"Kathleen Mareé has done an excellent job wrapping this story up, while keeping the suspense all the way through, and for not shying away from any heavy and dark topics. I read the whole story with a beating heart, [...]" Anni, Goodreads
I took my lip beneath my teeth before opening my soul up as much as I was capable of. The words I were about to ask, meant more to me than she would ever know.
“I need you to trust me.”
I held my breath. Ready to wait for her reply but was surprised at how fast it actually flew from her mouth.
I stilled. “What? You trust me?”
I didn’t believe it. I was almost angry at Hendrix’s answer.
How could she trust me after everything I’ve put her through?
Everything I’ve hidden. It didn’t make any sense.
What also made no sense was her reaction either because she shook her head before taking a seat on the edge of her bed (which was too far away from me) where she played with the hem of her tee that was resting on her lap.
“Crazy huh? That I trust you. But… I can’t explain why I do. I’ve just always….”
“You’ve always what?”
She glances up, piercing my heart with her hazel eyes honing in on me with so much raw emotion. “I’ve always…” she starts, before seemingly coming to some realisation within herself. “When I was younger… I always sensed when things were wrong you know? Like that sixth sense that something bad was about to happen, or when danger was nearby. Even when I was too young to really understand my situation, I always knew deep down the kind of dangerous situation I was in. That it wasn’t normal. Well, it wasn’t everyones normal at least. I don’t expect you to understand, but I’m sure from those photos you saw that you have some idea of what I grew up in.” She pauses and my fists ball at the reminder instantly. I don’t have time to let that anger consume me though before she continues. “But I’ve just always trusted my instincts. They’ve never let me down and I guess in a lot of ways I’ve relied on it since I had no actual family to have my back. And…” she pauses again, nervously this time, when she notices me taking slow, measured steps toward her.
“And….?” I whisper, until I’m standing over her causing her head to tilt back to look up at me.
“And my gut? For some reason it trusts you Paxton. Despite you making me nervous, despite the things you say and the things you do. I feel safe around you. Protected. Like the only person capable of hurting me when you’re near – is no one else. Only…. you.”
My hand finds her cheek, letting her warmth seep into my palm. A palm, that was capable of so much destruction. So much hurt. But everything she just said was true. Because I’d always had this sense to protect her, like somehow our souls recognised the pain and destruction we both endured in our lives and wanted to somehow heal together. In most of our time together though, I wanted to protect her from me too. But this girl….
I held her as delicately as a guy like I could, when she gave me something of hers that was beyond precious. Her trust. I almost couldn’t believe she was giving it to me but it was something I was determined to keep. No matter the cost.
“You never asked me you know.”
“I never asked you what?”
“If I had something to do with… You never asked me.”
Her small fingers wrap around my wrist that’s still cupping her cheek and her eyes never sway from mine. “I may not know everything about you Pax, but I know you aren’t capable of something like that. I’ve been around monsters my entire life and you aren’t one. You’re not.”
I suck in a breath, wanting so much more in this moment when I breathe, “You called me Pax.”
She tilts her head, a knowing smirk crossing her delicate face. “It’s your name isn’t it?”
“I guess I like how it sounds coming from you.”
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