Page 24 of Exposed to Him

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“Bruises?” Jared stresses.

“They're finger marks. She may have struggled with her captor. I will wait until she’s awake to ask her more questions.”

“Fuck,” he curses, and I chose to open my eyes then. I see a man in a doctor’s coat looking at Jared, and then both heads snap up to me.

“Baby. Oh thank god you’re awake.” He grabs my hand and kisses the back.

“I thought you were dead and I lost it. I’m sorry I didn’t eat or drink anything. I thought you were gone and I just couldn’t do it. He…he touched me and I let him without a fight. I tried to picture it being you. I was afraid he would kill me otherwise.” I cry into his chest.

“Tell me what that motherfucker did. I should have killed him slower.” Jared’s tone is deadly and I feel bad I’m telling him this.

“I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t you dare apologize. None of this was your fault.” He practically growls when he tells the doctor to leave us.

When I pull back I’m sure I look like a hot mess.

“You came for me,” I state, and his eyebrows draw in confusion.

“Of course I fucking came for you. Baby, you’re my heart. Don’t you know that no one can touch me? I’m here for the long run. It’s you and me, baby, until the end.”

“I love you, Jared.” His face softens.

“I love you more.” He leans in to kiss my lips and I can’t help but melt into his touch, and I feel like my heart has been mended back together.

Jared brings me back to his place when I refuse anymore treatments from the doctor. I just want to rest.

“Babe, you need to eat something.”

“I’m just thirsty right now and I only need you. Please just lie here with me?” I plead, feeling the urge to be comforted by this man who saved me in more ways than one.

I look into his eyes as we lie there, face to face.

“When I found out you had been taken I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest, baby. I have never been that scared in all my life.” I nod in acknowledgment.

“When I thought you were dead I felt the same thing. Please, Jared, I can’t lose you. It’s not over with Luca’s father still out there. He will want revenge for his son. These people are dangerous.”

“Not as lethal as me, baby. I will kill him if he comes near you, I swear it. Just like his piece of shit son,” he growls.

“He touched what’s mine.” His eyes draw tight and I curl into his body, feeling the effects of the past couple of days take over.

Jared holds me the rest of the night and I finally feel like I can breathe again.

It’s dark where I am. My eyes are trying to adjust to the darkness. A voice echoes throughout the room as a chill runs down my spine.

“You didn’t think I would let you get away, now, did you?” Luca’s voice booms in my ears.

“Please leave me alone!” I scream, and cry.

“You’re mine!” He then lunges at me as my screams ring through the space. His heavy body lands on mine and his large hands wrap around my throat. I claw at his hands to get him off me, but he won’t budge. He laughs at my struggles and I know I’m going to die. Blackness clouds my vision as I see his menacing glare for the last time.

I wake up gasping for air, knowing that was a nightmare. My hand reaches my neck and I can still feel his hands there.

Jared still lies beside me, sound asleep. I walk to the bathroom and lock myself inside. I hate how real that dream felt and wonder if I’m ever going to be okay again.

That morning I ask Jared to bring me to my dorm so I can see Shannon. I never told Jared about my nightmare. He doesn’t need to know about it. Shannon is probably wondering where I am and my phone is still in my bag from the other day. Jared said he left it in my dorm room when he rushed out to find me.

I have decided not to say anything about what happened.

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