Unravel Us Playlist on Spotify.
Song: (Secession Studios- Knight Tales)
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Tick. Tick. Tick.
I consider myself a patient person.
Okay, I take that back, maybe not.
But I’ve come for these sessions almost a dozen times, I’ve sat in this chair dozens of times, I’ve had ample opportunity to do whatever I wanted, however, I swear that today is the day, that smiley-face clock dies.
I’m going to rip that thing a new one-
“I see you glaring, Vanessa.”
“No, I’m not,” I mumbled under my breath.
No matter how many times I’ve told her to get rid of that clock, she still refuses to do so. Part of me thinks she’s doing it on purpose.
“You’re glaring.” She repeats.
“No, I’m not.” I am.
“Yes, you are.”
She slides her rolling chair to block my view of it, forcing my gaze to fall on her lithe figure.
“You want to look at the clock for the next hour or do you want to talk to me?”
Wearing a black turtleneck, black slacks, and a white cardigan, Katelyn was the definition of talk and mean business. If her certificate of doctorate psychotherapist hanging on the wall above her didn’t say it all, I don’t know what else will.
That, and her age.
She was young, perhaps a year or two older than me. She carried an aura about her that spoke both of professionalism and hardly giving a shit.
How you can match the two together, I do not know.
I’m just surprised she isn’t completely done with me yet as I am a nightmare of a patient.
“Don’t look at me like that Kate,” Letting my hands fall to my lap, I lean back on the armchair and let out a sigh. “I had a long night.”
“Not a nightmare.” I shake my head, lips forming a thin line.
Things have been hectic, too hectic.
With how quickly my men and I are rising in the ranks of the underground, paired up with the successful venture of Skuro and a new Ring, opening up at the harbor, these are just one of the few things in my otherwise packed-as-hell-schedule.
Blinking myself back to the session, I find her staring at me expectantly.
I know that look.
She’s debating whether or not to extend the session.
I can hardly even stand, one hour in itself.
“Don’t you do it Kate-”
“I’m extending the hour.”
“Oh come on!”
This wasn’t fair. I know the whole reason you go to see a therapist in the first place, was to get better but how can you get better if you don’t say anything?
What I do, isn’t necessarily legal and it’s made worse that I’m leading a group of heirs that each have their own foothold in the world industry.
My secrets are kept under strict doctor and patient confidentiality but it didn’t mean nothing was impossible.
This was more complicated than it looked.
However, after weeks of Hailey begging and pleading, I finally agreed to do this. That, and I went through dozens of therapists before I finally settled on this person in front of me.
I call her Kate to piss her off.
“Just to inform you,” The side of her pen tapping against the file she held is the only thing that echoes around the room. “We can be here all day.”
I raise my head to meet hers, about to spout something smart.
The only thing I see looking back at me is my reflection due to the sunglasses she wore. Kate couldn’t take them off unless it was night or in a dimly lit area. She could potentially go blind if she did.
Something about her eyes having a defect?
“Vanessa,” Kate snaps her fingers in front of me, drawing me back to attention.
She is well aware of what is transpiring, understanding my antics and attitude from months of visiting.
“I’m not your father’s therapist, I don’t throw myself at men or women, for that matter, yet you still continue looking at me like I’m about to betray you,”
“Will you, betray me?” I shot back.
“Yes, I will.” Putting the file down on her lap, she flicks her slender fingers over the top of her bangs. “Does that reassure you?”
As a point, I narrow my expression at her smart-ass comments knowing she was just biting at me to get a reaction.
Why did I choose her as my therapist in the first place?
Oh, because Kate wasn’t the type to throw advice or to try to understand. She allowed me the time and space to speak for myself and never questioned whether my decisions were bad or good.
For this reason alone, we’re still mysteries to one another. In a way, maybe that is why I was drawn to her in the first place.
That, and she doesn’t ask questions about what I do, she’s just here to help me.
“You’re being mean.” Came my dull response.
“No, I’m being straightforward.” She shrugs leisurely, doing it in a way that somehow lessens the tense atmosphere.
Having a session with her sometimes felt like I was talking to a wall. Everything rolls right off of her. Not only that, but she was uncharacteristically hard to frustrate, which as I recall, is something I’m an expert at.
Kate shakes her head from side to side and tugs at the sunglasses that frames her face. “You’ve told me about your past, I’d say you trust me to some degree?”
“I’ve told you this on the first day of your session, your past doesn’t matter to me, and I’ll keep reminding you until you tell me otherwise.”
That clock is insistently ticking away in the background.
We’re staring at each other.
My brown eyes to her sunglasses ones.
“How long has it been?” She raises an eyebrow.
“Since he left?”
“225 days.” The words are automatic.
I bite my tongue, cursing silently.
“So you’re still counting?” Kate isn’t smiling but I know she’s feeling victorious.
She always had a way to trap me, it was infuriating. I’m unhappy to admit that it sometimes pulled the rug from right under me.
“Fine, yes I’m still counting.” The reluctance to my tone is obvious. Rolling my shoulders back, I settle further into the armchair and gave her a blank stare.
“Do you feel better when you count the days?” She questions.
“I feel nothing.” Is my honest response. “It's become a habit. I wake up, understand he’s not there, and go on with the rest of the day.”
“You’re about to tell me it’s unhealthy huh?”
“On the contrary, I think it’s a great distraction to your otherwise busy, life.” She did air quotes in the air with one hand.
I swear I was going to smack her, in the near future.
“How much am I paying you again?” The corner of my lips lifted sarcastically as I rest my chin on the palm of my hand.
“Not enough.” Tucking the pen into the file she threw it back at the desk and readjusted that long cardigan so it laid gracefully on her chair. “Back to the point at hand, you said you couldn’t sleep last night, was it that nightmare again?”
“No, it wasn’t the nightmares, I’ve just been preoccupied with work.”
When I didn’t raise my head at that, she fell quiet, understanding what my small action meant.
I was out hunting.
Kate lifted her fingers and rest them on the side of her cheek. Her honey-blond hair is a stark contrast to her golden skin. Goddamnit she was too pretty.
“So you went out last night... what did you do?”
She gave me a half-smile that meant she’d appreciate it if I didn’t give any more vague answers.
Sighing bitterly, I roll my eyes heaven forth. “Kate, don’t expect me to give you full details.”
“But of course,” She waves her hand at me and shrugs. “I’m only here to listen and hopefully not spill your secrets to the NYPD.”
Baffled, I murmur annoyingly under my breath, irritated by her expertise in getting under my skin. “That sounds like a threat.”
“Nope, I just find you interesting.” She concluded with satisfaction. “The phycologist side of me is... curious.”
Marlen’s voice is subconsciously taunting at the back of my head.
I think I need to start hanging out with different people.
“I’m only attending these sessions because of my best friend.” I reach for the chain around my neck and bit at the metal, my finger mindlessly playing with the silver ring. “I owe it to her.”
Kate did not look fazed, instead, she picked herself up from the rolling chair and walked around the desk with ease. “You may have started these sessions because of her, but you stay because of me.”
Picking up the papers she previously threw, she walks towards the white cabinet behind her and tucked it away, letting the silence hang.
“You’ve gotten better, haven’t you? It’s easier to breathe.” She turns around at the last minute, tilting her head at an angle that meant she wanted me to answer her question honestly.
“Not better...” The words are hard to form but I forced it out regardless. “I’ve just adapted.”
Which, was the truth.
Talking to Kate didn’t make the problems go away, I still had nightmares, I still dread waking up and realizing Thomas is gone, I still had a group of men to lead.
Nothing’s gotten better, it’s just become bearable.
“Ah, I suppose I’m playing with fire then.” She laughs lightly, her voice like a gentle lullaby. “Vanessa, we’ll never be able to establish trust between each other there’s too much harbored inside you, so why don’t we just let it go? Talk to me because you want to, not because you have to.”
“Wouldn’t that mean I trust you?”
“Two people can tell their deepest darkest secrets to the other without ever establishing anything.” Kate silently sat back down on the rolling chair in front of me and tucked her cardigan onto herself with slow persistence.
“Intimately and subconsciously, there’s already something there, a love and hate relation that are two halves of the same coin,” She holds one palm out and with gentle grace, draws a line from the tip of her index finger down to her wrist. “-because it only takes a flip, for that feeling to change.”
I stared solemnly at Kate’s relaxed stance, her blunt attitude, and lackluster thoughts.
The atmosphere in the air between us is murky. I cannot put a finger on it, it just feels strange, like, there’s a thread tying all the loose ends and connecting it to one place.
Yes, there’s a part of me that’s intrigued by her suggestion.
To be able to talk to someone openly without strings, without trust, without worries...
Even if the world burned around us, I had a feeling she still won’t care.
Sitting up on the armchair, I place my elbow over the side and lean forward, casting shadows on the floor. “I never understood your metaphors.”
Kate smiles a secret smile, one that fills me with questions more than answers. “Should we talk more about what you did last night?”
She’s switched topics.
An admirable effort.
She always does that when things got eerily uncomfortable.
I’ve attended her sessions a dozen times, but this is the first time I’ve truly felt something throbbing beneath my chest.
Was it pain? No.
Was it desire? No.
But it’s pumping the blood faster in my system than any other emotion I’ve ever known.
“I’m waiting, Vanessa.”
I decided I shouldn’t bother about it.
There was no point in thinking when it’ll only make things complicated.
Why put the extra strain?
Kate was just here to listen.
“We found Marvin,” Clearing my throat, I lean back down on the chair and stare out the window, away from her adamant gaze.
“Marvin,” She curls the name on her tongue. “Who is he?”
“A dead man.” A huff escapes my lips, showcasing my clear dislike for that asshole in the first place.
Kate smiles amusingly. “He doesn’t seem like a likable person.”
“Spending too much time riding behind someone else’s coattails would make anyone a jackass, wouldn't it?”
“I assume you’re referring to Jonas,” She informs, raising a delicate brow. “Marvin is one of them?”
"Was,” I said, stretching the singular word. “He got kicked out as bait, but that’s not why I’m looking for him.”
“So why are, you looking for him?”
“He’s a loose end Kate, and if you were hiding from your enemy wouldn’t it be better to get rid of what’s holding you back?”
“Even if I answered yes, the point remains that this benefits you.” She pointed out, calm as ever, her soothing persona slipping in place. “So why are you hesitating?”
Dropping my hand to my side, I clutch the edge of the armchair and felt my nails grit.
I didn’t want to hesitate that’s the problem.
Every part of me wants to find the bastard and take him down, no questions asked.
However, it isn’t just me.
I now had a group of men to lead, my actions have consequences.
If I wasn’t careful...
“I have to be patient.” My skin is heating in a way that unnerves me. “Good things come to those who wait, besides... pandora’s box will open any day now.”
“Maybe it’s already open, Vanessa,” Her silky voice is inevitable but true.
“You just don’t know it yet.”