Chapter 3 - Remedy

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After a while Jake speaks softly: "I am sorry. I had no idea how much this was still tormenting me. I didn't mean to make you feel bad. You don't deserve this." He looks at Jo with a worried look on his face. She stares back at him with a fire in her eyes and replies: "Shut up Jake! You made me feel a lot of things! But don't you dare feel sorry about opening up to me! It was...it was.. I feel most of all honored that you trust me enough to tell me. And I understand why you helped me, so much better now. And if anything I should apologize, for bringing my life story to your doorstep and making you relive your own haunted memories. " Jake drinks his coffee with a wrinkle between his eyebrows. "We should stop saying sorry for something life did to us. Maybe we really were supposed to meet. It looks like we could help each other heal in a way. And I hope you can tell me more about you and what you went through with your ex someday. I never got to hear my sisters story, that led to her death."

He gets up and says: "I am off to get showered and dressed. Get ready, because we're going outside for a bit. I think we can both use some fresh air." As he comes down the stairs, all washed and dressed, Jo quickly runs upstairs to put on her boots. When she comes down, she notices Jake putting some things from the fridge in a picnic basket, before walking towards the door. Jake locks the door behind them and holds out his hand to her. She puts her hand in his and follows him with a smile. They continue their walk in silence until they reach the beach. Jake pulls a plaid from the bag and spreads it out on the beach, inviting her to sit down on it. Out of the basket come some containers with fruit and a bottle of orange juice. He sits down next to her and opens the bottle and takes a sip, before handing it to her. She takes a sip of the juice and hands it back to him in silence.

There's something wonderful about this silence. Sitting next to each other, looking at the ocean, eating some fruit and no need to speak at all. She feels completely relaxed and strangely protected by the man next to her. She takes the time to investigate her feelings for him. And eventually concludes that she has never felt like this before. She is not in love with him, she doesn't feel like kissing him, but she does feel something. Love? But a special kind. It confuses her and she lets out a sigh without realizing it. Jake looks at her, seeing the different emotions go over her face. Did he scare her away? Did he go to far? He just met this girl. He doesn't even know her full story yet. He should have kept his mouth shut... But that wasn't possible any more. The way he feels about her....Like he has to protect her, keep her safe. Like his sister sent her or something. He shakes his head. He looks at Jo again and hears her sigh, she seems miles away from him, sitting so close. He tries to find the words to say to her and says: "You will always be safe around me. And I am not trying to make you my girlfriend, don't worry. I could never... I mean you feel like a sister to me." He mumbles, staring at Jo, when a smile starts to appear on her lips. "I was just wondering how I felt about you to be honest. And I never had a big brother, but I would love to have one like you to keep me safe." A tear rolls across her cheek as she looks at him with so much love in her eyes, that he feels a warmth form in his chest. He wipes her tear away with his thumb, while he smiles: "You got it! From now on you have a big brother! "

Jo turns her head towards the ocean and sees a familiar surfer walking up to them in the distance. He is without his surfboard this time. He is wearing a white T-shirt, that shows off his muscles nicely and a pair of ripped jeans. He holds his shoes in one hand, the other hand casually in his pocket. Jake immediately notices a change in Jo and looks at her curiously. Ah, could Dart have been the surfer she was talking about yesterday? Jake waves at him to grab his attention, but Jo doesn't seem to notice, she keeps staring at the blonde guy. Jake smiles slightly when he hears her hold her breath, as Dart sits down in front of them with a crooked smile. He speaks with a slight accent that Jo can't place. "Hey Jake! Finally taking some time away from the bar to see the ocean?" Jake replies: "Hey Dart! Yeah, needed some fresh air and so did she." He nods at Jo. Dart's green eyes move to Jo and she immediately blushes, he holds out his hand to her and introduces himself. "Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude. I'm Dart! I live on the beach when I am not working." Jo places her hand in his huge hand, blushing even more and stutters: "I'm J-Jo." Her brain refuses to work and she can't seem to come up with more to say. Dart looks at her for a little too long, before asking: "And how do you two know each other?" He looks at Jake and the food on the plaid, lifting an eyebrow as he can't figure out what is going on exactly. Jake thinks for a second and says: "In short, she stumbled into my cafe not too long ago. I gave her a bed to sleep in and have been using her various skills to my advantage." Dart looks at him with his mouth slightly open, even more confused than he was a minute ago. Jo tries to stop herself from laughing when she sees Dart's face and realizes Jake is doing exactly what a big brother would do. She can't keep her laughter down any more and falls against Jake laughing, as Jakes pulls her close to him, laughing even louder.

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