I wake up to a banging on the door, I sit up looking at the time on the cable box of the TV. Eight o’clock in the morning, an hour before I have to be at the shelter.
Three very loud knocks on the door again. I get up angrily, and start stomping my way to the door. As I walk away I can hear a still sleepy voice, “Who is that Jamie?” I didn’t get a chance to answer.
I swing open the door to find Ryan standing there with the most worried look on his face, and maybe a hint of apology.
His light brown cropped hair was in disarray, and he is wearing the same blue jeans and white t-shirt, he had on yesterday. He even still had his black apron tied around his waist. He looks awful, I want to yell at him, but now that I see what horrible shape he is in. I just want to comfort him.
“What do you want?” I ask, hiding my sympathy.
He is out of breath, I think he ran here or something because I don’t see his car anywhere in sight. He waits there for a few seconds with his hands on his knees, I’m guessing he’s waiting for the door to be slammed in his face.
“Jamie please let me in, I really need to talk to you about what happened last night.” I stare for a long moment blankly until I finally push the door open slightly, inviting him in reluctantly. He sighs with relief and quickly scurries in, he walks past the living room and into the kitchen, and makes himself comfortable at my kitchen table. I patiently wait there giving him a dirty look.
“Well?” I urge him
“Sit down.” He says motioning with his hand toward the other seat.
“I don’t want to fucking sit down, I want you to tell me why you are here! This isn’t a tea party…” I say harshly. I realize how startling it must be for him when I speak to him too like that, it startles me even. Recently, I have been blowing up a lot which is unlike me. But then I remember why I’m being such a bitch; the picture in my mind of the man sitting on top of me flashed in my brain like a movie and Ryan’s reaction that followed suit.
Last night I didn’t see the sweet brown haired boy I grew up with that used to defend me against anyone that dared to harm me. The boy who used to sneak in my window and hold me while I listened to my mom get beaten by her random Johns, and there was nothing I could do about it. Or the boy that defended not just me, but my baby brother against bullies Josh had growing up.
I am hurt by what he did, and I am allowed to show my emotions. I am allowed to be mad. I’ve been containing my anger for so long sometimes I forget when it is okay to act on it.
He sits there looking at me with a look that told me he wasn’t used to my behavior but I now find myself not caring.
“Jamie I am so sorry about the way I reacted to the situation, I know it must have seemed like I didn’t care about you, but you know that’s not true. I mean… trust me Jamie… I wanted to kill that guy. But somebody else had already beat me to it…”
“So is that what this is about? You not being able to show off how much bigger your balls are? You disgust me!” I try to turn to walk away but Ryan is faster, he moves to stand in front of me blocking my way.
“I have to go to work!” I say trying to break free.
“Please Jamie, listen to me. It has nothing to do with that. There is something that you need to know about Marcellus Giordano.” Another set of footsteps prances into the kitchen, he immediately drops his hold on my arm.
“Hey guys,” Alley says walking in with her red hair in ten different ways, and pale skin, blotchy from laying on one side for too long.
“What’s going on?” She asks looking back and forth between the two of us concerned.
“I’ll tell you what's going on! Marcellus Giodano is the fucking…” A loud voice echoed into the kitchen.
“Jamie, I need your help,” Josh came limping in giving Ryan a strange look.
“Alley, go with Jamie to the drug store. We don’t have any more bandages.”
“Why do we both need to go?” I say.
“Because I need to talk to Ryan about something. Alone. Just some guy stuff,” he says as if I am dumb enough to believe that. Instead of arguing I choose to ignore it, maybe Ryan can talk some sense into him.
“Okay…” Is all I say, but make sure he sees me roll my eyes, so he knows I’m not oblivious.
I am not an idiot. I am questioning his true motives, and why Josh is acting so weird. I guess I just want to believe that it was just something that had to do with what happened last night, and maybe he feels he can only talk to Ryan about it, they used to be close. Maybe it’s something he can’t talk about with me that I have to let go.
I already knew I’ve lost control of Josh, I have to give him a chance to take care of himself, I can’t always be around to help. But if he is going to reach out to Ryan for help that is good enough for me. I know Ryan cares about my brother, so I don’t have any reason to believe that if it is something serious Ryan would come to me.
I’m doing the right thing… right?
As soon as I hear the front door slam shut, I turn to face Ryan.
Compassion, mercy; those words don’t exist when I am given an order, and Ryan is unfortunately getting the bad end of the stick today.
I reach for the knife hidden in my pocket. Ryan used to protect me, I used to want to be just like him. But now when I look at him he is smaller than I am in every way. I have outgrown him menatally, and physically.
“Josh, what’s wrong? Do you need to talk about something? What happened to you?” He asks, already looking weary of me. That’s when I make my move. I immediately lunge at Ryan baring my knife, I don’t even give him time to think about it. He tries to fight me off, and he puts up a good fight but not enough to overpower me as I slam him into the kitchen table holding the blade to his throat.
“Josh what the fuck? Get the fuck off me!” I see the fear in his eyes, and I watch as the realization slowly kicks in that there is nothing left of the little boy he used to adore...
“I am to deliver a message to you and your family. I am going to relay this message to you, after that I will let you up, but keep in mind that if I do have to kill you I will. Now listen carefully, you are under no circumstances to open that pretty boy mouth about who, and what Marecllus Giordano is, not to anyone, and not to my sister. Especially not to my sister. Now I don’t know why my boss would call me, and specifically say my sisters name, or how that came about, but she is not to be involved in this Ryan! You think you know how dangerous these people are, but I have seen up close how dangerous they are, and what they are capable of. They won’t just come after me, and you, and let’s not forget your family, they will kill Jamie too! They will kill everyone you know and love! Do you understand me?” I say as fiercely as I can with a little desperation to my voice. I want him to understand that he is putting Jamie in danger by telling her anything more than she needs to know.
I release my knife from his neck and slowly step away, not taking my eyes away from him. I slowly back up to the other side of the kitchen giving him space. He gets up rubbing his neck to wipe the little blood my knife drew. I have found that I like to get up close and personal, rather than pulling a gun out.
“Josh… are you… working for them? I can’t… what… you would put your sister in danger like this!” At first his words come out like that of a broken child, but the last few words came out in a roar and it made me roar back. He doesn’t know what the fuck he is talking about!
“Everything I am doing is for Jamie!” I yell, pointing my knife in his direction. “Do as I say Ryan. Or else there will be consequences that I can’t, and won’t even try saving you from.”
He’s looking at me with disgust. I don’t care what he thinks of me. He has always been a love sick fool for my sister, his family is involved in a lot of illegal shit, so I don’t who he thinks he is judging me.
That is the only reason he ever gave a damn about me anyways. He thinks he understands mine and Jamie’s lives but he has no idea the half of the sacrifices my sister has had to make for me. Jamie wanted me to finish high school, she wanted me to go to a local college, meet a pretty girl, find happiness, and live a normal life away from all this.
But I am tired of it, I am tired of watching my sister work seven days a week, and putting her life on hold. I don’t want to be taken care of, and I don’t want a white picket fence life. There is too much darkness inside me, and it’s too late.
“I really hope you know what you are doing. If something happens to her because of your arrogance and foolishness, believe it or not, I will come after you.” He says, making me silently laugh at his threat.
Ryan walks away pushing past me, with the door slamming behind him. I stand there with my knife in my hand, the little remnants of blood on the edge still being needed cleaned.
My phone vibrates.
I pick up on the third ring.
“Is it done?” Roger asks.
“I gave him the warning.”
“Good. Marcel Giordano called me himself to get that message delivered. We don’t want any screw ups, or it’s both of our heads. Make sure you keep an eye on him and his family. Report back to me if you see him go out of line.”
“Yes sir.” The phone hangs up, I continue to stand there, this time with my eyes closed, continuing to clench the knife in my hand. It would be so easy to just let all this go right now. A small tear trickles down my face, releasing the last bit of humanity I have left.
I went to the shelter that day with too many things on my mind, it is incredible how so much drama can happen within two days. And there were alot of things, yes, I was worried about my brother, I had a nagging feeling that something was going to go terribly wrong for him. And yes, I was sexually assaulted last night, and yes I’m pretty sure I won’t be seeing my mom for a very long time if at all.
All those things were definitely floating around in my mind, but the only thing I really wanted to think about was that man. That beautiful, extraordinary man, I have never spent time thinking about wanting anyone, I have never even been in a serious relationship before.
I’ve dated but it never worked out because I was too busy working, and taking care of my brother. I don’t think any man my age will see the value of dating someone with so much baggage.
Relationships are too complicated, and they lead to things like heartbreak, disappointment, and expectations that I can’t always meet. But why is it that I can’t seem to get him out of my mind? I don’t even know him, I don’t even want to say his name because I’m afraid of the very sound of it touching my tongue and poisoning me more than he already has.
I walk in to find Dr. Hammond at the front desk with Sidney the receptionist. Dr. Hammond is the veterinarian at the shelter, and a good… friend.
He’s leaning over Sidney trying to solve some type of computer issue. I’m standing, with my bag over my shoulder, and my long wavy hair pulled into a half down, half up mess, waiting patiently for them to notice me.
“Can I not clock in?” I say interrupting their quiet chatter about what the issue is. Dr. Hammond looks up at me with his brown eyes surprised to see me.
“Jamie, what are you doing here? I told Sidney to call you to tell you we don’t need you today.” He stands fully up running his hand through his blonde hair, not really that bothered by the fact that I had shown up.
“Sorry Dr., I forgot to call her,” Sidney said flicking her brunette hair my way, not looking at me. She doesn’t like me, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard her whisper slut under her breath multiple times. Dr. Hammond ignores her shitty attitude, not taking his eyes off me.
“That’s okay, I need to give her something anyways. Do you have time to come back to my office?” he asks me suggestively. Well maybe this would be a way to get him off of my mind.
“Yeah, sure,” I say to him with a knowing look.
I follow him to the very back, down the long hallway where his office is located, and could feel Sidney’s daggers on me.
He opens the door, putting his hand on my lower back leading me in. As I walk in I throw my bag in one of the chairs, and sit down on his desk, legs crossed with each of my palms holding my weight.
“So Gregory, what did you want to give me?” I say matter of factly. He stands there with his hands in his pockets staring at me hungrily.
“Well, it’s been a while since I have seen you. I just want to honestly say hi. I like those jeans,” he says as he slowly inches toward me. His gaze is extremely intense, looking me up and down, not even trying to be subtle about it.
I am wearing my black skinny jeans, which fills out my curves, and a low-cut dark blue tank top. All my hemp bracelets were falling at my wrists, I look edgy today, unintentionally.
He keeps inching forward until he finally is closer than arm’s length. He leans down over me, making me slowly back up to give him room to inch forward.
“I want you,” he said in a whisper, then slams his mouth down on mine aggressively.
I open my mouth giving him full access, letting his tongue intertwine with mine in a beautiful dance. I let go of the desk and place my hands in his golden blond wavy hair, pulling at all the strands. Our breathing is hard, rugged, and fast. His hands were exploring every inch of my body, he starts to pull off my shirt revealing my black lacy bra, he then pushes me down on the desk where I lay flat on my back.
The trailing of kisses starting at my breasts and spreading all throughout my body till he finally stops at my middle. He starts to unbutton my pants, I close my eyes waiting to enjoy what I know he plans to do to me. But closing my eyes is a mistake...
I am fully ready for the pleasure but then I start to feel uncomfortable when the image of the old, drunk man standing over me ripping my clothes off pops up in full view of my mind. I remember being slammed on the ground, crying out for help, hoping someone would come and find me, I remember feeling like I had no control… and I just snap!
“STOP,” I yell. He keeps going which made it even worse, I automatically knee kick him in his groin without thinking, knocking him down to his knees. I sit up fast, only to find him on the floor writhing in pain. What did I just do to him? I acted on instinct, it was like I couldn’t help it.
“Oh my god! Greg I am so sorry… I don’t know what came over me,” I stammer. He looks up at me obviously not ready to respond because he is still trying to recover from the blow I had just given him.
He is on his knees holding himself for dear life. I quickly get up still in only a bra, and went over to him to help him up. He finally stands and walks over to his desk chair. It’s quiet for a minute, I don’t want to be the one to break the silence. I decide to quickly put my shirt back on to help the awkwardness.
“I’m sorry I didn’t stop right away, I was just caught up in the moment… what happened? I thought you wanted to,” he says questioningly.
I am quiet for a moment, debating on whether I really wanted to tell him or not. I guess I could say he is a friend, but I have never had true conversation with him, we had always just had sex and went our separate ways. It was convenient because we were both attracted to each other, and his family owned the shelter so he would never get in trouble for it. He is 32, no wife or kids, very mature, and obsessive over working. So late at night when the shelter was closed, we would hang back and hook up, and it just made sense.
I never expect anything from him, and he never expects anything from me. He is very quiet, and reserved, and doesn’t like small talk so it truly just always fell together... but I guess all kinds of new things were happening, so why not?
“To be honest, something crazy happened to me at the bar the other night, I was attacked.” I tell him, and feel great about being able to talk about it with someone.
The usual dazed emotionless face he put on actually turned into concern which is a big surprise for me.
“What do you mean attacked?” His voice has more emotion in it than I have ever heard him have. I never even thought that Greg had any kind of care for me, I wasn’t sure if I liked the change or not. But regardless he is someone on the outside. Someone that didn’t have biased opinions, and I wouldn’t have to worry about him going and telling anyone my business.
So, I pour my heart out to him. I tell him every last nitty-gritty detail of my dramatic life the past couple of days. He sits the whole time, his hands folded on the desk, not interrupting to ask any nosy questions about my handsome stranger. Just looking at me intently, ready to listen to anything I have to say.
Finally, after thirty minutes of blowing his eardrum off most likely, I stop to take a breath. He doesn’t say anything for a good couple of minutes. I don’t think he knows how to respond. I suddenly feel stupid for telling him all that.
“Come with me, there is something I want to show you,” he finally says after I just did all that overthinking.
“Umm okay.” He walks down a narrow hallway leading me into the exam room. As we walk into the room I am suddenly reminded of the many times he bent me over the exam table, and I am kind of starting to really hate myself for stopping him earlier.
I start to hear a faint whine when Greg comes out from the back with a beautiful siberian husky pup in his hand. My eyes widen and my heart melts at the beautiful blue eyes beaming at me. I immediately walk forward and practically rip the puppy from his hands, and start cuddling the crap out of he/she.
“Male or female?” I ask.
“Male,” he said in his flat tone.
“Where did he come from?”
“Some women dropped him off telling me she could no longer be responsible for him. I’m surprised she didn’t try to get money off of him. He’s obviously a purebred. I’ve never seen an all white one before though,” he explains.
I stare at his bright blue eyes wishing so badly I could take him home with me. I’m surprised he remembered what my favorite breed was. Not that I wouldn’t mind having any type of breed, I just admire Siberian huskie’s beauty, and grace, but at the same time they have that fierce look of the wolf. I’ve never gotten a dog though because I am always afraid I wouldn’t have time for one, I don’t ever want to be one of those people that have to give up their animals.
“He’s yours,” he says taking me by surprise.
“I… I mean I couldn’t… well I mean if I…” I am speechless, but I don’t know if I have in me to refuse.
“If there is anyone that deserves the companionship, and loyalty of a dog, it’s you. I don’t want anyone else to have him. And I won’t take no for an answer,” his tone still has that lack of emotion, but it is almost like he is holding something back. Nothing but silence fills the room, while cradling the dog close to my chest. I again look into his blue eyes, already forming a deep connection to him.
“Helios… his name is Helios, after the God of the Sun This means a lot. Thank you.” Why not name such a beautiful dog that also radiated power with his obvious wolf roots, after a God. It seemed fitting.
His arms are crossed looking down, like he was trying to hide his usually emotionless face.
“Well, you should take him home. Get settled, I’ve got some work to finish here anyways,” he says finally looking up at me. I nod my head and turn to walk out the door.
I walk down the long hallway waiting to meet Sidney’s angry glare but thankfully she is already gone. I grab a leash, and collar from behind the counter, and strap it to Helios.
He wags his tail happily at me as we start walking side by side out into the world for the first time. Helios perks up his nose, and sniffs the evening air. I suddenly forgot about everything in that moment. I decide not to worry about the fact that I just gained another mouth to feed, and decide to appreciate the fact that this is the first time I have ever been selfish. And I’m celebrating for it; I have always wanted a dog and now I have one! For the first time in my life I just went for it for some reason.. and it feels amazing!
So many things seem to be changing, and it’s ever since I met that man, is this some type of omen?
Chapter SevenMarcellusI walk up to the ba
Chapter Twelve“Have I gone mad?&rd