Sequel: Faith
Status: Complete.


"I'll keep you safe, Jade."

Jade woke disoriented and groggy, head pounding as she took in her surroundings. First she registered hips against hers and a tell-tale hardness digging insistently into her back. Then she noticed the arms enveloping her completely before finally recognizing the tattoos snaking their way up said arms. "Oh shit!" she yelled, sitting up with a start before falling back down as her head started to spin.

"Morning, sunshine." His voice startled her, her heart racing as she tried to piece together the previous nights events. Tommy's pouty lips curved into a self-satisfied smile as he discreetly changed position beside her.

"Shit Tommy, did we ..."

"No! No! I'd never ... while you were ... No!"

Jade started to laugh then. Tommy was never flabbergasted, always cool, calm, and collected. "The mere hint of sex and you clam up on me, Tommy?" He started chuckling along with her then. "Oh fuck, that hurts," she moaned, pointer fingers finding her temples as she started to rub small circles over them.

Tommy carefully extracted himself from her, a single finger extended while he disappeared into the bathroom. He emerged moments later with a few pills and a glass of water, sitting next to her on the bed before offering up the contents of his hands to her. Jade sat up, taking the pills and gratefully gulping the water down before falling back onto the bed in an exhausted heap.

"Eggs?" Tommy offered with a raised eyebrow.

Jade nodded and followed his exit with her eyes before curling in on herself in the bed. How had she wound up in his bed, sleeping in his arms if nothing had happened? She closed her eyes and tried to focus, the snippets of her memory falling together until the big picture formed. The realization shot through her suddenly; she had asked him to stay. She had willingly surrendered to his arms when she was at her lowest.

Feelings bubbled to the surface, surprising her with their strength. Tommy was her trainer, her friend, nothing more. But could there be? He willingly took her in, held her in his arms last night. Did that mean something else might be possible? But he said he would never ...

"Breakfast," he announced as he re-entered the room, holding a bowl of steaming eggs to her before settling in with his own. "So ..."

"So?" she replied, confused.

"We need to talk about your Andrew problem, Jade." At that, she swallowed her eggs down too fast, burning her throat as they went. There lay the real issue, not Tommy. "How long until the order expires?"

"Two weeks."

"Fuck," came his response, his throat elongating the 'u' longer than necessary. "He knows where you live?" Jade nodded, terror starting to work its way through her stomach and up her throat. "Where you work?" Another nod. "Fuck!" He sat on the bed next to her then, tilting her chin up so that her eyes would meet his. His face was set with determination. "I'll keep you safe, Jade. We'll figure something out."

Her eggs weren't sitting right, not after the party that was in her stomach last night and the thought of Andrew coming back to finish her off. "Shit," she coughed, racing to the bathroom just in time to make it to the toilet before she puked.

Tommy crouched next to her, pulling her hair away from her face as she sobbed and threw up. He held a glass of water out to her when she was done, a look of sympathy on his face that she was not sure she deserved. "Better?" She nodded before standing and making her way back to the bed.

"Shit, Tommy, Nanna Paul needs breakfast," she moaned as she laid back down, eyes on the clock.

"Anyone you can call?" Jade shook her head no. "I'll go help her then." She opened her mouth to protest but Tommy cut her off. "You need to take care of yourself first, Jade. Listen to your trainer, for once. Now tell me what needs to be done."

Jade rattled off a short list of her grandmother's needs: breakfast, medication, emptying the bedpan. At that one she actually blushed, but Tommy shrugged it off as if he handled them routinely.

A few minutes later and he was gone, Jade snuggling into the comforter that smelled utterly of Tommy before closing her eyes. Her stomach was still uneasy. But now Tommy knew about Andrew. Tommy would help keep her safe.
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