| I found this beautiful little condo right here in Bryant. It is a corner unit next to the Cooper National Forest. There is a large clearing so Zeus can run and play. The mortgage on this condo is three hundred dollars less than what Kane and I were paying on the apartment that we had shared. The utilities are low and I am in love with it. I get to move in at the end of the week. I have already retrieved my belongings from the apartment I had shared with Kane.
Both Mark and Salim were there when I got my stuff for I did not trust Kane not to pull some kind of shit. Kane of course kept trying to guilt me back into the relationship but I was not having any part of it and I know that this frustrated him to no end. I had to build a wall around my heart, I had to protect myself from being hurt again, and I would not let Kane back into my sacred heart. The only one that is securely in my heart is Zeus for he is loyal to the end and I know that for certain.
Zeus and I move into our brand new home and we arrange everything perfectly. I love to let Zeus out in the clearing and watch him run circles. Zeus darts in and out of the brush bringing me sticks and rocks. I smile as I watch Zeus play. As I am watching Zeus play my cell phone rings and I dread that it might be Kane. Kane has not stopped calling me since I left him. Kane is nothing more than a pain in the ass.
I check my caller ID and it is not Kane, which is a relief, and it is only Salim checking in on me. I start back to work tomorrow with a new partner named Oliver Scarrs. I am a little worried about bumping into Kane at work. Kane started back to work last week. Salim says he is on my side about this whole Kane issue and he will not let anything happen to me. Salim has also briefed Oliver so I should be safe. I thank Salim and hang up the phone.
Again the phone rings and this time it is Kane. I punt the call directly into voicemail. I dial Mark’s number. I have had enough of these harassing calls from Kane. He is being obsessive and harassing and I do not like how it is making me feel. My gut is uneasy and it is sending me mixed messages. I steel myself and make sure my doors and windows are locked. I go up the stairs to my loft bedroom. Zeus is already there on the bed waiting for me. I turn the television on and I snuggle up to my puppy that is almost a year now.
Nine o’clock in the morning and I am cleaning and stocking my ambulance with Oliver. Salim checks in on Oliver and I. I explain to Salim that we are not having any problems but Kane is not here as of yet. I am actually dreading seeing Kane for the first time since I walked out on him. Oliver and Salim both assure me that everything is going to be just fine for they are both there for me. I thank them and they both answer that it is no problem.
Oliver is more than a little curious about what happened between Kane and I. Oliver directly asks me what happened, I admire his directness, and I like this guy’s attitude. Friend wise I think Oliver and I are going to be famous but romantically nothing will happen. Not that Oliver is not a decent looking man but my heart is still closed off to love. I am open to a friendship and for the time being that is all I want. I patiently explain my relationship with Kane and I am surprised that I am not crying. When I finish about all the crap that Kane put me through we are finished cleaning and stocking the ambulance.
Oliver says, “Jesus Jace, I am really sorry.”
I reply, “Don’t be sorry Oliver. It is the best thing that I did for Zeus and myself. I am not worrying if he is still cheating on me.”
Oliver offers, “Look, if you need anything at all, just let me know.”
I doubt I will need help but there is always that chance so I say, “Thank you.”
Kane is suddenly there, standing next to Oliver and I, and he looks furious. I can see the anger in his eyes and in his posture but I steel myself for I am not going to be manipulated by this crazy, insane man. Oliver glances over at me and I nod my head. I also motion for him to relax. Kane steps closer to me and I order him to stop in his tracks and I order for Kane to back off. Kane ignores me and Salim starts to approach us for he knows Kane is going to lose it. Yet I am determined to stand up for myself. If I do not make a stand, I know that Salim and Oliver will be there, but otherwise nobody else will do it for me. Salim also knows the stance that I am taking and he knows I will defend myself any way that I can. Salim also knows that the outcome will not be good a good one if I am forced to fight.
Salim picks up his pace as Kane shoves me hard, I almost topple over, but I gain my balance quickly. I laugh a little, Kane is such a wimp, and I am on alert now. I will defend myself violently if it comes down to it. I will not allow Kane to touch me again. Of course now I try to provoke Kane by asking him if that is all that he has in him is a shove.
Salim stops in his tracks and he pulls out his cell phone. Salim knows that this blow out between Kane and I is going to get dangerous for me because Kane is out for blood. Salim presses a few buttons and then he is talking into the phone. Salim is too far away for me to hear what he is saying but I am sure he is making a call to stop this mess before somebody really gets hurt.
I smile for Kane is unaware of this little fact, Kane has no idea that Salim is calling the police, and I am glad that this is going to surprise him. My stance is stronger now for I know help is on the way. Kane is attempting to torment me but I am not falling for it. Oliver orders Kane to back off but Kane tells him to fuck off. Kane is quickly losing it and I do not feel bad that this is happening.
I take a step closer to Kane. Fire is burning in my hard gray eyes. I will not let Kane do this to me. I am feeling bold as Kane’s fists ball up. I should be afraid but I am not. I have never seen this side of Kane before but I knew he had it in him. I do not know how I knew this but I just did maybe my gut has informed me of this before now but I do not remember.
I now brace myself for a violent attack as Mark and three officers enter the garage. Kane lets loose and he punches me in the middle of the face causing my nose to erupt with blood and my bottom lip to split open. I am ready to attack Kane as Mark orders Kane to back off. Mark then yells for Kane to back away from me, but Kane ignores him, and I know this is not a good sign. But I am finding the bravery that I thought I once lost.
Mark and the officers draw their weapons as Kane lunges for me. I quickly step aside and I kick Kane in the groin as he passes by me. As Kane doubles over I knee him in the face. I can feel Kane’s nose shatter beneath my knee and blood splatters everywhere. Kane struggles to stand up right and he glares at me with hostility. I stay strong as Kane demands to know why I did this to him. Blood drips from his nose and he does not wipe it away. Mark and the officers approach Kane and their weapons are still drawn. Kane pretends to relax. I am on high alert now for I now know what he is up to.
Kane pretends to sound innocent as he speaks, “I
thought you loved me, Jace.”
I reply, “I did once.”
Kane sounds hurt but I know it is just an act, “Once?”
I say firmly, “You hurt me emotionally and now you are attacking me physically. I stopped loving you the day that I left that hell hole that you call home. Now I hate you and I want nothing to do with you. I thought I made that perfectly clear.”
Kane still pretends to be calm, “Jace, honey, I am so sorry for all of this. Please take me back. I honestly do love you.”
I am stronger now as I reply, “Absolutely not. You can go to hell.”
Kane begs, “I swear I will not do any of this again.”
I raise my voice as I say, “I will never take you back. Suck it up ass wipe!”
Kane utters, “Bitch.”
I say, “This is what I am talking about. You have no respect and I am not going to deal with you. I do not trust you Kane, I want you to stay the fuck away from me, and if you come near me again I will file fucking charges.”
Kane produces a gun from the back of his blue jeans that his sweat shirt concealed. I will not lie, I am a little shocked, and I am a little afraid. Kane threatens to kill me if I do not come back to him. I want to laugh at him but I am still attempting to grasp the situation. Mark and the officers charge Kane. In a hurry Kane takes a shot that completely misses me by a mile which I am thankful for.
Mark takes careful aim of his gun and shoots Kane. The gun firing sounds like a loud firecracker going off. The bullet plunges into Kane’s right shoulder and it goes right through him. Blood spills from Kane’s shoulder wound and Kane has dropped his gun. An officer kicks Kane’s gun away from him as Kane was trying to reach for it with his left hand. Kane finally collapses to the ground from the blood loss and the pain.
My first instinct is to run to Kane, to take care of him for he is in pain, but Oliver and Salim hold me back. Salim is reminding me of all the horrible things that Kane has done to me so I come to my senses and I stay where I am. I know that they are right and the feelings of running to Kane to help him have passed. What the hell was I thinking? Running to Kane to help him? The son of a bitch was intent on killing me. Kane lets out a scream that he loves me and that he needs me. Salim and an officer take me away from the scene so I do not have to be subjected to any more of Kane’s verbal abuse. I let them lead me away for I cannot take any more of this torture.
I am sitting in Salim’s office with a large cup of water in front of me. Two officers are guarding the door while a pair of medics and Mark take Kane away to the hospital. Mark had read Kane his rites. After Kane is physically stable from the gunshot wound Mark will take Kane to the police station to a holding cell until Kane can stand before a judge.
All I can hope for is that Kane gets life in prison for what he has done to me. I will willingly testify against Kane and I will fight for my protection. I know If Kane is released and not sent to jail or prison he will only try to kill me again and that is not fair. I just want to live a peaceful, drama free life. That is all I ever wanted. I thought I had it but I guess I was wrong.
Salim is on the phone with Taylor, the therapist, and he is making me an appointment. I really want to thank Salim for this act of kindness but I am a little on the shell shocked side to speak to anyone. Salim informs me that I have an appointment with Taylor in two hours. I nod my head, letting Salim know I have heard him, but I just stare at the cement floor. An officer sits beside me and he gently touches my shoulder. I jump and shy away from the officer. The officer apologizes and I just really do not want to be touched at the moment and I think this is reasonable response for everything I have just been through.
The officer asks, “Miss. Banks?”
I quietly respond, “It’s just Jace, please.”
The young officer says, “Jace, I need to ask you a few questions. Can you answer them for me to the best of your ability or it can wait until later today.”
I am really tired but I say, “I can try.”
The officer asks me, “Did you know that Kane had this in him?”
I reply on the quiet side, “No, not really. He has never acted like that towards me before.”
The officer asks, “What did he say about his ex girlfriends?”
I say, “Kane broke up with them because they were either crazy or didn’t have time for him.”
The offer asks and he is a little shocked, “He literally said that some of his ex girlfriends were crazy?”
I say, “I am pretty sure that’s what he said.”
The officer questions me a little more, “How did you know he was cheating on you?”
“It was a gut feeling that I was having and I spoke to the woman he was sleeping with at the time.”
The officer was a little surprised, “You did?”
I say, “Yes.”
The officer is curious and needs an answer for his report, “What is her name?”
I reply, “Hope Williams.”
The officer asks, “Where can I find this woman?”
I say, “The last I knew she was at a holding cell at your station.”
The officer replies, “I will look up her address in our paper work.”
I ask, “Officer?”
The officer looks me in the eyes, “Yes?”
I ask, “What is gonna happen now?”
The officer is curious, “With what?”
I bluntly say, “With Kane.”
The officer says patiently, “He will get medical attention for his gunshot wound. A judge will be ordered to question Kane while he is in the hospital. The judge will also question you, Salim, and others.”
I ask, “What if he lies?”
The officer pats my shoulder, “He can try but too many officers saw and heard what was going on. Kane will not get away with this. I can promise you that. Kane will end up going to prison.”
Again I ask, “Then what will happen?”
The officer says, “Then Kane’s case will go to trial.”
I am very concerned, “What if he tries to hurt me again?”
“As soon as the doctors clear him he will be in jail until the trial. He will not get the chance to hurt you again.”
I tremble slightly, “I’m really scared. I cannot go through this again. I am sure you understand.”
The officer replies softly, “I understand Jace. We will not let anything happen to you.”
I sadly reply, “At this moment I don’t believe that and I hope you can understand.”
The officer gently says, “You have my word, Jace. You know Mark isn’t going to let Kane anywhere near you.”
I ask, “Do you have any other questions for me?”
The officer says, “Not at the moment. Mark will probably have questions for you later but you can go home and get some rest.”
I ask, “I can leave? I am very tired.”
The officer replies, “Yes you can.”
I ask, “Would you keep me posted on what is happening with this whole situation?”
The officer smiles as he promises, “Of course we will.”
All I can do at this point is nod my head. I am so tired that it is not even funny. I feel like I cannot go on. I know I will fight my way through this but I do want to throw in the towel at the moment. Yet I know I must be strong. My gut is saying that things will get worse before they can get better. I do know that I will get over this whole event. I just have to fight and hang in there and I know it will take some time. I drive my car to my condo with Salim following me. We have an hour and a half before I see Taylor so we go into my condo and I take Zeus out to the clearing so he can run and do his business. Zeus is happy to see me but he senses that something is wrong. I pat him and rough house with him so he will not be so tense.
It is time to leave so I can see Taylor. I decide to bring Zeus with me for I need to have him with me for support. I am also looking forward to seeing Taylor and telling him what has happened. I need to process this whole thing with Kane. I feel as though I am a total mess. It has been a traumatic few hours and I am unnerved by all of this craziness. I want things to calm down and go back to the way they were after I left Kane. I know I will never forget what Kane has done to me but the memory will fade and I will go on with my life. Salim says he will drive us to Taylor’s house. We usually meet at Taylor’s office but this event is too bizarre to not see him and as soon as possible. So Taylor said that I could see him at his home. I need Taylor and his advice. He, Taylor, will give me good, solid advice that I know that I can trust this advice. I also know that I can trust Taylor. I am a little insecure at the moment but who would not be?
Salim, Zeus, and I walk up to Taylor’s front door. Salim rings the doorbell and in less than a minute Taylor opens the door. Taylor welcomes us to his home and says his wife and children went out to dinner and they are going to do some shopping so I am not to worry about anything. Taylor says we have plenty of time to talk about things. Salim says he needs to run some errands and he will be back to pick me up in a couple of hours. I thank Salim and I do not think he realizes that I really mean it.
I am happy to have some private time with Taylor. I watch Salim leave and Taylor pats Zeus on his deep golden head. Taylor and I go into his living room and Zeus lies at my feet. Taylor then he disappears into his kitchen. When Taylor comes back into the living room he is carrying two large cups of ice water.
Taylor sits down and he asks, “How are you doing?”
I reply, “Not so good.”
Taylor says, “I don’t imagine you are.”
I ask, “Do you know anything that has happened this morning?”
Taylor says, “Salim prepared me so I know what has happened, mostly. So physically are you okay?”
I state, “I am not wounded physically but my body is anxious, paranoid, and the PTSD is acting up again.”
Taylor nods his head, “That’s all normal. I would be shocked if you were completely fine. I was expecting you to be a lot worse actually.”
I say, “I am also extremely tired. All I want to do is sleep. I cannot concentrate on anything.”
Taylor says, “Again this is normal.”
I say, “It doesn’t feel normal.”
Taylor takes a sip of his water, “Jace, this is just depression that you are talking about. Considering what you just went through if you claimed you were fine I would be a little more than worried about you.”
I reply, “I kinda figured it is depression. I have been through this aspect before as you know.”
Taylor wonders, “How is your emotional status besides being depressed?”
I say, “I am on overdrive. I can barely stand it. I want to jump out of my skin, I am anxious, paranoid, and I am just a freaking mess.”
Taylor is curious now, “How do you think I can help you?”
I think for a moment, “Just by listening and giving me some good solid advice. You helped me before.”
Taylor says, “I will be happy to do that.”
I ask, “Taylor?”
Taylor responds, “Yes dear?”
I ask, “Will this ever stop? My heart is crushed. My depression and anxiety are so intense that I can barely stand it.”
Taylor promises, “It will stop hurting soon. But you will never forget.”
I need a solid answer, “How soon?”
Taylor says, “It could take months or a year or two.”
I am amazed, “Really? That long?”
Taylor says, “Yes, unfortunately but it all depends on the person.”
I ask, “Why the hell did Kane snap like this? Why did I not see this coming? Am I really that stupid?”
Taylor says, “You aren’t stupid Jace and you know this. Kane is a possessive man, I noticed that when I first met him, and maybe Kane was feeling a little guilty about cheating on you with this Hope Williams person. This whole break up thing probably did not help matters either but I am not sure why he actually did what he did.”
I admit, “Maybe you’re right but I don’t know either. If he really did love me then he would not have done what he did.”
Taylor says, “You are right on that point. He did disrespect you in the worst possible way. Kane betrayed you and that feels like the worst pain imaginable. Can I ask you a question?”
I reply, “Of course.”
Taylor asks me, “How did you know that Kane was cheating on you?”
I say. “Originally I left Kane because I was trying to help him process a toddler’s death. Kane was refusing every idea I came up with to help him and Kane was shutting me out at that time.”
Taylor asks, “Did you suggest therapy?”
I say, “Of course I did.”
Taylor asks, “Well what did he say to that?”
I say, “Basically he told me to go to fucking hell.”
Taylor is curious, “Then how did you come to conclusion that Kane was actually cheating on you?”
I say, “It was a constant gut feeling. I knew something was just not right and I came to the conclusion that he must be seeing someone else. I didn’t want to believe it but my gut kept nagging me about this.”
Taylor wonders, “How did you confirm it?”
I confess, “I went to the jail and I talked to Hope Williams herself, Hope is the woman Kane was sleeping with, and it was really awkward to say the least.”
Taylor replies, “I’m sure it was. Are you really sure Hope was telling you the truth? She could have been lying.”
I say, “Everything she said made sense to me. My gut pounded that it was the truth.”
Taylor questions me, “How did it make sense?”
I reply, “Kane’s behavior. Making excuses to go out. Kane would just disappear on me. I would wake up from a nap and Kane was gone. No note and he would never pick up his cell phone when he disappeared on me.”
Taylor agrees, “Well that does make a lot of sense. Now onto what happened today. Can you tell me how you felt?”
I look at the coffee table, sip my water, and then I reply, “When Kane got shot I wanted to run to him and tell him that everything would be just fine.”
Taylor asks, “What stopped you from doing this?”
I respond, “The simple fact that he hurt me emotionally and physically plus Salim and Oliver were holding me back. Salim would not let me go to him for there was too much danger if I acted on this impulse for Kane already took a shot at me with a gun that I never knew he had.”
Taylor says, “Salim seems to be a good friend of yours.”
I smile a little, “He is awesome. He has always been there for me. Salim is like a father to me. I really admire him.”
Taylor says, “It’s good to have people like him in your life.”
I say, “Salim has a good head on his shoulders, he is loyal, protective, and he leads by example.”
Taylor changes the subject, “How else did you feel today?”
“Scared, irritated, my heart ached, and my whole body wanted to beat the shit out of him. I also wanted to vomit from the intensity of the whole event.”
Taylor is a little confused by this, “Your heart ached?”
I reply, “It’s sad to say but I still felt love for him at that moment in time. It was like nothing ever happened.”
Taylor says, “Jace, you have been with the man for more than five years. It’s hard not to love the man you were with.”
I admit, “I didn’t want to hurt him.”
Taylor points out, “But he hurt you first.”
I say and I am now confused, “I know. I just don’t know what to do now.”
Taylor says, “You are going to recover from this. I swear I will help you through this. Salim and I will be there for you and so will Zeus. You know this. I am grateful that you have Zeus in your life. He is your constant companion that will never hurt you and he is wonderful therapy as well. Just because Kane did all of this to you doesn’t make all men evil you know.”
I say, “It just feels that way.”
Taylor says, “Again remember that you have Zeus. He will also be there for you. That dog loves you to death.”
I confide, “I am afraid that Kane will get off on some technicality and come after me to finish the job.”
Taylor questions me, “Finish the job?”
I say, “Kill me.”
Taylor says, “That’s a reasonable fear but the court will make him pay. Trust me. Have I ever steered you wrong?”
I say, “No you haven’t.”
Taylor says, “Okay. I want to see you twice a week for the next eight weeks and then we will go from there. Does that sound like a plan?”
I reply, “Yes. Does this mean more time off from work?”