"Thank you again Chloe for answering all my questions."
"No problem," Chloe responded.
"Oh, and you have a young man by the name of Austin waiting for you, I believe he is the one who called."
"Really, where is he," Chloe asked enthusiastically.
"He is just right around the corner."
"Thanks," Chloe breathed out as she ran to meet Austin.
As soon as Austin saw Chloe his face lit up.
"Austin, thank you, thank you," Chloe cried out as she ran to Austin as fast as she could on her cut foot and flew into his arms.
"Chloe, I am so sorry, I will never let this happen to you again, I promise, I'm so sorry…" Chloe cut him off when she drew her lips to his and softly kissed him as a tear fell down her cheek.
Austin looked into Chloe's eyes and then whispered into her ear, "Chloe, I love you so much."
The words made more tears fall from her eyes, she drew in a deep breath, closed her eyes and whispered back," I love you too." She had never said those words before, and that scared her.
He slowly leaned in and kissed her once more lightly on the lips.
"What happened to you foot? Are you alright?"
"Yeah, don't worry, it's nothing, it was how I stalled to wait for the police to show up after I texted you."
"Sounds like you were very brave tonight."
"Thanks," Chloe said smiling.
"Let's get you home, you had a long day," Austin said softly.
"Sounds good," Chloe responded back.
"I bet you're really tired," Austin said sweetly.
"I'm actually not that tired, will you stay up and talk with me," Chloe asked with a sweet smile on her face.
They sat down together on the couch and Chloe snuggled in closely to Austin.
"Was that the same guy Chloe, that hurt you at the party, the first time I met you?"
Tears welled up in Chloe's eyes, "Yes," she whispered out weakly. She knew Austin hadn't seen John tonight so he had no idea it was her ex-boyfriend too, but she wanted him to know, she needed him to know.
"That guy, was John," Chloe said quietly.
"You're ex-boyfriend," Austin asked with concern.
"Yes," tears were now continuously falling out of Chloe's eyes.
"Oh Chloe, I just knew it when I met him, he was so rude to you, he didn't treat you right at all, I'm so sorry, I'm so glad he is sitting were he deserves to be."
"Yeah but for how long Austin, I'm scared."
"Don't be, I will protect you, and I'm sure he will at least be there for a couple days."
Austin whipped Chloe's tears with his hand and pulled her into his arms with comfort.
He started rubbing her arm, he felt a cut, and Austin looked down at Chloe's arm and saw a scar. "Is that from the night at the party, did John do this to you?"
"Yes, and no," Oh crap Chloe panicked, she couldn't lie to Austin.
"Yes and no?"
Chloe quickly pulled her arm from his grasp and tried to hide her arms.
Austin carefully took Chloe's arms in his hand and looked at then, his face filled with concern and fright, as he looked at all the scars on Chloe's arms.
Austin let her arms go, and stayed quiet for a minute, he remembered how Chloe is always wearing a jacket; this is the first time he has ever seen her without one on.
Chloe looked down, she couldn't look Austin in the eyes.
"Chloe," Austin's voice shook as he said her name.
"Did you do this to yourself?"
Chloe didn't answer.
"Chloe, please answer me," Austin looked like he was in pain.
Chloe didn't know how to answer him.
"Chloe, why would you do this to yourself?"
Still no answer from Chloe, she sat still, staring down at her feet.
Austin put his hand under her chin and pulled her face up so she was looking at him.
His eyes looked as if he was about to cry, and then Chloe saw a tear slowly fall from his eye.
"It makes me feel better, It helps me forget, It's my way of coping," Chloe managed to whisper out.
"Chloe, you need to stop doing this to yourself," Austin pleaded.
Chloe looked down in shame, no one had ever cared before; her mom was always to caught up to notice, and John just couldn't care less.
"Austin, I don't know if I can stop."
"You can, Chloe I know you can, I will help you," Austin said as he grabbed Chloe's face in his hands lightly.
"No one has ever cared," Chloe managed to whisper out.
"Chloe, I have always cared."
"I wish I could have met you sooner," Chloe's shaky voice said.
"Me too, but I'm here now, and that's what matters."
"That day, at the Coffee shop, you were bleeding, is this why," Austin asked, scared to hear her answer.
"Yes," Chloe confessed in shame.
"Chloe you deserve better, you are an amazing girl and you don't need to be hurting yourself."
"I'm sorry," was all Chloe could manage to get out.
"I think I'm tired now," Chloe stated quietly.
"Come on, I will walk you to your room," Austin said sweetly.
"Thank you," Chloe responded.
Chloe climbed in bed and Austin stood at her door, "Night Chloe."
"Will you sleep in my room with me tonight, I don't want to be alone."
"Sure," He said.
Austin smiled as he clicked of her light and walked towards her bed.
He lied down next to her and held her close in his arms.
"Thank you, your amazing," Chloe told him.
"You are to, goodnight."
Austin kissed one of Chloe's scars on her arm and then stroked her hair until she fell asleep; he then shut his eyes and went to sleep himself.