Home Ch. 08bycuriouskatty©
I'd like to thank you readers who comment constructively on my submissions. Your comments and encouragement kept me going. And a special thanks to my editor Nehkara, coolest editor ever!
And by the way, this is not the last chapter. It just feels that way. As always, feedback is welcome.
The fog was clearing. Slowly but surely, Nate could maneuver his way through the haze inside his head. But with clarity, came pain. It was a rooted pain, a circulated pain that seemed to stem from the side of his skull. Nate almost wanted to retreat back into the dark dream world, if only to escape the hot throb that quaked in his cranium. His mouth felt like it'd been recently filled with cotton balls and vomit. The groggy feeling seemed embedded into his body. Literally everything ached. His face ached, his neck ached, his chest ached, his feet ached, his legs ached, his balls ached, his eyes ached. Everything fucking ached. To him, moving then was equivalent to trying to fly. His eyelids took the lead, fluttering slowly. His fingers followed next, trying to grip everything at the same time. With more effort than he thought he had, Nate lifted his hand and touched the source of the pain in his head. His fingers felt around his forehead, and instead of meeting skin, the met gauze, thick and cottony. With more effort, Nate forced himself to open his eyes. He felt along his face to the nasal tube in his nose and stinging cut on his bottom lip. The room was bright, far brighter than Nate had thought he could handle. His eyes slowly registered his surroundings and sent the message to his brain. Fluorescent lights above. A TV hanging on the wall in the top right corner. His legs under thick blankets. White walls. Waiting chairs. Nate took a second to listen as his mind pieced it together. He heard what he expected. Beeping. Monitors were nearby, and they were beeping.
"I'm in a hospital room," he thought finally. But why? What the hell happened? Before he could begin that puzzle, Nate heard a soft female voice cooing from his left side. He grunted as he strained to turn his face. He hoped it was Peyton. He hoped she could tell him what had happened. He hoped she would be there to take the pain he felt away.
Instead, he was met with Addison's too-perfect gleaming teeth.
"Oh baby! You're awake! You had me so scared!" she squealed. The sound had always made Nate wince, but now it was maddening.
"What. The. Fuck?" was all Nate could return.
"Well, I came by just to check on you again, since you still haven't been returning my phone calls-"
"You mean you came to stalk me some more? Did you do this to me Addison?!" he asked her, more awake now.
"Heaven's no baby! I just came to see you. Anyway, I came up to the door, about to try my new key-"
"The fuck? Addison, you had a new key made for my place?" Nate asked, disbelieving.
"Will you please stop interrupting me?" Addison complained, ignoring his accusation. "Anyway, when I got to the door it was already unlocked, which is totally not like you. I let myself in and looked around for you. When I checked in your room I saw your feet sticking out of the bathroom and there you were, sprawled out and almost dead! I called 9-1-1 and basically saved your life honey bunches!" Addison beamed and leaned over to kiss Nate on the cheek, an action Nate would have recoiled from if he could. "You don't have to thank me."
"Addison, can you go get the doctor please?"
She seemed annoyed that he hadn't acknowledged her heroic rescue, but did as she was asked. When Addison was out of the room, Nate stared at the white wall in front of him. He then closed his eyes and tried to remember what had happened.
Victoria had been at his home. She'd come to talk about Peyton. He couldn't remember what they had ended up saying. Water. Something about water. Had he drank some? The gap in his memory was wide. Peyton was there though. She was faint and seemed incredibly far away, but she was there. But where was there? His living room? His bedroom? Victoria was there too but she was moving around, saying something, doing something. The haze around Peyton was thick, like looking into his memories through a film of smoke. "One thing stood out clearly though, she'd been crying.". The throbbing in his forehead intensified. He pressed the ball of his palms into his temples and tried to ignore the pain. He needed to remember what happened, but the pain demanded his attentions now. Nate grit his teeth and felt the corner of his eyes become wet. Addison shuffled in then, the doctor at her heels.
"Oh Nate baby! Don't push yourself!" she cried and flew to his side, rubbing his arm and lightly touching the bandage. Nate almost swatted her hand away. He looked up and saw Dr. Shepard, his mother's physician, standing next to him.
"Hey doc," Nate said through his grimace, "care to shed some light for me please?"
"Nathaniel, you were admitted 6 hours ago after an ambulance responded to your wife's 9-1-1 call. The EMTs found you unconscious on your bathroom floor. They say the scene looked as though you had fallen and cracked your skull on the side of the toilet bowl," Dr. Shepard reported with a deep frown. "They were pretty much right about that. You suffered a concussion and a fractured skull Nathaniel. It's very lucky that you're awake so soon."
Nate was silent.
"There's something else. Nate, the police are going to want to talk to you once you're rested."
"For a fall?" Addison asked.
"No," said Dr. Shepard, his face more grave now, "for what caused him to fall. Nate, you had traces of Rohypnol in your system."
Addison gasped. Nate stared at the doctor now, shock etched into his face. "Roofies? You're talking about roofies right now?!"
"Yes," the doctor confirmed, "I ran a blood test routinely and there were traces of the drug in your system. Quite a lot of it in fact. The drug had time to pass through your body so we suspect the dose you were given was quite high. It is remarkable that you are awake and having this conversation with me, frankly."
Nate's eyes suddenly became sharp as the news sunk in. They flew directly to Addison. She saw the rising fury behind them and spoke before he could.
"It wasn't me Nate! I swear. I'm the one who found you, remember?" she said frantically.
"No," he heaved, "I can barely remember anything." Nate's rage made the throbbing in his head more apparent. He closed his eyes again, trying to block it out, and recalled the last fragmented memory he had. Addison wasn't in it. But Victoria was. His eyes shot open and he looked to Dr. Shepard.
"Tell the cops to give me a sec, but I know who did this. I'll talk to them."
Dr. Shepard nodded, "Alright Nate, but you need to take it easy. A skull fracture is no joke. You're going to be here for a while and it's not going to be easy."
Nate nodded and Dr. Shepard left the room.
"Oh my poor sweetheart! Who would do such a thing to you!?" Addison exclaimed. The outrage she felt was genuine, despite the dramatics. She would find out who had messed with her man and they'd feel her wrath.
Nate ignored her and started to slowly get up.
"What the hell are you doing? You heard the doctor. You need to take it easy." Addison tried to grab his arm but he shifted away from her.
"I need to pee," he grunted and moved his legs to the side of the bed.
"I can help with that!" Addison chirped.
Nate looked back at her incredulously and decided not to respond. He grabbed the IV pole and moved it along with him to the bathroom in the room. He entered, flipped the switch, and closed the door behind him. He looked at his reflection and frowned again. He looked like a completely different man. His skin had a sickly yellow tint to it. His eyes hand rings of bruises around them like he'd been clocked twice. His hair was sticking out in places that weren't matted down with dry blood. There was a dark maroon crust encircling the edges of the stained bandage wrapped around his head. An apparent bruise on the left side of his temple caught his eye, stretching to cover half his cheek. It wasn't exactly swollen, but it was high and had a yellowish-pinkish-purple coloring that made Nate's glower deepen. His bottom lip was also busted on the left side with not exactly a cut, but not exactly a gash. It was an odd mix of both. Nate lifted his hand and gingerly touched the bandage.
A skull fracture. That bitch had almost killed me. And Peyton! What in God's name had happened to Peyton? Nate tried to search his memory again, but drew blank. It frustrated him. He made a note to call Peyton after he peed and find out if she was ok.
Once Nate had relieved himself and washed his hands, he took a second to rinse his mouth out with water. He figured that he'd probably thrown up at some point, but he'd be damned if he could remember when. He slowly strolled out of the bathroom with his IV pole in hand and crawled pathetically back into the bed. He noticed then that Addison was no longer in the room and it relieved him. He did feel bad about not thanking her for helping him. The irony that her stark crazy ways had saved him from bleeding to death didn't escape him and he knew he'd have to pay for it later. But for now, he was just glad to be rid of her. He pressed the button that summoned a nurse and asked that she bring a phone for him to use. She brought over the landline in the room and instructed Nate on how to make outside calls. Before she left, Nate asked her if there had been any patients by the name Peyton Cavanaugh admitted into the hospital recently.
"Not that I know of," responded the nurse, "but I can't say for sure. I don't know every patient who is admitted in sir."
Nate thanked her and sighed a little. He dialed Peyton's number and with every ring, he said a silent prayer for her safety.
Pick up, Pick up, Pick up.
"Hello?" came Peyton's voice, like an angel's song in Nate's ears.
"Oh thank God. Peyton, are you alright?" Nate breathed happily.
"Yeah baby. It's me. Are you ok? Where are you?"
There was a long pause from the other end and Nate felt a twinge of panic start to arise in his chest. "Peyton? Honey are you ok?!" he sounded more desperate now.
"Nate, why the fuck are you calling me?"
Nate was taken aback by her sudden rueful tone. "To see if you're okay. Peyton what-"
"To see if I'm ok?" she almost screamed, "are you fucking kidding me?!"
"No! Shut up! Shut up you son of a bitch. How dare you even pretend like you give a shit about me after yesterday!?"
"Peyton what the hell are you talking about? Why are you screaming at me? I don't understand."
"Oh yeah! You were asleep when I walked in. Well here's a play by play for ya: I know about you and Victoria, okay? I caught you two in bed together you bastard."
"Peyton, I swear to God I don't-"
But she cut him off again, "don't. Don't swear to anything. I don't know what kind of game you and my step sister are playing, but I'm done. With all of this." Her voice cracked then, a sound that broke Nate in half. "You said you wanted us to work Nate. Why did you say all those things to me? To hurt me? Were you pissed that I left so you decided to lead me on and fuck Victoria to spite me? No don't answer. I don't want to know. I just want to forget I ever met you. Goodbye Nate."
There was only the dial tone after that. Nate stared down the phone in his lap. Everything Peyton had said only muddled his mind more. He wanted to call back and try again, but decided against it. She either wouldn't answer or wouldn't hear him out.
She thinks I fucked Victoria? Nate couldn't remember what had happened but he could piece together a good guess. Victoria had drugged him and set him up so that Peyton would think they had slept together. He was shocked that anyone could sink so low, but was not entirely surprised. His face set into a hard, determined look. He was going to fix this. No matter what, he wasn't going to lose Peyton again. Not when he'd just gotten her back.
Addison walked in then, sipping a soda. She smiled at him sympathetically. "You feeling ok baby?" she asked.
Nate nodded, but didn't look at her. "Can you tell Dr. Shepard that I'm ready to talk to the cops?"
"Already?" she asked.
"Yes," he said sternly, "the sooner the better."
Addison again did as she was asked and was rewarded with being able to stay in the room while Nate retold what he could remember to the 2 police officers. She was disgusted at what she heard. Peyton's sister had drugged her man!
"They're probably working together!" Addison surmised silently. It enraged her. She stomped out of the room while Nate kept talking. No one really paid her any mind, and that was fine. It was time for her to stop playing nice with Peyton. "It's time to get rid of that bitch, once and for all."
She huffed through the door and ran face first into a barrel-shaped body. The smell hit her as hard as his chest did. It was strong and pungent. Scotch. Cheap scotch.
"Sorry ma'am," the man gruffed. He turned quickly and left Addison standing there, confused. She brushed it aside. She had bigger fish to fry.
Stiles stomped around his living room, fuming from the nostrils. He cursed and kicked the air, none of which helped him calm down.
"Why, Why, Why!?" he screamed in his head. The blood vessel in his sweaty forehead throbbed in agitation. The pacing wasn't really helping him calm down. Stiles saw the future, it seemed. He saw how this series of events would end, and he didn't like the outcome one bit. He heard knocking come from his front door and rushed to it. He yanked it open and saw Victoria standing there, as he'd expected.
"Get in here!" he growled and grabbed her upper arm. She protested weakly as he dragged her into his home and flung her down onto the couch.
"Shut up!" Stiles yelled before Victoria could finish, "you've fucked us, ya know that? You've seriously fucked us here!"
"Calm down!" Victoria huffed indignantly, "jesus man. What the hell are you going on about?"
"You're going to get us sent to jail you dumb bitch! Nate is in the hospital!"
Victoria gave him a bored look. "So?"
Stiles sighed in frustration, "they're probably checking his blood right now. They'll find the drugs!"
When Victoria still didn't look interested, Stiles continued, "who do you think he's going to finger as the person that drugged him and put him in the hospital?"
"Oh he won't remember." She waved him off and looked away.
"He could, you fucking idiot! He could remember!"
"I don't appreciate these insults Eric. Now you need to calm down. I heard him fall in his room. He's lucky to be alive. He won't remember shit."
"Victoria, there were cops at the hospital."
This part caught Victoria's attention. Her eyes shot up to his, sharp and serious. "Were they in his room?"
"Yes, but I couldn't stay long. They would have noticed me lurking. But they went to his room. So he must remember enough to need to talk to them."
Victoria looked away from him and began nibbling on her fake manicured nails. Stiles narrowed his eyes on her. He could sense that she was contemplating a way out of this, but not for both of them. Their arrangement would need dissolving, and soon.
"Wait! Peyton was there! Maybe we could pin it on her!" she exclaimed.
"No. If those drugs get back to me, I may end up face to face with Peyton and she could still finger me for the church burning."
"Oh yeah. That. Well, if someone wasn't so stupid as to get himself seen-"
"Fuck you. Why don't you try burning some shit down and see where it gets you? That shit ain't as easy as it looks on TV."
Victoria snorted at him, "oh please. I would have done that shit in no time."
"Yeah like you did with the roofies?" Stiles retorted sharply.
"A temporary setback. We just need to find out what Nate knows." Victoria relaxed back into the couch and Stiles felt the urge to strike her. She didn't seem to comprehend how easily this could all go wrong and he refused to go down on this ship with her.
"I have to take care of Peyton," he said quietly.
Victoria's eyes shot back up to him.
"What the hell do you mean by that Eric? Don't get ahead of yourself here. Peyton's no threat."
"To you!" Stiles roared in anger, "she's no threat to you. But her fucking mouth means a jail sentence for me."
Victoria stood up, hands raised, and shoved Stiles back with all her might. This took Eric off guard and sent him back a few steps.This only enraged him further. He reared back his powerful hand and sent the back of it flying across Victoria's face. She yelped and collapsed back onto his couch, her hand on her once again busted lip.
"You son of a bitch," Victoria growled into her hand. She turned back and looked at him defiantly. And then she began scream.
Victoria opened her mouth and started wailing at the top of her lungs. She thrashed her arms and legs, pounding into the couch and floor. She screamed and hollered and punched the air around her, the whole while never letting her eyes leave Stiles. Her mouth screamed, but her eyes mocked him, dared him. Stiles pounced on her, clamping his hand over her mouth. Victoria wasted no time in sinking her teeth into his palm the best she could. This earned her another smack across the face. Blood smeared across Stiles' hand. He frowned down at it. He sat on her and pressed his weight down on her body.
"What the fuck are you doing bitch? Trying to get the cops called?" he snarled down at her.
"Yes!" She snapped, "I want them to see how you roughed me up and forced me to do all those awful things to Nate. I had no choice!"
"You lying fucking cunt." Stiles smirked. "I knew you'd try some ruthless shit like this. But if you think you can sell me out, you've got another thing coming. I've got a little something on you sweetheart."
Victoria's face fell. "You're bluffing. You ain't got shit on me. I'm clean."
"Oh no honey, I've got just enough dirt on you to keep that cock-sucking mouth of yours shut tight. You think I'm bluffing? Try me. I go down, you go down." Stiles ran his hands into Victoria's hair and gripped it tight, driving his point home. She jutted her chin out at him, but her insecurity was written across her face. He liked this. He'd bend to her will no longer. He wanted her to bend for him. Stiles sat up atop Victoria and straddled her body. He gripped her waist and flipped her over with little effort. Victoria realized what was coming and didn't even struggle when he shoved his hand beneath her skirt. She felt his fingers part her lower lips and strum her clit. The wetness came soon after. Victoria moaned and cooed on queue for him, not wanting to incur more of his wrath with her silence. She knew how this game would be played. Even while the sound of his lowering zipper sang in her ears, she stayed in place. This was the price she'd pay, and she knew it. She felt his girth push inside her and what once tempted her, now made her feel weak beneath him. He owned her now. He pounded into her like she was his property. She's couldn't keep up the pretenses and her fake moans turned into real cries of anguish. They fell on deaf ears. With every thrust of his demanding cock, Victoria felt her resolve slowly begin to slip away. Her wants and desires to destroy Peyton were melting away. It was too much. Victoria had sacrificed her freedom in pursuit of hateful triumph. She closed her eyes and took the thrusts without protest. It was finally her time to reap.
Peyton's red-rimmed eyes ached and her mouth was cottony. She rolled over in her bed onto her back and stared up at the ceiling. She ran her fingers through her hair and sighed heavily. She turned her head towards the window and saw rain beating at her window. It was appropriate for her mood. Her mind was clearing and reawakening her to her new reality: Nate had fucked Victoria. Nate had betrayed her, broken her. She shut her eyes again, trying to push away the image of them in bed together. Nate looked so, so peaceful. It was a blow to her heart.