Chapter Twenty-Two

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My feet ached as Jason and I sat down to eat our corn dogs and funnel cakes. I stretched my legs underneath the bench and propped my feet on top next to where Jason was sitting. He rubbed my legs and smiled at me.

"Having a good time?" He asked and took a huge bite out of the corn dog.

"Absolutely. Thanks for bringing me here." I grinned and began eating my own food. Usually I was more strict about my diet for cheerleading, but lately I didn't get too excited about it anymore. I think after my exposure to football and seeing the dedication and drive in the boys a part of me felt empty without it.

"What's going on in that pretty little head of yours?" Jason asked as he pushed away his empty plate.

My eyes widened and I offered him my corn dog, but he shook his head. "Nothing. You're gonna think I'm crazy if I say it."

"You pretended to be a boy this summer. I think we're past that stage." He laughed.

I chuckled and took a deep breath before answering. "I actually miss football camp."

He was shocked by answer and quickly recovered. "Really? You miss the heat, the running, the coaches yelling and embarrassing you?"

"Well when you put it like that." I rolled my eyes. "I actually do miss it. Despite all that and the whole Stephen incident, I actually liked the camp. Before that all I cared about was shopping and cheerleading."

"So is sports something you're gonna be interested in now?"

I played with my funnel cake to distract myself while I thought of an answer. "Somewhat. The whole environment made me feel energized and made me feel as if I could accomplish anything I put my mind to."

He smiled and nodded his head in appreciation at my answer. "Well this is our senior year so nows the time to start deciding what your major will be in college. If sports is something you like there's a lot of degrees that deal with it."

"I'll look into it. I can't be a cheerleader all my life."

"You can be my cheerleader." He grinned and grabbed my hand. "You can even show me how flexible you are in the bed-"

"Shut up!" I cut him off and threw my napkin at him. "You're such a perv." I chuckled.

"But it made you want me." He winked. The boy was right, but he wasn't going to know that.

"Keep dreaming."

"I will. Maybe one day when you're not so shy about the topic of sex I'll tell you what goes on in my dreams." He offered.

"Thanks for the offer, but I'll pass." I politely declined.

"Your loss. Let's eat so we can go on a ride." He said and ripped off a large piece of funnel cake before shoving it in his mouth.

We quickly finished eating and threw away our trash. Our hands found each other and we laced our fingers together as we walked towards the side of the festival where all of the rides were. I spotted a bathroom and excused myself so I could use it before I peed myself in another haunted house.

I did my business and washed my hands. I began walking out the bathroom when I felt someone roughly grab my arm and yank me through the crowd. I yelled for Jason as the person dragged me to a big open area behind the bathrooms. The tight grip on my arm loosened and I took the opportunity to take back possession of my arm.

"What the he-" my voice cut off in a gasp when I saw it was Stephen who had grabbed me. His clothes were somewhat wrinkled, his hair disheveled, and his eyes were bloodshot and watery: he was drunk.

"Daaaaallas." He sang my name and a silly drunk grin adorned his face. "It missed you and that banging body." He slurred and tried grabbing my waist, however, I stepped out of the way and he stumbled forward.

"Stephen, you're drunk. Go home." I ordered and planted my hands on my hips. Inside I was terrified, but I didn't wanna show any weakness in front of a drunk and aggressive Stephen.

"Not without you!" He hollered and his face screwed up as he glared at me. "I came to get back what was mine!"

I squealed as I tried to make a run for it, but even when he was drunk Stephen was stronger and faster than I was. His unstable frame ended up taking us both to the ground and unfortunately I was stuck underneath him. I screamed for help, but he backhanded me so hard I saw stars.

Tears sprung in my eyes as I gasped for breath and instantly felt the stinging on my cheek. I struggled underneath his heavy body and continued trying to scream for help, but it was no use due to the loud screaming coming from within the haunted house and noisy environment all together.

Panic welled up in my stomach as Stephen began undoing his belt and a wicked gleam entered his eye. His large hand trailed up my stomach and ribcage underneath my shirt and I nearly threw up the food I just ate. Before I would've killed to have him touching me like this but now it only made me cringe and feel nauseous.

"Get off!" I screamed and pounded my fists on his chest. He chuckled and caught my flailing arms in his hands. "What do you think I've been trying to do the past year, Dallas?!" He snapped at me. "Now I'm taking what should've been mine." He said and started to unbutton my shorts.

I yelled for Jason while fighting off Stephen. He slapped me on the same side of the face again and I felt my cheek begin to bruise. My sobs became desperate pleas for someone to save me as my will to fight began to diminish. I shut my eyes as I waited for Stephen to hurry up with his punishment.

Air filled my lungs again as I felt the heavy weight of Stephen being removed from on top of me. I sniffed and quickly ran my hands down to my shorts and sighed in relief when I felt that Stephen hadn't been able to take off my shorts in his drunken state.

"Dallas? Are you okay? Speak to me, baby girl." Jason's face came into view as he cradled my head in his lap. Worry formed on his face as he brushed my hair away from my face and lightly brushed his fingers over my now swollen cheek. I struggled to for a coherent sentence and he quieted me down by gently pressing a finger to my lips. "It's okay, you don't have to talk." He said and helped me sit up.

I saw that security had Stephen wrestled to the ground as they were placing handcuffs on him. Memories of what just occurred replayed in my head and tears filled my eyes again. A small crowd had begun to form where we were and I hid my face in shame.

"It's okay, baby girl. Let's get you up." He cooed and pecked my forehead before slowly helping me up. He blocked everyone's view of me so I could quickly button my shorts and adjust myself.

"Miss, can you and your boyfriend come with us?" One of the security guards politely yet firmly asked us. I nodded and Jason wrapped his arm around my shoulder before leading me behind the security guard.

My sobs quieted down some as I leaned into Jason for both physical and mental support. If Jason or security hadn't come in time who knows just how far Stephen would've gone in his crazed state. We were led into a large white tent where tables and chairs were set up. Stephen was taken to one end of the tent while Jason and I planted ourselves on the other end with the security guard who requested our presence.

"Are you okay, miss? Do you need anything?" He asked me as his eyes scanned my face.

I shook my head and sniffed, too scared to talk before my voice would betray me and I'd start bawling like a baby again. The security guard, who I found out was named Tim, notified me that officers were on the way and asked to use my phone so he could call mom. I gave a slight nod, but didn't reach for my phone. I was still in shock and couldn't bring myself to fully comprehend what was going on around me.

I don't know when it happened, but I couldn't keep myself awake anymore and blacked out on the chair next to Jason.

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