Facade

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Grey Past: Part 2

THEA’S POV

For a short while, I hesitate before knocking on the door.

“Come in.” I open the door and peek inside, making sure it’s only him that’s in there. “And since when do you knock?”

“Since now.”

“Look who learned some manners.”

I grin up at him as I inch closer and for the first time, I don’t see any annoyance or even a blank expression on his face. His lips twitch at the corner, lifting up just enough for me to notice and my smile widens.

“Or, maybe,” I wrap my arms around his neck and he lets me, “you could teach me some more.” Biting my lip, I look up at him through my lashes.

One of his hands slides around my waist while the other cups my face, his thumb brushing over my bottom lip pulling it out from between my teeth.

His lips descend down on mine and I stand on my tiptoes, threading my fingers through his hair to tug on them gently when he bites my lip and sucks on it.

I whimper inaudibly when he pulls apart abruptly. With his forehead against mine, we stay there for a moment, breathing heavily before he lets go.

“I wanted to ask you something.”

I gulp. “Yeah?”

Xavier licks his lips as he takes my hands in his. “Elijah came here today to tell me that I have to bring a date to the fashion show.”

“And?”

He gives me a look. “Don’t you know already?”

“I do but I want to hear it from you.”

“What am I going to do with you?” He mumbles before heaving a sigh. “Thea, will you be my date to the show?”

Stretching my lips into a wide grin, I jump up to wrap him in a hug. “Yes!”

Xavier’s chest vibrates as he chuckles lightly making my heart flutter.

Luke’s words invade my thoughts all of a sudden. When Xavier pulls away, he notices the concern on my face.

“What’s wrong?”

Biting my lip anxiously, I stray my gaze away. “I talked to Luke today.”

“Thea, you can talk to whoever you want. I won’t drag you into a problem that’s between us.”

That makes me genuinely smile and it warms my heart to know his opinion on this.

“Thank you. That means a lot more than you know. Luke...is not so bad, you know?”

“As I said before, Thea, I don’t know the kind of person he is.”

“Have you...ever tried to talk to him? About everything?”

The moment he freezes under my touch, I know I messed up. But it’s too late to take it back now.

“There’s nothing to talk about.” His tone is curt and his jaw clenches.

I move my thumb over the back of his palm gently and speak in a soft voice. “Xavier, you don’t know the whole story. If you just talk to him—”

He snatches away from my hold and turns around, hiding his emotions from me. “I don’t care! Don’t you get it? He left me there. Alone.”

“I know, he told me about it. But—”

“Did he tell you I was in the hospital?” He turns around and looks me straight in the eye.

I gulp. “Yes.”

“Did he tell you why I was there?” His eyes darken with the threat of an incoming storm. Rage. That’s all he’s feeling at the moment. “Did he?!”

“No. He said it’s yours to talk about.”

Xavier lets out a humorless laugh. “I’ll tell you why. It was because I had tried to kill myself!”

I feel like someone just stabbed a knife in me and twisted it. My ears ring and all I can hear is the thumping of my heart.

Images of Alex lying in bed, frothing at his mouth hit me like a fucking bullet train.

Motionless, eyes closed, limp, so cold—dead.

He’s dead.

But above all, Xavier could have died.

Not this again.

My eyes take in everything about the man in front of me—reassuring myself that he’s alive. He’s not gone. He’s alive and in front of me.

I’m about to throw my arms around him to really make sure he’s here with me when he turns around again and walks away—distancing himself from me.

“My mother used to lock me in the cupboard because I’m claustrophobic .”

I’m transported back to the time we got locked in that storage room at the party and how he looked to pained. My insides twist for the little child that had to go through all of that.

He stalks towards me. “She didn’t want any imperfections but instead of getting better, the fear got worse. But that was the only punishment I received while Lucas was still there. After he left, for the first time, she raised a hand on me because I didn’t get the same marks Lucas had gotten in a test fucking three years ago!

“And it didn’t stop. I’d had enough of it so I popped some pills and decided to end everything. But guess what? It didn’t work!”

By now he’s breathing heavy and merely inches away from me. “And in that state, when I asked my dearest brother to take me with him, that bastard left me there!”

“No, he didn’t!” Unshed tears blur my vision as I look up to him, fists clenched as I barely restrain myself from slapping him for doing something like that.

“What do you mean?” His shoulders slump, his voice hoarse from yelling.

“He didn’t leave you! He asked Elijah to take you with them—”

“Bullshit!”

“No! He told me—”

“He fucking lied!”

“Xavier—”

“No!” He holds his hand up, cutting me off. “Don’t. I don’t want to hear another word about it.”

I suck in a deep breath, calming myself down and speaking in a gentle voice. “Maybe we’ll talk about it later.”

“No. We won’t be talking about anything.”

My heart skips a beat. “What do you mean?”

“I mean it’s over. Whatever we had going on, is over.”

“You can’t really mean that—”

“You told Cole that if I ask you to leave, you’ll respect my wish. Now, I’m telling you to leave. I don’t want to see you again.”

If I thought someone stabbed me before, no it feels like that knife is being dragged through my body, splitting it in half—especially my heart.

“Do you really mean that?”

Stormy eyes look right into my soul. “Yes.” He lies.

I know he doesn’t mean that. I know it’s his anger speaking.

But when I decided to go after him, I made a choice. I knew I’d fall for him and I chose to do so.

Even if he does like me, making him choose me is not something I can do—and truth be told, I’d rather he do that himself.

Even if it is his anger speaking, his words hurt. He’s taking his anger out on the wrong person and had it been anyone else, I would have walked out of here by now—but it’s not anyone else.

“Okay.” The word comes out in a broken whisper as I take one last glance at his face before going back to my room.

When I’m back in the confines of the four walls and away from his sight, I let the first tear slip...and another...and another until I’m sobbing.

My hand fists around my chest as I slide down with my back to the door. Bringing my knees to my chest, I bury my head in my arms letting the tears fall freely.

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Well then...

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