Week 246 – I can explain

She was finally afraid of him.

She should be, but Adam felt he didn’t like knowing that Zara now feared him.

It was his own fault, he’d jumped to conclusions and was glad he hadn’t acted and done something he couldn’t take back. Like kill her.

When he returned with his first aid kit and supplies he found Zara huddled on the couch, her face tight with pain, her eyes wide with fear. She shrunk away from him and he hated it.

“I can explain,” he said as he knelt on the floor beside the couch, and began to clean the gunshot wound with a wet cloth. “I knew that man too. His name is Warren Warrick and he’s the one who killed the rest of my team. I was taken alive to a remote camp, tortured for almost three weeks for information, I killed him when I escaped. I was medically discharged when I returned to the States, and I moved my family out here, to what used to be my maternal grandparents estate. Its remote, has good security, I thought I could defend it, defend them, here. Turns out I was the threat they needed protection from. But Warrick and whoever he was working for must have found out you were here, decided to take out both of us.”

Zara was staring at him wide eyes. “I didn’t know. I swear, Adam, I didn’t know he did that to you. I’m so sorry. I told you this was my fault. My father likes to keep tabs on me, he must have had me followed, or bugged my things or something. I’m so sorry, but I swear I didn’t lead him here on purpose.”

“I believe you.” He did, too. “This is going to hurt,” he told her as he held up a sterile pair of tweezers. “Bullet is still in there, I need to get it out.”

She nodded, her skin a sickly gray, her jaw clamped tightly together. She looked prepared but he was the one who hesitated, feeling queasy at the thought of causing her more pain.

But he did what had to be done. Removing the bullet, ignoring Zara’s whimpers, then cleaning and bandaging the wound.

“What are we going to do now?” Zara asked after she’d taken the painkillers he’d offered.

He had a plan, but he had no idea if Zara would be willing to go along with it. If she didn’t he’d leave her here, get her to hide, then call he cops, leaving her safety in their hands. It didn’t sit well with him but he wouldn’t force her to go with him if she was afraid of him now. “Do you trust me?”

Her brown eyes met his squarely, there was fear in them, pain too, but when she spoke her voice was firm. “I trust you.”

Adam felt his entire body sag in relief. He’d only met this woman yesterday but there was something about her that touched him in places he’d thought were broken, damaged beyond repair. He would protect her with his life.

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