What in the hell was that
It only took Thomas a few minutes to pick the lock of the door, as he talked lightly about the times they used to play in the sandbox building homes for toy trucks they’d named when they were younger. Reciting the times when he’d sneak cookies out of the porcelain bear cookie jar whenever Ella scraped her knees on the pavement after falling off her bicycle. It didn’t take long for me to get pulled into the stories, distracted by the gentleness in his voice, the love he carried with each word as if he remembered every detail of the memories they had.
That’s when I realized he’s done this before, this wasn’t the first time he’s had to calm her down, to pick a lock. He was the protective brother who didn’t like seeing his sister get hurt. For all the things Declan has told me, Thomas had the right not to be fond of him. Ella was his baby sister, delicate and soft and beautiful. Declan came off rough-edged and arrogant to those who didn’t truly know him, and in Thomas’s eyes, it was exactly what Ella didn’t need.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d think Ella and him were twins. Sun painted golden hair, clear light pigmented skin, eyes blue as any sparkling ocean. Though Thomas’s jaw was sharper where Ella’s was heart-shaped, his nose was more straight cut where hers was button-like. Where their looks corresponded, their demeanors did not. His expressions were harder, his confidence prominent but refreshing and not flaunted around, and his posture taut and strong. Ella was gentle and patient, her heart warm and her smiles sweet. They had good genes, different but alike.
As Thomas threw the hairpin to the side giving both me and Olivia a strict look that said to be quiet, I watched as he carefully entered the bathroom immediately spotting the frail fractured girl and the mess that surrounded her. His body tensed at the mere sight of her, not broken but in excruciating pain, hurting like hell from the inside out as if she were an angel stolen from her wings.
As much as it pained Thomas to see her like that, Olivia and I felt the same way. Anyone who knew Ella knew she didn’t deserve this. No matter what anybody says, she’s one of the strongest people I know besides Declan himself. And fuck she had every right to feel this way, what she went through would scar anyone. It would take time to heal, to feel safe again, to get through a single day without having to look over her shoulder nearly every second.
The glass painted the white floor tiles in silver, fragments of all sizes everywhere like a broken puzzle, reflecting the sun’s rays peeking through the window. She laid shaking on the floor, her face the border of terror as she silently wept staring forward in a daze. A shadow of whom she was just yesterday. Olivia looked away, her caramel eyes meeting mine mirroring my feelings, hating the way our friend was suffering and we could do nothing about it.
Thomas lifted her off the floor with ease, ignoring the wreckage around them, Ella was his first priority. “Look at me El, I’m real,” Thomas murmurs, pronouncing each word as a caress. “You’re not alone anymore, I’m here. I’m the present; I’m what’s real so focus on me.” And she did, shallowing her breaths as she kept her eyes locked on his, her hand reaching for his arm as if to physically feel that he was indeed real and not just a figment of her imagination.
“I’m scared Thomas.” She rasped, her statement as clear and true as day.
Thomas inclined his golden head back, his irises setting on mine, a question and demand as to what in the hell she was talking about. I kept my lips pressed shut as I brought my eyes to her and then to him. It wasn’t my story to tell nor was it the time. He gritted his teeth striding out of the bathroom, Ella silently cringed with each new step he took, her stomach surely still in pain. Thomas seemed to notice as carefully placed her back on their mom’s bed. My attention shifted to Olivia as she watched Thomas soothe Ella, nibbling her lips in worry.
After that scene in the bathroom, I’m almost positive Ella is experiencing some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Thomas whispered to Ella as he sat beside her doing his best to try to calm her down all the while her hand gripped his arm. Pulling out my phone, I send a short to the point text to Declan, telling him just how Ella is holding up. He hasn’t left me alone since he left yesterday, wanting every detail since Ella asked him to please leave. The least I could do was update him, he loved her more than he loved anyone.
Giving Ella one last look, I decided to head downstairs to give her and Thomas some privacy. Olivia followed right behind me thinking the same thing. Sitting down on the kitchen island stool, my hands unconsciously comb through my hair as Olivia takes up the seat right beside me. For a long moment, we’re silent, just processing what just happened. Ella didn’t want our help; she didn’t want us to see her suffer. It’s like a whole new person just took over her mind as if we were the enemies. Not that I blamed her, she’s just hurting.
“What in the hell was that?” Olivia finally said, her voice clear in the quiet kitchen.
Blowing out a long breath, I try to control the irritation swelling my gut. I’m not irritated with Olivia. I’m irritated that Ella went through something so horrible when it shouldn’t have happened at all. “That was her first sign of PTSD and it probably won’t be her last.” Pausing, my eyes find her caramel ones. “She’s going to need help—real professional help. What happened to her isn’t just going to go away, it’s going to haunt her as it would anyone else.” Hearing her break the mirror and then seeing her surrounded by broken glass squeezed at my chest. I’m just glad Declan didn’t have to see it, he would be more heartbroken then he already is.
She merely nodded, pondering over my words. “I just wish I could help her, you know. She’s been through a lot.” She tore her caramel eyes away from me, staring at the window above the sink as if there was so much to see when really all you could see was aged pine trees. “When her dad died, it was like she became a shell of who she was, she was really close with him. But when she met Declan, she slowly began to emerge from that shell. And now—now I don’t want to see her retreat back into that horrible cave, but it seems like she already has.”
There was nothing I could say to console her so instead I just nod my understanding, grabbing her hand without even thinking. She lets out a low gasp as my fingers trace her smooth skin, quite the opposite of my calloused hands as I attempt to comfort her. “How d-do you know so much about PTSD anyway.” She breathes out a stutter, trying to concentrate on anything but my hand touching hers. My lips curve at this change in confidence, she was most certainly nervous. We were just friends, so it was kind of amusing.
I shrug, trying not to let her question bother me too much. “My older sister lost her baby while giving birth.”
Olivia blinked, completely forgetting about my hand on hers. “Oh my gosh Wesley that’s horrible, I’m sorry.”
“I was too young to even understand how much it hurt her. But she really struggled to the point where she committed suicide.” Olivia’s eyes well with tears. Her jaw dropping, as my chest tightened. “I was five when it happened so I don’t really remember much other than my mom going through a short period of depression. I didn’t really even know her.” I say honestly. Not that I had much of a chance. Remembering that’s how I met Declan not too long after.
My dad took me with him to go buy a new gun. He wanted one that was safe for me to use so he could teach me how to hunt since I had been begging to go with him day after day. I wanted to be just like him. Declan was there at the gun shop with Hayes and Julian that day. While our dad’s were purchasing guns, we were playing with the animal figurines on the nearby shelf while trying on camouflage hats.
I remember asking him about the big red bumps on his arms because at that age I had no filter. He told me they were chickenpox but fear shone in his eyes as he peered over at his dad as if he were making sure he couldn’t hear us. But I had chickenpox before and they didn’t look like that so I knew he was lying. I told him so too, but I also told him I wouldn’t tell anyone and pinky swore to keep it a secret. We’ve been friends ever since. He moved for a short period of time but as soon as he got emancipated he moved back here.
Olivia squeezed my hand. “I don’t even know what to say other than I’m really sorry.”
I shook my head surprised that I even told her. “Everything happens for a reason and sometimes those things suck but life moves on.”
She’s about to respond when footsteps come tumbling quite quickly down the creaky stairs. We immediately pull our hands apart as if we’ve been shocked. Looking back we are met with a very angry Thomas glaring our way. He takes slow directive steps towards us until he rounds the kitchen island standing right in our line of sight. His blue eyes are narrowed, lips straight, and jaw clenched. “What the fuck happened to her?” He grounds out, placing his fists on the island top.
Debating if I should tell him or not, I decide he should know because he’ll probably find out sooner or later. “She was chased by your mom’s ex-boyfriends son into the woods where he tortured her,” I tell him, my words clipped. “Hayes came here when she was alone. Olivia and I found her in the woods yesterday with blood everywhere.”
Thomas flinched, eyes darkening to the darkest I’ve ever seen them. “And where in the hell was Declan when this was happening?” Protective brother mode for sure.
My jaw ticks. “Where the hell were you? Declan isn’t to blame. He would never ever purposely put Ella in danger. It was nobody’s fault, there is only one person to blame.” Declan didn’t know Hayes was going to hunt Ella down. I sure as hell didn’t know either. Nobody knew. Sure there was some miscommunication between Ella and Declan but couples can’t be together every second of every day. ”We found her like that. We had to see her like that. And now—now we need to figure how in the hell we’re going to make them pay.”
Thomas’s knuckles turned ghost white from squeezing them so hard. “When I see him there will be hell to pay.” He said quietly but fiercely, and I had no doubt he was lying. “She was so scared—and he’s going to feel the same fucking way I swear it.” As Thomas speaks my mind wanders to Declan. Why hasn’t he answered my text yet? He had a meeting with a college recruiter this morning. He was blowing up my phone just before he got there, it must not have ended yet.
“How’s Ella?” Olivia asks quietly, her concern resurfacing as she tries to decrease the tension.
Thomas’s features soften only slightly. “She’s sleeping.” He replies, running his hands through his disheveled honey hair. “But I have a feeling she won’t be for long. She’s prone to nightmares.”
A phone suddenly begins to ring, one that’s not mine. Thomas shifts shoving his hand into his pocket, looking at the caller ID before answering. Olivia and I share a glance before we set our eyes on Thomas whose face is now scrunched. “Yes, this is Thomas Emerson.” He responds to whoever is on the other end. After a moment his skin pales to the whitest pigment I’ve ever seen. “What do you mean Julian escaped during the transfer?” Olivia gasps as my heart stops dead in my chest. “Yeah, thanks for doing your job so goddamn well. Bye ”
I stand up so fast the wooden stool flies back hitting the hardwood floor with a crash as I fumble for my phone needing to get in touch with Declan as soon as possible. Does he know? Putting the device up to my ear, it doesn’t take long for me to reach his voicemail which is full and can’t take any messages. I try again and again until finally, I give up, meeting the gazes of Olivia and Thomas as we all mirror the same feelings. We have nothing to gain and everything to lose. Julian is free, and I’m sure he has something cooking in his psychotic brain.
Hey guys I hope you enjoy this chapter! Please let me know what you think! How did you like Wes’s POV? What do you think Julian has planned? Does Ella have PTSD?... The next chapter will be much longer promise! I have a lot planned! ;) Also if you have any song recommendation of any genre that would be great. I need some new songs to listen to. P.s. sorry for mistakes.