The girl gave the man a long and inspective look over as he stood there in the moonlight that protruded through some cracks in the walls and the small window to the side, offering his jacket, still finding it more than suspicious that he took so much care about her. Sweat and leather. The scent tickled her nose and quivered her senses now more than before as he held the jacket so close to her face she could feel the warmth of him still emanating from it. The confusion made her nervous. HE made her nervous. In an attempt to get him out of her personal space she willed her hand to uncurl from around the jersey at her waist and gently pushed the hand holding his jacket back to his body with her icy cold fingers.
“I’m fine, thanks,” she said softly, managing the weakest of smiles, meeting the piercing look of the man for a mere moment before swaying her gaze away.
She knew it wasn’t her money the trio of guys was after, but she also knew it wasn’t very wise to hint it to the man. Too many times did men take that particular remark as an open invitation.
Silence spread through seconds… minutes…
In the darkness every sound was amplified as the heightened senses took over sight. Dripping water from the roof, howling wind that played in the corners, a mouse scurrying across the floor… the pounding of her heart hammering against her chest.
Desperately trying to calm the violent shiver she realized she was scared as never in her life. Well… she was more scared earlier, but this buildup, all this anxiety was tearing her apart; ready to jump to her feet and start screaming should he move ever so slightly, the clutching need to cry… she cursed him already.
Good God, she was frightened. In a way unable to move, yet ever so prepared to go running… where? He probably knew this den inside out and would catch her once she fell tumbling over some garbage. Why the wait? It would take place, she was sure. It was never a question of ‘if,’ but always a question of ‘when.’
Sleep? She almost snorted, but she kept still and her eyes seemingly downwards, yet still squinting to him, prepared to scream, to run, should he make any fast movement. “I couldn’t sleep,” she whispered, carefully standing up from the chair, not to flip it over, too afraid the sound might shatter her. As soon as she got to her feet she slowly started to back up from him. Just a few steps, just to put a little more distance between them.
She just wished she could have thanked him and go, but how does one thank someone for saving one’s life? How do you walk out on someone who just saved your life? Where do you go? To the dark night where you just almost lost it?
“I…” she started, her voice sounding so fearful, “You…” damn, it was so hard to talk, “I have… money… at the station. I can take care… you don’t have to look out for me.”
And where was the ‘Thank you for saving my life!’ she asked herself. But even thinking of saying it aloud sounded so much like a cliché she couldn’t bring herself to say it.