You’ve got your ball
you’ve got your chain
tied to me tight, tie me up again
who’s got their claws
in you my friend?
Into your heart I’ll beat again
Sweet like candy to my soul
Sweet you rock
and sweet you roll
Lost for you I’m so lost for you

– from Crash Into Me by The Dave Matthews Band

Press the kiss to see more Sinners and sins …

The first four months

She woke up to the sensation of his fingertips gently stroking her throat as she slept. His closeness bred both panic and comfort, a reaction that had kept them both on their toes throughout her recovery. She recoiled and paused, registering that it was only him, he looked at her in the half light of the early morning with patience and love. He smiled and drew her to him. She cuddled in against him, grateful for his strength and fortitude. Not just any man would have taken such a perfect approach in an emergency, let alone her healing and recovery. Medically he had been fully involved from moment one calming her as she’s slipped into the liquid numb of shock, pulling off his own shirt to stop the bleeding while he spoke in commanding tones on the phone to paramedics. As decisions were made around surgeons he had diligently leveraged every contact he had then sat in the hospital for hours, still, focused and alert, waiting until someone came to tell him it had all gone alright. When the reconstruction was complete and the bruises had faded to only shadows under her eye and along her jaw he had lovingly unwrapped the bandages and told her she was beautiful.
It had been four months. Four months that she’s been waking up screaming, four months of her jumping at her own shadow and four months of them sitting, hand in hand in the therapists office reliving those three minutes that left her scared, broken and with scars, some visible, some not, and left him with a tightly coiled snake of vengeance in his stomach.

The flesh and skin of the face bleeds like almost no where else on the human body because of how nerve-rich it is making it one of the most sensitive areas of the body. The capacity for blood in the face is also the reason we blush and why our lips swell with arousal, two sensations that she had honestly felt were lost for her in those harrowing four months.

Less than two minutes was all it took. The ambush, the attack, the interruption and the aftermath. She struggled to block out their voices, gruff, cold and aggressive, and their hands, rough, careless, determined. It had taken weeks for her to not wince at the sheen off of metal. A glinting fork, a car door handle in the sun, anything that brought back the memory of fluorescent lights on a switch blade, the way the acoustics of the car park pressed a muffled dimness on her screams and how her hands had looked as they came away from her face, wet and crimson.

Had he not been there in time … She couldn’t bear the thought of what may have happened. As soon as they were alone he’d laid her back into him, sitting on the cold concrete.

“I know you’re scared but you have to move your hands. You have to let me see what’s happened.”

He was pulling his shirt off. Calm, deliberate and intense.

“Don’t try to speak. Sshhhhh just let me help you…”

He pressed his shirt to her face, his arm wrapped around her firmly holding her against his chest. His other hand dialed his phone.

“Stay with me, you’re okay … Just listen to my voice …”

She tried, she tried to follow his voice but the whole scene slid sideways and she lost consciousness.

Twelve hours later he had sat by the hospital bed watching her sleep. Her face heavily bandaged, her eyelids thick with swelling. Thirty seven stitches to put her chin and lip back together, another sixteen smaller ones to suture the gash that ran from her collarbone to her chin. His eyes followed the lines carved in her skin. Just 1/4″ from her carotid artery the doctors had said, she’s very lucky they said.

Now in the grey morning light months later he watches her sleep again, his fingertips tracing the silvery scars on her throat. Every day he thinks of that night and every day he is a small step closer to the justice he is determined to enact for her.