The second figure swung his left hand at Ben’s head but before he could connect Ben had already stepped in closer to him and grasped the back of the thug’s head. Ben pounded his forehead into the face of the assailant once, then twice. The hooded figure grabbed his face with his hands as Ben stepped back. As the first figure let go of Marissa, Ben grabbed the head of the second man again. Ben head butted him again while his hands were still holding his face. Ben felt two of this man’s fingers crack as the first figure stepped in closer with the switchblade in his right hand and stabbed Ben in the side.
Benjamin felt the cold blade enter and pushed the second figure to the ground. Benjamin grunted in pain. This only lasted for a second as he turned his head to look at the first figure with a mask of rage on his face. Ben cocked his head to the side and looked at the man intently.
“You know,” Ben began, grabbing the man by his right arm. “You should twist when you stab someone. It hurts more and inflicts more damage to the internal organs. Here. Let me show you how to twist.”
Ben had snaked his arm around the man’s right arm and bent it upward right above the elbow.
“You should apply pressure like….SO!” he said as he pushed the arm passed the breaking point.
“AUGGGHHH!!!” yelled the man, as his arm was snapped. Ben punched this man square in the stomach and watched him go to his knees as the air rushed out of his body.
The second man had climbed back to his feet at this point and was about to tackle Ben when Ben kicked his right leg out to the side. His foot connected with the man’s knee as he moved forward. The sound of bone cracking again filled the night followed by a bellow of pain. The second man crumbled to the ground.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” cried the second figure. “Goddamnit. Bastard!”
“Stop crying,” Ben said, turning to the third figure. “I told you to take the money and now this is what you get for not listening.”
Ben began to walk slowly towards the third figure, who was pulling a knife out of his pocket. He stood between Marissa and Ben, who still had the blade stuck in his side. Ben was almost next to the figure when a bright light flashed on the figure.
“Freeze!” was yelled by a voice behind Ben. A police officer was jogging towards their position. The third figure turned and ran deeper in to the park as the officer neared. Ben reached Marissa and grabbed her hand. She looked into his eyes and only slightly recognized the young man in front of her.
“Are you folks alright?” asked the officer, as he arrived at the couple.
“I’m alright,” Marissa said. “Ben, you need to sit down. They stabbed you.”
The officer looked at Ben more fully and saw the blade still sticking out of his side. Ben looked down and realized that he had been stabbed. Benjamin stepped back and the officer and Marissa grabbed him and led him to the bench to sit.
“Don’t touch it,” the officer said. “I’m gonna call for an ambulance and some back-up. Just sit tight.”
“No worries,” said Ben, a smirk crossing his face quickly before his face returned to normal.
“Ben, you’ll be alright,” said Marissa. “Don’t worry.”
“I know, Marissa,” Benjamin said. “I don’t think it’s that bad. I just can’t believe I fought those guys.”
Me neither, thought Marissa.
“I couldn’t let them hurt you though,” said Ben. He clenched his fist in his laps and looked at the two men being handcuffed by the police officer. “I wasn’t going to let that happen. I would never let anyone hurt you.”
“I know, baby,” said Marissa, caressing his face. “You were very brave.”
They sat there, together, holding hands waiting for the ambulance and other police to get there. The ambulance arrived and the blade was moved. Marissa and Benjamin were taking to the hospital where Marissa was treated for a bruise on her arm where the second man had grabbed her and Benjamin was stitched up. He was going to have to spend at least a night in the hospital but he was going to be fine.
Two detectives investigating the case are in the hospital waiting area discussing the case as they drank their coffees. One detective was old and overweight and the other was young and female.
“Let me get this straight,” began the first older detective. “Three men tried to mug this couple and, possibly, sexually assault the woman.”
“Uh-hmmm,” said the second detective, sipping her coffee and flipping through her notes.
“They bloody up the boyfriend and knock him to the ground,” continues the first detective. “Then, he gets up beats up one guy, breaks an arm, a leg, some fingers, a nose and on top of that, gets stabbed in the gut. And this happens all before our office arrives on the scene scaring off the third skell?”
“Uh-huh,” replies the second detective. She takes another sip from her cup.
“That skinny guy laying in the bed upstairs took out two guys while bleeding from the side?” said the old detective. “I can’t hardly believe it, Lopez.”
“You have been around longer than me, McDonald,” said the second officer. “I’m sure you have seen stranger things. Besides, the guy was fighting for his girl.”
“I guess you are right,” said McDonald. He scratches his stomach while taking a sip from his coffee cup. “But I’ll tell you this.”
“What?” asked Lopez.
“I would never had bet that guy had it in him,” said McDonald. “Sure he is sorta tall and lanky and those guys always try hard. But not that guy. From the little I could see of him, he looks real timid. A real nice guy.”
McDonald takes a long draught from his cup as Lopez looks at her partner for a second..
“Even some nice guys have a beast in them, McDonald,” said Lopez. “They just need the proper motivation to connect with it. I’m guessing his motivation is sitting in that room with him right now.”
Marissa woke uncomfortably in the hospital chair that she had spent the night in. She woke just as the doctor was replacing Benjamin’s bandage. The doctor had a smile that was currently residing under his gray mustache and his glasses.
“You are healing remarkedly fast, Mr. Sands“ said the doctor. “Much faster than expected. The wound must have been more superficial than the doctors though they were last night. You should be leaving our good graces by this afternoon. Just a few more things and you’ll be free.”
“Thanks, Doctor,” said Benjamin. “I’ve always been a fast healer. Weird.”
“I’ll check back on you in a few,” said the doctor. “Just rest.”
The doctor left the room and Marissa moved to sit on the bed next to Benjamin. She leaned forward and he kissed her on the forehead. She moved back and looked at his face for a second. She never noticed that he had spots of green in his brown eyes.
“How are you feeling?” she asked him.
“Great,” he said, with a smile. “I actually feel good.”
“That’s just the drugs talking,” she smiled back at him.
“No, I don’t think it is,” Benjamin said. He lifted his hand and pushed her hair away from her face.
“I’ve felt good since last night,” Benjamin said. “I don’t know. After that guy hit me, I’ve felt wired. I mean it wasn’t good that they grabbed you and I got stabbed but I… I don’t know. I felt alive. I haven’t felt this way in years. This is the best I have felt in a long time, Marissa.”
“What?” she asked, with a sly smile on her face. “You don’t feel great with me?”
“It’s not that,” he replied, looking serious. “I feel like I can do anything most of the time when I’m with you. This is different. It was like I was finding a missing piece of myself.”
Now, Marissa pulled back and looked at the man in front of her. She placed her hands on either side of his face. He was the same Benjamin but there was something different about him. His eyes looked wild, almost unsafe. It was like there was something that was hidden inside him all this time that was finally fighting its way out.
“What are you talking about, Ben?” she asked. “What’s going on with you?”
He just sighed.
“I don’t know,” he said. “But I think it is time to be more honest with you.”
“Were you lying to me before about who you were?” she asked.
“No, I was lying to myself,” he said. “I was denying part of who I am for years. I think that was why I was always so subdued. To hold down what is inside of me. That part of myself that scares me.”
Benjamin turned his head to look out the window for a second. He turned his head back to look at Marissa and the old Benjamin was still there but combined with something else. Something almost primal.
“I love you,” he said to her. “And I think its time you found out more about me and my family.”