Page 26 of Hero Next Door

The Theo in my imagination, who is taking me to… well, wherever it is.

I lean back and allow my eyes to slide closed with him wrapped around me. I might not really be safe, but I feel safe enough with him holding on to me. He has this way about him which I just want to hold on to forever more. I should have stayed with him, shouldn’t I? I think that is what my end of life vision is trying to tell me. That I had the perfect man by my side, and even if it was just for one night. It would be a lovely memory to bring with me.

“It’s okay, Esme.” His voice sounds thicker than I remember, as if it’s struggling to come through the suit. I’m surprised that my brain can give this image so much depth. “We will be out of here in a moment.”

Anywhere with you. I want to smile to myself. Maybe I am, I don’t know. I would go anywhere with Theo.

Oh, holy fuck! I wasn’t expecting everything to suddenly go ice cold but now I am bolt upright, wide awake, and agony is screaming through my body. It hurts, it hurts more than I thought possible. I have gone straight from Heaven to Hell and I want to get out of it. Whatever this is right now, I will do anything to make it end.

Help. Can anyone sense how much I need someone to help me right now? Help?

My body aches, my muscles scream, my throat is ragged and raw. If I thought that my lungs hurt when the smoke was billowing in to me, well that’s nothing compared to how they feel now. It’s the end of the world, the end of me.

“It’s okay, Esme.” It’s Theo again, only this time he’s much clearer. Oh, and I can see his face better as well. I want to know why he’s doing this to me, why he brought me out here, but still I can’t talk. “You will be in an ambulance in a moment. They are going to help you, to save your life, you will be fine.”

Is this real? It feels real now. Maybe it’s the pain but it seems like the words he’s speaking might have some accuracy to them. Maybe he really has saved me by some miracle and I will live after all. It’s got a dream like quality to it. The thought of Theo Landon, my brand new neighbor who I accidently slept with being my hero. But I like it. I like the idea of him saving me. It will leave me much more connected to him and I want that.

Thank you. I would love to say that word to him, to let him know just how grateful I am, but it’s impossible. At the moment anyway. If I really am going to live through this then I will have all the time in the world.

I can thank him, hug him, kiss him, make love to him if he’ll let me. I might even let him know how much he means to me, how I thought about him near death. In my hazy state all of that sounds incredibly romantic and not creepy at all. It actually sounds like the plot of a movie, the happy ever after that I didn’t even know I needed.

Now a relationship or even a fling with Theo, that makes sense to me. But to think of a anything with Mr. Jones… well, that was just insane.

Where is he? Should I panic? Could he get to me again? Should I say something? Should I let the world know what he did… even if I don’t totally know what he did? I suppose I can’t be one hundred percent sure…

It doesn’t even occur to me that he might be perishing away in that building, that his own flames might be killing him, because he’s become a monster in my mind. An entity that can’t be destroyed no matter what.

Chapter 12 – Theo

“The guy is saying what?” I exclaim at the police officer in shock. “No, I’m sorry. I don’t care who he is. I have seen a lot of fires in my time and that wasn’t caused by an electrical fault. Not a chance in hell. No way.”

I shake my head, utterly determined and willing to stick to my convictions no matter what. I have such a surge of hate for this whole situation right now, and I don’t think that it’s just because Esme was caught in that fire… but I have to admit that has me all worked up. The fact that someone endangered her… well, I can’t hack it.

It’s that man, that boss, the one that she moaned to me about. The asshole who treated her like shit. I made a joke about him being in love with her, but I probably shouldn’t have. I wouldn’t have if I knew which way it would end up going. I would have… I don’t know, warned her to never go near him again, that’s for sure.

Tags: Mia Ford Romance