By: Travis Naughton

After vanquishing her attacker, Blackjack held Jane tightly in his arms until her sobbing subsided. He gently wiped the tears from her cheeks and asked her again, “Are you alright?”
“Yes. I’m fine now. Thank you…for everything,” Jane said.
“I’m sorry I didn’t get here sooner,” Blackjack said, “If I had known—”
“You got here just in time,” Jane assured him. “Before he was able to…”
“Oh, thank goodness!” a relieved Blackjack exclaimed. “But how did he get the jump on you?”

“After my soak, I got dressed and started to walk over to the hotel to meet you, but then I heard a dog whining around the back of the bath house, like it was in pain. I went to check it out, and when I rounded the corner, I saw this terrible man choking the poor thing to death with his bare hands. Naturally, I yelled at the man to stop, and he was only too happy to oblige, choosing to strangle me instead.”

Blackjack then saw the tell-tale bruises beginning to form around Jane’s neck. “How did you end up on the rock?”

“I tried fighting him off, but he was too strong. He dragged me down the path to the river and threw me down on the rock. He let go with one hand to loosen his belt, and I started scratching his face. That’s when he grabbed my wrists and pinned my arms above my head. I tried to scream, but then he covered my mouth with his free hand.”

“When I saw him on top of you, something in me snapped,” Blackjack confessed as he looked at the lifeless body beside the rock. “I didn’t set out to kill him. You must think I’m some sort of monster.”

“No. You’re not a monster. You’re a hero, Alan. You saved me,” Jane said as tears filled her eyes again.

Read full chapter in this week’s Journal…