37// Derek

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I feel like I'm drowning. The guilt is consuming me, I still haven't found her. The tracker is still not online, I haven't been home, I've barely eaten or slept because every time I close my eyes, I see her alone and scared, screaming for me, and I can't get to her.

My guilt has only gotten worse since her parents got into town, along with Grace. It's why I didn't even do anything as she stormed right up to me, screaming in my face, that I didn't deserve Tori if I couldn't protect her.

I just stood there as she cried, screamed, and pounded her fists on my chest until Jack dragged her away.

Because she's right I don't deserve Tori, I didn't protect her like I promised and swore that I would.

It doesn't matter how many times Deacon tells me over the phone that it's not my fault, it doesn't matter how many times  Jack tells me to my face, or that her parents don't blame me, I blame me... that will never change.

"I thought you could use this" I looked up from my desk just as my eyes land on Tori's mother, holding out a cup of coffee to me.

Nodding my head and take the cup from her, just as she takes a seat next to my desk and looks at me, sadly but also softly.

"Thank you, Mrs. Winters," I mumbled and took a sip of the hot liquid, I haven't really spoken that much to Tori's parents, since they got here last night mostly because I couldn't look them in the eye knowing that I failed their only daughter.

"Please call me Hillary" She smiles sadly at me but keeps her gaze on mine.

Kind of like she's looking into my lost soul.

Before Tori I didn't let anyone in because the more people who you let into your life, is just more people you can let down or lose.

But somehow, she got through my walls, and I let her in, I finally know how it feels to let someone truly into my heart and see a side of me that nobody other than Deacon ever has.

And Tori she saw me in a whole other light, she made me better and she made me feel again and the last few days I have been living in complete terror that I'm going to lose her.

"I can see how much you love my daughter, which is why you need to let go off all this guilt that you are carrying with you" I hear Hillary say, which snaps me out of my own thoughts.

Moving my eyes from the coffee-cup to her eyes, the same eyes that Tori has.

"I failed her...I should have protected her and saw the connections in the cases to an officer under my commend and I didn't....now she's lost" I argued.

"Derek, from the moment she told you what was happening here. You've have not only protected her, but you brought her spark back again" I looked at her confused.

"When she was a little girl, she was full of life, so happy and bubbly. She made others around her feel the happiness that was always rolling off her, it was the same all through high school, but once she went to college and met Jeremy-;"

I accidentally cut her off with a growl when hear that dipshits name.

Hillary smirks at me for a moment.

"I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like the ass-hat" 

"Sorry" I mumbled,

"Don't ever be sorry for loving my daughter and hating those who hurt her"

"Anyways when she got with him, I slowly saw and heard that spark leave her. She was still happy with her job and her friends, but sometimes when I used to talk to her, she wasn't the bubbly Tori she was back at home, she never mentioned anything about her relationship with me, but he was always saying little remarks about her friends, her clothes and what she eat"

She sighed sadly, shame and guilt flashing in her own eyes.

"I knew I should have punched the asshole when he showed up here, but Tori beat me to it" I grumbled.

"That's my girl for you....he never showed her love or affection not like a man who claims to love a woman should. And I hated that she stayed with him for so long, I hated that she had to go through that pain and betrayal with him and Mia, before she left him"

I just stayed silent as she talks about her daughter and the woman I love.

"It was a lot worst the last few months after that, she had no light to her at all, not even the little that I saw when she was him, he broke her and I feared that she will never find her spark again....but she did when she met you"

I held her stare for what seemed like forever.

"She bought me back to life, she made feel again" I admit.

"The day she called me to rant about her neighbour, I didn't think much off it until she said you're name and that's when I knew she would fall in love with you, that you were what she needed"

"The day I met her she punched me in the face and only came to apologize when she learnt I was a cop, not that it was much of an apology though, but damn she made me smile, made something inside of me feel again" I laughed as I remember the day I met Tori.

Letting my laugher die off as I just stare ahead, it hurts to think of her because she should be here with us.

"I haven't even told her I love her; I should have told her..." I broke off, feeling my eyes water.

I was just waiting for all this to be over; I was just waiting for her to be safe until I could tell her and then we could start our life together without the fear.

Feeling Hillary pat my arm gently as I turn my stare back to her.

"You will get a chance to Derek, that I'm sure off, not only in my gut but my heart too" she says softly to me.

Getting ready to reply just as Jack rushes through the office door and his eyes lock on mine and the whole universe shifted as he spoke.

"Dolton just called; he's got a location on her"

Loving Derek (River-Cove Series: Book 1) ✓Where stories live. Discover now