Jordan awoke in the hospital bed. Nathan was sitting staring at her. Nathan spoke leaning over to her side his hand on hers “hey its ok you’re ok” she looked at the IV’s and pushed the nurse button. Jordan tried sitting up as she spoke frantic “no let me out now! I uh I can’t be here I need to go” Nathan stood up “no honey” “no! no! now!”. The nurse came in as Jordan sat up trying to be calm and okay. Jordan spoke sternly “discharge papers now whether against doctors’ advice or not!” the nurse nodded leaving. Nate spoke “you were raped again J” she shook her head squeezing her eyes closed. Jordan spoke “did they get him?” “yes” “go away!” “no I’m not leaving this time ok” “yes you are! please go” “no I called Lou he’s bringing Lilly and Natalie and I’m so sorry but I’m here ok” “no please I want to go home”. She threw off the blankets and painfully stood up. He stepped in front of her “baby there’s tests they need to do…” she paused and began crying. he grabbed her holding her up and to his chest. Nathan spoke softly “shhh it’s okay it will be okay.” Lou ran in pushing Nathan back and taking Nathan’s place helping her to stand. Lou spoke “let go of her.” “I was helping” “I don’t care” “please I want to be here. I want her to be ok.” Lilly came in “Lou stop okay let her calm and he did save her.” Lou picked Jordan up and sat with her in his lap as she cried. Natalie came in Dan behind her. Lilly spoke “no, no Nat please go we’ll call and let you know.” “but!” “go!” Natalie saw Jordan crying. But left with Daniel. Nathan followed “Dan?” Daniel turned “yes sir?” “kill any story ok please god please any story?” “okay of course” “thank you” “Nate I’m sorry I didn’t put it together who she was.” “don’t it’s not your fault.” Nathan went back in to the room.


Jordan tried not to cry but it was uncontrollable. Her voice broke as she spoke “he… I couldn’t stop him. I tried so hard I fought I couldn’t think!” Lou rocked her. “shhh it’s not your fault” “it is! I should’ve stopped him! I panicked instead! Why?” Lilly came over “You fought him you did. He was just stronger J.” Nate spoke “You did fight him Jordan, I swear. He needed stitches from the scratches and nail marks. His face was red and bruises before I even…” she looked at him. Lilly did too and spoke “Nathan what did you do to him?” “He was raping her I… I stopped him.” Jordan spoke “I don’t remember how. I couldn’t focus on anything.” “No you have a concussion. You were screaming when I came up the stairs. Then you stopped suddenly. I panicked running in and grabbed the nearest thing I saw. It uh was a wood panel so I hit him… once knocking him off you then again to make him stay down. Then I called the cops.” Lilly spoke “Is he… uh” Nathan spoke “In a coma they think he’ll wake up after the brain swelling goes down we’ll see. Already called my lawyer in case.” The doctor came in “Ma’am I know you want to be discharged, but if we’re going to, we need to do the rape kit now.” Lou spoke “come on J?” he helped her back in the bed. She nodded to the doctor. Nate went to her side and took her hand. “I’ll stay if you want I’d like to be here for you please?” The doctor spoke “maybe you can come back in after?” Nathan looked at Jordan who wouldn’t look up at him. He spoke “okay I’ll be outside anything you need I’ll be out here waiting.” Lou spoke “J do you want me or Lil to stay?” She looked at Lilly “Lil?” Lilly took Jordan’s hand speaking “of course honey.” Lou walked outside of the room with Nathan. Lou spoke “sorry I was rude to you but you know how I feel.” “That I’m an ass who abandoned his wife when she needed him most?” “well uh” “yeah I feel the same way now.” “oh” “I never stopped caring about her Lou. I regret everything that happened.” “Okay I understand that but she wants you to go she’s moved on.” “Lou I’ve been trying to get her to answer me. I want another chance.” “and now that this has happened… again. Are you just going to bail again cause if so, you should go now?” “no I’m here Lou. I was selfish last time… I mean when he, they ugh I know that, I do. I can’t take it back but I want to try to make up for lost time.” “you don’t know all she’s been through you weren’t there. You didn’t see how dark she got, how lost.” “I uh I know I wasn’t there but I saw.” “you had her followed again?” “uh yeah I’ve kept an eye on her. I wanted to protect her even if from a distance.” “Nate I’m sorry but I don’t think she could ever forgive you.” “I understand that but I have to try.” “It’s been three years, why now?” “I’ve known for a long time just didn’t want to push and tonight when we just so happen to be meeting for a double date, I couldn’t just walk away. God I wish I had followed her right when she left.” “This isn’t your fault either ok” “I should have been there Lou both times” “stop ok?” “I’m sorry it’s about her not me. Just I live with it too, our daughter, that was my fault.” “It’s too late now okay? She needs to move forward. She really has been doing better. But this time of year always gets her.” “I understand we’ll see how she does I’ll be here.” “Well okay but if you hurt her again…” “I know, I know I understand that too.” “and if she got pregnant again?” “I’ll still be here.” “okay uh well shit okay.”

The doctor came out “she said you can go in, both of you.” They both did. Jordan spoke to Nathan “I need my stuff Nate my phone especially.” “Um okay yeah here I have it.” he handed it to her. She swiped her phone and read hurriedly. Jordan spoke “Shit I have to go. Lil can you drop me off?” “of course is it Lynn?” “yeah fuck she had the line up earlier was having a rough day after everything I went through last night. God I need to be there for her.” Jordan’s phone buzzed again and she read. “Shit she’s on her way to my house. We have to hurry.” Nathan spoke “I’ll get the discharge paper work for you.” She looked up and nodded. Nathan quickly walked out. Lou spoke “need help getting dressed?” she nodded “yeah please?” “of course.” Lou and Lilly helped Jordan slowly dress. When Nathan entered he saw Jordan’s back before her shirt fell down. She had more tattoos now than last time he saw her naked three years ago. She was bruised but her body was toned and in shape. They turned to him he spoke “here I got them, sign the first two, keep the last four okay?” she nodded signing them.

They walked to Lilly’s car and Nathan stopped. Jordan spoke “well um thank you Nate. I really mean that. Thank you for uh helping me tonight. I won’t be bothering you anymore ok?” he frowned “Jordan please? Can I come with you just tonight? You can say no of course I understand but I’d like to. Please Jordan I care about you.” She paused “I uh I don’t know how to explain you to Lynn Nate.” “If that’s the biggest reason tonight then you can tell her anything everything. Any story you want.” “She’s going through a hard time I don’t want to make her uncomfortable or take away from her.” “I wouldn’t but I guess me being there would I’m sorry okay um so that’s a no?” Jordan shook and bit her lip. Lilly spoke “Do what’s best for you okay? I know you care about people but put what you need first tonight J.” Jordan stepped to Nate “I uh um I guess you know where I live?” “uh I have the address somewhere but I’ve never been there I swear.” She looked at Lilly “um Nate and I will follow you guys I mean if you want to come over.” Lou spoke “of course we’ll stay as long as you need.” Lilly nodded in agreement. Lilly spoke “want me to think of something to tell Lynn?” “uh no not yet uh maybe… I’ll think on the way” “okay Hun let’s get you in the car.” Nate held out his hand to help her. She slowly gave it to him and they went to the car.


They drove in silence for a bit following Lou and Lilly. He spoke “thank you for letting me come. J I will prove to you that I’ve changed I won’t push but I will be here as at least a friend any time you need. I won’t ruin you and uh was it Lynn’s relationship.” She was surprised by his sincerity. She spoke “um I uh I won’t hide my life or who I am Nate sorry but I need to be who I am now.” “I understand that okay? I don’t expect anything like that and I’ll protect you in any ways I can.” “Nate are you serious about this? I don’t understand why you want to be here especially now after tonight.” “You are still the most beautiful person you ever were inside and out and I never stopped loving you. I was messed up the past few years too. I’m so sorry I did what I did. I regret leaving you. I regret everything especially how I dealt with it and treated you all because I was scared. I love you Jordan and I miss you. I miss my best friend.” A tear ran down her cheek. He held out his hand. She looked at it and gave hers over. He gently squeezed her hand and she squeezed his back. she spoke “I missed you for a long time Nate but I moved on.” “I know but maybe you can just get to know the new me and I’ll get to know the new you?” “Okay but if you start to get controlling or any of that.” “I know I understand I will show you.” “okay and Lynn is uh a friend she’s going through a hard time too. She’s one of my best friends right now but a new friend.” “okay do you uh have feelings for her?” “um yeah” “does she?” “um I think so” “okay” “okay” he parked Nate spoke “I want to hold you tonight if she doesn’t?” Jordan looked up surprised. “really?” “I’d like to please? If you are okay with it of course.” She looked curiously at him. He spoke “Think she’s here so um what should I say?” “uh I don’t know. Guess we’ll see.” Lilly came over opening the door and helping Jordan out. Lynn ran down the porch to Jordan. “what happened?” “uh we can talk about it later okay?” “oh okay” Lynn gave her an accepting smile. Jordan managed to try to smile. She got to the steps and shook taking the first one. Nate spoke in her ear “can I pick you up?” “no uh it’d probably hurt worse.” “okay lean on me ok?” she nodded. Lilly rushed to get the door as they all came up the steps and into the house. Jordan spoke “uh why don’t you guys uh order some dinner or um put a movie on while Lynn and I talk?” Lilly, Lou and Nathan nodded. Jordan spoke “oh and Lynn this is Nate. They shook hands. Then he walked off. Jordan spoke “how are you?” “J look at you. You have a hospital bracelet?” “Lynn not me tonight ok?” “J? it’s okay I’m okay we can talk about you.” “Uh Lynn I can’t okay I don’t want to make things harder on you.” “It’s okay whatever it is. I’m here for you” Jordan took a deep breath and spoke “Ask Nate to come here and ask lilly to tell you?” “J? you can” “No, I can’t okay not yet.” Jordan fought the tears. Lynn nodded and walked off. Jordan turned looking at the stairs and held the railing. Nate came over “you ok?” “uh no I uh can’t um my bedrooms upstairs. “oh uh ok come on?” he helped her up the stairs and into her room. He spoke ” want your bed” “no uh shower please?” “oh of course” They went into the bathroom he rolled up his sleeves and started the shower. Lou came in “hey Hun need help?” “yeah please” Nate spoke “I can?” she spoke “uh no you shouldn’t okay” “Jordan it’s me” Lou spoke “go help them order okay?” he frowned “um J?” she looked away and Nathan walked out of the room. Lou spoke “so he’s back?” “I don’t know but not like before for sure.” “yeah he uh seems like a different person” “it happens” “Lil’s telling Lynn.” “she ok?” “yeah very worried about you.” “damn I feel even worse for freaking out last night now.” “no don’t okay. How are you? I mean you seem upset but you’re keeping it together.” “uh yeah I don’t know so much at once. I kinda want to be alone but don’t. If he showed up and this didn’t happen things might be different. I mean I don’t know if in a good or bad it’s just so much to calculate you know.” “I’m sorry J” she lifted off her shirt some and Lou helped her take it off. she unbuttoned her pants and Lou helped her pull her pants down. He spoke “Okay I’ll be right in your room if you need help getting dressed when you’re out.” “okay thanks so much Lou.” “of course J of course.” She got in and began scrubbing at herself furiously.


Lilly, Lynn, and Nate entered Jordan’s bedroom. Lilly spoke to Lou “So uh we ordered a little of everything pizza, Chinese, Mexican and sushi. I just want her to eat not lose that again.” Nate spoke “Um can I do or get anything else?” Lynn spoke “Didn’t you take care of her last time? What did you do to comfort her?” Nate frowned “I didn’t I hired someone and uh made sure she always had food but I was working so uh I never noticed if she ate.” Lynn spoke softly “oh” Lou spoke “yup so uh go buy whisky good whisky for her. It makes her feel less like she’s drinking it because she needs it and more cause it’s just good whisky, so she’s less depressed all around.” He nodded “anything else?” Lynn spoke “um cigarettes” Nate spoke “she doesn’t smoke” Lou spoke “she does when she’s stressed has for all seven years I’ve known her.” Nathan nodded “Okay I’ll be right back” Nathan left the room they heard the water turn off. A moment later Jordan came out if the bathroom in a towel. Lou stepped forward but Lynn spoke “I’ll help her if you guys will wait for the food?” Lilly nodded pulling Lou out. Jordan spoke “Lynn you uh you don’t need to do this.” “Shut up ok here let me brush your hair” Jordan sat on the foot of the bed while Lynn grabbed a brush and began sitting behind her. She spoke “Do you know what you want to wear?” “Anything from that bottom drawer.” “okay” Lynn got up and opened the drawer. She grabbed sweats and a t-shirt. She came over and pulled Jordan up. They were close, face to face. Lynn leaned in slightly Jordan spoke “Lynn? What are you doing?” “kissing you” “uh why?” “cause I’ve wanted to from the moment I met you and I can’t wait.” “Lynn you ready for that?” “yes are you?” “um” “let me give you a good memory?” Jordan nodded. Lynn leaned in and kissed her. They both ached for each other but hurt at the same time. A tear ran down Jordan’s cheek as the kiss grew. When they finally pulled back they both had tears in their eyes. Lynn spoke “I’m sorry” “no I’m sorry uh do you need to go?” “um not yet okay I’m here. I might leave in a bit okay?” “okay god Lynn I’m sorry.” “Don’t be that was the best kiss ever worth the wait.” “I know for me to.” “Okay let’s get you dressed.” “Okay just um okay” “I won’t look I understand I mean” “I don’t care if you look at this point” “I know I understand okay.” “okay sorry” “look uh… let me see?” “Lynn?” “lay back on the bed?” “Lynn no I uh I can’t” “okay, if you don’t want to?” “I want anything that happens between us to be real?” “It still can be just maybe even more important.” “No I don’t want it tainted by this. I care about you too much.” “okay I care about you too” Lynn knelt helping Jordan slip her pants on her under her towel. Lynn turned Jordan to face away from her and pulled the towel to fall. She put the sweatshirt over Jordan’s head and down. Jordan turned around “thank you” “I’m sorry I shouldn’t have kissed you. You were just… I’m sorry.” “I tried to fight him Lynn. It was just him this time.” “shhh its ok you’ll be ok” Lilly rushed in “Um J the police are here.” “what?!”


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