Catch up here. This is the alternate ending for J.D. and Ari that I wrote after Blasphemous Rumors.
I wave to Rob from my open car door as I toss my purse and tote bag across the driver’s seat into the passenger seat. A sliding door groans open behind me. An arm snakes around my midriff and a hand holding a rag clamps over my mouth and nose.
I scream into the cloth and struggle to pull the hand down with my hands hooked on the wrist. I breathe in something sweet from the rag and the world wobbles around me. I lift my legs up and push off my car. We fall back into the van while my black leather heels clatter on the ground. The arms maintain a tight grip instead of loosening as I hoped. I inhale another breath of sweetness and everything turns black.
“Ari’s missing,” Brian tells J.D. frantically over the phone.
J.D. inhales sharply. “What do you mean? She left a message over an hour ago that she was leaving.” He surveys the emergency room looking for any sign of Ari.
“We think Lance took her after Rob walked away. Her car door was still open, the keys in the door, and her shoes on the ground.”
J.D. clenches his teeth while Brian continues. He scribbles on a sheet of paper then slides it across the desk to Nancy. She slips the paper off the desk and heads for another phone. He sits in her chair, rests his left elbow on the desk, and runs his hand through his hair stopping at the back of his head while staring blankly at the gray desktop.
“The detective wants to talk to you,” Brian announces.
The handset being passed rustles in J.D.’s ear. He answers detailed questions about Lance’s history with Ari and the stalking for thirty minutes.
Jessie walks up as J.D. sets the phone in the cradle. “What are you doing here?” J.D. asks surprised. “You’re supposed to be off today.”
“Nancy called. I’ll finish your shift and find someone to cover for you tomorrow.”
Nancy returns to her desk and folds her arms around J.D.’s neck. “Tommy is picking up Ethan. He said he’d meet you at home.”
J.D. welcomes the comfort and hugs her back. “Thanks, you two.”
I wake inside the empty van with my arms bound over my head to the frame of the van over the rear wheel well and duct tape covering my mouth. My body feels heavy from whatever was used to knock me out. The van is stationary and the back windows are blacked out. I roll over prone on the carpet and pull myself towards the wheel well. The side door slides opens and Lance climbs in. He is wearing a plain black t-shirt and blue jeans with holes in the knees.
My heart thuds heavily. I scoot towards the hump of the wheel well and he sits across the van against the door with his legs bent in the air and his arms resting on his knees.
He eyes me for a minute. “You are so beautiful,” he whispers and crawls towards me.
I bend my legs in front of me. He takes my face into his hands and places a soft kiss on my lips. I cringe, purse my lips, and tears fall down my face. A finger trails after a tear and runs down my neck to the second button on my shirt.
“Remember our first time? Your first time?”
My eyes widen as he undoes the button. I scream behind the tape and kick out. He grabs my ankles and yanks me to him, trapping my legs on either side of him with his arms. I tug on the rope desperately.
“In the back of my car in the cemetery.” He continues to work at the buttons on my shirt.
I wrench and the rope burns my skin.
“We were so in love.” Hands glide up my exposed stomach. “You were so eager.” He moves forward and pins me down with his body. “I nipped your ear to distract you from the pain.” His face stops millimeters away from mine.
I turn away and shut my eyes.
He grabs my chin with one hand and pulls it back. “Open your eyes,” he orders.
I keep them closed tight.
“OPEN THEM!” he barks.
I open my eyes and his hazel eyes are staring into mine. I knock my head into his.
“AH!” he yells, grabbing his forehead with one hand and slapping my face with the other as he sits up.
I ignore the sting from the slap and kick him in the chest with both feet sending him backwards. He recovers and clamps down on my ankles. Spikes of pain shoot up my leg.
“You’re trying my patience,” he says harshly. He splits my legs apart and secures them under his arms again.
I narrow my eyes at him and buck against his hold.
You’re not going to get what you want so easily.
He presses his lips together and hauls me closer to him so the rope is taut and digging into my skin. I twist my upper body side to side to keep fighting. He immobilizes me with his upper body and holds my neck with his left hand while undoing his jeans with his right.
I take the small opening and fight against him with my left hip and leg. He tightens his grip on my neck and I cough into the tape. His right hand slides up my leg under my skirt.
J.D. paces the living room with Ethan’s head on his shoulder. He massages Ethan’s back humming along with Bring Me Your Cup on the radio.
“Jack. Sit,” Tommy says walking out of the kitchen with a beer in each hand.
“I can’t. The minute I do, I’m going to lose it.”
“Maybe you need to,” Tommy suggests and sets the beers down on the end table. He looks at Ethan. “I think he’s sleeping. I’ll put him down,” he offers.
J.D. turns towards the bedrooms abruptly. “I’ll do it.”
He kisses Ethan’s head, lays him in the crib, and covers him with the baby quilt Lola made from several different blue Hawaiian prints, including the blue she used for Tommy and Brad’s shirts for the wedding. He runs his hands over the almost black curls on Ethan’s head and a tear escapes. He returns to the living room and takes a swig of beer.
“Go take a shower or at least change out of your scrubs, Jack” Tommy says from his seat on the futon. “You need to relax. You’re too wound up.”
“I can’t relax while Lance has her.”
Tommy rises from the futon and pushes J.D. back towards the bedrooms. “Go.”
J.D. pulls the pager off his waistband and tosses it to Tommy. “Get me if it goes off.”
He turns the water on in the shower so hot the steam fogs up the bathroom before he strips off his scrubs. He stands under the stream completely numb to the scalding water. He slicks his hair back and leans against the wall then lets out a wail. His body shakes as he weeps and slides down the wall, burying his face in his hands.
Tommy throws the bathroom door open, flings the shower curtain aside, shuts off the water, and draws J.D. into him.
“She’s a fighter, Jack. She’s going to make him sorry he took her.”
“I can’t lose them,” J.D. cries.
“Ethan’s in his crib.”
J.D. lifts his head, eyes red and puffy. “She’s pregnant.”
“Jackie,” Tommy whispers and squeezes him tight. Tears roll down his cheeks.
Lance sits next to me against the side of the van as Terrence Trent D’Arby warbles through the van’s speakers.
We started out as friends
but the thought of you just caves me in.
The symptoms are so deep
it is much too late to turn away.
“Remember our song?” he asks reaching over to stroke my cheek.
I pull my head away and stare at the back doors.
“You’re going to love me again.”
I shake my head and turn to him, glaring. He pulls out a black handled switchblade and pops the blade out. My eyes go wide and I inch towards the back door. He saws the blade against the rope and I crash backwards into the door.
I rip the duct tape off. “FUCKING ASSHOLE!” I scream. “You think I could love you after you just raped me?” I move my feet under me in a squat.
He stands. “Ari-“
I pounce before he is upright, keeping my center of gravity low and hit him with my left shoulder. I fall on top of him and roll off to my right towards the sliding door. He follows and pins me down with my arms over my head.
“I was trying to be nice,” he says acidly. “You’re going to regret that.”
“I’ll never regret fighting back,” I fume.
The van rocks underneath us as all the doors open simultaneously. Flashlights shine on us. “Don’t move!” a voice commands from the sliding door.
I head butt Lance for the second time as he looks towards the voice. He is yanked off of me into the darkness outside the van.
“You’re safe now, Mrs. Devlin,” says the officer cutting away the ropes on my wrists.
I throw my arms around him and the tears of gratitude fall freely.
J.D. is sprawled out on the bed face down asleep. He hears Marvelous 3 playing in the living room as Tommy rouses him.
Makes me throw up to say that I cared at all
I gave a lot and now I’m shot
And shit like that’s like sour lemonade, sour lemonade
“Ari’s at your E.R.”
J.D. scrambles out of bed. “She’s at my E.R.?”
“Yeah. One of the nurses called.”
Tommy drops J.D. off then parks the car. J.D. rushes through the doors to the emergency room asking the nurse where Ari is. She gives him the room number and he tears down the hall ignoring her protests that he cannot go in. He jerks the door open to the exam room.
Ari sits facing away from the door while a woman is taking pictures. The brunette drops her arms and looks at J.D.
“You can’t be in here,” she states simply.
“She’s my wife.”
I twist my head around to the door and tears fall as I see J.D. standing there in his Hawai`i Tennis t-shirt and black shorts. His chocolate eyes welcoming and his wavy hair a mess like it is when he wakes up.
“I’m still collecting evidence. You can come back in when I’m done.”
He reaches out to me.
“Don’t touch her!” Claire exclaims, swatting his hand away. “You’ll contaminate my evidence.”
“I love you, babes,” he declares as he slinks back through the door.
I curl into the fetal position when Claire finishes. She covers me with a blanket then allows J.D. to enter.
“Ari!” He rushes to me and covers my face with kiss after kiss. “What happened to your forehead?” he asks brushing his thumb over the bumps.
“I head butted Lance. Twice.”
“That’s my babes,” he says with a hint of pride and leaves a soft kiss my forehead.
Tears brim and the corners of my mouth pull down.
“What is it?”
“He raped me,” I choke. ”And I lost the baby on the way here. Jessie thinks whatever Lance used to drug me caused it.”
He moves to the other side of the exam table and crawls up behind me. He slips his left arm under my neck and pulls me into him with his right. I feel his hot tears fall on my neck and we let more fall freely.
“You’re safe now and Lance is going away for a long time. That’s all that matters,” he whispers as our sorrow wanes for the moment.
“I want to go home.”
J.D. leaves to get the discharge paperwork going and sends Tommy in. He hugs me gingerly.
“Where’s Ethan?” I ask.
“With Jack. He’s sleeping.” He pauses. “Jack told me about the baby. I’m sorry, Sis.” He pulls me into another hug.
“Thanks, Tommy.” I squeeze him tight to hold back another wave tears.
J.D. returns with a pair of scrubs for me since Claire took my clothes as evidence. He helps me dress while Tommy gets the car.
I stand over Ethan’s crib after taking a shower and touch his soft curls. J.D.’s left arm is around my waist and he kisses my head. I turn into him and rise up to press my lips against his tenderly.
“Take me to bed,” I whisper.
“You just experienced a lot of trauma. You should be resting,” he says quietly.
I tangle my fingers in his hair, “Don’t be Mean Doctor right now. I need to feel safe again so I don’t shut down like I did before. You’ve always made me feel safe. I need you. I can rest after.”
He carries me into our room, the CD player still running with INXS on the speakers, and gently nudges the door shut with his foot.
Some silken moment
Goes on forever
And we’re leavin’
Yea, we’re leavin’
Broken hearts behind
©Debi Smith, 2013