Violet & Easton

Chapter One

“Hey Violet do you have minute?” A voice said and she looked up from the magazine she was reading. Her boss was standing there with another man, both of them wearing hard hats.

“Maybe, come to offer me a raise?” She asked as she put her magazine down. He smiled and cleared his throat.

“Come on, I have someone I want you to meet and wear your hard hat.” She rolled her eyes, but put it on anyway. It was a bright blue to help distinguish it from the men’s. She climbed out of the forklift she had been setting in and into the hot sun.

“I think I’m going to call for a break. This heat is ridiculous.” She grabbed her walkie talkie and pressed the button. “Hey boys this is your foreman speaking, break for twenty minutes and get some water in you. Alright, I’m yours for twenty minutes oh might King Myles, to what do I owe this visit?”

“Uh, this is Easton Whitaker.” Myles gestured to the man at his side. Her light brown eyes met his deep green ones and she froze for a second. He was quite handsome and the owner of the building being constructed behind her.

She cleared her throat and smiled up at him before holding out her hand. “So this is why my boss’s sense of humor has evaporated. Nice to meet you Mr. Whitaker, I’m Violet Hale.”

“This is your foreman?” He asked and Myles looked nervous.

“I assure you she is very good at her job.” He cleared his throat for the second time. “Violet why don’t you give him a tour.”

“Sure.” She said politely even though she wanted to ring Easton’s neck. He followed her around, saying nothing as she talked. “Come on lets go up.” She went to the small elevator and stepped in. He hesitated for a second, but stepped in. She hit the up button and it took off. Wind tugged at her shoulder length brown hair as they got higher. “So what do you hate about me?” She asked and his eyes jumped to her face.

“Your joking attitude when you should be working.”

“Oh fuck off. Just because you own this building Mr. Graphic Designer, doesn’t mean you own the people.” He opened his mouth to retort when the elevator jerked to a stop. “Oh for fucks sake, stuck again.” He started to panic at her words. He didn’t do small spaces and cursed himself for even following her into the elevator.

She noticed him freaking out “are you okay?”

“Do I look ok?” He snapped out of fear. “You’re afraid of small spaces aren’t you? One of my friends is, why did you come in here then?” He looked away ashamed. It was embarrassing for him that small spaces upset him so bad. She set a hand on his shoulder and he jerked away “well fine, I was going to try and comfort you but I guess you can just keep on being an ass.” She felt bad for him but he wasn’t open to being comforted atall so she wouldn’t waste her efforts. He had been a jerk since the second they met anyway.

She had a hard time keeping a stone heart as she saw just how frightened he was “look, they’ll fix it soon. Calm down.” Not too long later it moved and Easton got out so quickly he almost fell on his face. The only thing that stopped his fall was Violet grabbing his arm. He stood straight without a thank you. Violet rolled her eyes. “want to continue the tour?” He took a deep breath in and out. “Yes, would you not tell anybody how I reacted in there. It’s a private thing to me which is mainly why I just followed you in.”

“Sure, I wouldn’t waste my time talking about you anyway.”

“Just show me around please”

“wow, nice to know you have any manners atall. I’m shocked you know the word please after I received no thanks for my efforts in comforting you”

“Thank you, lets continue the tour” She guided him around and only said the things she had to. She wanted this to be over as soon as possible to get this jerk away from her. The only redeeming thing was how attractive he was. If she had to be around such a mean person she was glad he was fun to look at.

“And that about sums it up. I made sure everything was measured properly to you specifications, the structure will be solid. Right now it’s just the skeleton, but once we’re finished it’s going to look amazing.” He just nodded as he looked around. It was as if he was mentally measuring everything. She rolled her eyes. “Ready to go back down?”

He froze, his expression turning wild for a moment. “Sure.” He followed her back to the elevator and she stepped in and waited.

“It’s either the elevator or you spend all day climbing down ladders. In this heat, I don’t recommend it.” He took a deep breath and stepped into the small compartment. She pressed the down button and it started to move. He clung onto the railing and she sighed. “Stop being a hard ass and come here.” She grabbed him and pulled him into a hug, her arms around his neck. He resisted only a moment then crushed her to him and rested his forehead on her shoulder and closed his eyes.

They rode that way until they were almost to the bottom then he pulled out of her arms and straightened his hard hat. “You’re welcome.” She said as she stepped off the elevator and headed over to her men who were still relaxing in the shade. “Come on boys back to work.” He watched as the men jumped to attention and immediately grabbed their hard hats and threw away their garbage from lunch.

“Mr. Whitaker, sorry about the elevator malfunction. I hope everything is to your liking.” Myles said nervously.

“Yes, it’s perfect. Please thank Miss Hale for me. She was an amazing guide.” Easton replied.

“She is our best. Is there anything else you will be needing?”

“No, but I’ll be back tomorrow if that’s okay.”

“It’s your building sir, feel free to come and go as you please. Just remember the hard hat.”

Violet decided she was going to help her men. She had been in the shade long enough and needed to burn off her irritation at Easton. She glanced at him as she put her work belt on and followed her men. He seemed to have finished his talk with Myles and was leaving. He looked her way and she froze for a moment, just staring at him from across the construction yard. “Yo Violet, wake up.” One of the men said and she shook her head then moved on.

Easton still stood there a few moments then was able to walk away and jump back in his car. He had work he should probably be doing but he decided to just go home and relax. His heart was still racing from being in that elevator. The very attractive foreman wasn’t helping his heart rate any either. He had actually managed to feel safe while she held him. He never felt safe, especially not in small places. He didn’t really need to return here tomorrow but he wanted to. He would think of a reason for it at home. His mind was so busy that he ran a red light. He was jerked into reality by all the honking.

He made sure to clear his mind before he ended up in the hospital this evening. Easton turned on the radio only to hear a Three Days Grace song come on. He grunted ands turned the radio off. Three Days Grace was one of hi fathers favorite bands. He stayed away from anything that reminded him of that horrible man. He pulled into his garage then went in the door that lead into his home. Shippo, his husky greeted Easton happily. “come boy” Easton said and walked to the couch where he sat down and Shippo jumped up and laid his head on Eastons lap.

Easton sighed and pet his dog as he watched Taken. He had seen it before but he didn’t feel like flipping through channels. Easton couldn’t figure out why anybody would care about sombody else enough to go through so much trouble to get them back. It was in so many games and movies, even books he had done stuff to help with but he himself didn’t understand needing sombody else that much.

“Coming through.” Violet ducked as a bunch of pipe was carried through by two workers. She was busy checking all the bolts. She was far to distracted to be doing this, but she wanted to clear Easton out of her mind. She walked around, going up until she was at the top and then riding the elevator back down. By the time she stepped out, it was already time to go home. She used her radio to tell her crew then went and punched out.

“Hey Violet, want to go out for drinks with me and some of the guys?” A man named Denis asked.

“Sorry, but I’m far to tired. You guys don’t get drunk okay, you have to be up bright and early in the morning.”

“Yes ma’am.” She smiled and waved to Myles as she made her way to her car. She wondered how Easton managed to drive with his claustrophobia. It had to be hard on him getting from place to place. She shook her head, pushing him out and going to her apartment. Her English bulldog Vinci waddled happily up to her when she opened the door, pressing his cold nose against her calf.

“Hey boy, how was your day?” She bent down and scratched his head. “Mine was interesting. I met the most irritating man in the world.”

Easton sighed as Taken ended and his stomach growled. He got up and Shippo followed him. He took a container of lamb and rice out of the refrigerator, pulled it open, and sat it on the floor for his dog. He decided all he wanted was a sandwich. He threw one together then grabbed his phone and called his closest friend and ex wife Miranda. She answered on the second ring.

“Sorry to call you during dinner, but I needed to talk.” He said.

“It’s okay, just doing some paper work. What’s up?”

“I think I may have hurt someone’s feelings today.”

She gave a small laugh. “I’m guessing female or you wouldn’t care.” She laughed again when he didn’t say anything. “Did she call you out on it?”

“Yeah, she was pretty pissed.”

“Then you just pissed her off. Who is she?”

“The foreman who is running the crew that is constructing my building.”

“Oh so a tough woman. She has to deal with men all day so I doubt you hurt her feelings. You should apologize though.”

“I will, how’re things?”

“Fantastic, things have been going great for me and my boyfriend. He’s on a business trip right now but you know how I love my alone time”

“Yeah, well I’ll let you get back to work. I just really felt bad about Violet”

“Wow, you remember her name, how rare”

“shut it” Miranda laughed and they both hungup. The divorce was mutual and short so neither of them had hard feelings towards one another. They knew they were both hard people to live with and love so couldn’t blame the other for wanting out. In fact their divorce was somthing that casually worked into the conversation one morning over breakfast. Easton missed Miranda for awhile at first but now had no longing for her atall which made their friendship easy. She knew him very well so it was nice to have someone to turn to who could give him good advice.

Easton decided to relax in a bath. He started the hot, nearly scolding water and poured bubbles in. A bath wasn’t hot enough for Easton unless his skin turned red from being in the water. He slid in and sighed with relief as his cramped muscles from fear loosened. He got so relaxed he nearly fell asleep so he got out before he drowned himself. He had to check his email before bed anyway. He hadn’t checked it in a little over a week so he knew he would have a lot to respond to.

When he was dry he didn’t bother redressing. Easton just grabbed his laptop and laid on his bed as he checked and responded to each email. Most of it was job offers and ads for dating sites. He didn’t know how all these sites kept getting his email but it was highly annoying.

Violet took a quick shower then pulled on her night shirt before climbing into bed and setting her alarm. “Come on Vinci.” She said and patted her bed. He jumped up with a grunt and curled up close to her. She switched on the TV, turning down the volume so as not to bother her neighbor and fell asleep to Darkness Falls. Horror movies weren’t something that bothered her or gave her nightmares. The next morning her alarm went off and she pushed herself up. She stretched and got up. She put on a pot of coffee before going and pulling on her shorts and tank top. She pulled her hair up in a ponytail and then put her socks and work boots on. Vinci whined from the living room and she went and let him out into the small yard, leaving the front door open for him while she made a cup of coffee.

He came back in and she put food and water in his bowl. She finished her cup of coffee then gave him a scratch. “Alright boy, I’m off.” She said and switched off the coffee pot. “Hold down the fort for me.” She would grab a bagel on the way to work since she never really had time to cook breakfast.

Easton quickly switched off his alarm when it went off and got out of bed. He was going to go see her again today. He was going to apologize to her and thank her for her kindness and then see if he could take her out for lunch or dinner. He pulled on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt before going out and feeding Shippo. He decided he would take his furry companion to the construction site. He made himself some bacon and eggs and poured himself a glass of orange juice.

“Hey puppy want to go on a ride?” Shippo barked and wagged his tail. He smiled and finished his breakfast then grabbed his dog’s leash. He clipped it on then left, making sure his house was locked. Getting in his car was always a test of wills, but he managed. He wondered if Violet had kept her word about not telling anyone about is condition. It was his burden to deal with and no one else’s, but having her hold him in his moment of fear had helped him more than anything.

Shippo excitedly went from window to window sticking his head out and panting as the wind hit his face. It helped Easton relax in the car. Violet stopped and got a blueberry bagel with cream cheese on top. She ate as she drove since it was easy for her. Driving took almost no effort. She had never received a ticket in all her years of driving which she was proud of since she did have a habit of speeding from time to time. When she pulled up to the construction site she took a long swig of coffee before stepping out into the heat.

Violet coudl tell it would be another scorcher today since it was only morning and already hot.She quickly went to work with her men, happy to see none of them were hungover. She wasn’t that worried though. They were good about being on time and being sober. Most of them had been drinking since they were teens so had to drink quite a bit to actually get drunk anyway. Violet didn’t know if she was happy or upset to see Easton pulling in again until she saw him let his dog out.

She wanted to go pet the very cute husky but she refrained. If he wasn’t here to see her again she didn’t want to run over and have him make any snarky comments that she might punch him for. Next thing she knew Easton ahd walked over holding his dogs leash “violet” he said in a semi questioning tone. “yes?” she said as she turned to face him. “I’m sorry about yesterday. Thanks for the tour and being nice even though I was an ass.”

She arched an eyebrow then looked around suspiciously. “Is there someone standing by with a camera hoping to see my shocked reaction?” She asked.

“No.”

“Is the heat getting to you?”

“I just got here so no.”

“Huh, well apology accepted. Cute dog, husky right.” He nodded. “May I?” He nodded again and she pulled off her work gloves then squatted down to scratch the big fuzzy dog. She got a big slobbery kiss and laughed. “You are a beautiful puppy. You must make up for the sour puss.”

Easton frowned, but refrained from saying anything rude. “Do you have any pets?” He asked.

“Yeah, a big fat bulldog named Vinci.” She stood and slipped her gloves back on. “Go in my office and get a hard hat then you can follow me around, oh and leave the pup in there. I doubt he’s familiar enough with construction sites to be running free.”

“His name’s Shippo.”

“Cute, now go on before something heavy brains you.”

She went back to work and he went into the small trailer that functioned as her office. He grabbed a hard hat and left Shippo. He couldn’t help but think she looked absolutely adorable wearing her blue hard hat and helping guys much bigger than her lift heavy pipes and planks of wood. He wanted to help, but stayed out of the way.

“So, what made you want to apologize?” Violet asked as she pulled off her hard hat long enough to wipe sweat from her brow.

“My friend told me I owed you one.” He answered. “Miranda is always right.”

“Smart woman. I have to go up and inspect something on the top floor. You staying or going?” He looked around at all the men.

“I’ll go.”

“Suit yourself.” He followed her to the elevator, taking a deep breath and stepping in. He gripped the railing as it climbed higher and higher. He felt panic wash over him and before he knew it he was shaking. “Need me to hold you again?” She asked and he shook his head. “How bad is it?”

“On a scale of one to ten it’s through the roof. I can’t go in closets, walk in showers, elevators, even getting in my car is a nightmare.”

“Explains why you’re so fit.” Her teasing made a small smile flit across his lips.

She went over to hold him anyway. He felt instant relief so didn’t fight her. When the doors were about to open she let go and they got out. “Thanks again” he said softly. “No problem, be careful up here please”

“i will be” Violet got to work and he couldn’t help but admire her. “stop looking at my ass” she teased and he fought off a blush. Easton cleared his throat “as part of my apology would you go to dinner with me after you get off work?”

“You don’t have to”

“I want to”

“Than sure, you pick the place. I don’t care where or what i eat”

“Ok, Once we’re down again I’ll take Shippo home and then come back when you’re off”

“I’ll quit at five”

“Five it is then. I like to get places early so if I’m here before five don’t feel rushed”

“ok” When Violet was satisfied they approached the elevator again. Easton grabbed her hand instinctively and she smiled. He let go and looked around to see if anybody saw making Violet laugh. “hey I’m nothing to be embarrassed about. I’m pretty cute if I do say so myself” Easton didn’t know how to respond, he couldn’t even smile knowing he would be in a confined space again soon. They got in and started going down. Easton held Violet and she held him in return. They were once again apart before the doors opened so the other men wouldn’t see.

Easton told Violet goodbye then got his dog so he could go home. He planned on wearing a dress shirt tonight so he could look nice. Violet was surprised he was driving back out here to take her to dinner since he hated the car but she wasn’t going to question a free meal. Especially not now that he seemed a bit nicer. The male workers teased Violet as soon as Easton was gone. She threatened to stab them in the penis and they hushed up.

Violet was a little concerned that she would be covered on sweat and dirt by the time she got off work. She waved Myles down and he came running over. “Can you call Mr. Whitaker and tell him I’ll have to go home before dinner to shower?” She asked.

“Got a date with the big boss huh?” Myles teased.

“It’s not a date, it’s an apology dinner. He was kind of a jerk yesterday. He owes me.”

“Want me to give him your address?”

“Yes please King Myles.”

He rolled his eyes and pulled out his phone as he walked away. Easton answered fairly fast and Myles told him what Violet had said. “Thank you for calling, please tell her I will meet her at her place.” Easton said.

“She really likes irises, if you want to make up for your behavior.” Myles said then hung up. He went back over to Violet who had stopped to get a drink of water. “He said he’d meet you at your place.”

“Thank you Myles. So, how are the girls?”

“Good, they love having their aunt babysit. They’re doing amazing in school.”

“Awesome, give them my love.” She put her hard hat back on and smiled. “Back to work. We’re almost ready to start with the wiring and walling.”

Easton had never been so nervous in his life. He ate lunch in the dog park so Shippo could run around. He didn’t know what he was going to talk about. She wasn’t the type to be impressed by job titles or money, but seemed to enjoy sincere, honest conversation. He wondered if she would want to know about his childhood. It was hard to talk about sometimes, his claustrophobia and dislike for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which went hand in hand.

After he finished eating he let Shippo play a little longer than got him back on the leash so he could go ahead and stop at a flower shop for Violets irises. Easton was grateful Myles told him what kind of flowers she liked. When he stopped at the shop Easton rolled the windows down and went inside. He walked straight up to the desk and asked “do you sell Irises?”

“Yes sir we do” The lady went into the back and brought them out. Easton paid then got back in his car. When he was home he laid them on the counter then took a shower. When he was out he looked through his closet until he decided on a dark red dress shirt. He kept the jeans so he wouldn’t look too formal. He walked into the bathroom and put on a small amount of his cologne then brushed his hair and teeth. He looked himself over and approved so walked out to grab his computer. He planned on just watching tv and messing around online until it was time to go meet Violet.

When it was finally time to go he closed his computer and shut everything off before grabbing the flowers and leaving. He took a few calming breaths before he got in his car. He really hoped this would go well. He found himself looking forward to spending time with her which was a rare feeling for Easton. He normally just liked to be home with Shippo. He wished he would have called Miranda for some tips for tonight.

Violet washed the dust and sweat from her skin and hair then got out and dried. She went through her closet, grabbing one of her dresses. It was a deep green summer dress that she thought looked good with her hair and eyes. She blow dried her hair, letting its natural curliness take over. She then put on a little bit of makeup and put on a pair of flip flops. She heard knocking and almost tripped over Vinci getting to the door.

“Hold on.” She said as she nudge Vinci out of the way. She checked the peep hole, smiling when she saw Easton. He looked nervous. She unlocked and opened the door. “You look nice.” She said then noticed the flowers. “Are those for me?”

“Uh yeah.” He held out the irises.

“They are absolutely gorgeous thank you.” She took them and found an empty vase, filling it with water and sticking the flowers inside. “Now my house will smell good.” She gave Vinci a pat and then shut and locked her door. They headed to his car and he pulled open the passenger door for her. She smiled and got in. She watched him go around to the driver side and hesitate for a moment before opening the door and getting inside. He buckled up quickly and started the car. She grabbed his hand as he pulled out of the parking lot and he seemed to calm down.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have to depend on you for something as simple as driving.” He said softly.

“It’s okay, I can only imagine how terrible it is for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Chapter Two

He frowned as he drove, feeling like a big wuss. He could do anything else, could climb up to high places, go skydiving, or rafting, but he couldn’t even step into his closet to get something off of a shelf. He had kept it hidden for so long that the prospect of help seemed so foreign to him.

He couldn’t describe how calming and good it felt to have Violet holding his hand. He wished he could read minds so he would know what she was thinking. He wondered if her help just purely kindness or maybe she had an attraction to him too. He immediately felt stupid for considering that. He had been so rude when they first met he had no idea why he would think she could like him. There weren’t many people he had met that actually did like him. All he could hope for was that his apology, the flowers and dinner at a nice place would get her to forgive really forgive him.

He pulled up to a french restaurant he really liked. “wow, I expected somthing like Wendys.”

“why?” Easton asked genuinly confused. She smiled “I don’t know, just did”

“is this place fine with you?”

“of course it is” She let him hand her out then they walked inside. They were quickly seated and ordered their drinks. “Just so it’s clear, this is an apology dinner so I’m paying. Order whatever you want”

“so I can have ten of everything she teased.” He smiled “Yes you can.” Violet giggled. Easton thought the noise was cute. Their waters were brought to them and Violet asked ‘so is this a place you go to often?”

“Yes, I love the food here”

“I’ve never been here. It’ll be somthing new. I love trying new things”

“well, I hope you like it.”

“If not oh well”

“I hope this isn’t an offensive question but why did you choose to do what you do?”

“Atleast you aren’t asking it like me being a foreman is ridiculous. It’s just what I wanted to do. I’ve never been very girly”

“Do those men flirt with you alot?”

“Most of them are married or dating” Violet smiled. She could see how nervous Easton still was. “calm down” she said softly. “I’m sorry, I haven’t been out with someone in a long time”

“well, it’s not like this is a date. It’s just an apology so relax.”

True.” He gave a nervous laugh then cleared his throat. They looked through the menu and ordered then handed their menus off to the waiter with a smile. “So tell me about yourself.”

“How about this. You ask me something about myself and then I’ll ask you something. We have to answer no matter what.” She replied.

“Deal. What’s your favorite band?”

“One Republic, they make amazing music. How about you?”

“Blue October. Depressing, I know, but the lead singer has an amazing voice.” He tapped his chin. “Favorite animal?”

“Humming bird.”

He laughed. “Full of energy and constantly on the move, definitely an animal that suits you.” They talked until their food arrived. Violet really enjoyed her Cajun style clam soup and offered him a bite. She held out her spoon and he looked at it for a moment. No one had ever offered to share anything with him before.

“I don’t have cooties.” She teased and he took a bite.

“Very good, thank you.”

“So, tell me about your condition. Where did it come from?” He froze mid bite and sat his fork down. “It’s okay you don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.”

“No, you said we had to answer no matter what. My father would lock me in a broom closet as punishment when I would do something wrong. He kept me in there for two days once, only feeding me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I can’t eat them anymore, I throw up if I try.”

She reached across the table and grabbed his hand. “I’m so sorry.”

“I don’t need your pity.” He went to pull his hand away and she held tighter to it.

“I don’t pity you. I would never do that. Have you told anyone else?” He shook his head. “Not even your ex wife?”

“I didn’t want to burden Miranda with my issues.”

“Your best friend is your ex wife?” He nodded and she gave a little laugh. “That’s cool, most divorces leave both parties bitter.”

“well, to be honest it was just companionship. We didn’t really have love in the sense of marriage. It was more like sibling love and we were both too hard to live with for anybody else to put up with us. Turned out we couldn’t even deal with eachother and divorced. We stayed friends because it’s easy when there was never real love.”

“I guess” She kept his hand as he kept talking. Her touch making it easier for the pain he had always felt to spill out of him. It felt good to get these things out and he didn’t want this evening to end. He wanted to take her home so they could keep talking but he doubted she would want to be in his house. Easton noticed it was getting late and grew sad even though he had become so happy talking. “I shouldn’t keep you much later. You have work in the morning”

“Yeah, I guess you do need me to get your building together.” Easton was surprised to see that Violet seemed sad. He almost asked if he could bring her home with him but he couldn’t. He asked for the check and prayed it would come slowly. Once he got it he paid then walked Violet out. He opened the door for her again then climbed in himself. She quickly took his hand and he smiled at her. She smiled back and he could have sworn his body melted.

Violet enjoyed Easton’s company and wanted to hear more about him. She wanted to help him through his fear and pain. It wrenched at her heart that the man who should have been his idol had tortured him as a child. He was really a lot sweeter than he acted. His cold exterior was a mask to hide what he was terrified of the most.

“Easton, I want to talk some more, can we go to your house?” She asked and it took all his will power not to take his eyes off the road and look at her.

“Sure, if that’s what you really want.” He replied, sounding just as shocked as he felt. “What about work?”

“You can take me in the morning, but we have to get me some work clothes and Vinci.”

“Okay.” He said happily and headed to her apartment. He pulled into the parking lot and got out, following her inside. She grabbed some night clothes, work clothes, and a pair of jeans and a t-shirt for after work. She handed them to him then lifted Vinci off the floor. He grunted and licked her face.

“You get to make a new friend.” She said to her dog.

They loaded into his car and headed to his house. She rolled down her window so Vinci could smell everything. Easton started to get a little nervous because he couldn’t hold her hand. He gripped the steering wheel, his knuckles turning white. “If you need to touch me to stay calm just grab my knee.” She said, smiling at him.

“Really?” She nodded and he slowly reached over and rested his hand on her knee. He felt instant relief. “Thank you.” He said and her smile widened. When they finally made it to his place he got out and open the passenger door for her. She let the wiggling bulldog jump out then let him hand her out again.

The dog bolted inside making Violet laugh again “I guess he’s excited to make a new friend.” The two dogs started sniffing eachother. “want to go sit in my living room?” Easton asked. “Perfect place to keep talking” Violet said smiling. They sat down together, Easton sitting as close as he could to her without feeling creepy since he had only known her two days. They talked like they did before. Easton letting even more off his chest than he anticipated. All the while Violet held his hand and rubbed it with her thumb. He wanted to keep talking but noticed how late it was “you need to get to sleep, you could hurt yourself tomorrow if you’re too tired” Violet laughed “I’m a big girl but you’re right. I need to give you my number so we can chat like this more”

“I’d really like that. I’ll get it from you in the morning”

“well I’ll sleep right here unless you have a guest bedroom in the house”

“Yes I do, follow me” He led her to where she could sleep and then showed her where the bathroom was. “If you need anything please wake me up.”

“I will, I had an amazing night. I’m really glad to see there’s a sweet guy hiding under that meanie I met” Easton smiled “I hope you’ll come over often to see me Violet”

“I will, when I’m home you can call me at any time if you need someone to talk to”

“I’ll keep that in mind” He said as he wished she was coming to sleep with him. With how comforting it was to touch her hand he could only imagine how well he would sleep if he could just hold her but once again he decided they had only just met and it would be creepy. All she saw in him was a friend. Easton knew that he would just ruin things anyway if she did date him. He bid her goodnight then walked to his bedroom that felt even emptier than normal.

Easton very nearly ran back to the guest bedroom but he forced himself to strip down to his underwear and crawl in bed. Violet changed intot he pajamas she brought and hoped Easton was ok. He seemed to go from relaxed and happy to sad and nervous.

It didn’t take her long to fall asleep once she got settled. Easton stared up at the ceiling for awhile, his eye lids getting heavier and heavier. He drifted off, falling into that peaceful darkness. He suddenly felt suffocated like the world was closing in on him, crushing him. He whimpered, his fingers gripping the comforter. He let out a wail of terror, startling Violet out of her slumber. She looked around confused for a moment. She remembered she was in Easton’s house. It was strange waking up somewhere other than her apartment. Another wail broke the silence, making her jump. She ran from her room and down the hall to Easton’s room. She pushed the door open and ran to his side when she saw him tossing and turning, sweat covering his skin.

“Easton, wake up.” She grabbed his shoulders and shook him as hard as she could.

“Please let me out.” He said and she shook him again.

“Easton.” She slapped him and he jerked awake, staring up at her with horror in his eyes. He fumbled with the lamp next to his bed, finally managing to get the light on.

“I didn’t hit you or anything did I?” He asked as he ran his fingers through his hair.

“No, I’m fine. Are you okay?” He shook his head and buried his face in his hands, crying. She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him. “Hush now, everything’s okay.”

“Please stay with me.” He said between sobs.

“Shh, it’s okay, I won’t go anywhere.” She laid down, pulling him down with her so his head rested on her chest. He switched off the light then wrapped his arms tightly around her waist.

“What if I have nightmares after you leave? Will you come back?”

“Then just call me and I’ll come over.” She stroked his temple. “Go to sleep now.” His tense muscles finally relaxed and his breathing softened after an hour of her soothing him. She let herself drift off, keeping her arms around his shoulders.

She woke, hearing her cellphone alarm go off in the guest bedroom. She was glad she picked such a loud tone. She gently coaxed Easton awake. He sat up slowly “Thank you, I slept better than I can ever remember sleeping”

“Your bed is the most comfortable bed I’ve ever been in so I think it was an even trade” Easton smiled. “were you serious, can I call you any time I have a nightmare?”

“Of course, I just wished I lived closer. It’ll take me a long time to get here from my apartment.”

“Yeah” Easton said sadly. Violet quickly ran back to the room Easton had given her and turned off her alarm. She grabbed her change of clothes then walked into the bathroom Easton had shown her. She washed and changed as fast as she could since her phone alarm took a long time to wake her. Once she was ready she returned Eastons room. “You ready to take me to work?”

“yeah, why don’t we leave your dog here. You could come over again after work…I mean..if you’d like. I had more to talk about last night but we ran out of time”

“I’d love to come back and chat with you more” They walked out to Eastons car and he opened the door again. When he was in the other side he quickly took her hand. “You really are a sweetheart” Violet said in a warm tone making Easton blush. Easton was glad he hadn’t hurt Violet last night. He had hurt Miranda a few times when they slept together. It was part of the reason why they started sleeping in separate rooms. Once they were there Violet hopped out “see you later”

“Be safe” Easton blushed as the words passed his lips. He was acting as if she was his girlfriend. That would be nice but she wasn’t. Violet smiled at his red face as he pulled away. The men started teasing violet “no breaks today if you dont cut that out” It silenced them right away and she started to help her men work.

“Has anyone seen my walkie talkie?” She asked and everyone shook their head. She wondered if maybe she had left it up near the top. Her mind had been so preoccupied. She hopped in the elevator and started up. It stuck halfway up and she growled. “Stupid piece of shit.” She screamed and kicked the door. She just stood there waiting. She let her mind drift to Easton, hoping he was okay. About half an hour later Myles and another man came into view.

“Sorry Violet, it won’t move. Open the door and we’ll help you out.” Myles said. She huffed and un latched the door and pulled it open. Both men reached out and she took their hands and allowed them to help her across.

“We need to get that thing fixed before it really breaks.”

“Maybe you could asked Mr. Whitaker to pay for a new one.”

“I’ll ask later, I’m sure he’d be fine with it.”

She climbed the rest of the way up and found her walkie talkie then followed Myles back down. She helped build on the lower floors, deciding it would be best to wait until the elevator was fixed before venturing higher.

Easton sat in front of his computer, working on one of his advertising projects. He missed Violet and had only been away from her for a few hours. He felt a pang of jealousy when he thought about other men getting to spend so much time with her. He knew it was stupid, it was just her job and all the men were her friends. He kept checking the clock, wanting time to go faster so he could go pick her up from work. He picked up his cup of coffee cup and Vinci and Shippo who were playing bumped into him, making him spill it on himself. He sat the cup down and got up, pulling his shirt off and wiping his chest with it. He tossed it in the laundry room then went into his room, pulling his closet door open. He took a deep breath and stepped inside. Shippo and Vinci had followed him and Vinci who wasn’t done playing jumped on Shippo, making him bump the closet door so it slammed shut.

His heart instantly went into overdrive and he panicked. If he was of sound mind he could have easily gotten out but he began to hyperventilate and then began to panic and scream.Vinci and Shippo could tell Easton was afraid so they started trying to get the door back open with their paws and noses. As panic gripped him, thoughts of Violet waded into the storm. he cried and rocked in the closet as he listened to the concerned dogs trying to get him out. Having Violet in his head gave him the strength the feel for the door handle. He found it and pushed the door open. He scrambled out and ran to his bed. The dogs followed him as he crashed into the bed crying and shaking like a rattle.

The dogs offered comfort but he pushed them away. Shippo walked out and Vinci followed his lead. Easton grabbed the pillow Violet rested her head on last night and cried into it, wishing she was here to calm him down. He may be out of the closet but he was still just as terrified. He had to call her, he prayed he could get her now. Then to his horror he realized he hadn’t gotten her number. He cried harder for awhile until he realized he could just call Myles. He cleared his throat and gathered himself to hide the fact he was panicked as much as possible before calling.

He dialed Myles who answered just as it was about to go to voicemail. “Could you please spare Violet. I have important stuff I need to discuss with her about the building.” Myles could hear that Easton had been crying even though Easton thought he sounded fine. “yeah, I noticed you dropped her off so come pick her up. I’ll let her know you’re coming”

“Thanks, I’ll be there soon” Easton couldn’t go in and get another shirt so he just went outside shirtless and forced himself to climb in his car. It was the only way to get to Violet so he could do this. He broke the speed limit all the way there, grateful he wasn’t stopped by any cops. He was glad to see Violet standing there waiting for him.

He sat there shaking until she got in then pulled her into his arms. “Whoa, what happened?” She asked as she stroked his hair.

“I got stuck in the closet. The dogs bumped the door and it closed.” He cried into her shoulder and she kissed his cheek.

“It’s okay, I’m here now. Let’s go back to your place.”

“Alright.” He managed to drive home, shaking the whole way there. When they got out of the car he pulled her into his house, kicking the door shut and hugging her tightly to him. He cried harder than he had in a long time.

“Shh, calm down and breathe.” He pulled back and kissed her, making her heart beat quickly in her chest. His tears dripped on her face and she didn’t have the heart to push him off. Instead she let him cling to her. He pulled back and looked at her in shock.

“I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking.” He said and wiped the tears off of his face.

“It’s okay, you’re scared and stressed.” She ran her fingers through his hair and down to massage his neck.

“You make me feel so calm.” He traced her her cheek and held her chin between his thumb and forefinger. “You are covered in dust.”

“You really know how to sweet talk a girl.”

“I know, I’m a real poet.”

“Can I borrow some clothes and take a shower?”

“Sweats and a t-shirt okay?” She nodded. “They’re in my chest of drawers. I’ll make us something to eat while you get clean.”

“Oh I got stuck in the elevator today. It was loads of fun.” She said as she headed to his room. He could only imagine how irritated she must have been, especially after seeing her reaction to it himself. He gave a sigh of relief that she had not bolted when he kissed her. It would have killed him if he had scared her away.

Since Violet knew Easton was busy cooking she didn’t rush her shower. She slowly cleaned her body then her hair before turning off the water and getting out. She felt a million times better now that she was clean. She really hoped Lunch was ready. When she was out of the bathroom the smell of his cooking hit her nose and she very nearly moaned. It smelled amazing, whatever it was. When Violet came into the kitchen she asked “What’re you making?”

” Apple Chicken Quesadillas”

“It smells really good”

“Well, lets hope your mouth agrees” He put them on a plate and walked with Violet to the table. They sat down beside eachother and ate.  “My mouth does agree” Violet said after her first bite making Easton happy. They finished their food and Easton asked “Could we go watch TV on my couch so I can hold you? My nerves are still wound up pretty bad” Violet stood “come on” Easton followed quickly and grabbed the remote. He instantly pulled Violet into him and handed her the remote so that she could pick somthing that would keep her entertained as he used her comfort to relax.

She flipped through channels until she found comedy central. “can’t go wrong with this channel” Now that Violet had what she wanted on he moved her in his lap so he could cradle her. He held tight as if she were a life preserver in the sea. Easton blushed a little when kissing Violet came back to his mind. He wanted to do it again but wasn’t sure if he would get away with a second time.

Violet rested her head on his shoulder and relaxed into him. He was holding her almost to tightly, but she didn’t want to ask him to loosen up. He was still scared and she wondered how long he was stuck in his closet before getting out. She could only imagine how much he must have panicked and was lucky he had not completely shut down and stayed there until she got back. He had been shaking when he kissed her and she had wanted to do anything to comfort him. She felt her face grow hot and hoped he didn’t notice her blush. His lips against hers had made her heart leap with joy.

“How are you feeling now?” She asked and raised her head to look into his gorgeous green eyes.

“Better, thank you.” He brushed his fingers lovingly through her hair. “No one has ever made me feel this safe before. You make me forget about my fear.”

“That’s probably because you never told anyone else about it. If you had had more people to talk to, I bet you would have been a lot better.”

“I could have talked to Miranda, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to tell anyone else, I didn’t want pity or to burden anyone.” His voice shook a little.

“You’re not burdening me, I promise. I’m happy I can be here for you.” He leaned in and kissed her, unable to help himself. He tipped her back onto the couch, enjoying the softness of her lips. When he finally pulled back they were both breathless.

“Sorry, I just really like kissing you.”

“I noticed and doing it without my permission at that.” He frowned and she giggled. “It was a joke, kiss me all you want. If I didn’t like it, I would beat you up.”

The invitation was all he needed. Easton hungrily pressed his lips into hers again. He made slowly, lusting movements that were driving Violet insane. His hand started to push up her shirt and he jerked back. “I’m sorry, oh god. You let me kiss you and” Violet pulled him back into her “it’s ok, I mean, I guess you’re pretty cute” Easton smiled “well you’re absolutely beautiful. Could I show you how beautiful you are?” Violets cheeks turned pink “yes” She said softly and he stood with her to go into his bedroom. He shut the door behind them so the dogs couldn’t follow. Easton set Violet on his bed and they each undressed themselves.

Eastons heart thundered as he looked at Violet. “you really are beautiful”

“and you’re very sexy, now where’s all this showing me?” Easton was nervous, for once he actually cared if the woman he was sleeping with enjoyed it or not. He had never been with someone sexual where he cared if they got any pleasure from it or not. They got higher on the bed and he began to give Violet long kisses down her neck and over her chest. He started to play with her right nipple in his mouth and let his hand slide down to rub her. He smiled when she arched her back. next Easton bit and licked her left ear while stimulating her a little more before thrusting himself needily deep inside of her.

She let out a loud moan as he dove into her depths and slid back out repeatedly. He fought back tears as he listened to her. He couldn’t believe how good this felt. Being with someone in this way had never felt so spectacular. He really hoped this could happen again, that maybe this was her wanting to be his, that he could keep this wonderful woman who brought him so much comfort.

He clung to her, his forehead resting against her shoulder as they caught their breath. Tears slipped unbidden from his eyes and she rubbed his back, softly shushing him. “I’m sorry.” He said softly.

“Hey, it’s okay to cry. Do it all you need to.”

“I’ve been doing it to much.”

He moved to lay next to her, his head resting on her chest. She wiped his tears away then laced her fingers through his. “I want you to cry when you need to. I mean you would let me cry right? You’d hold me and let me cry if I needed to?”

“Of course I would, but you’re a…”

“Woman?” She finished for him and laughed. “Being emotional has nothing to do with gender.” She scooted down so they were face to face and kissed him. “You are a wonderful man.”

“That’s not what you called me when we first met.”

“You were being an ass and I made sure you knew. You’re really sweet and kind and loving. I like that part of you.”

“Now I just need to get over my fear of tight spaces and I’ll be perfect.” He made himself sad thinking about his weakness.

“It’s going to take time and besides you already are perfect, at least to me anyway. I’ll help you get over your fear and let go of your pain. I’ll stay as long as I have to so you never have to go through another nightmare alone. I’ll make love to you every night until all you can think about is me.”

“Thank you”

“Keep making love to me like that and it wont be an issue” Easton let out a small breath of laughter as he clung to Violet. “so you’re going to move in with me?”

“I believe that’s what I just said. Moving my stuff will be so annoying”

“I’ll pay someone to do it for you. Do you want everything?”

“I guess I don’t need my furniture. Everything but my furniture.”

“I’ll donate that and have them bring the rest here.”

“sounds good’

“Thanks”

“Just keep being a sweetheart”

“I can do that for you” They just laid in his bed, eventually he fell asleep. Being so upset and making love drained him. Violet wasn’t very tired but was enjoying relaxing like this. She couldn’t get up and disturb him anyway. Easton very obviously needed rest. She knew the men were going to give her hell but it would all be in good fun. She knew they’d really be happy for her that she had somebody. She was happy to have sombody. Her dog Vinci had always been good company but coming home to a man would be much better. She smiled and closed her eyes to will herself to sleep. She knew she might need rest to be there for him if he couldn’t sleep tonight. No matter how hard it got Violet vowed to stay by his side and help him get over the horrible childhood he had been given.

~ The End ~

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