Chapter Twelve | Pardon
“Bite my ass.” Those words. Those damned words left my mouth too early, and my hand has never flown to my mouth so quickly.
I wondered why I was afraid of him - Cayden Marx. The worst he could do was scare me by telling me he’d get his parents, but he’d never do that. He knew I was the only one, along with Blayne, that knew of what they did to him. “Bite. My. Ass.”
He sniggered, but it wasn’t just any snigger. This one was sinister, “Watch what you say.” I watched as he pressed his fingers into Blayne’s thighs one last time, before shoving a finger in my face.
“Or you’ll do what?” My face formed into one of false disgust, teasing him slightly, and swatting his hand away. My attempt at shoving him aside was unsuccessful, and resulted with him grabbing my wrist with such force, that a crack emitted through the hall. I screamed out of fright, rather than pain, but that only made his grip tighter. I could feel his rings pressing into my wrist, and another hand grabbed me by the roots of my hair and dragged me outside, and throwing me in the snow; coldness seeping down to my bones.
“Are you trying to kill me?” My teeth were chattering and I could see bruises already forming on my wrist.
“You know? I wouldn’t mind it. Since you always seem to pick a fight with everyone, how about you show me that you can handle it. At this rate, I think you already know you won’t have friends in the end to help you.” I gazed at him with emptiness. My brain wasn’t able to process anything. I thought it was the coldness’ doing, but I couldn’t even remember my own name. Strange?
“Don’t play dumb, Jorde. You heard what I-”
“No. I mean I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have snapped at you that way, especially when all you guys have done for me is make sure I’m safe and not doing stupid shit.”
And all he did was laugh. The son of a bitch laughed at me, after I admitted I was wrong. “You think that that’s going to get you out of this? How naive, exactly, do you think I’d have to be to fall for that? You chose this for yourself-”
“Myself? My. Self! You really think that I want to fight you? I can’t even defend myself against Viktor. Vik-tor. He acts like he gives two shits about me, but in reality, he wouldn’t even double take someone’s words if they said I was dead or kidnapped. Just please understand, he doesn’t care.”
“Who doesn’t care about what?”
“You have to be fucking kidding me,” my breath barely above a whisper. “Hey, Vik, how are ya?” I hated this: putting on a bright and cheery appearance just so he doesn’t lose his shit. He’s twenty for God’s sake. He needs to learn how to take care of situations without flipping out.
“Why so cheery, Sweetheart? Did you finally warm up to me?” he chuckled; God, I hated that chuckle - low, seductive, and implying all evil be brought forth to everyone around him. His eyes softened when he met my eyes, set on him, and demanding. He reached forward to move a stray strand of hair. I wanted... no, knew, that I should move away from him, stopping the risk of any physical contract.
But I didn’t.
It was the first of many mistakes I knew I’d make around him. I knew for a matter of many factors, that this would be the first of several mistakes I made around him. I tried to shy away from his touch, but instead I stiffened. His calloused fingers grazed my cheek. I saw in his eyes that he felt and saw a tinge of pick kiss my cheeks, and retreated slowly, grazing the corner of my lips; subtle enough where Cayden wouldn’t see or be suspicious.
“You think too highly of yourself.”
“Now, now, Jorde, you don’t have to lie. You’re the one who thinks too highly of me.”
“You sick bastard.” I swatted his hand away and stumbled back, feeling a strong chest behind me. Before I could react, turn around, or defend myself, an arm is immediately around my throat, constricting any passageway for air to reach my lungs - dry and tight.
“Watch where you’re going, or your ass is mine.”
I grappled at his arm, “Cayden, please. Let go... need air... now.” I spluttered; the lack of oxygen doing strange things to my vision and stars to form behind my eyes.
“You talk to me like that again, and you’ll be a dead woman walking.” Tossing me into the snow, the ice pushing against my skull.
I tried standing, but it was no use. The world spun around me and I felt firm hands grab my shoulders; hoisting me up, he drapes my arm around his shoulder like a crutch, “You’re fucking kidding me. You hurt her, her son of a bitch.”
“Oh please. Even I know you don’t care about what happens to her. She told me herself. She already believes that you wouldn’t give a double take if someone said that she got killed or kidnapped. By the way, that’s word for word-”
“Stop talking. Neither one of you knows what you’re talking about. I would die to save her. And yes, the only reason why I’m saying this now, is because she’s unconscious and won’t know, nor remember what we’re arguing about right now. So, to save time, I suggest that you go back inside, and explain to your girlfriend or whoever she is what you did to Jordeyn.”
“Absolutely not. And if you didn’t know, our four year anniversary is in three months, so I would definitely suggest you get accustomed to us being together more often.”
“Please, for the love of God, don’t tell me you’re thinking about proposing. You’re going to the Academy in eight months.”
“I don’t intend on proposing until I graduate and get a stable job, because I’m responsible that way. Unlike you, who sleeps with every girl he gets the chance wi-”
“If you dare finish that sentence I swear. I will either murder you, or tell Jordeyn everything that’s happening.”
“Go ahead. Act like the hero for all I care. Just know, you show the act of being caring in a very strange way,”
“Don’t tell me how I can or cannot express my-”
“Vik?” My voice was dry, head pounding, and I swear on my grave, I thought we were inside for split second. That is, until a fresh fallen snowflake landed on my lashes, reminding me of where I was. The strong scent of cologne clogged my senses, dizzying me more, and I pushed against the figure holding me up and stumbled away. I could see their silhouettes dancing along the sidewalk, and a medium tall human laid a finger against my lips, willing me not to scream.
“Please, Jordeyn, don’t make a sound.”
“Cayden don’t touch her.”
All of it came back at once, crushing me like a rock. The fight with Cayden, him physically hurting me to the point of me possibly having a concussion, and Viktor helping me up and protecting me. Why had I ever thought he didn’t care about me? He never talked to me unless it was in a somewhat flirtatious manner, and he hated the thought of me comforting anyone especially if his name was Azyriah Smith.
“Jorde, you make the choice.”
They both stared, waiting for a reply.
“Cayden, I love you. I know that you know that. But you lost the privilege to call me ‘Jorde’ when you decided that I was to fight you. So please, let me go.”
“Jordeyn you can’t possibly mean-”
“Oh, believe me Cayden Marx. When I say I don’t want you near me, I mean every single word of it.”
When I walked past him he didn’t try to stop me. He didn’t even grab my arm out of protest. With tears in his eyes, I could feel him watch me walk every step towards Viktor, almost stumbling on my feet. I felt his arms take me in and picked me up bridal style. I didn’t protest, lash out, or kick against him to put me down, but instead I savored the natural warmth radiating off his body, allowing it seep into my skin and warming the chilled bone and muscle beneath it. His heart beat in time with his steps, and the last thing I remember was him whispering something about a promise. A promise, that no matter what, he’d change. He’d change for the better, he’d change for those around him, but something about his speech stayed with me, and never left; he said... no... promised, that he’d change for me. The fear of losing anyone else so dear and close to my heart hurt. At that moment, I didn’t care if it was a truth or lie. I savored the feeling of a promise made to keep me safe. And for the first time in what I thought was to be forever, the feeling of safety was prominent.
I woke up some time later, an ache pounding against my skull. I groaned as my body collapsed, trying to get in a somewhat sitting position. The situation felt similar, just without and boys arguing; I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
I tried to call out for anyone, but when my mouth opened, a small croak, rather than words, came out of my mouth.
“Good. You’re awake.” He walked in and propped himself on the edge of the bed - far away enough that I wouldn’t be uncomfortable or move away from the sight of him. A gash, about two inches in length, was bleed profusely just above his cheekbone. I could tell my the strange gray tint around the wound, that he had tried to stop the bleeding: most likely by wiping it with a dirty rage.
I issued him to come closer so I could take a look. Of course, he refused. “Viktor Xavier. Come over here right now and let me see the cut.” My voice cracked, making me sound like I’d been crying for years without a break.
“It’s not as bad as it looks Jorde. I’m fine, really.”
“Shush. You’re not fine, so come over here before I take my breakfast knife, which by the way you gave me, and I might just make the cut worse.”
“You really need to calm down, you know that, right?”
I swatted at his arm as he moved closer, his laugh light and bright. I never realized how much I enjoyed the sound. Of pure laughter coming from someone who’d be leaving to go to the Academy with Cayden. Cayden. The ass of a man who probably did this to him. I sat up as straight as my body allowed me and leaned forward slightly, taking his jaw in my hand and moving his face to hit the light. “It’s filthy. What’d you use to clean it?”
“Nothing but a rag.”
“Of course.” Annoyance leaked into my voice and I could tell he heard by the way his shoulders and jaw stiffened. I moved his head around slightly, “relax. Or it’s gonna hurt even more than it already will.” I reached into the cabinet my bed and pulled out a bottle of hard alcohol.
“Please tell me you haven’t been drinking again.”
“You, sir, have no right to tell me what I can and cannot put in my body. If I wanted to begin sword swallowing and you opposed, I’d do it anyways just to spite you.”
“I know. And that, Jordeyn Matthews, is what I love most about you.”
I stared at him in shock. The words that came out of his mouth startled me.
Did he just say he loved me?
“What’d you just say?”
“That I knew you’d do sword swallowing if I opposed...”
“No. After that.”
I could see the gears turned in his head, and I could see in his eyes when he realized what he had said, “Now Jordeyn, you know I mean it in a friendly way.” He was embarrassed. The bastard was embarrassed! I grinned, trying to suppress my laughter, but it was no use. I burst out laughing doubling in half, tears threatening to spill out from pure happiness. I gained my composure after some time, and he was still staring at me like I had just swallowed a fish bone whole. He was mortified, but I could see amusement dance across his features.
“Don’t deny it. You love me.” I sang, hitting his arm playfully with every word. He rolled his eyes and stood.
“If you’re done with breakfast, I’ll take the tray.”
“No. I’m not done just yet. Why don’t you sit and eat with me?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because you love me!” I could see he had had enough of my bullshit. He took long, powerful strides towards my side of the bed and I scurred across to the other side, grabbing a pillow for protection. The second mistake I’d make around him. A high pitched scream left my body as I crouched on the floor, his body soaring over the bed and landing up on his feet, not shaken by the hard landing. I could see nothing in hand, and being the dumbass I am, I put the pillow behind my head and rolled into a ball on my side - twisting my back so I could face him.
The blood had dried under his eye, and a cold sweat was breaking just above his brow. He stepped over me: one leg on either side of me, and leaned his hands on his knees. “Don’t make me hurt you.”
“Where is this coming from?”
“You should already know. If you dare or even think that I’ll allow you to tell anyone, and I mean anyone, you’re dead.”
“Viktor, you do realize I’m not property. I’m a human being.”
“Don’t even talk like that. You’re mine, and you should know; I don’t like sharing things that are mine.”
“I’m not a thing, and I’m most definitely not yours. You hate me. And quite honestly, I can’t blame you.” His black pupils took over his eyes, making him seem demonic in a way; I loved it. At this point, I didn’t mind if he provoked me. I wanted a reason to hurt him, and this argument is what would get me there.
“Oh, please. You don’t mean tha-”
“Oh. Viktor Frazier. You bet your ass I mean it. After all, Azyriah and I had a miscellaneous hook up a few days ago. No protection, no birth control, no nothing”
“You do realize he’s too old for you, right?”
“You two are the same fucking age. Shut the fuck up before I shove the bottle down your throat.” The third mistake I’d make around him.
His feet didn’t move, but he dropped to the floor, squatting on top of me, hands on either side of my head, encaging me beneath him. I was unsuccessful at my attempt to slide under him and weave my head out of his arms, but his knee came in contact with my hip bone; eliciting a small gasp and all the air to leave my body once more.
“Vik-Viktor... what are - are you?” His hand snaked from the side of my head and around my throat, giving a small squeeze. My eyes fluttered closed involuntarily and I opened my mouth to sigh, letting out the breath I thought I was holding, but I could feel my chest rise and fall rapidly.
And my eyes opened at the feeling of a circular, cold, metal object touch my temple.
“Sh, sh, sh. It’s okay. Everything will be alright,” he cooed. What the fuck? He never cooed. Viktor Frazier was not a coo-er. “As long as you stay silent and don’t move a muscle.” And the gun cocked.