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Pen Your Pride

Ryan's P.O.V

"He what?" I exclaimed in disbelief. I felt the rage take over me but she grabs my hand, and the two of us sit near a table.

"He used to hit you?" I whispered, my voice barely audible. She looks at me wide-eyed and nods. I pinch the bridge of nose trying to calm down.

"I was twenty- six when I first started dating him. He was so nice and treated me so well."

"So when did it all go downhill for you?" I asked as I took her hand into mine squeezing it gently, reassuring her to continue.

"About a year into the relationship, when one night he got really drunk and I found out that he cheated. When i confronted him about it, he started hitting me, calling me ugly, a slut, and that nobody would want me.

I got tired of the abuse and I hit him as hard as I could, giving him the scar he has above his eye but he smacked me back, knocking me out. When I woke up, I felt blood running down the side of my face. I looked in the mirror and saw the gash above my eyebrow. That same night he fell asleep, was the same night I got out of there."

"So how'd you get to LA?" I asked.

"My cousin got me a job at the steakhouse a few blocks away from here and I earned enough money through tips." She answered looking down at her hands. "I guess you don't want me anymore." She sniffed as a year fell out hitting the cobblestone.

"Hey don't ever say that about yourself. You are the most beautiful girl I've ever met and the point is that you got away from that son of a bitch before he did something worse." I said as I cupped her face for her to look at me. I tucked a loose strand of red hair behind her ear.

"So what happened back there?" I asked as we started walking back to the hotel hand in hand.

"Do you really want to know?"

"Yeah, I wanna know what happened."

"Okay, I was coming out of the bathroom when I bumped into a guy. I thought it was you or my mom's boyfriend so I apologized. But then I realized it was him when he grabbed me by my hair and pulling forcing me to kiss him."

I stopped dead in my tracks. "He what?" I demanded her to answer me.

"I head butted him breaking his nose and kicked him in the nuts and ran off." She said trying to calm me down, and yet weirdly enough she succeeds at it.

I sighed heavily. "Are you okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine." She said letting a huge sigh of relief.

She runs her fingers over her scar and doesn't wince at the pain.

"Hey it doesn't hurt anymore." She smiles. I haven't seen her smile like that before.

"I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. You're the first person I told in a long time." She said as she wrapped her arms around my waist.

We finally arrive at the hotel at around 8:30.

"When's the next flight to Paris?" She asked.

"We have to be at JFK at midnight. But until then, I'd say you and I should go play mini golf at pier 25, I heard it just opened."

"Really? But I don't know how to play. I mean I've never went before." She squeaks out looking embarrassed. She looks completely adorable the way her face turns pink.

"Don't worry, I'll teach you."

We walked upstairs and changed clothes. I got dressed in my New Divisions t-shirt with navy blue pants and converses. I looked in the mirror, man I look tired. But then again I've been up since 3 a.m. Watching Nick Swardson clips on YouTube.

Kim was in Amanda's room getting ready. I guess she didn't want me to see her yet. I go into a shopping bag and take out a small black box that read Kay. I heard the door open and I quickly shoved the box into my pocket.

"Hey Kim, you ready to go?" I said as I turned around and my jaw drops when I see her. She's dressed in a white sleeveless MODE crop top showing her midriff, high-rise jean shorts, and black high-top converses. Her red hair is now straight and of course she's wearing her coke-bottle glasses. She looks so young even though she's almost twenty-nine.

"What?" She asked raising an eyebrow at me.

"Huh? Nothing, you just look stunning."

"Are you sure? I don't know I think look slutty in this." She said as she walked in front of the mirror and looked at herself.

"You look fine." I reassured her as I wrapped my arms around her waist and kissed her on the cheek.

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