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Authors: Jennah Scott

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BOOK: Fight for Love
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Thanks to Dave’s closeness, I felt him shift position and ducked as his fist sailed over my head. I spun on my feet, stayed in a squat and came up with a fist to Dave’s stomach. Dave went down like a rock, and I wasn’t done. Right then I didn’t care if it was a fair fight. For once I had the chance to take him, and I wasn’t going to pass it up. My foot connected with his chest and I grinned at the resulting crack. I lifted my foot again, but stopped when a warm hand landed on my shoulder.
 

“Luke, stop.” My mother’s voice pulsed through my infuriated state of mind.
 

“Fuck off.” It took every effort I had not to push her away.

“Luke, please,” Mom pleaded.

I wouldn’t have listened, but she chose to stand between him and me. I froze mid kick and left Mom bending over Dave, comforting him and promising to take care of his wounds. I jogged up the remaining steps, pulled my guitar from the back corner and left. I knew I wouldn’t be returning to the house anytime soon. I’d be back, but only after Dave calmed down. Even then, the return would be short lived. No chance in hell Dave would let me walk without retaliation. I only had to hope I’d be prepared, because the next time would be the last time.
 

CHAPTER TEN

I avoided mom and the asshole the next morning. I’d slept at the park in the backseat of my car the night before. The last thing I wanted was to get into something with either one of them. So after returning home to shower and get ready I snuck down the front stairway and out the door. To let off some steam I walked to school rather than drive. It was a ten-minute walk and the fresh air turned out to be a nice reprieve.
 

Since it was Friday the day went by pretty fast. The teachers wanted the weekend to start as bad, if not more, than the students.
 

After school I had an appointment with Dr. Greenberg, and the fastest way to her office was through the parking lot at the rear of the school. I pushed through the double doors and stopped myself just short of running over a group of guys standing right outside the door.
 

“Watch where you’re going fucknut.”

I clenched my hands at my side. “I’d watch your mouth. There are ladies present.”

“Ladies my ass.” The guy pointed to a girl standing across from me. I noticed tear stains running down her cheeks. “She’s my girl, and aint’ no one gonna tell me how to talk around her.”

My arm twitched at my side. There were two things no one got away with when I was around. The first being disrespectful to a lady, and the second: no one ever hit a girl and got away with it. Dave got away with it, but only because I hadn’t figured out how to win. That day was coming, soon.

There weren’t any marks on the girl, but the shaking and tears were enough for me to know she was scared of this guy. I was ready to throw the first punch. My arm held in midair, ready to release my building energy. Then a voice stopped my automatic reaction. A voice I recognized, but only vaguely.
 

“Luke, don’t.” She stood behind me panting. Chelsea sounded like she’d run a mile to get to me.
 

“Back away, Chelsea. This guy deserves everything I plan to give him.”

“Luke, you don’t want to do this. Leave him alone.” She wrapped her hand around my bicep. The warmth in her fingers soaked through my shirt and curled around my heart.
 

I refocused on everyone else standing outside the back entrance. There were too many people around, and I knew without a doubt they’d back up the asshole in front of me if given the choice. I already had a five-day suspension starting on Monday; another fight would end with expulsion.
 

“We aren’t through. If you lay a hand on her, I will return the favor tenfold.” I shifted my bag back up on my shoulder and pushed past the guys blocking the path down the stairs. Chelsea caught up seconds later.
 

“Thank you,” she said.

“For what?”

She shrugged her shoulders. “For backing down.”

“Why do you care?” My fists were still clenched at my side.

She placed her hand on my shoulder. “I told you, I want to help you.”

“Again, why?”
 

Chelsea parted her lips and smiled. “I suffer from the princess in shining armor syndrome.”
 

I narrowed my eyes at her. “I’m sorry, what?”

“You know, it’s like the knight in shining armor that rides in on his white horse and saves the day. But I’m a chick, so I can’t be a knight. Instead I’m the princess in shining armor. Let me know what color horse you prefer, and I’ll ride in on it.”

I let out a snort. “I’ll have to get back to you on that one.”

“You do that. Now, where are we going?”

I narrowed my eyes at her. “
We
aren’t going anywhere. I have an appointment.”

“Where?”

“A place I’d rather not share with you.”

She let out a puff of hair blowing her bangs off her face. “Luke, why do you refuse to let me help you?”

“Who said I wanted your help?”

“You need someone to talk to, I can be that person.” She raised her hand to her chest.

“Why the fuck does everyone keep saying I need to talk to them. My shrink, Mr. Scott, and now you.” I started to turn and walk away.
 

“I’m sorry. If you want me to go I will. Just say the words.” Her lips quivered.

“I thought I did.”
 
I shook my head, what was it about this girl. She wouldn’t go away, and for some reason I didn’t want Stacey to see her.
 

Again Chelsea wrapped her hands around my upper arm. I paused at the tingles from her touch.
What the hell?
“I won’t follow you, but in all seriousness, I’m here if you want someone that knows what’s going on.” With that she let go and turned back to the school. I shook off her touch and left.

Stacey greeted me with a grin that reached her eyes. Our dinner the night before must have had more of an impact than I realized.
 

“Hey.” I tilted my chin down in a quick nod.
 

“Hey. Dr. Greenberg is waiting for you. Go on back.”

“Okay. Thanks.” I swept my hand through my hair as I passed Stacey.
 

At the office door I raised my hand to knock, but Dr. Greenberg opened it before I had a chance. “Come on in and sit down.” I followed her orders and took my usual seat on the sofa. “Yesterday I told you I had an idea of what you are dealing with.” She paused before rolling her office chair around the desk and stopping in front of me. Seated with her elbows on her knees, Dr. Greenberg studied me. “My colleagues and I believe you suffer from a disorder called Intermittent Explosive Disorder.”

I leaned back, using my hands to support my head, and focused on her words. “Intermittent Explosive Disorder, I don’t know what that means, but considering it’s got explosive in it, I guess it makes sense.” Dr. Greenberg nodded once. “So, what now?”

She let out a sigh, “Now we figure out what triggers your outbursts. But first, let me explain what it means.”
 

I got myself resituated and jerked my chin up for her to continue.

“We, my colleagues and I, believe that you overreact in certain situations. Like your reaction to Stacey the other day. Normally someone would not have to fight the urge to cause physical harm simply because they’d been addressed by the wrong name. This consistent overreaction and inability to control the outcome is what leads me to believe you have this disorder. You’ve always had a temper and I believe that the move and loss of your father has flipped a switch causing your temper to become uncontrollable. But the death and move aren’t your triggers.”

“Okay. Do you have any ideas what the trigger might be?” I asked.

“I have a few, but this is where I need your help. You have to be open and honest with me Luke.” Her eyes bore into me. She wasn’t angry, but she was serious. I wouldn’t get away with half-truths anymore. “Can you promise me that?”

Barely a whisper I answered, “Yeah.”

“Good. Then next week we refocus and start talking. I want to see you every day. I know you’re suspended, so no excuses.”

“Okay. I’ll be here.” I left without a goodbye or thanks to either Dr. Greenberg or Stacey.
 

CHAPTER ELEVEN

I worried through the weekend, always checking around corners or listening to Dave’s conversations with Mom. I hadn’t said anything again about school, so I wasn’t sure whether or not he knew about the suspension. I hoped he didn’t, and if that were the case I’d keep it that way. Since Dr. Greenberg wanted to see me every day I’d have an excuse to leave the house, limiting the number of questions Dave could come up with.
 

To my surprise the weekend passed without incident. I thought I was in the clear. Monday afternoon I wandered up to a group of guys that looked like they were in their twenties surrounding a girl who didn’t look much older. I shouldn’t have been out since Dave still thought I was in school. From a few feet away I watched the scene play out. Suddenly thankful I had left the house.
 

Damn, what was with all the asswipes lately? The girl told the guys to let her go repeatedly, but they wouldn’t back off. After the fourth time I interrupted them. One of them mouthed off to me and raised his arm to take a swing. Dave’s training came in handy for the first time. In a split second I dodged his fist then came back with a right hook that busted his nose. His buddies jumped in after that.

The next thing I knew a familiar voice rang through my ears. “So we meet again,” Officer Belmont said.
 

“Apparently so.” I placed my hands behind my back and waited for the click.
 

“You understand I have to take you in and hold you this time, right?”

“Whatever.” My head hung low. “Just get it over with.” There was a slight tug on my wrist and we were moving backwards towards the patrol car. I stumbled a couple of times before Office Belmont finally turned me around and let me walk forward.
 

The officer tucked my head down and I fell into the backseat of the car. It was becoming way too comfortable for my liking. I felt a vibration hum through the seat when the door slammed shut.
 

“You want to tell me what happened this time?” Officer Belmont asked while flopping down behind the wheel.
 

“Love to, but I can’t.” I answered with a snarky tone.

“Why not?” Officer Belmont flicked a switch on the dash. At the same time the car lurched forward.
 

“Cuz, like last time, I don’t remember what happened after the first punch was thrown.”

“Fine. Then let’s start with what you do remember.”

I recounted the last few hours for the officer. I’d left the house and went to find breakfast. From there I remembered heading to Dr. Greenberg’s office, and walking up to the guys picking on the girl. I continued to tell Belmont what I remembered. I didn’t remember anything else, until he’d shown up to haul my ass in.

That’s when the patrol car came to a stop at the back of the station. Officer Belmont held my door opened while I crawled out. His face showed no emotion, lips tight in a straight line and eyes focused over the top of the car. I wasn’t sure what would happen next, nor was I sure I wanted to know. The one thing I did know, Dave would have a heyday when I got home.
 

“What’s the number of the person you called last time?” Officer Belmont asked while we scuffled through the station.
 

“555-2010,” I recited.
 

Officer Belmont landed in his chair with a thud, and then picked up the phone. “Yes ma’am, this is Officer Belmont with the San Marcos Police Department.” He paused for a moment. “Yes, I’ll hold.”

I sat next to the desk and tried to understand what Officer Belmont was doing. I couldn’t hear the answer from Stacey. At least I presumed it was Stacey.
 

“Hello Dr. Greenberg. My name is…you do. Good. That will make this faster. I’m holding Mr. Pierce…”

“I’m not a fucking Pierce. Why does no one understand that?”
 

Officer Belmont chuckled, “Ahh yes, he is spirited.” He shook his head. “No, no I understand. Well we do have to hold him overnight. The fight was on a public property.”

“I have to go home.” My hands clenched so hard my nails bit into my palms drawing blood.
 

Belmont didn’t respond, just finished the conversation with a simple “goodbye” and hung up. His eyes turned down to my hands then lifted to my face. “That isn’t a possibility. You attacked a man in the middle of the day. Regardless of what the psychiatrist says, I can’t let you go.”

Before I knew what I was doing I dropped my head to the desk with a thud. “You don’t understand. I cannot stay here. My stepfather will beat the shit out of me anyway, but if I stay here he won’t stop until he runs out of steam and I’m laid up in the hospital.” I squared my shoulders and held the officer’s gaze. “I won’t stay.”

“You will. I’ll take care of your stepfather.”

“I’m glad you think so.” I scoffed.

“Son, I don’t think anything. I know. There are laws that I must work within, and laws that’ll protect you.”

Officer Belmont took me by the wrists and led me to the holding cell where I stayed the night. Sleep was impossible thanks to the tightness in my muscles. As the sun broke through the bar covered window, I wished I had somewhere else to go other than home. Being around Dave or my mother was far more than I was prepared to handle.
 

After signing all the necessary papers and retrieving my belongings I went to the one place I felt safe: Dr. Greenberg’s office.
 
I no more than walked through the door when I hit a brick wall. Stacey’s arms tightened around my neck and I stumbled under the added weight. She slowly pulled back to study my face before saying anything. My body shivered when she ran her fingers down my cheek. “God, you look awful. What happened? All Lissa, I mean Dr. Greenberg, would tell me was that you’d been detained.”

BOOK: Fight for Love
7.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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