Chapter 1

It was another hard day at work and as usual, I was walking home. The night air felt chilly against my face despite the fact that it was summer. Impatient to get home and relax, I decided to take a shortcut through the park that I usually went around. If I had been a woman, I would have thought twice about going through it this late at night in this part of the city. The news reported women being raped there and the police didn't spend much time around here at this time of night.

My feet dragged against the paved path as I made my way through the park. Work had exhausted me to the point that I could barely lift my feet. It wasn't hard to imagine what I would look like to someone passing by or to the police. Hunched over from the cold, hands in my pocket, feet dragging along, I probably be mistaken as the rapist. Being dragged to jail was not the way I wanted to end my night.

Seconds later I heard the sound of footsteps heading my way. They sounded frantic, not like a jogger's steady pace. I looked up to see a figure running towards me. The park wasn't very well lit and it was too dark to see who it was. When the figure grew closer, I saw that it was a girl looking over her shoulder as she ran my way. Then I heard the sounds of another pair of footsteps. She was running from someone and I was right in the middle of her path.

My body felt too weak to put any extra effort in moving aside, so I continued walking on hoping the girl would notice me. She didn't. Before I could move out of the way, she ran into me with full force. I took a step back to steady myself from the impact but the girl started to fall backwards. Without thinking, my hand shot out and grabbed her arm to pull her back to her feet.

When I regained my senses, I quickly let go of her arm. As I let go, the girl whipped her head towards me glaring at me. The sounds of the other pair of feet continued to pound in the silence. When the girl heard it, she stood frozen in fear. The footsteps slow down to a cautious walk. "Hey baby," came a man's voice, "why are you running from me?" The man either didn't notice me or choose to ignore me. It was hard to tell.

I looked down at the girl standing in front of me. Her small body was visibly shaking from head to toe. Her hands clutched her jeans tightly. It was clear as day that she was scared to death. Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for her, I had no choice but to play the knight in shinning armor. A role I never had a desire to play. I started to think that I might prefer being dragged to the police station then dealing with this shit.

I gently pushed the girl behind me, placing myself in between her and the man. I extended myself to my full height, trying to pull the confident, strong, and full of energy look. The guy was a scrawny little man shorter than me. It still wouldn't ha been good for the girl or me if the man realized I was exhausted. He had a good chance of taking me down.

The man glared at me. "Sorry man. She's my girlfriend and we just got into a little fight. You have nothing to worry about, you can go on your merry way."

I didn't move. "She told me everything already," I lied, "So there's no need to lie." The man didn't say a word taking a step forward. He paused, looking me up and down, trying to weigh the odds. I noticed that one of his hands was in his pocket. "Cops roamed around this park late at night since the reports of the rapes. If you don't want me shouting for them you better leave now." I hoped he wasn't from around the area otherwise he would know that was all bullshit. If he was then this was going to turn ugly, fast.

The man hesitated before he turned around and ran off into the night. "Thank god," I let out a sigh of relief. I turned around to see the girl still behind me. I took a deep breath to calm myself down and keep myself from shouting at her. "Dumb ass, you should of continued running when you had the chance." My irritation and anger slipped into my voice. Suddenly, the girl started to collapse.

Before she hit the ground, I fell to my knees, catching her. "Hey, are you okay?" I asked. She didn't move or say a word. I turned her face towards me. I saw her chest move up and down with each breath she took. "Shit, she fainted." I was tempted to just leave her there but I knew that if did, I couldn't deal with the guilt if something happened to her. I didn't have a cell phone and there was no place nearby to drop her off. There was only one choice left. I pulled the girl onto my back so I could carry her to my apartment.

To get from the park to my apartment took every ounce of strength I had left. I almost drop her a couple of times carrying her up the stairs to my second floor apartment. Once I was in, I dumped the girl on the couch, glad to have her off my back.

I headed straight to my bedroom not bothering to close the door or change out of my work clothes. I fell on top of the covers on the bed, falling asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

A/N: If you enjoy this story please leave a review, follow it, and/or at it to your favorites to let me know. The more people I see enjoying the story, the more motivation I get for writing it. I write for the readers' interests, I already know how it's going to end. ;] I'm also going through editing the chapters again, there will be either a note and/or date left for each chapter edited. (1/18/2013)