3. Two days

I groaned, hiding under the covers when I woke up by the loud banging on my front door. 

“Fucking hell,” I mumbled when the banging didn’t stop. 

With a sigh, I got up, grabbed my fluffy robe, and headed downstairs while the banging continued. 

“What is wrong with you!” I yelled, opening the door, staring at William. 

“Me, do you know what time it is? I thought you were dead!” 

I moved aside, letting him in with my eyebrows pinched together. 

“What time is it… what the hell are you talking about?” I closed the door and followed him to the living room but stopped when I saw the time. “Oh.”

It was ten AM, and we were supposed to meet at eight. 

“I’m sorry, I don’t know how I overslept.” 

“You are always early, picking me up even though we agree that I pick you up, and now this. You scared the shit out of me, Jo.” He flopped on the couch, looking grumpy as hell. 

“I’m going to get dressed,” I said, but before I could turn, he jumped up, rushing to the hall. 

“Whose boots are these? Is there a man here? What did you…” before he finished his rant, he ran upstairs, leaving me confused and in shock. 

Whose boots were that?

I couldn’t move, standing frozen in place while I tried to remember if anything had happened after I left last night. However, other than the weird voices I heard, there was nothing. I actually slept great. 

I shook my head, snapping out of it and hurried after William. 

“I don’t know who those are!” I yelled, finding William in my room. 

The turmoil in his eyes couldn’t be missed, and I hated that he doubted me. 

I went to the closet, grabbed some clothes, and signaled for William to turn. He huffed and did, tapping his foot impatiently while I changed clothes. 

“I’m going to brush my teeth, and then we can go, okay?” I asked, waiting for William to answer. 

He grunted, meeting my gaze. 

“I don’t know whose boots those are. I’m trying really hard not to freak out by it, I want to leave now.” 

He narrowed his gaze as if he was searching for something before he nodded. 

Did I ever find something in my house before while I didn’t know how it got there? Yes. However, that was when I was lost, in the worst years of my life, and most of the time it was a man, not stuff. 

I finished my business in the bathroom and was ready to go. Grabbing my keys, I noticed the boots were gone. What the fuck. 

William was eying me from a distance and my anxiety rose. Was there someone in my house?

“Did you move them?” I asked, afraid of the answer. 

“Cut the crap, Jo,” William snapped, moved past me, and headed outside to his car. 

I glanced around, but I didn’t see them anywhere. I must be losing my mind again. Fuck. 

The entire drive was… uncomfortable, but I couldn’t blame him for not believing me. 

“I can't train for too long. I have an appointment,” I said, remembering I had my check-up today. 

“We can also train after.”

“Thank you.” I smiled, knowing he remembered I had my appointment in twenty minutes, and I didn’t want to disappoint him by saying I couldn’t train. 

“You have cameras, right?” William asked when he had finished parking the car. 

“Yes, but they stopped working a couple of weeks ago.” I opened my door and paused. “Should I meet you there, or are you going to wait?” 

“I’ll wait,” he said, giving me a quick wink. 

I gave him one last smile and made my way to the building, the one I started to hate over the years, the one that had my loving therapist waiting for me inside. 

I know I made some mistakes when I was mourning the loss of my family, but why hold it against me? Okay, maybe that wasn’t completely fair. I was a wreck. 

However, I didn’t believe her explanation of my attacks. 

The ticking of the clock in her office always annoys the shit out of me, but that day, it didn’t. What changed?

“So, how are you feeling?” Millie asked. 

“Fine, same as four weeks ago.” I leaned back, crossing my legs, knowing we would go through the same questions as always. 

“Did you have any attacks?” 

I shook my head, slowly fidgeting with my fingers. I never liked talking about them, but I knew I had to, or at least she always said it’s good to talk about them.

“Can you walk me through it again, how they feel?”

I sighed in defeat, hating that I had to. 

“It starts with stomach pain, slowly expanding, making it harder to breathe. If it doesn’t stop, I collapse,” I paused, clearing my throat, shifting in my seat. “it feels as if someone is pulling me apart from the inside, and if I can’t handle it, I pass out or…”

I gulped, struggling to find the words. “I don’t always do it, but it sometimes helps to shift the pain if I… well, you know.”

“Harm yourself?”

She was really going to make me say it. “Yes, as you know.” 

She hummed and wrote something down. “You’re still taking your meds?”

“Yes, every day.” I never missed them, and I intend to keep it that way. 

We talked some more about work and what my plans were. I didn’t tell her what happened yesterday, that for the first time in a very long time, I had this urge to toss everything aside and run my tongue over this fine man and beg him to fuck me senseless. 

I knew if I told her, she wanted to see me more, and I wasn’t going back to that. 

 I almost jumped up when we were done, but as always, she gave me the same speech, hating where I worked and believing it didn’t help with my recovery. However, this was still my life, and I loved my job. 

I ran to the car and hopped in, but before we drove off, I noticed the same car I saw at home and wondered if I was seeing things when it seemed the car was following us to the gym. 

I brushed it off and focused on the presence, knowing if I let my mind wander too far, it would be easy to get sucked into the weird stuff. 

“Fuck,” I cried when William kicked my legs from under me. “You’re doing this on purpose, aren’t you?”

“Maybe,” he mumbled, helping me up. 

“If you’re going to play dirty, then so am I,” I warned. 

He scratched his beard and shrugged.

We resumed our sparring session and I waited for him to make his move, but I didn’t have to wait too long. I dodged his kick, and landed my own. But before he could find his bearing again, I kicked his knee. He stumbled to the ground and I gave him one last shove, ensuring he would fall. 

“Okay, okay, learned my lesson,” he groaned, rubbing his jaw. 

I smiled, tilting my head to the side, and extended my hand. 

We trained for a couple of hours, only stopping to grab something to eat. Maybe it was because of my great sleep last night, but I had all this extra energy I needed to burn.

The hairs on the back of my neck rose when William drove me home and I noticed the same car as before. 

“Is it me or is that car following us all day?”

William glanced through the mirror. “You’re freaking me out. You can spend the night at my place.”

“Nah, I don’t want to sleep on the couch,” I laughed. 

“If anything is up, call me.”

“I promise,” I said. 

It didn’t take William too long to get to my place. We said goodbyes and he headed back home. Thankfully, we both didn’t have to work tonight. I waved him off and was rumbling with my keys at the door when I heard a car door opening and closing. 

“Who was that?” A shiver moved down my spine, my skin heated, and this same urge as yesterday rose. 

I turned, meeting Liam’s gaze. 

“What are you doing here?” I wanted to yell and curse him for following me home, but my words came out needy and sweet. 

He smiled, edging closer. “I am where I belong.”

I swallowed and moved against my door, hoping to create some distance between us, but he only came closer. 

“You can’t deny it, kitty, and I don’t want to sneak around.”

His words confused me, but when I managed to pull my eyes from his, I peeked down. 

“Were you in my house?” The boots I saw this morning were his. He was inside my house. How did he get in?

His fingers brushed over my cheek, making my eyes snap back up. I leaned into his touch, closing my eyes. Why does this feel so good?

His other hand snaked around my waist, pulling me against him. I opened my eyes, my chest heaved with every breath. 

“No, stop!” I struggled in his grasp, but I couldn’t break free. 

“I can’t wait. We’re leaving now,” he growled. 

He rested his head in the crock of my neck and sniffed my skin, running his nose to my ear, making me shiver before moving back. My legs gave out, and all that held me up were his arms around me. 

“This is going to hurt,” he whispered, kissing my neck. 

I thrashed in his hold, trying to break free, but when I felt something sharp against my skin, I snapped. 

I lifted my leg, kicking him straight in the balls before pushing him back, smashing my fist on his jaw again and again while he moved back. 

He growled, grabbing my wrists in the blink of an eye. His eyes changed to something I couldn’t explain. 

“You will submit to me, mate,” he sneered, and before I could do anything else, my sight was blocked when a bag was placed over my head. 

I screamed and fought, but it was all in vain. 

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