Stuck In Fire 2 - Justin Bieber

Justin is finally reunited with Katie.. and that's awesome. I don't know what to write, 'cause i haven't read the story o.o IT'S NOT MIIIINE. I JUST POST IT TO READ IT :P

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22. 22

I closed the Fucked Up Journal, taking a deep breath and wiping my left eye, the tears making my face feel cool in the breeze out here…on Dr. Peter's patio. Leaves were under my feet, making for nice things to crunch whenever I got anxious about reading my newest entry into my book. I still can't believe I got through it, with hardly a pause.

Dr. Peter now opened his eyes and looked at me…I peeked up at him and saw wetness there in his ice blue pupils…even out here in the darkness, lit only by his bug candle on the table.

"Don't be ashamed to take a tissue, Anthony.", Dr. Peter nodded towards the box on the table.

So I took one and wiped my face quickly with it…shoving it in my jeans pocket.

There was a decent pause where neither of us said a thing…it was driving me crazy.

"I told you I was fucked up.", I said, low and full of shame, not meaning to sound that way.

"No, Anthony.", Peter leaned forward, his hand gently touching my arm, to support me, "THEY…THEY are fucked up. Say it."

"They are fucked up.", I said it weakly, looking at the leaves.

"Again…", he verbally pushed, "Mean it this time."

I thought of Jess' face…and Mark…and all of them…and this time I said it with venom and hatred…liking how it rolled off the tongue.

"THEY are fucked up.", I almost growled it.

"Good for you, Anthony.", he slapped my shoulder and smiled, leaning back in his seat.

I felt good and couldn't quite figure out why. But it was great.

"Thank you for sharing that with me, Anthony.", Peter said with calm pride, "I didn't assign you another journal entry…but you did it on your own. I'm very proud of you…that took balls. I knew I was right about you. You're tough. Strong. God surely has a big purpose in mind for you, Anthony Masen. You can believe that."

"God.", I scoffed, before I realized I was doing it.

Peter looked at me pleasantly, not judging, asking, "Do you believe in God?"

Very clever. He did that on purpose to find out my take on religion. Damn, he's good.

Smirking a little, I thought about it a moment.

"I used to.", I said honestly.

"What changed?"

"My family caught on fire.", I shot Doc a hard look, answering him flatly.

"And you believe that was God who did it?", he asked.

"No, it was the devil!", I gasped, being sarcastic and a brat. But he didn't falter.

"Maybe it was.", Doc thought to himself almost, "You of all people know that Hell and evil exists…why not a devil?"

"I was with the devil for six years.", I replied smartly, "Better the Hell you know…right?"

Peter looked confused as he listened and then said nothing.

"All I know is…I believed in God…I went to church every Sunday with Katherine…I prayed, I tried to be a basically good kid…I never hurt anyone…and when my daughter was born…I KNEW there was a God…a wonderful God up there that was GREAT! He gave me this little angel…"

My eyes were beginning to tear up again so I went on, trying to shove them down.

"And then, one night, in the blink of an eye, he decides to let my building go up in FLAMES!", I shouted, throwing my journal on the table angrily, "My baby was only THREE YEARS OLD! She should never have know that kind of pain or fear…NO ONE should!"

"I know.", he said, not stopping me.

"And my wife!", I yelled harder, "She was a lot of things, but she was a nice person! Just because we weren't head over heels in love anymore, doesn't mean she should have DIED either! She could've changed…she deserved the chance to see her daughter grow up!"

"Get it all out, Anthony, you're doing great.", Peter smiled warmly at me.

"If there WAS a GOD and he GAVE A FUCK he would've STOPPED IT!", I stood up, needing to pace, "HE WOULDN'T HAVE LET IT HAPPEN IN THE FIRST PLACE!"

"What do you think he should've done?"

"He could've made it RAIN, the flames could have died out!", I was rambling but loudly as I grabbed my hair, yanking at it cruelly, "Someone could have saved them! There could've BEEN A WAY OUT! SHE DIDN'T HAVE TO BURN!"

"Katie.", Peter gave a nod, knowing who I was talking about.

"YEA!", I shouted, feeling more tears coming on, "Church people are always telling me things happen for a reason…God works in mysterious ways…FUCK GOD! HE BURNED MY BABY! HE BURNED HER UNTIL THE SKIN WAS GONE AND HE KEPT BURNING HER INTO HER ORGANS! THERE IS NO GOD! AND IF THERE IS, HE'S MORE EVIL THAN VICTORIA EVER WAS! BECAUSE HE GIVES YOU THINGS…BEAUTIFUL THINGS…AND THEN HE DESTROYS THEM FOR NO REASON RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES! Victoria was a bitch but she never played that cruel."

I kept pacing…searching for any more venom I had built up for the notion of GOD. But nothing much more came to me…I just tried to control my breathing now.

"Good, Anthony…", Peter was still in his chair, "Keep pacing…breathe…you're fine…it's alright."

A few minutes later, Peter's soft voice was there, just talking.

"So you lost Tanya…and Katie…and God…your faith…", he shook his head a bit to himself, "It's easy to see how you fell into Victoria's clutches. You had nothing left. She saw that. And pounced. You were weak, Anthony…it wasn't your fault."

"I agreed.", I stood still, looking down at the stones on the patio floor, "It's partly my fault. I know that."

"Okay, good.", Peter looked at me, again, proudly, "Own what you do…that's great. I'm glad to hear that. So many people never take into account what their own part was in things…it's always someone else's fault. But, Anthony…none of these attacks…none of the abuse you've suffered is YOUR fault. That's all on THEM. You can look back and know that you chose the wrong things here and there…but never blame yourself for what they did to you."

"I don't know what to believe now.", I said quietly, taking a breath, "I feel that way about God…and I hate him…and now I have Katie back…and Selena is in my life…"

I closed my eyes and exhaled. Is God giving me them now…only to take them away again later? Will I have to endure it all over again?

"Why does life have to be so fucking confusing Doc?", I asked, crossing my arms and looking out at the night sky….a half white moon out tonight.

"Another great question.", Peter agreed, "I wish I knew. I wish I knew."

"I once thought my life was over.", Peter shared, "I felt the same as you do now. I didn't believe in anything. But, in time…I began to see some things. Because of the things I suffered, I was able to go on to help people…to understand…"

"I've thought of that.", I snapped, not meaning to, my eyes still on the moon, "But I can't swallow it. I can't stand here and say it's good that Tanya died, it's good my daughter suffered all that pain…because now we can help other people…or get how painful life can be. It's a weak excuse and when I die, I want to SPEAK to the fucker in charge and look in his or her eyes and I WANT THEM TO TELL ME WHY MY CHILD SUFFERED THAT WAY! And it had better be ONE FUCK OF AN ANSWER! Or I'll RIP heaven down with my own two hands!"

Peter gave me a kind smile. "I would love to be there to see that.", he said, sounding truthful.

"You can help.", I turned and looked at him, smirking, "I'm sure you've seen all kinds of suffering, being a doctor…a psychologist…I'm sure it bothers you, too, all the pain…with no reasons for it all."

"It does.", Peter said, adding nothing more.

"The only God I know is in ME.", I said, "God is supposed to be a loving father. That's what I'm trying to be for Katie now…for the rest of my life. I will love her…nurture her…protect her…ME. I don't need a fake God…a fairy tale doing the job for me."

"I understand all you're saying, Anthony.", Peter said, "I truly do. I'm not a priest. I don't know any better than you if there's a God…or a heaven…maybe we all just come from apes…I don't know. Everyone has a right to believe what they believe. We'll all find out someday."

"Bob always asks me to go to church with his family.", I informed bitterly, "It's like everyone here believes…without question…and they expect ME to believe it too. But how can I? After all I've seen…and experienced? There's no way. And then I feel bad that I'm not even giving Katie the choice to go herself. Will she see me as bad if I don't want to go? Uugghhh…yea…it does bother me. I want to do the good thing for Katie. But I don't want her to be weak when she grows up. I don't want her to pray to God for help when she can stand up and fight on her own. I want her strong. I don't want her to be what I was…in any way. I want her free…and happy."

"You're a great father, Anthony.", Peter stated, "You'll figure out the answers…together with Katie and Selena…ask them…lean on them when you need them. They'll be there. You don't have to worry about everything alone. And don't worry about what everyone ELSE is doing. This is your life…your family. You do what works for you and them…and don't make any apologies."

I smiled. I love the Doc!

"You're cool.", I stated, deciding right then, "You don't talk like all the other shrinks. Do all your other patients know how good you are?"

"Of course.", he grinned back at me.

"I got more off my chest than I planned.", I went and sat back in my chair, "You're a sly one, Doc. I didn't even see that coming…until we were there."

"You should see me do magic tricks.", he teased, "If I pursued it, David Copperfield would never have come close to me!"

I had to laugh at that one.

"You certainly have all the HATS if you wanted to perform the rabbit trick.", I smiled.

"Yea, and getting three more soon in the mail.", he leaned back a bit, looking up at the stars, as if this was the happiest thought in his world. I almost felt sorry for the guy…but then I remembered my fetish…the Slurpee…it was all gone now. Damn.

"So where'd you get the Slurpees from?", I asked again, like I always do.

Peter chuckled and shook his head, "Nope. I told you…you're not gonna find that out until your tenth visit. Maybe then I'll feel like telling you."

"Ugh….", I let my head fall back, "You're SO MEAN! But smart…bribery definitely works. It makes me keep coming back…"

Peter gasped, kidding, "And here I thought you kept coming back because I'm so friggin' brilliant! I'm hurt!"

I laughed with him and threw a leaf at the Doc.

"Nerd.", I took a friendly shot at him…

Peter looked challenged…and his mouth fell open. In seconds, we were having a full on leaf war…I had big handfuls of dry leaves and was throwing them at him as hard as I could…but he was faster…

"BOYS! BOYS!", I heard Selena running out here, standing in between us….staring at our faces in utter shock and disbelief.

We froze…glaring at each other like children…our hands full of dirt and foliage…our teeth showing…our mouths panting.

"What the FUCK is going on here?" , she asked with a shrill voice, "Leaf therapy?"

Peter and I saw each other's eyes…and there was amusement there on both sides…we were doing all we could not to laugh….Selena is so funny…her voice is like a school marm's right now.

And so, as if we could read each other's minds…we turned on her and dumped all our combined leaves over her head…Peter even turned and scooped a giant pile up with the lid to his garbage can and a wall of leaves washed over her.

She stood there, unmoving for a second…dry leaves of yellow and brown stuck in her hair…hanging from her sweater and arms…we tried not to giggle too hard as we awaited her response to this.

"Well at least we have the right doctor for ourselves.", she said so serenely, as if nothing had happened to her…and then she smirked and announced, "YOU'RE BOTH SOOO DEAD!"

Peter and I screamed like twelve year old girls as Selena chased us….and when I looked back she had a shovel in her hands!

"RUN PETER RUN!", I howled…his yard was so huge it was like a golf course…and it was so dark…it reminded me of when I was a kid and would be at boarding school…we, me and some of my hoodlum friends….would sneak out and play tag or hide and seek on the dark grounds of the campus. Running away from the teachers and security guards was the best part of it all. It was the most fun I ever had there…and I was doing it again…it was the best therapy ever.

"She's GOT A SHOVEL DOC!", I put my hands on both sides of my mouth…"SAVE YOURSELF!"

Peter was fucking FAST! He vanished in the trees and I couldn't stop laughing at the sight of him running…it was slowing me down.

"PUSSIES!", Selena roared, right on my heels…"COME BACK and FIGHT LIKE A MAN!"

We were all kids again…playing…it was perfect.

But…play always ends…and work begins…SUCK!

I was at work a couple days later…Mondays bite!

I had told Bob the G-rated version of my date with Selena on her birthday. Taking the horse had been his idea…and I had to thank him for that. The gifts, the being naked all night…the making love on the cliff edge…all the really great ideas were MINE…but I thanked Bob anyway.

The work was still damn hard…and it broke my back everyday…but Bob kept saying I'd get used to it someday. I was starting to think he was lying to me about that.

After lunch, I was handing out treats to my well behaved horses…Yoyo got a carrot…Psycho…gets NOTHING…Pixie…"Yes, you're a good girl…here's an apple for you, baby."

Psycho leered at me as I passed his stall with hardly a glance. I got a little perverse pleasure out of that…and then I felt something wet and thick hit me in the back of the shirt…and the fucker was actually SNICKERING at me!

I felt the slime on my back and winced, glaring at the horse who hated me and who I hated more than life itself.

"You fucking PIG!", I yelled at him, "You SPIT at me!"

Then he flapped his lips at me and snickered some more.

"I am gonna get you, Psycho!", I pointed at him, swearing revenge, "I don't know how or when…but rest assured, you're MINE bitch!"

I put my basket down and got something to wipe my back off with….making disgusted sounds as I began to plot.

"Maybe Marcus needs some new meat for his Saturday night special – UGLY ASSFACE HORSE MEIN!" I shouted at Psycho…but he didn't look impressed.

"Disgusting JERK!", was the best I could come up with now as I yanked my basket off the floor, backing away from my arch enemy.

"MASEN!", one of the guys came in, calling me.

"YEA!", I raised my arm, cause he was looking around for me, "HEY CLYDE!"

"Sharon wants you to fetch some new saddles and bring 'em to the rodeo area…where they're rehearsing. Pronto.", he said.

"Where are they?", I asked, moving my hat back on my head.

"In the cellar, go down those stairs…all the way down…there's a door on the ground…it's in there.", he informed.

"Okay.", I said, putting the basket down and going right away.

I followed the black metal staircases….it went down like four levels…I'm underground, I realized…as I got to the bottom with nowhere else to go…and saw the double metal doors on the floor…one handle on the upper door that clamped over the lower door.

I pulled on the handle and the door squeaked open, a shrill yelp.

"Needs oil.", I said to myself, and peered down into the darkness. The light out here was bright and white fluorescent…so I guess I'd have enough light to find some saddles. And I didn't open the lower door…I could get in easily with just the one door being open. There were steps going down in there…and I took a deep breath and told myself if was alright….and made myself step down into the cellar.

I got to the bottom and looked around. It was kinda big in here…lots of shelves and boxes, marked with labels. "Saddles…saddles…where are you…", I kept looking…and then I saw some…in the corner…to my left. I went to get them and a loud CRASH exploded into the silence, scaring me to death. And the light from above was gone…I was in complete blackness…and as I ran up to where I'd come in…I saw the door above was shut.

"HEY I'M IN HERE!", I called out, thinking someone did it accidentally, and I went up the steps, pushing on the door. It jerked up a bit…but it didn't open…I exerted more pressure…using my muscles this time…but it wouldn't budge. It was locked!

"COME ON!', I told myself this wasn't happening…and tried to keep calm, "HEY! I'M IN HERE! HELLO?"

That was all the calm I had left. Then I shouted, "I CAN'T BE IN HERE! HEY! I'M NOT KIDDING, IF THIS IS A JOKE, IT'S NOT COOL! BOB! CLYDE!"

I felt myself sweating all over…and my leg was shaking…my hands too. I wildly threw my arms against the doors…banging a bit but not doing myself any good. I couldn't see my hand in front of my face!

"No, no, no…", I whispered to myself…trying to breathe…failing miserably…"Please no…I can't do this…."

I felt around me…my fingers shivering as I tried to figure out what was around me. Maybe I could find a flashlight or something.

I didn't grope around for long before I freaked out again…maybe thirty seconds later.

"I CAN'T BREATHE IN HERE!", I screamed out now, into the metal of the doors, "PLEASE OPEN THE DOOR! BOB! HELLOOOOO!"

I was so desperate already, the next thing out of my mouth was pure retardation.

"YOYO!", I bellowed.

I went to grab at my hair and I felt my hat. I threw it off, angrily, feeling my breathing accelerate…I was losing it…I felt tears in my eyes.

I let out a strangled half sob and tried to calm myself. I thought of Peter…and Selena…what did they always say?

"Breathe…breathe…", I said to myself…trying very hard, "Close your eyes…inhale…exhale…nothing can hurt me…I'm safe…safe…"

But fear is a scary thing. It has no reason. That's why the next thing I yelled was even more stupid.

"BELLLAAAAA!", I roared…then knew how dumb I was being and felt my ass hit the cement step…and I sat on it…whispering to myself…"Selena…."

"Find a way out…", I breathed to myself…thinking what would Selena do? I tried to swallow and nothing but dryness clucked at my throat.

Maybe I could find a shovel…a pitchfork…something to smash against the door. It was a long shot but what the hell else did I have? If I stay here much longer, I'll run out of air…I'll die. In the dark, I was freaking out…everywhere I reached…finding nothing…I got this strange and impossible fear that Raven was there, waiting…or Victoria….or Sir Kevin.

I thought of Silence of the Lambs…when Clarice is in the dark…and she's reaching around….and the killer is right in front of her.

"Selena…", I breathed…seeing her smile instead…willing myself to hang onto that.

I knew I was being a pussy but I heard my voice crying a little as I kept trying to feel what was down here with me…

"I'm safe…", I whispered to myself, not believing it, "Nothing is down here with me…nothing can get me…"

I felt like I'd walked a hundred miles in here…only feeling cardboard boxes….and then a blaring light popped out from nowhere and someone said "BOO!"

I screamed and flew backwards in horror, landing on my ass, on my back with my arms up over my face as I heard a woman laughing…nearly hysterical.

I was almost afraid to look…but I did….and saw Jenna, standing over me, laughing hard…holding her sides as she bent over.

"You fuckin' BITCH!", I heard myself growl back, "What the hell are you DOIN'?"

I got to my feet as she kept giggling like a moron, and I was so pissed off that I found myself grabbing her arm, violently, jerking her behind me as I started to go back to where the door was.

But she didn't follow me. She jerked her arm from my hand and her laughing stopped.

"DON'T YOU EVER PUT YOUR HANDS ON ME!", she shouted back, not able to hide the rage in her eyes at me suddenly, "I'll break your ARM if you EVER grab me like that again!"

Well, we have that in common.

"Fine, I'm not touching you.", I sneered at her, my hands at my sides, looking at the light bulb hanging from the chain between us, "But open the DOOR – NOW!"

"I can't.", she smirked at me, looking me up and down.

Is this what this is all about? Her wanting to be alone with me? Is this why I'm going through this fucking hell? I was even more pissed off now.

"OPEN IT!", I roared, both my hands grabbing her arms and shaking her hard.

"I CAN'T!", she screamed, shoving me off, "I CAN'T! I SWEAR! I paid someone fifty bucks…to lock the door. He'll be back in two or three hours to let us out."

"No!", I breathed, feeling my chest tighten again, "No, I can't BE in here for that long! MAKE HIM COME BACK AND OPEN THE DOOR! NOW!"

"I CAN'T!", she shouted back, her eyes angry and hard now, "Calm down. What's WITH you? It's just a dark room! GOD! What a baby!"

I looked back behind me and saw nothingness…if we stood here, we could see each other…but a few steps away and it was back to the blackness.

"You don't GET it, JENNA!", I yelled at her, no longer interested in being her friend or a kind acquaintance, "It's MORE than just a dark room to ME! But what do YOU care? Because you're ELVIRA, it's okay with YOU…but I can't BE in dark places, locked in! Fuck it, you don't care!"

I wanted to walk away from her but I'd be leaving the light behind.

"Is there something in here I can use to break our way out?", I asked her, trying not to sound psychotic.

"Not really.", she crossed her arms, doing absolutely nothing to help. Then it occurred to me why she did this…or I just remembered her motivations.

"Oh, I forgot.", I scowled at her, "This is part of your plan, right? The 'I have to fuck Anthony at all costs' plan. And you're so dumb, you think THIS will work? Boy, are YOU WAY OFF!"

"Yea, sorry…", she smiled at me, "I didn't know you were such a little puss when it came to the dark. You should've heard yourself when the door closed…yea…I heard you crying…calling for Selena! Bellllaaaa! I didn't hear you scream for your Mommy, though…so maybe you have at least ONE ball left in there somewhere."

"Fuck you.", I said to her with no remorse…"You know, I tried to be nice to you…I tried to say no like a gentleman…but no, you have to hear it the hard way…so fine."

I felt the old me…a very mean side of me…emerge…the nasty one who used to break Tanya's heart in every argument…he was here now…

"Even if you were pretty, which you're NOT…", I began, staring right into her face, "Even if you were sweet, which you'll NEVER be…even if you were smart, which…DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH…even then I wouldn't fuck YOU…not here, not anywhere…not EVER! Because you're cruel…you're a pig…and you're FAT!"

She wasn't really fat…but I know every woman thinks they are…and that knife cuts!

I turned my back to her…hoping this ended our little relationship…and then I heard her crying. Fuck! Every girl plays this card. Don't listen….don't listen.

"Shut up and get us out of here.", I said, cold as ice.

She kept crying…softly…in the corner where I couldn't see her…she was turned away from me, her hands cupped loosely around her mouth.

"You're NOT fat…", I sighed, rolling my eyes…hating the mean part of me…but she had asked for it, "Okay? Can you stop now?"

But she cried harder…and I clenched my jaw.

"Look, I'm sorry.", I said, feeling like myself again, "I didn't mean that. I'm just…not good in locked places. We need to get out. I can't wait three hours."

She had calmed down and wasn't crying anymore…just sniffling.

I went up to her and put my hand on her shoulder, hoping that would make her stop and help me out. But, she turned fast and threw herself into my arms, her legs leaping up and curling around my waist…locking together at my spine.

Her lips were on mine and doing their best to try and win me over…I tried to pry her off me but she was like GLUED on! I protested and broke my mouth away and yelled, "GET OFF ME!" but she kept holding on…I could understand that, her whole job was to ride horses that were trying to throw her OFF!

"JENNA!", I stumbled back a little and fell over something…landing on my back, and she was still on me…straddling me now.

"Oh yes!", she chuckled in delight…grabbing my arms and trying to hold them at the sides of my head…and her tongue took a long lick up my mouth.

Now I am utterly PISSED.

"WRONG MOVE BITCH!", I roared, throwing her off me with a force that scared even me.

"If you think you're GONNA FORCE ME!", I sat up, yelling at her as she sat under the light bulb, "You've got the wrong GUY! You'd better come at me with MORE than lip gloss and slutty perfume if you WANT TO FORCE ME TO FUCK YOU!"

Do your homework, bitch! Chains, whips…shackles…you have a lot of shopping to do before you're TAKING ME!

But she was still not turned off and she leapt back on me…straddling me again and attacking my neck! She wasn't even kissing it! She was biting it…ALL OVER! And it HURT!

"OWWW!", I shouted, grabbing her wrists, then repeated it, "OOOOWWWW!"

I pushed her away again, looking at her like 'what the fuck are you?' but she grabbed my shirt and tore it open, the buttons flying everywhere.

"HEY!", I grabbed onto her wrists again, "STOP IT! CONTROL YOURSELF YOU SLUT!"

The language that was part of my world was all coming back to me now…and pouring out.

"Ohhh YES!", she laughed, sounding aroused, sticking her face into my naked chest, "Call me a SLUT AND A WHORE! PLEASE!"

"STOP IT!", I pushed her and screamed so loud…that it echoed off the walls a few times.

Jenna did stop now…and she was on her ass again…looking at me like I'd grown five heads.

"What is WRONG with you?", I breathed, really wanting to know, "I said NO. You're like a rabid DOG! I'm a PERSON, Jenna. If I say NO – that should be the end of it. You don't have the RIGHT to my body. It's MINE. I decide who plays on it. And it's not YOU."

That was some of my session talk coming out…but it sounded right. I think Dr. Peter and Selena would be proud of me.

"Come on.", she smiled at me, not making any more moves to jump me, "We have a couple hours…why not? No one will know."

"I'll know.", I glared back at her, trying to close my shirt, "And worse, YOU'LL know."

"Well, let me put it THIS way.", she raised a brow, "Fuck me once…and I'll leave you alone. Fuck me not….and…I'll just tell Selena you did me anyway. You already have the marks on your neck…your ripped shirt…it won't be hard. Or maybe I'll just rip my shirt open…make some marks on myself…and say you forced me in here. Either way, you're fucked. And out of a job…maybe even facing jail time."

"Blackmail doesn't work on me, Jenna.", I said, firm, standing up, dusting off my hands, "If you want to do something, try helping me find a way out of here."

"Anthony…", she stood up, trying to be nicer now as I felt around for a tool or something, "I'm good. You won't be disappointed. Please? I know you like me."

"No I don't.", I stated, squinting at a box to see what the label said…but I was in a dim area.

"It's hot down here.", she said…"I guess I'll just have to take my clothes off."

My head spun towards her as she stood by the light…and she began to unbutton her shirt…and took it off, letting it fall to the floor…she had a white bra on…and was beginning to unhook it from the back. All the time, she stared at me, smirking.

"Jenna, don't do this.", I said, almost pleading, "I need this job. I'm engaged!"

"Blah, blah blah…", she giggled, taking the bra off, tossing it at me playfully, exposing huge tan breasts.

I looked away and was glad for the darkness then. I began to feel my air going again…the panic…the fear…

"HEY SOMEONE OUT THERE!", I yelled, "WE'RE LOCKED IN HERE! LET US OUT!"

Jenna just laughed and began to pull her boots off.

"We're so low underground…" she informed, "Everyone else is so far away, rehearsing for the rodeo this weekend…"No one will hear you."

I let a jagged breath out of me…and maybe it showed her that I was afraid of her…I don't know and I don't care…I'm not touching her! She can't MAKE me. I'd probably pass out in five minutes from lack of air anyway.

I heard her unzip her jeans and I moved away from her…and the fucking light…having my Raven and Victoria flashes again.

"Hey Anthony!", she called to me but I ignored her, looking for a miracle, "I have a little gift for you…a great bottle of wine…"

"HELLLOOOOO!", I shouted out above us, clenching my eyes, just knowing this was going to end badly. I knew I wasn't going to do anything with her…but I knew it was a definite possibility that I'd punch her lights out…which wouldn't go over well with my boss or Selena either, for that matter.

"Here.", she came up behind me and I turned, flinching as I saw she was stark naked…

She was trying to hand me a glass filled with dark crimson liquid in it…but I shoved her arm away from me.

"No, thank you.", I said snidely, then was about to call for help again when I yanked it out of her hand and muttered, "Wait, I need one."

And I drank it down fast, coughing a bit as it hit my chest…making it a bit easier to breathe now.

"Hey!", she giggled, "Take it easy, it's a $300 wine, not fruit punch!"

I handed her the empty glass roughly, wiping my mouth as I moved further into the dark, feeling around until I reached the doors again.

"Come on, Anthony, look at me.", she was right behind me, trying to be sexy.

"Leave me alone!", I groaned, almost tripping over something else in here.

"I wonder what Miss Selena will think when you tell her you were down here with me, naked for two hours today while you're supposed to be WORKING!", she warned.

"I'm not naked with you down here.", I informed, "So it doesn't make much sense, does it?"

"Does she know anything about me, Anthony?" she asked, still nude and on my heels, "Did you tell her about our little moments together?"

"No because you're not important enough for me to bother.", I shot back, "Piss off! Go rub yourself against a shelf or something, willya?"

"Get off it, Anthony.", she said, "Turn around and look at me!"

She spun me around and I exhaled, looking at her face sternly.

"I'm looking at you. Now what?", I asked, not moved.

"I don't see you looking down now, Anthony.", she noticed, "Go ahead…look down…look at my breasts."

I was no stranger to naked bodies and saw them all the time in the last six years. So I looked at her, hoping if I acted uninterested now, it would make her give it up and leave me alone.

"They're breasts.", I shrugged, "So what? You don't have something no other woman on the planet has."

"They're big…", she said seductively, taking my hand and trying to place it against one of them…"Round…full…"

I yanked my hand out of hers and finished, "Yea, of silicone!"

"They're REAL!", she shouted in frustration.

I made a sound of disbelief and said, "REAL EXPENSIVE. I know what real breasts look like and yours…AREN'T."

"So what?", she asked, a little bitter now, "They look good."

"I guess.", I shrugged, "Are we done now? Can I go back to the fun of screaming for help?"

Without waiting for her answer, I kept feeling around to get back to the doors, calling as I went, "HHHEEEELLLLPPPPP! We're LOCKED IN HERE!"

"Come here, you want real?", she asked, still behind me, taking my hand as she turned me towards her again…and she placed my hand between her legs as I went to open my mouth in disgust.

She stopped me from talking by saying, "This is real…you feel that? That's what you do to me."

She was so wet but I couldn't care less.

I pulled my hand away again, wiping it on my shirt and replying with, "Please, the breeze blowing probably does that to you."

When I turned away from her again, she let out a breath and it sounded sad.

"Why do you hate me so much?", she asked with this low self esteemed, sorrowful tone.

"I don't hate you.", I kept my back to her, "I wanted to be your friend. But you've been after me from the first day…throwing yourself at me. I don't like that."

"All men love that.", she replied, as if it were a fact.

"Not me.", I said immediately, "I guess I'm not most men."

"Take one look at me from head to toe and tell me I'm not BEAUTIFUL!", she dared, "Go on, you LIAR!"

"I don't need to see your body to know you're beautiful.", I said, "I would only need your eyes…or to hear your laugh…to hear you talk…your beauty's not in your skin…it's in other places."

"What?", she asked.

"Please put your clothes on.", I half turned my head towards her, "Nothing is going to happen, believe me."

"I don't believe you.", she pointed out, still behind me, "I think if you have a couple drinks…and look at me long enough…you'll do me."

"Wasn't that a romantic little story?", I asked in sarcasm.

"BOB!", I called, cupping my hands, yelling louder.

She turned me around again…she's pretty strong for a woman…but then, she's a rodeo star. I was against a wall of boxes…and she opened my shirt…kissing down my chest…moving lower until she was on her knees…and I felt her trying to undo my pants, saying, "I know how to make you like me…"

"NO!", I shoved her off and buttoned my pants, "N. O. Look it up in the dictionary sometime! It means: a negative, a word used to express denial or refusal or dissent to a question or a request! JESUS CHRIST!"

She was saying something behind me but I kept talking to myself.

"I wish I had been burned in that FUCKING FIRE!", I spewed, "I REALLY do! I'd be disfigured, scarred and FUCK UGLY! THEN every man and woman ON EARTH could LEAVE ME ALONE and GO FUCK THEMSELVES! If anyone wants to get me a GOD DAMNED CHRISTMAS gift, that's what I WANT! To be BUTT UGLY, FAT, BALD…WHATEVER! IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK?"

And now Selena will find out that I was down here with this naked loser all day…that'll be the end…the last straw…she'll leave me…I can't live without her…I can't do it…I began to hyperventilate again…and sweat…I felt the way I did that day I nearly died in Raven's basement…alone…thirsty…bleeding…without hope…whispering my goodbyes to my daughter as I bled.

And Jenna was behind me, still naked, with the bottle of wine in her hands…I couldn't make out what she was saying…and I didn't care…but suddenly, I couldn't take it anymore…I snapped!

"GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!", I screamed with all my fury, throwing the bottle so hard that it almost hit her in the face as it smashed out there in the blackness. She had screamed and shielded her face as it whizzed past her nose.

She was so close now…and she grabbed onto my shirt….her face up, looking into mine.

"Go ahead, hit me…", she said, waiting for me to, "Hit me…and then fuck me…I want you to. It's alright. I like it that way."

I felt like the walls were closing in…I panted for air…and got none…I felt unsafe…like at any moment, people were going to bust in here and attack me…and Jenna…was just magnifying it by a thousand.

I felt my legs give out and I landed on the cement floor…my hands in my hair, my voice cracking and sobbing quietly.

"I need to get out…", I kept crying like a child, not caring what the bitch thought anymore, "Please let me out…please…I can't breathe…I can't…"

Then I heard myself calling my loved ones.

"Selena…", I wept…"Katie…uuuhhhh…please let me out…"

I heard dead silence in the room with me…for a second I thought I might have imagined the whole Jenna thing. God, I am a sick fuck. But then she spoke…very softly…a few feet away.

"Hey, what's wrong, Anthony?", she sounded scared and concerned, "This isn't just about me. What's going on?"

I crawled and found the metal doors…and I smashed myself against them, hoping I could muster up some super strength to break through the doors.

I was just screaming, without words as I attacked the doors that held me in here…and just as fast, I was out of air and energy…and back on the floor.

"You're breathing is all out of whack.", she said in the distance, "Are you sick?"

That's the first right thing she's said all day.

"I'm safe…I'm safe…", I kept chanting to myself, rocking as I pulled out my hair, "No one can get me…everything is alright…"

"Anthony, you're scaring me.", she said with her southern twang. It didn't help.

I didn't notice it, but she must have put her clothes back on…because she was there, sitting beside me, fully dressed, except for her boots and hat, and she was pouring me another glass of wine.

"Good thing I brought more than one bottle. Shhh…", she said, "Shhhh…alright…now here…drink this. On me. Sip it."

I took the glass and slowly sipped on it…able to take little breaths in between sips.

"Does it help?", she asked, looking at my face, a little smile on her lips.

I nodded mutely, still rocking a little, sipping the drink…it was actually very good…sweet…warming. It eased me a little.

"I'm sorry, Anthony.", she said, still looking at me, her brow lowering a bit, "I didn't know you were claustrophobic. I didn't think. Sip some more."

And I did. I felt my eyes close for a few seconds as it went to work relaxing me…even my tense legs that were all coiled up a moment ago were starting to feel looser…normal again.

"I wish I had the key or something.", she said now, "It only locks from the outside. My friend will let us out soon, I promise. Until then, I guess we can just hang out."

I felt myself nodding, holding the glass to my chest as I took some deeper breaths…and the walls stopped closing in.

"There you go.", she said, patting my back a couple times, "Nice and easy…relax. Drink the rest."

I had a little more in my glass and so I drank it down.

"A little better?", she asked me…and I looked at her, nodding and breathing, "Yea."

"Good.", she said, pouring more into my glass…and some into her own, "At least it works for something. Cheers."

She put her glass up for a second and then drank some of her wine, looking out into the area out there where the light bulb was still lit, her boots and hat on the floor below it.

"Anthony…", she sighed, crossing her legs Indian style, "Why is life so shitty?"

"I have no idea.", I replied, honestly, drinking more of my wine.

"Why didn't you hit me?", she asked, sounding like a different person now than the one I'd seen up til now.

I looked at her, confused.

"You could've had sex with me…and you said no…", she summed it up, "I pissed you off and offered to let you hit me…and you didn't. I even threatened to wreck your job, your girlfriend…everything. So why wouldn't you hit me?"

"I didn't want to.", I answered, "I was raised not to hurt girls…women. Besides that, I know how it feels to be hit. That's why I don't hit other people. Well, unless they deserve it…if it's self defense. But never a woman, no matter what. It's been hard for me at times…I've known a lot of women…who probably should've been hit. But I just can't."

She looked at me in a new way now and went, "Hmm."

I waited for her to speak and she did.

"You're a good man, Anthony Masen.", she said as if she just found that out, "Very good. I AM sorry…that I got you locked up in here. I just thought…we'd have a little fun."

I made a breath that spoke of anger that she thought this would be fun for me, on any level. Like locking a person up in the dark was a lot of fun…like they all thought…every time I was trapped…maybe that's where all their laughter comes from.

"Were you locked up…like this…as a kid?", she asked gently, her hand on my arm, "Is that why you're so scared now?"

"No, I was locked up as an adult.", I stated, taking more wine into my mouth.

"Oh.", she sounded like she understood that, her hand rubbing against my arm, and not in a sleazy way…the way a friend would…like Selena would…when we were friends…patient and Doctor.

"I was locked up…as a kid.", she shared, "But I went the other way…instead of being scared of the dark…I love it. I think I was a cat in my past life."

I just grinned weakly at her…finding her not so repulsive right now.

"It's what happens in the light that's fucked up.", she said with an edge to her voice.

"That's the truth.", I agreed. She clicked her glass to mine, and we both drank a little more.

"Did…Sharon…", I began but then she cut me off.

"No.", she frowned slightly, "Sharon adopted me when I was eight. My father was a real mess. He used to beat me…and…other things…and then I'd have to take care of him. He was a no good drunk. But he was all I had."

She took another sip and went on.

"I used to run away from the house sometimes…after he was finished with me…", she said, her eyes staring out at nothing, "And I'd come here. It was close to our house…and I loved the horses. Sharon was real nice to me…and always let me ride 'em. Then one night I went back home and he was laying there, in a pool of blood…dead. He fell and hit his empty head on the edge of my mother's glass coffee table. The one good thing my mother ever did for me before she left us. She bought that gorgeous coffee table. Sharon took me in. I'm her daughter now."

I handed her my half full glass of wine, thinking she needed it more than me. But she laughed and shoved my hand away.

"Go on, drink it.", she smiled, "We might as well. There's nothing else to do down here while we wait."

"I'm sorry I said all those nasty things before.", I finally had my real voice back, "I didn't mean—"

"Yea, you did.", she grinned, shoving my leg with hers, "And it's okay. I was being a bitch. I deserved it. It didn't hurt. Words don't really hurt me…or make me happy either…I don't know why…but I only feel anything now when I'm either fucked…or beaten…or both."

"Did you…ever…see a psychologist or anything?", I asked, sounding just like Selena, "After you went with Sharon?"

"No.", she shook her head with a violent twist, "I'm not crazy. I'm just…screwed up."

"No.", I smiled a little, not believing I was gonna do this, but I stole Dr. Peter's line, "HE was screwed up. HE was. Not you. Keep telling yourself that. It DOES help, believe me. And going to a doctor doesn't make you crazy. It helps. Just days ago, I was having a leaf war with my doctor. It was great!"

"Leaf war?", she asked, chuckling at me.

"Yep.", I smirked, "And I won."

"Or he LET you win.", she teased.

"No, I WON.", I assured her, "It wasn't even CLOSE."

"Give me that glass, Leaf King.", she had the bottle again…and poured me some more.

"I probably should stop drinking this.", I said, "I'm on the job….I'm supposed to be working now."

"It don't hurt.", she poured herself some more, "Wine and beer… are like milk and cookies around here."

"I like milk and cookies.", I heard myself say.

She laughed at that. And I laughed a little too. This was better than suffocating, as long as she was nice and didn't try to take her clothes off again.

"What doctor are you going to?", she asked, sounding curious.

"Dr. Peter Facinelli.", I said, his last name sounding fuzzy on my tongue as I spoke it…or maybe it's the wine.

"He's really good.", I went on, "You should go see him…just to talk. He's very cool. He's got this thing with hats…it's creepy at first…but it's really funny."

"I know that guy.", she shook her head, "No thanks."

"Why?", I asked, "What—"

"I can get drunk alone, or with you…that's alright.", she said, "But I'm not paying a guy 75 bucks an hour to drink while I'm talking."

"He doesn't drink while you're talking.", I defended.

"Anthony, it's okay.", she said, "He's your doctor, that's fine. Let's change the subject, okay?"

I was confused and wanted to know more about what she was saying about Peter but then she asked, "How's the wine? Like it?"

"Yea.", I answered honestly, "It's really good. Thank you."

"You looked like you could use it.", she sipped hers, "Feeling better?"

"Yes.", I took a full, clean breath…I felt calmer.

We sat in silence for a couple minutes and then I asked, "Are you going to try and seduce me again?"

She smirked at me.

"Do you WANT me to?"

"No.", I said right out, the wine taking away my hesitations.

"Then I won't.", she smiled warmly now, and it was like when the Ice Wizard melts and he's a person…and he's nice…it was in some old Christmas movie I used to love. But I can't remember the name of it now. Is this wine making me all stupid?

"Thanks.", I grinned, looking out at the dark around us.

"Do you think I'm pretty though?", she asked.

"Yea.", I replied, looking at her, "You're beautiful. You know that. But it doesn't matter….to me anyway. I love Selena. It wouldn't matter if you were the most beautiful girl in the world, or had the best boobs or the best butt…it doesn't matter. Selena is my girl. For the rest of my life."

"Damn.", she smirked at me again and took a sip or two of her wine, "Love. That's a hard one for me. I've never felt it. Only for Sharon, but that's not the same. Love with a man? Puulleassee…"

"It's real.", I shared, "I didn't believe it either…until a couple months ago…when I met her. But it is. You should hang on…your somebody will find you. Or you'll find him. Or HER. You never know what form your love will come in. But when it's there…you have to grab it."

"I'm no lesbian.", she chuckled, "But maybe it's not a bad idea. You men sure all stink!"

"We do.", I agreed and she laughed at that too.

A little while later, we were very happy and had gotten into some real soulful conversations. We had discussed everything! And I found out Jenna is not the devil. She doesn't even LIKE having sex all that much…she told me so!

Man, it's too bad I was in love and devoted to Selena…in the old days…I could've changed Jenna's mind about sex. She was sure going to be a great challenge for some poor bastard someday.

I wasn't sure how much I was telling about my own life…but I made sure to keep slavery and witness protection and Selena's name out of it. Before a couple of hours had passed, we were becoming pretty good friends.

"You know, Jenna…", I slurred a little as I spoke, "You're not so bad when you're not being a bitch in heat."

She giggled and put a hand up to her mouth…and I laughed too, unsure why.

"And you're not so bad when you're not being a little judgmental WOOS!", she shot back, not missing a beat.

"Here's to us!", I lifted my glass, "Just good friends…"

"And staying that way!", she finished and we clicked glasses.

"Will Selena let you be my good friend?", she asked, looking a little tipsy, sounding like a little girl in her insecurity.

"I think so.", I nodded, "She's real nice. As long as you're not trying to take your clothes off again I think she'd be cool with it."

"I doubt it.", she said, "Girlfriends don't like me. They all feel like I'm gonna try to steal their man."

"Do you?" I asked.

"Sure.", she answered and we both laughed.

"You are a hot mess!", I decided.

"And you are so nice.", Jenna smiled at me, "I wish we could really be friends."

"We can.", I said.

"Huh.", Jenna looked into the black, "A man FRIEND. No sex."

"No sex.", I agreed.

"That's weird.", she laughed as I rolled my eyes, feeling a little tipsy myself all of a sudden.

I stopped drinking the wine…and so did she…and in a little bit, we sounded more normal again. We were talking like people, not two happy drunks anymore.

"You can change, Jenna.", I was saying to her, "I did it. And I come from a place…most don't come back from. It's up to you."

"I guess.", she thought about it, I could see her brain working on things already.

"This is nice.", I thought aloud, "I wish we had hit it off like this from the start. I could use some friends."

"You don't have any friends?" she asked.

"I have one friend…kind of…", I looked out into the void.

"I would like to be friends…if you still do.", she said, sounding so…fragile…so unlike the way she was before…she sounded like she was thirteen. It was sweet.

"I'd like to be friends with YOU.", I informed, "Not that other Jenna. I like the real you a lot better. You should let other people see you."

"I've tried that.", she said, the wall back up again, the eyes all hard again, "That's when I get hurt. I'm never letting anyone hurt me again."

"I get that.", I told her, "That's why I look down all the time…I've been hurt real bad too. But when I stopped pretending…when I tried to be ME…whoever that is…that's when Selena fell in love with me."

"Do you think someone would ever fall in love with ME?", she asked, looking at me with uncertainty.

"THIS you?", I asked, then said, "Yea."

She smiled a little.

"But not the other you, Jenna.", I added, "That Jenna is really going to get hurt someday…not every guy will be like me. And I would feel sad if something bad happened to you. You're my friend."

She looked at me and got tears in her eyes. Then she looked away and brushed them away with her finger, pretending she wasn't crying.

"I hate this sensitive shit.", she said, her voice creaking a bit.

"Me too.", I agreed.

We had another little pause of silence.

"Are we…really friends then?", she asked, as if I was playing a joke on her.

"Yea, I guess we are now.", I said, "Life is weird. I didn't see that coming."

"Me either.", she grinned.

"And HEY…", I shrugged, "If you want to meet a nice guy…I have my one friend I can introduce you to. He's single. And he owns his own business, too!"

"Oh yea?", she made a face, "What's his name?"

"Marcus.", I said, "Marcus Jimmy Chan."

I smiled to myself, knowing if he could hear that he'd hate it.

"I don't really go for oriental guys…"

"No, he's not.", I assured, "He's black. And REALLY…REALLY nice."

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