1st person is definitely not natural for me. I tend to slip back into 3rd, but I managed to only do that a couple times here. This is from Protecting the Heart, picking up right after the last scene I’d worked on for it. And now I’m going to go rework this into 3rd, so I can put it in the actual WiP.
I probably shouldn’t have gone downstairs. I was going to wait for Declan to come up. He needed to eat sometime after all. But, he’d nearly skipped out on breakfast, taking a bagel and his coffee down to the office with him. He’d done a good job of ignoring our presence since the morning before. I wasn’t really sure what was up with that.
It was like a switch had been flipped, and he was a totally different person. One minute he’s telling me he hadn’t forgotten me in the last five years. Not since the last time he saved me. And then he was shutting down, closing himself in. I just didn’t get it.
Still, I didn’t like to go down and bother him. And, okay, that wasn’t the only reason I avoided the office under his apartment. I’m sure his friend who was in there the first day we arrived was a nice enough guy. Declan had assured me of that fact. But, he was big, imposing. Too much like Doug. I’d wanted to avoid any other run-ins.
So, why didn’t I just wait to talk to Declan until he came back up here? No, I just had to be impatient and go down there. I didn’t know the man he was talking to. But, he cut an imposing figure, too. I hadn’t been able to tell what they were talking about, only hear their voices. But, even that had stopped as soon as I started down the stairs. I’d never known two people who were so alert.
This must have been the friend he’d mentioned the other day. The one he’d known so long, who he would, and apparently had, trust his life with. So, I shouldn’t have been scared of him. And if it hadn’t been for this whole thing with Doug looking for me again, I probably wouldn’t have been. And Declan thought this Piers might be able to help keep me safe from Doug. So, I needed to trust him as well.
I just wish that was easier for me to do. He hadn’t even made a move toward me. Like he knew that would have sent me running. God, I hated how close that was to the truth. I’d gone down to tell Declan that I wanted to do more to help. I was tired of just sitting back and letting everything happen. There had to be more I could do to keep myself, and Danica, safe. Being passive is what had gotten me into this mess in the first place. I couldn’t keep doing it.
I heard his footsteps on the stairs and took a deep breath, hoping it would help steady me. Or at least let me look like I was steadied. Declan had seen me at my weakest, and I didn’t need him to think of me like that right now. Not if I was going to do this. I turned from the counter and saw him standing in the doorway, studying me.
“Your friend left?”
“Yeah. What did you need to talk to me about, Eva?”
He took a couple steps toward me, and I felt my nerves dance just under my skin. It had been like that every time he looked at me ever since the other night. What was wrong with me? This attraction had to be all one-sided. There was no way he thought about me like that. But, I wasn’t afraid of him. That wasn’t what these nerves were about.
“I want to do something,” I told him.
“Okay? What? You need to go somewhere? I can take you.”
I shook my head. “That’s not what I meant. I want to do something about Doug, to stop him.”
His whole stance changed at those words. “You don’t need to do that. I told you I’d take care of you. That I would keep you safe.”
“But, I can’t just sit around knowing he’s still out there. I have to do something, Declan. I don’t want to be this damsel in distress. Not again.”
His blue eyes darkened at that. “You’ve never been that,” he said. “You got yourself out of a bad situation, protected your baby. I only helped. So don’t think of yourself like that.”
But, it was true. I might have run away from Doug, but if it hadn’t been for Declan, I never would have been able to get so far away. And for five years, I thought that meant I was safe. But, I wasn’t. Because I hadn’t really fought back. “There has to be something I can do.”
He stared at me for several moments and then sighed. “I got some information from Piers earlier. That’s why he was here. You can go through it with me.”
It didn’t sound like much. I wanted to do more than look at a file of papers. But, it was at least a place to start. “Okay. I’ll check on Danica. She was in her room playing. Then, we can get started.”
He didn’t look too happy about it, but he nodded and carried the file he was carrying over to the table. I turned away and hurried off to do what I said I would. It was better than watching him move. Anything was better than letting my thoughts wander there.