Chapter 4 : Chapter 3 - Gone
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When a knock came on his door, he quickly snapped out of his little cloud of depression.
“Come in,” he said, slightly distracted. His mood brightened up when he saw Noelle for the first time that day. He smiled and beckoned her to come sit down and chat with him for a few moments before they both needed to go home, for it was nearly six thirty in the evening. In her agreeable manner, she accepted and sat in the chair in front of his desk.
“Was your weekend okay?” he asked, a bit frightened as to whether she'd say 'yes' or 'no'. Unfortunately, she shook her head to tell him that her weekend had not gone well. Her jaw hardened as she lifted enough of her shirt to show him what Darren had done. Even Noelle seemed shocked.
“He broke my rib,” she whispered, putting her shirt back over her abdomen. It was one of the ugliest sights that he had ever seen. The bruising was frighteningly black and blue as well as large. He could see as her chest rose and fall from breathing that it hurt to breathe.
“Why did he do that?”
“I made him mad. I need to remember not to refuse a glass of wine ever again.” Usually, Noelle would smile regretfully or laugh sadly, but she did not this time. It frightened Seamus that she didn't. That meant that things were worse than they had been the last time he had seen her.
“Are you okay?”
She nodded, allowing him some relief. Sighing, she headed over to him and took his hand. The way she took it told him that she wasn't planning on dragging him somewhere but that she just wanted the comfort of holding someone's hand. She smiled softly as he stood up to kiss her.
“Is he home tonight?” Seamus whispered, his nose still barely touching hers and his hands intertwined in her wavy hair.
“He's on a 'business' trip this week,” she said just as quietly.
“Wonderful, because I just got a letter from Lavender that, in a nutshell, said that she's dumping me.”
Noelle smiled and allowed him to kiss her once more before he took her home with him, to a safe place for them both.
“I love you,” Noelle whispered so quietly that Seamus could barely hear her. He hugged her closer to him in the dark of the night, careful not to touch her healing rib. Her skin against his was the most wonderful feeling he'd ever physically felt. He wanted to touch every surface of her body and not feel those bruises and cuts. But more than anything, he wanted to see her smile and hear her laugh at any given moment; not just when she was with him.
“I know,” he replied just as quietly as he nudged some of her long hair from her cheek and kissed the newly cleared surface. She twisted her arm around so that she could place her hand upon Seamus's cheek gently. Her breath shuttered as she breathed in deeply, causing him to become a bit frightened. When she laughed afterwards, he knew that she was all right and simply needed to fill her lungs with air.
“Will you always be here?”
He could see the outline of Noelle's mouth curve into a smile as she closed her eyes to sleep. Aware that he wouldn't get much sleep this evening, Seamus decided to think. There had to be some way that he could get her out of the clutches of this wretched man she had to marry. His thoughts raced. They would go live in Mexico; that's where people ran sometimes, or so he'd heard. But there was the issue of her family. They meant more to her than her life did from what he'd heard come from her mouth.
As he thought of how he would get Noelle out of her abusive relationship, Lavender came into his mind and he grew confused. There seemed to be a piece missing from his heart after he got that letter, but he still wanted nothing less and nothing more than to be with Noelle. The confusion was frustrating. Why was he missing Lavender if he had Noelle and loved Noelle? Had she been awake, Seamus was sure that Noelle would talk to him about it. She was good for that; even though she couldn't solve her own problems she seemed to enjoy helping him sort out his.
Sighing, he kissed her bare shoulder and attempted to sleep.
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