Briar Rose giggled relaxed when the guy she was with whispered something in her ear, she then climbed onto his lap, straddling him, and they heatedly began to make out.
Without warning she suddenly felt pulled backwards roughly, but was immediately released as soon as she was removed from the guy’s lap. Stumbling initially, she quickly caught herself to watch the next things happening as if on TV.
At the same moment that Briar Rose realized who was causing the disruption, the guy she had been kissing tried to fight back, complaining at the intruder loudly, but was kicked into his butt so hard he landed on the ground, where he remained, perplexed.
All Stryker did was point at him and give him a look and the guy said or did nothing anymore.
It wasn’t surprising, few people ever dared to backtalk an angry-looking Stryker.
Not even when he grabbed Bri hard and threw her onto his shoulder, then just made off with her through some dark alley and into a building.
All the way into his nearby apartment, where now he roughly dumped her onto the couch.
When he then locked the front door, she quickly was next to him again trying to unlock it and get out, of course halted by him, by pulling her hands off, turning her around and pinning her back against the door.
“Stop it, Bri!” he growled, and she could smell alcohol on his breath, his face mere inches from hers.
“Let me go, you drunk roughian!” she protested as he now pulled her along back to the sofa and threw her back into the couch cushions.
“Roughian?” he snorted a laugh. “Don’t you move that ass off my couch again. You have been taunting me for days. It finally worked. Here we are. Showdown!”
Defiance glistened in Briar Rose’s eyes as she rose up off the couch again demonstratively slow, then standing there, glaring at him.
“Why do you have to do this to me, Bri?” he pressed out from between gritted teeth.
“Me doing something to you? Oh, that’s just rich! You are so full of yourself! Look what all you have done to ME! You just cannot stop mistreating me, can you? Does that get you off?” Bri found her courage, fueled by her anger about him.
“What happened to you, Bri. I don’t recognize you anymore. Who are you even?!” his voice was still deep and raspy, belied by the desperation of his words.
“Oh, you don’t recognize me? What I am now, is what I had to become to not drown in my pain and disgust for myself. I am the product of your bad actions! Your creation, you scum!” she mocked, anger sparked in his eyes as he grabbed a hold of her, roughly, she winced, then he shoved her back into the cushions of the couch, where he landed, protesting but affected.
“Stryker, I know you probably do not know the meaning of the word gentle, but you cannot knock me around like this. Bad for the baby. Or is that the idea? You did threaten to – and I quote – beat the bastard out of me. Is this why I am here?!”
His face showed an undefinable mixture of emotions, unreadable to most, but nothing good.
“You didn’t seem too worried about the baby when you were dry-humping that other guy! I don’t even know how far along you really are, but I am not sure screwing other men is great for the baby either. Definitely did nothing for my mood watching you straddle that fool as you sank your tongue into that jerk’s throat right outside my apartment window, but I guess that was the idea, huh?!” Stryker roared at her, as she bounced back up, facing him again.
“What’s it to you? Why do you get to have all the fun? Screwing all the girls you want. This is not the Middle Ages where pregnant women get hidden until they had the baby while their men go whoring. And Donovan is not just some guy, but a very decent guy … who just happens to look delicious as well. So I took a lil taste … yummy!” she purposely said that last part and it had the desired effect, as a fire seemed to have been lit in Stryker’s eyes, making them appear glowing from within and he roared
“Yeah, real winner that guy. Just laid there and let me take you with me like a trophy and did fuck all about it. What a dud! Even your scrawny cousin little Timmy would have done more than that! Your taste in men is serious shit, Bri! And Donovan? What kinda fucked up name is that?” the burst of jealousy was undeniable.
“Funny coming from a guy who goes by Stryker. Fully agree on what you said about my taste in men. But while we are at it, did you sign it? Just realized that is probably why I am here, isn’t it? You got my letter.”
“I got it, all right. Just slid it under my door and ran, huh? I at least had the balls to hand-deliver mine to you, but your recent antics make me suspect you never read it, did you? I also very much noticed that ever since dropping off your wonderful letter you have been parading your little ass outside my apartment for days, making sure I know you are messing with another guy, while dumping that shit not even fit as toilet paper on me. Didn’t even have the decency to face me.”
“Decency? What would YOU know about decency. So delusional! So, did you sign it? Oh, and don’t forget to sign with your full name. The real one, I mean, Mr. Jake Raymond O’Connor, Junior.” Bri, standing less than a foot away from him, did not seem affected by the dangerous situation she might be in.
She held his stare while he froze in mid-movement.
“How did you find out about that?!” he sounded shocked and uncomfortable.
“I told you before, I am not a battered housewife, Jake Junior. I have options. I know people too. I also know now that you probably are some bored rich kid, who probably wants to defy daddy dearest, the business tycoon, whom you were named after, who now sits at home with your former-model mommy, as they cry for their little Jake Junior, and I know that you went dark not long after you graduated from law school, so I know you know why I want you to sign that document. You know that this is me legally covering my ass, so if you ever change your mind and suddenly want to be a daddy, you won’t be able to. But you wouldn’t want to bother with this ‘bastard’ anyway, would you. So sign. What’s the problem? Afraid I tell people that the big, bad, mean wolf is actually a law graduate from a wealthy family and not the poor abused, drug-addicted lost soul like all the others you hang with feeling sorry for yourselves, but exactly what they all love to hate? Well, relax, I don’t give a shit about your street cred, Stryker. Your secret is safe with me. Just want you out of my life for good.”
“Why are you doing this, Bri?” he looked and sounded tortured.
“I just told you why! You picked the wrong girl and the wrong family to fuck with. My great-uncle is an attorney too, a real good one, half his family is, and if you think of hurting me now, he will put two and two together and move heaven and earth, just know, my family would tear you to pieces and your entire family as well. There won’t be anything left but some dust settling. Yeah, two can play that threat game, too. You may have been the wrong guy for me, but I was definitely the wrong girl for you to screw up with.”
While talking, watching Stryker get more and more angry and desperate almost reaching his breaking point, Briar Rose had stepped slowly around his coffee table, now set off down the small hallway and into the bedroom she had seen the last time she came here, slammed the door shut and locked it.
Stryker was banging against the door, complaining, threatening her to come out when she looked around the small room for a weapon or something to wedge in the door, while pulling out her cell phone to call for help, as her gaze fell onto something very unexpected, shocking. She froze in mid-movement, the phone dropping from her hand onto the rug in front of his bed.
Right about that moment, Stryker burst through the locked door, but stopped short as if he had run into an invisible wall, just staring at Briar Rose, who didn’t move, just stared at all the pictures of her and them together on his bedside table. What the heck did this turn of events mean now?!
Now standing next to her, quietly when Bri finally turned to look at him, an unspoken question in her eyes.
His expression changed to a defeated one, his voice quieter, raspy, when he asked her
“How much do you already know? And how much do you really want to know.”
“I know as much as uncle Nick’s investigators could get on you. The good parts were all redacted since you were a minor when whatever happened went down. I’d like to get the full story.” she replied honestly.
“If I tell you everything, fill in the blanks, will you forget about that damn document – and quit hating me?”
“Depends on whether or not I believe what you tell me and how you act towards me. And if you could please explain what the heck that schizo shit there all is about?” she pointed at the near-shrine like arrangement of photographs of her and them together on his nightstand.
“Isn’t it obvious?”
“Then why, Styker? So I was right all along, the feeling was mutual. You do care about me too, or at least did at some point. So why did you push me away so coolly, why did you have to hurt me like you did? Do you even realize what you have done to me? What you asked of me?”
“Oh, I realize. I realized that, and so much more, but life is never a fairy tale, Bri. I figured you of all people would know that. Wanting you, and being able to have you in my life are two very different things. Only in the movies do two people meet, connect, end up pregnant and ride off into a sunset to be happily ever after. There will never be a happily ever after for me and with me. I do not want you to leave me, trust me, that is the very last thing I want, but I … I … I care enough about you to force you to. I hate this. All of it. More than you will ever know. And I hate that you have always been able to see right through all my smoke and mirrors, I should have ended it the moment I realized you did. But that felt so good at the same time, someone I could really feel myself around, not always this … the …. well, my shields up. It gets tiring after a while, wearing a mask all the time, you are beginning to forget who you were without it. But with keeping you around and now the pregnancy I may have put you into harm’s way in the worst way possible. And don’t even think you could try to ‘rescue’ me, Bri. I don’t want to be rescued, I am not some helpless, cute puppy, don’t want to be pitied and I am not a good guy, nor do I want to be. As long as you understand that, I will tell you anything you want to know, if you think you can handle it.”
– to be continued-