tagNonHumanShadows and Light Ch. 03

Shadows and Light Ch. 03


Chapter 3 A Matter of Trust

"Where am I?" she asked, pulling her aching body up and back against the pillows to a sitting position.

Ian moved to help her and she started violently, jerking away from him.

Backing off, he sat on the chair beside the bed. "At my brother's cabin in the middle of the woods, in Northern Minnesota," he replied trying to keep his tone even.

"Your brother?" Her voice was a whisper and he could feel the fear radiating from her in waves.

"Yes," he replied quietly. "I came looking for him. And then I found you."

She pulled her legs up to her chest and he watched as her eyes dropped every bit of animation that they had held and became almost blank.

"He's dead Isabelle. He can't hurt you anymore." He tried to keep his voice soothing and low.

She just looked at him with empty blue eyes that were starting to tear. "He's dead?" Her voice shook.


"Are you sure?" Tears were falling now, straight tracks down her thin cheeks. She pulled her arms even more tightly around herself.


She just sat for a moment and the silence stretched. "He was your brother?" She asked in a low whisper. Her eyes never left his face.

"I'm not going to hurt you Isabelle, I promise you," he said quietly. "Are you hungry?" Ian asked after a few minutes.

Isabelle nodded.

"Why don't I help you to the bathroom and I'll make something up quick."

Her blue eyes met his concerned brown as his hand stretched out, waiting for her to take it.

"I'm not going to hurt you Isabelle," he told her softly. "He may have been my brother but it is pretty obvious that you did what you had to do."

Slowly, very slowly she pushed back the covers and grasping his warm hand stood for a moment on shaky legs. The t-shirt she was wearing fell almost to her knees. Her wary blue eyes looked away and she had to resist the urge to push him away from her even though she knew she would never make it the few steps without him.

"Just a few steps this way," he said standing close beside her as she walked with staggering steps.

He closed the door, giving her some privacy. Putting some canned soup on to heat, he took advantage of her absence in the bedroom to change the sheets.

When her tray was ready, he put it on the foot of the newly made bed, and then knocked softly on the bathroom door. "Isabelle?"


"Your soup is ready. Do you need any help?"

In response, the door opened. Leaning on the wall Isabelle shuffled back into the bedroom, Ian hovered but did not touch her.

Just the short trip to the bathroom had exhausted her and she could feel the cold sweat trickling down her temple and back.

Safely back in bed and under the covers, he put the tray on her lap and she stared in bemusement at the variety of things in front of her. Did he think that she could eat all this? Canned chicken noodle soup, still steaming, was in a large mug. There was also buttered toast, thinly sliced turkey, strawberry yogurt, a bottle of Gatorade, a piece of string cheese still in its wrapper and a large glass of orange juice completed the tray. Two Tylenol lay next to the glass.

"I hope it is edible. I don't cook very much," he said apologetically.

She gave him sidelong glances as she ate. He was tan and looked like he spent a lot of time outdoors. She had vague memories of being rocked in his arms, held next to him. She pulled her mind away from that and continued with the food on the tray. Although she was very hungry, she hadn't eaten all that much when she found that she was so full she felt sick.

Ian rose, took the tray off her lap and placed it carelessly on a small side table.

Sliding down she pulled the covers up to her shoulders, exhaustion was pulling her eyelids down.

"Sleep Isabelle," he said softly. "When you're strong enough I'll take you to my home in the city and we'll let your family know that you are safe."

"I don't have much for family," she whispered, her eyes closing. She felt a huge sense of relief. She had been afraid to ask what would happen next. What he would do with her, to her.

"Sleep Isabelle," he repeated. "You need sleep to heal."

"Do I?" she asked, but she must not have said the words out loud because he did not reply.


She woke screaming. The nightmare so vivid she could feel his body pressing her into the hard tabletop, fucking her, biting her over and over until her blood dripped obscenely from his chin.

She didn't hear Ian's voice calling her name but she reacted violently to the feeling of masculine arms around her. Bucking and flailing she fell abruptly on to a hard surface. It was a wooden floor, not gray cement. Sobbing she curled into fetal position and waited for her punishment to begin. The expected lash and kick to the ribs didn't come and for long moments she just waited. From far away she heard a voice calling her name. It was a different voice than the one that screamed insults and obscenities at her, deeper, softer.

"Isabelle? Isabelle? It's me, Ian. Can you hear me?" Ian kept up a stream of constant reassurances, and slowly Isabelle's cries and sobs quieted and her shivering decreased. He couldn't tell if she could hear him, but he kept speaking to her. After long moments, her arms lowered from her head and her frightened blue eyes met his.

"Isabelle, do you know who I am?" he asked her. He was lying on the floor next to her now.

She nodded.

"You had a bad dream. It was just a dream Isabelle, you are safe now."

Ever so slowly, she dragged herself into sitting position, cringing as far away from him as possible, her back against the small night table next to the bed.

He sat upright and she jumped, trying to get even further away from him even though there was nowhere else to go.

"Can I get you anything Isabelle? Maybe something to drink?" He asked.

She nodded again and Ian slowly picked himself up off the floor and went to the kitchen.

Isabelle watched him go. Her heart was slowing from its frantic pace and she tried to reorient herself. She was safe she told herself over and over as she shakily pulled herself up to a sitting position on the edge of the bed. Every part of her ached and she shivered as the sweat dried on her skin.

Ian reentered the room carrying a glass of juice. She was shaking so badly that she used both hands to take the glass and swallowed the juice in small sips.

"Are you okay?" Ian asked softly.

Isabelle wouldn't meet his eyes and shook her head infinitesimally. She took a few more sips of her juice and set the glass on the nightstand. She slid back into bed and curled up, wrapping her arms around herself.

Ian sat in the armchair not far from the bed. He was totally at a loss as to how to help her. Isabelle was wide-awake, curled up in fetal position under the covers and staring off into space. Eventually she slept and Ian felt himself slip into a light doze


Ian awoke to an aching neck. He straightened himself in the chair and suppressed a groan at the twinges in his back. Hearing whimpers he looked over at Isabelle and was unsurprised to see her thrashing in the grips of a bad dream. He had been awakened at least three times that night to screams. He sighed, he was tired, and he was seriously thinking of taking Isabelle to the nearest hospital whether or not she was ready to travel. The only problem with that, were the very awkward questions that might be asked; that and the fact that he felt guilty at the thought of leaving her with strangers. Cullen had done this to her, and as much as he felt completely out of his depth, he felt forced to take responsibility.

Her whimpering ceased and she quieted.

Rising quietly he stripped and treated himself to a long hot shower, trying to soak out the tension in his shoulders.


Isabelle woke two mornings later to the sight of Ian stretched out on the other side of the bed, on top of the covers, sound asleep. He must have waited until she was asleep to come into the bed, as she had no recollection of it. She studied him in the early dawn light. Relaxed in sleep and breathing softly he was very attractive, she admitted to herself. He had been the epitome of patience and caring with her and her comfort level had increased slowly but surely over the last few days. This was despite that indefinable aura around him that said he was the same kind of creature that his brother had been.

Her mind drifted to the men she had met in college during the last few years. They couldn't compare to Ian in any way. Ian exuded masculinity, strength of a kind she had never seen before, combined with absolute gentleness. She had met men that knew they were attractive and used it like a newfound art form to pick-up women. But, she had never met a man that seemed so confident in himself, and so comfortable with himself at the same time.

She felt her eyes growing heavy. She listened to Ian's deep, even breathing. Slipping back into the curious place in between waking and sleeping, she let the remembered feel of being held, close and safe to Ian's chest, wash over her. It had been so long since she had been held, cared about. She let the feeling envelope her and slipped into a sleep with no nightmares.

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