Chapter 48: Sweet
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Song; (J2- Every breath you take[Acoustic version])[email protected]@~~~~
Neon lights of different colors filtrating through the long winding corridor.
I’ve seen this before.
I’m in the basement of Esora’s Arts.
The place where it all began.
Why was I here?
I forced my feet to move through the winding curls of fog that makes the corridor unbearably hazy.
All sorts of doors greet me as I journeyed further.
I can hear the sick perverse things going on behind the doors.
Moaning, grunting, cries, a mixture of pain and pleasure.
It’s confusing that I don’t stop walking even as the doors go on forever.
I don’t know where I’m supposed to go.
But then I see it, a door.
A neutral colored one with the same poster.
The same water color painting that greeted me when Sintia brought me to the basement.
Only this time, instead of it being unfamiliar to me, I see the streaks of ice blue and white snow, I see the ballet-like shoes situate themselves in a way my body knew how to move.
It was Ice Skating shoes.
Then the door opens, a dim light billowed out from inside, a figure beneath it.
It was me.
No, she looked... like me... yet...
I knew she wasn’t.
She raises a hand in my direction, beckoning me forward.
“Won’t you join me?”
I start screaming.
Its hard to breathe when I trash awake.
My mind is running, my lungs are gasping, I’m stuck in a moment of time where I am unable to speak nor move.
Why did I dream of that place?
Why did I dream of that painting?
The one with the ice blue streaks and the ballet-like shoes?
An image of that dark room, with the girl that looked like me, with her red hair brown eyes and lithe smile, flashed across my vision.
“Won’t you join me?”
When my vision doesn’t return, I’ve resided in the fact that I’ve gone blind and proceeded to lose it.
Then, arms are abruptly around me, pulling me into them, my back to their chest to keep me still and cease my insistent shaking.
“It’s alright, you’re safe,” Thomas whispers, his voice a note lower in hopes to calm me down.
“You’re okay, Ginger.”
No, I’m not.
I still can’t see.
Its darkness behind my eyelids, darkness and flashes of images, events, tragedies that happened in so little time.
A sound escapes my lips as my nails dig into his arms.
He stiffens behind me and for a moment, I wonder what will he do.
“Look at me,” He grasps my chin, tipping it to the side. “Nothing’s going to happen to you-”
“You’re lying.” I hiss, my voice unusually high and demented.
“It wasn’t safe back at home, it wasn’t safe anywhere-”
“You’re safe with me.”
He kisses both my eyelids with gentle precision, startling the darkness into clearing until I’m staring up at him and his dark and harrowing features, the point where his eyebrows meet tilted into a frown.
“You’re always, safe with me.”
I release a breath I’ve been holding and dropped my head, letting the strands of my red hair curtain my face.
The terror and anxiety slowly ebbed away, releasing me from its clutches and leaving me aware of my surroundings.
My heart is pounding so hard against my chest that it physically hurts.
I don’t want him to see me like this... weak, vulnerable.
This isn’t who I am, yet I can’t bring it in me to put on a strong mask and pretend everything is okay.
Too much has happened and I’m too exhausted to hide.
I could pretend earlier on when Mason and Marlen were here, but in the privacy of the bed, no one in sight, where I’m most exposed, I simply can’t.
No one knew that, but him.
Thomas’s fingers caress the skin at the back of my neck, a comforting distraction to my running mind.
“Did you have a nightmare?”
I don’t want to tell him.
So I resort to silence, hoping the question would fade into the background.
He releases a sigh at that, going to rest his head at the crook of my neck, one hand sliding up the small of my back.
“Was it bad?”
I pause, hesitant to answer, then nod.
“If I ask, would you tell me?”
When my silence remains in place, he does not push further, he allows me to take my time and gather my surroundings despite how frustrated he feels.
“You’re a piece of work, you know that, right?”
“Door’s that way,” The warmth emitting from his body makes me feel small, I cannot resist leaning backwards, snuggling into the line that is his collarbone.
He smells good. “You can always leave.”
“And leave you to hop back on the addict train?”
“I didn’t willingly ingest the drugs.” I glared at him, frustrated, before looking down to my lap, my fingers absentmindedly tracing the veins across his forearms.
I’ve forgotten how much of his body is familiar to me.
The small scars, the firm skin, the warm heat.
I retrace where my hands once roamed, where my nails once raked.
He is silent as I continue my journey, touching delicate muscles and skin.
When I skim across a healing wound where his knuckles meet, I hear him hitch in a breath.
A thrill shot up my spine.
“Careful,” He whispers.
Thomas slips his hand away and grips my wrist, turning my palm so he could run circles across the bruises that lined it.
He raises our hands and runs his lips across my inner thumb. Blue fire flashed in his iris.
“I don’t want you hurting anymore then you already are.”
I’m imagining what it would feel like to have him inside me, his tongue in my mouth, his hands slipping between my legs.
This isn’t like Jonas and his touches where his hands would be cold instead of warm, where his kisses would be obsession rather then passion.
This is something else and I miss it, I want it, I crave it.
Shaking my head, I struggle to regain my bearings and cleared my throat, well aware of the growing heat in his gaze.
“It won’t happen again,” I speak out loud, referring to my earlier defense.
“I’ll be more careful next time-”
“Next time-” He breathes out a huff of hot air, fanning my hairline. “There won’t be a next time, the bastard will be dead, I’ll make sure of it.”
“Who the fuck else would I be referring too?”
The abrupt tone of anger from him triggered pieces of my earlier nightmare.
A figure in the dark room.
Red hair, brown eyes.
Me but not me.
It must’ve vibrated throughout my body because Thomas shifted his position and allowed more space allowing me slip myself deeper into his embrace.
We remained like this for quite some time, allowing the silence to grow and the early night to wane.
It was comfortable.
For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel anxiety over problems, I didn’t feel worried or scared.
I was content.
In this small motel room, in this little corner bed, my body pressed up against the man that against all odds, wanted to help me.
“Can we stay here?” My voice is a mutter, almost wistful.
“I want too.” He exhales and lifts his head to look in the direction of the closed curtains.
“But the old man is right we’re going to need to get out of town, soon.”
I let his words process in my overly slow brain and sighed.
We were in unfamiliar territory, people will be looking for us, there’s no guarantee what will happen if shit hits the fan.
Hell, shit already hit the fan when he challenged me in the Ring, making it known that the King was in town.
There was a lot of power hungry bastards out there that would do anything to gain an advantage in the playing field.
If they found out King was the heir to a billion-dollar company, lets just say things will get very, ugly.
He smooths out my frown with the tips of his fingers, drawing my gaze to that perfect mouth.
“I’ll be leaving tomorrow, can I trust that you’ll stay with Mason?”
I bristle, abruptly reminded that he’ll have to leave with Marlen tomorrow morning.
Mason and I will follow up in the evening and we’ll all eventually meet up in New York but I didn’t want to tell him that parting ways with him now felt almost unbearable.
I didn’t want him to leave me.
But instead of saying that, I simply nodded. “I won’t run,”
He pursed his lips, sarcastic. “I find that very hard to believe.”
“Of course you’d think that.” Rolling my eyes, I hum when the fingers touching the back of my neck, skim down the front of my collarbone.
“If I do run... what will you do?”
“Catch you, of course.” Thomas pushes all the fallen strands of my hair to one side, shrugging indifferently.
He leans down, placing a chaste kiss on my neck, releasing with a soft chu, just above my pulse, his breath mere inches away.
I swallowed, breathing slow.
His gaze sears the side of my head, questioning, but I remained vigilant, not daring to look at him, in fear of starting something I can’t stop.
“I-I’m surprised none of the others barged in when they were here,” I struggle to speak, ignoring that I’ve stuttered.
“I told them to fuck off.” He snorted, not resembling even the slightest of remorse.
“They must have been worried,” I feel his chest move against my back, the T-shirt he wore preventing me from feeling the skin beneath.
“You shouldn’t have locked them out.”
“You’re right.” He agreed, nonchalantly. “And I don’t care.”
I smile. “How sweet,”
“Not sweet,” He slides his hand further down my hand, lacing our fingers together. “Just... protective.”
His body, his presence, his love, it’s overpowering.
I’m consumed by it, drawn to it, sunk into it.
I feel like I can conquer the world.
His hands are doing a slow dance against my fore arm, tracing, circling, journeying up and down.
I don’t want this to end.
I want this moment to last forever.
But our earlier conversation with Mason and Marlen makes me hesitate.
I fear what will happen if I don’t get a head start on it.
Would it catch up to me and tear me down?
Would I be able to defeat it?
Would it break this, whatever Thomas and I shared?
Will I lose?
“If you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking, I’m going to kill you.” He warns, tucking a stray piece of hair he missed, up my ear.
The action is both scary and sweet.
I am torn between liking it and hating it.
“I’m not thinking of anything-”
“Don’t.” Thomas is not impressed, in fact, he looks like he can’t decide between throttling me or pinning me or both.
"Don’t even start with me, Ginger-”
“I want to go after them,” I cut him off, not bothering to hide the impatience in my tone, despite how deliciously his jaw clenched.
“I want to bring down Aitenev.”
The collar of his shirt slipped down slightly lower, revealing just a hint of his chest.
I run my tongue across my lips, moistening it.
He raises an eyebrow, now exasperated. “And so, you will ignore the fact that you need to heal and risk getting even more fucked up out there?”
“You said, we’ll do it together-”
“You need to heal.” He grips the edges of the duvet with force and my mind flashes, fantasizing an image of him holding me against the wall.
Kissing me, fucking me-
“We know what to do next but until then, you’re not going anywhere.”
Shaking my head, I willed my heart to calm down and ignored how loudly my ears drummed.
“You don’t understand that-”
“I understand that, once you’re done, and you’re broken, and the pieces that’s left of you is nothing but shards-" He cuts himself off and struggles to collect himself, breathing out very slowly.
He worries for me.
He doesn’t want me at risk of unhinging all over again.
And I understand that he wants me to stop for a moment, pause, take in my surroundings, plan, do things properly and carefully, but I... can’t.
I just can’t.
All my life, I’ve always pushed myself to go forward until the job was done, until everything was done, I don’t take a moment to pause because I don’t know what will happen if I do.
I admit, its gotten me in some tough positions where I neglect my mental and physical health.
This constant; go mode, I have on was only a temporary solution, sooner or later it’d be too much.
I’ve hurt people because of it and I’m ashamed by that.
I just don’t know how to stop.
Eventually, Thomas regains his composure and maybe its because he’s done it so effortlessly or maybe its because I’m so hot and bothered but the only thing I want to do right now, is kiss him.
“Don’t, go into this so soon, we... have time.” He says. “Go home, rest, recuperate-”
“I can’t.” Was my honest response. “There’s so many things I need to do, so many things I need to-”
Turning away from his hold, I moved so I was no longer in his embrace, but instead positioned opposite him.
For some reason the call to touch him is only increased ten fold when I find myself unable to do so, due to the fact that I’m no longer... close enough.
I had hoped to curb the urge.
I’ve only made it worse.
Letting my lips part, I exhaled and hoped my voice didn’t sound husky.
“After everything I’ve done, there’s no way I can go back to my old life. I can’t go to college, pretend I didn’t kill Travis, or teared down the Danivel group.”
“Nobody said anything about pretending.” A sliver of moonlight from the slit in between the curtains caught a hint of his sandy blond hair.
I reach forward, tangling my fingers in the strands, feeling the soft tips caress my fingertips.
“I’ve never pretended to you..”
“You’ve pretended to yourself.” His words are a shot in the dark.
Unfortunately, it was a shot that hit home.
“That’s why it was so easy for you to slip back into the Ring, so easy for you to make the choices and decisions that would make a regular person hesitate.”
How long had he known?
Since the party, when he told the boys to break my assaulters hands? Or when we were in the Ice Rink and he wanted to make sure Karen couldn’t sing?
“You’re not afraid?” Gazing up at him, I realize Thomas’s expression has been replaced with one that resembles dark mirth.
“Should I be?” He lowers his jaw, the shadow from his figure, casting my own side with darkness. “What will you do if I am?”
I frowned, dropping my hand, letting it fall to my lap. “Are you?”
“Then what is it?”
It doesn’t reach the corner of his eyes.
It’s blank enough, daring enough, dark enough that I swallow hard, the back of my spine tingling with nervousness at the sudden change in the air.
“Where do I begin?”
Slow and gentle, climbing up the side of my thigh, skimming flesh and loose clothing.
His gaze remains unwavering as his hand trace the inside of my thigh, brushing the edges of my shorts and slipping behind.
He squeezes the plump of my flesh and I turn, slapping his touch away only he anticipates this and grabs my wrist, twining me around with one move.
I only have a moment to register the ceiling, before he’s sliding on top of me, all dark and imposing, body deliciously coiled and pressed, a predator awakening from its slumber.
"I see the way you look at me," His lips grazes the shell of my right ear, one hand pulling my wrists higher above my head.
"Don't deny it."
Heat pooled dangerously low at the pit of my stomach.
I exhaled, wildly enticed for all the right reasons.
“Do you want me, Ginger? Do you want me to trace my tongue, all along your body, kiss every square inch of your skin... move... slowly... until you scream.”
Squeezing my eyes shut, I tried to look away, hoping the flame in my cheeks would disappear just as fast as they’ve appeared.
Thomas stares down at my form and with his free hand, runs it down the center of my chest, straight below.
“But those are just words,”
I froze, eyes widening, hands clenched tight.
He looks up, eyes blazing, lips parted.
“Would you rather... I show you?”