Sophia walked up to him and wrapped her arms around him. He leaned on her for support. She couldn’t help but be concerned for him. He was everything she wanted in a guy. Physically well endowed. Gorgeous hair. Hypnotic eyes. And he even hinted of danger. Bad. He was a bad, bad boy. She was a sucker for a bad boy. It was a combination of all these things that compelled her to help him. Yeah. She took him to where he requested and helped to take care of him, hoping he’d answer her questions soon.


A few days later
Todd’s apartment on Main St…

Sophia was completely fascinated by the man before her. As she gently wiped his brow and cleaned the bandages of his wounded arm, she felt a connection to him. It was hard to explain but she felt they had a lot in common.

Suddenly he opened his eyes, startling her.

“What are you doing?” he asked as he discovered he was in the bed, shirt unbuttoned revealing his chest to her.

“Hey relax. You’ve got a fever – 101. I was trying to cool you down. Put fresh bandages on your wound. You’re lucky that was a grazing shot to your arm,” said Sophia.

Todd scooted back from her and Sophia withdrew.

“You’ve been…caring for me,” he said studying her face, wanting to feel her out.

“Well,” said Sophia crossing her arms, “I figured no one else would.”


“Well you haven’t been forthcoming about who you are, but I understand that. The fever’s been kicking your ass,” explained Sophia standing up.

“How long have I been like this?” he questioned. While she seemed rough around the edges, what struck him immediately was a sense of trustworthiness.

“Two days,” she replied throwing the washcloth in the sink, “This place is a dump you know. The super said he knew you. You lived here a few years ago.”

“Yeah,” said Todd as he leaned up against the headboard, “I did. What’s your name?”

“Sophia. Sophia Pelligrino,” she answered, sitting down in a chair next to the bed and slouching in it, “Yours?”

“Manning. Todd Manning,” he replied interested in her reaction to his volatile name.

“Ummm. Sounds familiar,” she said.

Todd tried to button his shirt but he still had limited movement in one of his arms. Sophia tried not to stare at his marvelous body.

“So Sophia, why are you helping me?”

“I don’t see anyone else volunteering for the job,” she replied, “Is there someone I can tell about you?”

“No!” he yelled. She looked hurt and he realized he might have startled her, “No. Not yet. Soon.”

“Sure, whatever,” she said.

“What do you do Sophia? Got family? Friends?” he asked trying to learn more about her. Trying to find out what was behind her motivations. Why would she help a total stranger?

“No family,” she answered, “I had a brother. Can’t say I have any real friends. I don’t make friends well.”

“Neither do I,” admitted Todd.

“And well, it’s my second day in the police academy,” she admitted.

“What?!” he exclaimed, “You’re a cop?!”

“I’m a trainee…” she said wrinkling her brow, “What’s freakin’ you out about it?”

“I never trusted cops. Never will,” he said confused.

“Oh well guess you got a choice. Trust me or don’t,” said Sophia crossing her arms.

Todd felt as if he should give her the benefit of the doubt, “Why are you a cop?”

“What are you? My father?!” she shot back.

“God, I hope not. Mouthy little thing, aren’t you?” he quipped.

Sophia shrugged her shoulders, “Usually people don’t have the guts to tell me that.”

“So straight up. Why are you a cop?” he asked again.

“Straight up? It pays well,” replied Sophia.

A subtle grin crossed his lips, “You became a cop because it pays well?”

“Yee-ah. Newbie trainees like me are pulling in 20 an hour, that’s big bucks,” said Sophia.

“You grew up poor?”

Sophia looked away and pursed her lips. An awkward silence followed as Sophia had no intention of talking about her pathetic childhood to him. She got up and went into the dingy bathroom to wash her hands.

Todd fidgeted in the bed trying to get comfortable. He really didn’t know what to make of her. She was bold. And honest. At least with him. He appreciated that. She came out of the bathroom.

“So who or what is tee?” asked Sophia.

Todd’s face dropped, “Why are you asking?”

“You talked in your feverish state,” said Sophia.

“It’s Téa. My woman. What did I say about her?” he questioned.

Sophia shrugged her shoulders and tried to hide her disappointment, “You…want her?”

“Damn it! Fucking bastards!!” yelled Todd grabbing the alarm clock off the adjacent nightstand and flinging it across the room.

“Chill out dude. You tell me where she’s at and I’ll get her for you,” said Sophia surprised at his emotional display.

“I don’t know where she is. She’s missing. She's gone. I need to find her but first…” he paused.

“What?!” pushed Sophia.

Todd shut up, trying to decide just how much he could confide in Sophia.

“Look, fine, I want to help you dude. I do but if you don’t tell me anything, I can’t…” she grabbed her leather jacket and headed for the door.

“Don’t go!” cried Todd struggling to stand up.

Sophia turned around, “I don’t need your shit. You trust me or you don’t.”

He looked at her and grinned.


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