“You have to get me out of here.” I said.
“Not now, Riley. I can’t.” Ezra said. “It’s safe for you to stay in the facility. There are guards outside. You’re safe there. The police are going after Ken. As soon as we have him in custody and get a confession out of him, you will remain locked up.”
“So you’re leaving me here?”
“We don’t have a choice. Jack’s awake and I have enough pressure from the chief of bureau to find the killer, wrap up this case and get on with it. I can’t have you running around trying to help me only to get yourself in more trouble.” I had never heard Ezra more pissed in his life. “Besides, you’re Ken’s sister and that makes you a suspect too.”
“It’s funny how my roles keep changing. I turn from an innocent victim to a lunatic murder having blackouts to a suspect who supported his brother in the killings. That’s very nice. I guess the FBI can learn to keep some consistency.”
Ezra heard the jibe loud and clear. “I’m doing my job.”
He hung up on the call before I could utter another word.
I was completely alone now, in the literal sense. Even James was involved in this now, because I was foolish enough to send him up to my apartment. If something happened to James, I didn’t think I could forgive myself.
After dinner that day before I could go to bed, I picked up the chair lying in the corner of the room and put it against the window. I climbed it and tried to pry open the lock on the bars. It wasn’t easy. All those things they showed in the crime tv shows was all a bunch of bull. I only ended up panting and feeling drained. If it was Jack, I’m sure he would have found a way to walk out of the asylum without batting an eye.
“Need help getting out?” Jose, the Nurse asked.
I almost jumped out of my skin and the chair tumbled in the process. I had been so caught up in my thoughts that I hadn’t even heard him unlock the door and walk in.
“Will you help me?” I asked even though Jose was the last person I wanted help from.
Jose was known to be a womanizer, and there was the fact that he was popular with the ladies for all the wrong reasons. He was good looking with the shabby blond hair and blue eyes, not in the movie star gorgeous way, but just nice to look at. I’d heard rumors from fellow patients that he sometimes slipped into some patient’s room for a good screw. Recently, I’d seen him eyeball me more than on one occasion and it made my skin crawl.
He smirked, the kind that made me want to punch his face. “What do I get in return?”
“What do you want?” I asked.
He looked me up and down, “Let’s see. Getting you out of the asylum unnoticed would have a high price. If you could open your blouse and let me suck your tits, I’ll consider.”
“You’re joking.” I said. “I have some money; I can give you all of it.”
He wasn’t even listening. “Or you could let me fuck you and I’ll slip you out of here nice and easy.” His eyes looked at me greedily.
“Or how about you fuck off from my room?” I asked. “I think that would be even better.”
The color drained from his face, I think he was used to getting his way with the ladies here. He shut the door behind him muttering something.
Three days passed and I hadn’t heard from anyone. I wanted to see Jack more than anything. I was relieved to know that he was alright and that he was awake. If he had at least called me once. I just wanted to hear his voice. The doctors here were being nice, but I didn’t miss the way they looked at me, like there was something seriously wrong. She said patients who appeared normal were actually the most disturbed. I assured the doctor that I was completely normal and I was stuck here because of a misunderstanding. They didn’t believe me.
That evening I had a simple meal of egg salad sandwich, and then I watched some tv in the leisure room, hoping the nurses would inform me that I had a call from Jackson. I decided to have a bath before I went to bed, since most of the patients had had their baths before me, when I went to take the shower, the water was already running cold. I realized I ran out of luck a long time back.
I went to sleep thinking of Jack, and my brother. I wondered what Ken was doing. If he was running from the police or if they had caught him, I was hoping they had so all this would come to an end. I wished Ken didn’t kill those people, and it was all a misunderstanding. And then I could finally sleep in my comfy bed, maybe live a normal life with Jack.
How nice it would be to date him? I wondered. What kind of a boyfriend was Jack? Would he pull the chair out for me if we walked into a restaurant or do no such thing because he considered me his equal? Would he ask me what I preferred to eat or order something for the both of us?
I slipped into a dream where everything was alright. Then I woke up when I heard the lock turn. My eyes opened and I saw a tall form looming above, standing beside my bed.
“Hey Sugar.” He whispered in a sultry voice.
It took me a whole second to realize it was Jose. I sat upright; all the sleep had completely abandoned me. “What are you doing here, Jose?”
He kept staring at me for a creepily long time. The clock on the wall ticked to three thirty. I had a feeling like something bad was going to happen to me. The clock ticking was the only sound in the room.
He put a finger to his lips and brought his face really close to mine. “Shhhh…keep your voice down.” He slurred.
He was drunk and I could smell the alcohol on his breath. I pushed him away. “Get out of here!”
He didn’t budge. “I just want to fuck you once. Just once.”
Before I could do anything, he flipped me over and held my face down on the mattress until I was completely suffocating. My hospital uniform was rolled up, and there was the sound of the zipper, and my screaming was getting muffled by the pillows. I tried to punch him but being in an awkward position with my face down, I couldn’t do anything.
“It’ll be over in a sec, baby-girl. If you can jus fucking co-operate I wouldn’ have to hurt ya.”
I struggled to come up but it was hard because his fingers were digging into my wrists.
“Help me! Somebody!” I said.
No one could hear me here. This guy was going to ruin my life in a matter of minutes and I couldn’t let that happen. I gathered as much energy as I needed and kicked him hard where the sun didn’t shine.
Jose stumbled and fell down on the floor, holding his groin and throwing a string of curses at me. I stood up and started to leave when I felt his grip on my ankle, he yanked and that’s when I lost my balance. He knocked me down.
I reached for the heavy marble lamp on the nightstand and swung it at him. There was a sickening thud sound, and possibly a bone cracking. “I’m not your fucking baby-girl.” My voice was menacing to my own ears.
He yelled from the pain or the anger, I wasn’t sure. I felt the spray of something wet on my face, but it had felt good to hit him, and the sound was satisfying as hell. I kept smashing him until his face was bloody and he was lying down on the ground.
He had underestimated me.
I stood there in the darkness with the stained lamp in my hand. I was panting, and then I was laughing. I was losing my sanity. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I was ready to swing the lamp towards the person but stopped.
I stared into a familiar face. I could recognize those smoldering brown eyes even in the dark, those same eyes that had looked at me like I meant the world to him.
Tears sprang into my eyes. Was I hallucinating? Maybe this man was someone else and I was seeing Jack because that’s what my mind and heart wanted me to see. And then he touched my cheek and I knew this wasn’t a hallucination or a dream.
He had lost weight, but he still managed to look sexy as hell with a mouth that was meant for sin. He could have been Lucifer himself with the glint of danger in his eyes.
“He…he tried to rape me and I…I overcame with so much rage that I didn’t even realize what I was doing. I didn’t mean to kill him; I’m not the killer…” I was a mumbling, stuttering mess.
“Riley.” He repeated.
“I shouldn’t be here. Ken said I killed people and then James is lying in the hospital bed in a critical condition because of me. I’m not the killer. No one trusts me. And you were…you were in a coma…”
“Riley, listen to me.”
“What are you doing here, Jackson? Shouldn’t you be in the hospital bed? You’ve gotta trust me. I didn’t kill—”
He stopped me from blabbering by crashing his lips against mine in a hard kiss. His fingers held my face in place. I opened my mouth to give him more access as his tongue tried to seek entrance, I moaned when he did delicious things with his tongue. His mouth was totally merciless with his assault and I loved it. He tasted better than chocolate. My knees were going weak so I had to hold onto his strong shoulders for support. Nothing else mattered anymore.
Jack was the one to pull away first, and I immediately missed his lips on mine. We were both breathless, and I was feeling a little dizzy.
Jack glanced at Jose and I heard the man groan on the floor.
My first reaction was why the fuck was he still alive? And the other part me was glad I wasn’t going to jail for a murder.
“You were really brave right now.” Jack said, his eyes glimmered with intensity. “Cotton-Candy, I’m so proud of you.”
I lunged forward into his arms and cried into his chest, heaving uncontrollable sobs. I was so glad he was here; it felt like a heavy weight had been lifted off of me. I could finally breathe freely.
“You’re here. You’re really here with me.” I whispered, cupping his face in both of my hands; touching his cheek and feeling the short hair of his stubble graze my skin. I had just smeared blood on his cheeks. What I really wanted to do was kiss the hell outta him again. Instead, I asked. “How did you find me?”
“Ezra filled me in on the details, everything that happened when I was in a coma.” Jack explained. “I had difficulty with my memories at first but it all started coming back to me slowly. They told me where to find you. You’re not safe here. I’ll take you to a safe place where the killer can’t find you.”
I grasped his end of his jacket, and shook my head. “They wouldn’t let me leave this place.”
He retrieved a bunch of papers from his jacket. “I have the signature of the head doctor.”
I stared at him. “Did you forge the signature, Jack?”
His lips broke into a mischievous grin. “You need to get out of here. Don’t question how or why. Now let’s go.”