Friday, October 13, 2017

Will Love Prevail - Chapter 16

Chapter 16

When Mark woke up from a restless sleep at five in the morning, he decided to text his friends and since it was early, he didn’t get a reply just yet. It was Saturday morning and his friends were most likely still sleeping.

He wanted to get ready and drive to Portland as soon as he could. When he couldn’t fall asleep anymore, he decided to get up at six. He still felt weak and like he had been through a lot but slowly he got his routine in the bathroom done and finally was dressed and ready after eight o’clock. He filled Ranger’s food and water bowls full and the cat got busy eating its’ breakfast.

At eight thirty Mark sat in his Challenger and was on his way South to Portland. In a Burger King drive through he grabbed a breakfast sandwich and coffee.

The drive was uneventful and as he neared Portland, he used his GPS to get to the hospital again. He felt nervous at getting closer and once he finally parked in a disabled parking spot at the hospital, he sat in his car for a few moments just thinking.

He prepared to see Chiara in a bad state and he prepared to apologize. He took a deep breath and eventually set up his wheelchair outside his car, attached his backpack to the handles of it and then transferred over onto into it.

In the hospital lobby he wheeled up to the reception and was greeted with a friendly Good Morning from the elderly gentleman behind the counter, “How can I assist you?”
“I’m here to see Chiara Pearson.”
The receptionist with a volunteer badge showing his name as “Carl” replied, “Could I see some ID please?”

Mark scrambled his wallet out of his jeans back pocket and pulled out his license and Military ID and handed it to the receptionist.
Carl typed something into his computer and looked at the screen for a moment, then looking at Mark’s ID cards and then back at the screen.
Mark was worried for a moment if there could be any issues with his wanting to see Chiara but he was relieved when Carl handed him his ID cards back and smiled, “So Ms. Pearson is in room 614 on the sixth floor.”
“Okay, thanks.”
“Elevators are down this way and to your right.”
He pointed toward the elevators and Mark thanked him once again and pushed his rims, rolling swiftly over the smooth floor.

When he got to the sixth floor, he felt his hands tremble and his heart beat fast pushing his rims and rolling down the hallway passing all the numbered rooms until he found room 614. It was obvious because a security guard was positioned right outside the room, closely watching Mark approach from down the hallway.

Mark tried to look relaxed and smiled weakly with a nod as he arrived at the room.
The security guard looked at him without smiling, “Can I help you?”
Mark wasn’t sure why he couldn’t just go into the room but obviously Chiara was guarded extensively.
He was somewhat nervous, “I’m here to see Chiara Pearson.”
Just as the security guard was about to speak, a cell phone rang and he pulled it from his vest, “Yes.”

With his eyes fixed on Mark he listened for a moment to whomever was on the other line. Mark just sat there, waiting and worrying.
The guard then said a quick, “Okay”, and ended the call, sticking the phone back in his pocket.
“Can I see your ID?”
Mark pulled out his wallet again, pulled out the same two forms of ID again and handed them to the guard.

The security guard walked over to a type of file holder on the wall and looked at some paperwork, then came back and handed Mark his ID cards again, “Here you go! May I collect your cell phone?”
Mark looked at him questioning and the security guard added, “Cell phones can’t go in there, just like any other items. I’ll have to keep your back pack out here with me as well.”

Mark didn’t want to argue and handed the guard his cell phone, then twisted around on his seat and clumsily pulled his back pack off the handles.
When he handed the guard the back pack he said lowly, “This has some stuff in it that I need at times.”
The security guard took the back pack from Mark, “What’s in there that you need?”
“I have medications I’m on, they’re in there. Also, some things I need to go to the bathroom with.”
The security guard looked at him, still serious without any trace of friendliness, “Okay.”
Mark stated cautiously, “I guess if it could be made available and not too far away from me if I should need those things?”
“I’ll hold on to it, I will lock it away. If you need it, you let me know. And you’ll get it back when you leave.”

Just as Mark put his hands to his rims the guard said, “I also have to pat you down before you go in.”
Mark nodded but said, “Okay, but I can’t stand up.”
“That’s all right, I can do it while you stay in the wheelchair.”
Mark had to endure a pat down of his legs, up by his crotch and sides and up his chest. He also was checked with the security wand and it went off by his jeans pocket. It turned out to be his car keys and he had to leave them with the security guard as well, then was finally able to go in.

Mark was relieved that he was done with the examination and could finally go in to see Chiara.

The door wasn’t closed all the way but also not all the way open. Mark didn’t hear anything from inside and slowly moved his wheelchair toward the door and knocked.

He heard a soft voice, “Come in.”
He pushed the door open and slowly pushed his wheelchair into the room. It was dimly lit; a large window gave view to large evergreen trees outside and hospital adjacent buildings.

In the bed only slightly reclined up was Chiara and when she saw Mark roll into the room, she lifted her head from the pillow, “Mark?”
Mark slowly pushed his wheelchair around toward the window to get closer to the bed, “Chiara, hey.”

Her face was pale, her red hair seemed even redder in comparison to her pale face. It looked stringy and unkempt. Right away Mark saw the dark circles under her eyes. Both of her eyes were bruised badly. The white in her left eye was red with blood vessels erupted. Her lip was busted and swollen. Her neck also had dark bruises on it. The left side of her face seemed darker than the rest, apparently bruised as well.

She wore a light green hospital gown covering her body but her arms were sticking out and Mark saw bruises and small wounds all over her arms.
He wasn’t sure what to say and just swallowed.  
With the remote in her hand Chiara quietly let the head end of the bed up some more, “You made it.”

Mark nodded and glanced down the bed where Chiara’s right leg was on a foam wedge elevated and wrapped in thick tan colored bandages from her thigh to her foot. Only her painted toes were sticking out. Attached on the side of the bed he saw a bag half way filled with yellow liquid which was urine.

Mark felt tense and angry at seeing Chiara like this.
Softly he asked, “How are you?”

She tried to smile but her chin quivered as she tried to control her emotions. Without words she shrugged her shoulders. Mark then saw a tear roll out of her eye and over her cheek.
He pushed his wheelchair closer and reached for her hand on the bed.
Hesitantly he touched her hand with his and looked at her from under his bangs, “You’re safe now.”
Chiara didn’t pull her hand away. It felt cold and fragile under Mark’s strong hand.
He let his eyes travel over her face, “Everything is going to be all right.”

Now more tears started rolling over her cheeks and she pressed her lips together and lowered her eyes.
Mark wrapped his hand around hers tighter and watched the tears run over her face.
Almost inaudible she said, “I thought he was going to kill me.”
Mark asked, “How did you text me?”
“I still had your number on a piece of paper. One of the girls had given it to me that night you had come out to the streets.”
“Which cell phone did you use?”

Chiara looked at Mark worried and with tears still streaming.
Mark knew it could be a problem that she had used Trey’s cell phone to text him.
She added to his concerns, “He came in and saw me with his phone.”
Mark nodded, “Does he still have his phone?”
Chiara nodded, “I think so. He got away when the police came.”
“Well, don’t worry about it right now.”

Mark felt the anger seethe inside him and a distant concern about the situation but there was nothing he could do at the moment.
Chiara now pulled her hand away some and Mark pressed his lips together trying to get a hold of himself and his anger. Tears were still running over her face.

Mark shook his head and looked at Chiara, swallowing and stating tense, “Well, you don’t have to worry about him right now. He’s not here and the cops are going to get him and he’ll get charged and locked up.”
He knew he didn’t sound very confident. Trey was still on the lose and it was not guaranteed that he would actually get caught.

Mark swallowed again and said with a trembling voice, “It’s my fault that all this happened. I made everything worse instead of better for you. I’m so sorry about all of this Chiara.”
Mark now let his head hang and it was Chiara who now took his hand into hers.
He slowly moved his eyes up to her and he saw the tears still running over her face but she said softly, “Mark?”
He nodded slightly and she said in a soft voice, “I’m sorry about leaving you when you had taken me in.  I’m so sorry. It broke my heart when I walked out of your place that morning.”
Mark hung his head and nodded, “I couldn’t believe it really. I…I couldn’t stop thinking about you and everything you had said to me and I…it almost brought me down when you left. I drove out to the streets again looking for you…every night.”
He felt his voice tremble and he felt his emotions get the better of him, “I wanted to find you again.”
Chiara still held his hand in hers and tears were still running over her cheeks, “I should have never left you. I’m so sorry.”
Mark looked up and took a deep breath, “It’s okay. It’s over and I’m here and you’re here and that’s all that matters. I’m not going to leave your side anymore.”
Tears were still streaming over Chiara’s face and she tried to smile, “I don’t want you to.”

Mark now looked nervously at the bed, “Can this bed be lowered some?”
He found the button on the remote, pushed it, and the whole bed lowered itself slowly with a soft hum.

Without words Mark pulled his hoodie over his head and tossed it to a chair on the side. He then angled his wheelchair parallel to the bed and with his fist on her bed and his other fist on the wheelchair, he wriggled himself from the wheelchair seat onto the bed. Chiara watched shyly and felt her heart beat speed up as Mark sat himself on the bed. His legs were still dangling halfway of the bed and he found his trunk balance sitting hunched over on the bed with his head hanging and untwisted his legs. He then turned toward her and moved over closer to her.

Chiara could smell his cologne now and she felt his body heat as he scooted closer to her. Mark looked at her intensely now, scanning her face.
She felt embarrassed and lowered her eyes, “I know I look hideous.”

He moved his hand to her face and it almost covered the whole side of her face. With his thumb he gently wiped her tears away, his blue eyes focused on her the whole time.
He moved closer and she felt his breath on her when he said, “You’re beautiful and your face will heal again. You’ll never have to feel this kind of pain with me, never and no one will ever lay a hand on you again. I’m going to stick around if you let me.”

Chiara realized how strong and tall Mark actually was as he sat on the bed close to her. Hovering over her like her guardian she could feel heat radiate from his body. As he moved, she saw his biceps muscles flex under his T-Shirt sleeve, some of the tattoos visible and in contrast to his strong upper body his legs hung over the bed still and without any movement under the jeans. Mark pulled his body up some more and she then dared to put her slender cold hand on his solid forearm.

They looked at each other, Mark’s blue eyes penetrating Chiara’s green eyes and he whisked away a strand of red hair to get a better look at her.

He moved closer and with his eyes still on her he asked, “Are you okay with me sticking around?”
She could only nod.
Mark emphasized, “I plan on sticking around for a long time. Is that okay?”
Chiara found her words, “Yes, I’m okay with it. I’m so sorry about everything Mark.”
Mark let his fingers run over her cheek, “Don’t worry about it anymore. It’s all good now. I’m here and I won’t go anywhere. I want to pick up from where we left off. I hope you want the same thing.”
Chiara nodded again, lowering her eyes, then looking back up at Mark, “I’m glad you came for me Mark. I need you.”
He scanned her face, “I need you too.”
“Thank you, Mark.”
“Thank you.”

Mark wasn’t all the way sure if he should move in for the kiss. Chiara then moved her hand to his face and she softly stroked over his cheek down to his neck, scanning him with her eyes.

He then knew it was the right moment and he leaned down over her and his face neared hers and slowly he let his lips come down to her lips. She didn’t fight it. Instead she wrapped her arms around his broad shoulders. Mark’s body almost completely covered Chiara’s fragile frame. Their eyes closed and they let the moment take over. She felt safe and protected in his arms. She never wanted to be without him again.

His kiss was tender and soft. Mark didn’t want to hurt her any more than how she was already hurting. Chiara let his kissing flow into her, she let his tongue gently encircle hers and she tasted him as his masculine scent surrounded her. Her hands ran over his muscular back and over his strong arms, ending back up around his neck, where his hair tickled her arms. They kissed for a long moment.

Kissing Chiara awakened his instincts once again, instincts and emotions he thought he had lost the moment the IED blast had forever destroyed and broken his body.
It may have broken his body that night but he now realized that it had not broken his spirit and being there with Chiara and feeling her close and kissing her, his senses awakened and his heart was overflowing with feelings for this woman.

In his mind he pledged to himself that no matter what would happen, one thing was clear - he would never let anyone hurt Chiara ever again. She was with him now and anyone who wanted anything from her would have to go through him.

And he wanted to pick up where they had left off weeks ago. All the things she had said to him then about the way she felt for him were still encrypted in his mind and he wanted to be everything she longed for and he was certain that Chiara was exactly the woman he needed in his life.

They kissed full of tender passion and he couldn’t get enough of it.

Chiara held on to Mark and when finally, their kiss slowly subsided, they stayed close and she said, “I still can’t believe you’re here Mark.”
He said softly, “I am and that’s how it’s going to be from now on.”

Mark sat up some and looked down at Chiara’s leg, “So what’s going on with your leg?”
Chiara sighed and her voice trembled as she explained, “I broke my right ankle and tibia when I jumped out of the window. I think my left ankle is only sprained.”
Mark was upset hearing this, “You jumped out of a window?”
She lowered her eyes, “Yes, I had no choice and I was scared for my life. He was coming up the stairs to the room he had locked me in. I smashed the window with a chair and jumped. A tree somewhat broke my fall.”

Chiara pulled the blanket up some and she made a pain-stricken face. Mark saw now that her left ankle was also wrapped up in bandages. The part of her leg that wasn’t covered and wrapped up showed small wounds and several bruises.
She explained further, “They’re going to have to do surgery on my right ankle I think.”

Mark’s mind was working at how all this was going to go. And the outlook that all of this would take place in Portland wasn’t very promising.
“Are they going to keep you here?”
Chiara shrugged her shoulders, “I don’t know. I really would like to go back to Seattle.”
“That would be better.”

He had no idea how he could be in Portland as much as possible. He wanted to be near Chiara and if she could be in Seattle it would make things a lot easier.
He glanced at the skin on her left leg before Chiara covered it up again, “What are all the bruises and wounds from?”

She didn’t want to talk about the abuse Trey had inflicted on her regularly. The times when he had locked her up in a room or in the basement of the house they had stayed in for the past couple of weeks.  She didn’t want to think about the times when he had put out his cigarettes on her skin or when he beat her for any small reason. The many times he had raped her were too much and she knew if Mark would know he would be furious.

He looked back up at her face with flickering eyes.
Chiara replied softly, “It doesn’t matter. It’s over now.”

Mark bit his lips and took a deep, tense breath at the thought of the apparent abuse Trey had put Chiara through. Just about now would have been the time he would have probably plotted how to kill Trey.

He didn’t want to push her to talk about it and changed his expression and looked at her, “You will not have to go through anything like this again. I’ll make sure.”
With that he leaned down toward her face again and said softly, “I wish you could be in Seattle though. I want you to be near me and it would be easier for me to be with you.”
Chiara nodded, “I know. I wonder if they could transfer me to Seattle or at least closer to home. I’m scared about the surgery and not being able to do anything.”
Mark nodded understanding, “Yeah, we need to talk to them.”
Mark took Chiara’s hand in his again and she said softly, “I guess now I don’t really have a place anymore or at least the place I called home for the last couple of years. It was his.”

“Whose house was this down here?”
Chiara shrugged her shoulders, “He knew people everywhere and they let us stay at that house. I didn’t see anything of it really except for the basement and one room under the roof.”
“The room you jumped out of?”
She nodded and her voice trembled when she said, “He was going crazy when the cops showed up and he also then knew I had texted you and he had his gun and was screaming downstairs how he would kill me, kill you and I don’t know. I heard him come up, he had the door locked. It was a tiny room under the roof and I got so scared but then I realized that there were cops outside and I busted the small window and I didn’t care. I knew he would kill me so to jump was really my only choice to maybe get out alive. Now I’m going to have to deal with these injuries. I’ve no place to go, no family and I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Tears were streaming from her face again and Mark stroked his fingers over her arm, “Don’t worry about that. I’m here, you’re with me now.”
“Oh Mark, I’m scared though.”
“About what?”
“He’s still out there and he has friends everywhere, people will find out what happened and I don’t want to put you in danger.”
Mark nodded and took a deep breath, “Don’t worry about that either. I’ve been through enough shit. They want to come after me, let them. Just don’t let your fear control what we have. I can’t lose you again.”
Chiara looked at Mark and he added, “Promise me you won’t disappear again?”
She nodded and her eyes were glistening from the tears building up, “I promise.”

Mark nodded and leaned down to her again and kissed her softly on the mouth.
Chiara was still very worried and really didn’t know how Mark would defend himself against a mob of pimps and criminals, guys from the streets and gang members. Trey and his allies would come looking for her and they also knew that Mark had something to do with her getting away. She was still very scared for him and herself.

Mark tried to be confident in front of her and make her feel safe with him and that’s really all he wanted to do. He wanted to keep her safe but he was worried that there was some truth to what Chiara had implied and he would have to watch his back. He wouldn’t let his guard down.

It knocked on the door and when it opened a doctor in light blue scrubs came in, “Chiara, good Morning.”
Chiara replied with a soft, “Good morning.”
The doctor looked from Chiara to Mark who was still next to her on the bed and reached his hand out to him, “Hi, I’m Doctor Turner. I’m Chiara’s orthopedic surgeon.”
Mark shook the doctor’s hand, “Hi, I’m Mark.”
Mark then sat himself up some. 
Dr.Turner looked from Mark, to his wheelchair, then to Chiara, “Chiara, how are you today?”
“I’m okay.”
“How’s your pain level?”
“Okay right now, the nurse gave me some medication earlier.”

Dr. Turner stood at the side of Chiara’s bed, “So we need to talk about your leg.”
Chiara nodded and Dr. Turner pulled a chair over and sat down, “I looked at all your X-Ray’s again and we definitely need to fix that right ankle. I’m not too worried about the tibia, it’s a hairline fracture but your ankle really got the blow. Your left ankle is fortunately not broken but just badly sprained. I’d like to do the surgery as soon as possible. Today is Thursday, your ankles are still very swollen but I’d like to do the surgery first thing on Monday morning.”

Mark’s mind was racing at the outlook of the surgery and how he really wanted Chiara to be in Seattle or at least closer to him.
Chiara thought the same thing but she was too shy to say anything.
Mark then took the word, “Dr. Turner, I have a question.”
Dr. Turner nodded, “Sure.”
“Is there any way Chiara could get transported to Seattle? That way she would be closer to home and to her friends and to me. I live outside of Seattle.”
Dr. Turner looked at Chiara, “Chiara, you don’t have family down here? Are you not from the Portland area?”
Chiara took a breath and answered shakily, “No, I’m from the Seattle area.”
Dr. Turner then replied, “I’m aware of what happened but I thought you were from Portland or at least the area.”
Chiara shook her head, “No, I don’t have anyone down here. Mark could help me with things but since he lives close to Seattle it’s difficult for him to keep coming down here. If I would be in Seattle, it would be a lot easier for us.”

Dr. Turner looked from Mark to Chiara again, “Okay, I see. I’ll have to look into this. We could possibly transfer you up to Seattle but I can’t guarantee this. Do you have health insurance?”
Chiara shook her head, “No, I don’t.”
Dr. Turner now blew out air, “Hhm…”
Mark spoke now, “I can pay for it.”
Chiara looked at him quickly, “Mark, no.”
He repeated determined, “I can pay for it.”
Dr. Turner looked at Mark, “It can get pricey to have a non-emergency long-distance ambulance transport. She would need to get transported soon though, so the surgery can get done early next week. We don’t want to wait too long on that.”

Mark then asked, “Who do I have to talk to about it?”
Dr. Turner thought for a moment, “So I would have to put in the order for her to get transferred and then our administration will arrange the transport. They’re on the first floor if you want to go talk to them before I put in the order.”
Mark nodded determined, “I’ll do that then here shortly.”
Dr. Turner looked at Chiara, “Would you really want that Chiara?”

She nodded and Mark was in the process of pulling his wheelchair closer. He felt he needed to explain a little bit more to Dr. Turner why he wanted Chiara closer to home.
Chiara watched as Mark transferred into his wheelchair and he turned to Chiara, “Could you excuse me for a moment?”
Chiara looked at him questioning and Mark explained, “I just want to talk to Dr. Turner.”
Chiara nodded, “Okay.”
Mark looked over at Dr. Turner, “Could we talk outside for a moment?”

Mark glanced at Chiara for a second and nodded in assurance. Her eyes were sad and weary. He then followed Dr. Turner outside into the hallway.
Mark explained with determination, “She needs to be closer to home and closer to me. It’s kind of important. What happened with her down here…I don’t know how much you know…but I don’t think it’s safe for her to stay here.”

Dr. Turner nodded and rubbed his chin with his fingers, “Yeah, I did read the police report and it was on the local news of course. Chiara is anonymous here at the hospital, there is police and security present because of her. I imagine it was all a very traumatic and dangerous situation. I know there’s an investigation going on. I would also have to let the police know that we’re going to transfer her.”

Mark nodded and added, “She doesn’t have any family, I’m not only a friend, I’m more than that and I want her to be as safe as possible. It’s not all the way easy for me to either stay down here or drive down here every day so if she would be closer, I could make sure she’s all right.”
“I understand. Why don’t you talk to administration while I talk to the police and also to my colleagues in Seattle?”

Mark nodded again.
Dr. Turner added, “Let me find out and I’ll be back in the afternoon. Maybe if it all clears, we could transport her tomorrow.”

Dr. Turner then walked off and Mark pushed his rims and rolled back inside the room. Chiara had her eyes closed now and he quietly parked his TiLite next to the bed and said softly, “Chiara?”
She opened her eyes slowly, “Hhm.”

Mark explained to her the situation and also told her he was going to talk to administration to see about the ambulance transport.
Chiara seemed tired and she only nodded weakly, “Will you come back Mark?”
“Of course, I’ll be back in a little while.”
He touched her hand, “Get some rest right now and I’ll take care of stuff.”

Mark made his way down to the first floor and found the administration offices. He was referred to an assistant who was in charge of the ambulance transports and coordination.

They talked for about thirty minutes and eventually Mark had the estimate of such a transport for Chiara going back to Seattle. Mark was looking at a price tag of $ 1500. He had to sign some paperwork but he was willing to pay for this, he just wanted her closer.

When he came back into the room Chiara was still sleeping and he decided to go outside again and give Officer Collins a call and let him know about the situation. He had to collect his cell phone from the security guard and wheeled over to the side to make a call.  

“Is this Officer Collins?”
Officer Collins recognized Mark’s voice, “Yes, hey Mark?”
“Hey, how are you?”
“I’m good, what about you? Where are you?”
“I’m in Portland with Chiara.”
“I figured. Are you doing okay?”
“Yes, I couldn’t just stay at home and leave her down here by herself. I wanted to talk to you about something.”
“Yeah, what’s up?”
“I want Chiara to be transported to Seattle. And I talked to her doc down here and the people who are in charge here at the hospital. I’ll pay for the transport.”
Officer Collins sounded concerned, “Are you sure about that?”
“Yes, I want her to be closer to home. I can’t come down here every day or stay here. It would be easier to have her at home.”
“You know there’s still an on-going investigation and the police may not let her go.”
“That’s why I’m calling. I wanted to see if you could talk to your people down here.”

Officer Collins didn’t say anything for a moment, and Mark inquired, “Are you still there?”
“Yeah, I guess I can try to pull some strings. You really care for this girl?”
Mark thought for a moment, “Yes, I do and I want her closer to me.”
“Okay, I’ll call Portland police and talk to them about it.”
“Thanks Officer Collins.”
“How’s Chiara doing?”
“She’s in pain, she broke both her right ankle and tibia when she jumped out of the window, I guess. And she sprained her left ankle. She has a tough road ahead.”
“Wow, yeah. Does she have family up here?”
“No, she doesn’t or at least not that I know of. That’s why I want her up in Seattle so I can be there for her.”

Mark and Officer Collins eventually finished up and Officer Collins said he would let Mark know the status on side of the police as soon as he would find out.
Mark was relieved that he had the officer on his side and he hoped it wouldn’t be a problem to get Chiara out of Portland.

He wheeled back to her room and inside she was still sleeping. He quietly rolled into the room and he parked his wheelchair next to the bed and just looked at her for a moment. She looked peaceful but the bruises showed around her eyes and face and when he scanned over her arms, he didn’t miss all the small wounds and he knew those were from Trey’s cigarettes. He looked down to her leg and thought about how it would be tough for her for a while now with two injured legs. She wouldn’t be able to walk and probably would need some kind of wheelchair.

His mind drifted as he thought about the possibility of Chiara living with him when she was out of the hospital. His apartment was accessible already so if she would really have to use a wheelchair, she would be all right.
He would take care of her or maybe he could somehow fool the VA that he needed someone for assistance and they could send someone.
Lots of thoughts were running through his head but he was just glad to be with Chiara again.

He let his eyes linger on her face and he remembered the night at the bar and how he had been excited that a hot girl like her had shown interest in him. It was when he didn’t have any idea yet why she had started talking to him. And he remembered how she had been at his place and how close they had been. He wanted very much to pick up where they had left off. At the moment she looked nothing like the night at the bar. Softly he touched his hand to the side of her face and just looked at her.  

Chiara was moaning in her sleep and he gently moved his hand to her hand just watching her. He saw a tear run out of the corner of her eye and down to her ear, where it disappeared into her messy hair. The past couple of weeks in Portland must have been hell for her and Mark wanted nothing more then for the police to find Trey and arrest and charge him.


  1. Great chapter, thanks. Mark should better get rid of his handy.

  2. This story is really good. Can't wait what will happen next.

  3. Very tense and exciting. I love your writing. Great job.