“You look nervous,” he says. His hand, still in my hair, turns to my cheek. It’s warm. Smells good. “Come and sit down.”
He takes my hand and leads me to a window seat. A built-in bench, pressed up against a wall of glass. He wraps his hands around my waist and lifts me up. Sits me down up there. My eyes scan the patchy, dirt-strewn yard outside. The way the rain smashes off the ground and into something else. The sky is white. Stark white.
“Just a minute,” he says.
My mind screams as he steps away. He reaches onto some shelves along the wall and grabs an armful of navy blue blankets. Painters’ blankets, I realize as he holds them out for me. He sits them on the bench beside me. Smooths one out. Lifts me up and sits me on it. Then he tucks another one behind me.
“Thank you,” I murmur. Despite the blankets’ tattered appearance, they seem soft enough. There’s no paint on them, and they don’t smell like it. Another one unfolded by his big hands, tucked around me.
“You got wet. Warm up a moment.”
I sit there because my brain is broken and my heart feels puffed up like a balloon.
He climbs up behind me and gently nudges me forward. He leans his torso up against mine, spreads his legs around my butt and thighs. Strong hands begin to knead my shoulders.
“Don’t be nervous here, Angel. I’ll take care of you. Always.”