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Cursed ecstasy cursed se.., p.4
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       Cursed Ecstasy (Cursed Series), p.4

           t. h. snyder
 
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The officer walks back out of the room, looking toward me and Steve, a scowl spread across his face. With a nod, he signals for us to follow.

  I watch as Steve walks ahead of me and my feet remain cemented to the floor. I really don’t want to go in…but I have to find the answers to the questions that have been driving me crazy since I got here.

  As I walk into the room, I can feel a rock hard lump forming in my throat. I can barely swallow and it’s becoming more difficult to breathe. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that I was having an anxiety attack.

  I haven’t had one of these in years. I’ve pushed my emotions down just far enough that an attack hasn’t been possible.

  She’s doing this to me.

  She’s causing all the pain of my past to come full circle.

  She’s the one that will destroy me like no other woman ever has.

  I have to find a way to pull her from my thoughts, a way to forget the desire I’ve felt toward her and suffocate it with loss, regret and loathing. I have to remind myself that we’re not here for her; I’m here to find an answer…that’s all.

  Steve clears his throat and my attention is drawn to the room. As I move forward, the three of us crowd into the small space.

  A small hospital bed is set up directly in the middle where a small blue-haired bitch now lays. Her eyes are closed and her petite body fills a small section of the bed. Looking her over from head to toe, bruises are beginning to turn from bright red marks to a deep shade of crimson and blue.

  I pause for a moment as an emotion of sadness fills my chest. No…no, I won’t feel sorry for her. She did this to herself; I can’t empathize the pain she’s going through. The pain she’s causing me is far too great to even give a damn about her and her wellbeing. But it’s still there—the need and want to make things okay for her.

  My eyes shift to a man who stands along the side of her bed. His icy gaze scans the room between the officer, Steve and me. He looks confused, but stands tall as though he’s being protective of Etty.

  Who the fuck does this guy think he is? He doesn’t even know her.

  The officer walks to the side of Etty’s bed and extends his hand to the stranger. He’s wearing a set of dark blue scrubs and has an ID badge clipped to a pocket near the left side of his chest.

  “I’m Officer Donovan,” the cop says, pulling his arm back to his side.

  “I’m Christian. I was the orderly that took Gretchen for her CT scan. She may have a concussion, so I’ve chosen to sit with her and make sure she’s awake for the next few hours.”

  He begins to scan the room, his eyes landing on mine.

  “Well, wasn’t that kind of you?” I mumble under my breath.

  Christian looks to Steve and then back to me, his brown eyes fighting back with a fierce look of hatred.

  “Yeah, well she doesn’t have any friends to be by her side. Right now she needs anyone that’s willing to stay with her and keep her company.”

  Steve moves closer to the bed, standing tall as if he’s about to attack this guy.

  “She has friends right here, there’s no need for you to stay as her watch dog. We’ve got it from here,” he barks to the orderly.

  “You guys could’ve fooled me. Some friends she’s got if no one has been here the whole time I have.”

  Christian’s eyes focus on Steve and then me. His intense stare is digging a hole through my head—it’s as if he knows the confusion I feel for her.

  Steve lets out a grunt of frustration and his hands clinch to fists behind his back. I rest my hand on his shoulder in hope that I’ll be able to calm him down. The last thing we need is a fight right here in the emergency room.

  He turns his back to the rest of the room and glares at me with his dark eyes.

  He’s not just mad, he’s fucking pissed.

  My eyes roam from Steve to Etty as she begins to stir in her bed. When her eyes open, I follow her every move. She looks around the room at the four men standing over her. My eyes lock with hers and tears begin to fall down her cheeks.

  A part of me wants to tell her everything will be okay—that I’ll be there for her and this isn’t her fault—but the anger raging inside of me changes everything. I’m not about to feel sorry for the pity party she’s created. We’re not here for her. I’m only here to find out where the fuck Linc and Jo are in this goddamn hospital.

  I turn my body away from the bed and to the officer.

  “When can we start to get the details of the others that were brought in here?” I ask.

  He looks to me with disappointment flashing across his face.

  “I need to ask Miss Powers a few questions. Would you two mind stepping out of the room for a few minutes?”

  “Hell yes I mind,” I spit back at him.

  “You want answers, Mr. Rinnich, and I need to do my job. Now, see yourself out of the room and let me talk to Miss Powers in private.”

  He scans the room, looking at Steve and the tool.

  “That goes for everyone,” he says, gesturing for the three of us to exit the room.

  Steve walks toward me, bumping his arm into mine.

  “Come on, man, let’s wait outside.”

  I stare at him, releasing the deepest death glare I can muster, and walk out of the room…once again, with no answers.

  Chapter 6

  My heart races while my fists clutch the thin, white sheet covering my body. With tired eyes, I watch the man walk out of the room, his back turned to me as if I never existed. The look in his eyes, the expression on his face is something I’ve never seen from him before. I’ll never forget it. His gorgeous blue eyes filled with pure disappointment, anger, and hatred.

  He hasn’t given me a chance to explain.

  What happened tonight was a complete cluster fuck. I can’t even begin to imagine how Dault is feeling, but he has to take into account what I’m going through, too.

  He’s blaming me for everything that’s happened.

  How the hell was I supposed to know Rick would find me here, let alone come barging into the house? Yes, I agree it’s my fault Rick came there tonight, but I had no clue that he’d hurt one of them. Seeing him again was like a knife to my chest. My biggest fear was brought to life when I heard his voice. In my worst nightmares I saw him kill me with his bare hands and I swore it was really going to happen tonight.

  I have no fucking clue why he was there or his connection to Michael. It baffles my mind, but there wasn’t enough time to piece the puzzle together. They obviously know one another, but how?

  So many things are a cluster fuck right now. Linc and Jo are somewhere in this hospital, Dault hates me, and Michael and Rick are MIA. I can only hope that the answers to all these questions come… soon.

  Resting my head back against the pillow, I feel a tender pain behind my head. I carefully try to refrain from putting too much pressure against the pillow as I glance across the room.

  Christian is intensely speaking to the police officer, his body standing tall and alert. He slowly turns his head, those dark brown eyes staring directly into mine. A small smile forms across his lips and he turns his attention back to the officer.

  My eyes feel heavy and I so badly want them to close so I can rest. A million thoughts plague my mind, knowing very well that sleep won’t come any time soon.

  I want to make this right, erase the last few hours and have our lives go back to normal. Well, at least as normal and they can be for the time being.

  Knowing what I do now, I realize I should have told Dault and Linc about my past. I don’t know what good it would have done, but at least I’d have peace of mind and a clear conscience. There’s no use regretting my choices, hell has already consumed my life here and now. I have to pay the consequences.

  The way Dault looked at me made me want to curl up under this uncomfortable bed and never come out again. Things were awkward before, but now I don’t know how the hell I’ll be able to deal with him once we’re all out of this place.
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  As much as it’s going to hurt, I know what I need to do. I’ll have no other choice but to pack up, move from the house, and leave town once again.

  I’ve become a runner, a woman that is unable to handle any form of commitment or relationship with another person. Anything and everything I touch is turning into a disaster and it’s all because of me and my poor choices.

  If I wouldn’t have gone home with Rick that night three years ago, none of this would be happening. Linc and Dault would be living their lives and I’d be somewhere…anywhere…just not here.

  Rick blinded me from the moment I laid eyes on him. He took every ounce of willpower and self-worth I had and turned me into the person I am today. I was young, stupid, and in need of attention. The way he looked at me made me feel as if I was the only person in the whole world. He was caring, devoted, and bought me the world.

  The first few weeks we were together seemed like a dream. The attention and love he showed me were like nothing I’d ever had before. He made me believe that I was his whole world; I’d finally found the man that would make me happy forever. Little did I know, that once he had me under his spell, I’d be doomed for life.

  The changes in our relationship started off slowly. He was smart, not wanting me to catch on to his plan.

  The first time he pushed me, I was hurt emotionally. I didn’t understand what was happening. It was as if a switch went off in his head and he turned into a completely different person…a monster. Shortly after that, the full-fledged beatings started. He talked down to me and told me I was worthless, I was lucky I had him, and no one would ever want a piece of worthless trash like me.

  I was devastated and believed everything he told me. Why wouldn’t I? He was really all I had.

  Soon, he was giving me drugs to help me fight what he said was depression. I was so lost in him that I did whatever he told me; I felt I had no other choice.

  Once the fights, drugs, and lectures became a daily occurrence, he introduced me to a world I’d rather forget.

  From that moment on he had me doing sexual favors for all the men at the club. As awful as I feel now thinking back to the things I’ve done, being in that situation made me feel wanted…even though I was clearly being used as a doormat.

  I was a whore, a tramp, and a woman that knew no better.

  Until I snapped one day. I realized what was really happening to me and I was determined to find a way out for good.

  My life with Rick was a living nightmare. I hate myself for allowing it to go on as long as I did. Thankfully, I fled and got away from him for a short while. Now he’s here—he’s come to find me and I have no idea where he is or what he’ll do to me once I’m out of this place.

  Sounds from the officer’s radio bring my attention back to the here and now. I watch as both men walk toward me, each taking a seat in the chairs next to my bed.

  “Miss Powers, we have a lot of details to sort through. Christian has told me the state of your condition and I understand we need to keep you awake.”

  Nodding my head, I urge him to continue.

  “From what we’ve gathered, there were five of you in the home when we were called to the scene. Is that correct?”

  For a moment, I think back to what I can remember.

  Who called them to come in the first place?

  “Miss Powers,” his stern voice calls.

  “Yes, there were five of us,” I reply, my voice quivering.

  “Can you tell me exactly what happened? I’ll need you to remember the details as best as you can.”

  Trying to situate myself into a seated position, my eyes shift to Christian while he moves from the chair to help me.

  “I’m fine,” I say, looking up at him.

  A quirky smile forms across his face as he leans forward to lift the bed into an upright position. Once it’s exactly as he wants it, he lifts the pillows behind me and gestures for me to sit back.

  “You comfortable?” Christian asks.

  Nodding my head, I give him a half smile and turn my attention back to the officer.

  “It all happened so fast, I’m having a hard time remembering exactly what happened.”

  With a scowl on his face, he says, “Start from the beginning and walk me through what you do remember.”

  Tightly closing my lids, I try to envision the events as they took place.

  “I was lying down in my bedroom and heard a noise. I figured it was the guys next door so I didn’t think anything of it at first. Then footsteps started to sound up the stairs and I started to wonder what was going on, so I got up and moved toward the door. Before I knew what was really happening, my bedroom door swung open and Michael stood in front of me. I’d never met him before tonight; I had no clue who he was. He reached for me and pushed me down onto my bed. I heard another man’s voice, one that I knew far too well from my past.”

  Pausing for a second, I take in a deep breath.

  “Who was the other man, Miss Powers?”

  My eyes flash open and fall onto the officer’s. The look he returns is stern and full of determination.

  “He was my ex-boyfriend, Rick.”

  “Your ex-boyfriend? Tell me a little bit more about your relationship with him.”

  Dear god, the last thing I want to do right now is dredge up my past life with Rick. The memories of us are unbearable enough, but having to describe them to a stranger is just bringing all the pain back to life.

  Christian’s hand reaches for mine. I look into his chocolate brown eyes and he nods his head. The compassion he’s showing me gives me the strength to go on and share my story.

  “We dated for three years while I was living in Oregon. He’s not a good person—he did things to me that I’d rather not discuss. I was lucky enough to get away and that’s when I moved here.”

  The officer intently watches my reaction, a tear sliding down my face. He has to feel how uncomfortable I am, he has to see the pain in my eyes, and he has to understand that this is something I don’t want to talk about any further.

  “I’ll accept that answer for now, but in time we may need to investigate your past with him. Did he know you were living in Alabama?”

  His words send a reassuring sensation through me. I may not have to relive those years right here and now, but in time. I can live with that for the time being.

  “No, well, I didn’t think so. I left without him knowing I was leaving or where I was going.”

  “What happened after you two were reunited?”

  Trying my best to remember the exact details, I close my eyes and replay what happened.

  “He came into the room, grabbed me, and took me down the stairs. While we were walking, he shoved me and I fell down the last few steps and into the wall.”

  “Is that how you hit your head?”

  Tears start to fall from my closed lids as I nod my head. The mere thought of what could’ve happened to me scares the living shit out of me. He could have killed me right then and there…no questions asked.

  I sense movement next to me and open my eyes.

  Christian leans and faces back toward me, handing me a tissue. This complete stranger has more empathy for me than any other man I’ve known…where the hell did he come from?

  “I think she’s had about enough of the inquisition for now, can we call a five minute break?” he asks Officer Donovan.

  “That’s fine for now. I’ll go see if there’s any news on the others. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

  “Thank you,” we reply in unison.

  The officer walks out of the room and Christian rests himself on the side of my bed. With trembling hands, he pushes the loose hair from my face behind my ear.

  “Why?” I ask him.

  “Why what?” he responds with a smile.

  I take in a deep breath as his warm hand caresses the side of my face.

  “You don’t know me, yet you’re here helping me, taking care of me.”

  He takes my han
d in his and squeezes it ever so gently.

  “There’s no simple explanation for it, Gretchen. All I know is that I’m supposed to be here for you. Don’t question it, okay?”

  Wiping the falling tears with my tissue, I let a smile stretch across my lips. He’s right. I need him here with me and I won’t question it for a second. Support is what I need right now, and if he’s willing, I’ll accept.

  Chapter 7

  You’ll have to wait…I don’t have any information at this time…it’s all Steve and I have heard for the past few hours. No matter who we’ve asked, that’s the answer we’ve received. I’m seriously beginning to feel like this place is full of complete idiots or assholes…maybe both.

  I’ve never had to wait for anything in my entire adult life. If I want something, I fucking go get it—no one tells me no. I’ve learned to be blunt, forceful, and refuse the word no, but now I don’t have an ounce of control over the situation and it’s pissing me the fuck off.

  A cool breeze filters through the warm air as I take a deep drag of my cigarette and exhale a puff of smoke.

  Over the past few hours, I think I’ve smoked a pack of cigarettes and my throat is just about raw.

  I toss the empty filter onto the sidewalk and crush it with my boot.

  It’s just about time to go back inside; I’ve been out here long enough.

  I start to walk back toward the entrance with Steve close behind. We’ve been waiting forever, or so it seems. Hopefully, this time when we go back in there someone will have heard something.

  Walking through the doors, my eyes land on the five cops standing in the waiting room. While we move in their direction, Officer Donovan emerges from the ER and joins the others.

  Rather than sitting down and sulking, I choose to approach them to see if there’s any word on Linc and Jo.

  Six sets of eyes stare me down as I stand before them.

  “Have you heard anything on our friends yet?”

  Officer Donovan steps forward and places his hand on my shoulder.

  “I can understand that you’re waiting to hear something on your friends, but the young lady in there has had a rough night. She could really use those closest to her around during this time.”

 
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