To say I was devastated didn’t even scratch the surface of what I felt. My insides had felt as though they were burning, and all I had wanted to do was sleep. I remembered feeling as though my uterus was going to tear its way out of my body, and hearing the cries of my brother as he held me. And I recall losing the contents of my stomach all over the bed, but that was all I could remember. Knowing that my mother killed my unborn baby was more heartbreaking than I could ever hope to express. Enduring days of evaluations to decipher whether I had attempted suicide, or not, and listening to constant streams of apologies from family members, Anna, Eli, all I could manage was to nod, and take it. What else could I do at this point?
I had now lost two children to the dysfunction of my family, and I couldn’t bear anymore. After I was released all I wanted to do was sleep. I didn’t want to leave my room, I didn’t want to see my children, and I most definitely didn’t want to see the woman that had given birth to me. Who had done this to me. She wasn’t my mother any longer. I would never call her that again.
She was beginning to show herself, and that meant she hadn’t done a thing to the baby she was carrying, even though she had taken out my own. She had tried to take me away from Eli. She couldn’t fix him, and she couldn’t fix me, so she did the only thing that would permanently separate us. Attempted to kill me.
Eli made all of my food now. I wouldn’t let anyone else touch what I ate. I didn’t trust anyone else, especially not my mother. I had lost count of the number of days that had passed, but I knew it must have been at least a week since I had been released from the hospital. Eli was walking on eggshells around me, as though he didn’t know how to act. To be honest, I couldn’t say that I blamed him. I was very well on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and no one could save me from it.
Hearing the sound of the door creaking open I knew that it was Eli, before he even moved to sit beside me. “Belle…You can’t stay in your bedroom forever. The kids miss their mother.” He whispered into my ear as he moved to coil an arm around my waist. I let him. Despite myself, I allowed my brother to hold me in the same manner that he did every night.
“Why? So I can watch my mother kill them too?” I whispered, and I felt his body tense up.
“She will never harm any of our children again.” He vowed into my ear, and I turned to face him, peering into his loving eyes.
“She hates us…both of us.” I whispered, and moved to press a soft kiss to his lips, wanting to feel something, anything that wasn’t so painful.
“I will take care of you, like I always have. You’re my little sister, and I almost lost you…I can’t live without you, Belle. I know that now. I have always known that…before she fucked me up, I knew it.” He tried to explain the complex way in which his mind now worked, but the truth was I already knew. He would chose to end his life if mine ended. I had always been well aware of that. Our love would always be perplexing to anyone on the outside, and dangerous to anyone that truly saw how entwined our hearts actually were.
“Will you, Eli? Always?”
“You know I will.” He insisted, and I stared down towards the bed.
He encompassed me in his embrace, and I released low little breaths as I tried to prevent myself from crying again. All I did was cry these days. I was mourning the life of Cooper, but I was also mourning the loss of my second baby boy. The one I miscarried.
“We were going to have a little boy, Eli…she took our little boy away.” I whispered, and it was like I was losing Cooper all over again.
“I know. Shh…sweetheart I know she did.” His hands rushed through my hair, and I felt filthy. He hadn’t touched me since the miscarriage, and I hadn’t asked him to. Not in that way. What could I do? Ask him to make love to me, so that we might perhaps make another child, that my mother would find a way to kill as well? No. I couldn’t ever go through this again.
Leaning in Eli kissed me, and I returned the kiss, feeling his hands beginning to roam, and I knew what he was trying to do, once his hands wormed their way underneath my shirt. With reluctance I pulled back, a low shaky breathing escaping from my lungs.
“I can’t…Eli…I can’t…” I whispered, and retracted from his touch, feeling how aroused he already was. I could see the tent in his boxers, and I know that he still longs for release every single day. That place trained him to need intimacy, to react to touch. And it hurt to reject him.
“I thought—“ he breathed out slowly.
“I love you, Eli. More than anything…but being close to you…having another pregnancy…” I had never hated myself more than I did in this moment.
“You don’t want me to be with you anymore.” He whispered, and I realized how I sounded to him.
“I…Eli that isn’t it at all…” I stumbled over my words as I saw the way he was looking at me, there was hurt in his eyes, but more than that there was exhaustion. I could tell he hadn’t been sleeping, and even though I had, he had found himself quite incapable of doing the same. He was worried for me, and I did the only thing I could think of. Sliding my hand down his chest, I pushed past the waistband of his boxers, and gripped his swollen manhood in hand.
“Belle—“ He sucked in air, and clenched his teeth, balling his hands into fists.
“It’s been too long…I know…you ache, Eli…”I whispered against his lips, and he made whines in his throat, arching his hips into my hand, and the guilt began to weigh heavily on my heart, but it was all I could do to make this situation a little bit better for him.
“Don’t do this…you know what your touch does to me…” He was begging me, but I knew he would come apart in my hands, and that is what he needed. He needed to feel something, and he needed to feel it from me.
“Shh…relax, I want you to cum for me.” I commanded into his ear, knowing his training I knew he couldn’t resist, and it was sick to use him this way. To tap into the piece of him that was still attached to that place, but it was the only way I knew to quell his lusts without his being inside of me.
“Please….I don’t….I don’t want to…” and just as the words grew troubling I gasped as I felt hot seed spilling into his boxers, but directly after that I felt warm wetness, gushing into his boxers, and I realized he was wetting himself. And the bed beneath him. And the next thing I knew he had soaked both of us in his urine, and I felt sick. Retracting my hand I felt him sobbing on the bed, his eyes closed as he curled into a ball, and I knew I had gone too far.
“Eli…” I wiped my hand on my drenched nightgown, and pulled him into my arms.
“You made me….” His breathing was heavy as he sobbed, from embarrassment, and I knew it was my fault.
“I wanted to make it better…” I whispered.
But I hadn’t.
“Sometimes they would touch me like that…to make me erect…before they would cut me there…” He admitted, and my eyes adverted.
“They would cut you on your penis?” I asked slowly, and he nodded.
I had never known.
“They would beat me, when I had accidents from the pain…” He still wasn’t looking up from where his face was buried in the mattress, and I swallowed thickly.
“I’m sorry. I am so sorry, Eli…” Despite all of the pain that I was holding on to within my heart and soul it would never be as bad as what Eli had known in that dreadful place. No matter how hard that I try, I know that I will never be able to fix him. He shouldn’t have had an accident, he shouldn’t have to deal with all of these dreadful past memories.
I used to touch him, and he used to be just fine, but now it was a gamble as to whether, or not he would be okay when I did, or not. Tonight it had been more than his ptsd addled mind could handle. Pushing him had been the wrong call, and I knew that far too late. He had been doing better lately with wetting the bed in his sleep, but I had never seen him have an accident during the day, never watched him revert like he had tonight. Something deeper had caused what just happened, but for the life of me, I couldn’t understand what.
“Let’s get cleaned up…okay?” I didn’t have anything else that I could say, because for the first time in a long time I felt like he was damaged beyond even what I could repair.
He gave me a nod, but his eyes refused to meet my own, as we slid from the drenched sheets, and I instantly began to strip the bed, before throwing the sheets into a pile in the corner. I would have to deal with them later, but right now I was more concerned with Eli’s welfare.
I hadn’t left the room for most of the day, but I felt that I needed to be there with him, and I stripped both of us of our clothes, and threw them into the pile with the sheets, before I walked him from the bedroom we shared, and into the bathroom down the hall. Closing the door, I locked it, before climbing into the shower, turning it on, and allowing the warming water to rain down on the both of us, feeling it hot against my skin. I hadn’t showered in nearly four days, and I knew I had needed it even before now.
Eli was still silent, and he was solemn as he began to wash himself, spreading soap over his skin, and I grabbed the loofa from him, and gently began to wash him with my own hands. Dragging the loofa over his chest, and across his stomach. He winced when I reached his phallus, but he didn’t pull away. When I reached for the shower head, I sprayed him down, washing away the soap, before I reached out, and very slowly peeled back his foreskin.
I hadn’t observed my brother’s cock up close in the light before. But what I saw was horrific. There were so many scars scattered along the entire length of his manhood that there was barely any of the skin untouched by the marks. And I felt sick.
Tears welled in my eyes, and I was quick to realize that I had been so blind for so long about the extent of my own brother’s anguish. It was always so apparent that he wasn’t completely healed, but I hadn’t even scratched the surface of knowledge about what exactly he had endured, because I had been so wrapped up in so much else. Taking care of Cooper, worrying about my children, and selfishly wallowing in my own pity, when Eli needed me more than anything, and I was not there.
He turned his face away as though he were ashamed, of my bearing witness to his shame, and I instantly released his foreskin, letting it cover the hideous marks that scarred him. Reaching up I gripped his cheeks, and forced him to look into my eyes.
“Don’t think for a minute that any of this changes anything. I love you. You are my whole damned world, Eli, and no one will ever be loved more than I love you.” Leaning up I pressed my lips against his own, and I could feel him kissing me back, and even though I insisted that I loved him I still felt his disbelief in the way he returned my kiss.
As I pulled back I spoke softly to him, “I have been selfish, Eli. I have thought so much about all the things that I can’t handle, and all the things I want to run away from…but I never thought about how much you need me, and for that I will always be ashamed.” I admitted to him.
He furrowed his eyebrows, and shook his head, “You went through the loss of two of our children…the loss of me…you must be just as fucked up inside as I am.” He insisted, and I shook my head.
“You endured so much without me, and I don’t know how I could have survived without you, Eli.” I admitted. “I was merely existing for the years that you were gone, but I feel like I can live again, now that you are back, and all I have done is made things so difficult for you.”
“No…you haven’t. I promise, Belle. You have made life easier for me…better.” He persisted.
“I was wrong to push you away…to deny you my love. You need it, and you are never selfish with me. I just want to make you happy, you need to be happy…so happy.” I breathed against his lips.
“No…No I don’t. I don’t deserve to ever be happy again.” He stepped away from me, and I shook my head.
“Yes you do. Of course you do, Eli. Don’t say things like that.” I insisted, and he just looked down.
He was quiet for a long time, but he finally stared back up at me, and offered me a soft nod, “Okay.” He whispered, and shrugged loosely, as though he wanted the subject of his happiness to be avoided. I decided to let it go, and grabbed the loofa, beginning to wash my own body, before Eli grabbed the loofa from my hands, and began washing me, himself in silence. And just like that all conversation ceased.