"When I move," he starts, not sure if he should finish the thought. They've been lovers, but have not been the best of friends. In fact, they hate each other as much as they once loved. She quit trusting him years ago and he knows it. She needs to trust him now, though. He figures to see if she does. ".... run like Hell."
Their first meeting was rather unusual in that it happened twice. The first first meeting was the more memorable event, but it was the second first meeting that began their relationship. Both were attending night classes - she to finish her degree in education and he to obtain enough college credits to get a promotion at work - and noticed each other immediately. He was instantly attracted to her smile and she to his eyes. Her smile quite literally lit up any room - he would even later claim it glowed in the dark - and his eyes held a mysterious, yet familiar, sense of safety.
Feeling a bit awkward and given his line of work, he had a friend find out more about her before he asked her out. She, too, felt a bit awkward, but only because of the inexplicable familiarity. His eyes were intense - almost angry - but she couldn't help that they made her feel safe.
"You wanna grab coffee before class next Thursday?" he had asked.
Though not a coffee drinker, she replied, "Sure."
When Thursday came around, one coffee cup was refilled a half-dozen times while the other was merely sipped (and never went beyond half-empty). He wasn't as shy as he seemed initially and talked circles around her. She didn't mind, preferring to listen to his stories of traveling the world and doing adventurous things. Some, like jumping out of airplanes, she found stupid, but regaled in his tales nonetheless.
The most significant thing she found herself speaking of was her career history. Not sure that she really wanted to teach, she told of her previous jobs - everything from waitress to golf caddy. She explained the most recent job she held prior to returning to school and the horrifying reason she left.
He started laughing. She was appalled until he told her what he found so funny.
Most hostage situations in the United States end peacefully, with minor injuries and no loss of life. But this hadn't been one of those situations. To show they meant business, as the cliché goes, the robbers shot one of the bank tellers.
Before she could even finish her scream, the shattering of windows began, quickly followed by bright flashes and loud bangs. At the time, she hadn't been sure she heard more gunfire - blinded and deafened as she was - but seeing the news report later revealed that she had. She was sure, however, that she had panicked. Unwisely scrambling through what was briefly a war zone, it was a pair of black gloved hands - momentarily removed from their MP5/10 submachine gun - that swung her body out of harms way and carried her to safety. The SWAT operator had a balaclava covering his face, and all she could see were his eyes. Intense, almost angry eyes.
"You okay?" His voice, already muffled by the balaclava, sounded even more faint to her through the ringing in her ears. All she could do was nod rapidly and start to cry. She didn't even have time to utter a thank you as he set her down and ran off to join the overwatch element. But those eyes had burned their way into her memory.
In this moment, she hated those eyes. An argument over something - she couldn't even remember what... he probably couldn't either - led to broken furniture and torn clothing. And then he was on top of her, having forced his way inside of her despite her screams and cries. This was a scene oft-repeated, and she's embarrassed to admit that the familiarity of his body sometimes elicited a sick enjoyment from her. But not then. There was too much anger in the both of them. He would not be forgiven.
Both were drunk the first time they had sex. It was a euphoric experience for her and a playful resistance melted away instantaneously upon his penetration of her. She vaguely remembers seeing the skyline of the city below and the twinkling stars above outside of the hotel window. His hair had partially blocked the view which made the tapestry of the entire nightscape all the more erotic. For the first time in a very long time, she freed her body from her mind, a fact reflected in the scratches on his back he more than willingly endured.
She doesn't want to run, but she knows she has to. She doesn't want to leave his side, even though a small part of her hates that she's by it. He's already bleeding - one of the assailants came armed with a knife and managed to slice his back - and there will be more blood.
He looks at her, and emotion disappears behind necessity. "Are you ready?" he asks.
No. She doesn't have time to finish the thought before he pushes her out of the way and rushes the men.
*Continued in Intensity, Part II
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