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Love of a Soldier II

When you left me there alone, HE glared at me with fire in HIS eyes. “Who was that?!” HE demanded, gesturing harshly after you.
“I told you about him, Travis,” I said gently. “That was Jacob. We were engaged. He went to war, and I met you.” I moved as if to hug HIM, but HE pushed me away, disgusted. “What’s wrong?”
HE shook his head and left me there in front of the apartment complex, wiping blood from HIS face. “Travis!” I called after HIM. “Travis, please! Tell me what’s wrong!” HE didn’t look back.
I ran after HIM. “Travis, what’s wrong? Please tell me,” I begged. I didn’t even notice that HE was following you. I didn’t see you look back at the sound of my voice.
HE grabbed my shoulders. “You can go back to your precious Jacob,” HE snarled. He grabbed my left wrist and pulled it roughly up to my eye level. HIS grip was so tight that I couldn’t even wiggle a finger. “I’m done with you!” HE yanked the ring that HE had presented me with from my finger.
“Travis, stop,” I begged. I didn’t notice you turning, watching, the vein in your temple pulsing with rage. Without warning, HE dropped my hand and slapped me hard across the face. I fell, crying, to the ground. In the next few moments, I saw curtains twitch, as if I was being watched. I hoped that maybe, just maybe, someone would come from one of those houses and help me. I was wrong.
HE pulled me to my feet, screaming at me to get up and run to “my precious Jacob.” In fact, you were running back to me, and right after HE slapped me to the ground again, you punched HIM savagely across the jaw.
“You.” Punch. “Will.” Punch. “NEVER.” Punch. “Hurt her again!” Punch, punch, punch. HE was out cold.
Compassion and love in your eyes, you lifted me, cradled me in your combat-hardened arms. You let me cry into your shoulder as you carried me back to my apartment. You laid me gently in my bed, tucked me in although I was still dressed, and slept on the couch, my ever-present guardian.
The next day, police came to my apartment, accusing you of aggravated assault. “No!” I cried. “Jacob was protecting me!”
“Who was he protecting you from?”
“Travis Chenly.”
“The man who was left to die on the street?”
“His injuries weren’t fatal, nor did they even have the potential to be,” I snorted.
“You don’t know that. Isn’t Mr. Chenly your fiancée?”
“He was,” I replied cautiously.
“And why would you need protecting from your fiancée?”
“He slapped me twice. Both times he knocked me to the ground.”
“But you’re engaged to him?”
“Mr. Chenly took back my ring last night. After which he slapped me twice,” I added acidly.
“But is the wedding cancelled? On the books?”
“No.”
“So, technically, Mr. Chenly is still your fiancée, in which case Mr. Dawson here had no business interfering with your and Mr. Chenly’s discussion, and is therefore under arrest for aggravated assault.” The police handcuffed you and led you to the squad car.
The trial was set for three days later. In that time, I arranged for a lawyer for you and visited you every day after you were done consulting with him.
On the second day, you reached through the bars to gently touch the bruise on my cheek. “I’m not sorry,” you whispered. “I’m not sorry I hit him.”
“I am,” I replied. “I’m sorry he ever came to the diner.” A single tear rolled down my cheek. You brushed it away gently with your rough fingers. “I’m sorry I left you.”
“I didn’t give you much of a choice,” you countered. When I turned my face away, ashamed, you gripped a bar with one hand and tipped my face back towards you with the other. “I forgive you,” you whispered. “I’ll always forgive you, Adrianna.”
I didn’t know how to reply. Instead, I pressed my fingers first to my lips, then to yours.
At the trial, HE glared at me when I sat behind your table instead of HIS. I held my head high throughout the trial, though I was terrified. The judge, luckily, was a reasonable man who let you off with only 30 days in jail.
What I didn’t foresee when I rejoiced and kissed you right there in the court room, was that HE would come back.



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