Chapter 4: Always
Unravel Him Playlist on Spotify.
Song; (Mark Diamond- All we've done)
Rubbing my eyes, I gingerly placed my bag and keys on the counter, the front door closing shut behind me as I wandered around the kitchen for something to drink.
I needed water.
Blearily, I reached for a water jug and didn’t take a cup before downing it in one go.
Droplets of water sprinkled everywhere and I ignored the barbaric behavior before taking out a bunch of ice cubes from the fridge.
Once I had balanced it daintily over a napkin, I put it at the back of my neck and sigh in content when the throbbing decreased.
Everything felt hot.
The sting from my blistered ankles lets me know they needed tending as well so I bent down and marred the wounded area with the napkin.
The burns gradually went away but the heat made me wince.
Unzipping my jacket, I dropped it on the floor and unbuttoned my jeans leaving me in my top and underwear.
Where was the air conditioning?
Before I leave however, I spot a glass bottle on top of the shelf and pulled it down to reveal a bottle of scotch.
The hesitance was brief. I’m going to be needing the whole bottle if I was going to get through this.
I uncorked the top and drank it down, blindly pressing a control over the wall.
The air-con beeped before being blasted to it’s max, cool air instantly filtrating the apartment.
I march over to the vents and sit beneath it. “Jesus, that feels good.” Beads of sweat trailed down my arms.
Tipping my head back, I drank the bitter liquid and let out a groan.
A nap sounds great right about now.
Who cares if I should take a shower, sleep was more important.
Sprawling on my back, I curled into a fetal position, one hand still over my right ankle as the ice did it’s job.
I took another sip from the bottle, the feeling of relief slowly crawled up my fingers, turning my hands numb and my body solid.
I switched ankles after several minutes and eventually, the only thing I could focus on was my own heartbeat drumming in my ears.
Like a lullaby.
I wondered if my Dad would have been proud of how his daughter turned out.
Remembering him makes me feel nostalgic almost.
Sure he hadn’t been the best father but that didn’t change the fact that he was still, my Dad.
My own flesh and blood.
Veronica was also my own flesh and blood too, yet I left her behind without an inkling of regret.
I guess I’ve resigned to myself in letting her do what she wants and in a way... I did abandon her.
The thought exhausts me. Too much was going on.
The matter with Malorie, the confrontation between Karen.
Thomas. It’s always about, Thomas.
My vision flickers, the sudden action makes the room spin in my eyes.
I blinked hard, squinting almost.
This happens several more times.
Fading to black and white.
But then something startles me.
A loud, thumping, no-shits-given-knocking.
Dazed, I rubbed my eyes with the heels of my palms before stopping when I realized they were wet.
Glancing down, the napkin I’ve placed on my ankle had reduced to nothing but a soaked cloth.
The ice cubes had melted.
The scotch was half empty.
How long had I been lying on the floor?
Agitated knocking and further doorbell ringing from my front door brings me back to reality and I hurriedly reach for the couch, pulling myself upright.
“Who, on earth...”
Half huffing, half limping I reach for the door knob before twisting it open.
As soon as I did that, I regretted it immediately. “What, are you doing here?”
Thomas tilts his head in response, eyes narrowed. “Were you ever going to answer your phone?”
As a point he holds up his mobile device, my name flashing vehemently across the screen.
Jerking my head back to my apartment, I frowned openly. “I’ll have to find out where I put it.”
“How can you not know where you put it?” He mulls out sarcastically, putting his phone back in his pocket.
Ignoring his judgement, I pushed my body against the door so it blocked him from going no further. “Usually, when you visit people’s places, you give them a heads up.”
“You haven’t been answering your phone,” He repeated, rolling his eyes in response. “Like you’ve done so for the last few days.”
He tried calling me?
“Were you planning on ignoring me because it’s only going to be a matter of time before you realize that won’t work.”
Something about this conversation was making my slow brain do back flips.
“Hang on.” Halting my thought process, I put a hand out to stop him from speaking any further. “What happened with Karen... that was half an hour ago right?”
“Two hours ago,” He corrects, flicking a stray piece of blond hair up his head.
That long? I’ve been asleep unknowingly for that long?
But why was he here?
“That still doesn’t explain what you’re doing here.”
“Do I need a reason to show up after what happened?” Thomas blue green eyes swirled into a mixture of sarcasm and exasperation.
No, he didn’t.
I let go of the door from where my fingers clenched tight over it. “I get it, stop fussing.”
“What am I, 60...” He cut himself off.
“What’s wrong-” Suddenly, I’m aware of the predicament between us.
In letting go of the door, I revealed myself in only my top and underwear.
I refuse to look down and confirm it so I bit my lip and said nothing.
“Were you going to take a shower?” There’s a note of confusion in his voice.
“It was hot.”
“Just-” Frustrated, I opened the door wider. “Get in. I know you won’t stop pestering until I let you.”
He gives me a raised eyebrow before complying with what I have to say.
Not that he needed more pushing.
He wanted to get in my Apartment, he succeeded.
I watch him go whilst holding my breath before tugging my top lower over my butt and closing the door behind him.
Thomas takes a minute to scan the room without missing a beat. “Wasn’t there a table here?”
I broke it.
Tucking my hair up my ear, I walked forward with crossed arms and picked up the jug of water I left on the counter during my journey of mindless wandering.
He watches as I do this, keeping his gaze eye level as to not look at my legs. “Where are your jeans?”
“I left them in the Kitchen.”
“Look, if you’re going to keep judging me for what I wear in my apartment, then get the hell out.” Annoyed, I tipped the jug back and drank.
“Classy,” He snorts, making his way over to the couch. “Where’s your friend? No one came to answer so I assumed she’s out.”
“She’s with Jax, they haven’t-” Coughing blindly, I thumped my chest and mentally scolded myself for almost telling him what happened.
“Grocery shopping.” I explained slowly. “Hailey likes to take Jax on walks. The dog loves it.”
He saw right through my lie.
“The grocery shop must be miles away then,” He shoots me a knowing smile, one I know to be sarcastic.
“They walk slow alright?” I argued, determined not to lose.
“You know what’s slow? You, thinking I don’t know when you’re lying.”
Throwing my hands up, I could hardly care if my top ride up my stomach and that Thomas could see my very neon pink underwear.
“So sorry to disappoint you’re highness. Shall I offer you a back massage for your inconvenience?”
“I’m good, although, I would like it if you give me information rather then a back massage.”
I know where he was going with this. I won’t let him win.
“Well then good sir, you can kindly take that ass out the door. You’re not getting anything from me today.”
Thomas slips off his leather jacket and placed it over the couch before crossing one leg over the other knee in a half raised position.
He managed to do it in a way that both infuriated me and turned me on.
“This ass, is staying right here thank you very much.”
I take back everything I ever said about missing him.
I don’t miss him.
I don’t miss him at all.
“Suit yourself. You can watch my ass as I walk away from you.” Spinning on my heel, I limped my way towards the kitchen so I didn’t have to look at him anymore.
“Or, better yet,” He calls out after me, leaning forward so his elbows rested on his knees. “I can always go after that ass and take a bite out of it.”
Narrowing my eyes at his sardonic behavior, I furrowed my brows. “That’s cannibalism.”
His eyes flared dimly under the lighting and I detected a hint of a challenge. “Want to find out?”
“Nope,” Whistling, I abandon my plan on going to the kitchen and stood there, balancing on one leg as the other was starting to hurt.
“Sit down,” He orders.
“It’s comfortable here.”
“For once, in you’re stubborn life Ginger, can’t you listen to me?”
“But if I did that, I wouldn’t be me anymore.”
I don’t know why I was arguing with him. I don’t even know where all this sarcasm and wit came from.
Maybe it was from all the harbored feelings but I’m on a roll today and I don’t want to stop.
I would be lying to myself if I said I didn’t miss fighting with him. Was that twisted?
“You’re testing my patience.” He grits out, struggling to maintain his resolve.
Faking a mock gasp, I cried out dramatically. “Oh Thomas, I’m so so, sorry for disappointing you! I never meant to piss you off! I never meant that at all!”
His features contorted into exasperation. “Don’t do that.”
“Oh you mean apologizing? Forgive me Thomas! Please forgive your unbelievable mess of a girl you never seem to be able to control-”
“Ginger, I’m two seconds away from putting duct tape over your mouth.”
Grinning, I raised an innocent brow. “Oh, I’m sure you’d want these lips doing something else then that.”
Thomas back tracks, he raises his hands and runs them through his hair in desolation. “You’re making this very difficult.”
Triumph, I hid a smirk. “Got bored of me yet? Maybe even a bit excited? Front door’s out that way.”
“Hate to break it to you Ginger, but I can control myself when it comes to these sexual innuendos much better then you can.”
“Alright, you win, temporarily.” Dropping away my fake act, I crossed my arms over my chest and let out a defeated sigh.
“Let’s start at the beginning shall we? Do you regret beating those people in school?”
He had expected me to answer his question. Too bad for him.
Gone was the earlier exasperation and the light air that surrounded us.
It was replaced with something entirely new.
Something entirely dark.
There’s a long calculative beat before he responds. “Do you want me to lie?”
“No,” I’m quick to answer.
He nods, slowly, not once giving way to what he truly felt. “I don’t regret it. If given the chance again I’d do more then what I did.”
“You mean you’d take away her voice?”
Thomas’s features darkens into a storm. “You wouldn’t have been able to stop me.”
“Then why listen to me?” I had my assumptions that Thomas didn’t stop for me. He stopped for an entirely different reason.
The reason, it would seem, is the very same question, he has for me.
“What did Graymoore do?”
A question I am not willing to answer just yet.
“You helped her.” He finally says after minutes of silence and prolonged stalling. “After everything she’s done to you, why did you help her?”
Why did I help her?
It’s not because of my morals.
Neither was it because I cared for her well being.
Maybe one part of me hated that she was weak. That she was at the mercy of someone else.
Karen deserves it.
She deserves everything that’s happened to her thus far but why, why, did I stop Thomas?
That doesn’t quite make sense so I pause and inhaled sharply. “I don’t know.”
The confusion in my face must have gave way to my true feelings because Thomas picks up on it almost immediately.
“You don’t know and yet, somehow, you still thought to save them.”
I don’t respond.
Even after Karen had three guys assaulted me, I stopped Thomas from breaking their hands when they clearly had it coming.
What was wrong with me?
“Have you gone completely, insane?” He frets out cynically.
The argument was getting tired.
How was I suppose to explain it without being looked at like I was crazy?
“Let’s drop it okay? It’s giving me a headache.”
“You should’ve just trusted me.”
Those words added fuel to the fire and my frustration reach it’s end.
Raising an eyebrow, I mocked a deadpanned tone. “Well I’m sorry, for having trust issues with a guy that lied to me.”
He doesn’t take kindly to the insult. He has the balls to look offended.
“I didn’t lie.” Thomas grinds his jaw. “I have never lied to you and I never will.”
“Were you ever going to tell me about the deal? Did you even thought, about telling me?”
“You think I did it on purpose? You think I kept it from you because I was selfish?” He demanded outright, getting to his feet as his voice raised an octave.
“How could I have told you about it when we first met? How could I have done that when we both know you’d ignore it because you didn’t trust me, you never did.”
The funny thing was, his words had truth. If he were to tell me about it in the beginning I wouldn’t have believed him.
I would’ve ignored it and maybe even forgotten about it.
“You can say whatever the hell you want Ginger, but I’m not going to stand by and watch you berate me for things that I can’t control-”
“Fine!” My voice overpowered his. “You made your point, now get the hell out.”
“Do I have to repeat myself?” The tips of my fingers were growing numb. Doses of cold waves sends my body into static shiver mode.
The alcohol in my system had numbed the pain for a bit earlier on but I could feel it now.
And it burns.
“If you don’t get out, I’ll go instead.” My fingers clenched tight over one another as they try to regain their usual fervor. “My home was never here anyway.”
His expression turns weary, defeated and disbelieving. “You really think I did it on purpose.”
“You have your own damn mind Thomas, how the hell am I suppose to know?”
“Just because of my company logo?” He walks forward. “Just because I’m the next heir, you think, I did it on purpose?!”
“You don’t get it!” Enraged, I stabbed a finger to his chest since he wasn’t planning on stopping. “It’s not about the fucking logo, Moore. It’s about you!”
“Then tell me.” He reaches for my jabbing finger and holds it still. “Tell me what I don’t understand.”
He doesn’t understand.
I didn’t give him a reason too.
Suddenly, I feel something inside me crack. It starts small at first but it gradually grew bigger and bigger.
The indentations began to show until eventually my being began to shake. I’m seconds away from sobbing.
“I already, gave you an answer Thomas,” He lets go of my finger and I backed up. “You should be able to find what you want there.”
He shakes his head at my ominous words obviously unable to understand what it actually means. “Don’t push me away-”
“I’m not pushing you away.” Taking a deep breath, I can feel the ringing in my left ear. “Believe me that is the last thing I want to do.”
“Then why won’t you just tell me?”
“Because if I do then you’d know! You’d know how I feel!”
For the how many times that day, I faltered in my steps and was quickly steadied when Thomas shot out a hand to grab my wrist.
“Let me go-”
“I’m not going to hurt you.” He tells me, fingers curving along my hand where he could feel my erratic heartbeat.
“Yes you will.” I hissed. “You’ve done it before, you’ll do it again.”
“I won’t leave you like he did.”
I stopped moving.
There was no sarcasm.
No mockery or insult.
Slowly, I raise my gaze to meet his. I don’t know what expression reflected back at him but it was the expression he was looking for.
“You’re scared of trusting me because of it. Because your father jumped and left you behind.”
No, no, it was much too soon for me to delve into this.
I’m not ready.
Anxiety begins to strike me. “I-I can’t do this right now-”
“Look at me,” It’s an order, one I should listen to, so I did.
The minute I make eye contact with him I wished I never did.
It was like he could see right through me. He could see my vulnerability. My lost self.
He could see everything.
Thomas reaches for my right hand, head down, fingers gently grazing across the pads. “I’m with you.”
My breathing hitched.
He tugs me forward, that one hand that held my hand intertwined around my waist.
“I’ll always, be with you-”
The ringing of my doorbell startles us both.