I never cared to know where Derek lived, so I hadn’t kept his whereabouts in mind since I last visited him. It was therefore lucky, yet unlucky, that Nicholas texted me—well, Daniel—his address. I wanted to do everything I can within the law to get to Derek’s place faster, but there was nothing I could do besides accelerate. Tapping the paddle beyond the limit, in my nervous and shaky wreck, would almost certainly make a bad situation, worse.
By gunning as much as I can, and turning myself into a connoisseur of road rage, I finally made it to Derek’s place. My heart was only thumping while I was driving, but once I stepped out of the car and closed the car door, it started thudding like the beat of a drum. I banged on Derek’s front door really hard, hoping to find myself in only Derek’s view with Daniel nowhere near, thinking that he didn’t make it for other reasons. I could only dream. I know Daniel is just trying to protect me, and stand up for me, but I didn’t want him to get into serious trouble because of it. Apart from road rage combined with acceleration, having Daniel land in some deep shit would be terrible!
Finally, after practically nearly breaking the door down as I pounded on it hard, Daniel flung it open. His face was contorted in shards of anger and hatred. The lines professing their presence in distorted ways across the once smooth planes of his skin. His eyes were hollow, almost burning with intensity. His lips pulled back, baring gritting teeth. I don’t think Daniel honestly realised the capacity of the situation and my being there; but once he did, his jaw softened and he no longer bared his teeth at me like a hungry bear ready to pounce its prey. I’ve never seen Daniel so angry, and it was rather scary; so maybe that’s why he started ironing out his tense features into a calm state.
“What are you doing here?” he breathed out.
“I could ask you the same thing,” I said, my voice gentle.
Daniel hung his head low and then opened the door wider, allowing for me to step in. “He shouldn’t have done what he did. And you should have told me.”
“Please understand that I didn’t want to upset you,” I explained, softly. “And I knew it would. I just wanted our time together to be spent enjoying each other, not getting down to this sort of stuff.”
Then, as Daniel seemed to have noticed me for the first time at the door, I noticed Derek for the first time on the couch. His head was resting back and he had a scrunched up wad of paper towels held up against his nose. The paper towels were painted in a ghastly, and alarmingly deep, crimson.
“Did you get hurt?” I asked Daniel, suddenly realising that this fight could have been two ways.
Daniel shook his head. “Just exhausted.”
“Yeah?” Derek said nasally, “well I’m fucking bleeding asshole.”
“Well you fucking deserve it, asshole,” Daniel retaliated. He twitched forward and I had to place a steady hand on his chest to keep him from doing more damage.
Derek scoffed. “Whatever.”
“That’s all he’s got,” Daniel spat, “’whatever’. How pathetic.”
“Hey!” Derek stood, uncovering the paper towels from his face, revealing a slight dribble of blood from his nose and crusted along his lips. “She practically asked for it, okay. It wasn’t my fault!”
“Jeez,” Daniel said, “as if I’d even believe such a vile thing. Not even Mother Theresa would want anything to do with you.”
“Ugh, get the fuck out of my house!” Derek scorned.
“Apologise to her, first,” Daniel demanded.
Derek stared at him for a moment, and then smiled. The smile looked really creepy with all that blood. I just wanted to get Daniel out of there, with me. I wanted him to follow me to the car, so we can both leave. Never turn around. Never come again.
“You can’t be serious,” Derek said.
“Oh,” Daniel chuckled, a little wickedly I might add, “I dare you to try me. Just give me a reason.” His hand balled into a trembling fist.
Derek, with a loom of fear glinting in his eyes, apologised to me. It was like sweet music to my ears, but the instrument was out of tune, and I couldn’t help but wince at the awkward confession. Derek began walking towards us, presumably to go around the couch and over to the kitchen, and then muttered, “slut,” just at the edge of hearing range.
Daniel snapped, lifting up his hand and slapping Derek on his nose. More blood started gushing out; pulsating with every stretch of his heart’s content. Derek whined, putting those soaked paper towels back up to his nose, and lifting his head back.
“What the fuck, man!” Derek yelled.
Daniel shook his head, looking Derek up and down in disgust. “Let’s go, Anna.”
I lead the way out of Derek’s front door and into the car. Daniel offered to take the wheel; he sensed that the entirety of the situation hadn’t suck in completely for me yet, and that he’d rather not have it blast into my mind while I was driving. I couldn’t decline, my mind was still boggled, after all; he held my hand the entire drive.