Page 31 of Burned (Ignite #1)

Bringing my hands up to his chest, I shove as hard as I can. Considering he’s drunk and can barely stand, it doesn’t take much to get him off me He stumbles away and I quickly glance around, hoping someone from the station is nearby and sees what’s happening. Unfortunately, the bay is empty and there isn’t any sign of life in the windows of the house. Everyone must have gone on the call with Collin.

“This is the last time I’m going to tell you this. Stay the f**k away from me, Jordan, or I’m calling the cops,” I threaten, refusing to let him know just how much he’s scaring me right now.


I’ve never been afraid of my husband physically hurting me, but right now, with the anger radiating off of him and his blood filled with alcohol, there’s no telling what he’s capable of.

He smirks at me as I yank open my car door and quickly get inside, hitting the automatic lock as soon as I’m behind the wheel. As I start up the engine and peel away from the curb, I can hear him shout after my car through the closed windows.

“YOU CAN’T KEEP ME AWAY, FINNLEY!”

TWO DAYS LATER, I’m still a jumble of nerves every time I walk out of the house to go to work. Collin has called a couple of times a day to check on me and just the sound of his voice through the line calms me down. When he isn’t out on a call, I curl up in bed with the phone propped against my ear, listening to his soft, baritone voice tell me stories about the crazy things D.J. did when they were at the fire academy and what his family has been up to since I last saw them. In turn, he listens to me ramble about my friendship with Phina, silly things we did in college and what my own family has been doing with themselves.

In the quiet of the night when he’s lying in his own bunk at the station waiting for the next call to come in, he asks me about my marriage to Jordan and I tell him everything—the good, the bad and the ugly. I tell him about how hard I tried to make it work, forgiving him over and over for the addictions he allowed to rule both of our lives and I admit to him that I don’t even know how long ago I fell out of love with him. He listens to it all and he never judges me for the choice I made to try and stick it out for as long as possible before finally reaching my breaking point. He tells me I’m amazing and that he wishes things could have been different.

I don’t know how many times I wished for the same thing. I never realized it until now, but everything happens for a reason. Maybe Collin came into my life at this point in time because I was finally ready for him. If I would have run into him again years ago, we probably would have just said a polite hello and continued to go our separate ways.

He’s so sweet and understanding as I explain everything to him, I just can’t bring myself to tell him about what Jordan has been doing. I don’t want to worry him and I certainly don’t want him getting into trouble by taking matters into his own hands. Collin is the type of man who would never stand idly by and let Jordan treat me this way.

For the past two days, I’ve seen Jordan’s car parked outside of the house more than once. I’ve seen it drive by my work when I’m walking out to the parking lot and I know I’ve seen it in my rearview mirror on my way home or on trips to the grocery store.

When the text messages started coming several times a day, each one telling me what a whore I am or how I’m going to pay for the mistakes I’ve made, I printed all of them out and put them in a file. When he sends a grainy picture of Collin and I pressed up against each other by the tree outside my office the day of the electrical fire with a particularly nasty message, I have the proof I need that he’s been stalking me. I take everything to the courthouse and file for a restraining order, making sure to install new locks on the house as soon as I got home.

I know this will all blow over eventually and there’s no point freaking Collin out about something that really has nothing to do with him. I decided to leave Jordan before we ever saw each other again and I don’t want to drag him into this mess any more than I already have. If he wasn’t in my life, I’d have to handle it on my own anyway. I’m a big girl and I can take care of my own problems. I know Jordan’s irrational behavior is due to whatever addiction that currently has him in its clutches and, even though I don’t care about what he does with his own life, I don’t want him hurting anyone around him.

I haven’t spoken to his parents since right after we separated. Every time his mother called me, she reminded me about the vows I took to stand by his side through the good times and bad. She told me that a wife needs to support her husband and that pushing him away was only making things worse. I stopped answering her calls after that. It was too hard not to scream at her and ask her about the vows HE took. Even though I don’t want anything to do with his family and their double standards, I did the right thing and called his mom to tell her about his behavior and the measures I was forced to take for my own safety. I was more than a little shocked to hear that Jordan only spent one week at their house before he moved out. They haven’t seen or heard from him since.

I push any concern I might have for him out of my mind when I get a phone call from the court telling me the judge had a cancellation and will see me first thing in the morning. It’s silly, but I know having that little slip of paper on file stating that Jordan won’t be able to come within a hundred yards of me will make me feel safer.

Hopefully he’ll finally get the message and he can get the help he needs so he can move forward with his own life.

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