The Sergeant's Protection

By: K. Langston
A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength,



but the strength of his heart.

–Hercules





The first time I laid eyes on her, I knew I would never be the same.

She’s too innocent.

Too lost.

Too broken.

But I want her anyway.

I want her heart, body, and soul.

And once she’s mine, I’ll never let her go.





What will become of me?

The daughter of a killer. A drug lord. My name is not only covered in blood but now so are my hands. But I don’t regret killing my father. He deserved to die for murdering my mother and taking away the only real family I ever had. For all the pain he’s caused others.

For all the hell he put me through.

I’d plotted his death many times but never thought I could actually go through with it. I wasn’t born with the heart of a killer, so I never knew if, given the opportunity, I would be brave enough to take it.

Shockingly enough, when it came time to fight or die, I chose to fight.

I hesitated at first, fear threatening to consume me at the thought of taking his life, of actually escaping the hell he locked me away in for so long. But my future flashed before me in a halo of hope, offering up everything I’d ever dreamed of and the one thing I craved the most.

Freedom.

So, I grabbed onto it and never looked back.

Now I’m sitting in a hospital room, staring at the very man who helped give me that freedom. I had hoped that when Bodie came to rescue his sister that he would show mercy and take me with him as well. I knew it might be my last chance to escape. But instead, my savior came in a different form. And he is truly a sight to behold. When I saw Justin for the first time down in that musty basement, I’d found it nearly impossible to breathe. The shade of his blue eyes were unlike any color I’d ever seen, or maybe it wasn’t the color that was so arresting but what I saw blazing behind them.

A fierce heart and a noble soul.

He stirs, his eyes fluttering open, and he frantically looks around the room, as if he’s searching for something—or rather someone—then his eyes focus on me, sitting quietly in the dark corner. His lips curl into a relieved smile.

With unsteady feet, I stand and walk to him. “Hi,” I greet quietly, fidgeting with my hands in front of me. “How are you feeling?”

He reaches for one of my shaking hands, pulling me closer. I take two steps forward, the front of my thighs touching his hospital bed.

“Like I’ve been shot.”

Guilt swarms my chest. “I’m so sorry, Justin, I never meant for—”

“Don’t.” His hand squeezes mine. “I’d do it all over again if it meant getting you out of there. How are you?”

Unable to stand, I perch myself on the chair sitting next to his bed.

“I’m okay. I’m just afraid.”

Lifting his hand from mine, he tucks it beneath my chin, bringing my eyes to his. “You don’t have to be afraid anymore.”

“Easy for you to say. You have a home to go to. I do not. I know nothing of the outside world. What’s going to happen to me, Justin? I have no education, no skills. What am I to do for money or shelter?”

Covering my face with my hands, I can’t hold back my tears and fears any longer.

His hand curls around my neck, bringing my face closer to his, sharp eyes boring into mine. “I made a promise to you down in that basement, Selena. I swore to protect you, and I aim to keep that promise. Understand?”

“You do not owe me anything. I have inconvenienced you enough. You were nearly killed because of me.”

“And I would do it again in a heartbeat if it meant getting you out of there alive.” His words wash over me in a tidal wave of truth, the conviction in his tone driving home every word. “I want you to come stay with me for a while.”

I shake my head. “No, I can’t ask that of you. You’ve done so much already. I’ll figure something out.”

“I know you’re not asking. And I’m not telling you what you have to do, but listen to me when I say, that’s where you need to be right now. Until you’re able to get on your feet and until this whole thing settles down, that’s where I can keep you safe.”

Exhaling a long, deep breath, I realize I can breathe a little easier. For the first time in my life, fear is no longer my friend. My chest feels lighter, my shoulders straighter. It’s an incredible feeling. A feeling I never want to let go of.

A feeling I want to hold on to forever.

A knock sounds at the door and Justin quickly releases my hand, clearing his throat.

“Come in,” he bellows.

Two men dressed in suits enter the room, and my heart sinks when they flash their badges. Growing up with my father, I was taught two things, never betray his trust and never trust the police.

“Sergeant Cunningham. Miss Del Marco, my name is Agent Morales. I would like to speak to you about the statement you gave our initial agents.”

Morales takes a seat in the chair next to me.

“Thank you for your time, Miss Del Marco. I know the last twenty-four hours have been difficult for you.”

“Please, call me Selena or Miss Allen but do not call me Del Marco.”

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