A cold clammy feeling washed over John as pictured the scene that was waiting for him at George's house. He received a call from George about ten minutes ago, she was crying, her words lost in one continuous sob. It was only when the mobile was slapped from George's hand did John understand what was happening. His mind was so preoccupied worrying about George that he didn't notice the lights changing from red to green and was only woken from his ruminations by the angry horns of the traffic that was building up behind him. Pulling up into George's drive John saw that the door was wide open and Neil's car had gone. Walking cautiously towards the door he called out,
"George? George?" he got no response. Walking through the door he heard the crunch of glass underfoot and he saw the cracked mirror barely hanging on the wall. Fearing the worst John hurried through the house checking all the rooms as he passed them.
George was lying on the floor, her pain pinning her to the ground. She could hear John calling her name but she could only call back quietly, her efforts going unnoticed. Neil had taken her phone and she didn't have the strength to shout. John eventually found her in the conservatory, her face a bloody mess with blood spotting her legs where Neil had made her kneel in the broken glass. Crouching down he cradled her head in his lap and smoothed away the hair away from her face.
"George what happened?" A tear slid down George's face as she realised she'd have to tell him, she'd have to relive every humiliating, awful second of her ordeal.
"Don't cry, it's all right now he's gone." Even John's word of comfort couldn't assuage George's fears that Neil would be back that he'd do it again that he'd always be there, just lurking behind a corner ready to get her.
"You have to go...he'll be back..."
"There is absolutely no way in hell I'm leaving you like this, just so he can do this to you again!" A tear of anger rolled down John's face as he saw the hurt etched into George's drawn features. There was nothing but pain in her once beautiful eyes and that hurt John more than he could possibly have imagined but he had to be strong for George.
A little while later George lay resting her head in John's lap as he made her feel safe and calm, it wasn't long before she was fast asleep thankful that John was always there to make everything better. John sat playing with George's hair as he thought about how depraved Neil must actually be to be capable of doing such horrendous things to anyone let alone George. John had to pick fragments of broken glass from the cuts on George's legs because he had made her kneel amidst the shards of broken mirror to apologise for losing the cardinal case, he had taken a beautiful strong woman and turned her into a shell, a mere vestibule for the woman she once was.
As he thought about what he would do if he saw Neil he heard the door slam shut. Moving from underneath George's head John stood up ready for a fight.
"Where the fuck are you George?"Neil had no idea John was there. He was too drunk to have noticed John's car in the drive, too drunk to be driving. John held his breath delaying the inevitable moment when Neil found him standing in the living room protecting his sleeping ex-wife. When Neil meandered his way into the room he did a double take,
"What the fuck are you doing here?" this was John's cue to grab Neil by the throat and pin him to the wall.
"I'm here to sort out the mess you've made of George's life." Squeezing Neils throat he felt him squirm beneath his grip, "and from what George has been able to tell me you are going to be in serious trouble. After I've finished with you."