Chapter 18 | The Girl was Afraid

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"How long could this take? You take a file out of the drawer, you hand it over. How hard is that? Maybe I can motivate them to speed up." she got up impatient, and leaned against the counter.

She heard him sigh and he got up too standing now next to her.

"Sorry this is taking so much."

"Hey, it's no problem."

Suddenly they heard footsteps coming from the counter, and a man walked in with a plastic pag and a folder.

"Miss, I have your file." he handed it to her. "And here it is." he placed the transparent plastic bag on the counter, labeled with the number 206.

She quickly posed her file, more interested on the bag with what would be her so hoped key of her past.

"What is this? Wool?" She mumbled as she opened the bag.

When she finally stretched it out and saw a white baby blanket, her name Emma knitted in pink wool, she brought it closer to her face and it smelled like plastic, but not all that. It also smelled like something else that she couldn't recognize but was comforting, was familiar.

Only when she sniffed, she realized she had tears rolling down her face, but she didn't care. This was her baby blanket. She had found her baby blanket.

She then remembered to look for evidence. A tag, anything. She turned it upside down, scoured it and nothing. There was no brand, no tag. It had to be hand-made.

She let out a sob as she placed it away, looking now through her file.

"It's the same damn article." she murmured before sniffing again, trying not to let tears fall on the papers.

There was nothing else.

"I'm sorry." she heard his voice, and felt his hand on her lower back.

No. This couldn't be happening. She needed answers. She's come too far for this. She's hoped too high for this.

"Something's missing. Can you just take another look?"

"That's all there is." the man replied.

"Just look again."

"Miss-"

"Okay, you know what? I can look."

"Emma, calm down." she heard him, she heard him so right.

But she couldn't anymore. Calm down? She had had enough calm.

She deserved this. She deserved some luck in her life. She had fought enough.

She couldn't see anything, nor she wanted to, wet tears on her eyes.

She tried to go behind the counter but he stopped her. He fucking stopped her.

"Step back or I'll have to call security!"

"I can just look through the file!" She was shouting now, screaming with anger, with reason.

"Emma, It's a dead end. Look at me." he spoke again.

"You saw that folder. Things could fall out of the folder and other things!" and she was holding on his arms, trying to push him away, to let her in.

"Come on, Swan, you're grasping at straws." but he was pushing back, he was too strong. She was too weak.

"Straws are all I have! That's it! That's... straws are it!" and it was at that exact moment that she broke down. That she let someone hold her for once. That she gave up trying.

He grabbed her, his strong long arms wrapping her, and she felt protected from the world, like no one could hurt her, like the pain had gone. She was no longer in the courthouse. She was just in his arms.

"Calm down, everything is going to be okay." he kept saying lowly. "Calm down."

She wanted to sob, she wanted to scream, but she couldn't even breathe.

She felt little, she felt vulnerable, she felt innocent in his arms.
But at the same time, she felt strong and capable of anything.

He said everything would be okay, so it would.

"Let's go, come on." he brought his big hands and caressed her hair, pulling slightly apart to walk her to the exit.

"Wait- no, I don't want to give up." she turned around reaching for the counter, she was still here. She couldn't lose this chance. This couldn't have been all in vain.

"You should, Emma. Do it for yourself and start again, looking front ways this time." his voice was too warm, his eyes too into hers that she had to blink to break some connection.

"I can't- I don't know how." she sobbed.

"Well you're not alone for that." and when he had her face between his palms, he smiled at her and it was so damn comforting that she melted. "Okay?"

She nodded, sniffing once again, blinking back tears because the moment she had let her emotions show to him was over. She couldn't cry anymore.

She watched him grab her blanket and putting the plastic bag in the closest garbage bin.

He then gave the blanket to her, and she held it between her body and her arm while they walked out the building.

On their way home, he couldn't stop staring at her. He knew she wasn't there anymore. She was way lost in her thoughts then.

Her head was fallen against her window, her face emotionless, and her eyes not moving away from the white fluffy blanket on her lap.


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"Thank you for bringing me home." her voice was low but somehow happier. She was definetely calmer now. "And thank you for... being there with me."

He hated to see her eyes red, he hated to see her trembling.

"That could have ended a lot worse if you hadn't stopped me." she continued and she probably has never looked during so much time into his eyes. She had never been capable of this much.

The look of adoration on his face made her chuckle and she hugged him again in a way of thanking him or maybe because she had liked the feel of hugging him and now begged for more.

She didn't pull away totally to kiss him goodbye, and she doesn't know what happened after. Maybe it was her heart that for once spoke louder than her brain.

She leaned in to kiss him on the cheek but her lips touched the right corner of his.
She felt the warmth on her lips, the difference of texture of skin.

It was one long corner kiss, that if anyone had watched them would wonder what the hell was wrong with them.
It had been weird and surely looked weird. But it felt good.

She probably left him thinking she was stupid.
Gosh what the hell was just that?
A corner kiss?
The girl was afraid or something?

She then pulled away to leave the car, and before she closed again the door, she saw the look on his face. His lips were slightly parted and his eyes didn't leave her.

She sighed and closed the door.
She could have had more than a touch of part of his lips. She could have had her first real kiss right then and there with him.

But she didn't.

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