“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the Biebs.” Seth said in a mocking sing-song voice. “What are you doing around here? Shouldn’t you be somewhere singing ‘Baby, baby, baby, oooh’ to be a bunch of screaming six year olds?” he smirked.
“Where is she?” I growled as I angrily shrugged out of the two guys’ grip. “Where did you put her?”
“What on earth are you talking about, Bieber?” he asked in an aloof manner. “You’re babbling on like a fool.” He and his thuggish friends let out a guttural chuckle.
Seth took a gulp out of the beer bottle he held in his hand like a trophy. He turned his back and began to walk away, but I ran after him and spun him around so that he was facing me.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about!” My jaw clenched harder with every word I spoke. “I know that you hurt her and I swear, if she’s not breathing right now, I’ll—”
Seth’s blue eyes turned into a menacing glare as all of the blood in his face disappeared. He started to swagger away again.
“If I were you, I’d watch my tongue,” He slurred his words, but the threatening tone was still excessively evident. He was the epitome of insolence, and it only made my blood boil hotter.
“Or what?” I challenged. I was unaffected by his arrogant rudeness and threats.
“Or, you’ll be like him,” Seth jerked his thumb towards the motionless body that had threatened to go to the authorities only moments before. The red stain on his left breast sent a cold shiver down my spine. I’d known that he had to be evil. All of the signs up to this point had directed me to believe that he was an infidel, but here and now my worst fears were proved. The raunchy person who stood next to me was a heartless heathen. Terrible scenes of what Caitlin must have endured flashed through my mind like an Hi-Def movie.
He cackled at my horrified expression and I glared at him.
“Just tell me where she is,” I’d intended for my voice to come across cold and emotionless, but instead it sounded like a whispered plea.
“I told you, I don’t know what you’re talking abo—” All of the pent up anger I’d been harboring over the last several days took control and I slammed him against the brick wall behind us.
“Don’t you lie to me, damnit. I know that you’ve kidnapped her and forced her out here to the middle of nowhere. I saw the cabin, I saw the pregnancy test. I know. Don’t you dare lie to me, you son of a bitch.” I spat at him before colliding my fist with his jaw and causing him to stumble.
Within seconds, Seth had regained his bearings and he returned the blow—twice as hard.
Before I could realize what was happening, a full blown fight had broken out.
I was throwing punches and kicking whatever got in my way, whenever I felt like it.
I felt a hard blow against the back of my head. Right before I hit the pavement, I heard the sound of a shattering beer bottle.
I held the lump that was forming on the back of my head as I opened and closed my eyes in an effort to cause my blurry vision to disappear.
I felt a hard blow to my right side, followed by another on my left and I soon realized that Seth’s posse had joined into the fight.
I groaned as I rolled to my side and tried to push myself off the ground. The adrenaline rush my anger had induced seemed to be subsiding and I was fully aware of every blow that I received.
Taking a deep breath, I mustered every ounce of strength I had left and stood up. I tried hard to defend myself, but it was no use. Three against one is considered unfair in the eyes of anyone.
I lay on the ground in bitter defeat, wincing at every kick and punch that was inflicted upon me.
In a moment of mere dispair, Kayla’s words echoed in my ear:
‘I fell on my knees and prayed really hard and God made me see that it was out of my control, I had to trust in Him and that’s what you need to do too, Justin, throw your burdens on God.’
“Dear God,” I prayed. “Give me strength.”
Just as the words rolled off my lips, I felt a hard kick against my head and I instantly felt my body begin to teeter between being alert and completely unconscious.
My eyes landed on a silver pole and I suddenly had an idea.
I pulled the soft comforter around my fragile body and allowed myself to sink into the plush bed.
Adam had driven me to Safe Haven. The overseer of the home was an extremely nice lady named Nancy. She’d instantly taken me under her wing and made sure that I was comfortable.
I’d taken a long warm bath and dressed in the silky pajamas that Nancy had given me. My shoulder and leg had been properly bandaged. For the first time in a long time, I’d felt secure. It was almost too good to be true.
I heard a knock on the door and I felt my heart skip a beat.
What if it was Seth? What if he’d come after me?
I swallowed hard as I slid a little deeper under the covers.
The knock sounded again.
“Come in,” I answered my voice was barely above a whisper.
The door opened to reveal Adam.
“Are you okay?” he asked. His concern was visible as he sat down on the edge of the bed.
“I thought you were Seth,” I admitted as a tear slid down my face. “He’s going to find out somehow, I can feel it.”
Adam gently brushed my tears away. “Even if he does, it doesn’t matter now. I won’t let anything happen to you.” he said passionately. “Seth was a fool to ever even think of laying a hand on you. Any guy whose ever brought you any heartbreak is a fool. You’re beautiful, Caitlin and you deserve the best don’t ever let anyone tell you other wise.”
I looked away as I blushed.
Adam turned me so that I was facing him and I felt myself tense at his touch. He obviously noticed because I saw a slightly hurt expression cross his face.
“It’s an instinct, I’m sor—”
“No, don’t apologize.” Adam said softly. “It’s not your fault.”
“It’s just, I just, I don’t know...” I looked down at my hands.
“It’s going to take time, I understand.” he said.
“You do?” I questioned.
He nodded. “Yes.” he smiled slightly. “Would you like to call your parents?” he asked.
“Yes please.” I nodded.
Adam pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and handed it to me. “I’ll give you some privacy.” he said as he stood to leave. “If you need anything, just yell.”
“Thank you.” I smiled.
I took a deep breath as I picked up the phone and began to punch in the number.
“Caitlin!” exclaimed Christian as he rushed towards me.
“Sweetheart, are you alright?” My Mom asked as tears filled her eyes.
“What happened?” My father questioned. “Why does the sign out front say that this is a place for abuse victims?”
I swallowed hard. “It’s good to see you all.” I forced a smile in an effort to dodge their questions.
“I thought you were supposed to be on vacation with Seth.” Mom said as her eyebrows drew together. “Where is he?”
“You lied when you left that message, didn’t you? I told you she was lying!” Chris shrieked as he turned to our parents.
“Did that boy hurt you?” My father’s jaw clenched.
I swallowed hard as tears filled my eyes. I nodded slowly.
My mother let out a horrified wail as she flung her arms around me and hugged me. “Oh my baby,” she sobbed.
“I’m going to kill him,” Dad barked as he paced the room.
“No, Will!” My mother sobbed.. “That’s not going to do any good.”
“What do you expect me to do Sandi?” he questioned. “Just let him get away with hurting my little girl?”
“No,” she shook her head. “Maybe we can talk to that lady out front. They deal with this kind of thing. They should know.” She looked at me sympathetically and more tears filled her eyes.
A pained expression covered my father’s face as he nodded. “You’re right,” he sighed.
My mother gave me another warm hug and my father kissed me on the forehead before they clung to each other and exited the room. It broke my heart to see my parents like this. I leaned back against the pillow feeling as if a knife had been stabbed in my heart.
I heard the sound of a rustle and I turned to see Chris staring out the window. I’d almost forgotten he was even here.
He turned to look at me and I immediately noticed the tear stains on his cheeks.
“What all did he do to you?” he asked hoarsely.
“You don’t want to know,” I shook my head.
“Yes, I do.” he insisted. “Tell me everything.”
I took a deep breath before relating the horrid story—minus a few details of course. He was my little brother as much as he wanted to help me carry my burden, I was still the oldest. It was my job to protect him.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he questioned as heartbreak plastered his face.
“I’m not a little kid anymore, Caitlin.” he said. “And you should stop treating me like one. I would’ve bashed his face in if you’d only told me. There was no way I would’ve let him hurt you and force you to—to become pregnant with his child.” he choked on the last few words.
“I don’t know why I didn’t tell you, I just, I didn’t know how.” I sobbed.
Christian held me in his arms and I just cried.
You’d think that now that my family knew I’d feel like a burden had been lifted, but instead it felt like an even heavier one had replaced it. I now had to deal with the aftermath of the abuse.