a little kid who was laughing at something slapstick.
" Ha ha I think the correct term you're looking for is demi god and I wouldn't put it past you."
Javier's face returned to normal and he was at ease again. He winced at Iris held her hand, and kissed it.
"I heard the most scariest story a couple of months back. A sports reporter was shot in her own house; by an athlete who was friends with her boyfriend ,she uncovered the truth that the athlete who shot her wanted to stop her from telling the world what was really happening. The dude was using gym candy... Turns out the boyfriend knew that she knew all along. My sister in law to be told me the story.
You came to mind but when I called you I went through to voice mail and then I let go"
Iris's throat went dry ... The story sounded all too familiar, she went silent and all traces of joy that where on her face disappeared. She closed her eyes and turned her face down in hopes that Javier wouldn't see the tears that threatened to spring from her eyes; but it was too late no matter how hard she tried to hold back her tears they flowed out.
Instinctively Javier lifted her face up and wiped the tears off her face and hugged her and she let go and hugged him back . There was something so secure about his arms that made her want to stay in them for a while .
"That is so sad and scary. I'm sorry I... Wasn't there to pick up the phone. Something happened on my way back to work a couple of months back... "
Her tone was somber and she let go broke all physical contact with Javier. Iris looked away and slid her glasses back on to hide her eyes.
Her eyes always betrayed her when it came to coming clean about anything. She remembered her last conversation with Jonathan; how they sorted out their differences and how they both truly felt .Through out the whole conversation he had to turn her chin to make sure she looked at him.
The difference with Javier was that he didn't have to try. Iris was comfortable with him... But how ever open and forthcoming Iris was; she had a tendency of being withdrawn and cutting out others.
The air hostess passed through the isle gingerly when she got to their seat row. She gave them a genuine smile.
"Please buckle up we are about to land "
Both buckled up and said nothing to each other.
Javier sensed that something was wrong again. See doing what he does for a living he was able to tell what's what with regards to the way people reacted , then again his world was all about instant gratification, and fun.
Iris turned around to make sure everything was alright. She had taken her scarf off mid conversation with Javier on the plane and forgotten that she had his hoodie on . Her hair was tied up in a coiled bun. Most of Irisis' stab wounds had healed and the scars were fading the wound on the lower back end of her neck left a nasty scar. She had forgotten about it. In a way it had become a part of her . When Javier saw the scar ; the first thing that crossed his mind was ; how and when did something sinister happen to Iris.
The plane landed and everyone stood up and got off .
Javier somehow lost Iris in the crowd. One minuet they were walking together the next she just slipped out of his hand. His first initial thought was to find the nearest taxi stop . Iris wouldn't be hard to spot . After all she was wearing his favorite jacket .
He made it to the stop and saw Iris board a taxi.Call it a hunch or a feeling he went to go get his car and drove to the hotel nearest to the art gallery. He remembered Iris loved Art and nature from the time he spent with her when she visited a while back.
He programed Hotel Ritz on his maps and found the quickest rout.
When Iris checked in and connected to WIFI, the first message she received was from Maria. It simply read ; "please tell me where you are staying so that I can send someone who will drive you around and get you where you need to go to. Fernando my husbands brother might be on the same flight he can also come bring you .
Iris got cleaned up changed and headed for bed. She was about to turn off the lights when Cortana reminded her to call Maria. She picked up her phone and called.
"Hey Maria just got your message. I'm just checking in. What's going on ?"
Maria took a deep breath. Which set off feelings of apprehension and angst.
"Martin was released on probation and he's also coming to the wedding , well he's here with Sasha so he won't harm you ."
"What the hell?! He tried to kill me."
"He wants to make peace. "
Iris stood up from the side of the bed to the balcony just outside her room overlooking the gardens.
"Sasha had me stabbed, his brother shot me for what; for not knowing about Bryce and his past. On top of that he was doping... "
"Iris call me selfish or naive but I'm sorry. I truly am sorry for all the pain and hurt you've gone through. Can you just at least put all that aside for my big day . We have two weeks ,and you're my best friend and brides maid... Please "
There was something about the way she asked that made her remember why she could never say no.
Iris walked back inside and closed the door . A summer storm was brewing and she was getting the chills in more ways than one. Here hotel room bell rang. She had ordered warm milk and cookies.
" Maria can we discuss everything tomorrow? I need to rest."
"Sure Iris. I love you like my own sister."
"Love you too Ria ."
Iris opened the door without looking. She was busy busy switching applications off .
A familiar baritone voice vibrated through the walls of her suite .
" I never take no for an answer. I don't get why you're constantly running away from me. I'm not the enemy. I'm your friend "
She looked up and let out a chuckle.
"Why is it that you always have me at a disadvantage?"
"Home ground advantage has its perks ..."
Iris looked up and saw a familiar face; with a warm smile and beaming blue eyes.
"Let's not forget that you are also a demigod."
Javier closed the door and locked it. He walked towards Iris and kissed her forehead. They both sat down on the bench at the edge of the bed facing each other .
"Iris... You got it all wrong . It is you who has me at a disadvantage ... Always"
He wispered the last word.
Iris stood up and put her phone on the night stand slid into bed unintentionally only to turn around and face Javier.
"Where do I start Javi ?"
Javier rolled down the covers and turned on his side to face Iris.
" The scar on your lower neck. How did you get that?"
"I was stabbed. Someone wanted to send a message and they succeeded. "
Iris started crying again as she was starting to remember the day. Javier pulled Iris into his warm arms. He didn't mind that his t-shirt was getting wet with Iris's tears.
" Tell me everything we can talk for as long as you want even if you want me to lay next to you. I will do that... Let me in... I want to make you feel safe,wanted and better."