A/N: Hello again!! It hasn’t been too long, right? Right. >.> ….anyway, regardless of how long it’s been, I come bearing chapters! That’s right, plural! This chapter was originally one chapter, but it was incredibly long, so I made the executive decision to split it. That being said, this one is very short and ends abruptly, while the other is much longer and jumps right back into it. This chapter and the next also have the same title (Between Hope and Fear), only one is in Latin, the other, English. I know, I’m so clever…haha. Additionally, the next one might not be posted immediately…depending how long it takes me to lesson plan and the like tonight. Also, one last note…this chapter is rated higher for language and violence! You have been warned. All good? Okay…on with the story!
The sun shone brightly upon my skin, overheating it and causing tiny droplets of sweat to run down my face and back. I took in huge gasps of air, my heart pounding as I urged my legs onward; taking delight in the burning sensation that had begun deep within my calf and thigh muscles. With this kind of speed and strength, there was no way I wouldn’t move up in the ranks at my job. No way.
And in fact, I had gotten a few promotions at the stadium…and more than a few looks of interest as well. Maybe, just maybe, I’d eventually get a spot on that coveted soccer team.
Coming across my destination at last, I slowed to a jog, stopping only when I reached the bank of a secluded pond. I took in deep, slow breaths, reveling in the peacefulness of the mountains and contemplating diving right into that pond. The water was sure to be cool and refreshing, and my skin and muscles felt like they were on fire.
It was a good feeling. In general, I was in high spirits. Not only had I gotten those promotions at work, but my family was also thrilled to have me back AND my sister was due any day now, so soon I’d be meeting my new little niece or nephew!
Yes. Life was good.
I stayed there for hours, watching the light glimmer off of the pond and the occasional fish that would splash near the surface. I wondered if the ones that jumped the highest were actually just curious about what was outside of their world. ….or maybe I was just projecting my feelings onto a bunch of trout. Clearly, I just wasn’t meant to stay in one place for too long—no matter how happy I was.
“Fancy seeing you here,” a voice suddenly came from behind me. It was oddly familiar, but somehow different…deeper. My body reacted before my brain could place the voice though, a jolt of fear unlike any other I’d felt before freezing me to my spot. I felt like I’d died right at the prompting of a simple sentence. Still, I somehow managed to turn myself around, my body rigid. “What, no ‘good to see you’?” the voice entreated. I could hear the smile in his words.
“N-n-no,” I whispered, the only word I could manage in that moment. I didn’t even know what I was saying “no” to…his words, or his very presence.
“No? It’s Trey Forest. You might remember me,” he said matter-of-factly. “I know I remember you…and how you broke my heart.”
Those words were enough to snap me out of my frozen stupor, anger now taking over my entire being. “Broke your heart? How could I break a heart that never existed in the first place!?” I asked in a low hiss, my fists clenching by my sides. There was no way I was going to let this fucker get into my head. No way.
“You wound me, Tamara. Is that anyway to talk to your first love?” he asked with a smile.
“I never loved you!”
“That’s not what you told me before. Are you a liar too, Tamara?” he asked, looking at me with a questioning calm that unnerved me again. I ground my teeth together though, re-steeling myself against his words. I wouldn’t let him hurt me. I wouldn’t!
“You lost any feelings I ever might have had for you the night you tried to rape me,” I snapped bitterly. It was the first time I’d admitted the word to myself. I had to fight the cold chill that ran down my spine.
“Oh fuck you, Tamara. I wasn’t trying to rape you. Just…convince you,” Trey answered with a stupid, casual shrug of his shoulders. “And then what do you do? Kick me in the nuts and run out of my life! I hoped you learned your lesson though. How wasyour last year of high school anyway?” he asked innocently.
“Go to hell!”
“Is that the best you can come up with?” Trey asked, literally chuckling now. “Come on, Tamara, you know you loved me and I know you wanted it. I could see it in your eyes.” I opened my mouth to retort, but he kept talking, his gaze on me intent. “I can still see it, Tamara. I can still see how much you want me. You can still have me though. Just one word and I’m yours, sweetheart.”
“I would never, EVER sleep with you!” I yelled, rage coursing through my system at this point. I wanted to hit him. I wanted to kick him. I wanted to claw his fucking eyes out, but I stood my ground. I didn’t know how strong he was. I didn’t want to take the risk of even getting near him.
“Oh? Am I not good enough, Tamara?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. Every time he said my name I wanted to slap him. “Ahhh, but André Lefebvre was good enough to spread your legs for.”
All of my anger and bravery were sucked out of me at once at that one sentence, leaving me feeling cold and helpless. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to run away.“How did you know about that?” I whispered, horrified.
“I have my ways,” he answered quietly, his eyes locked on me. “I know about André…I know about your random trysts with fellow explorers…I know about Farouk. Tell me, was he good? Did it feel good when he fucked you in that dirty old tent?” Trey laughed then, a bitter sound that held no joy in it. “God, Tamara, you really ended up living up to the old rumors, didn’t you? You’re a filthy whore.”
“I-” I began, trying to defend myself, but I was feeling too shaken, too sick to even speak. How could he possibly know about all that? My eyes burned with hot tears and my stomach lurched. I suddenly felt so nauseous.
“I’d still forgive you though, if you let me,” he said softly, his voice suddenly coming from inches away from me. He gently pushed a stray hair behind my ear…brushed his lips against my forehead. “I never did stop loving you, you know.”
“Get. Away!” I spat, pushing him hard in the chest and making him stumble backward. “Get the FUCK away from me! I hate you!”
“No,” he said it so quietly that it made me freeze for a second, straining to hear him. “You fucking love me and you’re going to realize it you whore!” I gasped and turned to run, bolting toward the trees, but it wasn’t long before Trey’s fingers locked around my arm so tightly that I could feel it bruising.
“Let go!” I shrieked, trying desperately to wrench my arm out of his grasp. He wasstrong though, throwing me against a tree trunk so hard that the breath got knocked out of me and black spots appeared before my vision. Trey’s body was pressed up against me now, pinning me between the tree and himself. He smelled like some kind of cheap cologne. I wanted to vomit. “Stop it!” I cried, trying desperately to push him off. I thought I was strong. …but he was so much stronger. I sobbed as he began shoving my clothes out of the way, struggling so hard against him that I could feel my back stinging as the bark of the tree tore at my skin.
“Stay still. You know you fucking want this,” Trey said in a low growl, his face much too close to mine. “Now spread your legs for me, sweetheart. Spread them like you did for André and Farouk!” He forced his leg between mine, but as soon as he did he left part of my leg free to move. Without even a second thought, I brought my foot down on his instep as hard as I possibly could, causing Trey to cry out and loosen his grip…but it wasn’t enough as he screamed at me and held me tighter.
It did, however, free up my body some, so I took this moment to thrust my palm upward to his nose, driving the cartilage back into his sinuses. This time he did led go, groaning as his eyes teared up from the pain. “Fucking, bitch!” he screamed, his voice slightly nasal. He aimed a kick at my body, but I twisted his leg and then aimed a well-aimed punch to his abdomen. My Sim Fu training was kicking in.
“Try to touch me again!” I shrieked as he doubled over, kicking him hard in the back of the knee. He fell with a cry, pathetically gasping for breath. “I FUCKING DARE YOU TO ASSHOLE. TOUCH ME AGAIN!” I shrieked as I grabbed his sweater with one hand and punched him square in the jaw with the other.
“Bitch,” Trey gasped with pain. “Fucking. Bitch!” He tried to reach for me again, but I stomped on his hand and then aimed another kick at his stomach so hard that I heard something crack…and then Trey wasn’t moving.
I froze and stared down at him, the adrenaline in my body suddenly burned out. His eyes were blackened, his face bloody. He was lying in the fetal position, his body limp. “What have I done?” I whispered, tears coming unbidden to my eyes. I didn’t- I didn’t mean- “Oh god.” I willed myself to approach him, bending low to check him…and realized that he was still breathing, ever so slightly. Jesus.
With a shaking hand, I pulled out my phone, dialing 911. “It was self-defense,” was the first thing I choked out.
The words hung in the air unnaturally, echoing in my ears.
“It was self-defense.”
Chapter 8 to come soon…..