After some time I managed to find the loft by myself. It only took about four wrong turns, and circling back around a few buildings twice. But I did it.
After parking the car in an empty spot I rushed to the elevator in the garage, not wanting to waste any more time than I already had. I needed to see him, no matter what condition he was in. I had no idea what I was in for but I couldn’t go without him any longer.
It was a short trip up to the top floor. The elevator opened to a deserted hallway. Something was off. There were no guards at the door. No security. That was unlike Adrian. I couldn’t leave my room at the house without running into at least three guards. So why was there no guards here?
I stepped out of the elevator cautiously. Next to my footsteps small drops of maroon settled into the grey carpet. They seemed to be evenly spaced as I stepped next to them inching my way to the front door. My mind raced at what the spots could have been. But I could only come up with one conclusion- blood.
Nothing else seemed to be out of sorts. The building was quiet. Rightfully so seeing it was the late in the evening, or morning- however one choose to look at it. The front door seemed just as I left it.
I reached for the golden handle of the white door hoping to find it locked. As I pushed down the doors latch popped open leaving the front door to swing open freely. Did I leave the door unlocked last night? I was sure I didn’t. So no guards and the front door was unlocked. Either I didn’t locked the door last night or Adrian had a fucking death wish. He was a goddamn mafia boss, he should know better.
Hesitantly I pushed the door open completely and stepped over the threshold. Nothing seemed to be out of place inside. The loft was peaceful, serene. Just as I had left it. Except for an empty bottle of whiskey sitting on the island of the kitchen.
I placed the keys down on the counter and kicked my shoes off leaving them near the door. I hopped down the two stairs leading towards the living room and subsequently the hallway to the rooms. Once again everything seemed to be just how I left it. But something was nagging at me saying something didn’t seem right.
“Adrian?” My meek little voice called out for him. There was no response.
I began to walk lightly down the hallway, my head cocked to the side perking my ears up to listen for any sound of life coming from the bedrooms. The only thing that could be heard was the pattering of my feet hitting the hardwood floor. Similar small drops of maroon were splattered over the hardwood floor leading to Adrian’s room. But the door was closed. And that I was sure I left open when I left.
I stood in front of his door. Waiting to hear something, anything. “Adrian?” I called out once more expecting to hear his respond. But instead my ears were greeted with the sound of crashing glass being thrown against a wall. Followed by the sound of destruction. Shit.
I grabbed the handle of his door and swung the door open at full force. I stood my ground in the hallway attempting to keep my distance from the mess that was behind the door and the man that caused it. Adam’s words rung in my mind he’s a mess Addi just leave him be.
There he was decanter in hand with barely any liquid left. Glass shattered on the ground around his feet. The bedside tables broken into splinters. Books thrown to the ground, along with a bookshelf. Clothes thrown around the room. The glass table that once sat in by the corner of his room by the couch shattered into pieces. Blood drenched the pieces of the glass where his fist made contact with it. He stood in the middle of the disaster lifting the decanter filled with brown liquid up to his mouth.
“Look who finally fucking showed back up to the place I told her to fucking stay in in the first place.”
His back was faced towards me but I could see the reflection of his face in the large windows. His hair was disheveled like he had just run his hands through his hair. His eyes were baggy from lack of sleep mixed with alcohol. His shirt was half unbuttoned with streaks of blood from the war he fought hours ago. Even though I stood feet away from him I could smell the booze seeping from his pores. He was clearly intoxicated. Past that actually. Obliterated. He swayed from side to side trying to keep his balance. The only thing he could focus on was the brown liquid in his hand and my face in the reflection.
He took another swig. Any other time I’m sure he would have flinched as the liquid hit the back of his throat burning away at the skin. But now he was too far gone that the liquid had no taste. It just slid down his throat making him want to drink more.
“Nooooo, no, no. Don’t give me that fucking look. Don’t fucking come here covered in my brother’s blood thinking you can scold me.” I had no idea what he was talking about. I was trying to remain calm, gentle. I knew he was going to look rough, but this was a little more extreme than I thought it was going to be.
“Adrian, sit down please. Before you fall over.” I carefully treaded near him grabbing a hold of his shoulders to try to inch him closer to the bed. I knew he wasn’t going to hurt me, no matter how drunk and livid he was. He didn’t budge under my grib. Instead he turned around to face me.
“Don’t you dare try and tell me what to do.” his words came out slurred barely making any sense. “If you don’t listen to my orders why the hell should I listen to your.”
He was trying to intimidate me. But I just stood there. Standing my ground.
“Adrian. Sit down.”
“Yeah… No” His face showed of blatant sarcasm. He didn’t care who it was standing in front of him right now, all he saw was black.
He took one last look at me as he towered over my small frame before slamming the rest of the whiskey. In one swift motion he turned around chucking the glass decanter against the window causing that too to shatter into small pieces. Like a child throwing a tantrum anything he could get his hands on to throw, he did. I stood in place. My arms folded across my chest waiting for him to burn off all of his anger. Until it became evident that no amount of destruction was going to calm him down.
“WHAT? You think just because you were in the right place at the right time gives you a free pass to defy my goddamn orders. Think again.” He continued to rip and throw anything in his path and when he ran out of things to destruct he opened his closet, or rediscovered his bathroom. “I don’t care if I loved you before this night. You’re the fucking reason my brother got shot. I want you out of my fucking life.”
At one single phrase of his words my blood began to boil. I saw a mix of red and black. My face turned crimson. My fists clenched together. I wanted to punch the living daylights of out his smart mouth. I knew he didn’t mean it but his words still hurt nonetheless.
“ADRIAN ANTONIA DELUCA. SIT THE FUCK DOWN. stop acting like a goddamn child.” I had had enough. While it was a relief to see him alive, I didn’t sign up for this shit tonight. I didn’t sign up for him to act like this towards me. I could care less if he was drunk of not. I just pulled my hands out of his dying brother, the least Adrian could do was stop acting like a dumbass and saying things he most likely didn’t mean- or at least I hoped.
When the words slipped from my tongue, Adrian stopped mid destruction. His face contorted to evil. His teeth snarled. His eyes grew black as his stepped closer to me until he was inches away from my face. His shoulders hunched over as his neck bent down to reach my short stature.
“Don’t you dare tell me what the hell to do Bella.” He was trying to scare me. Trying to make me run from him. “Get out of my fucking sight.”
“No. Do you honestly think you can fucking scare me away Adrian? I could care less if you’re drunk or sober. I could fucking care less about the words you spit out in this state. I know you damn it. And I know no matter what happens, how much alcohol you’ve had, or the hurtful words you say, you will never lay a hand on me. Now, sit. the fuck. down. You’re bleeding.” My voice was laced with pure annoyance and rage. If he honestly thought that scaring me away was going to work, then his head was up his ass further than I thought. And if saying what he did to hurt me was going to make me run in the opposite direction than he had another thing coming. I was nowhere close to backing down from him. I was in this, whether he liked it or not. I was in love with him, for better or worse.
I had noticed the bleeding awhile ago, but I didn’t want to poke the bear for as long as possible. Checking his wounds wouldn’t have been possible until he calmed down anyway. Unknowingly to me, I didn’t realize I would have to scold him to get him to calm down. Blood trickled from his upper arm where his shirt was ripped in a neat line. Bright red blood covered his arm from the wound adhering his shirt to his deltoid. Dried blood covered his hand directly underneath the wound. Well now I know what the maroon spots in the hall were from. His knuckles on the opposite hand creating new puddles of blood under where he stood.
Like the child he was acting like he, stomped over to the foot of his bed to sit down on top of the covers that were still a mess from my panic attack when I woke to find him gone. He was sulking.
I walked gently to the bathroom, wetting a washcloth and grabbing a few towels. When I turned I took a minute to look at him. He wasn’t angry, well maybe a little, but he was upset. His head hung into his chest, his shoulders slumped forward. His elbows rested on his thighs as his hands hung over his knees. I quickly walked back over to him falling down onto my knees grabbing his bleeding hand placing it in mine.
His hand was warm. It created that spark that I had been longing to feel since I woke up to an empty bed. I had been craving to feel his touch for hours now. Even when my mind was busy dealing with everything else that happened today. All I wanted was him.
Silence fell between us as I washed the self-inflicted cuts on his knuckles dabbing gently as to not cause anymore pain, which I didn’t even know if he could feel thanks to the alcohol. I wrapped a towel around his hand until I could get him back home to bandage it properly.
I placed my hands onto my thighs and looked up at his face. He looked defeated. Worn out. Exhausted.
“He’s alive you know, your brother.” I whispered it to him. I knew he was wondering.
“Hmm? What?” His head perked up only for a second before falling back down towards his chest. It’s like he didn’t quite understand what I had said. His mind wanted to reacted to the positive words but his body was too numb to feel anything. His eyes closed shutting him away from the world for only a second.
“Alex. He’s alive Adrian. He’s going to be okay.” There was no response from him.
I stood up abruptly shifting to the side of his body so I could take my focus to his arm. My fingers pried the fabric away that laid around the wound to get a better view. It was definitely a bullet graze. What the hell happened tonight? I grabbed the washcloth and began working away all the dried blood that had cemented to his skin. It was deep, more than a graze. The bullet had taken it’s fair share of flesh with it. It was unbelievable that he never flinched whenever I touched it. Thank god for the alcohol I suppose.
“This one is going to need stitches.” I pointed to his arm dropping the washcloth on the ground. “ What do you say? Let’s get you home so I can fix you up okay?” My voice was gentle. Letting him know I wasn’t mad at him for the things he said, for how he acted. Well I mean I was still upset but nothing was going to get accomplished if I kept acting like I was pissed.
Without a word Adrian head lifted and turned towards my body. His shoulders pulled back, and his spine lengthened back out. Before I knew what happened his hands grabbed onto the back of my thighs pulling me to stand in front of him inches away from his body. I could feel his fingers inch towards my inner thighs making me tingle. He knew every move to make to make me forget everything that just happened.
His head tilted up towards me. His eyes trapping me, locking me onto his face. So many emotions flowed through his eyes as small tears dripped down the side of his nose. Sorrow, regret, love, rage. All mixed into one.
“Bella, why aren’t you scared of me. Of this.” He said directing his eyes to the mess around the room. His arms pulled my legs in closer to his body like he was afraid that I was going to run away.
“What’s there to be afraid of Adrian?”
“Bella. I told you I’m not a good man. I’ve hurt people. I almost got my brother killed. Look what I just did. I- I could have… Please, you need to get as far away from us as you can before something happens to you.”
“Hey, hey shhhh.” My hands found the side of his face clutching both of his cheeks into my palms. The pads of my thumbs rubbing circles around his cheeks, occasionally wiping the tears that fell from the side of his eyes. “Adrian. I love you. It doesn’t matter if your drunk, if you’re sober. If I watch you kill a man. When you say harsh things because you’re hurt. That isn’t going to change how I feel. I know no matter who you are, what you have to do, there is one thing that you would never let happen. You would never hurt me. You would never purposely put your family in danger if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. Adrian, I’ve seen both sides of you. I wouldn’t be standing here if I thought my life was in danger. I would have run away from you a long time ago. I don’t plan on going anywhere that doesn’t involve you by my side. I’m not leaving Adrian. Ever.”
“I don’t deserve you Bella. I never have.” a saddened smile broke his lips forcing his tears to change direction down his jaw line. His head crashed into my chest as his arms encircled around my waist. His sobs muffled by my clothes. My hands found his back rubbing up and down gently in attempt to soothe him. My head bent down to the top of his, my nose burying itself into his hair. My lips planted small kisses on his forehead letting him know I forgave him as his sobs began to fade away. There was one thing I knew that would make him feel better. Alex.
“Come on baby, let’s get you home.”