Disclaimer: This story is entirely mine and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is completely accidental and not at all intentional.

Author Note: So here is the start of my new story. I hope that Fiction Press stops torturing me soon.


Full Summary: Ellis had a perfect life, until five years ago, it was all destroyed cruelly around her in a case of senseless violence. Now, she is a shadow of her former self, suffering from PTSD, and afraid of almost the entire male species.

Adam is the one man she can still trust. He was the one who saved her, who helped her then. Now he is back in her life after five years, and he has brought back memories with him, that she'd rather forget, and never deal with.

Ellis might want to hide and forget, but Adam won't let her, and he has decided that he is here to stay. Five years without her, were more than enough for him. Not to mention, her life is in danger, and he is the one assigned to protect her.


Adam stopped the car near the pier. He had a feeling that he needed to be here. He leaned his head back on the seat as he waited for something. He had no idea what it would be, just that he needed to be here. Over the years he had learned to trust his gut feelings, even if they tended to be very very vague.

I guess it's called a 'gut' feeling for a reason,he mused to himself with a smile as vague as this feeling. He had been there for nearly an hour when he heard it. A small shuffle. The pier was in the dilapidated warehouse district, and over here, any noise meant trouble. Not that Adam minded trouble. He was bored. He slowly exited the car. Just because he was bored did not mean he was also stupid. He would never be an easy target.

The shuffle came again, and his eyes narrowed on the corner of a warehouse. Someone was coming around the corner, and they were trying to be quiet. He slowly slinked closer, using his car for cover. He was really close to the corner, when the person finally came around it, and Adam stilled. He had been expecting a mugger, or some other sort of criminal lowlife.

He had not expected this. He had not expected her.

She nearly collided with him, before realizing that he was here. Her mouth opened to cry out, and she clapped a hand over it, her dark brown eyes were wide and terror filled as she glanced behind her, before her gaze swung back to meet his.

He allowed his gaze to move from her face to her feet, cataloguing the bruises, the wounds, the torn nails, the rope burns, her feet were bare, she was dressed in a filthy blanket, and he had a feeling nothing was under it. Her eyes were hollowed, like she had been starved, her lips broken and bleeding.

Adam swore softly before looking around. No one was following the girl. Yet.

He looked back at her. She had frozen, but he knew that it was deceptive. She was just bidding her time and conserving her energy for the fight she thought was coming.

Adam pointed to her, and then back at his car. He saw her eyes widen in disbelief. Without a word, he slipped his gun free of the ankle holster, showed to her that it was loaded, and placed it in her hand. She looked at him again, and he saw a glimmer of hope there. He pointed to the car again, and she nodded. They moved silently, still crouching, and Adam keeping an eye for anyone who might be following her.

He slid into the car the same time as she did, and then he burned rubber as he peeled out of there. He glanced at her once they were out on the highway. She was huddling in her seat, trying to hide below the window, and she was clutching the 9mm Beretta he had given her to her chest, her grip on it so tight that her knuckles were turning white.

"Hospital?" he asked gently and she jumped. Her gaze again filled with panic.

"No hospital then." he said in that same gentle tone.

"Why?" she whispered, her voice broken. Broken the way voices broke when you screamed too much for too long.

Adam shrugged. "If you ever saw anyone is such shape, would you not help them?" he asked and saw her huddle deeper into the seat.

"I am taking you to my place. You at least need first aid. Lots of it." He told her and she flinched, but did not argue.

"Think of it this way, unless I am a serial killer, you'll be fine. You're in no shape to do anything else to you." He pointed out and she gave him an incredulous look before a hint of a smile showed in her eyes.

She was still huddled when he turned into the driveway of his house. He pulled into the garage, something he tended not to do usually but he could hardly let anyone catch sight of her, and was already at her door before the garage door had fully closed behind them. He opened the car door for her but waited for her to step out. She slowly did, her expression filled with pain.

"Can I carry you?" he asked her quietly and she looked at him for a long minute before finally nodding, though he had seen her clench her jaw in fear. He picked her up as gently as he could but he could feel the fear and pain travelling through her body.

Adam moved into the house, cradling her close. He carried her straight through the house to his room, and then through that to his bathroom.

He gently set her down on the bench he had in there, and knelt in front of her. His face was careful, and he knew that she was still holding the gun he had given her like a lifeline.

"I need to clean you before I can deal with the wounds." He said softly and she nodded. Her eyes were filled with terror, but she was trying to trust him. Trying to let him help her.

"Bath or shower?" he asked. He knew it had to be a bath, but he would let her choose. She needed at least a semblance of control.

"I can't stand." She whispered, and he nodded and turned from her and quickly ran the bath.

"I am going to take this off." He pointed to the blanket, he saw her fear increase.

"Keep the gun." he told her and he saw her get more control of her fear.

Adam felt his fury build as he took away the blanket she had used to dress herself. She was even more battered than he had initially thought, and that had already been too damned much. She allowed him to strip her, and then lower her into the bath. She hissed in pain as the water made contact with the wounds on her body but that was the only reaction she gave. He efficiently and quickly cleaned her from head to toe, and even washed her hair, before picking her out of the bath. He dried her quickly, but thoroughly and then wrapped a towel around her.

Then he proceeded to bandage her. She had so many wounds. She had been whipped, and beaten, and hurt in more ways than he could count. The haze of his fury was only held back because he knew he would scare her and that was the last thing he wanted to do.

She was leaning against the wall as he finished. He slipped into his closet and grabbed the first shirt there and came back to her. He helped her into it, and then carried her to the bed. He tucked her in, and she looked at him with eyes she could not keep open anymore, and yet he saw her fear of sleeping, of not being able to keep an eye on her surroundings.

"I'll be here." He told her as he pulled a chair and sat facing the bed. Slowly, ever so slowly, her eyes closed, and she finally slept.

Chapter 1

Five Years Later:

Ellis's POV:

I jerked awake and blinked blearily. Everything was in place; no one was looming over me, so why had I woken up so suddenly at, check the clock, 5 AM on a Saturday morning? There was something terribly wrong with this picture.

Then I heard it again. A great rumble of sound coming from outside. I jumped out of bed and ran to the window only to realize that my bedroom window looked out the back of the house, and therefore over the river, and I could see nothing but pretty scenery from here.

I stalked to the living room window grumbling about my own stupidity. I peeked out of the curtains and saw the monster of a truck that was the cause of ruining my well deserved sleep. Someone was finally moving into the two storey Victorian house next to mine, but I wish they had done so at a decent hour. I considered going out and letting them have it but it would be too much of a bother. Not to mention I wanted to get along with my neighbours usually, not slaughter them verbally.

I sighed and walked to the kitchen and got the coffee started, and then I went for a quick shower. I dressed in a pair of khaki shorts and a sea green tank top. Then I finally got my caffeine fix and smiled in bliss. With one full cup of coffee in me, I was willing to forgive me new neighbours their bad timing, and so I filled my mug with more coffee and headed to the front door.

I had just stepped out when I heard his voice and came to a standstill. Over the years, there were times when I thought I had heard him, or glimpsed him, and I had been wrong every single time. But my heart was thudding in panic, and there was no denying that voice. As I stared, the man, I refused to believe it was himturned towards me. He was not looking at me, not even close, but his face was now in the right direction, and I could see him. It was him.

After five years he had finally found me. I took a step back, even as he started to turn completely towards me. It took everything I had to not run into the house but keep it only a brisk walk.

He was here.

I had to leave.

I placed down the coffee mug, the coffee sloshing onto the table cause my hands were shaking too badly. I made myself take deep breaths. He had not seen me. He could not know I was here. If he did, he would be here, in my house, not moving in next door.

So he had no clue I was here.

I took another deep breath. I was safe for now.

So, was I going to destroy the life I had built and leave?

I stared at the house around me. It was a single storey ranch style house, but it was my home. I loved it. I had secured it so that I could sleep peacefully, finally. It was my sanctuary. Would running away be worth leaving my home?

I sighed as I came to the answer. Even if he knew who I was, it would not be worth it to leave my home. It's not like I was in any danger from him physically. He would never hurt me, quite the opposite actually. He would protect me if he thought I was in any danger.

I expelled the breath I hadn't realized I was holding. I was going to stay right where I was. I was done running away.

I jumped as a knock sounded on the front door. I whirled around to see him standing there, looking at me out of hooded eyes.

"I'm sorry, but the door was open." He drawled easily even as I felt my fear spike. Did he recognize me? His expression and voice were bland. Maybe he did not recognize me?

"I'm Adam White. Your new neighbour. Sorry that we woke you up. It was either move now, or have my stuff on the streets for the whole weekend." He continued on blithely and I decided that he must not recognize me. I relaxed quite a bit.

"I'm Ellis Vorinski. It's okay, timing can't always be convenient." I answered and he nodded. I saw him glance at my coffee mug, and realized that I had to act natural. The more normal I was, the less likely he would be to associate me with the woman he had met five years ago.

"Would you like some coffee?" I asked and he nodded after giving me a surprised look. I allowed him to follow me into the kitchen and poured him coffee in a travel mug. I was willing to play normal but there was only so much my shot nerves could stand.

He took the coffee and the hint graciously and calmly walked back to the front door.

"Thanks." He said raising the mug.

"No Problem." I shrugged and he nodded before turning to leave. Then he turned his head and gave me a look over his shoulder that I did not understand before a small smile curled on his lips.

"I won't let you run from me again." He said softly before he headed out, closing the front door quietly behind himself. I felt my knees buckle.

He knew who I was. He did remember. He recognized me, and he had still played me.

That little rat bastard.

I grabbed the closest thing, a small dolphin statue, and threw it at the door where it shattered and I wish I had been able to throw it at him.

Normal POV:

Adam grinned as he heard something hit the front door and shatter behind him. She must be furious, he thought to himself as he sipped his coffee while walking leisurely to where his things were being moved in. He knew he could have handled it better, but once she had retreated into the house after one glimpse of him, all he could think of was how to make sure she did not run again.

So he had gone to see her, willing to use any means necessary to get her to agree to not run. But she had thrown him off his game as he had watched her compose herself. He could see the decision in her posture, in her body language; she was not going to run.

He had not been able to stop himself from lulling her into a sense of security, just like he could not stop himself from throwing the reminder that he did remember her over his shoulder.

If he did not get his control together and stopped trying to get under her skin, she was going to shoot him and put him out of her misery. He grinned again. He was looking forward to it.