Disclaimer... The characters below are all mine I have sculpted them from the clay of my own imagination and breathed life into them. If you'd like them to resemble a certain bard and warrior who am I to deny you your fantasies.
Warning... I must now warn you that this story contains love - expressed in the form of two women, although not graphic it is mentioned. It also contains scenes of violence, although not too graphic you may find it disturbing. I have also been asked to add a hanky warning, just in case... So if you are under age or find the above distasteful please move on to something more suitable.
Acknowledgements... The muse of creativity I again bow down to and offer my first born or a cookie, as for the muse of spelling and grammar I am still learning and beg her patience.
This is for all those who have been caught in a gaze that has changed their lives and also for all the fans who have let me know how much my work has touched them. I cannot thank you all enough. J
With that said let the show begin......
Have you ever stopped in your life and really watched the world going on around you? No...we take for granted every day what is so precious, it becomes ignored or treated like normality.
I used to do that, would get up at seven every morning and go to work, have lunch at one till two then back to work till five thirty, then home, a shower, eat, then go out maybe with friends. Then bed usually alone unless I found another wandering soul in my travels to ease the loneliness for just one night. If someone had asked me what had just happened behind me, or anywhere in the world I would never have been able to tell. The normality makes us all blind to the injustices in this world, blind to the wars, famines, the anger, the crimes, makes us look away from the homeless beggar on the street, if we don't look at them they don't intrude into the normality.
If it didn't concern me it didn't exist, a trap we all fall into. That is what I had been, another moving blip on the radar of life. I'd never looked at the birds in the park as I passed, or the trees swaying as if controlled by an unseen hand. Wouldn't notice the old man selling papers on the street corner, never took notice of the weather, wouldn't see the sky unless it was raining and curse it. The sun, well the sun was either not there or too hot when it was. Like all the millions on this earth, I never noticed, or I complained. Never heard sounds only dull thuds in the distance. All voices around were nothing but annoying hums of humanity. It was life and life went on.
That changed for me on one August evening returning from a party. I saw in one moment of an exhaled breath outside of the normality. I awoke from the life I had for forty years, and all of it was caught up in hazel green eyes staring at me from across a road, eyes that seemed to unlock something inside of me. A stare that screamed for help, of loss and finally when she looked away, a gaze that spoke of pain.
My vision expanded, my senses exhaled the fogginess that had encrusted them through the years. I realized it was raining, not because I was getting wet but because I for the first time heard it, each little droplet hitting the asphalt, every pitter patter around me seemed to slow to each impact. I turned my face back to the spot and saw the bus come and when it departed the bus stop was now empty, some part of me cried and cursed for being shown something it didn't know. Another part screamed that it wanted more and I found myself hailing a cab and telling it to follow the bus. I was driven like a mad woman not caring how much was clicking onto the meter as we followed the bus to every stop, I made the cab stop and wait until I was sure hazel eyes hadn't gotten off. Finally I watched her descend I paid the huge fair and left, following. Not caring that I was now a stalker, not caring what would befall me, all I knew was I could feel the night chill on my skin, the stars twinkling their splendor down onto me, everything tasted so fresh... so new. A force I didn't see or understand, something so far outside of my reasoning drove me. I couldn't question it because I had no answer to the questions running around my head. About what would I do when I got there? Where would I go? What would I say? How absurd this was, how insane.
I followed her through the streets and small off roads until I saw her go into a house, watched the lights go on and I stood there frozen to the spot unsure now of what I wanted. Feeling foolish for letting myself be led by a need to know her. I still didn't know what moved my actions to be where I was right then hiding in the shadows watching. I wanted to leave but I just couldn't I was waiting for something but I had no idea of what.
I watched the man approach and pass me, I ducked back into the alley so I was nothing more than a shadow. Saw him enter the house without hesitation knowing he must have a key and I felt a slight dulling of my senses as my body starting facing reality and reason as each sense started to return to the normality. I started to turn away when I heard her cry, it was loud and piercing of hopelessness and pain.
I was running before I knew it, my face pressed close to the window as I saw him draw back his fist to hit her again, the venom and hatred in his words freezing me to the spot.
'' You bitch, you fucking bitch I watched you didn't you think I'd know...''
He struck her again. I could feel my senses returning regaining their freedom, felt my anger rising.
'' Please I didn't... I only saw friends I told you please Michael don't...''
Even outside I winced as I felt his blow hit her face backhanding her across the floor. When another scream of pain tore the last hold of my fear away I was moving fast, throwing my body at the door, banging it, screaming at it. I had never fought for anything or anyone in my entire life, but right now I would have faced the devil himself to get to her. The door didn't yield but I heard his angry yell as he dared her to move, he came to the door I was ready my fists clenched. When the door opened I threw myself at him using my entire six-foot frame, catching him off guard. For a moment he lay there just blinking at me as I rose, then his anger took over and his courage returned when he realized I was just another woman.
I saw his fist coming and using agility I didn't know I had, I moved back to avoid it letting it pass in front of my face within a hair's breath. Drew back my boot and kicked him high in the leg, his limb crumpling from the impact, he roared in pain and anger and rose up coming at me fast. I remember stopping and thinking that was his weakness his rage, he was out of control not able to hold back his swings at me. I managed to dodge two more rage filled lunges at me, but the third struck me hard on the face, I felt it like a fire across my temple blinking the stars back. I gulped air as his fist hit my stomach and I knew then as I started to fall that if I did I wouldn't be able to save her, all would be lost.
I turned so fast I nearly off balanced myself, just in time to catch his arm as he moved to strike the back of my head, he blinked at me in shock again. He grabbed my downward strike easily, now both my arms were trapped in his grip, he grinned. I brought my knee up hard and fast feeling it connect fully with the soft tissues between his legs. For a moment the anger in his eyes scared me back to reality, I thought I had missed until he let out a long groan and his eyes lost their rage to be replaced with agony, they rolled into his head both his hands going to his manhood and he started to fold to his knees. I remembered seeing a move in a film once and as he fell toppling forward I brought my knee up hard feeling the pain in my leg and the crunch of bones as his nose connected fully, he rolled to his side in an unconscious heap. I stood there blinking at him, my mind numb, my senses shocked beyond anything my world had been.
Then I heard her whimper like some dog that had been beaten beyond its endurance. I moved as fast as my spinning head would take me and knelt.
'' You ok?"
One of the most stupid questions in the world to ask right then, just looking at her I knew she wasn't. Her eyes were wide yet empty her face a mass of bruises and blood, her dress was torn and I could see the fingerprint bruising on her breast where he had grabbed her. I quickly looked around pulling the blanket off the sofa, gently wrapping it around her shoulders.
'' Are you ok? Please answer me.''
Finally I watched her begin to focus, her panicked eyes flicked from his fallen figure to my face, her lips tried to form words but nothing came out, so she shook her head.
'' Look I know you don't know me from Adam but I think you need to get away from here before he wakes up.''
Her eyes widened going to him again, her bottom lip trembled with fear. For a moment I thought the answer was going to be no, then she looked at me, a new color entering her eyes, one of survival and the need to live.
She offered me her hand, I took it helping her up surprised that she could still stand.
While I waited she moved swiftly through the house, I raised a curious eyebrow as she went to the cupboard under the stairs and pulled out two suitcases and a bag. My eyes following her as she returned to the kitchen, removing tins from a cupboard, pulling a roll of money from a bowl hidden there.
Then she looked as me as she pulled her coat on. '' I was always ready to leave, I just never had the courage...''
I smiled knowingly; to stay with pain and abuse was always less scary than facing the world alone.
She moved to the door the fear returning as she passed him, she stopped for a moment looking back at her house, a place that was once her home. A single tear dropped from her eyes, then she looked at me, and I felt my own heart leap at what she must have gone through and what she now had to leave behind. She broke my gaze, as an afterthought she moved to the TV lifting the picture from it and a small ornament before tucking them into her coat.
I moved to follow then stopped to check on him. I didn't care if he rotted in hell but I didn't want him dead and a price hanging over my head or hers. I checked his pulse it was strong, he moaned as I rolled him over onto his side so that he wouldn't choke on the blood streaming from his broken nose.
When I rose she was looking at me curiously. I offered her my hand, her eyes dropped to it then up again, her hand shaking encircled mine. '' I'm Samantha....'' I smiled.
She looked at me as if seeing me for the first time, a small smile came to her bruised face. '' I'm Angie....''
Lifting the suitcases from her I moved outside, waiting for her knowing she had to make her choice now. '' Let's get you safe....''
She bit her bottom lip as she stared into the night, I saw her eyes falter for a moment looking back at him.
I could see the fear darken her eyes...... I waited.
Then she inhaled a breath that seemed to free her, finally she took her first step to freedom, we disappeared into the darkness.
We escaped that night so long ago, nearly four years now. Together we started a life that was at first trusting each other to be friends, I helped get her a place of her own and restart her life again. Along the way of helping her I redeemed my own wish for more than the normality.
Through the first year she healed to the point she didn't look over her shoulder for him to return, her nightmares although still there didn't wake her in the night screaming.
He never did try to attack her again, he was a coward in life once she had the power to leave him, his control over her failed to nothing. He tried a few miserable romantic attempts to get her back and I had watched her stand up to him with such pride in my chest that I actually felt lost for a moment. Because the moment she realized she didn't need his so-called love in her world, I panicked to think that she would no longer need mine either.
I had helped on her first step away from him and on the second step to repair. I asked for nothing and let her give only what she was ready to give. Her friendship meant more to me than anything in my world, once realizing that fact I knew I was falling in love with her. I didn't care if she didn't feel the same, I was happy knowing that I could actually feel that emotion and to be near her in my life.
The second year we grew closer still and my love for her went beyond the physical, I wanted her yes, but I knew that if I pressed that point I would lose her as a friend. I watched as she blossomed from the small unkempt flower in the garden into an amazingly beautiful rose. After everything that bastard did to her in the five years of marriage, the bitterness never had touched her heart.
I watched her go back to school and take the art classes he never would allow, I watched her talent explode onto the canvas until the world saw what I did in her work, and a gallery snapped her up till she became the talk of the art world. I watched her falter when old memories came up and I held her when she cried. I watched my ugly duckling turn into the swan... and I silently dreaded the day she would fly away from me.
By the third year we were beyond friends we were family. Our birthdays and Christmases replaced the ones our lost families never gave us and we became so close to soul mates that our world now was alive with new things, with beauty, with moments, all frozen in our picture book of dreams.
I still hadn't told her how I felt, or how my body would burn for her, or how my dreams were nothing except making love to her, or the times I would awaken covered in sweat and cry because mornings broke the dream. I never told the words of my heart I kept silent and watched her go on dates with men and woman. Oh yes she had discovered that side of her now that she was free of scorn, and I watched her in tormented silence wanting to give her choices knowing that she had never had them before. So I watched her walk away from me into relationships that either made her feel confused or heart broken when they failed, and as always I was there with open arms to comfort her and repair her heart.
I never once raised a voice in anger at her choices, knowing from the beginning that she was heading into grief, she needed to know I was there no matter what and just pray to god that she would remember that above all else I was her friend in life...
In the fourth year I finally told myself to move on, that her friendship was enough for me but three years of not being touched in love was destroying that part of me that wanted to need, to feel, to be wanted in that way...
So I took a lover a sweet gentle lover that spoke to me in whispers of love and passion that took me to places that only eagles saw. But when I reached that wonderful held breath peak, the face I saw there wasn't the face I fell back to and my insides would weep. I lied to myself that it was enough to feel the physical but I couldn't lie to my heart.... I ended the affair returning to Angie, to a place I needed to be alive again.
I'd noticed when I was seeing my now ex-lover that Angie had become distant to the point I felt she was ready in her life to leave me. I was no longer needed, the world was calling her now and its voice was louder than my whispering heart.
The night I dreaded came.
She came into my apartment like she always did, a ball of a tornado, a bag slung onto the table, car keys into my fruit bowl and then proceeded to raid my fridge. I as normal just grinned at her as she came over to give me an affectionate kiss on the temple while munching into a sandwich.
She grinned at me with her mouth full of food. '' Doffs Sworry....manners,'' she swallowed to clear her mouth. '' Hi yourself..''
I laughed, god she was adorable.
She pulled the newspaper onto her lap and began sifting through it not really reading, then finishing her last bite of food she washed it down with a coke then shifted.
I noticed, I knew her well enough to know it meant she had something to say. '' What's up?''
She looked over at me, her expression a mixture of happiness and sadness. '' They want to take my work to New York.''
I felt my heart leap into my throat. '' Oh.''
I saw her look at the ground, I realized what a heel I was being, I knew this day would come, her talent was remarkable and I was so proud of it and yet here I was not even showing her. I jumped up, moving to her, pulling her into a hug and gave her my biggest grin. '' Oh my god is what I meant to say... that is wonderful. Oh Angie...''
She grinned at me and returned the hug. '' Thank you, god I'm surprised as hell.''
'' Don't be you have earned it hun, I knew it would come, next will be Paris, Rome and then the world...God I'm so proud of you...''
Her grin widened. '' Thank you Sam, I wouldn't have done it without you... my life would be nothing.''
Her face grew serious, as did her voice, she held my hand tightly her eyes meeting mine. '' I've told you a thousand times thank you for that night you saved me and no matter how many times I continue to say them Sam, they will never be enough for what you did.''
I could feel myself shifting and blushing. I shrugged. '' Awww come on we both know you would have left that night.'' I turned my head away feeling tears start to well, but this time unlike the others she didn't let me go with just that.
She pulled my chin forcing my head back around looking at me deeply. '' No I never would have....''
I looked at her slightly in shock, she had always fobbed it off before with a ''maybe someday.'' But now as I looked into her eyes I saw the truth there. No she wouldn't have, he had beaten her mental and physically to a point that she never could have alone.
She smiled shyly. '' I would have died there Sam. One day he would have gone too far and I would have died there... and no one would have mourned me... I would have been forgotten, just another battered wife.''
I cried as I looked at her.
Her thumb wiped away two of my fallen tears then she gave me a smile that radiated off of her, one I had never ever received in my life. '' So... thank you Sam for giving me a second chance in life.''
I inhaled deeply to try and ease the huge ache in my chest as my heart just filled with her smile, friendship and pure love. When I spoke my voice was cracked with the emotion I felt but couldn't ever voice. ''You're welcome.'
She rose and stood by the fireplace, pushing back her hair then turned to face me. I swallowed knowing what was coming, she was going to have to go to New York and I would over time lose her. '' I have to go to New York for six months, I tried to get out of it but they want me there while they set up my work in the gallery.''
I just nodded and looked at the floor feeling the weight on my shoulders increase as each word she spoke added another pound onto the weight of the world on them already. My doomed thoughts sent my heart and hopes cascading into pain, I knew my life was going to be empty without her friendship.
She came over and knelt down in front of me pushing my head up again, this time I didn't have time to hide the pain in my eyes. She inhaled sharply for a moment and just stared at me.
'' Look at me Sam.''
My eyes were everywhere in the room except on her.
'' Please look at me.''
Finally I couldn't deny her anything, I looked into her eyes and saw the questioning there.
'' Why did you follow me that night?''
I blinked; I wasn't expecting that question. '' You know why... I heard your scream I was passing by and I...'' I didn't finish my answer as I suddenly realized exactly what she'd asked. Why did you FOLLOW me that night?'
'' You knew I followed you?''
Her head slowly nodded, her eyes firmly fixed on mine.
'' But you've never said.... never mentioned you knew?''
She smiled at me and rubbed another tear from my cheek, her face moving closer to me staring deeply into my eyes, I felt my soul try to hide from her gaze and my heart hold its breath.
'' We are friends Sam right?''
I nodded unable to trust my voice now, my insides wanted to kiss her.
'' We always talk to each other right Sam?''
I nodded again.
'' Four years we have been together yes?''
I nodded again.
'' Don't you think after four years I should know the truth?''
I couldn't nod my head nor could I shake it. I didn't trust anything about my answers, this was getting too close to real.
'' So you don't think we should trust that friendship?''
I looked up at her in alarm. '' No, I mean yes we should trust that friendship... I trust you with everything Angie surely you know that?'' I could hear the panic in my voice.
She smiled then nodded. '' Yes I trust our friendship and I trust you more than anyone...so I ask you again why did you follow me that night?''
I couldn't answer because I knew if I did she would know the truth in me, and I was so scared my answer was silence, a long foreboding silence while she waited and waited for an answer.
Finally her voice broke it. '' Is it because you don't have an answer?''
I shook my head, even in silence I couldn't bring myself to lie to her.
'' Oh... so there is an answer not just one you can share.... What if I told you I need to know Sam, right at this moment it is the most important thing in my life to know that answer?''
I looked at her seeing the pleading in her eyes, but I couldn't, the price would be too high, the price would be losing her.
She sighed then sat a little back, then after a moment she took my hand again. '' You said once that if you could give me anything I wanted I had but to ask... Does that still stand?''
I didn't answer I knew what it would be.
'' Have I ever asked anything of you?''
I shook my head, feeling the tears begin to well again, I wanted to take time back to that morning and not be there when she came in. I didn't want to lose her but I knew as soon as I spoke her my answer I would.
'' Then I'm going to ask you... Samantha why did you follow me that night?''
I glanced up as she said my name, I had never in our four years together heard her speak it that way before, it took my breath away. When I looked into her eyes whatever breath was left was pulled away, they looked at me in honesty and question but I could see something else there something I hadn't seen before, there was a need.
I swallowed, hearing my heart weep as I made my choice to tell her. '' I.... I... followed you because....''
My courage wavered and I lowered my gaze, her fingers were under my chin again gently raising my downward eyes to face hers again.
'' Yes?'' Her voice sent shivers through my tortured soul.
'' Because when I looked into your eyes...'' I paused, and with what remaining courage I had I met her hazel green gaze.
" I heard the sound of rain again.''
My voice broke along with my heart, expecting at any moment for her pull away repulsed by the fact that in the eyes looking at her she would see all the passion all the want all the need and most of all the love revealed and laid bare.
She looked at me for a moment not really understanding as if I was talking in riddles, then she saw it in my eyes and I watched as hazel green filled with tears.
I felt the sob in my chest and when I tried to pull away she held me down with a strength I was surprised at. Then she lent her forehead against my own, resting there for a moment and exhaled a long deep sigh, then her hands cupped my face caressing the tears away again and she kissed me.
I sat wide-eyed until my heart took over and I grabbed her to me crying into her mouth as the kiss deepened. I pulled away and buried my face in her neck, I had held it back for so long my love for her that it came out like a dam bursting. '' Oh god Angie.''
I felt her body tremble against me and then she turned her lips to my ear and whispered the sweetest words my heart had ever heard. '' I love you Sam... I think I always have from the first day you rescued me... Come to New York with me?''
I pulled back needing to see her eyes, needing to know, and there it was all mirrored in her beautiful tear filled gaze, all the love all the need all the want, I sobbed again.
My answer was muffled into a kiss that scorched our very souls. '' Yesssssssssssss.''
And outside I heard the sound of rain again.
Return to the Academy
Thank you for reading. JAll comments welcomed.
Please title all emails with the name of the story you wish to comment on, as my filter has fun putting no titled ones into my trash can and I wouldn't want to miss any of your feedback's.
Copyright k. savage 21 July 2004