Timing: Chapter 16

Daniel heard the glass breaking as he watched the images of Louis breaking into the house, and he knew the alarm had been tripped, alerting Ellsworth Police. He had a hard time sitting there, his skin seemingly shrinking, not knowing what Louis would do to Eva. Well, if he were honest with himself he did know. The photos were a damn good indicator. The nearby radio crackled, as the men outside checked in with progress reports. Sebastian was inside, waiting in the attic. Daniel hadn’t been thrilled about it, but he knew he couldn’t be in there himself. Louis would try and use that against Eva in the divorce. Besides, Sabastian was there in case the cops didn’t show up in time. He glanced at his watch. Two minutes elapsed, and his ears strained for the sound of sirens in the distance.

Sabastian beeped the radio twice, indicating that Louis had not found Eva, yet. Daniel beeped back twice, signaling the others to stay alert. Sabastian beeped one long and one short, and Daniel closed his eyes, his body straining with the instinct to save Eva. Louis had found her.

***

Eva hid in the guest room closet. Sweat streamed down her back, her body shook with the adrenaline surging through it. Daniel’s gun was grasped tightly in her hands, leveled at the door. All rational thought had fled her. If Louis found her, she didn’t know if she could protect herself. She started whimpering, breaking under the tension and anxiety. The bedroom door creaked as it opened. Eva gasped and willed herself farther into the closet and rows of shoes. Please don’t let him find me, she thought as the tears flowed freely down her face.

The closet door came off its hinges and Eva screamed, forgetting about the gun in her small hand. Louis stood in the doorway, shoeless and smiling like a lunatic. “Hi, baby. I’m home,” he said as he yanked her out of her hiding place, the gun falling to the floor. “We’re going to have a very nice reunion,” he whispered in her ear after pulling her close. His arms circled around Eva, pinning her arms against his chest.

Eva cried freely against his shoulder and nodded. Don’t give in, Daniel had told her. Eva didn’t think she could. Where are the guys? Where are the cops? she thought to herself. “Help me,” she pleaded, barely audible through her cries.

Louis ran his hand over her head, along her shoulder, and gripped her by the throat. “Nobody can hear you, baby. It’s just you, and me,” he said, licking her earlobe.

Eva shuddered with fear. “Help me,” she whimpered.

Louis backed up with her in his arms and kicked the door closed with his foot. “I told you, nobody is coming,” he said and moved with her towards the bed. “I promise you’ll like this.” Eva began to struggle, trying to free her arms. Pulling his tie from his pocket, he laid Eva on the bed and held her down with his body. She began to buck, her body pushing against his, attempting to push him off. Holding the tie in his mouth he took her hands in his and raised them above her head, her eyes widening. “Relax, this might just awaken you to a whole new world.” He tied her to the iron rail headboard and got off the bed to undress.

“What…what are you doing?” Eva stammered and struggled against the tie securing her to the headboard.

“I’m going to have that reunion,” he said and took off his belt. He reached for her feet to secure them with it to the foot board.

“No!” Eva yelled and kicked at his hands with her feet. “I will not let you do this to me! I thought you loved me!”

He walked to the head of the bed and slapped her, open handed, across the face. Eva’s entire body wracked with the shock of violence, and she began whimpering in earnest. Begging, pleading for someone to help her.

Louis stood next to the bed and started undressing. “I cannot tell you how much I learned in Salt Lake,” he said, a seductive edge to his voice. “The pleasure brought by pain is amazing.”

His pants fell to the floor. “I want to share all of that with you.”

His sweater landed next to the pants. “And, you will enjoy it.”

Underwear on top of the sweater. “The pampering you will get after will make you beg for this all the time.”

Socks tossed behind him. “You will never want to leave me…” he said and crawled on the bed, pulling Eva’s pants off.

Eva screamed and thrashed against him. “No! You will not do this! YOU WILL NOT DO THIS!” she bellowed. Her voice going hoarse from the strain. Her body fighting to get away from him, with no place to go.

Louis slid between her legs and steadied himself. The thought alone of what he was about to do to her was almost too much to bear. Leaning forward, he yanked her sweater up and over her face, covering it. Eva screamed louder, the sounds muffled by the material. Louis held her tightly by the hips and slipped inside. Her body went stiff, trying to close herself off from him.

The bedroom door burst open, and Daniel grabbed Louis by the hair and yanked him off of Eva. “Do not touch her, again, you sick bastard,” Daniel spoke through gritted teeth. He untied Eva with practiced fingers before turning his attention back to Louis. “Eva, go call 911. They’re already on their way, but I want the call recorded.” Eva sobbed and ran to her bedroom.

Louis laughed and pushed himself up to a sitting position. “Of course,” he said with a shake of the head. “I should’ve known you wouldn’t be too far away. What, with you being her Grand Protector and all.” He spat on the rug and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “You made me bleed. You’ll pay for that one,” he hissed and lunged at Daniel.

Daniel grabbed him under the arms and tackled him to the floor, his fists battering Louis’ face. “How’s this for making you bleed,” he asked. Louis raised his arms in defensive form and laughed. Daniel continued pounding on Louis, his knuckles getting bloody and sore. He didn’t stop until Michael hauled him off and flung him towards the hallway.

“You were right, Daniel,” Michael conceded. “You knew he’d go after her, even though you pretended like this was no big deal.” He shook his head. “I’m really sorry it came down to this, though. She didn’t need to go through that.” Michael and Daniel watched Louis being led down the stairs in handcuffs. The officers allowed him to put his boxers back on to save him the embarrassment of the neighborhood seeing him naked. Michael followed them while Daniel went to help Eva.

***

            Susan flew into the kitchen yelling, “What the hell is going on?! Michael, what are you and the others doing here? Where’s Eva?” she demanded. She started into the living room, shouting Eva’s name. Michael stepped in her way and have her a stern look.

“Listen, Louis came home early and…” he paused. “Well, he did stuff.” Susan’s eyes widened and she shook her head vigorously. Michael held her hands and said, “Babe, you won’t like what you see.” He glanced in the living room and said, “Don’t touch her, okay? Not even through the blankets. She’s only letting Daniel touch her. Do you understand?” When Susan didn’t answer, he shook her gently. “Susan. Do you understand?”

She nodded and broke from his grasp, running for the living room. The officer and Michael heard Susan’s shocked cry, and they looked at each other. Susan walked back to the kitchen and demanded to know what happened. The officer looked skeptically at Michael, who nodded. The officer recounted the events in such detail that Susan vomited. Michael moved to help her, but she shrugged him off. He backed away and got a roll of paper towels from the pantry, and handed them to her.

Michael asked him if there was anything else that needed to be done. “Not really. I mean, the forensic team will be here soon. Aside from that, we have everything we need. But, Michael…” he paused. “She really needs to get checked out.”

Michael nodded. “I’ll get Susan to call Eva’s doctor and have her meet them at the hospital,” he agreed. “Right now, I need to get an official statement from her ex-husband. She’s going to need a place to stay and he’ll make sure she’s safe if Louis gets out of jail somehow.” The officer nodded and left. Susan shook and Michael rubbed her back. “Call her doctor to meet at the hospital,” he told her. Susan nodded and pulled out her cell to make the call just as the forensics team arrived.

Eva and Daniel did not move from the couch until Michael brought the forensic team in to take pictures of the doorway and broken glass. Michael said, “You need to get her to the hospital. Dr. Hutchins will meet you there and do a full work up. Take Susan with you.” He took the team upstairs to photograph the guestroom.

Daniel nodded and sat with Eva in his lap. “Susan?” he called out. Susan appeared in the doorway. “Get the car, please. We’re going to the hospital, and you’re driving. I need to be with her in the back.” Susan nodded, and grabbed her bag and Eva’s before going out to the car. Resting on his heels, he said,” We’re going to the hospital to see Dr. Hutchins, okay?” She nodded. “Okay, you sit right here. I’m going up to get you some clothes, is that alright?” She nodded again. “I’ll be right back.” He patted her leg gently, and stood up.

When he got upstairs, he motioned for Michael to come out in to the hallway. Michael came out. “What?” he asked.

Daniel peered around him. “My service firearm is in there somewhere. Likely the closet.”

Michael nodded. “Got it.”

“Thanks, man. I’m gonna get some clothes for Eva, then we’re headed out,” Daniel said, shaking Michael’s hand. “On your way out, can you swing by my place and check on Mom and Sadie? I left a message we’re safe, but I want them to know where we are and stuff.”

Michael agreed. “Sure, no problem. I’m just glad this whole thing didn’t go any further than it did.” He looked behind him. “Guess I better get in there and finish this.”

Daniel thanked him again and went into Eva’s room. He grabbed a pair of flannel pajama bottoms and t-shirt. He hesitated looking for under things, although he knew she needed them. Blindly, Daniel opened the underwear drawer and just grabbed a bra and pair of panties, along with socks, and stuffed them in the gym bag he found. The sweater section of her closet baffled him, so he decided she could wear his hoodie. Shoes. She needed shoes. He looked around at the selection and threw his hands in the air. “Does it matter what’s on her feet?” he asked out loud. Finally he settled on a pair of raggedy slip-ons in the corner. They went into the bag, too.

He went downstairs and cautiously gathered Eva from the couch, and together they went to the garage. Daniel put her in the back and slid in beside her, careful not to hurt her in anyway. At one point of the ride, Eva brushed hair from her face and Daniel caught sight of the bruise on her wrist. He didn’t think she realized it was there, or she would’ve put her hand back in the blanket.

When they arrived at the hospital, Daniel got the slip-ons out of her bag, and handed the bag to Susan. He put the loose shoes on Eva’s feet and opened the door, holding his hand out to her. She took it and slowly got out of the car. The three of them walked toward the Emergency entrance, allowing Eva to set the pace. Daniel was ready to kill Louis for what he had done. “Nobody will ever hurt someone I love, again.”

***

Dr. Hutchins gave Eva a clean physical bill. “Her emotional state is a bit fragile, and may be for some time. Keep her away from anything that may trigger a reaction…movies, television shows. Things like that.”

Daniel and Susan nodded as Dr. Hutchins outlined a medication schedule. Daniel took notes. He’d be damned if he screwed this up. “I also want to keep her here for the night, make sure she’s okay emotionally to leave in the morning.” She paused and looked at Daniel. “I can approve you to stay if you want to. I know how you feel about her.”

Daniel said, “Oh, yes. Please.” He looked at a sleeping Eva. “Nobody will hurt her on my watch.”

Susan said, “No, I think you’ve got that all covered.” She shook Dr. Hutchins’ hand and thanked her.

When the doctor had left, Susan stood on the opposite side of the bed and said, “Daniel, I want you to promise me something.”

“What’s that?” he asked, not taking his eyes off Eva.

“Don’t let this happen, again. She gets hurt, and I will rip your balls off. Are we clear?”

“Yes, ma’am. I promise,” Daniel said, a smile spreading across his face.

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