Wow...so many things happened in the past however long ago I was writing this story. I'm trying to pick it back up again and complete the story so I can feel some closure for the characters...Does anyone even care? Its been so long I'm not sure anyone actually remembers this story at all...Let me know if you are or are not interested...Let me know if I've seriously deviated from the feeling of the original story...The fact is, I really want to finish it, I care about the characters and still remember my original plotline, but if it blows, I don't want to make anyone suffer through my horrible writing. Lol. Thanks everyone who read and reviewed. I hope that I can complete this without ruining everyone's expectations. But really, thanks for actually caring about it if you read it. I'm sorry it took me so long to actually post something...Things got crazy...like I dont even know where to start... So hopefully I can please some people :D


-9-

Always the doctors with their questions.

Of course, if Maggie had been in their position, seeing a small woman come in here, looking battered and shaking despite the weak smile on her face, she would have kept asking questions too.

"What happened?" The voice was the same as the other voices swirling in her head. Well, except for the one. The one that had screamed at her, with such hatred and emptiness, with such distaste, the one that accompanied those empty, black eyes. The voice that belonged to Taylor stood out amongst the rest. Calling her a cunt. Saying she was just a lay. That he didn't care about her. Despite her previous resolute decision to no longer cry or hurt for Taylor Reese, the words, the looks, that kiss – they stung.

"It was an accident." She gulped back the pain as he plucked chunks of glass from her arm. "Dropped a plate and it scared the living hell out of me, I ended up slipping and landing in the glass."

He looked at Maggie suspiciously, but she just smiled lamely. The empty gesture didn't touch her eyes and was barely visible on her lips. "How did your friend find you?"

Matty. He was her friend. Not Taylor. The thought shook her to her core and she decided that whoever that was that did this to her was not Taylor Reese. "He was in the other room. We were getting ready to watch a movie. Relax a little." She frowned at herself, eyes staring off into the distance. She could usually lie pretty well the time called for it, but right now, her voice was toneless. She didn't even want to look up at the doctor. She didn't care and it broke her heart – at least, she knew it should be breaking…

"All right, well I'm almost done here," the doctor muttered. "I'll give you some topical cream that will help with healing. Luckily none of these are really deep, so just basic gauze and some wrappings will do. My nurse will give you all of that when you are prepared to leave," She felt him put his hand on her shoulder and Maggie flinched out of surprised, but the grimace on her face was because of her own weakness. He retracted his hand quickly, "Please," he said gently, "Take your time."

Maggie nodded, biting her lower lip. Her thoughts were streaming at a mile a minute. The past day just couldn't have been possible. After such a wonderful day and night with Arthur to have it all just destroyed by a simple act. The fact that she had given herself to Arthur was tarnished by this event with Taylor and she hated it. She hated herself for loving such a monster and letting him rule her life. She was an idiot. And Taylor…Taylor – HER Taylor – had almost raped her. She shook the thought away automatically but her lungs froze in her chest. That wasn't possible, right? He couldn't have done it, not to me, she thought absentmindedly. A sob jumped in her chest and the realization of what just happened truly came crashing down on her so she let herself cry as hard as she needed to.

In the midst of her sob fest she did not hear the door open or the footsteps as someone approached her. When she felt the arms wrap around her, her surprise and instincts told her to fight back. She pushed back and took a swing, only barely missing Matty's jaw as he ducked out of the way. When she looked up at him, taking a few seconds away from crying as her adrenaline pumped through her system, his eyes softened and the corner of his lip hitched ever so slightly. That simple gesture sent waves of remorse through her body and she let out a pathetic wail and she dove into Matty's chest and cried her eyes out a little bit more.

Poor Matty had never signed up for this type of thing, but he handled it gracefully. Maggie was the closest thing he knew to be like a sister, but moreso. He loved her with such ferocity that as she cried, he could almost feel the ice breaking away from his own heart as a lump seemed to form in his throat. He held her tighter and pressed his lips against the top of her head while her face was buried into his chest, her fingers gripping at the lapels of his very expensive suit. He didn't know what had just happened, but he could image it. First seeing Taylor on his knees, actually in pain, caused Matty to panic, which didn't happen often. But turning to see Maggie cowering on the ground, covered in blood had stopped his heart. The first few seconds of assessing the situation probably caused a stroke. Seeing her in pain was absolutely unbearable. When he'd gotten to her and helped her up and called the ambulance, she had been shaking, her eyes completely vacant, vacuous as she stared at nothing. Once he handed her off and went back to Taylor, the fury he felt for the man he considered his brother was so intense it was painful. It took all of Matty's control to not shoot Taylor in the knee, despite how much Matty thought he deserved it. Certain people deserved to get their asses kicked or get dead and Matty had no qualms when it came to them, but he had standards. He had rules firmly stated in his mind that he believed Taylor stood by. When he saw what happened to Maggie and thinking that Taylor had something to do with it, it absolutely boiled Matty's blood. He didn't want to lose his brother and one of the only girls he'd ever really loved all in the same fight. He couldn't bear it. He shook himself out of his thoughts and realized that Maggie had stopped crying so heavily. Her breathing was still uneven, but the gut wrenching sobs had died down. He wanted to look down at her and see if she had fallen asleep, but she spoke before he could check.

"I'm sorry about your suit." She whispered.

The piteous statement and the mouse-like quality of her voice hacked away at Matty. The absurdity of the statement itself made him want to laugh, but the way she said it made something prickle behind his eyes lids. "Oh, this old thing?" He said, trying to be nonchalant, but his voice was thick, "You don't need to worry about this old thing," He smiled weakly. A few more seconds passed by in silence as her breathing evened a little more. "Where's Arthur?" He finally asked.

Maggie scoffed at the question, "I gave him some vicodin for the injuries T-," She paused at the word, not remembering a feeling of such overwhelming sadness when she would say or think his name, "For the injuries he got. He passed out."

"Pussy." Matty said jokingly and he felt Maggie's shoulders jump from a tiny laugh. "Why don't you let me take you home?" He muttered into the top of her head.

She slowly pushed him away and looked up at him. The vibrant eyes seemed dulled and her skin was no longer flush with the adrenaline rush, but pallid and pale. It seemed as though the life had been sucked out of her and she was just a shell. "That would be nice." She said and smiled weakly.

Matty smiled as he helped her get up off the hospital gurney. He helped her get all the necessary supplies to take care of the numerous cuts and scratches on her arms and face. She seemed invisible as she walked beside him. She was completely dazed by whatever Taylor had done. He was staring at her with concern when she looked up at him sharply and shot him another smile. Matty smiled back, but in that moment he realized that he hated that smile. It wasn't like how they used to be. This one was small, bitter…Forced.

After Matty had stormed off, Taylor had gone back into his home and stared at the glass shards on the flood surrounded by specks of blood that he knew were Maggie's. He wiped a big hand over his face, trying to focus himself on something, but he just felt empty. He stared at the shards of glass for a few more moments, willing his face to stay stone cold and attempting to wipe the memory from his mind. He wandered into his kitchen and went under his sink to grab some paper towels and a dustpan. Always prepared with blood-removing cleaners, he tidied up the mess and went back to what he was doing before this whole debacle. He sat on the couch and flipped the sound to his TV on. As the figures danced across the screen and sounds flooded his ears, thoughts kept trying to creep into his mind, but he shoved them forcefully out. Matty was furious with him which had never happened before. The hit, which wasn't as hard as Taylor was used to being hit, still stung on his cheek and left a bad taste in his mouth. He almost wanted to charge at Matty, dare him to fight Taylor because Taylor knew he could win. With what Matty had said, Taylor understood that hitting Taylor wasn't meant to start a fight, but meant to put Taylor in his place. The bitterness crept back into his system and he flexed the muscles in his hands.

He honestly didn't know what to feel at the moment. Matty's disappointment was like a knife in his side. The reproachful look that Matty had on his face made Taylor furious at himself for acting so irresponsibly. He had been drinking. He looked down to the beer on his coffee table and shook his head. He'd need to get back to what he used to be. As much as he'd like to think he was so self-reliant, he'd never lived a day without Matty by his side. He didn't want to know what that was like and he knew he had promises to keep. He truly cared about few people in this world – Marbles and Chris were friends, but not nearly as important as Matty and…

He sat back slowly, staring at the screen, but his vision blurred as thoughts kept assaulting him. Maggie. He tried to shake his head to dispel the thoughts of her. The taste of her mouth, the feeling of her burning skin beneath his fingertips – he dropped his head into his hands and scratched his dragged them across the skin of his head and face – the absolute horror in her eyes.

What had he done?

Matty dropped Maggie off in her home and she gave him a curt, quiet goodbye. She didn't want questions, she didn't want comfort, she just wanted to be left alone. When she got inside she walked strait into her room, forgetting that Arthur was still passed out on her couch. She grabbed a thick long-sleeved shirt and some sweat pants to cover up the worst of the damage and went into her bathroom. When she turned on the lights and saw herself in the mirror she gasped. This wasn't going to be easy to hide.

Her face had some scratches on it, though they were minimal and would heal quickly. She regretted the fact, but knew she had to change, and began removing her clothing. The bandages were easily visible and hid all of the worst cuts, but what wasn't covered were the giant bruises already forming on her upper arms and on her knees. The bruises on her arms were probably the most shocking. The front of her shoulders had bruises that were large and almost crescent shaped, spindly on the side, and dark ovalesque patterns on her back. After staring at them for a few seconds, it finally dawned on her that they were the precise size and shape of Taylor's hands. The thought of him being any way imprinted on her body brought back tears, but they were quiet, hopeless tears. He had been such a part of her for so long that she couldn't imagine life without him. She dropped her head and saw the damage done to her legs. Mostly impact bruises from when she dropped and collapsed onto the floor and was covered in bits of glass. She sighed, taking a deep breath and collected herself. She pulled on her clothes, washed her face, and left the bathroom.

When she walked into her front room she gasped lightly when she saw Arthur on the couch. He was laying down across the couch looking quite pathetic all gauzed up. She chuckled slightly realizing that she couldn't look much better after a night of no sleep and what she'd just gone through with Taylor. She shook her head to dispel the memories. She was so stupid, she couldn't believe that she would.

No, she thought. No, it's done. It was stupid but it's done. Appreciate what you have. Not what's haunting you. She looked back up to the drooling Arthur and smiled. She felt some warmth return to her body and her face and she went over to the couch and sat down by his head. She curled her body around him and stroked his face. She kissed him softly on the cheek and made herself comfortable. She stared at his slack features, trying not to laugh and she closed her eyes softly, finding comfort and solace in warmth and his scent. It did not grasp her wholly, thrusting itself into her soul and forcing her to do its bidding. It cradled her gently, tenderly, easing her to sleep. For the first time in all her life, Maggie did not just feel protected, she felt safe.