Sequel: Faith
Status: Complete.


"How am I ever going to fight him?"

It took every goddamn ounce of self-control he possessed not to throw Jade over his shoulder and carry her to her bed, and have her then and there. It didn't even have to be a bed, just somewhere that he could appreciate every soft inch of her in private. Something about that one moment had overtaken him so completely that there was no choice, no thought, he just had to kiss her.

And now he had to stop himself from doing it again and again, Jade's cheeks were flushed, her breathing shallow, her pupils dilated, hair a mess as she continued to stare at him. Everything about her screamed to be kissed more, ravaged, begged to be satisfied. He wanted her so much it hurt.

But no, not yet. For Jade, he would be patient.

"So if it's not about ..." she motioned her hand back and forth as she said it. "This, then what is it about?"

"I told ya, doll, I gotta train."

She looked away, her eyes focused on some unfixed point in the distance, hand tugging at her ponytail while she thought in silence. And then her demeanor changed entirely, her face paling as she held a hand up to shield her eyes from the sun. Tommy didn't need to know the threat to sense it, immediately tensing; something was very, very wrong. "No." Jade's whisper was quiet.

Tommy followed her line of sight. A man stood far in the distance, his only discernible feature blonde hair that reflected the sunlight.

Jade started trembling in front of him. "No, it can't be him."

Tommy was already running, ready to pounce and beat the last breath out of the man that had caused Jade so much pain and fear. He wasn't even halfway down the block before the man had climbed into a car and sped away. Tommy stopped, tracking the car with his eyes, memorizing the sleek black Caddy as it pulled away. Only when it was out of sight did he started making his way back to Jade.

She was sitting on the steps, arms around her waist as if to hold herself together, head down between her knees. She was rattled, there was no doubt. She didn't even seem conscious of his presence, just mumbling "it was him, it was him" over and over as she sobbed.

"Jade," he whispered while reaching out to her. But she didn't seem to notice, tears now wetting the pavement by her feet.

"It was him, it was him." Over and over. Tommy didn't know what to do, his body frozen with uncertainty. What did she need to snap her out of this?

He sat next to her and tried to pull her into his arms, but she twisted away, breaking his heart a little as she did. So they just sat, silent, Jade breaking down with Tommy next to her, clueless as to what to do.

So he finally spoke to her, his voice soft in her ear, sharing the secret that burned in him everyday. "You know my pop used to beat us?"

That seemed to calm her panic and bring her back to reality. Her head snapped up, eyes red from crying. "You never told me-"

"Nah, never talk about it to no one. Don't need to. It's why I stopped wrestling, started fightin'. Dad didn't listen to nothing but fists when he found himself in the bottle." Jade was staring at him, eyes glazed. "I know what you're thinkin'. And you can't stop picturing me in a singlet now, can you?"

Her responding snort caught them both by surprise, her hand flying to cover her mouth as the giggles started. Better than crying, he supposed. Every time she seemed to quiet down, her eyes would meet his and the giggling would start up again. Tommy pulled her into his chest again, and this time she didn't pull away.

"You okay now, doll?"

Jade heaved a sigh into his shoulder, her breath tickling at his skin. "How am I ever going to fight him?"

"You won't have to. We'll figure something out." She pulled away, his hands automatically moving to wipe the last of her tears away from her cheek. Holding her face like this, he couldn't help but want to kiss her again and again. But he stopped himself. Now was certainly not the time. "What's he doin' here with the order and all?"

"Checking on me, I guess. He was far enough away not to get in trouble." Jade looked away, tugging at her ponytail as she did. "How am I going to be safe while you're training, Tommy?"

"Like I said, we'll figure something out."
♠ ♠ ♠
Someone want to teach me how to add bold and italic wording? Is it just HTML?

Thanks to all of you again, for taking the time to read and comment!