Chapter 24

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"I have to ignore the demons' claws on my soul, have to ignore this pit of darkness, of suffering and utter anguish that's screaming for me, inviting me in."


As I look into this stranger's eyes I realize something.

I value my life.

Because the way he's looking at me, the rage that's rolling off of him, his eyes shooting daggers that are literally ready to kill me, makes me fear for my life. And I don't remember the last time I felt this. The last time I felt like my life meant something, like I meant something...

"I'm not going to ask again, Dr. Grey," the bull of a man that still seems somewhat familiar speaks again, and I see it in his eyes that he's serious. I don't know if I'm being kidnapped or whatever the hell is happening here, but I do know that if I don't do as he says I will likely risk my life. I'm no fighter, I'm not buff or anywhere near trained to take on someone like him. I'm a simple surgeon, fragile but skilled hands are the only thing I can account for.

And so I just nod my head as I step inside this expensive as hell car and lower myself on the sleek leather seats. A man about my age sits behind the wheel, wearing sunglasses and looking straight ahead, he really could be a statue with how rigid he looks.

The door slams behind me and soon enough the green-eyed man takes a seat next to me, the roaring engine beneath us announcing our departure.

"Who are you?" I can't help but ask the man, who now turns, his back resting against the window as he faces me. "That's not important," he simply states. "What's important is that you stay away from Mia Esperanza."

And the second the words leave his mouth do I know who he is. I suddenly understand why he looked and sounded so goddamn familiar. I've heard his voice in Mia's kitchen and I see her mother's features on his face. The picture of her I hung on Mia's living room wall echoes through my mind as I look at this threatening man in front of me. Her mother looked so kind, while this man certainly is anything but...

"Why would I do that?"

I'm surprised I find any courage to speak to him, really. Because I can't deny that I'm fucking scared, that I'm pulling at my fingers in an attempt to ground myself in this fucked-up situation, the weight of it all crashing down on me.

"You're destroying her life, that's why." His words make me widen my eyes. Does he know something I don't? Have I been fooling myself by thinking Mia wanted this as much as I do?

"I don't... I don't know what you mean," I stammer out the words, sounding like a scared kid. God, this guy is intimidating.

And it seems like he knows it, too, because the way he's looking at me now tells me he's fully aware of the effect he has. There's almost a smirk on his face when he shakes his head and mutters under his breath, "Fuck, you're pathetic... What does she even want with you?"

He's not wrong, really. I've asked myself that question numerous times, and probably forever will.

"You know, when George told me she'd lived with a guy for months now, I didn't believe him at first. But then I started surveilling her apartment, and I kept seeing you there, I kept seeing you walking in and out of there like you owned the fucking place, I mean, really?" he scoffs.

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