Rushed: Christopher: A "The Four" Novella (Unabridged)
Happily ever afters.
White knights riding to the rescue on their brazen steeds to rescue the damsel in distress.
Said knight declaring his undying love.
Same stories just with different covers.
I'd spent the better part of my childhood reading those stories, always putting myself in place of the damsel in distress. And by the last page I felt safe. Safe from the sounds of my mother being beaten. Safe from watching my uncle who was less than a dozen years older than me being dragged from our room because his body was considered nothing but currency. Safe from knowing there would be a day that I became currency.
I gave up on believing in happy endings and white knights a long time ago.
Even if I'd somehow managed to hang onto my dreams of finding true love like all of the men and women in my life as I'd left for college, all it had taken was one wrong, naive decision to take it all away.
I remembered the kid the second I saw him. I remembered the feel of him in my arms as I'd saved him from his would-be attacker years earlier. I remembered that I'd never wanted to let him go—that despite his young age, he'd fit in my arms like he'd been made for them.
But the young man opened the door might as well have been a stranger. Thin, jumpy, and distant, there was just no light in young Christopher's eyes. Even the presence of his uncle, a man who'd treated him like a son from the first moment they'd met, elicited nothing more than passing query of why we were there.
It should have been a simple task...drop off the box of books Christopher's uncle had asked me to help him and walk away. I managed the walk away part but between a tiny kitten appearing out of nowhere, some less than graceful footwork on my part and a broken table later, I'd been sitting on Christopher's couch getting some TLC for a paltry wound.
And that had been when I'd seen it.
The old Christopher.
The sweet, innocent young man who'd been subjected to all kinds of trauma that no kid should ever have to hear, see or even know about.
I'd gone there to deliver some books but when I'd walked out that door, the sensation of Christopher's tender touch still lingering on my skin, I knew I'd be back. It didn't matter why or when or how and it didn't matter if the young man I'd held in my arms so long ago fought me tooth and nail, Christopher—the real Christopher—was coming home.
This story can be listened to as a standalone but will give spoilers for the previous books in the series.