Chapter 15: Selfish
Unravel Him Playlist on Spotify.
Song; (Christian Reindl- Counting Stars)
Emotionless and bare.
Somehow, that was enough.
He crawls on all fours on top of me, my hand and his never letting go as I’m set back down to a laying position.
I trust you.
It rings in my mind, echoing further.
He’s giving me a chance to see him for who he is.
He’s letting down his guard and allowing me in.
Because the truth was, I had the power to both save and unravel him.
As he gazes at me with stunned hopelessness, my hands wander across his body once more.
I was wrong when I said he hadn’t had a scratch on him.
Sporting blue and purple bruises covered all across his body in various places.
Some old, some new.
He was hiding it, probably in hopes I won’t notice.
Was this how it felt? To be so helpless and unable to help the person that was hurting?
As I traced the tender part in between his rib cage, I feel him shudder in pain.
It stops me immediately and I finally force my head up so I can view his eyes.
“Where did you go?” I can’t hide how broken I sound.
His silence speaks volumes.
Wherever he disappeared to these last few weeks, the bruises must be part of a souvenir of his plan to solve the problem.
It was bad.
He was killing himself.
Shaking my head, I reeled in my emotions before pressing my palms against his chest. “Thomas sit up,”
He doesn’t budge but I remained deter mid. “Sit up, please.”
The heir of Graymoore reluctantly rises, going back down on his heels with his palms spread out evenly over his knees.
As he does this, I take the opportunity to swing my legs over the bed and stand up.
His eyes burns holes at the back of my head as I walked over to the bathroom to soak a towel in Luke warm water.
When I came back he was still in the same kneeling position only this time I could properly see the bruises on his tan skin much better then when I was laying down.
Combined with the scars, it hurt just looking at it.
“Face me,” I whispered softly.
He obeys, scooting by the edge.
Stepping forward, I wrung the warm towel once more before gently pressing it over the first bruise by his lower collarbone.
It was long and jagged which tells me he was beaten by a pole or a bat.
He doesn’t flinch as I began to pat the areas across his bare skin where the bruises hurt the most.
The rib cage, the abdomen... it was painted all over him.
I kept my hand steady and maneuvered around so I could see his back.
Just like his front, the purple and blue bruises colored themselves in outwardly places.
I don’t ask questions nor do I talk.
When I cleaned, he kept silent and this continues until I was long done.
I know the towel won’t bring any miracle healing but that wasn’t why I did it.
I did it to remind him that he was still human. That he still bleed and bruise just like the rest of us.
He wasn’t immortal.
He was ordinary.
“Finished.” Backing away from him, I discarded the towel by the bedside table.
It takes a lot of effort for me to not look at him when every part of my body yearns nothing more then to be closer.
“Lay off on the fighting, you need to heal-”
“It doesn’t hurt?” His large hand clasp over my left hip, stopping me from going anywhere.
It was like if he stared hard enough, my shirt would melt away, revealing the scar.
I crossed my arms over my stomach, caging him from seeing it as I backed away.
His hand dropped.
“You’ve been gone for a while, Thomas. I barely even feel it anymore.”
That doesn’t satisfy him. “What did the doctors say?”
“Well, they called me an idiot for not taking care of it.”
Just as I hoped, that got me a smile. “Did they say it like that?”
“No, but his face said it all.” The only reason why I wasn’t berated by the doctors was because I was under Mason.
Nobody wanted to bite that bullet.
“Why haven’t you checked out then?”
Shrugging my shoulders, I release an odd groan. “Why do you think?”
Thomas considers this for a moment before guessing. “Rehabilitation?”
“The minute I could stand, I was already planning on walking and running.”
“Figures,” He snorts. “You never could sit still.”
He was much calmer now, more relaxed, although still sporting that irritating manner of logistics.
“Don’t pretend you don’t like that.” Rolling my eyes, I leaned back against the wall, one leg propped over the other so they wouldn’t hurt as much. “I’d be a bore,”
“Have you seen yourself Ginger?” He raises an unimpressed eyebrow as those eyes scan my figure up and down. “There is absolutely nothing about you that’s boring.”
I pursed my lips, confused. “Was that an insult?”
“You know I’d save myself a lot of trouble if you hadn’t dropped in my life,” He mutters out loud, speaking out for himself. “I could’ve chosen a girl who’s nice, doesn’t have anger issues-”
“All she’d want is the perfect house with the perfect family, but no...”
“First off, I didn’t drop in your life,” I stop him one finger up to list it. “Secondly, I am, nice, sometimes. Thirdly, I, have anger issues? Look at you! I can’t even disappear for a few hours without you going all cavemen,”
“Cavemen?” He sounds disgusted. “For the record, I had a good reason to, seeing as you aren’t allowed out of the hospital in the first place.”
It infuriated me that he would use that against me. “Well I wouldn’t have gone out if you didn’t go missing.”
“Stop twisting it around to me, I would’ve came back, eventually.”
He was lying.
For the first time since we met, Thomas Moore, was lying.
“How long is ‘eventually’ Thomas?” The sharpness of my tone causes him to flinch.
It’s so sudden, I would’ve missed it if I blinked. “A month? Two months? Is your body going to be bruised beyond anyone’s help by that time?”
The heir of Graymoore bows his head but doesn’t answer back.
Good, I hoped he understood I was calling him out.
“I don’t want this Thomas.” Shaking my head, the plea in my voice is clear. “I don’t want you going out there avenging me, I can do that myself-”
“Do you know what it was like?” His glare penetrated the deepest part of my soul. It causes me to flinch. “Waiting outside the ICU for five days not knowing if you were okay?”
Through his blue green eyes, I recognized the anger swirling inside them.
The anger that is now mixed with frustration but most of all, fear.
“Let’s recap a bit further then that Ginger, do you know what it was like? Having you fall into my arms? Having you scream in complete terror and I couldn’t do a damn thing about it?”
“I torture myself everyday,” Thomas shakes his head and lets out a half laugh. “Everything that’s happened to you was all my fault.”
“No it was not-”
“Don’t lie to me!” He gets up, springing from his downed position like a lion on the prowl.
I pressed myself back against the wall and bit my lip at the intense anger rolling off of him.
“That same scar that almost killed you? Who’s fault was it that it happened? Me, I did that.”
Shutting my eyes, I felt my shoulders sunk in exhaustion.
I knew he blamed himself.
I knew he blamed himself for being the cause of my unfortunate predicament but how could I convince him otherwise?
So instead, I hopelessly shrug. “You weren’t the one holding the knife,”
“I might as well have.”
“Alright fine, it is you’re fault!” To hell with staying calm. “It is you fault that I’m in the hospital! It is you’re fault that I almost died, is that what you wanted to hear!?”
“That’s exactly what I wanted to hear,” He agrees.
“Stop it!” Deep down, I know the connection I share with Thomas is worth more to him then he’d liked to admit. “Shitty things happen everyday, you need proof? I’m, the proof!”
His state now, proves that to me and I’m afraid of what will happen if something much worse rolls around.
“Don’t do this anymore.” My voice is a whisper. I’m struggling not to fall to my knees because I’m just that afraid. “Don’t go out there, get yourself injured and come back hurt, you can’t, do that to me!”
Thomas sucks in a shaky breath as I stand there, my breathing becoming increasingly rapid.
“Why didn’t you tell me about your father?” His voice cracks. “Why didn’t you tell me Graymoore killed him?”
My ears prickled and popped, icy fear clawed it's way into my throat.
The ticking of a nearby clock on the wall behind us is the only thing that makes any other sound.
Standing face to face, a meter apart, the imaginary wall in front of us is looming.
Is that why he stayed away?
Because he thought that’s what I wanted?
“I didn’t trust you.” Was my blatant answer.
“But you trust me now?” I hear him scoff and run his hand down his sandy blond hair where glints of black chalk could be seen.
“This whole time... You’ve been hiding it from me, keeping it to yourself, how could you even stand the sight of me?”
"I-I-" What could I say?
"You hated me," He declared, calling out the part of myself I dared not explore. "I was the one that killed your father, my name, my legacy, me, it's always been me."
No, no, no, stop.
“We all had our secrets Thomas, how was I suppose to know...” Suddenly it was useless trying to defend myself.
The truth was out.
No more secrets.
“Know what?” Thomas takes a step forward.
“I tried,” The traitorous tears were back. “I tried to stay away from you.”
“It didn’t work.”
“Of course it didn’t work. Would you have kept away if I asked?”
“No,” It was the straightest answer he’s ever given me.
“It’s suppose to be wrong.” The anguish is there. The feeling of being unable to choose between what was right and what was wrong. "Isn't it wrong? Am I selfish?"
Somewhere deep inside me, it's breaking all over again because I don't know, I don't know what I want.
It was the first time I actually acknowledge what’s been bothering me.
That my father’s death has always been the looming shadow of why I couldn’t be with Thomas.
But I didn’t want that anymore.
I just wanted to be happy.
Through all the fucked up shit, all the messy events of my life, I have given everything and anything away to everyone... but, just this was one part,
Just, this one part.
I wanted it for myself.
“Am I selfish?” I repeated, echoing my earlier question. "Tell me so I know,"
“No,” He says softly. “But I guess that makes me selfish too.”
Thomas crosses the space between us and grasp my chin before the both of us are suddenly kissing.