***Well here it is finally. The third and last part of the installment. Now I am truly done. Well I guess I am in a way. I still have to do the sequel huh? Sorry that I haven't been on top of this. I work all day long and then at night I'm with my boyfriend. I haven't even been at karate eventhough I so need to go. Thank you…I did great on my test and I'm the other half of us two female black belts at our school. Well I don't know really how good this is but I'm sure someone will tell me right. So now I'll stop rambling and let go read what I supposedly wrote. Just joking. Okay let's see what we have in store for this last adventure.***
He stood outside her front door holding his hand up to knock for the last twenty minutes. Today is important, and he is petrified. A year ago today they became more than friends. She became the best thing in his life, and he can't be thankful enough for that fact. Timber has changed him for the better. He cares about things now that he wouldn't even think twice about. She's an amazing person that makes him want to do better.
Other guys and girls may have tried to come between them but it never happens. He stays faithful, and she rolls her eyes at anyone who even tries to flirt with her. One guy has been a problem too. Well actually two of his friends are being a hassle. While they're being friendly and making sure that they aren't too obvious they are hitting on her. He wants to hurt them, but that would be too extreme. Timber just shakes her head at his accusations. Of course he knows she'd never cheat, but his friends flirting with his girlfriend doesn't give him warm fuzzy feelings. At all!
The door suddenly opened startled him from his thoughts and causing him to jump. His hand dropped as his girlfriend looked at him with a raised eyebrow. They're supposed to meet up later and go out. He wanted…needed to see her now.
"Jeremiah what are you doing out here?" She didn't wait for an answer as she grabbed his arm and pulled him into the house. "Come on you're gonna catch your death."
He has been standing outside for a while now in the pouring rain. Having to want to knock earlier he didn't because he didn't want her to feel like he's suffocating her. She should want to be with him not feel obligated. He wants to be with her, but she knows that.
She held their hands with their fingers laced together against the small of her back as she lead the way up the stairs to her room. He followed willingly trying his best not to drip all over the floor. It wasn't something he could control. He still didn't like the though of ruining the carpet. Her parents wouldn't freak but that's only because they are cooler than his own. He wants to be a part of her family and not by being her brother.
"Why were you standing outside?"
"I was waiting for you to answer the door." She led him into her room and left him to go into the bathroom and retrieve some towels. He took the time to glance around the all familiar room. Unlike his room which is only a place to sleep hers is so much more. Here she dreams, studies, talks on the phone with him, and kisses him goodnight before he sneaks out the window. The room is a reflection of who she is. He feels comfortable in the confines of the soft powered blue walls covered with pictures and awards.
"I'm sorry. I didn't hear you knock." He stood away from her bed towards the closet across the room. It's not in his interest to ruin anything.
"I didn't," he called back and ran a hand through his wet hair. All the shiny memorbilas and the ribbons on the walls made his heart tug. Sometimes it brings up the one million dollar question that plagues him occasionally. Is he really good enough for her? She is brilliant and the greatest person he's ever known. While he has no idea what he wants to be in the future she has had hers planned out before she even started school. Just like her mother and her mother's parents' she's going to be a doctor. A jock isn't supposed to date a doctor. He can just imagine her friends laughing at him behind his back because he got lost in the mediacl jargon in the conversation.
"Then how was I supposed to know." He turned in the direction of her voice and smiled. She's wearing the sweater he bought her for her birthday. He loves her in black especially. It brings out her eyes, and the sweater itself shows off her curves.
"You weren't. I'm early." She walked over to him and handed a towel. With the other she threw it on his head and strated dying off his hair.
"Yeah. I noticed you were about to go somewhere else." She made sure he couldn't see her face and bit down on her lip. Marisol's had bee her previous destination. They were supposed to have a talk. It has been a year and while Jeremiah is a great guy and she appreciates how slow and gentle he is taking the relationship she wants to take it up to the next level. She already knows that he loves her and she loves him. There will never been anyone else she'll love as much as him. That's why she wants to take it up a notch. It'll change everything though. She just wants to finally speak the words. Especially the first time and with someone like Jeremiah Matthews it'll be something she'll never forget.
Jeremiah's face turned ghostly white as he knew what Marisol had said was true. Her mother had ran and embraced him tightly sobbing all over him telling him over and over again that she is alive. He tried to hear exactly what she was telling him but all he could hear was a ringing in his ears. Timber, his Timber, is alive? She hadn't died? Now they can make up now and get back together. She can be a part of his life again.
"Can I see her?" Lauren brought her head back and with a tear stained face shook her head. The tears that are now cascading down her cheeks are tears of joy. Her baby girl who she had to bury wasn't really dead. She was down the hall safe and alive.
"No not yet. The doctors are looking at her right now."
"How is she? What happened to her? Where has she been?" His questions came out so quickly they were barely even comprehensive. Somehow she understood them. Possibly because when Timber gets exicted she speaks a mile a minute as well.
"I don't know. They just found her and called us. I barely even got to see her, but it is Jeremiah. It is Timber!" He felt her nails bite into his skin as her hands squeezed tightly on his arms. The pain didn't matter though. This is no comparison as to what it felt like to lose his girlfriend. Now that she is back everything is going to be okay again. Marisol will stay and they'll get back together, and it'll be like nothing happened.
Right now he's not even thinking about the fact that she has been missing for over a month. Something must have happened to her. Otherwise she would have been back, and they wouln't have had to bury a body and have her name on a tombstone.
He can't believe Timber is actually unbuttoning his shirt. The look of concentration on her face is adorable. Her eyebrows are furrowed together, and she's biting down on her lower lip. He can even feel her warm breath on his skin.
She's not undressing him completely and it's not for anything sexual. His clothes are wet, and he's soaked to the bone. She doesn't want him to catch his death. After his shirt, and only his shirt, is discarded then she'll toss it in the dryer. This isn't the first time she's seen him without his shirt. She's never taken it off of him before though.
"There you go," she said hoping that he missed her fingers trembling. It is true that sometimes he can make her feel nervous, but she does the same to him. This is completely different. The thought of her parents suddenly coming home and seeing her boyfriend half-naked would surely ground her for three life sentences.
He took her hands before she was able to turn and smiled softly at her. She returned it before he brought her hands up to his lips. They pressed softly against her wrists. It made a shiver pleasantly run up her spine and nearly made her drop his soaked shirt.
"Thank you." She nodded shortly and was released. He watched her turn and once her back was to him he revealed his smile. Maybe Timber is a good girl but she has a bad side as well. Innocence wouldn't be the first word to describe her. He knows exactly what he is doing to her.
They been a couple for a year now. He knows how to get to her. Marisol is a close second, but he is number one when it comes to her emotions. He's the one who can make her cry, and laugh, and scream the easiest. Buttons don't need to be pushed while he's involved.
"Hey," a soft voice whispered before strong damp arms encircled her waist. She jumped slightly from surpised and then leaned back against the bare smooth chest.
"You weren't supposed to follow me." He brushed the hair away from her neck to give himself better access. Lightly he brushed his lips against the sensitve skin and heard and felt her intake of breath.
"I thought we could do something while we waited. It's better down here anyway. Not too much light, and your parents aren't staring at me." He is referring to the picture on her desk. The thing creeps him out. He doesn't want to be watched or feel like he is by her parents while they're busy making out. It's not on his 'things to do before I hit thirty' list.
"Jeremiah I," she started but trailed off. His lips leaving soft kisses on her neck stopped all possibilty of thought processing.
"What?" he mumbled against her skin. "I know what you want to say Timber. Just come out and say it."
"Mmm okay…I can't turn on the dryer. Umm you're blocking the way." His lips stilled and he frowned a second before releasing her and stepping aside. That wasn't what he had been expecting. He was and has been hoping for an 'I love you.' Right now he's ready to say it, but the last thing he wants to do is freak her out. He has never loved another girl before and hasn't even said those words to anyone not family.
"There." She turned back to him and saw the flash of disappointment on his face. It made her bite on her lip in curiousity. Why would that be there? They can go right bck to where the had left off. This hasn't been the first time they had to stop for some reason. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," he tried to lie. "So where were you going?"
"Marisol's. Needed some girl talk."
"Oh yes. That thing us men can never understand right?" She nodded and slightly cocked her head to the side to better study him. Over the time that she has known him and the time she has known of him he has evolved. Not only has he physically devolped into a gorgeous man that she has to fight woman off of him for, but he has grown and blossomed as a individual as well.
"Jeremiah honey just tell me what the matter is. I know you better than yourself. You know you can't lie to me." She is right too, he thought to himself. I'm never safe. It's as if she can go inside and pick at my brain. I feel so vunerable but at the same time safe. She would never do anything to hurt or embarrass me. I do that well enough by myself.
He sighed deeply and loud. It came out as a gust of wind and stirred her hair slightly. She didn't try to speak, interrupt, or prode him. It is coming out. She can sense it from the look in his eyes.
"It's really nothing. I just thought you were going to say something else."
"What? Tell me what you want me to say Jeremiah." He isn't sure if he should say something about it. It has been a year but why rush things. You aren't supposed to ruin chances that you know are never going to happen again. So he just nibbled on her earlobe and listened to her breathing turn shallow.
"Where is she? I need to see her!"
"Don't raise your voice. You'll wake her up."
"So?" a deep male voice cried. "I need to see her now!"
"You can't," a female voice said softly.
"Why in the hell can't I? Let me in the damn room now before I knock you down myself."
"Please…you have to understand she's hurt and barely understands anything. You have to give it some time…"
He has to take the chance. It's bothering him so much to actually feel something so strong and not be able to share it. Other girls he has gone out with didn't know what love meant. They would say it of course and only after a few weeks or so. That isn't realistic! Love is more complex than that and no matter how much time you spend with a person it isn't going to go faster either.
A year has been a long time but not long enough. Over that time his feeling for her has devolped. There has never been a time when he didn't want her as more that she started out as, but it would have never been like that if he hadn't dated Marisol first. Then he wouldn't have gotten to know her outside of school. She is more than just book smarts and a walking breathing dictionary.
"I don't know how to say it. I mean I do, but I don't." She hid her smile as his rambling caused it. He normally isn't so uneasy about what he wants to say. This must be important.
"Well I have all night. I was going to go and see my boyfriend but it appears that he has beaten me to the punch."
"It's just that I know what I want to say I just don't know how to say it."
"Well that's easy enough. Inhale and as you exhale let the words follow." Yeah easy for you to say, he thought to himself. Timber always has a way with words and everything seems so much easier for her. Of course he knows it not always is, but she makes it seem that way. She has a way with words.
"Are you sure?" he asked quirking an eyebrow at her. She tilted her head slightly studying him and then nodded shortly. Every so often Jeremiah is full of wonderful surprises. He has never done anything bad like crossing a line. That would ruin what they both never want to lose.
"Promise you won't freak out and go postal on me."
"Jeremiah," she said slowly. The way he said it scared her a bit. It's as if he has done something wrong. Is he going to ask for redemption? He shouldn't need anything of the sort.
"I just don't want to ruin this between us. It would be the stupidiest thing I have ever done but I."
"Jeremiah," she interrupted him. "Please stop and tell me already. You are really starting to scare me. So many thought, all bad, are running through my head." Are you going to break up with me? Did you cheat with some twit? Am I too boring now? So many things flew through her mind.
"No Timber nothing bad I promise. It is a good thing. I'm just…nervous." She let out a held breath and breathed a sigh of relief. One can never be too confident in a relationship. Yesterday could have been a great day, but who knows what can happen today.
He smiled at her uneasiness but quickly hid it before she could see. She is as nervous as him but then for different reasons. There is not an inkling in her mind about what he really wants to say. How could she know? He didn't even know himself until he woke up this morning. The thought has been at the back of his mind for a while now but this morning it finally came to the surface.
"I just wanted to tell you that…"
He sat down on the edge of her bed afraid to get too close. From his postion there the bruises, gashes, cuts, and all the other visible wounds are making his chest ache. She never had a visible mark on her body before. He would know about that better than anyone. Now her body is covered in them. They shouldn't be there. He would have never let anyone do anything that harsh to anyone especially not her. No one is allowed to touch his Timber let alone beat her into a coma.
Her family has already been in and saw her. Marisol had even been allowed to see her before he did. It wasn't because she had known her longer. The problem was that he had been way too emotional and snapped at everyone and every noise he had heard. This has all been a lot for him at one time. The woman he thought had went and left him has and is actually alive. That is bad enough for her to be thought of as dead but to have found her in a coma and beaten into unconsciousness.
"Hey Timber luv," he chocked out softly. "I'm sorry that this happened to you. It's all my fault and I'll make sure that whoever did this to you pays for it. I swear to God," he trailed off. Her injuries are too much for him to stomach. He turned his head away and bit down on his tongue.
He has never seen her with a mark on her body let alone beaten and tortured. Whoever did this is more than sick. They have a warped sense of reality and a twisted mind. Timber would never do anything to deserve such a thing done to her. Who would? It's horrible when you see something like this in the news or read it in the paper. When it hits close to home it makes it worse than words can depict.
"Jeremiah," Marisol whispered taking a few steps inside the room but staying close to the door. He acknowledged her prescence by dragging his eyes from the tiled floor and briefly swept them up to hers. "I'm so sorry that I let this happen. It's all my fault you know. I was supposed to be watching her, but I let her get away."
He shook his head at her confession. It's two people's fault and one of them is himself. If it hadn't been for his insecurities about her wanting him she would have been safe. She wouldn't have looked at him like he felt, with a shattered heart. It's his fault not Marisols. She would have never left with some stranger at a party if they had still been together.
That's the bastard that's most likely the cause of all this. The police had been looking for him even before she had been found. There has been no luck. Jeremiah feels like his life will have no more luck. Timber isn't about to forgive him for this, and he'll never be able to forgive himself for it either.
"You know it's not Mar. I know it, everyone knows it, and she'll know it."
"I should have made her stay home. Even if I had to knock her out I shouldn't have let her leave." He shook his head. She should know better than anyone that it is impossible. Once Timber has her mind set on something there is no way humanly possible that it can be persuaded. It's a steal trap.
"You couldn't have one anything so stop kicking yourself for it. It wasn't your fault. It was mine." She shook her head with unshed tears glistening in her eyes. Shakidly she moved in the room towards him and fell on the floor by his feet. She wrapped her arms around his legs and cried. They have been held in for far too long.
"What if we lose her again?" she sobbed. Jeremiah let out a shaky breath and reached down and drew his sobbing best friend in his arms. He ran a comforting hand in small circles on her back. Both are trembling from sobs.
"Shh honey. You won't lose her. She's been in your life since you two were five years old. Nothing bad will happen between you two." He exhaled deeply and dropped his forehead onto he shoulder. "It will between us though. She won't even be able to look at me again. I've lost her. I know we're over."
"Timber!" a voice yelled interrupting him. He frowned at interruption. It's her parents. Well the person who yelled was actually her grandmother but that meant the Jamison's were close behind. He has never had a problem with them just the older couple. They hate the fact that she is with a simple jock when she could be dating another wannabe doctor or a future harvard grad- student.
"Don't worry about them right now. They don't know I'm here and they're not about to check the basement."
"Yeah but," he said frowning and holding up his hands as if it would explain everything he is thinking. She shook her head gently at him and took his hands into hers. They are so much bigger than hers. Compared to hers they look like they could swallow her small delicate hands.
"Jeremiah shut up you great git. You never tell me things that should be easy. So I'll just say it then. I love you." Relief washed over his features. It made both their faces break into wide grins. She had known that was what he had wanted to say and was having trouble with it. Making it easier for him lifted a weight off his chest.
"I love you too."
It has been over a month now and she comes in and out of consciousness. The doctors aren't sure of anything. They can't even tell him how long she has been like this. Whatever they know her parents get told and sometimes they share. Somethings they were very relunctant to share with him. Especially all the horrible things that the bastard had done with her body.
Everyone is gone that is important to him. Timber is never going to forgive him, and Marisol is hundred of miles of gone. Screw his mother and who knows whatever happened to his father. The man had been out of his life since he was twelve. No one that is ever going to care about him is going to ever stay in his life. Everyone always leaves. They always leave him.
He's sitting on the edge of her bed holding onto her hand absent mindingly running his thumb across the back of it. All he has been doing lately is thinking about what had happened to her. How that monster had done that to his Timber. So the sudden stirring on the bed didn't gather his attention.
"Hello," a scratchy voice spoke up barely carrying to his ears. His ears perked up and made him jump startled. He whipped his head to an awake and semi-coherent Timber. She's struggling to sit up in bed. He released her hand and gently helped her lay back against the pillows.
"Hey," he said softly. "How are you feeling?"
"Hurt." He nodded and tucked her messy blond hair behind her ears. Her green eyes that are usually bright are a moldy color and the iris is surrounded by red.
"It'll be okay," he tried to reassure her eventhough he has no idea. She's the one going to be a doctor she should know better than him what is the truth. She nodded though and licked her dry lips slowly.
"Oh right." He jumped up from the side of the bed and grabbed the cup of ice chips. That's all she's allowed to have right now. He dug the plastic spoon in and with a trembling hand brought a few pieces up to her lips. She opened her mouth and he slid the spoon in. Her lip closed over it and she sucked on the chips while he got some more ready for the net time. He knows he should be calling a nurse or a doctor. Right now he's so astounded that she's really awake and allowing him in the same vicinity. "Is that better?" She nodded.
"Thanks." He didn't want her to thank him for anything but wasn't about to argue. Instaed he nodded briefly.
"Want me to call your parents?"
"Please?' she asked nodding.
"Of course." He stood from the side of the bed and picked up his cell phone from the stand beside her bed. Her home phone is already on his phone. He found the number and made the connection.
"Hello?" her mother answered. He was holding back wanting to burst and tell her that she's awake but doesn't want to frighten her.
"It's Timber. She's awake now." He didn't even get to say more before she hung up on him. The quick click told him that they would be here asap. He smiled to himself and turned off his own phone. Turning back to her he told them that her parents are on their way.
"Thanks." He nodded and tossed his phone back down.
"Do you want anything else?" She shook her head. He was about to sit back on the bed next to her again when her voice ripped through his entire being. It made his head feel as if it weighed more than his entire body and that he had somehow entered a tunnel. She had just killed him more times than any type of weapon or disease could. Finally she spoke more than one word but it didn't bring good things about…
"Who are you…?"
***So what did you think? That should give you all you need right? Now you know all that's going down just not how it all occurred. Hmm I want a good number of reviews before I post up the sequel. No I haven't even started it yet nor have an inkling as to what the title will be. Man I haven't even figured out what I'm going to title this one yet either. Hopefully I have it up later tonight. Yeah…it should be…well okay then. Tell me what you think please. Thank you sooo much. R/R thanks Ember.***