*Continued from Intensity, Part I
The sounds of grappling and tired breathing seem louder than they are. Her awareness is heightened beyond imaginable limits as she runs - barefoot - away from the scene. Strangely, the gunshot is quiet, perhaps from a silencer, or perhaps from a need to pretend it wasn't a gunshot. She doesn't turn around to see. She simply runs.
It is a strange and unnatural feeling to fall from the sky, and she had no idea how she let him talk her into experiencing it. Well, she had some idea. It was probably that temporary vulnerability his eyes revealed - a false vulnerability - when they shifted from intense to begging. She knew that he knew all he had to do was get her on the plane. Once she was hooked tandem to the skydiving instructor - a friend of his - there was no turning back. He wouldn't allow it. The prick.
Her eyes were closed at first, but wind-pummeled curiosity soon fostered a peek. The overwhelming perception of the Earth from so high opened her eyes further, and she couldn't help but stare at the ground. She knew he was off laughing somewhere, but the rush of air prevented her from hearing it. Only his smile growing larger as he closed the distance between his own free fall and hers provided evidence of his twisted, but awe-inspiring, joke.
Afterward, she had trouble describing what kissing while falling from an airplane felt like, but she tried anyway. To anyone who would listen.
It had been a trick he used often. Get her into a car after an argument, then drive until both were calm. Only, she found herself never calming down, the relative claustrophobia from being confined to such a small space - even one surrounded by windows and directly next to a door - elicited panic. He drove too fast when he was angry. Too precise. She had seen him flip a suspect's car with his own during a chase caught by a news helicopter. She feared the worst as he drove with abandon through mountain roads in the middle of the night. But the fact that he seemed so calm about everything that happened between them only pissed her off.
She should have turned him in when the police questioned her in the recovery room. Should have told them that he drove off the cliff on purpose. Instead, she cooked up a story about a deer and that he was tired from having driven all day. Though it was his driving that put them both in the hospital - and on purpose - it was his driving that ultimately saved their lives. Where he learned how to drive down a cliff, she never learned. But even as he revolted her, he turned her on. She remembers his eyes as he ripped the door off the car, pulling her out of the passenger seat and laying her down safely. Intense eyes, full of regret, yet hiding the knowledge that something like this will undoubtedly happen again.
He was bold, that was certain. Approaching her even while under a restraining order.
"I just want to talk," he had said. "You can pick where."
She only agreed after sending a mass-text to everyone, letting them know where she was going and who she'd be with.
She doesn't know how it happened. How they wound up in an alley in a seedy area of downtown in the middle of the night. How his hands wound up down her waistline and his fingers inside of her. She'd never been attracted to a set of eyes like his before... or since. Eyes that seemed to suggest, "taste me." So she did, well aware that she might negate the restraining order she herself had applied for.
Never particularly adventurous when it came to sex, she allowed herself to be pinned against an alley wall, wrapping her legs around his torso in the process. There was some discomfort in their postures, but it was worth it, even after realizing how stupid she was being. She had stepped into the web of a master manipulator tonight - years ago, really - and couldn't get out.
Neither had any idea they were being watched, or that she would finally be granted the opportunity to escape.
She hates them, but she longs for those eyes. Intense, almost angry eyes. She doesn't yet know it, but she is safe from the assailants and the police will soon arrive. She doesn't yet know it, but she is finally safe from those eyes and will never see them open again. But, it is not enough to earn her forgiveness.