Life After Lockup

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CHAPTER 28

CHAPTER 28

Lillie


It was a bright Saturday morning. The shower was refreshing, I got dressed and threw on a baggy jeans and shirt. I woke up despondent today but shook the feeling away.

Dimitri came home late last night as expected. He said he was working at the garage, but as soon as he returned, he didn’t come upstairs to me. I guessed he slept in the living room like before. It confused me, I enjoyed sleeping next to him, I liked the snuggles against his warm body, engulfing me in his scent.

I hadn’t seen Dimitri since yesterday morning and hoped everything was okay. I walked down to the living room to check on him, but he wasn’t there. The sleeper couch was already folded up and the bedding was neatly packed to the side. I frowned. I turned towards the kitchen and bumped into a wet solid chest.

“Dimitri…” I said flushed.

My eyes roamed his chiseled abs, glistening with water. His sculptured body covered in beautiful tattoos inked up his muscular arms and chest, my thirsty eyes roamed further down to his mid-section leading to something enticing that was covered just with a towel. Heat sparked in that familiar place and it reminded me of when I first met Dimitri, how his rugged looks stunned me, just as it did now.

We have come full circle.

I met his intense eyes, his eyebrow raised. I blushed, seemingly caught ogling him.

“You didn’t come up last night?” I said shyly, my cheeks still warm.

Dimitri smiled weakly. “I didn’t want to disturb you, I came home so late,” he said, avoiding my eye.

“You know you could never disturb me,” I said warmly.

He finally looked at me and smiled softly. He planted a gentle kiss on my forehead and embraced me in a tight hug. I hugged him back. He breathed in my freshly shampooed hair and I took in his herbal shower scent.

“I missed you last night,” I whispered, my head still against his beating chest.

“I missed you too,” he said just as soft.

I wanted to break the hug, but he held me still, like he never wanted to let go. I couldn’t shake the feeling like something was wrong.

“Are you okay…” I said as I slowly pulled away.

He gulped and nodded lightly, giving me a tight smile.

We had a quick breakfast in the kitchen. I wanted to visit the market today and was happy and excited that Dimitri agreed to come with me, it gave us an opportunity to have some fun and maybe lighten his mood.

We drove in his old truck. He had been working on it and it sounded and felt much smoother to my relief. I talked about all the stalls I wanted to see. Dimitri just nodded and smiled, but I could tell he was miles away. I wondered what weighed so heavily on his mind, but I didn’t want to ask unnecessary questions.

We arrived at the busy flea market. The park was filled with people exploring various stalls, sitting down for picnics and strolling about. The atmosphere was pleasant and peaceful. The stalls looked colourful, as they lined up, side by side, front and back. The market had everything from arts and crafts to antiques to holiday decorations, I wanted to look at some art pieces and homemade jams.

Dimitri and I walked side by side, either holding hands or our arms interlocking. He looked interested in the toolboxes for a while, but quickly zoned out again. What was with him? If he didn’t enjoy himself, he didn’t show it much though. He kissed me numerous times on the top of my head, providing comfort, as we wandered about.

After a good three hours of strolling and eating sweet treats we headed home. It was a pleasant day and I left fulfilled and happy, hoping that this was just the beginning for good things to come.

We arrived home and I climbed out of the truck. Dimitri fell in behind me. I walked to the front door and fiddled for the house keys inside my bag. I looked up at the door and noticed that it had been cracked open. Cold shivers ghosted my skin and dread crept up.

“Dimitri…” I called out feebly, not understanding what was happening. I continued to stare at the broken lock on the door, scratched marks showing forced entry.

Dimitri walked up to me, his eyes in a deep frown. I pointed at the lock and the door still partly open. His face fell from confusion to fear to anger.

He rushed inside.

“Dimitri wait! Shouldn’t we call the cops?” I shouted after him. But it was too late, he was inside already.

I cautiously stepped in, everything seemed in place, the passageway, the kitchen. Maybe it was just a couple of juvenile kids fooling around, trying to justify it. As I walked into the living room, I saw Dimitri freeze on the spot, and too my horror, I stared.

I gasped with wide eyes as I looked at my living room, or once was one, it was completely trashed. Like somebody intentionally destroyed it or torn the place up looking for something.

The three-piece green sofa set was turned over, tears and slashes were visible from it. The table and furniture were tossed and broken into, shards of wood and glass were scattered on the floor. The curtains and paintings were torn and dragged down from the walls, one curtain hung flimsy on its pole. The television was thrown on the ground, a large crack and hole on it, as if it were hit with a baseball bat.

I covered my mouth with my hand in disbelief at the disturbing scene. Whoever did this, did it on purpose, I couldn’t understand from whom? In shock, my eyes teared up at my torn-up living room and tears threatened to spill out.

“Who could have done this?” I whimpered.

Dimitri was dead quiet, he didn’t say a word. He walked over to a piece of paper that clung onto the broken TV screen. He read it. Anger flared from him, I could feel it in waves. Dimitri went rigid, his jaw was tight, and his fists clenched. He shut his eyes as if deep in thought or fighting an internal battle, I didn’t know which. He scrunched up the note and threw it on the floor.

He looked up to me, rage was present on his face. He saw my tear stained eyes and something shifted in his own. I couldn’t tell… anger, sadness, remorse, guilt. It seemed every emotion rolled into one.

Dimitri instantly took his bags with his clothes packed in. He walked up to me, his face as hard as stone.

“You need to stay at Sassi for the night, for the rest of the weekend at least. I’ll call a repair guy now to replace the door.” he said in an even tone. His face expressionless... and cold.

“I’ll make this right. I’ll pay every cent back to you for this damage.” he continued, his voice distant.

He walked briskly past me and headed for the front door. I frowned, I picked up the scrunched-up note on the floor and quickly unraveled it. The words were plain and I didn’t understand what it meant. It read.

You can’t win in this Bleeder

I ran after Dimitri trying to catch up to his large strides.

“Dimitri…” I called out. “What about you? Where you’re going?”

He didn’t turn back and continued to storm out in a huff. I ran out and grabbed his arm.

“Dimitri!” I shouted. “Stop and look at me!”

He stopped. He looked still ahead to the front door and took a heavy sigh. He turned to look at me. His stormy eyes subsiding for a moment.

“You need someone better... a guy like Arthur,” he said his eyes glistening.

“What?” I said confused.

“I’m not good for you…” Dimitri said his voice faltering.

I shook my head hard. “Why would you say-”

“I’M NOT A GOOD GUY LILLIE!” he shouted.

I blinked at his words… shrinking back slightly.

Dimitri flinched.

“I never have been a good guy…I’m a criminal and always will be.” he said, his voice turned cold again. “You need to stay away from me… it’s for your own good.”

He opened the broken front door, and I grabbed his arm again desperate for him to make me understand what was happening.

“Dimitri… please. Tell me what’s going on please?” I begged, tears welling up. “Maybe I can help?”

He turned away from me, a storm brewing once again in his eyes, “You’ve done enough for me Lillie, more than I deserve,” he said heavily. “You won’t be threatened again. I promise you that.”

Threatened?

He roughly tugged his arm out of my grip and briskly walked to his truck. He jumped in and started the engine, not glancing my way once.

“Dimitri…” I whispered watching him drive away from the front door.

I stood silently at the sidewalk, my heart crumbling, the tears streaming out of me as I cried.

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