When the door burst open, the light I had seen in a dirty strip under the door seemed to blaze, almost hurt my eyes, so long in the dark in there. Squinting through the light and my tears, all I could see was a silhouette, of a girl, or a woman. Jason's head whipped around, his nails dug into my hips, and I let out a small choked sound. She took a sure step forward. Jason gave an oily smirk. He slowly slid out of me and turned fully around, one leg up on the bed, one on the floor.

"Hey!" The voice was strong and had obvious, burning hatred in it. I could see Jason become more apprehensive when her face became visible, her eyes wide, and she came into the room. She was thin, but she advanced quickly and it all happened so fast.

"MotherFUCKER!" Her arm was as thin as the rest of her, her fist seeming tiny next to Jason's, but as though in slow motion, I saw her lever herself at him, arm swinging in a lightning, dangerous arc. There was muscle there. I don't even know what part of the face she hit, but there was a crunching sound and a prone Jason slowly crumpled to the floor. She stood over him, staring at him like she wanted to kill him. She looked up and honestly, her round eyes and utterly rage-filled face frightened me. She ran over to the bed and slid an arm under my shoulders, pulling me up and grabbing the sheet from the bed to wrap around me. She took my waist and guided me to the floor with her. All I could think when she was behind me pulling the sheet over my other shoulder was how warm she was.

"Don't take your eyes off him," she said very quietly to me,"I've never knocked someone out, and I don't trust that he's actually unconscious. But who knows what I can do when I see fucking scum like him." She was still the angriest I've ever seen someone. She grabbed the desk chair as she yanked me out the room, and after slamming the door shut behind us, she jammed it under the handle. She dug a cell out of her pocket and dialed a number. She rattled off the address we were at and reported Jason, adding that she had ensured my immediate safety and had him locked in a room. She snapped the phone closed and crossed her arms with it in a fist and leaned against the wall, glaring at the door with unconcealed fury, face red, whole body in tremors and nostrils occasionally flaring. She seemed to try to cool herself down for a few minutes before saying,

"Who was he?" I stared at her profile, hugging the sheet around my shoulders. She was barely a few years older than me.

"My stepbrother."

She slowly turned her head to the look at me, her jaw muscle visibly twitching at my response.

"I'm not going to ask if you're okay. And you're probably still in shock. Just please fucking tell me this was the first time, and please fucking tell me you fought him with all you had." Her eyes bore into mine. I nodded. I was being honest. I had felt completely helpless. She looked back to the door.

"God, I had that ONE punch that counted as self-defense under the law...I hope I did some fucking permanent damage." she hissed. We were silent for a while longer.

"How did you..." I trailed.

"I was passing in the street. I saw the light go off and heard your scream. It was...just a feeling I got," she said, glancing at the ground with a furrowed brow. "How old are you? Where are your parents?"

"Fourteen. They're out on a date."

"What's your name?"


"I'm Naomi." There was another span of silence, her staring at the door, me staring at her profile.

"...thank you," I whispered. She looked at me again, this time with her face sad. She replied quietly,

"No one needs to be offering me anything, except him," she jerked her head at the door, "A thousand apologies, to you, to me, to himself, to the fucking world for dirtying it with a creep like him, and then a promise to throw himself off a cliff next chance he gets," she spat. She threw her head back at the wall, inhaling and calming down again.

"Is this your house?" I shook my head.

"It's his friend's, but he left and Jason told me he was coming back. He didn't. He was probably in on it too." I surprised myself at all the things coming out of my mouth, soaked in by the sponge of Naomi, who nodded firmly.

"Do you know your parents' cell numbers? You should call them now." She proffered her phone. I took it, noting her hand was shaking a little. I dialed my mom.

"Hello, phone of Bet Hammond, who is this, please?"

"Mom, it's Kyla," I said, trying to keep my voice from quavering too much.

"Kyla, honey! Are you okay? Whose phone are you calling from?"

"Um, her name's Naomi..." I took a breath. "Mom, I'm at Kyle's house. Something...happened. You and Rory should come here now."

"Oh my god, what's happened, Kyla? What's wrong? We'll come straight away, honey, are you okay?"

"I..." I was shaking. The shock was wearing off. I squeezed my eyes, the burning at the back of them increasing as tears started coming again. I swallowed. "J-just, you should come, okay?"

"We'll be there as soon as we can, Kyla, is Jason with you?" I stayed silent. Background noises bled through her line, and I heard Rory's voice and car doors slam.

"Honey? Okay, we're in the car...who's Naomi?" I opened my mouth to answer, but I couldn't speak. A tear ran a curve over my lips. I squeezed my eyes tighter. After a moment, I felt a warm hand take the phone away from me.

"Hello? This is Naomi. Yes, I'm with your daughter. I've already called the police, and she's safe for now. M'am, I have no right to tell you what has gone on here, I was just in the right place at the right time...you might want to hurry. Yes. Goodbye." She closed her phone again.

I felt my knees about to give out, so I slowly knelt to the floor. Tears were now streaming down my cheeks. Naomi stuffed her phone in her pocket and came over to me. Wordlessly, she put her arms around me and rested my head on her shoulder. Behind the shell-shock, I watched my tears bleed into the fabric of her shirt. In another minute or two, sirens came to a rubber-burning halt in front of the house, and police and a couple paramedics jumped out of their vehicles and burst in.

"Up here!" Naomi called. Two policemen and two paramedics charged up the stairs. Naomi pulled me up and to the side. "He's in there, I don't know if he's unconscious or not, " she said, nodding at the door, which the police promptly pulled the chair from and entered the room. The medics, one woman and one man, hurried to me and Naomi. They took us downstairs and outside to the ambulance, where they gave me a contraceptive pill and looked for major damage. When the police came out, one was steering Jason, in handcuffs and mostly still unconscious, to the police car, and one came over to us.

"What's you name, hon?"

"Kyla Hammond."

"Where are your parents?"

Naomi took over for me. "They were on a date, we've already called them and they're on their way here."

"You two are sisters?" Naomi shook her head.

"We're strangers. I was walking down the street and saw what was happening, so I went inside and punched him out. Do you need my name?"

"Yes, please, and age," he replied, pen poised over notebook.

"Naomi Watson, sixteen." Through the haze, I was a little taken aback. Only two years older than me? She continued, "Your detainee is this girl's stepbrother. A friend of his may also have been aware this was going to happen."

"Kyle Davis," I supplied. The policeman nodded.

My mother and Rory pulled up, and things progressed from there. The paramedics and Naomi explained to them the situation when I still couldn't speak, and my mother broke down, hugging the life out of me. Rory stood a couple feet away, stock still and staring into middle distance with a look of disbelief. The warm summer evening turned into a balmy summer night. After the police were satisfied with their information, I was laid onto the ambulance stretcher with a paramedic, Mom, Rory, and Naomi by my side. I watched Naomi call someone and tell them a shortened version of events. She would accompany me to the hospital and later be driven home by my mom.

She hung up and held her phone between her hands, perched on the end of the little bench, and simply looked me in the eyes. I returned her gaze. The paramedic found a change of hospital scrubs and had everyone turn away so I could change into them, and the sheet lied in a crumple in a corner. She then inspected all my bruises, ones on my face and my arms, and fingernail bruises on my hips. Naomi continued to watch me, so I watched back.

She was a medium height sixteen-year-old, slim, and had dark features, made darker by pale skin. Her brown hair was almost to her waist, loose, with bangs prettily framing her face. She was wearing jeans and a red cotton shirt. I felt her studying me in a similar way, although I knew I must be pale and washed out by the green scrubs, hair mussed and eyes too wide and reddened from crying. It was strange to match the pretty girl I was looking at now to the strong savior who burst in with a fist that could knock out a seventeen year old guy with one punch, but it fit. She was poised and sure, and though she wasn't as animalistically furious now, I could equate her with it.

Mom held my hand like it was her only anchor to the world, but no longer cried. The ambulance was silent. Mom and Rory stared at the window, where the second police car, the one Jason wasn't in, was following us to the hospital, where I'd be officially checked out and probably be allowed to leave from that night.

At the hospital I was undressed and poked and prodded and asked gentle questions. I was given a prescription for sleeping pills in case I had troubled sleep.

At the hospital, I was undressed and poked and prodded and asked gentle questions. I took as STD test and was plopped in a bed for a while to await the results, but I wasn't really worried. Rory and Mom came into my room when they were given permission from the nurses, and a doctor talked to us and recommended a few therapists. The same policeman from the scene came in and called out Mom and Rory to discuss a few more things. The doctor patted my hand and left as well. I could hear the muted conversation in the corridor and I sighed, sinking back onto the copious pillows on my bed. I wondered if Mom would actually have me go to a therapist...and what they'd do to Jason...and what it'd be like at the house, how Mom and Rory would act, how this would affect their relationship...how this would affect me. The door opened.

"Hey." Once again, Naomi in the doorway. She stepped in and let the door swing closed behind her. She walked over to my bed and handed me a piece of paper.

"My phone number," she said. I took it. "In case you'd like to talk to me. I assume you've already been referred to a couple dozen therapists and psychologists, but...you know." I nodded. "Thank you," I said quietly.

'You mom's going to drive me home now, she says to tell you Rory will wait in here with you for the STD results and she'll be back to take you home. Best of luck." She leaned in and kissed my forehead, then turning and leaving the room. I stared after her until the door opened again, and true to her word, it was Rory, his face still frozen. He sat in the visitor's chair, and said, "Hey, kid," with a half smile, half grimace. I didn't say anything.

We sat in tense silence for nearly five minutes, Rory staring at the ceiling. Then he began to cry. He buried his face in his big man's hands and his shoulders shook and a few sobs escaped him. In the two years we'd lived together, I'd never seen him cry. I watched with a morbid fascination, but once again didn't say anything, didn't move, didn't acknowledge his tears. He eventually finished, sniffing hard and wiping his nose with the side of his hand. He sat with his chin on a fist, staring off with red eyes. I gathered up courage, hoping what I was about to ask didn't become disastrous.

"What are they going to do with him?"

Rory stared at me as though what I'd said had burned him. I don't suppose he was expecting me to ask something like that right now. I could see the battling emotions. His son, whom he'd loved and cared for all seventeen years, especially after his first wife died, had just raped the girl he'd come to care for, the daughter of the woman he now loved. He was choked.

"He's in juvvy. But he's so near eighteen that they're going to have a trial that'll decide a sentence when he turns in a couple weeks. Kyla..."

I leaned back and closed my eyes. I decided I'd give Naomi a call.


A.N.: I actually can't claim to know what would actually happen to an underage rapist in a situation like this, so I just made something up for the sake of the story. Don't use me as a source about legal issues, please.

I hope to continue this story.