"Shall we go home?" he asked casually, opening the car.

Jade didn't move. She stared at him like she was seeing him for the first time. A slight crease formed on Tyler's forehead and he came up to stop right in front of Jade.

"Jade?" he asked.

Before Jade could stop herself, she threw her arms around Tyler's waist, burying her face in his chest. Tyler looked more shocked than he would have looked if she had slapped him. Slowly, he wrapped his arms around her shoulders and waited till she was ready to let go. Jade didn't want to let go. She would never let go if she had her way. But she did. After what felt like hours, she pulled back. Her face was flushed and she refused to look up at him. Tyler looked taken aback.

He cleared his throat. "Ready to go?" he asked softly and Jade nodded.

He got into the car and Jade followed. They drove home in silence.

*

"Tyler?"

Jade spoke up, watching him walk towards his room. Tyler stopped and turned around half-way to look at her. Jade hesitated.

"You didn't have to do that for me," she said, and her voice wasn't even as she had wanted it to be.

Tyler just looked at her for a few moments.

"I know. That's why I didn't do it for you. I did it for myself," he said, turning away again.

Though he didn't admit it, Tyler knew why he had done what he had done. After the trauma Jade had been through, she had associated every part of the event with the pain it had caused her. Tyler knew how every little detail of that night had left its mark on Jade. He hoped he was able to make some of it disappear though. He had given her the safety and security of being alone in the car with him. He had punished the offender. And now, by using the same building where she had been raped as the place of his death, he hoped he had been able to associate the place not with her being raped, but with the place where her rapist had been killed.

Jade stood at the spot, even after Tyler's door was closed behind him. She silently headed towards her room, and even after changing and getting into bed, she couldn't sleep. She lay awake for what felt like hours, thinking about everything that had happened in her life over the past few years.

She had had a strange childhood to begin with. Jade and her brother had always seen their parents fighting, their house always a battle frontier. But it was normal; an average everyday home where the most painful part was knowing there was no way out. But Jade had yearned for a way out. She had yearned for an end, for a change, for freedom to live and breathe and think what she wanted. But she paid a grave price for it. Leaving everything behind, for something she wanted. After her new life shattered, could she really go back to her old one?

And then when she stops thinking about anything, when she stops thinking entirely, Tyler shows up and turns things upside down. The hateful man who gets on her nerves more than her parents' bickering did. He makes her do things she doesn't want to do. He makes her scream and cry. And then he makes her smile. But more than anything, he does what no other man could ever make her do; he makes her trust him.

Jade could hardly believe the past few hours. Images of Mathew Savern flashed before her eyes; tied to the chair, begging for her mercy, helpless just like she had been two and a half years ago. And today, on 7th March, 2019, exactly two years and six months from the day Mathew Savern had ruined her life, Jade felt truly free once more. It was like some invisible chains had lifted, some unseen walls had crumbled, some thick fog had lifted, some illusion had faded, some curtain had been pulled away. And Jade could see clearly again. She was free. And she had no one to thank for that except Tyler.

The Perfect Jade ✓Read this story for FREE!