Catherine turned over in her sleep, as the beginning of a nightmare edged into her pleasant dreams of Daniel and her ballroom dancing in the garden.
He's coming, she thought in sheer panic. The blood ran down her temple, but she didn't notice. All she could hear was the sound of her pounding heart and the rush of adrenaline in her ears. He's going to kill me and dump my body and no one will ever find me. Her muscles tensed as he ran into her room, throwing furniture in a fit of rage and yelling obscenities. She closed her eyes as he ran into her bathroom and she cringed as she heard the glass shower door slam shut and shatter to her white marble floor. Terror had her muscles tightening, as he neared the bed again. Oh god, if you can hear me please let him just leave, she thought as her heart began to pump at an alarming rate. She was sure he could hear it. It beat so loud and it seemed to echo in her ears. Please, she thought. Just leave and never come back.
"Found you bitch."
Suddenly the bed was thrown aside and the killer slammed her against the wall, hard. Her whole body throbbed in pain and her vision blurred, then went black as he yanked her up by her long blonde hair. She screamed in pain and he slammed her against the closet doors. Her breath was stolen from her lungs, as he encircled her throat with his large callused hands. He shoved her against the doors and she almost threw up when she felt his hands travel further down. He's not only a killer, but he's a rapist. She went still with terror as his hands traveled over her hips and then suddenly she felt something metallic press to her back. A knife, she thought almost numbly. He's going to mutilate my body to the point where they can't identify me.
"You're going to die. Just like my brother did." He sank the knife into her side and she howled in pain, as her vision blacked out. The sensation of warm liquid pouring down her back made her realize he wasn't going to do this fast. He would stab her repeatedly with no guilt, no remorse. He would make her feel the pain of his brother's death through physical pain. So, this is what I get for letting a patient die at my hands, she thought almost in a daze as she started losing consciousness. He was a 32 male, critical condition, barely breathing and had broken almost every bone in his building. Car accidents rarely ended with happily ever after. Most ended in tear shed and heart-break. His case was no different. She had done everything she could have possibly done, but she knew from the beginning he wasn't going to make it. He was too damaged and lacked the will to live. Even that wouldn't have saved him though.
"No. You're not going to die, yet."
The killer yanked her up by her hair again and threw her onto the bed. His black eyes stared at her through the black face mask and she convulsed in terror as he turned and yanked out a bulk of rope from a large black bag. I can't let this happen, she thought defiantly. I have to at least put up a fight. First I need to distract him though. He started to lay out different sort of knives and even wipes on the floor. While he was busy emptying the bag she started to put a plan together.
"I tried to save him you know. I did everything I could."
Her voice was laced with fear and a bit of guilt. She couldn't save his brother's life. The only man he had in this world and she couldn't save him with all her medical skills. She wondered what he was like before all this had happened and before his brother had died. She remembered the detectives giving very vague details about him. Just that he was abandoned as a child and sent from foster home to foster home. Some were good and some were just down right disgusting. She remembered thinking of how bad she felt for him. Abandoned at a young age with no connection to anyone. No family or friends. That is until he met Fredrick McGregor in one of his good foster homes and that's how they grew close. They stayed together and when they turned 18, they moved out of their foster parent's home and got an apartment together. They were tighter than real brothers, their love so pure and unbreakable.
"I couldn't save him. Every bone in his body was broken, every single one."
Silently she eased off the bed and made it to the door, before he suddenly whipped around and saw she was no longer cowering in fear on the bed. Shit, she ran down the hall and felt pieces of glass mar her tender feet. She was numb to it though, as adrenaline pumped through her body at a fast rate. She could hear loud footsteps approaching her and she dove to the right into the guest bedroom slamming and locking the door simultaneously. He began to ram himself against it, but she was already a step ahead ramming anything large and heavy against it. When she was satisfied it would hold, she ran to the window and yanked it open, jumping onto the ledge of the window.
The sounds of yelling people and honking horns blared from below, while above the sound of air planes passing over head echoed throughout the air. Just don't look down, she thought as her fear of heights assaulted her. She started to edge sideways at a mild pace, until she heard the door give way. She felt for the ladder that led to balcony and almost wept with joy when she felt her hands clamp over a rung. She lunged for the ladder and screamed in terror as her feet missed and she was left dangling. Pull yourself up, she ordered her tensed body. She pulled herself up using all her upper body strength and sighed in relief, as she felt herself get a good grip.
"Trying to get away again? Naughty girl."
The killer's head hung out of her window and suddenly he was on the ledge and creeping slowly towards her. Thank god for the fear of heights, she thought as he tried to not look down. She began to scramble up the bars finally finding herself at the balcony. She ran into a full sprint not bothering to look over her shoulder to see if he was close. I'm not going to be like one of those dumb blondes that stop and look back just to get stabbed a second later. She yanked open the emergency doors and began to all bump jump down the many winding stairways. Her heart skipped a beat as she heard the emergency door open and the killer yell, he wasn't letting her get away again.
She put all her remaining strength and energy into running down the last 8 out of 33 flights of stairs, she seemed to breeze down. Her muscles cramped with pain and her breathing was coming in large gulps of air. She began to feel light-headed, as she shoved through the last door and ran into the lobby, where people stopped and watched her crash into a luggage cart. Everything else happened in a blur. She remembered hearing a man asking if she was alright and then a loud noise, as the killer slammed through the door, oblivious to the people surrounding him. He saw her and came running at her, but made it no more than two steps before a couple of brave men in suits subdued him and knocked him out.
Then suddenly she was yanked from her nightmare and into the real world. She bolted forward and clutched her hand to her racing heart. Sweat gleaned off her slick skin and she wiped it from her forehead. She threw the covers from her body and was about to strip off her now wet clothes for new ones, when she noticed that she wasn't alone. She screamed as she saw a figure standing beside her hidden by the darkness of the room. Lighting struck and thunder followed closely after. She sat paralyzed staring at the figure. All that ran through her head was killer. He escaped and came to kill me. Then the world went blank as she lost consciousness once again.
He sat over her patiently all night waiting, until she awoke the next morning. His eyes began to droop shut around two in the morning though, and he reluctantly gave in to sleeps hold. He was startled awake as a sharp gasp came from the bed. He leaned forward and the two front legs of the chair touched the soft rug without making a sound. When he looked up her face was a bright pink and he figured, she knew what had happened in her dream haze.
Of course you are, he thought. You would think that this is all your fault. He felt anger burn in his gut and had to rope it in, before it exploded. I have to be calm about how I approached her. She's like a deer, ready to flee at even the first rustle of a bush.
"What are you sorry for exactly? The fainting or the nightmare that caused you to scream and thrash in your sleep?"
He had bitten his tongue, as he felt a bit of a snap edge his words. She visibly flinched and he cursed himself as emotion filled her eyes.
"Aw, sweetheart I didn't mean to make you cry."
He joined her on the bed and bundled her up in his arms feeling no resistance at all as he laid back and let her burrow her head in his chest as she sobbed. When she had finally cried herself dry, they just lie there and listened to the sound of birds chirping brightly outside. Oblivious to anything other than the feel of her on, he lifted her chin and looked down into her stormy gray eyes. He slid his hand around her wrist and tested her pulse. He was positive heart shouldn't pump that fast. He began to lean forward, when color flushed up into her face and she took her hand back and sat up.
"I'm sorry Daniel. I just can't.."
He cut her off by getting out of the bed and putting the chair back in place. Deep breaths Daniel, he thought as he tried to douse the flames she seemed to stroke inside him. When he was sure he could handle himself with dignity, he turned around and looked at her. The color hadn't left her cheeks yet, and her eyes were heavy with desire... and fear. Mostly fear. Dammit, now he had screwed up. His eyes went hard when he saw that the shirt she wore was hiked up past her thighs and she followed his gaze and tugged it down.
"I normally sleep with pants on." She said in an attempt at humor.
He grunted. "Are you hungry?"
She nodded and he walked over to the door pausing only to tell her the directions to the kitchen and to help herself. She couldn't help, but ask where he was going. There was a pause before he said, "To take a cold shower." Then he slammed the door shut behind him and she was left alone in bed. Questions hovering on the tip of her tongue.
Why am I such an idiot, she thought numbly. She looked beside the bed and noticed he had brought in her luggage from the car. Guilt ate at her mind the whole morning. She had found the kitchen to be exactly where he said it would be. Everything was polished to a shine. Most of the kitchen was made of Natural Hickory Cabinets. The counters were made of a dark shaded granite and the floor was made of a darkly colored hardwood. Most of the appliances were stainless steel that shone from being polished.
Daniel watched as she rummaged hesitantly through the kitchen cabinets and fridge. She probably feels like she's invading my personal space. After searching she finally pulled out a salad and a glass of orange juice. He liked watching her he decided. She moved with a such effortless grace, he found himself entranced. She was wearing a pair of white denim jeans and a flowing tube top that beads hung from the bottom. Her hair was put up in a ponytail and he wondered what it would be like to undo it and watch as her hair fell around her bare shoulders.
He's watching me, she could feel his gaze hot on the nape of her neck. It gave a little thrill knowing he was there. She could still feel the sting of embarrassment at her rejection of his kiss earlier and felt her cheeks grow warm. When she heard footsteps behind her, she jumped startled and came face to face with Daniel.
"Enjoying my kitchen I see."
He stayed for another moment, before shouldering past her and toward the fridge. She leaned on the island in the middle of the kitchen and watched as he bent over to grab a beer. Nice butt, she thought and then almost doubled over with laughter. The sound surprised him so much that, he banged his head and came up scowling.
"What's so funny?" He couldn't help it, he thought. As his scowl turned into a grin. Her laugh was sultry and low and he could feel his heart warm over by the sound. When she had finally laughed her last laugh, she wiped away the tears streaming from her eyes and took a seat on a stool taking deep breaths.
"Oh, it was nothing important really." But her eyes shone with secrets and he felt himself grow curious and also challenged.
"Oh, come on. You can tell me. I'm great at keeping secrets." He leaned on the counter next to her. Making sure he was close enough to make her uncomfortable. Time to add some pressure, he thought. "I'm interested in what could've made you laugh like that."
He is way too close for me to think, she thought. Her heart was beating ten times faster than usual and her mind was becoming fuzzy. "Daniel..." She'd meant to say his name in a strong voice, but it came out in a low mummer. It broke through his confidence like a knife and he took a step back gritting his teeth against his arousal.
She didn't know what one word could do to a man. His hands felt confined in his pockets, so he ran them over the smooth granite top island. "Do you have something in mind for today Catherine. Seeing as the storm has blown away. Though I'd advice staying. I saw that the weather will grow worse tonight. I wouldn't want you driving through that."
She looked up at him with color still high in her cheeks and nodded. "I would like to go to the beach. If that's not too much to ask." She gripped her shaking hands together out of his sights and held her breath.
The beach with her would kill him, he groaned mentally, as a imagine of her in next to nothing flitted through his mind. How could he deny her though?