I hadn’t had a woman in months; since the day I met her. Being horny made me grumpy. I was in a perpetually bad mood. Even riding didn’t clear my head as it used to. Now, all it did was make me drive by her apartment, and check to make sure everything looked all right.
I grabbed her elbow with my left hand, and walked her up to her door. My brows furrowed as I noticed the door handle, and then six deadbolts that adorned the door above it.
“What the fuck?” I asked aloud when I still drew a blank.
She ignored me, and went to unlock the first lock, and then the bottom two. My brows furrowed again, wondering what the heck was going on.
“Why do you only have three of them locked?” I questioned.
“Why do you care?” She shot back.
“Tell me.” I demanded.
“You can go sit on a cactus. I don’t want to talk to you right now. You make me so mad I can’t see straight.” She growled through gritted teeth.
I looked at her long and hard. “Payton.”
I must have gotten through, because she finally explained. “The way I figure it, if they can pick locks, they’ll just keep locking ones that weren’t locked in the first place. I only ever lock half of them. In addition, I switch them up. I never lock the same pattern two days in a row.”
That was borderline genius, if you didn’t count the little fact that a lock picker wasn’t stupid. You had to know how a lock works first before you can pick it. They can tell, as can I, which one is locked as soon as the picks are inserted. Not that I was going to tell her that. She needed that extra security and peace of mind for something. Not that I understood why. What the heck was going on?
“Why do you have six locks in the first place?” I asked.
She answered, although reluctantly. “When I was attacked, I was too scared to stay at home. My little brother came up with this idea, and my brain was all right with having six locks. I could stay here without being too scared.”
My body froze once I heard her explanation. “Wait a minute. You were attacked? You never said anything about an attack; all you said was that your boyfriend left you.”
“He did.” She said shortly.
“You just said you were attacked, did your boyfriend do it?” I demanded.
“Ex, and no.”
“Payton, you will fucking tell me. I have ways of finding shit out, and one way or another I’ll know what happened. Do you want it to be the easy way, or the hard way?”
She gave me a look that clearly stated I was the dumbest man on the planet if I thought she was going to say anything now. Consequently, I stared back at her until she finally gave in.
She took a deep breath, and then let it out slowly. “My boyfriend and I were walking back to our car after eating at The Watering Hole. You know how parking is downtown. No parking anywhere close that you don’t have to pay for. Two people attacked us from behind. Instead of Rory helping and fighting back, he ran away, leaving me to them. I was beaten, and then they stole my wallet, and keys. My freakin car wasn’t even there, and my wallet had all of three dollars in it. I was broken for a useless set of keys and three damn dollars.”
“You have got to be kidding.” I whispered in a deadly tone.
I was shocked. Never would you have thought that she’d suffered something so horrible. When you see her, you see rainbows and fucking sunshine, and to think that her loser ex-boyfriend just left her to that fate. She was all of five feet tall, if she was lucky, she never would have stood a chance against one man, let alone two. What a piece of shit.
“No. Three broken ribs, internal bleeding, broken left foot, sprained ankles, a broken hip, and a concussion. Scrapes from the concrete covered my entire body where my clothes didn’t protect it. Minor bruises everywhere else.” She said as if it wasn’t a big deal.
I felt like the biggest douche bag on the planet. Here I was thinking of only myself, and she was the victim of a horrific beating; not to mention one hell of a betrayal from the one person she should be able to trust the most. Instead of supporting her, I snarled, bitched, and ignored her every time we came into contact. I thought she was a fucking tease. Never in a million years would I have imagined this was the reason for her hot and cold nature, and her shitty attitude.
“It’s okay, Max. I didn’t want anyone to know anyway. You can go now.” She said as she held the front door open for me to exit.
I did so reluctantly.
“Just tell me two things.” I said gruffly, “What were their names?”
“Jake and Kyle Donner.” She whispered.
The name didn’t ring any bells, but, by tomorrow, I would know everything about them. Right down to when they took a piss. “What about your ex-boyfriend. What’s his name?”
She looked at me puzzled. “Rory Christenson. Why?”
I gave her a smile. It wasn’t a nice smile either. It was a calculated one. Tomorrow, he wouldn’t know what hit him. She looked at me warily, but wisely stayed silent. I’m sure, by now, she figured out why I wanted the names. She knew I wasn’t going to let this go.
“You can go now.” She said shortly.
I smiled a sincere smile this time. Taking her face into my hands, I gave her a soft kiss on the lips. “When you’re ready, I’ll be here waiting for you.”
The object of war is not to die for your country, but make the other bastard die for his.
-George S. Patton
6 months later
This was stupid. I was stupid. It was crazy. We loved to fight. Never once did he say something that I agreed with. The only thing we had was raw passion. We were both very attracted to each other. So much so that we burned with it. He would walk into the room, and I would instantly want him with a ferocity that was probably unhealthy.