Crossroads

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Chapter 5

Mia

“He has a soul so pure, so full of love and good intentions, that it deserves to be saved. I just hope that I can be his knightess in shining armor, that I can help him get out of his hell, without entering my own.”

PAST

I wake up from the sound of something smashing in the living room.

Not that I had any amount of good rest this night, but just when I thought I could get at least a bit of shuteye I hear his voice booming through the apartment.

“FUCKING HELL!”

I jump out of bed and throw on one of my brother’s sweaters before I open the door.

Well, fuck.

“Shit. Lincoln!” He’s sitting cross-legged on the floor, one hand covering the other while thick, red liquid drops on the carpet in front of him.

“What did you do?!” I walk towards him before I kneel on the carpet, my hand reaching forward to look at his own. He hisses when I grab the wrist of his right hand, his head snapping up in an almost threatening gesture. We hold our gaze for a second, and I can literally see how he’s studying me, reading me like he needs to figure out if he can trust me or not.

“I broke the glass.” He nods towards the long drink glass he held earlier, which is now broken into dozens of pieces on the floor.

“Come with me.” I slowly get back on my feet, still holding his wrist between my fingers to pull him with me, his eyes following my movement. They hold so much pain in them, it’s really fucking hard not to pity him. I know what it’s like to be pitied when you just want to forget the miseries of your life, which is why I just shoot him a gentle smile as he slowly gets on his feet.

We move towards the bathroom where I open the cabinet to grab my first aid kit, which I usually use to bandage up my big brother’s fist after he got into a fight because of me, once again.

“Here, sit.” I move him towards the bathtub and he steadily takes a seat on the edge of it, his eyes always on mine as I kneel between his feet, the bleeding hand now right in front of me.

“That’s a nasty cut.” My voice is gentle, almost like I need it to be tender in order to clean his wound with caution as well. I start dabbing the pad along the cut which starts at the base of his thumb and goes all the way to the center of his wrist. At least it’s clean, no vicious splinters or rugged edges.

After I grab a disinfectant wipe I gently pat across the wound as well, making sure it’s as clean as it gets. Unsurprisingly, Lincoln hisses at the contact of the wipe to his skin, and I find myself squeezing his other hand to support him, his eyes always watching my every move.

“You’re good at that.” He states, and I have to suppress the smile at the fact that he actually speaks now.

“Yeah, my brother has a tendency to... let’s say, be overdramatic. I’m basically a nurse in my free time.” I smile quickly at him before looking back at the wound. As I start to place a gauze pad on his wound to bandage him up, he hisses again and then suddenly starts laughing, his head shaking as he studies the wound on his hand.

“What’s so funny?” I ask while bandaging up his wound, but he just shakes his head again as another laugh escapes his throat, and it almost looks like there are tears in his eyes, even though I don’t think they’re tears of joy.

“It’s just...” He bursts out laughing again, and as soon as I tuck the end of the bandage beneath the part at the back of his hand, he moves it in front of his face, rotating it left and right, studying it like a piece of art. His fingers ball into fists, making him hiss from the pain before he opens it again.

“I’m... I’m a surgeon. This hand is literally my job.” His eyes study his hand again until he suddenly drops his head between his knees, the balls of his hand pressing against his temple as he sighs deeply.

I’m still dumbfounded by what just occurred, still trying to wrap my head around what happened to him that made him turn into this person. But my thoughts get interrupted by the loud sob that echoes through the bathroom, followed by the sound of his body slumping to the floor.

“I’m pathetic.” He whines out, and I find my own eyes filling with tears from the sole sound of pain in his voice. I can see the way his shoulders shake, his head resting between his knees while his arms circle around them, his whole body seemingly being overwhelmed with emotion as he cries. I have never ever felt so helpless, so useless than right now, because I don’t know how to help him, or if he even wants me to.

“You’re not pathetic.” I scoot closer to him, my knees between his feet as I run one hand through his thick hair, the other running up and down his thigh. His body is still shaking, and I see the tears dropping on the black and white tiles of my bathroom.

“Yes, I fucking am...” His words are slurred, but I can literally feel how much he believes them, the conviction in his voice being so painfully obvious.

And I decide not to push him any further, instead we just sit there on the cold bathroom floor until he has calmed down a bit, the only sound being the ruffling of his hair as my fingers skim through them, and the quiet sobs that leave his throat every now and then.

I know I have been angry as hell earlier. I still am. But I realized I don’t have the right to be, really. Even though it does hurt not being recognized, I guess I can’t really blame him.

“I need to sleep...” He slowly lifts his head after he rubs his eyes on his sweater, and I can’t help but smile as I nod my head.

“Yeah, you do. Come.” I stretch out my hand again, and to my surprise he doesn’t question what I’m doing, he just takes my hand and follows me into my bedroom, where I open up the duvet for him to slip beneath it.

“I don’t know if...”

“I obviously can’t leave you alone in there. The bed is big enough for both of us, so just get in here, please.” Having already moved beneath the blanket I now pat the spot next to me, and I can see the hesitation in his eyes, I can see how he’s fighting himself on this.

“Please, Lincoln. Just... Come.”

That makes him nod his head, and he quietly slips out of his shoes before he gets into the bed next to me, sliding beneath the covers until he’s lying flat on his back. I can see the way his body is still trembling, his mind still working on overdrive as he takes a few deep breaths.

I lie on my side, facing him, with my hand beneath my face as I just watch him, trying to make him out. But I don’t get a chance to, because he suddenly turns to face me as well, his head resting on his elbow as he looks at me with tears in his eyes.

“Why are you doing this?” His voice is still laced with pain and guilt as he studies me, another tear rolling down his cheek while he inhales deeply.

“I told you... Some people just need a reminder that they’re not alone in this world.”

He studies me for a second, almost like he’s trying to make out if I’m telling the truth. I can see in his eyes that he doesn’t believe my words, I can see that he thinks he’s alone in this. There’s this insane amount of emotion in his dark blue eyes, the color almost being dampened from the pain in them. And as he tries to open his mouth to speak, probably to object my statement, I can’t help but lean forward and brush my lips against his own. The feeling of his lips, of this so painfully raw kiss, knocks the air out of my lungs. This kiss is almost invisible, almost imperceptible, but it’s there. And fuck, it’s exhilarating.

I can feel the way his breathing picks up, even though he doesn’t move a single inch the whole time. As I place one palm on his cheek I feel a slight shiver running through his body for just a split second, but he’s still not moving, still not letting me in.

But then, suddenly, he rakes his fingers through my hair, getting a tight grip, and then he pulls me towards him, closing the distance between our bodies within a split second. His breath travels down my face as he holds me so tightly, it feels like he needs it to know he’s actually here, with me. His large hand roams over my back and then down my legs, my veins filling with fire when his fingers brush against the bare skin on my thigh. But then, as sudden as it came, he releases me again, our foreheads resting against each other now as we both take deep breaths.

I seriously have no idea what I’m doing. But I know I want to be close to him, for some godforsaken reason, and so I wrap my arm around his waist and pull him towards me, his face hiding in the crook of my neck as I stroke his back, the feeling of his body against mine almost too flawless to handle.

“I’m not worth it.” The words are whispered against my neck, but I just pull him even closer and run my hand through his hair, his tears drenching my sweater as I hum into his ear.

“Yes, you are.”

And it’s true. Because I might not know him well, but I do know that he’s worth it.

I know that whatever happened to him, ending his life is not worth it. Because from what I’ve seen he has a soul so pure, so full of love and good intentions, that it deserves to be saved. I just hope that I can bee his knightess in shining armor, that I can help him get out of his hell, without entering my own.

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