XIV : Icy ocean blues
“No it won’t.” I whisper and open the next door. “I’m not going to leave him to suffer.”
I slip into the darkness of the room and I see Steele on the floor with his head in his hands, screaming. It’s been only two days since our grocery adventure, I can no longer deny that I don’t hate Steele.
My lip wobbles at the thoughts of having such horrid nightmares that I scream until my throat runs dry. Sighing, I close his door and turn on the lights. Falling to my knees, I slide close to him and I grab his face with my hands.
The way he’s trembling makes my heart shiver in pain, maybe—maybe, he’s truly not right in the head.
I whisper, flinching as I hear him scream words. Words that I don’t understand. I hate it. I hate seeing him like this.
“Steele, Steele, Steele. Hey, look at me.”
His red puffy eyes shoot open and I feel myself breaking for him. Steele whips his head to each side before looking at me. His mouth opens, as if he wants to say something but he can’t.
“Steele, it’s me. Look at me, it’s not real.”
I sit on my knees and grip his face softly. “It’s Reign, I’m right here.” I stroke his stubbled cold face and he lets out a quiet manical laugh.
“Angel,” He whispers, reaching for my elbow. Steele squeezes my arm lightly, “You’re real.”
Steele flashes a small dimpled smile and my stomach drops. Steele opens his arms and I lean into them slowly. “Let’s get you into bed, yeah?” I whisper.
“No,” Steele whips his head up to me, he’s so vulnerable—broken. I can’t see him like this or it will break me too, “No. No. I don’t want to go back.”
“Hey,” I get his attention again, eyes of ice make my stomach roll. “I’m here, you’re not...going back.”
My hands run through his hair, calming him down slowly. Mom used to run her hands through my hair when I had a bad dream. Steele groans a growl and I stop, “No. Don’t stop, angel.”
Shakily exhaling, I run my fingers through the ash blonde strands. The smooth silky hair tickling my fingers, Steele closes his eyes and we stay there.
I don’t know how long we stayed there.
“Steele,” He opens his dreary eyes, “Let’s go to sleep.”
Steele squeezes me tight and he nods, before I can get up Steele picks me up and I sigh. He shuts off the lights and climbs under the covers with me in his arms.
“Steele, I meant y—”
“Stay, angel.” Steele murmurs and I look up at him with a frown. “Please.” He whispers to me.
I don’t respond, I sigh quietly and pull the covers higher and relax my shoulders. I look to see Steele giving me a dimpled smile and I smile softly back. He wraps his arms around me tighter, Steele’s mouth moves to my forehead and he kisses it. But his mouth doesn’t leave my forehead for awhile. I squirm and rest my head in the crook of his neck again and close my eyes.
“Does it happen often?” I whisper, my lips grazing his adam’s apple.
“Not as often as before.”
I feel my legs intertwined with his, Steele’s hands move up to my back and down again. His touch adds heat to my body, but I should know better. I can’t—won’t fall for him. No matter how many times I coax his nightmares away. It doesn’t matter because he could never like someone like me.
“Before what?” I ask as the tiredness creeps back up on me. Maybe he could change, but I should know better.
I should know better than to fall.
“Before you, angel.”
“That’s about it, Reign.” Atlas shrugs, “You did good.” I flash a smile, my fingers trembling underneath the barstool. “Don’t worry, if someone tries something or does something to you. We’ll kick them right out.”
“With maybe a few broken limbs,” Vienna shrugs with a smile.
“I think I got it,” My first day of training at the Royal Ring. I feel bad for relying on them, but after Vienna’s scream fest, I decided that I should attempt to lean on them. Soon. Soon I’ll be out of their hair.
It’s been a week since I woke up in Steele’s bed and fleed in the morning. It’s been a week and we haven’t really talked, we’d pass each other and he wouldn’t even glance in my direction.
It hurt. It still hurts because he’s been pretending everything is fine when it’s not.
I pretend that my pain doesn’t hurt me. I hide my feelings and I lie. Steele does too—he does it to me. I never realized how much it hurt when someone puts up the front to block you out. I never realized how many people I hurt when doing it too.
I walk around the bar and grab Vienna’s hand right before she walks away. “Hey, uh, can we do something?”
I want our friendship to be like before—I want everything to be better.
“Something?” She quirks a brow with a small smile, “By something you mean, one of our traditional outings of fun?”
“Yeah,” I smile. “One of the classics.”
Vienna claps her hands, “I know! I know! Let’s go to the beach.”
“The beach,” I wrinkle my nose, “In September?”
She sighs and grabs my hand, pulling me up the stairs and into the apartment. I unintentionally grip her hand harder as my eyes meet Steele’s. I look away with a bitter look on my face.
“Where are you ladies going?” Dicarius leans against the kitchen fridge with a smirk. I see Steele shift closer to me, as if he’s reaching for me.
“We’re having a classic Hollow-Moonbreker outing.” Vienna huffs triumphantly and I laugh.
“Outing?” Dicarius snorts.
“We had lives before you guys,” I poke my tongue out of my mouth, “We used to do one every weekend.”
“The world doesn’t revolve around you and your gray eyes, babe.” Vienna smirks and runs down the hall, still gripping my hand.
I kick the door closed as Vienna goes into the closet, throwing me bathing suits of all kind. “Okay, bitch—”
“Witch.” She corrects me and I smile.
Our friendship will be the same again. I’m going to have my best friend back—I need my best friend back.
“Let’s have a blast from the past.”
“Where’s Kylie again?” I ask, flicking salty water at Vienna’s face.
She throws me a smug smile, “She saw a hot guy yesterday nighty and didn’t come back.”
I erupt in laughter, “I should’ve known.”
I dive into the waves, cold water colliding my skin with shivers. I remember the nights where Alex, Lou, Vienna, Khol and I spent lying on the beach spilling secrets, telling awkward moments, laughing—living.
I gasped for breath as I hit the surface of the waves, Vienna splashed me with water. Soon a water fight erupted along with our banter and gossip, and I smile.
I feel like me again.
All of the sudden Vienna stopped talking and her splashes stopped along with her. “Reign?” She asks me.
I turn to her confused and follow her line of sight but I don’t see anything out of the ordinary in the sand.
“We didn’t see anyone else here when we first came, right?” Vienna whispers, I swim up to her and grab her arm.
“No, Vienna.” I laugh, shaking her with a goofy grin, “Again, why?”
She turns to me with a cold expression, fear swirling in the dark blues of her eyes. My smile falls, my nose wrinkles confused. Vienna’s eyes hold fear—fear I haven’t seen since the aftermath of Khol.
“T-then why is there a body f-floating in the ocean?”