Chapter 10 –

            Ryan was walking down the sidewalk back to Leslie’s apartment with grocery bags in his hands. He remembered talking to her about thirty minutes before when they had gotten into another argument about her being alone and about him trusting her enough to not do something stupid. And even though he knew that she was probably fine, he still had a bad aching feeling in the pit of his stomach.

            It’s probably nothing. She’s tough enough to handle herself for a few minutes.

             Even though he was thinking this he picked up the pace and hurried back as quickly as he could without running.

            Less than five minutes later he was unlocking the door with his new key and entering the silent apartment. Immediately he sensed something was wrong.

           “Leslie?” he called cautiously. No answer. He called again, but was confronted with the same result. Silently, he placed the bags he’d been holding down on the ground before going to inspect what was going on.

            But he didn’t have to search for long because as soon as he made a step towards her room the door slung open, revealing a very angry and very drunk looking Greg. Ryan felt his heartbeat accelerate. There was a satisfied smirk on Greg’s face and it only made Ryan want to kick his ass even more than usual.

           “Where is she?” his fists were clenched and he was trying to control his breathing.

           “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The second the words had left his mouth, Ryan had him shoved up against the wall with his arm pressed tightly against his throat.

           “Where is she!” he shouted. A choking noise was released from Greg. Thinking he was trying to tell him, Ryan loosened his grip.

            “In Hell,” he forced and it was the last straw.

            “Oh, she’s not in Hell. But you will be.” And before he had time to think about it, Ryan grabbed Greg’s head and snapped his neck, killing him instantly. His body dropped to the ground lifeless and cold.

            “Say hi to my dad for me.” He muttered before barging into Leslie’s room. She was curled on the floor, unconscious and absolutely still. Panic rose within Ryan and he rushed to her side, shouting her name again.

            “Come on, wake up. Please wake up, Leslie.” He pushed her hair from her face to reveal an ugly yellow bruise wrapped around her neck. In the morning it was sure to be blue.

            “I never should’ve left you alone. I’m so sorry.” He mumbled, his hand caressing her cheek gently. She stirred in his arms as her eyes flickered open.

            “Ryan?” She breathed out painfully, dried up tears in her eyes. He let out a sigh of relief.

            “Yeah, it’s me, Leslie. I’m so sorry that I left you by yourself, I should’ve stayed with you.” He didn’t care that he was on the verge of saying something that he was certain he would regret later on. And he didn’t care that he was actually feeling real genuine feelings for once.

            “Where’s Greg?” She whispered, sitting up slowly as he held onto her.

            “He’s gone. He won’t ever be able to hurt you ever again, I promise.” She looked up at him confused.

            “What do you mean he’s gone? Where’d he go?” There was a look of hurt and panic in her eyes that Ryan couldn’t understand. Wasn’t she happy that her abusive brother was gone from her life for good?