Authors: Jordan Lynde
A Proscriptive Relationship
Copyright © 2014 Jordan Lynde
All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or in any means – by electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – without prior written permission.
Publication facilitated by Wattpad (WP Technology Inc.). Publication is an edited version of the first edition that can be found at http://www.wattpad.com/403012-a-proscriptive-relationship.
For my followers, fans, and friends. Without you there is no me.
First and foremost I’d like to thank my fans over on Wattpad. Honestly, I’d be nowhere without you guys. Your continuous support is what keeps me going—especially if I’m stuck with an awful case of writer’s block. So many opportunities have opened up since I came to Wattpad. You’re all incredible and thank you so much! I’m happy to say I’ve made some good friends from fans because of this (that’s you, Alli, Melanie, and DAN).
Then, just as importantly, I’d like to thank the workers. Wattpad has the most helpful and interactive team that I’ve seen on any website. Thanks for giving me such great opportunities and creating such an amazing and comfortable place for anyone to post their works!
Thanks to my editor Michelle, who probably had to change “Mr. Heywood” to “Chris” so many times it drove her crazy and for braving such a long manuscript that I’d never once proofread. Thank you for being brilliant and genuine and just an all-around nice person.
I’d like to thank my friends Avarie, Casey, and Anna for supporting me, even though I tell you to never read anything I write (although Casey did anyway). And all my other friends whose names may or may not have been incorporated throughout all my books.
Thank you to my teachers, who helped mold me into the writer I am today—no matter the subject! For taking an interest in my writing that not a lot of people did, Ms. Mesmer, Ms. Walker, Ms. Streaker, Mr. DeWitt, thank you. I promise I didn’t have a crush on any of you.
And thank you to my family—who didn’t really know anything about my writing until I ended up in the newspapers. Thanks for pushing me and supporting me to do what I really love to do.
Paper or plastic?”
“We’re out of paper. Is plastic okay?”
I guess so,” I responded with a dry smile. If the cashier knew there wasn’t any paper, why did he even give me a choice?
He quickly placed my groceries into four different bags. “Have a nice night,” he said, handing the bags to me.
My face fell the tiniest bit. Instead of going grocery shopping around three o’clock in the afternoon like I was supposed to, I’d decided to go on the computer, thinking I’d just quickly check my Tumblr and whatnot. But no, as always, I’d gotten distracted and had lost track of the time. Hence why I was at the grocery store while it was pitch black outside. To top things off, my mom had the car, which meant I had to walk home.
As soon as I stepped outside, a chilly wind whipped by me, nipping at my cheeks. I shivered, pulling my coat closer around me. It was uncomfortably cold for an August night. I started on my way home, feeling a little nervous and keeping under the streetlights. Everyone knew it wasn’t safe for a young woman to be walking the streets by herself at night. All the terrible things that happened in the movies happened to those women. And right now, I was one of them.
Luckily, the one dark, ominous alley on the way home was one I didn’t have to go through. And as I got closer, I strayed further away from its mouth. It was almost silly how cautious I was of it. It wasn’t like there was going to be a murderer or kidnapper or something in it.
Rolling my eyes at myself, I continued on my way, looking straight ahead. Even if there was something in the alley, how would I know if I didn’t look? Just as I was about to step out in front of it, a low groan came from somewhere inside. My breathing hitched and I froze, listening as hard as I could. Maybe it was my imagination. After a moment of hearing only the blood rushing through my ears, I managed to make out someone breathing heavily. Or a few someones. And it sounded like they were right beside me. I slowly stepped away from the mouth, pressing my back against the brick building beside it.
An angry voice carried all the way to me. “Aren’t you going to fight back?” it demanded. I tensed. This was just my luck.
“I told you,” another voice responded calmly. “I don’t fight anymore.”
A snort echoed through the alley. “Yeah. Like I’d believe that. If you don’t fight back, then you’re just letting us beat the shit out of you.”
“Whatever,” the calm man responded easily. “It’s not like feeble punches from you guys will actually harm me.”
My mouth opened slightly in surprise from the calm man’s comeback. Did he want to be attacked? Whoever the other guy was, he sounded threatening enough. Or guys. He’d said “us.” I took another step back, away from the alley. If a fight was going to go down, I didn’t want to be around to see it. But if I ran away, what was going to happen to the calm man? It didn’t sound like he was going to fight back. If something happened, wouldn’t I get in trouble for knowing it was happening and not trying to stop it? I could call the cops, but would it even matter? Would they get here quickly enough?
“Suit yourself,” someone, not the calm man, grunted. Then there was the quiet, distinguished sound of knuckles being cracked.
It would be smart of me to leave. To pretend I hadn’t heard anything, to go to the safety of my home.
But it would also be cowardly.
Throwing caution to the wind, I built up all the courage I had and stepped into the alley. “Wait!” I demanded.
My breath caught in my throat as I took in the sight before me. Five thugs surrounded one other man. The man in the middle of the group had his back turned to me, so the only thing I could make out was his messy brown hair. He tensed, staying face forward, while everyone else snapped their attention to me. I froze like a deer in the headlights.
Stupid, stupid move
, I told myself, biting my cheek in admonishment.
I should have kept walking. Like these men were going to listen to a scrawny girl like me.
“Well what do we have here?” one of the five intimidating men questioned, a small smile spreading across his face. “A pretty young girl? What are you doing out here so late?”
“It doesn’t matter why she’s out here so late,” a bald man next to the first speaker said. “She probably heard us talking and came to see what was up, right?”
I blinked when I realized he was addressing me. My heart thudded in my chest as I stared at the bald man, trying to think of a response. Why had I jumped out in front of these thugs again? Right, to save the man who wasn’t even paying attention to me. Or running away. A grimace made its way onto my face. I should have thought twice.
“Well, anyway, missus, you can watch the first punch to this man’s pretty face,” the thug addressing me continued when I didn’t respond.
“You think my face is pretty?” the man being surrounded commented in an amused tone. “That’s cute.”
One of the thugs stepped closer to the calm young man, bringing up his fist. The younger man didn’t even turn to look at his attacker. My jaw shifted. This guy was incredibly stupid. It didn’t even seem like he was going to try to evade it. Which meant I was going to have to do something stupid again. So when the thug brought his fist back, I dashed forward, swinging my grocery bag filled with non-perishables at him. I knew it struck gold when I heard him cry out in pain.
Run!” I screamed, grabbing the young man’s hand, and tugging him away from the group of thugs, who were all standing around like statues, shocked by my surprise attack. We were good for maybe the next ten seconds. Fortunately, the man I was trying to save started to run with me.
I sprinted in the direction of my house without another thought. The men in the alley shouted after us as we fled. Adrenaline was pumping through my veins as I hurtled down the street, keeping a firm grip on the man I was towing along. The whole time the paranoid feeling that the men were following us dogged me, but I couldn’t risk glancing back. Knowing me, I’d probably trip over my own two feet.
My footsteps fell heavily on the pavement, making a slapping noise as I ran. The young man beside me moved silently though, easily keeping up with me. When we made it to my street I dug my free hand into my pocket, searching desperately for my house key. The handles of the grocery bag slipped down to my wrist, digging into my soft skin.
After a few terrorizing moments, I finally managed to find my key. Without further ado, I slammed it into the lock, and opened the door. I shoved the man behind me inside first, and pulled my key out, slamming and locking the door behind us. Breathing heavily, I tried the lock again to make sure we would be safe. The door didn’t budge. With a deep sigh, I sunk to my knees, trying to regain my breath. I never was an active person. I didn’t run much at all, if ever. So that little adventure had taken a lot out of me, adrenaline or not.
After a few minutes my breathing finally returned to normal, but my heart was still pounding. But I stayed on the ground for a little longer, trying to calm my heartbeat.
Are you okay?”
A gasp of surprise left my lips as I started. It’d completely slipped my mind that someone else was with me! Embarrassed, I slowly pushed myself to my feet, wiping off my sweaty palms. “I . . . I’m fine. I should be asking you that. Are you okay?”
Couldn’t be better.”
I was tempted to look at man behind me, but first I wanted to make sure the thugs weren’t outside waiting for us. Standing on my tiptoes, I peered through the window out into the night. A shadow danced across my lawn and my heart skipped a beat in alarm. Then I almost laughed when I realized it was just the shadow of one of the trees in my yard. There was no one out there.
Looks like we lost them,” I commented in relief, turning around now.
Looks like it.”
When our gazes met, his eyes widened considerably and mine probably did too. He inhaled sharply, a look of shock passing across his face. Surprised by his response I took a step back away from him. We stared at each other for a few minutes, taking in the other person. I didn’t know why he seemed so surprised, but I sure knew why I did.
Standing before me had to be the best-looking guy I had ever seen. Sure, it sounded cheesy, but there was no other way I could describe him. He was around a foot and a half taller than me, and had a strong-looking physique—slender, yet muscular. His face was perfectly chiseled with a low bone structure and sturdy jaw. Messy, umber-colored hair framed his perfect features, falling into his eyes a little bit—his startlingly piercing gray eyes.
And I was staring, and I really needed to stop.
He mumbled something incoherent, his eyes never leaving my face. It almost sounded like he said my name.
What?” I asked quietly, my mouth feeling incredibly dry.
The man blinked in surprise, his body tensing. After a moment he shook his head, letting out a small sigh. “Nothing,” he told me, sounding slightly disappointed.
Okay . . .” I responded, staring at him again. It was really hard to pull my gaze away from his eyes.
Are those guys gone?” he inquired, crossing his arms over his chest.
I slowly nodded my head, growing more and more awkward by the second. It was now catching up to me that I’d practically forced this handsome stranger into my house. Emphasis on the word
Seemingly relieved, the young man nodded too, relaxing his stance. “Good. It wouldn’t have been so great if I’d been caught fighting again.”
Again? I watched the man warily. Did that mean he fought often? Could he be dangerous? I was all alone in my house with him . . . He caught my cautious gaze and raised an eyebrow at me. “Are you a murderer?” I blurted out.
No,” he responded, looking slightly amused. “You’re feeling prudent now? After you forced me into your house?”
I narrowed my eyes. “I was saving you.”
I don’t need to be saved.”
Really? Because it didn’t seem that way to me,” I challenged, mimicking his stance and crossing my arms over my chest. “They were going to beat you up!”
The guy scoffed. “They couldn’t touch me if I didn’t want them to.”
Yeah? Then why’d you run?”
Because if we didn’t,
would’ve been caught up in that mess because you stupidly made yourself known,” he snapped at me.