Never Too Far (Fallen Too Far)

By: Abbi Glines


Rush
The waves crashing against the shore used to soothe me. I’d been sitting out here on this deck watching the water since I was kid. It had always helped me find a better perspective on things. That wasn’t working for me anymore.

The house was empty. My mother and … the man who I wanted to burn in Hell for all fucking eternity had left as soon as I got back from Alabama three weeks ago. I’d been angry, broken, and wild. After threatening the life of the man my mother was married to, I’d demanded they leave. I didn’t want to see either of them. I needed to call my mom and talk to her but I couldn’t bring myself to do that just yet.

Forgiving my mom was easier said than done. Nan, my sister, had stopped by several times and begged me to talk to her. This wasn’t Nan’s fault but I couldn’t talk to her about this either. She reminded me of what I’d lost. What I’d barely had. What I’d never expected to find.

A loud banging came from inside the house and broke into my thoughts. Turning, I looked back and realized that someone was at the door as the doorbellrang followed by knocking again. Who the hell was that? No one had stopped by except my sister and Grant since Blaire had left.

I put my beer down on the table beside me and stood up. Whoever it was they needed a real good reason for coming over here uninvited. I walked through a house that had stayed clean since Henrietta, the house cleaner’s, last visit. With no parties or social life it was easy to keep things from getting destroyed. I was finding I liked this much better.

The knocking started up again as I reached the door and I jerked it open ready to tell whoever it was to fuck off when words failed me. This wasn’t someone I’d ever expected to see again. I’d only met the guy once and I instantly hated him. Now he was here, I wanted to grab him by the shoulders and shake him until he told me how she was. If she was okay. Where she was living? God I hoped she wasn’t living with him. What if he’d… no, no, no, that hadn’t happened. She wouldn’t. Not my Blaire.

My hands clenched tightly into fists at my sides.

“I need to know one thing,” Cain, the boy from Blaire’s past, said as I stared at him in confused disbelief. “Did you,” he stopped and swallowed. “Do you… fuck—” He took off his baseball cap and ran a hand through his hair. I noticed the dark circles under his eyes and the tired, weary expression on his face.

My heart stopped. I grabbed his upper arm and shook him. “Where’s Blaire? Is she okay?”

“She’s fine… I mean, she’s okay. Let go of me before you break my damn arm,” Cain snapped, jerking his arm away from me. “Blaire is alive and well in Sumit. That isn’t why I’m here.”

Then why was he here? We had one connection. Blaire.

“When she left Sumit she was innocent. Very innocent. I had been her only boyfriend. I know how innocent she was. We’ve been best friends since we were kids. The Blaire that came back wasn’t the same one that left. She doesn’t talk about it. She won’t talk about it. I just need to know if you and her… if y’all… I’m just gonna say this, did you fuck her?”

My vision blurred as I moved without any thought other than to murder him. He’d crossed a line. He wasn’t allowed to talk about Blaire like that. He wasn’t allowed to ask those kinds of questions or doubt her innocence. Blaire was innocent, damn him. He had no right.

“Holy shit! Rush, bro, put him down!” Grant’s voice called out to me. I heard him but it was far away and in a tunnel. I was focused on the guy in front of me as my fist connected with his face and blood spewed from his nose. He was bleeding. I needed him to bleed. I needed someone to fucking bleed.

Two arms wrapped around mine from behind and pulled me away as Cain stumbled backwards holding his hands up to his nose with a panicked look in his eyes. Well, one of his eyes. The other one was already swelling shut.

“What the hell did you say to him?” Grant asked from behind me. It was Grant who had me in a vise grip.

“Don’t you fucking say it!” I roared when Cain opened his mouth to reply. I couldn’t hear him talk about her like that. What we had done was more than something dirty or wrong. He acted like I’d ruined her. Blaire was innocent. So incredibly innocent.What he had done didn’t change that.

Grant’s arms tightened on me as he pulled me back against his chest. “You need to go now. I can only hold him for so long. He’s got about twenty more pounds of muscle on him than I do and this ain’t as easy as it looks. You need to run, dude. Don’t come back. You’re one lucky shit I showed up.”

Cain nodded and then stumbled back to his truck. The anger had simmered in my veins but I still felt it. I wanted to hurt him more. To wash away any thought he may have in his head that Blaire wasn’t as perfect as she had been when she had left Alabama. He didn’t know what all she’d been through. The hell my family had put her through. How could he take care of her? She needed me.

“If I let you go are you gonna chase his truck down or are we good?” Grant asked loosening his hold on me.

“I’m good,” I assured him as I shrugged free of his arms and walked over to the railing to grip it and take several deep breaths. The pain was back full force. I’d managed to bury it until it only throbbed a little but seeing that chickenshit reminded me of everything. That night. The one I would never recover from. The one that would mark me forever.

“Can I ask you what the hell that was about or are you gonna beat the shit outta me too?” Grant asked putting some distance between us.

He was my brother for all intents and purposes. Our parents had been married when we were kids. Long enough for us to form that bond. Even though my mom had a couple husbands since then Grant was still my family. He knew enough to know this was about Blaire.

“Blaire’s ex-boyfriend,” I replied without looking back at him.

Grant cleared his throat. “So, uh, he come over here to gloat? Or did you just beat him to a bloody pulp because he touched her once?”

Both. Neither. I shook my head. “No. He came over here asking questions about me and Blaire. Things that weren’t his business. He asked the wrong thing.”

“Ah, I see. That makes sense. Well he paid for it. The dude’s probably got a broken nose to go with that closed shut eye of his.”

I finally lifted my head and looked back at Grant. “Thanks for pulling me off him. I just snapped.”

Grant nodded then opened the door. “Come on. Let’s go turn on the game and drink a beer.”

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