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Captured by Mr. Wild: Chapter 23

Blake

    door cuts into my conversation with Jay.

“Hey, bro. I got to go. Someone’s here. Give my love to Holls, Summer, and the baby again, won’t you?” My cell phone is glued to my ear as I head over to the door, where Betsy is already sniffing underneath it and wagging her tail.

“Will do. See you again soon,” Jay answers.

“Not too soon.” I smirk, hanging up to the sound of his laughter.

I open the door and Betsy flies out, straight to Daisy, whining and shaking her butt about in excitement.

“Hey, girl.” Daisy giggles as she bends and ruffles both of Betsy’s ears, pressing a kiss to her head before Betsy tries to land a lick on her face.

“Soft, I tell you. Soft.” I tut and arch an eyebrow as I place my cell phone down. Daisy takes my outstretched hand, and I pull her up and into my arms.

“Oh, shush. You and I both know that you spoil her more than anyone.” Her eyes meet mine as she smiles.

My heart swells in my chest, having her here again. In my arms. She didn’t want to spend last night together, and I had the shittiest night’s sleep alone in bed. I even found myself up in the middle of the night and out on the back porch, looking across the lake at her place, like some weird creeper.

“I’ll spoil you in a minute. Ruin you with my dick.” My lips drop to her neck, and I inhale her fresh flower smell before kissing her soft skin below her ear.

“You’ve already done that a hell of a lot recently.” She giggles as she places her palms on my chest and pushes me back gently. Her giggle stops as her eyes meet mine and she looks at me seriously. “Blake. We need to talk.”

“How about I show you what I’ve been thinking about doing to you all day, and we talk after?” I press my lips back on her neck, claiming it.

“No. We need to talk now.”

The tone in her voice makes me pull back to look at her.

“Okay. Sounds important.” I raise a brow at her, and she nods, chewing on her lip as she gazes up at me. Her clear blue eyes dart between mine as two lines form between her brows.

Something isn’t right.

“Are you okay? Did you have the nightmares again last night? Did you—?” The thought of her alone and waking up scared has my heart racing in my ribcage.

“It’s not me, Blake. It’s…” She lets out a deep breath, shaking her head, her eyes dropping to her hands, which are still resting over my chest.

Something about the way she’s struggling to look at me has alarm bells—no, make that fucking sirens—blaring in my head.

I know what she is about to say. I’m not ready to hear it.

I will never be ready.

“I’m leaving, Blake. I’m going back to England.”

I stare at her as the sound of blood rushing fills my ears.

“When?”

She can barely look at me. “I don’t know. I need to book a ticket. A couple of days.”

“But you said you wanted to stay longer? You said you’d stay forever if you could.” My grip tightens on her waist, and I watch as she squeezes her eyes shut briefly, as though she’s in pain. When they open again, there are tears in them.

“I know,” she whispers. “But I have to go back. Mickey’s trial is coming up, and they have thrown some evidence out. I have to go back and give evidence in person. It’s the best chance there is of him getting found guilty.”

“I’ll come with you,” I say quickly, my mind already running a hundred miles an hour. Filming for series two doesn’t start yet. I can get someone to cover my training classes. Trav and Kayla will have Betsy for me. I know they will. It’ll be fine. I nod as I come to a decision in my head. “I can come with you, and then after the trial, we can fly back.”

“Blake—”

“It’ll be fine. I’ll make some calls and sort out our tickets?” I glance toward the hallway cupboard. I’m sure my suitcase is in the back of it somewhere.

Shit, where’s my passport?

“Blake?”

Daisy looks at me with tearful eyes.

Bile rises in my throat.

“You want to go alone, don’t you?”

She opens her mouth, but nothing comes out. She just continues to stare at me, more water building up along her lower lids.

“Are you coming back?” I choke out, before clearing my throat.

She shakes her head, the tears threatening to spill from her eyes.

“Blake, I—’

I snatch my arms back from her waist and turn my back to her, running both hands through my hair.

“We always knew I was leaving one day.” Her voice is quiet, and it sounds like she’s trying not to let it break.

“I didn’t know one day was going to be so fucking soon!” I snap as I turn and glare at her.

She winces. But I can’t bring myself to apologize. I can’t bring myself to do anything other than stare at her, my chest rising and falling with ragged breaths as I try to control the hammering in my chest.

“You said it yourself, Blake. You don’t want a relationship. You and me… this was just… it was…”

“What?” I spit. “It was just what? Fucking?”

She steps back like I’ve physically pushed her. I know I’m out of line. But all I can see is red.

She’s fucking leaving.

“No!” Her brows knit together. “That makes it sound… that’s… it…” She takes a deep breath and looks over at Betsy, who’s laid in her basket, ears drooped down, watching us. “We were just being there for each other. We’re friends.”

Her eyes return to mine.

“We are not just fucking friends, Daisy!” I yell, clenching my hands into fists and sucking in air through my nose. “I don’t have sex with my friends. Do you? Is that what you do? Have sex with all of your friends?”

Her eyes widen. “Of course not!”

“Well, then. How can you say we’re just friends?” Blood courses through my veins and I stalk over to the kitchen counter and slam my fists on top of it, leaning over them. I can’t believe she’s just swanned in here to tell me she’s leaving and not coming back.

Just like that.

Gone.

“I’m sorry. I thought…” She appears next to me, and I can feel her gaze on the side of my face where my jaw is clenched.

“You thought what?” I turn my head to look at her.

Her lips part and she looks up at the ceiling and back at me.

“I don’t regret a single second of the time I spent with you. The time we spent together. You made me feel hopeful again. You made me remember what it feels like to laugh. Really laugh.” She reaches out and places her hand on my bicep. “You made me forget, Blake. And I can never thank you enough for that.”

“I made you forget?”

She gives me a small smile. “Yes.”

“I don’t want to make you fucking forget, Daisy! I want to make you remember!” My eyes burn into hers and I see the shutters she holds around her like a fucking shield, well and truly back in place.

“Stop calling me Daisy.” Her voice is quiet, but the coldness in her eyes is louder than anything else in the room.

“Why? It’s who you are.”

The way she looks back at me has me wondering if I’ve imagined the past couple of months. Even her clear blue eyes don’t look like hers anymore.

She looks like a stranger.

“That girl might as well have died. It’s not who I am anymore. You need to accept that.”

“That’s a load of shit and you know it!” I push off the counter and stand facing her head-on, close enough that our bodies almost touch.

“What would you know!” She glares up at me, her pulse beating hard in her neck. The urge to wrap my hand around it and crash my lips onto hers is overwhelming. Hold her to me and never let her go.

Fuck, I’m completely screwed.

“I know who you are, Daisy. I’ve known you since we were kids, for fuck’s sake. Don’t try telling me you’ve changed. Because you haven’t. Not really. You’re still the same girl underneath.”

She has to tilt her head back to look up at me, but I’ll be damned if I move further away from her.

“You’re not being fair.”

“No, Daisy.” Her eyes blaze into mine and her shoulders rise as she sucks in a breath at me calling her Daisy again. “You’re the one who isn’t being fair. What aren’t you telling me?” I search her eyes, waiting for it.

For the extra missing piece she’s keeping hidden.

She says nothing, and I know if she leaves now, I may never know the true extent of how deep her scars run.

“Your ex is a jackass. I get that. I get he did awful things to you. But what I don’t get is why you keep telling me that who you are doesn’t exist anymore. When I see you every day, bright as you’ve always been. I see your soul, Daisy. And it’s the same one I’ve always seen.”

My chest is heaving when I stop talking.

And I wait.

I wait for her to say something. Anything that will give me hope I can get through to her and make her see what I’ve always known—she’s Daisy. She will always be Daisy. The girl with the big heart and the beautiful laugh.

Silence.

Fucking silence as she stares at me.

“Daisy?”

She takes a step back.

“Don’t.”

“Why won’t you talk to me?”

“I’m not who you think I am, Blake. You can’t see my soul. Because Mick… what he did… what did… it destroyed a part of it. Forever.”

I stare open-mouthed at her distraught face. How can she even begin to believe that? How can she not see what everyone else sees?

How can she not see what I see?

“What are you talking about?” I reach for her, but she steps back again.

“I don’t deserve your kindness.”

“What the hell’s that supposed to mean?” I grab my hair in my fists. My eyes probably look like a madman’s as I stare at her and try to make sense of something.

Of anything.

“It means you should forget about me when I leave.” She drops her head and turns toward the door.

I stride past her and slam my palm against it. I can’t let her leave yet. Not without knowing if it will be the last time I see her.

“You’re talking like you fucking killed a person,” I hiss. “Whatever it is, nothing can be that bad.” I soften my voice. “Talk to me. Please.”

She keeps her eyes fixed on the door, as though my hand will magically move, and it will open if only she concentrates hard enough.

“Daisy?”

She screws her eyes shut.

“Not a person.”

I look at her face, her cheeks wet where her tears have finally won.

“It wasn’t a person.” She takes in a shaky breath. “But I am responsible for a death.”

My shoulders drop, and the urge to wrap her in my arms and tell her it’s okay has me lifting my hand away from the door.

“That wasn’t your fault. All those dogs… the fights… You didn’t know.”

She takes her opportunity and yanks the door open, flying down the steps of the porch.

“Daisy!”

I run after her and see her standing in the driveway. Something in her eyes makes me freeze as she looks back at me.

“You don’t understand. The dog I was supposed to re-home and look after…” Her voice breaks into a sob as she covers her mouth with her hand. “I killed him. I promised I would take care of him. And I killed him.”

“I don’t know what you mean.” I stay rooted to the spot, afraid if I move any closer, she might take off down the driveway and I will never see her again.

Ever.

Her voice breaks as she struggles to control the racking sobs taking over her body. It’s taking every ounce of strength not to run to her. Instead, I slowly inch toward the top step.

“Mickey sent me to collect him. He told me it would look better if I went on my own. That they’d be more likely to let me have him. His name was Rocket. I promised I would give him a good home. That he’d be loved.” She wipes at her cheeks with the back of her hand. “We hadn’t even had him two weeks when Mick said he needed a check-up. He took him when I was at work, and said they needed to keep him in overnight for some tests.”

The tears stream down her face.

“That was the night I followed Mick. That was the night I saw where he was going. What he was doing.”

Bile rises in my throat as I suspect what she’s about to say. How can someone be so evil? I want to punch the pillar holding the porch up. Watch the wood splinter into pieces and pretend it’s the fucker’s face.

“The fight you saw when you got there?” I ask, knowing the answer already.

Her haunted face meets mine, confirming it, and sending my heart into overdrive at the sheer devastation in her eyes.

Now I understand.


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