To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
Faith. She’d managed to keep her namesake while in captivity, but now that she was free? The daunting task of rejoining society was in front of her and it seemed that Marlin had too keep it for her.
Marlin can’t help how he feels about Faith, she was remarkably easy to like. The only thing he could do for her was be there, and keep his damn hands to himself, which was the real challenge. Neither one of them knew if she would make it out of the darkness in tact; only time would tell about that.
During trying times, all you can do is hold on and have a little faith…
I got the water going and turned back to her, but she already had the tee up and off over her head. I gritted my teeth and she drew those solemn aquamarine eyes up to meet mine. They were just as startling in their brilliance every damn time I saw them. She didn’t look at me direct much but this time, I got the full effect. More so because her pupils weren’t swallowing the color whole. I kept my eyes locked to hers and didn’t dare wander.
“No sense in being shy,” she said miserably, “You’ve seen it all before anyways.”
Her tone held so many things. Anger, bitterness, derision… all of them she’d come by honestly, and none of them bothered me any. She was hurting; she was going to be all over the map. It was how this thing was gonna play out and I couldn’t pay no never mind to it. Getting butthurt over it wasn’t gonna help the situation, or her, so I simply nodded and let it roll off me. I don’t think it was directed at me anyways.
“You steady?” I asked her when she’d slipped off the counter and stood for a moment on her own; still trembling, but a damn sight better than before.
“I think so,” she uttered softly and was back to staring fixedly at something, anything, that wasn’t me.
I felt like I was dying. If there was ever any mystery surrounding what dying felt like, it was certainly dispelled… this had to be what death felt like. I was suddenly afraid that maybe I was already dead. That maybe I had already passed through the gates of Hell and I was burning. Maybe this would never end. Maybe this was what it was going to be for all of eternity. This fiery burning ache. This feeling like fire ants had gotten beneath my skin and were eating me alive, one nerve ending at a time.
I whimpered and hot tears leaked across my skin at the corners of my eyes and even that hurt. I opened my eyes and he was there. I blinked and tried to focus and when I did, he was still there. He was good. So very good to me. He took care of me, and was so careful with me; like the boy had been my last working night. My last night as one of their whores. I felt for the wrist band and cried out. It was gone.
“Oh hey, hey, it’s okay!”
Leather and metal were pressed into my fingertips, beneath the wristband his hand felt warm and alive. I grasped it and blinked and tried to focus on him again. Summer skies smiled out from his blue eyes and his other hand wrapped around my one. He cradled my hand and the wristband between the both of his own, as he squatted down beside the bed.
“Am… am I dying?” I asked, and fresh hot tears slipped free.
“No. No, Darlin’, it just feels that way…”
“Promise you what, Baby Girl?”
“Promise me I’m not dying, I don’t want to die.” I sobbed. It was true. I didn’t want to die.
Text Copyright © 2016 A.J. Downey
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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