"I'm not leaving without you!" he barks angrily. "If I can't have you, no one will!"
The meaning behind his words sinks in. My fight-or-flight response kicks in and I turn and start running for the room. If I can reach the baseball bat I might just be ok. I reach the entrance to my bedroom but stop short when Jakes' fingers tangle in my hair and haul me backwards. I stumble and grab onto the door frame, digging my nails in so hard that I feel them separate from the flesh of my nail beds and start to bleed. I ignore the pain and give in to my survival instincts.
"Where do you think you're going Princess?" His voice is rough and menacing and only makes my need to escape so much greater. I can feel my fear starting to suffocate me.
I push forward, stifling a scream when I feel my hair being pulled out at the back of my head. Jake grabs my arm, swinging me around and before I can register what he's doing, his right hand is balled into a fist and flying into my left cheekbone. The loud crack resounds through my ear as his knuckles make contact with my flesh. The pain shoots through my cheek and travels down my jaw. My head hits the ground hard and my eyes roll as I try to orientate myself. All I can think about is Jakes' dark figure looming over me. My body betrays me and I start shaking. I kick wildly, thrashing and writhing as he grabs my hair and drags me until I'm next to my bed. My tears spill over and start sliding down my cheeks. Panic roots itself in my belly. I'm terrified.
"Sshhh," he coos, "Don't cry. This is going to hurt me more than it will you." I'm trapped beneath his body with his legs on either side of me. I have nowhere to go now. This is it.
"Please," I beg between sobs, "Don't hurt me Jake. Please."
His finger touches my cheek and I turn away. His touch makes me want to hurl. He slaps my face so that I'm looking at him and I cry harder. His eyes travel down my torso and his face contorts in anger. "Did you really think that you could ever belong to anyone but me?" he snaps. "He can never love you the way I do."
He pulls out a knife and starts cutting Graysons' shirt. He tears it until my torso is bare and my pink lace bra exposed. He starts touching my breasts and I squeeze my eyes shut. I feel violated. Helpless. Scared.
His fingers wrap around my throat, squeezing until I'm gasping, and his face hovers over mine. "Open your fucking eyes," he growls. "Let me see how much you like it when I touch you."
I will my eyes to open, but my vision is blurred and I can't see anything beyond my tears. Jake lowers his head and presses his lips to mine, forcing his tongue into mouth. I cry into his mouth and recoil when he starts fondling my breasts again. "Please Jake," I whimper, piteously. "Don't do this to me."
"Kiss me back," he mumbles angrily against my mouth. When I don't respond, he lands a sickening punch to my ribcage and I scream in pain. I'm still screaming when the second blow lands in the same spot. It feels like my ribs have splintered with the force of his fist and it brings back the memory of the night he pushed me down the stairs. The night he killed my baby. Our baby. His hands fiddle with the button of my jeans, slipping his fingers into my panties. Oh God, no! Please don't touch me there, God, PLEASE! I will not be able to look at myself in the mirror again if he touches me there, knowing that part of me is sacred and for Grayson only. I will be tarnished. Grayson won't want me anymore and that possibility has me wishing that Jake would just kill me already. Get it over with. I would rather die than have Grayson not want me.
A strangled sob escapes my mouth and Jakes' fist makes contact with my face again. Crack… And again… Crack… And again… Crack…
My head rolls and I feel the fight leave my body as I look up into his dead eyes
. "I could never love you," I whisper, struggling for air. "You killed our baby."
His face falls. I expect him to hit me again but he doesn't. For a split second I see remorse flash in his eyes. Then it's gone.
The front door flies open and smashes against the wall. I turn my head and watch as Grayson runs down the hallway in slow motion, followed by Brody and then Demi. Jake jumps up but he's too slow. Grayson is much bigger than Jake and when his body collides with Jakes', Jake doesn't stand a chance. Brody follows and soon they're both tackling Jake to the ground. Brody pins him to the ground and yells, "Gray, I've got this! Call an ambulance!"
Grayson is at my side and I want to smile at him but my face and my body feel like lead. My eye lids flutter and I hear talking but I can't make out the words. I think I hear Demi crying but I'm not sure. The world around me fades as darkness takes over and blankets me. As I slip further and further into unconsciousness, images of my parents pop into my head.
I see myself waving at them and my heart fills with joy at the sight of them. I feel a little hand slip around mine and look down, only to be met with green eyes that match Graysons'. The brown-haired little boy looks up at me and smiles before running away laughing. I watch, mesmerized, as Grayson appears, running after the little boy.
"No Daddy," the little boy squeals. He runs towards me and I open my arms for him to jump into. "Mommy!" he squeals again.
I kiss his forehead. "Mommy's here," I coo.
Grayson wraps his arms around us and I feel peace in this moment, unaware of what's real and what's not.
All I know is that I'm happy, and safe, and home.
~ Grayson ~
Brody stops outside the hospital but I'm already jumping out the car before he has a chance to stop. I run through the emergency room doors where I'm sure they would've brought Huntley. I grab the nearest nurse. "Huntley Morgan, where is she?' I ask impatiently.
"Are you family?"
"She's my fucking girlfriend! I need to know if she's ok! Tell me where the fuck she is!" I yell into the nurses' face.
"Sir, you need to calm down." She pats my arm and I have to stop myself from slapping it away. I'm breathless, and my mind is sprinting. I am getting really pissed.
"Don't tell me to calm the fuck down! Just tell me where my girlfriend is!"
Brody comes into the emergency room and grabs both my arms, pulling me toward the waiting room. "You need to calm down Gray," he breathes into my ear. "They won't tell you anything if you don't get your shit together."
I rip myself from his grasp and run my hands through my disheveled hair, exhaling a deep breathe of pure frustration.
This is not how I pictured tonight going. When Huntley found me in my room and saw Haley kissing me, I swear I heard her heart break right there. I chased her but she sped off, refusing to listen to me. Anger courses through me and my blood boils. I have no one else to blame except myself. Haley snuck into my room and the minute I walked out of my bathroom, she threw herself at me. Huntley walked in seconds later and I'm pretty sure the floor dropped from under my feet. I never want to see that look on her face ever again, and I sure as hell don't want to be the one to put it there.
I slam my fist onto the small plastic table in front of me, causing both Brody and Demi to jump. "Fuck," I mutter to no one in particular. I should've gone after her immediately, instead of waiting until I was calmer. If I had been there sooner, that fucker wouldn't have been able to lay a hand on my beautiful girl. Brody and I got him good, my bruised hands are proof of that, but it doesn't ease the guilt I feel for not being there to protect Huntley.