“How long were you in that room?”
“Porn spoiler; the plumber doesn’t fix the leak.” Jon jumped as Christian spoke from the hallway, holding his blanket against her body.
“Shit.” Jon grabbed the remote, shutting the television off, and with it the noises of sexual gratification. “Well, that was… not something I wanted you to wake up to.” He awkwardly mumbled.
Christian nodded, eyes darkening. “I wore a short skirt and red lipstick. Go ahead and say it.” She wanted him to say the horrible word floating around in her head; she wanted someone else to voice what she felt she had turned in to.
Jon nodded, “Good morning.” He completely caught Christian off guard, that much evident with the look of confusion crossing her face.
“It’s not morning yet, is it?”
“Nope, but it’s a lot better than calling you a whore, isn’t it?”
Christian frowned; though that’s the word she was fishing for. “It is.”
“Hey, that’s not my way of calling you a whore.” Jon said, standing up. “Are you still tired?”
“I am but I should really go home.” Christian pulled the blanket tighter to her body, glancing at Jon. He was only wearing boxers, his toned body frighteningly attractive.
“You could stay the night if you’d like.” Jon offered, “My bed is yours. I was just going to crash out here anyway.”
“Can I have a glass of water?”
“Of course.” Jon started walking to the kitchen, focusing on the sound of Christian’s footsteps behind him. “Did you want to shower?” The thought came to mind and Jon figured it might make her feel better.
“I would like that.” Christian muttered.
Jon reached in to his fridge, pulling out a water bottle. “Here.” He handed it to Christian and she took it, quite gratefully. She was very thirsty.
“More?” Jon asked, raising an eyebrow.
Christian had finished the entire bottle of water. She nodded, handing the bottle to Jon. He quickly filled it with more water and handed it back. “How long were you in that room?” He finally asked.
Christian choked on the water in her mouth, spitting it out. “Three days.”
Jon’s eyes widened, “Three days?”
Christian stepped underneath the warm stream of water, sighing in sweet relief. She looked down and tears filled her eyes as she noticed the pink of her diluted blood coloring the water, cleansing her body. She wasn’t one to cry often but when she did cry it was hard for her to make herself stop and she was grateful the water could easily wash her tears away, just as it washed the blood from her body.
The shrill ringing of her cell phone made her jump and she cried out, startled. “Christian, is everything okay?” Jon’s voice startled her further and she took a deep breath, trying to calm herself down.
“I’m okay.” She finally called, turning the warm water off. Cold air blew past her body, making her shudder. She wanted to be warm again.
The number flashing across her cell phone screen was unknown but that didn’t surprise Christian, seeing as how Benjamin had deleted all of her contacts, when he’d taken her cell phone from her. She was so enamored with the idea of spending the night in a motel room with him that she hadn’t even realized he’d taken her cell phone until it was too late and she needed it.
“Hello?” Her soft and overused voice sounded over the cell phone, and she was honestly hoping it was her best friend Anna. Anna had warned her about Benjamin, she didn’t trust him. She’d been right. Benjamin wasn’t trustworthy, he had dangerous tastes and he’d pressed those tastes upon her; like poison from an apple it’d begun eating at her. She didn’t feel okay anymore; not even the shower could wash off the filth attached to her now.
“Did you get some rest Christian?” Benjamin’s dangerously low voice snapped Christian to immediate attention.
“What do you want?” She asked; words sharp.
“I want an answer; I just asked you a question.”
“I did.” Christian leaned against the counter for support, wondering why she caved in to his abuse so foolishly. He scared her but she couldn't find the strength to just hang up; she couldn’t run from him.
“Good.” She could hear the sadistic smile in Benjamin’s voice, “Now, where are you?”
No, not this time. She shook her head, closing her eyes tightly, “You hurt me Benjamin.”
“I know baby.” Benjamin’s voice softened, “But I made you feel good too, didn’t I?”
“It wasn’t worth the pain.” She searched inside of herself for the strength to hang up the phone but once again she could not; she needed him to do it.
“So, you thought that instead of talking it through with me you should have some man show up for you?” Benjamin’s voice took on a dangerous tone once again, “Are you with him right now?”
“I was just afraid. You deleted my contacts and I didn't know who I was calling. I tried calling Anna.” Christian forced her eyes open so that she could look in the mirror at her bruised face. How could Benjamin like hurting her? She’d seen just how pain got him off and she didn’t want to be the object of his attention anymore.
“You didn’t answer my question.” Benjamin lowered his tone once again, causing a shudder to pass through Christian’s body. “I’ll be there in twenty minutes.” Then he hung up.
How? Christian shook her head, confident that he was bluffing. He would have no way of knowing where Jon lived. He couldn’t. Sure, Benjamin had found her at the library before, or at a friend’s but that was easily traceable, those were places she went constantly. Jon’s house was new to her, how could he possibly find her?
She quickly dried off, panic filling her very being. Jon’s soft white towel felt good against her body yet she still winced when it made contact with parts of her body that had been bruised. Jon knocked again, “I heard talking, are you okay in there?”
Christian opened the bathroom door, holding the towel against her body. “Do I look okay?” She snapped, without thinking.
Jon looked away, “Do you need clothes?”
Christian immediately felt bad but she didn’t know what to do. Her entire life had started spinning out of control as soon as Benjamin set his sights on her and all she wanted to do was escape, unscathed but it already seemed too late for that. “Please.”
Jon nodded, heading down the hallway.
Christian left her torn shirt on the bathroom counter, pulling on her underwear and bra, desperate for any cover. She slipped her cell phone in to her bra, since she still had no pockets. Then she tightly wrapped the towel around herself again and went in search of Jon.
She stopped in place as a loud knock sounded through Jon’s cozy home, “Christian, are you knocking on something?” Jon called, confused. No one ever came here, except his band mates and they always gave him advance warning.
“It’s not me.” Christian mumbled as Jon came in to view.
I’ll be there in twenty minutes.
Christian closed her eyes for just a moment, remembering Benjamin’s threat. He couldn’t really be right outside, could he?
“That’s weird.” Jon started towards the door, “It might be one of my friends. I called him earlier.”
Christian trailed behind him, hesitantly.
Jon’s expression immediately hardened once he opened the door though, “You’re not welcome here.” He spit out, glancing at the man he’d seen just a few hours ago at the motel room he’d picked Christian up at.
“I’m here for Christian.” The man said, flashing pearly white teeth. “Sound familiar?”
Jon shook his head, “That’s not going to happen. I suggest you get off of my property now.”
The man cocked his head to the side, amusement lighting his eyes up. “Is there really going to be a problem? I mean, come on… just give me a reason.”
Jon knew the man was sizing him up but he didn’t care. Christian wasn’t going anywhere with someone who had obviously hurt her. He wasn’t going to stand by and let that happen. He hadn’t stepped out of character and saved her just to let her get hurt all over again.
Christian frowned, worried for Jon, “Its okay Jon, I’m just going to get out of your life now.” She thought she could hide from Benjamin, at least at a stranger’s but obviously his reach knew no bounds. She would never be safe, that had now become clear to her.
Christian stepped forward but Jon’s hand shot out, grabbing on to her arm. It caught her by surprise and she dropped the towel, the breeze from outside brushing past her bruises. Christian let out a squeak of surprise and Jon shoved her backwards, in to the wall. “She’s not going anywhere.” He spit out, glaring at Benjamin. “If you have a problem with that then there is going to be a problem.”
Benjamin smiled, nodding towards Christian. “We’ll see how long this lasts. Goodnight Christian. Put some Neosporin on your back, it’ll help heal you faster.” A flash of concern crossed Benjamin’s face but then it was gone and he was turning away from them.
Jon tried to control his heavy breathing as he closed the door, falling against it. The muscles in his body contracted, tightening. “Did you give him my address?” Jon whispered, not facing Christian yet.
“No.” Christian whispered.
Jon was too angry though; he’d never had someone show up at his house unexpected before. “Don’t lie to me.” He snapped.
“I’m not, I promise.” Christian whispered, pressing her injured back against the wall for comfort. “I don’t even know your address.”
That was true. Jon shook his head, “Of course you don’t. How the fuck did he know how to find you here then?”
“He always does.” Christian whispered, bringing her hands to her neck, remembering the last time he’d gotten angry at her. “He always finds me. I’m sorry; I should leave.”
“Who is he?” Jon finally turned to look at Christian, a sense of guilt building inside of him. He’d shoved her. He’d never before put his hands on anyone in anger but in the heat of the moment he’d shoved her, not giving a thought towards her well-being. He just knew she couldn’t leave; not with that man.
“Benjamin Avery.” Christian winced as she pushed away from the wall, “I started dating him a while ago and since then my life has been hell.”
“Why not just break up with him then?”
“I’ve tried.” Christian shook her head, frowning. “He always finds me though, and he… he isn’t the type of person that you just walk away from.”
“What is wrong with your back?”
“What do you mean?” Christian pushed her back against the wall again.
“He said put Neosporin on it. Why?”
Christian looked away, embarrassed. “It’s nothing.”
“It’s obviously something.”
Christian knew she wouldn’t get anywhere by denying the fact that she was injured so instead she turned around, letting Jon see for himself. Across her back were deep red lines, not yet healed.
Jon gasped, looking away in disgust. “What the hell kind of shit were you in to?” He finally asked, knowing immediately that he’d made a mistake.
Christian turned back towards him, eyes alive with hate. “I was in to surviving, and believe me… for Benjamin, this was a kind gesture.”