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I took my usual spot in an oversized chair and kicked off my shoes, I tucked my feet under me. My therapist sat across from me and clicked her pen so that she could write on her pad of paper when she needed to. In the beginning I was self conscious when she wrote. I wanted to know what it was she was writing down. Had I given the wrong answer? Was I going more mental than I thought I was already? Had I made progress? Or was I currently a still mate? Like I said I used to care...Now I don’t. I know I’ve made progress. And really, I had Gage to thank for that. My brother, Spence, Lily and my therapist had a hand in it. But Gage had the biggest effect on me.

“Thank you for coming in today, Jayden.”

I nodded.

“The last time I spoke with you for our appointment over the phone you sounded good.” She smiled. “Happy.”

“I am happy.” I admitted. She wrote that down.

“I will admit that you look— You look really good. You have a brightness in you that I haven’t seen.”

I pushed my imaginary bangs from my vision.

“You told me a while ago that the man that attacked you reached out. Has he contacted you since that video he sent?”

“No.” I lied. I had told her about the video but that was it. I didn’t tell her about the photo’s, camera’s or the fact that he locked Gage in the steam room. I know there is a patient confidentiality clause but I was tired of talking to her about it. I think that it had to do with the fact that I had been talking to her for the last seven months now.

She fixed her glasses further up the bridge of her nose. “Do you think that has something to do with it?”

Some people say there is no such thing as a stupid question. I beg to differ. This was a perfect example.

“Yes.” I said off set. She wrote that down.

“You sound unsure. Why is that?”

This is where it gets tricky. How could she help me if I only spoke half truths? I lied to her about not being contacted but I am happy even through it all. I didn’t know what to say. My silence queued her in and she moved on. But, I wasn’t foolish enough to believe that wouldn’t come back to that question later.

“Have the police made any headway with that? Do they have an idea who he could be?”

“No.” I didn’t elaborate that Gage and brought his brother, Abel, down to hunt my attacker down. In Gage’s opinion they were doing diddly squat.

“That’s unfortunate.” She frowned. “How do you feel about that?”

“I want him caught.” And I did. “And I’m angry.”

She nodded. “You used to be afraid. Are you no longer afraid?”

“At times I am.” I said. “But Gage helps me through my times of fear. And my anxiety.”

“He’s able to do that?” She cocked her head. I couldn’t tell if it was from curiosity or doubt.

“Yes. I haven’t taken Xanax since he showed up to train at Knox’s place.”

She wrote something down. This time it took her twice as long.

“He’s a fighter?”

“He is.”

“How long has he been up there training, Jayden?”

“Ah— almost five weeks.”

“And you’ve had no Xanax?”

I shook my head.

“Well, that’s amazing.”

“It is.”

“Have you had any panic attacks in these last five weeks?”

“Not a lot.” I replied. “But, yes, I have.”

“You said he helps you through your anxiety attacks. What is it that he does?”

I took a deep breath. “He holds me. He walks me through on how to concentrate on my breathing. His voice is...so comforting that I think that does it for me the most.”

She wrote again.

“Are you still taking the half dose that was prescribed to you daily for your anxiety?”

“I am. Though next week I’m planning on cutting that in half as well.”


“I’m going to try and get off my meds.” Gage’s sister Daisy had struggled with anxiety. Six months later after she started therapy the family figured out that she was hooked on her prescription medications. Gage didn’t leave her side for nearly a month. He managed to get her off her meds and found an heb called Gaba that helped with anxiety. He thought it’d be a good idea for me to try it. It worked wonders for Daisy. She now took it as needed which at times Gage said she’d go months without having needed it. And since you can’t mix it with medication...Well, I figured it’d slowly get off my meds and give it a try.

“Tell me, Jayden, was this your idea or Gage’s?”

“Does it matter?” I realize that my response to answering her question with a question was an answer in itself. Still— It had bothered me that she asked in the first place.

“It does.”


She situated in her seat. Was it because I had made her uncomfortable? “Because if it’s your idea then you are the one that has taken the reins to improve your health and well being. But...If it was Gage’s, then it tells me that you rely on him to make decisions for you.”

“It was Gage’s idea.” I said. “I see what you’re saying, but he has gone above and beyond to help me.” More than she knew. “I am where I am today because of him.”

Again, she wrote on her notepad.

“I’m not saying that Knox, Spencer or you haven’t helped. I’m just saying that I have made the most progress with Gage’s help.”

“How is your relationship with Gage?”

“It’s good.” I smiled. “It’s really good, actually.”

“I’m glad to hear it.” I could tell that she was telling the truth by the way her eyes crinkled. “And you are alright when he touches you?”

“Yes.” I felt my blush coming on.

“So you are intimate then?”


She smiled, knowingly. “I’m curious— What is it about Gage that makes you comfortable when he touches you vs when Brock tried?”

“I don’t know.” And I didn’t. “When I ran into Gage in Vegas he touched me the minute we met and I didn’t cringe away. In fact— I wanted him to touch me again. I craved for him to touch me again. He didn’t though. And I felt empty that he hadn’t.”

She wrote something down.

“Could it be that he is more gentle than Brock was? Sexually?”

“Brock was never rough with me.” I replied. “Our sex was good but it wasn’t great either. We never had rough sex. We never made love. It was always just plain ol’ sex. Nothing more.”

She made another scribble. “And with Gage?”

What could I say to that? Sex with Gage is...

“Sex with Gage is amazing. It’s on a completely different level than I have ever been on. We make love— To the point where our souls merge. We have rough sex that neither of us are in control. We crave each other. We’re spontaneous. We have fun together. We laugh together...”

“You love him?”

“No.” I smiled. I took a deep breath and tried to explain the best way I knew how. “I’m head over heels...madly in love with him. There’s a difference.”

“And what is it that you felt for Brock? Was it the same as you feel for Gage?”

I shook my head. “No. At one point I did love brock. Took about a year. But after my attack we grew apart. We both changed. But, no...I was never in love with him.”

The room was silent for a moment. “You seem to have come a long way in such a short amount of time, Jayden...Have you thought about your career? Do you plan on modeling again?”

“I might. I’ve been considering it actually.”

“And what is Gage’s opinion on that?”

I saw where she was going with this. She was wondering if he was putting this in my head. “It doesn’t matter to Gage whether I model again or not. He’s never brought it up.”

“Why do you think that is?”

“Because all he cares about is me getting better.” And doing all he can to where I was safe again.

“Did he tell you that?”

“He didn’t have to.” I replied.

“What got you considering doing modeling again?”

“One of the designers that I used to model for contacted me. She’s been mailing me the clothing of her spring line to try and convince me to come back.”

She nodded and looked down to her notes. “Jayden, let’s go back to when you sounded unsure as to if your happiness has anything to do with your attacker not contacting you. I would like to hear more about that.”

I knew it...

“My happiness has nothing to do with whether my attacker has contacted me or not. My happiness has to do with the fact that Gage and I fell in love and have a phenomenal relationship. ”

Just then the door opened and the man that opened it burst in like time was of essence.

At the site, my stomach lurched to my throat. I felt a wave of nausea wash through me. I couldn’t breathe.

Him had followed me here.

Dressed in his black attire, he hid like a coward behind his mask and shades once again. His hands were covered in leather gloves.

My therapist froze. Her eyes went to the gun that pointed right at her as he marched towards me.

Immediately my mind went to Gage. Where was he? He was sitting in the foyer when I went in. Was he hurt? He hadn’t been shot because I would have heard it. Had he been stabbed? The last time I saw this— this disgusting sick of a man before me he held a knife to my throat.

I went to scream but I only managed a squeak when he hit me across the cheek with the butt of the gun. My head spun and began to throb.

“Please don’t hurt us.” My therapist’s words were faint but pleading.

I picked myself off the floor and tried to run but I was grabbed by my hair and yanked back. My vision blurred and before I knew it, I was hit over the head again and everything went black.

* * *

He had her.

He finally had her.

His chest swelled with triumph. The love he had for her was immeasurable. Now she could see just how much he needed her. How much she needed him. He glanced her way as she slouched in the passenger seat. Her head was tilted his way and her lips slightly parted. A strand of hair fell over her face and removing his glove, he carefully reached out and tucked it behind her ear.

“So soft.” He muttered. “So beautiful.”

She was his everything. Soon, she would realize that. And the sooner she did, the sooner they could be together.

They would have to move of course.

Knox would only get in his way.

“I could kill him.”

But would she forgive you?

“Stay the fuck out of my head.” Beak seethed.

He didn’t have time for this. Arguing with him was just a waste of time. And energy. He could be pouring that energy into something more efficient.

Like Jayden.

She’d need a little time to adjust to her new surroundings.

He turned his full attention back to the road. Gripping the steering wheel he continued to push through traffic. His haven was far out of town and he had a long drive ahead of him.

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