Thanks so much to HopelessRomantic1994 and mozzi-girl for the reviews!
When I open my eyes again, I'm lying down, wrapped in a warm cocoon of blankets.
The walls are a gentle creme color, and in the corner of my eye I can see a single gossamer curtain sway in the breeze of the open window.
"'Morning sleeping beauty". I nearly jump out of my skin at the sound of my partners voice, whipping around so fast the creme walls turn into a whirl of color for a moment. "Relax, it's just me".
I take a breath, trying to calm myself down. I pull a piece of misplaced hair out of my eye to find a white plastic hospital bracelet on my wrist, and make an involuntary sound of disgust.
"Guessing you're felling better" he remarks, but I'm already trying to get up. "Where do you think you're going?".
"After Genevieve. There's no way I'm letting her go again".
Mal's eyebrows raise in surprise, his eyes widening. "You remember?".
Then it hits me. There was a time when I didn't know Mal. There was a time when I thought Shawn was alive and functioning and Genevieve was trying to help me. I didn't even notice that it came back…it just seemed natural.
"I guess so…". I pause, because there is one thing that I can't remember no matter how hard I try. While that short time while I was kidnapped is still a bit of a jumbled blur…I can't remember being taken. Now that I think if it, I don't even know what I was doing a week before that. The last thing I remember is making final wedding plans with Oscar…
"Where is he?" I ask suddenly.
"I don't know…why?".
"Why? He's my fiancé! Why wouldn't I want to know where he is?" I say, sitting up and starting to get up again. An unreadable expression spreads across Mal's face. "What?".
"You really don't remember…do you?".
"Remember what?" I say, panic rising in my chest. What happened; is he hurt? Dead? Worse?
"You…um…you two broke it off".
"What?" I say, as if I didn't hear him correctly. "What do you mean? Why?". He opens his mouth to answer, but too late. I'm already getting up to leave.
"Where do you think you're going?".
"Home" I snap. "Where hopefully things make sense".
I start to lift myself off the bed, but a wave of dizziness overtakes me, sending the room spiraling and forcing me to stay down.
"Nat…relax. You have a concussion, you'll end up making it worse".
I put my head in my hands, hoping to keep the room still. "I just want to go home" I say quietly, feeling much like a small child.
"Then I'll take you there". Mal grabs my arm to help me up, and I look into his deep ultramarine eyes. There's such a deep amount of trust there, that I don't doubt for one minute that he's telling the truth. "I'll get you home".
By the time late evening comes I'm climbing into Mal's car, watching the sun disappear from the orange San Francisco sky. I still don't understand what happened, or why. Mal's been too busy trying to get me out to properly explain anything, and I don't dare ask. He looks too tired to really explain anything; with the bags under his eyes and the traces of exhaustion in his voice now more prominent as day wears on. I wonder how much he's slept since I went missing, or even if he's slept at all.
"Did they ever find out what made me lose my memory?" I ask quietly as he cruises down the road. The sky's starting to cloud. I wonder if it's about to rain.
"No, it was out of your system by the time we reached the hospital. I don't think we'll ever know".
We reach my apartment within minutes, pulling up to the curb. I get out and Mal follows behind me, walking me to my apartment to make sure I get inside okay like the hospital instructed. Normally, I would protest, stating that I feel fine. But I just don't feel like arguing, and Mal seems too tired to do so anyway.
I just want things to go back to normal.
I mutter a goodbye as we reach my apartment and I slip inside, using the spare key I always keep above the door frame. I'll have to get the locks changed, who knows where the originals went.
I shut the door behind me and turn on the lights, throwing my jacket on the counter. A headache starts to form just behind my eyes, and I rub my temples gently to ease it's effects as I look around. There's still what looks like wedding plans scattered everywhere, my possessions scattered into places I don't remember putting them. I never did any of that, it doesn't feel like it was me. All this place is to me now is a story never told and a life never lived. The walls surround me with memories long gone, but there's something else there too. The tug of something, like a rope tied around my waist, pulling me to recognition.
My headache increases and I lean against the wall, closing my eyes for just a moment. It's too bright in here, every strand of light feels like a dagger in my brain. When I open them, my heart skips a beat.
There's a dark figure on the other side of the room.
I search around for anything to protect myself with, but the figure's coming towards me too fast. I scramble down the wall, knocking over a lamp with a loud crash. The lights flicker, throwing distorted and sinister-looking shadows across the room. I trip over the edge of the end table and fall back, catching myself with my hands, my mouth open in a silent scream. The figure approaches, but I can't see them. All that's visible are their cold grey eyes, and the rest of their body seems to be engulfed in exaggerated shadows.
I try and get up, but there's no time, because a moment later I watch as the silver glint of a knife appears in their hand.
I throw up my forearms to block my face, preparing for pain. "Get away from me!". I can hear movement, and I scramble away, my eyes squeezed shut for reasons I can't really explain.
"Natara!" I hear someone yell. Someone's banging on my door. The figure takes another step forward, malice radiating off them like body heat.
"Get the hell away from me!" I try to kick out at them, meaning to take out their feet, but my foot only connects with the wall. What the hell is going on?
There's a moment's pause, and then a crash as Mal kicks down my door.
Thanks so much for reading! I'm going to be continuing this in another story since this is going to go in a different direction now, and I don't want to have it go on too long. The title of the sequal is going to be Addiction, so be sure to look for it soon :)