Going for A Walk

#strongwomen #writer #author #entrepreneur #blog #blogger #canadian #alberta #chapter #romance #drama #novel #asaviourspath #excerpt #writing

Lanie tried to scream, but the hand that had pulled her into the dark room was over her mouth, and too strong. Temporarily paralyzed, she tried to catch her breath. In an instant, she came to her senses and jabbed an elbow into the wall of muscle behind her, as hard as she could. There was a sharp exhalation of breath, but the hand didn’t let up. Sucking skin into her mouth, she bit down, tasting the sweetness of blood. At the same time, she stomped her foot down the length of his shin, doing her best to crush the top of his foot with all her might. The hold on her mouth loosened enough for her to duck away, and she spun, bringing her knee up for a groin-shot. But then, suddenly, she was looking at the man’s feet.

“And now I get to kidnap you to my lair,” said a dark voice above her.

“Put me down, Jake!” She knew better than to try and swing up to free herself. This was exactly the same way he’d caught her when they’d been fighting behind the bunkhouse all those weeks ago. How hadn’t she seen it coming? “Our session doesn’t start until your lunch break!”

“Have you been doing the exercises I showed you?” he asked accusatorially as he continued to hold her upside-down, like a doll, from one knee. “Scanning your surroundings? Never leaving your back to a potential hiding place?”

Maybe she could bite his ankles. Swinging forward, she yanked his scrub pants up above his hairy leg and bared her teeth. But before she could maul him, he dropped her on her head.

“Ow!” She got back up, rubbing her head and neck. After regarding his disapproving face, she swung back her fist and tried to deck him, but he caught her, then kissed her roughly.

“You need to be more careful,” he chastised, and she realized that he was breathing hard. From exertion or desire, she didn’t know. “You’re better than this. I’ve seen it.”

Half a million comebacks came to her mind, but instead, she traced a path down his throat and gave him an angelic smile. “Yes, Master. I won’t let you down next time, I promise.”

Leaving him slack-jawed and flummoxed, she left the storage room and continued up the stairs to Ben’s room.

Ben had his glasses on when Lanie walked in, and her heart nearly stopped at the provocative sight. Adrenaline still pumped through her from her encounter with Jake. After almost two months of recovery, Ben was finally able to sit up in bed without raising it, and sketched intently on a piece of paper. Even though he still had to wear his hospital scrubs, he’d zipped a dark blue hoodie up over top. He’d trimmed his beard since yesterday, and the smell of a recent shower lingered in the room on wisps of hickory and cedar. He had his headphones on, and his long, bare foot tapped against the end of the bed as he hummed. Still too long, his hair curled against neck with roguish mischief. His low, thick brows arced gracefully over his eyes like satin ribbons, just below the border of the huge round glasses. The dark purple made his eyes especially pale, like pristine ice crystals on a sunny winter’s day. The glasses sat neatly on his nose and curved over his slightly pointed ears. From the corner of his mouth, the tip of his tongue peeked. He made careful strokes on the page with tapered, sure fingers brushed with fine hairs and threaded with blue veins.

She crept to him and plucked the headphones from his ears. He started, his lashes fluttering like butterflies behind glass. “Oh. Hey, Lanie!”

Still riled-up and unable to help herself, she touched a finger to the frame of his glasses, following the arm to his hairline and tucking a wavy lock behind his ear. “Hey, yourself, Doctor.”

His brows scrunched together, and she smoothed them, then gently massaged his stubbly cheeks and jaw. His breath caught, and his pupils swelled with dark heat as his eyes fixed on hers. Unsure of what possessed her, she burrowed into his hair, leaning forward to smell the fruity scent of his shampoo. Her nose found the place where his neck sloped into his shoulders under his soft hoodie, and the lotion on his skin was addictive. He was so warm and delectable, and it would be so easy to kiss him, as he sat there with his silvery eyes shimmering and reflecting her own desires tenfold. Even if he was bedridden and couldn’t do much, unlike Jake, what would it be like to steal just one kiss? 

No, that would ruin everything. She reluctantly withdrew her hand before he got the wrong idea. What was she doing? There was a time, years ago, when she would have given anything for him to notice her. She’d considered it beyond the most remote fantasy that he would ever feel the same way about her that she had about him. But everything was different now. Sure, she wasn’t an eleven-year-old girl that no seventeen-year-old boy would ever think twice about. But she also wasn’t a dreamer. Not anymore. She was a monster. A beast to his beauty.

A scuffle in the hallway outside the closed door caught their attention and broke the moment. “There goes another one,” Ben sighed. “I think someone dies here at least five times a week. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to be next.”

Her mind violently rejected the thought. “That’s not going to happen. You’re on the mend.”

Continuing to stare at the door, he played with the tubes in his arm. He was down to only one IV needle now, in the hand grasping the notebook. She tipped it. “Whatcha got there, B?”

He cleared his throat, then smiled at her. Proudly, he held it out to her. “I’ve been working on it all day!”

Lanie kept her face neutrally pleasant as she tried to understand what she was seeing. It looked like a person. Maybe. Was it supposed to be abstract? She could vaguely make out a face, and what looked like a cloud or a bush behind it, and a stick coming out of its torso.

“It’s really something. Good job.” Her voice broke slightly. Biting her tongue and not looking him in the eye, she handed it back to him.

“Thanks! I thought it was a pretty good likeness.” Dimples flashed as he beamed at her proudly, and chewed the gum he’d had concealed in his cheek.

She really shouldn’t speak, but her curiosity burned. “A likeness of…?”

He widened his eyes. “Well, you, of course.”

“Me?” she squeaked.

“Yes, Lanie. See, that’s your hair.” He pointed to the misshapen cloud-thing. “And that’s your sword. You’re my guardian angel. My knight in shining armour.”

“Mmm.” She nodded gravely, holding her breath.

“Lanie? What’s wrong with you?”

She couldn’t hold it in anymore. A laugh escaped. At his startled expression, another one flew from her mouth. And then she was bent over double, holding her stomach and chortling so hard she could barely breathe. In only one second, he was joining her, the deep melody the most beautiful music she’d ever heard.

“Ah, Ben.” She gasped, picking up the paper gingerly. “I’m sorry, but that’s the most horrendous thing I’ve ever seen.”

He punched her arm. “I’d like to see you try to capture my handsome good looks.”

“Ha! Even I wouldn’t subject a sheet of paper to such cruelty.”

She wasn’t expecting his light touch as he gently cupped her face. Dizziness overcame her as he hit her with the full force of his eyes, accentuated by those obscene glasses. “Admit it. You think I’m sexy.”

Her brain couldn’t quite form words. “I…”

“I bet you dream about me.”

His voice was like a mountain echo, borne on a cinnamon-flavoured breeze. His fingers were fire on her face, igniting every part of her body. She was falling into the clear, silvery pools of his eyes. Floating. Weightless. It was so peaceful. This was nice, actually. Nothing else existed in the world. Everything was shimmering like silver tinsel, wrapping around her and leaving her with nothing but a profound sense of wholeness.

“Earth to Lanie. Hello! Is anyone in there?” The spell broke as he rapped his knuckles on her head.

She blinked in confusion as she found herself back in the hospital room. “Huh?”

“You’re looking at me like I’ve got something growing out of my forehead. Was it something I said? I was just joking about the steamy dreams, you know. I know you don’t feel that way about me. At least, I don’t think you do.”

His hopeful, inquisitive expression filled her with guilt, and she moved away. She really shouldn’t lead him on. She was just leading herself on, if she was being honest. But it was so difficult not to. What if she did give in to his overtures? What would their life be like? Would he go on the run with her? Would he be willing to change his name and stay on a remote island until their dying days? Would she be able to protect him if something went wrong? Something was always going wrong where Ben was concerned. Everyone kept telling her that he was only clumsy around her, but she maintained that he was impulsive, insubordinate, and insolent. He refused to listen to her, and during all the emergencies they’d had in Africa, he’d managed to make things worse. She would be constantly on the verge of a heart attack every day of her life with him. If only there was a way to keep him safe and sound in this hospital forever, with Jake only a phone call away if Ben got up to no good.

Now that he was eating and taking his physio a little more seriously, she hadn’t felt this relaxed in months. For once, she always knew where he was, and that he was staying alive.

“You’re something else, Ben. Let’s just leave it at that.” If she held firm, he’d move on. He just wasn’t used to being rejected. All he had to do was look at a woman to get her into bed. Lanie would take him up on it if that was all he wanted. But he’d gotten under her skin, and his disappointment that she wouldn’t take things further with him would be acutely uncomfortable. “Anyway, I came back for the guitar before I go meet up with Jake.” The blow hit home, and his eyes shadowed behind his falsely cheerful face.

Thanks for Stopping by!

I hope you liked what you saw. What did you think of the topic? Leave a comment and start a discussion with your thoughts! Don’t forget to like and share with your best friends, mortal enemies, and everyone in between. Come back later to see if your icon appears in my subscriber cloud! Even better, validate my work by leaving a tip to support this (not actually) starving author. You can also support my company, Planet Hope Christian Enterprising, by donating to our crowdfunds on at GoFundMe and FundRazr down below. We are a non-profit providing pay-what-you-can creative and communication services to individuals and organizations – including you! By donating, you can help us reach our goal to provide top-rate creative and support services to charities and others who would like our help. But we can’t do it without your support, so even if you can’t give financially, please like, share, subscribe, and comment. Many blessings to you today and every day.

Never miss a post!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
~ Romans 15:13


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s