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β€œAxel,” Sky said as calmly as she could, β€œIf you don’t let me hold my own cup, I am going to shove it up your ass,”

Axel rolled his eyes, β€œI don’t want you to wear yourself out,”

β€œI’m not an invalid,” Sky said, β€œI’m pregnant and no one else knows that so stop acting like this!”

β€œNo one is around,”

Sky groaned, β€œDid that knock on your head make you like this?”

β€œNo. They said I had no damage,” Axel smirked and looked at his watch, β€œCan you come with me?”

β€œAre you going to let me carry my own cup?”

β€œYes,”

β€œGood. Where are we going?” Sky asked following him out of the kitchen, β€œAnywhere good?”

β€œNo,” He said, β€œMy office. I...I have my first session with the psychiatrist,”

β€œAre you sure you want me in on your first session?”

β€œYes. It was the only way for me to agree to this. I need you there, ok?”

Axel opened the door and Sky saw his hand shake as he pushed it open. She wanted to hug him and hold his hand, telling him that it would all be ok but she knew that he needed to do this alone.

β€œAh, Mr Dalton,” The man said, β€œPlease, take a seat and we can get started,”

Axel dropped onto the sofa and pointed to the armchair, β€œYou. Sit,”

β€œI see,” The man said, β€œFrom what you have told me, the controlling nature is strong. Correct?”

β€œIt is,”

β€œBefore we start, you can just call me Junho. I’d like this to feel as comfortable as possible,” He smiled, β€œTell me where you first noticed your controlling behaviour,”

Axel rubbed the back of his neck, β€œSince I can remember. The way I was raised. It has always been there,”

β€œHow you were raised?”

β€œI was taught to never show emotion because it can make you be seen as weak,” Axel said, staring at the table, β€œIt was a hard place to grow up. Going to meetings with my parents, avoiding my brother and having to bury my dog in pieces,”

β€œDid you receive any love from your parents?”

β€œWhat’s that supposed to mean?” Axel said, almost snapping.

β€œAxel,” Sky said, "He doesn't mean anything by it."

β€œFine,” Axel said, β€œYes. My parents loved me. They gave me everything. Anything I needed or wanted, I had,”

β€œAnd your brother?”

Axel clenched his fists, β€œMy brother. He wouldn’t know what love meant even if it punched him in the face,”

β€œCan we talk about your brother and what he did to you and your family?” Junho said, β€œOf course, you don’t have to if you aren’t ready. We can focus on something else for the first session,”

β€œNo. I...I need to talk about him and what he did,” Axel said, β€œEveryone who got close to him or he took a dislike to ended up dead. After he killed my dog, it became clear that he wasn’t sane. There was something so...scary about him. Untrustworthy. His eyes were so cold and almost dead. He wasn’t to be trusted,”

β€œI see,”

β€œHe attacked my mum and didn’t care that I had shot him,” Axel said, β€œHe begged me to shoot him again. He was released from the hospital and he had made friends in there. Older than me. A few years I would say. I was 15 I think when...”

β€œYou don’t have to carry on,”

β€œI need to,” Axel whispered, β€œThey broke into my room. Finley had learnt how to pick locks and he told his friends to hurt me. They were bigger and stronger than me. My brother laughed as they forced themselves onto me. When they were done, they just laughed and left me lying in my own blood. Finley carried on laughing and I was too hurt to move. When my parents came home my mum screamed at what she saw. I told them that I was only beating. I was too ashamed to admit that I was raped by a group of men. I had passed out but they told me that Finley was playing with a dead cat he had found in the garden. My dad had never raised his hands to us but he punched him in the face,”

β€œI’m sorry to hear that,”

Axel shrugged, β€œIt happened but since then I shut off all emotions. I had my anger. I had my lust. But nothing else,”

β€œAnd the control?”

β€œI lost all sense of control when those men hurt me. I felt weak. Control is the only thing that makes me feel strong,” Axel said, β€œI need control so nothing bad happens again,”

β€œAnd do you think something bad will happen to you again?”

β€œNot just to me,” Axel said, β€œControl is important to me. I have to know that I am in control at all times. I don’t want anything bad to happen to me,”

β€œWho else?” Junho said, β€œYour family, friends, colleagues?”

β€œYes,” Axel nodded, β€œI might be a coldhearted asshole but I do care for my friends. But...”

Sky subtly wiped her tears away and when she looked up, Axel was staring at her.

β€œBut Sky,” He said, β€œI want to protect Sky.”

β€œYour reason?”

β€œShe made me feel again,” Axel said, letting out a shaky breath, β€œBefore I was hurt, I used to have fun. I smiled, I laughed and I felt. Then I shut down. Then this one came along and that was it. I became scared. She made me feel things that I hadn’t felt in years and it...shit, it fucking scared me,”

β€œDo you know why it scared you?”

β€œI had been numb for so long,” Axel said, rubbing his face, β€œI forgot how it felt. How free I could be and I needed to control those feelings or I would become weak again,”

β€œLove doesn’t make you weak, Mr Dalton,” Junho said, β€œI understand how you might think that but love makes you stronger. You have overcome many traumas in your life and you are not weak,”

β€œBut-”

β€œSky has made you who you are today,” Junho said, β€œYou may not have known each other for years but it is obvious that you both care for each other. Mr Dalton, you have opened up your heart and it scares you. Sky will help you heal but you need to stop being in denial. You need to heal yourself as well,”

β€œOur relationship is toxic,”

β€œTrue,”

β€œI do love her but right now, we aren’t compatible,”

Sky's bottom lip trembled and tried not to cry too loudly.

β€œYou aren’t compatible this moment in time,” Junho said, β€œBefore you can work on a relationship you have to work on yourself. That can be said for both of you. Trauma plays a big part in both of your lives. Different, of course, but trauma all the same. I believe you need to take control of your emotions before you take control of Sky. It may take some time but if you are willing to improve on that and learn to cope with those traumas, then your relationship will be stronger,”

β€œI...I don’t want to hurt her anymore,” Axel said, β€œShe...we...we are going to be parents,”

Junho smiled, β€œCongratulations. Are you both happy?”

β€œYes,” Sky said.

Axel smiled gently, β€œI am very happy. I can’t explain how happy I am. I’m just scared to become a parent and I’m scared to hurt her. I'm scared of everything.”

Junho nodded, β€œBecoming a parent is scary. There are so many worries that will go around your head but you aren’t alone. You are both scared and you need to work together to make it work,”

β€œWhat if-”

β€œNo what if’s,” Junho said, β€œBecoming a parent is a gift. Concentrate on healing as well. It is important to be a good role model...even if you are the boss of The Red Devils. A child will make you stronger as well,”

Axel nodded and looked over at Sky who was crying quietly, β€œI’ll do my best for Sky and our baby,”




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