Derrick groaned as he lay there in the alley, his entire being a universe of pain. He clenched his stomach, wondering if his ribs were broken. He didn’t fight the waves of agony, he let them come, he deserved it. Sorrow washed over him and he curled up there, shivering and crying like the pathetic weakling he was. He heard the sound of footsteps and wondered if the men who had attacked him had returned to further punish him. He wouldn’t resist them, between the alcohol and his shame, he wanted to hurt. “Oh my god, are you alright?” The voice was soft, the tone gentle and warm. He barely manged to turn his head, his eyes colliding with those of a woman, those hazel orbs sparkling with concern and shock. “Who did this?” She asked as she reached out to brush his hair from his face.
“Go away.” He said, his voice hoarse.
“You don’t mean that.” She gently pulled him into a sitting position. “Let me help you.”
“No, just leave me.” He couldn’t have another beautiful woman near him, not after what had happened. She would get hurt too. “Just go, I’m fine.” He pushed her hands away and then started slowly to his feet. He stumbled and she grabbed him, pulling his arm over her shoulders. “Are you stupid or something, you need to leave me here.”
“Hush, no more of that. You can’t just lay out here, it’s getting cold and it’s going to rain.”
“I do.” She pulled him out of the alley and in his half drunk, beaten state he couldn’t resist her. “I’m Mae, what’s your name?”
“It doesn’t matter.” His legs gave out and she pulled him back up.
“Hey, no passing out until I get you in my car, okay?”