My Protector

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Chapter 11: Bryce

Loren’s POV

Arriving back to Killian’s apartment, I was still high from our date. So much had happened in the last few hours. I wasn’t sure how I was feeling. I wasn’t even sure how he was feeling.

I mean he had brought me on this wonderful date and had taken me out on for a ride in his helicopter but what were his intentions? He was the CEO of this company so these were all easy for him to do. With his looks and money, he was probably a well sought out man. I was nobody. I wasn’t rich and I wasn’t nearly as attractive as the other women he could get. So why me?

“Are you hungry?” He asked as he shut the door.

“No, but can I have some water please?”

With that he walked into the kitchen as I sat on the couch. A few minutes later her returned with two glasses. One filled with water and another with ice. His jacket was gone and the sleeves of his light blue shirt were rolled halfway up his forearms, showing off multiple veins on either arm. He walked over to a small cart against the wall and grabbed a crystal decanter filled with an amber liquid, pouring some of it into the cup.

I thanked him as he handed me the glass and sat beside me on the couch. I took my heels off one by one, feeling instant relief. It felt like there were a million tiny needles poking into the bottoms of my feet. Letting out a sigh of relief, I stretched my legs out in front of me. I hadn’t realized how long I had worn these torture devices for.

I looked over to Killian who was taking a sip of his whiskey, his laptop now on his lap. His eyes were glued to the screen as he read whatever was on it. Taking another gulp of my water, I stood and walked over to the large window in front of us. The sound of soft typing now behind me.

The city’s lights shined from all directions and the moon’s reflection glistened in the bay. The beautiful thing about being in the city was being surrounded by so many people; each of them the main character of their own story. We all had a purpose and we all had a dream. We all had friends, families, and enemies. None of us were perfect but we were all living with the same goal; to be better. At least that is what I hoped.

I mean, we could all be better. Be better humans, spouses, parents, friends, teachers, workers, or better students. There is always something that we could work on. The main question however was if we would work on it.

The typing behind me stopped and I heard what sounded like the laptop being placed on the table. I flinched as a strong hand made its way to my waist.

“Like I said, you’re always drawn to good views” Ian spoke, his voice soft and deep. If I had been an inch farther away I wouldn’t have been able to hear him.

Leaning into him, I closed my eyes. “Theres always a story that comes with the view” I finally responded.

It was silent but I could feel him slowly nod his head, letting out a deep breath.

“Are you tired?” He finally asked

“A little bit, but...” I trailed off remembering I didn’t bring any clothes with me.

“But what?”

“I, uh.. I don’t have anything to change into..” I could feel a blush creeping into my cheeks.

“Just sleep naked then” he chuckled and smirked at me.

“Killian!” I smacked him on the chest, “I’m serious” I pouted and crossed my arms.

“Well I don’t have anything here that would fit you, but i’m sure I can find a shirt to give you.” He winked, making it seem like he only had one extra shirt in his house.

“Thank you,” I responded, uncrossing my arms and smiling up at him now.

“Alright princess lets get going then,” he took a final gulp of his whiskey and sat the cup down next to mine on the coffee table.

We walked up the stairs and Killian walked into the large bedroom that I had wandered into the week prior. Instead of following him, I walked into the room I had slept in before. Setting my purse down on the side table, I sat on the soft bed. Tonight was fun but boy, did it feel good to get to bed.

I looked up as Killian entered the room, wearing only a pair of grey sweatpants. In his hands were another pair of sweatpants and a white shirt.

“You’re sleeping in here I take it?” A hint of disappointment in his voice.

“Um, yes if thats okay with you..” I tried to not stare at his upper body and instead looked back at the clothes .

“Darling, I can’t force you to sleep in my bed. If you’re more comfortable sleeping in here, then that is where you will sleep. I’m thankful enough to know that you are here, safe with me. In my arms or not.”

With that, he put his fingers under my chin and tilted my head up so that I was looking at him. “Sound good?” he asked.

I smiled and nodded my head slightly as he leaned forward and left a short kiss on my lips, leaving me hungry for more.

“There should still be toiletries for you in the bathroom. Do you need anything else?”

“No i’m okay, thank you”

“I’ll be in my room if you need me. The door will be open,” He joked with a wink, making me laugh.

“Goodnight Ian,”

“Sleep well love,” he whispered as he shut the door.

Standing up from the bed, I walked into the bathroom and brushed my teeth. I washed my face and decided to just change into the T-shirt since it was big enough.

The bed was so much comfier than I could remember. The pillows seemed like they were just fluffed and the sheets were soft and lightweight. The down comforter on top was light but warm. It felt like I had just gotten into a cloud. Ian’s shirt was soft and smelt of laundry soap with a hint of his cologne. Taking a deep breath in, the world around me became dark as I fell into a dream.

---

Suddenly I woke up in my old apartment that I had shared with my ex, Bryce. I hadn’t been here since last year before we broke up. I didn’t even know that he still lived in this place. I thought that he moved out after we broke up. Why was I even in here?

The apartment looked the same as it did when we were together. A big white couch was in the living room facing a large screen TV. Various plants were dispersed through the room and my books were sprawled on the coffee table. Large rays of orange sunshine made their way through the windows and into the room, it was probably around dinner time. The apartment was brightly lit however a darkness still felt present.

Just then the front door open and Bryce walked in. He was wearing his uniform and his hair was slightly ruffled. A detail I never really paid much attention to until now.

“LOREN!” He yelled out as he saw my books on the coffee table.

I tried to respond but I couldn’t seem to open my mouth. I couldn’t even move from where I was standing. Then I heard another voice.

“Oh babe you’re home early!”

Then it hit me. I was dreaming. Except this wasn’t a dream, it was a memory.

“You didn’t expect me to be home so early so you just left your shit laying around? Didn’t think I would notice how much of a pig sty this apartment has become?” His voice got louder with every word as he pointed at the coffee table.

“N- no, I was still studying, I’m sorry hun I’ll move it right now. Are you hungry?” I saw my eyes get watery and face red from trying to hold back tears.

“No, but grab me a beer. It’s hot as hell in here.” He spat.

I followed myself run into the kitchen and get a beer from the fridge. On the stove was his favorite meal yet he was too fixated on my “mess” to notice. Following myself back out to the living room where Bryce was, the books were moved to the floor and he was now sitting on the couch, a video game controller in his hands.

I watched myself set the beer down on the coffee table and gather my books. Trying so hard not to disturb him.

“God do you do anything around this place? You don’t have a job. All you do is sit around. And don’t use school as an excuse because you only go there three times a week. Meanwhile I work my ass off and come home to a dirty house. I pay all of the bills around here. I deserve a little more than this, don’t you think?“. He spat out again.

Bryce wasn’t always like this. When I dated him in high school, he was a complete sweetheart. Would do anything to make me happy. I remember going out to the movies with him and our friends. I remember going to every single school dance with him. Everything seemed perfect and I thought that he was the one. At one point, I thought I was going to marry him.

He was the star of the football team and got a full ride scholarship to the same university I was going to. However, things started to go downhill after his grades suffered and he lost his scholarship. Bryce was more focussed on partying and the social life than he was with school. Eventually he was kicked off of the football team and dropped out of university.

Literal definition of a loser. Yet I stayed with him because I saw hope for him. I loved him. He was my high school sweetheart. And I convinced myself that he loved me.

I watched myself say nothing and just bring my books to the kitchen. Clearly tired and defeat, this was not a fight worth fighting. At least in that moment it wasn’t. In situations like this, it was best to just stay silent and get him whatever he had asked for. Besides, he was right. He was paying for all of the bills. He was basically supporting me. I had no right to fight back.

My heart started to race as I remembered my life before; remembered him. I shut my eyes as I tried to escape the dream.

Suddenly everything went black and I came back to reality. The pillow and my face were both wet and I was breathing heavy, my heart pounding in my chest. Remembering the rest of that night, the tears fell harder. I had spent the rest of the night in the kitchen studying and crying. The food was left untouched on the stove. Bryce hadn’t even gotten up from the couch since he got home. Instead he would just yell for me to bring him another beer as he played his video games with his friends.

Trying to forget him, I thought of Killian and how safe I felt with him.

A few sobs escaped my lips as I stared outside the window at the lights.

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