Protecting His Forever

By: LeAnn Ashers

She nods and slowly takes a bite. My heart is breaking for this girl. She finishes the first one and then before she can get to the second she jumps up and runs to the bathroom. Her body is reacting to not having food for a long time.

I follow behind her. Taking a washcloth out of the linen closet, I wet it and hand it to her. Her eyes search my face. Reluctantly, she takes the cloth from me to clean herself up.

“I was starving, Sydney,” she says with a hitch in her voice.

“I know, Braelyn,” I confirm and hand her an unopened tooth brush from under the sink. “I will be in the kitchen. I think we need to talk.”

She nods her head, and I rub her back soothingly. Walking to the living room, I sit down on the couch.

She comes in a few minutes later and stops at the end of the couch, twisting the bottom of her shirt nervously.

“Come sit down, Braelyn.” I pat the seat beside me.

She walks over and sits down, tucking her feet under her. Before I can say anything, she starts to talk, “Remember the party we went to at the end of finals?” Nodding my head, she continues, “I was hanging with this guy. He was sweet—too sweet. He offered to get me a drink, and I immediately agreed. Never once did I think that he could have put something in it. Thirty minutes or so later, I was getting dizzy, and my vision was blurred. I ran off into the woods.

I remember falling down, and I could feel footsteps coming toward me. I couldn’t move, my arms and legs felt like lead. Then I heard a rip and my clothes were torn off my body.”

She stops and looks directly at me. “He raped me and took the only thing I had left of my innocence. This man destroyed me. I ran and never looked back. I’ve been homeless.” Her face crumples, and I take her into my arms as she sobs into my neck.

“Honey, everything is going to be okay now. You will stay here with me.” I rub her back and hold her closer to me. She is my sister. We may not be blood, but I love her just the same. Tears fall down my face, hurting for her.

“That’s not all,” she says into my neck. Rearing back, I wait for her to finish. “Two days ago the same man that raped me found me.” She pauses and wipes the tears from her face with her sleeve. Sucking in a sharp breath, I hold her tighter.

“He tried to again, but I fought him off and ran. I knew the only place I could go is here. I’m afraid that I’ve put you in danger.” Her bottom lip trembles.

“Let me call my brother, he is a cop,” I tell her and grab my phone. Standing, I walk into the kitchen, leaving Brae alone in the living room.

Dialing my brother, he picks up on the fifth ring. “Sydney?”

“Hey, Ethan, can you come over? I need to talk to you; I have a situation…” I trail off biting my lip nervously. I’m scared for Brae and for myself. How could I not be? The man that has hurt her is crazy.

“What?” he hisses.

Sighing, I say, “Just come over.” I hang up and walk over to Brae who is clutching a pillow to herself.

“My brother will be here soon,” I reassure her. She nods and stares blankly at the wall. Not knowing what to do, I slowly walk over to her wanting somehow to take away her pain. Seeing this man, no doubt brought everything that happened to her back to the surface.

“You want to take a shower?” I ask her hesitantly not wanting her to get embarrassed. She nods and stands up. Leading her to the shower in my room, I give her a fresh razor and tell her she can use my products. Turning around, I start to leave but her hand on my arm stops me.

“Thank you, Sydney.” She gives me a small smile. Nodding my head, I grin at her.

“Go shower. I’ll be downstairs,” I tell her as I set some clothes on the counter. Ethan will be here any minute.

I pace in front of the door impatiently. Two loud trucks roar up my driveway. Ethan is obviously in the red truck, but there’s a black truck I don’t recognize. My brother gets out and turns to the man in the black truck as the door opens. Kane? My eyes widen in confusion.

Stepping out onto the porch, I close the door behind me. Ethan and Kane are speaking in lower whispers and when Kane realizes I’m close by he pauses and cocks a brow up at my brother. He stalks towards me and my breath catches in my throat as my eyes connect with his icy blues.

The closer he gets, the more his face hardens. Confused, I look over at my brother who is staring at Kane like he has grown two heads. He climbs up the steps and goes to stand directly in front of me.

“You’ve been crying,” he says bluntly, looking down at me.

“I-I-” I stutter and look at my brother who has now joined us.

“Sydney, what happened?” Ethan says, concerned and places a hand on my shoulder.

“My friend is in danger.”

“Your friend?” Kane asks and looks at Ethan.

“She will explain,” I tell them and walk into the house knowing they will follow.

“What are you doing here?” Ethan asks Kane behind me. Kane doesn’t answer. I’m curious myself.

Why is he here? I haven’t seen him since I left the hospital. Kane saved me and that is something I will never ever forget. That day still haunts me. I got away from that man, but he was close behind. I know that he would have gotten me one way or another. Police would have been too far away. That man obviously didn’t care about an audience or getting caught because he beat me and tried to kidnap me in broad daylight.

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