It was nearly twenty minutes that we sat there like that. Clinging to one another and listening to each other’s shaky breathing, and rapid heartbeats that calmed down once the movement stopped. I moved off of him after that, soundlessly sliding out of him, and taking my place in the driver’s seat. By the time we reached home Isaiah had put our children to bed, and was relaxing on the couch when we walked into the house. Giving him his pay he had many questions about what had happened to us, and I gave him the short version, because I hadn’t yet told Eli about what Walter had said to me.
I don’t even know if I want Eli to know, because I am still processing it myself, but the idea of keeping my brother in the dark now was unfathomable. So I slipped up the stairs his hand firmly linked with my own. Peaked into the children’s bedroom to make certain they were all asleep, and headed into our own.
My waitress outfit held dirt stains, and when I pulled it off I noticed the bruises beginning to form across my stomach from the places Walter had kicked me. I felt sick knowing that he could have killed me tonight. That my children would grow up without me, because I had trusted him again. I felt so foolish ever having trusted that bastard at all.
Eli was sitting soundlessly on the edge of the bed whilst I undressed, but I could see the look on his face that told me all I needed to know about what he thought. He was pained by my bruises. His eyes shone with a forlorn sadness that couldn’t be compared with anything else.
“Why did he do it?” Eli asked after a long moment, his lips pressing together as he finally broke the silence between us. My arms fell to my sides, and I pulled an oversized t-shirt over my aching body. I couldn’t wear anything more confining tonight. I was still so sore, and something loose would do me good.
I released my hair from the ponytail I kept it in, and let it flow in long golden-waves down my back as I moved to sit down next to my brother, holding his hand, I linked our fingers together, and pressed a kiss to the side of his cheek.
“I rejected him…I told him that I didn’t want to sleep with him anymore.” I breathed out, wondering if I could get away with a half-truth.
“And he beat you for that?” He breathed out.
I nodded slowly.
“Couldn’t he just find another girl to sleep with?” He asked me softly.
“There is more than that.” I finally said, my eyes moving down to glance at out linked hands.
“What more?” His eyebrows furrowed together.
“He caught us, years ago, when we were together. When we were fucking…he was the one that turned us in. Not mom.” I had tears in my eyes just from saying the words, and Eli’s eyes shot right back to mine, shock and horror in his eyes. “He knew I was with you again, and that was why I was shutting him out. I think he would rather have seen me dead than have me be with you.” The last of my confession fell, and I felt tears falling from my hues.
“Oh Belle, I had no idea. I am so sorry.” He lifted his thumb, and wiped away my tears, leaning in he pressed a kiss to my lips. I returned it eagerly before pulling back.
“I am the one that is sorry. You told me to stay away from him, but I didn’t…and because of that he came to our house, and he caught us…and he knew.” I whimpered as I closed my eyes. I had never felt worse in my life about anything. “Because of him I lost you. For years.”
His arms coiled around me, and he went really quiet. He was stroking his fingers through my hair, but he was also quiet as the dead. I had never heard Eli so quiet before, and I dared to sneak a peek at his face. It was covered over in a shadow from the darkness of the room, but the other half was illuminated by the moonlight. His eerie silence was starting to disturb me to the point where I knew that I had to ask him about what was bothering him.
“What?” I finally managed to ask him.
He stayed quiet for a few more long moments, and finally he looked down at me. “I remembered something else about the past. Something I didn’t remember before.” He whispered, his eyes were hollow. Dark in a manner that I had never seen them before.
“What did you remember?” My heart began to race, thinking about all the horrible things that had happened to us. The horrible fights we had had, and the long expanses of stubbornness that had kept us apart for weeks, and months at a time.
“I crashed my car.” He breathed out, and I nodded my head.
“Yea, but it was an accident. You were hurt badly, but you were fine.” I insisted.
“I remember why I did it. I wanted to die, Belle. I purposefully pulled in front of that semi.” He admitted, and my breath stopped.
“Why? Why did you do that?” I choked out after several shocked moments of silence.
“I didn’t want to ruin your life anymore, I thought if I was gone that you could finally be happy. That you might have a normal boyfriend, with a normal relationship. As long as I am alive you will never be able to have that, Belle. Never.” He admitted to me, and my heart nearly stopped altogether. I couldn’t believe the words that were falling out of his lips. I could still remember that woman’s voice on the other end of the line on that phone. Insisting she had seen the entire thing, and that my brother had caused the accident. I hadn’t wanted to believe he had done it. I had wanted to insist it was an accident, and when he woke with no memory of any of it, that it had been.
Had he known this back when he had woken up? Had he kept it from me even then? I couldn’t believe the reasoning. How could he ever think I would have been happy without him? These past few years had been hell without him. If it had been permanent I don’t know what I would have done to be honest. I moved to straddle his lap, and force him to look into my eyes.
“I would have been miserable, Eli. These last few years away from you have been like living in my own personal hell. There is no better description than that, and I can’t even imagine what it would have been like had you died that day. I never want you to think like that again. My life has never, and will never be better without you.” I insisted.
“I know that now…but I didn’t then.” He admitted to me, and I pressed a deep kiss to his lips.
It was inevitable, but right after that we fell into bed together again, my shirt pushed up, and his clothes pulled off, before he took me this time. Passionately, and with leave of both of our stress I clung to him just like I had when we first laid together. I was swollen between my thighs because of all the attention he was giving me, but that didn’t stop me from wanting him. He was always going to be someone I craved, and yearned for.
As we lay together after, tangled beneath the sheets of my bed, his arm curved around my shoulder, and his fingers tracing delicately through my locks of hair, I couldn’t help but to look into his eyes. To hear the sound of his heart beating, and lose myself inside of them.
“Promise you won’t shut off your memories again. You won’t erase us.” I whispered. I was so terrified that he would; so scared that I would wake to find him long gone, having shut all of this back away again.
“I won’t.” he reassured me as he drew me in closer, pulling one of my legs over his, and releasing a low hum from the back of his throat.
“Do you promise to love me forever?” I asked him, pressing tender kisses to the side of his cheek, and over his jawline.
“Mmmm, forever, and always.” He mumbled, under his breath, letting a low breath from his lungs escape.
“Good.” I breathed out, and after a few more moments I was fast asleep.