He was just standing there staring at her.
Did he think she was lying?
It wouldn’t be the first time she had confessed the hell she had lived in only to have the person tell her she was making it up.
That Jonah would think she was just making it up hurt deeply. That was what happened when you loved someone, you handed them the ability to take your heart right out of your chest and smash it into a million pieces.
“If you don’t believe me then just turn me into the cops,” Katherine said, then rested her head on the coffee table. The smooth wood was cool against her burning skin. Her head ached so badly and blood had dribbled down and over her eye making it sticky and her eyelashes kind of stuck together every time she blinked.
Jonah said nothing and she presumed he had gone to dial 911.
It hurt to know what he thought of her but it was what it was. She couldn’t change it just like she couldn’t change her past.
A hand gently curled around her wrist, beside the cuff, and unlocked it, then lifted her hand and began to massage where the metal cuff had chaffed her skin.
Katherine looked up, surprised. Jonah wouldn’t meet her gaze, but he picked her up and carried her over to the sofa, setting her down and beginning to clean away the blood from her face. When he was done he spread a blanket over her, that’s so soft and fluffy she thought as she snuggled it up to her chin. She didn’t understand what was going on. Did Jonah just want to make sure it didn’t look like he had knocked her unconscious when the cops showed up?
“I’m sorry,” he said at last.
Sorry? “For what?”
“Hitting you, but mostly for believing that you could kill someone in cold blood when I know what kind of person you are. I should have known that if you did that then there had to be a good reason. Forgive me?”
That was not the reaction she had been expecting.
It caught her off guard.
She didn’t deserve Jonah. Not after she had lied to him about who she really was.
Katherine burst into tears, burying her face in her hands.
“Shh, don’t cry, Katie.” Jonah’s arms wrapped around her and she curled her hands into his shirt and held on tight. He was her lifeline. He didn’t know it but he was the only reason she was still alive.
This was the first time she had ever cried about what had happened to her and her tears lasted for a long time. Jonah held her, stroking her hair, rubbing her back, whispering words she couldn’t understand but the sound of his voice soothed her nonetheless.
“What happened to you, Katie?” Jonah asked when she finally fell silent.
She didn’t want to answer that.
She wanted to block out her entire life before she met him.
“Katie,” Jonah’s hands curled around her shoulders and he sat her up, holding her at arms length. “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me.”
She didn’t want his help.
Accepting it would be putting him in danger, and she could never risk her family hurting him.
“You can trust me, Katie,” he said as he brushed the back of his knuckles across her wet cheeks, collecting the tears that still lingered there.
It wasn’t about trust.
It was about protecting him.
“Please, Katie, tell me, let me help you.”
Hurt flashed through his deep blue eyes but he didn’t let it touch his voice. “Why not?”
“Because my step-brother isn’t the only one looking for me.”