He took her to a safe place and washed her clean of the dirt and mire from the brothels she'd been dragged through. She cried as he tended her wounds with the gentlest of hands, and then he wiped her tears away and held her while she wept. She slept as the drugs passed through her system, and he watched over her. When she woke, he gave her new clothes, clean and modest and comfortable. When she was dressed, he knelt before her and told her his name. When she asked why he had rescued her, the stranger said, "Because I love you."
He told her he wanted to adopt her. He wanted to take her away from the horrors of her past and care for her for the rest of her life. He wanted to protect her, teach her and show her a way of living that let her experience joy and love and pain and heartache in a whole new way. Pain would deepen her capacity for love and shape her into the person he knew she could be. If she let it. Love would consume her. As he shared his heart, tears of sincerity filled his eyes and he promised he would be with her until the very end. All she had to do was come with him, or she could walk out the door and he would let her go.
Mallory's eyes burned as her own tears ran their course. Why would he do this for her? She was nothing, a nobody, used up and hardly even a human being anymore. But the man insisted. If she'd let him, he'd make her his. Because he loved her. The idea was so foreign to Mallory her fears roared their ugly head inside and she began to doubt. How could she trust this stranger? How did she know he was telling the truth? Did he really love her?
He bowed his head. When he raised his eyes they bore deep into hers. He had a son. He was the perfect son in every way. An advocate for victims, a loving and kind man, he had a heart for the poor and he brought justice and mercy wherever he went. The only way the stranger could rescue her, was send his son to die on her behalf. Willingly, with full knowledge of his fate, the son went. He paved the way for his Father to rescue her.
Mallory fell at the stranger's feet. "Forgive me for my unbelief," she wept. "I'll follow you wherever you go, Father."