"I don't know how."
"For starters, you need to talk. Let them know what happened. I need to talk, or the things I saw . . . what I watched you do . . . it's going to eat away at me."
"Okay . . . but can it wait until I've had more sleep?"
"Of course." She leans over and presses her lips, in a chaste kiss, on my cheek.
Standing, she holds her hand out. I place mine in i
t, and as I try to stand, Teresa grabs my hips and helps. I'm exhausted and in so much pain, I could scream.
"Fuck me," I mutter, limping forward.
"What's wrong?" Blake asks, panic in his voice.
He moves toward me, his eyes on mine, and gently sweeps me into his arms. I lay my head on his shoulder, my eyes closing against my will.
He smells wonderful.
He takes me back to his bedroom.
"Thank you," I whisper, nuzzling my face into his neck.
"Sleep baby, we'll talk to everyone in the morning." Laying me on the bed, he turns off the lights and crawls in beside me, gently pulling me into his arms.
I wince, my ribs protesting the pressure.
"Shit, sorry," he mutters, kissing my hair. He hums a melody I've never heard, and I drift back into blackness, a sweet revelation clinging to the inside of my mind.
Standing in the shower, the hot water stings the wounds on my body. I've roughly scrubbed myself and possibly taken off several layers of skin in the process. I turn the faucets off and step into the main bathroom, holding a warm towel over the front of me.
Fuck, I look terrible.
The bruise covering the side of my face is a light blue and yellow. The swelling has disappeared some since yesterday and my face is back to the proper shape. It's going to take forever for all this to heal fully, though.
I dry my hair and braid it to the side. Heading into Blake's closet, I find my only pair of shorts and a tank top and throw them on. I search through my duffel bag, finding my emergency pack of cigarettes and lighter. I don’t smoke often, just when I get stressed to the point that I feel like I’m losing my damn mind— which is exactly where I’m at.
Descending the stairs, I'm greeted by thunderous voices coming from the living room. Rounding the corner, I halt, glancing at the faces deep in argument— my entire team, Hyde Monroe, Blake, Shannon, Teresa, and both his parents. My eyes widen. Christ, it's like a high school fight after the homecoming football game.
No one hears me. I turn on my heels and hurry back to Blake's bedroom. In my duffel bag, I pull out my handgun, checking the clip. Returning to the living room, everyone's still shouting.
I raise my handgun over my head, tilting the barrel away from where everyone is standing and squeeze the trigger— twice. Two rounds hit the plaster, the blast echoing throughout the room as a dead silence falls over the people in it. Every head spins in my direction, their faces scared and shocked. Yes, it’s a bit dramatic, but it works.
"Thank you. Now that I have your attention, could you please stop yelling, I have a fucking headache."
I walk over and lay my gun on the island counter. Teresa appears beside me, her face anxious.
"Miss Lily, can I get you something?"
"Yes, Teresa. Tylenol and Tequila, please."
She smiles at me. Tequila is my new favorite painkiller thanks to her. I turn and enter the living room, leaving a few feet between me and everyone else. They've all turned in my direction. I take a deep breath, calming the anger and nerves building in my veins.