To her surprise, Hollis didn't shy away from her. He didn't push her away either. Instead, he gently whispered her name and pulled her into his lap. His touches were soft, gentle, and caring- completely opposite of what she thought she would have gotten. Maybe she was overreacting with this whole situation, maybe Hollis would understand, and he would protect her and scold her for not letting him come with her. How she wished for that. He still didn't know. She was still too terrified to say anything about it.
The gentle circles he was brushing along her forearm made her shiver the first few times. After the touches she had received from that replacement editor, she was almost scared to be touched like that again. Hollis was persistent though, he wasn't going to let her out of his grasps no matter how much she squirmed and tried to pull away. As she was slowly, very slowly managing her breathing into something that wasn't crazed hysterics, she looked down at his hands. He seemed so much darker than her in this moment. He was always the one that was more fair than her, but tonight it seemed the roles were reversed. She was whiter than a porcelain doll. She didn't like it. Hollis did not do well with darker skin than she.
As he was gently kissing the top of her head, she felt her stomach turn a bit. He was comforting her. He was making the effort to be sure she was safe. She sighed heavily, slowly closing her eyes and basking in the moment. She was so fearful of him leaving when he found out what had happened, that she didn't want to end this moment. Through her weak sobs, and heavy breathing, she heard something. Something that made her eyes slowly flutter open. Hollis was humming, not just anything- but his song. The song he had song when he first met her. "Twas Brillig and the slithy Toves" She smiled softly against his chest, wrapping her arms around his waist. This was what she wanted- to forever sit with him in his arms as he hummed his song, their song.
Deep down, she didn't want to tell him. She didn't want to ruin this little moment with the pain that she was harboring inside. She needed to though, he needed to know why she was in shambles and almost naked, with scrapes up her knees, on her arms, and her stockings torn from her fall. As to why she was growing almost horse from all the crying she had done. Why she felt like he would leave her. He was still humming gently, and even though she hadn't actually heard it since her time in Wonderland with him, she knew it by heart. She knew what part he was on: "So rested he by the Tum Tum Tree". Any other day she would have joined in with him, made little facial expressions and poses to distract him. Trying to make him break his train of thought and giggle.
Her stomach gave another turn and she whimpered softly against his chest. She felt dreadful, and knew she couldn't have looked any better. She would at least wait until he finished? Yes, that sounded like a good plan. Quieting her thoughts for just a moment, she listening in to where he was at. Oh yes, "One two one two, and thru and thru". Her mind started to wander again. How was she going to tell him? What was she going to even say? She should tell him the truth- for starters. Don't leave anything out.... it was the proper thing to do. She needed to be honest with him. Oh but she was so fearful of him shoving her off of his lap and looking at her with those emotionless gray eyes he would have. It would shatter her heart into even more pieces; broken beyond any repair.
He was coming towards the end, and she was dreading it.
"Twas brillig and the slithy Toves" She honestly didn't think she could do it.
"Did gyre and gimble in the wabe," She would forever have a distaste in the ending of this song now.
"All mimsy were the borogoves" What she wouldn't give for him to just be able to read her thoughts.
"And the momeraths outgrabe." She was not ready for this. Not at all.
Their song was over, and he was still caressing her arm, still gently kissing the top of her head. She didn't think she could go through the events that had happened earlier again. It wasn't a matter of should she or shouldn't she, it was a matter of could she? Was she going to end up shattering the happiness they had, leaving her feeling more broken than before? IT made her head spin and she closed her eyes with a weak groan. She was going to have to sooner or later. Keeping her arms wrapped around his waist, she mumbled weakly into his chest: "My editor didn't show up." Her stomach tightened. She had already started, which meant she couldn't back out now. Besides, she was positive of that broom dog appearing behind her and sweeping away any chance of backtracking she could possibly have.
Turning her head so she wouldn't be talking into that overly soft sweater of his, she very slowly started to explain herself. "I.. I was there before anyone showed up. There-there was champagne, and... and I was too engrossed in how it tickled my nose to notice..... him sit down." A knot formed in her stomach now, and she pulled an arm away from his waist to press it against her stomach. This will be the toughest thing she ever did. She would taken getting lost in Wonderland over the pain and queasy feeling she was getting right now. She could still see his face as plan as day: dark, chiseled, and full of desire. She winced and drew her knees to try and cradle her stomach.
Taking a deep breath, she continued on. "It-it was because she was ill. They, sent a replacement. I-I don't know why. But... he took us to a quieter area of the dining area. And... oh God Hollis...." She squeezed her eyes shut tightly, trying to fight back a fresh wave of tears. Her voice was caught in her throat, and she had to forcefully cough to get it back, even when she didn't really want to continue. "I-I stayed professional. Spoke of my ideas, and-and how I.... how I wanted you to be my illustrator." Her cheeks flushed, and she sighed heavily. "I-I was going to surprise you with it. It.... it was why I asked you for those sketches....." I didn't want to see other people oggling you as you walked down a runway. "I'm so sorry.... He.... he wouldn't stop flirting with me."
She felt the circles on her arm slow. She didn't want him to stop, but she didn't know how to say it. She didn't want to sound needed, but that's what she needed. She needed his tough upon her arm, giving her a little bit more strength than what she had. His chin had rested upon her head, and she wanted to plead for more kisses. Instead, she stared straight ahead of her, and as silent tears fell down her cheeks, she knew she had to finish it. "I told him no. That I wasn't interested. But he.... he was.... persistent. But he was a gentleman about it. I-I honestly didn't notice until it was too late." And it was true. She was so wrapped up in getting Hollis a proper job that he would enjoy, and correcting him on his compliments, that she hadn't really noticed how bad he was hitting on her. Not until he was caressing her, and calling her breath-taking.
Another pain rolled in her stomach and she felt it in her throat. She was going to be sick. There was no denying it. But she couldn't. Not now. If she stopped, she wouldn't be able to continue. Swallowing back the bile that was at the edge of her mouth, she closed her eyes to keep the room from spinning. "Then.. then I spilled my water. In shock, I jumped up to attempt to clean up the mess, and I.... Ifellintohislap." She rushed that last part out and she winced when the circles upon her forearm stopped. Oh no-no it wasn't like that Hollis, please don't think that! Please..... "I didn't do anything though! I-I got up and tried to dry my skirt. But... but he stood up and... and he was being so... he just.... he caressed my cheek and pulled me into a kiss." She felt a small heave in her stomach and she covered her mouth with her hand. Oh this was not going to end well.
Swallowing once more, she felt her eyes drift to the back of her head at the taste. Just, just a bit longer. "Th-the next thing I knew... I was.. he had- he had me against the wall of the room we were in. His... his hands...." She shuddered violently and a small sob choked her. She could still feel his dirty hands over her. Trailing up her skirt, along her stockings. How he was trying to undo her corset. The pressure he had used to keep her pinned. "I tried... I tried to get out. Then he.... oh God Hollis.... he broke the necklace. My necklace...." She was crying again now, a hand clasped to her neck. She felt naked without it around her neck. She wore it everywhere, all the time. "I-I don't think it-it broke. My-my shirt softened the fall. But... but he yanked it from my neck..." Everything hurt. She couldn't do this anymore. She wanted to crawl into a hole and just die.
"He.... he wanted me, so bad." She swallowed back more bile. "I.. I had to.. keep him... dis-distrat-distracted. So... so he wouldn't see me looking for...." anything. "Something to get him off of me. I, I grabbed a fork." There was a small smile, a very small smile, traced upon her lips at the thought of driving that damn fork deep into his arm. She hoped it would scar. Would remind him to not mess with her again. Most importantly, she wanted it to hurt him. "And I, I drove it into his arm. Then.. then I got my stuff and....." I ran to you Hollis. He just sit there. Speechless and motionless. She couldn't even tell if he was breathing....
Up. She needed to get up. Her stomach hurled and her hand was to her mouth once more. Quickly. Bathroom. She managed to worm her way out of his loose grip and ignoring the pain in her knees, crawled to the bathroom. It was still steamy- he must have showered. But there. Her goal. Pushing the seat up, she felt everything come up in a heavy heave. This was the breaking point. She fell limp against the toilet, her face almost touching the water, as she felt her stomach try to heave up her entire being. All the hurt. The pain. The shame. Everything as she half sobbed half choked into the porcelain God. She just wanted to melt into the floor and die.