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Chapter 69 : Madelyn

Very Mild Sexual Content Warning ⚠️

Chapter 69 : Madelyn
Saturday, August 28th, 2021

I don’t remember when I fell asleep, but it was the vibration of a plane’s wheels meeting concrete that stirred me from unconsciousness.

I knew my men had obliged when I asked them to take me home, however that didn’t muffle any of the pain I began to feel the second my eyes opened.

My face was nestled against Alec’s chest while his chin rested on top of my head, his one large arm wrapping around my shoulders.

He’d held me as I cried last night and he continued to hold me now, only this time he wasn’t alone.

Somehow I just knew it was Caleb who was spooning me from behind, his leg pressed in between mine as his own arm wrapped around my waist.

I became increasingly aware of how low his hand placement was on my stomach, but like Alec, he was still very much asleep.

“You’re up.” Xavier’s gruff voice brought my attention to the corner of the room, his eyes grazing over the three of us curled together on the much too small bed.

Something about his expression was cold, though—almost like he was distanced despite being only a small handful of feet away from me.

“Hi.” I murmured on the side of caution, but his usual teasing smiles weren’t here right now. This felt like the Xavier Caleb first introduced me to at the wedding, and it caught me off guard. “Everything okay?” I ask, feeling as Alec stirs a little at my front.

I can see the line of Xavier’s jaw harden before he forces himself to let out a breath, but I knew this wasn’t the same person who kissed my hurt hands last night.

“We just landed. I was coming to see how you were doing.” He says, his tone not angry yet not exactly happy either. “There’s no rush. I’ll let you go back to sleep.”

I didn’t miss the fact my question remained unanswered, but I also didn’t try to stop him as he left to go back into the main part of the plane.

He wasn’t upset with me—I knew that, however in previous times when he was overwhelmed, his natural instinct was to distance himself and leave until he sorted through things on his own.

I hoped it would be different this time. I hoped he would come to me instead, or at the very least tell me where he was going instead of just disappearing.

To be completely honest, I was too tired right now to let myself worry.

There would be plenty of time to do that later, but I just wanted a break from feeling sad and complicated. I wanted to savor the heat of Caleb and Alec’s skin pressed against mine, so I did.

I found comfort in the feeling of their snug embrace around my body, and it wasn’t long before I felt my mind drifting off once again.


The peace of sleep never found me again, but Caleb did.

My eyes had fallen shut multiple minutes ago, but my brain wouldn’t quiet now that it had awakened.

I’d hoped that a few hours of solid rest would’ve been enough of a distraction from the raging thoughts inside of me, however twenty minutes of straight restlessness liked to prove otherwise.

It seems as though I wasn’t the only one to notice this.

While my body had remained half on top of Alec, it was Caleb’s mouth I felt gently pressing against my bared throat.

My eyes instantly fluttered shut as a soft exhale left my lips, his touch soothing me with that simple action.

“I missed you.” He says quietly as he moves slightly lower, planting another kiss to where my pulse thrummed happily.

I missed him too.

I wished the words could come out of my mouth, but I was too tired to do anything but urge myself to relax.

Sighing, my mind focused on the way Caleb’s hand slowly moved lower and lower down my back before smoothing up my spine.

It wasn’t anything more than a lover’s touch, but it felt like everything as Alec shifted again beneath me.

No words were spoken as his fingers started brushing through my slightly knotted hair, Caleb continuing to rub my back without missing a beat.

The two of them managed to gently lull me back into a dreamless rest, and this time, it was one I didn’t wake from until the following morning.


Sunday, August 29th, 2021

“—gone.” I woke up to the sound of Alec’s smooth voice, my eyes reluctantly opening to find him dressed and sitting on the edge of a bed. Caleb’s bed.

“I’m assuming no text?” The latter responded, making me realize my head was resting on a pillow propped on his lap for me.

A soft blanket had been laid over my body at some point as Caleb’s fingers slowly dragged through my hair, the same way Alec’s were earlier on the plane.

I had no recollection as to how I got from there to this room, but it was still mostly dark so I’m assuming it’s only been a small handful of hours from when I last drifted off.

“He was gone for twelve days last time. I doubt this will be any different.” I hear Alec sigh quietly, his eyes slowly falling down to meet mine before holding there.

I watched as a small smile appeared on his face, but I saw sadness in his features too.

“Xavier left?” I conclude based on what I heard, and the unhappy nod Caleb gave me confirmed what I’d guessed.

His fingers continued to play with my blonde strands as a heavy breath left his body, something I think was distress being etched across his forehead.

I had hoped he would’ve stayed, but I wasn’t mad that he left. Xavier promised me he would always come back, and if some time alone was what he needed to face the demons wracking his mind, I would give that to him.

He would be back, and I would help him through anything if he allowed me the chance to, even if it was simply being at his side.

“There’s a lot he needs to work out right now, but I promise he won’t stay gone forever.” Caleb reassures, but it wasn’t me I was worried for.

“He should have at least texted.” Alec argues, and for a moment, we let his words hang in silence.

I knew Xavier better than I think he realized, and I knew him distancing himself had nothing to do with us and everything to do with how he was taught to feel growing up.

There was so much none of them have told me, but I know Caleb’s need for organization is because he had so little of it as a child, just as Alec didn’t have control, and Xavier wasn’t allowed to show emotion.

It was something I would work on with him—assuming that’s what he wants—but I don’t want Xavier to feel as though he has to disappear every time his past comes out to play.

“You should sleep.” Alec murmurs, his voice a whisper against my ear.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there was any amount of cuddling that could relax my mind this time. Maybe my body, but not the unease that is now coiled tight within my heart.

“Is it late?” I ask, my eyes closing simply because they could as I focused on the way Caleb’s fingers mimicked a soft massage.

The room was fairly dark, but I had no doubt the curtains across the floor to ceiling windows were top of the line at doing their job.

“Just past six in the morning.” Alec answers, moving further onto the bed until he was laying on his stomach beside me.

The smell of pine instantly invaded my senses and helped to calm my restless mind, his hand resting on my stomach as he propped his head up right beside Caleb’s legs.

My chest felt heavy now that I was fully awake again, but they made it better. They made everything better.

With Alec right beside me and Caleb beneath me, it was impossible to feel alone, even if a part of me wishes that Xavier accompanied them.

I was sad—I knew I was—but I also felt as though every minute I’ve spent with them has slowly been chipping away the parts of me I liked to keep bottled up inside.

Even now, as my eyes reopen and flick down to where Alec’s hand is resting against my stomach, I’m not sucking anything in.

A habit that I’ve had since nine years old is slowly fading away because they taught me I was just as beautiful with scars and curves as I would be without them.

No part of me right now wasn’t relaxed, apart from potentially my head, but I think that’s kind of a given considering the week I’ve had.

I was admittedly a bit overwhelmed right now, however all of it was balanced by the soft touches and sweet words Alec and Caleb were offering.

Things always seemed a little more manageable with them by my side, and I’m pretty sure it’s the only reason I’m not hyperventilating anymore.

“Everything okay up here, Mads?” Caleb asks as his pointer finger gently taps my head twice, my weight shifting so I can look up at him.

“Yeah, I’m good.” I say, and my words are truthful too.

There’s a lot that isn’t good in my life at the moment, but right now, I was content just curling up with them and enjoying every second of being back here again.

“Is there anything we can do to help otherwise?” Alec offers quietly against my neck, his head resting against me as he too relaxes.

The sight was kind of cute, and I saw Caleb smile down at us when he noticed too, his fingers finally moving from my hair over to the side of my face.

I wasn’t sure if they’d slept at all last night, but they seemed just as happy doing this as they were holding me on the plane earlier.

“Princess?” Alec’s voice drew me out of my thoughts, reminding me I never answered his question.

“Sorry.” I smiled, lightly kissing his jaw before slowly moving to get up from Caleb’s lap. “I’m okay for now. I think I’m just going to use the washroom and try to go back to bed.”

I instantly miss the comfort of their warmth as I slide my feet to the floor, but I can still feel both of their eyes on me as I move towards the bathroom.

“We’ll be here.” Caleb nods as he adjusts himself on the bed, Alec moving to lay on his left instead of remaining horizontal across the mattress.

The fact that I knew they would was a nice feeling, and I kept that in my heart as I took care of what I needed to do before moving to wash my hands in the sink.

The bathroom was just as bright and open as the rest of the owner’s room, but my gaze snagged on the mirror as I saw just how horrible I looked.

Every bit of my face reflected the hell I’d been through this last week, and I quietly groaned as the water fell over my shorter than usual fingernails.

Just the pressure of gliding the soap over them stung to the point of more tears, though things felt a little better as the dried blood was removed and washed painfully down the drain.

By the time I realized I had the sink on for far too long, my hands were shaking yet again, and it took a lot of effort to steady them.

Even then, the next time my eyes met my reflection in the mirror, they were glazed over with the tears I begged myself not to let fall.

I was so sick of crying—

“Madelyn,” Caleb’s voice softly called out against the door, and the sound caused me to shut off the tap abruptly. “Can I come in, darling?” He asks for the second time in twenty-four hours, making me realize just how long I’ve been in here.

My mouth opens to respond, but this time when I blink, things are a little blurry.

I recognize the feeling of nausea a second before it hits, running to the toilet as sensations of throwing up overtook my body.

I heard the sound of the door opening as my chest ached from dry heaving, but what was worse was the combination of overwhelming dizziness that made me feel like passing out.

When I suddenly found myself in Caleb’s arms on the floor, a part of me thinks I did.

“Shh.” He gently coos, and it’s only then I realize the wetness on my face was a result of my own tears. “You’re okay.”

No noise would even come out of my mouth as I cried, but my eyes pinched shut as an ice cold cloth was pressed to my forehead in contrast to the clamminess of my skin.

Things seemed as if they were passing me in short flashes, and I couldn’t tell if I was having a panic attack or not. All I knew is that I wasn’t as okay as I thought I was.

“When’s the last time you ate?” Alec quietly asks, and I slowly become aware it’s him who’s holding the cloth to my head.

I wanted to speak, but I couldn’t even think about the answer to his question. The truth is that I didn’t know, and that seemed to be indication enough that it had been a while.

Somehow Alec figured that out through my crying and shaking on his own, and he was moving before I could ask him to stay.

“He’s just grabbing you some food and probably something to drink.” Caleb explains, holding both my hand and the rest of my body tight to his chest.

I could feel how fast his heart was pounding, and I knew I had scared him despite the calm expression he tried to wear.

This was the third time today they’ve had to see me like this and I hated it so much it made me cry harder.

I broke apart into an absolute mess yet again, and I had no idea when it would stop.

“Are you okay with me picking you up?” Caleb asks as he places my arms around his neck, standing when he sees my small nod against his shoulder.

The cloth on my forehead slips with the movement, but he catches it and ends up carrying me out with one hand while the other holds the back of my neck gently.

Each of his touches was delicate and comforting, and I tried to focus on that as he grabbed a blanket from the chair by the window before sitting both of us down on it.

Turning me, Caleb situates us so that my back is pressed against his front with my head tipped back on his shoulder.

Only a second later is a blanket being smoothed over me, being tucked in at my sides to keep me warm even though I felt like I was burning up not long ago.

“Thank you.” I somehow managed, wishing things could just be easy again. I wanted Xavier to not be gone, and I wanted the blissful ignorance of believing my mother might love me to still exist.

I didn’t want to admit the fact my dad’s still missing or think about what all of the stuff I found of his could mean.

There was so much I didn’t want, but Caleb and Alec were all I needed right now, even if a third of their group wasn’t here.

“What can I do, darling?” Caleb asks, stroking my hair in a loving way while his other hand wraps around my midsection.

I felt inexplicably close to him right now in more ways than one, but the feeling of his touch just about perfectly balanced the feeling of being held emotionally as well.

Things would be so much easier if there was just one simple fix to this all, but I knew what I feared was true. Time was the only long term medicine for my pain.

“I just want to forget.” I half whisper half cry against his shoulder, and I feel his grip tighten on me just a little more as if pulling me even that millimeter closer would help.

A part of me wondered if it did, because like earlier, things slowly began to feel a little easier again.

That didn’t change the fact I was still uncontrollably crying and shaking beneath his fingertips, but I think this kind of reaction from me was bound to happen at some point.

I used to channel all of my pain into anger to avoid how I was really feeling—the only difference now is that I feel safe enough to fall apart knowing there’s already someone there to catch the pieces.

There are three someones actually, even if Xavier isn’t physically by my side.

“Do you remember what I promised you about this window?” Caleb asks after a small stretch of time, his words catching me so off guard every thought of mine paused for a second.

“W-what?” I stuttered through my tears, my head turning slightly to see where his hand was moving the curtain back inch by inch until I could see the glass.

It was the very place he promised he’d one day fuck me against, but why he was bringing it up now seemed incomprehensible to me.

“I lied,” Caleb whispers in my ear, lifting my hand with his before pressing it against the freezing cold panel. “I said I would take my time with you until I had you begging for more, but that was a lie.”

My mouth parted slightly as I felt his warm breath brush across my neck, my tears slowing as my head became consumed by an entirely different emotion.

“With glass this cold, I bet you’d be clamping down around me so tight, it would be impossible not to give into everything you desired.”

“Caleb,” I murmured, wiping away some of my tears with my shoulders as I felt him smile against me.

The weight on my chest began to dissolve with every passing second of his spoken fantasy, and I soon realized why he was doing it. He was distracting me like I asked, even though I’d expected more kisses across my forehead.

This method seemed to be a hell of a lot more effective, but now I was turned on and my face was red for new reasons.

“I would fuck you so hard, the glass would fog up and create an outline of your perfect little body taking me like the good girl you are.”

I nearly shook again when he pulled our hands away from the window, but I didn’t miss the fogged imprint our touch left over.

I couldn’t imagine how it would feel with my entire body pressed against it when my fingers were cold from those few seconds alone, but now Caleb was having me imagining it with every single part of me.

While his distraction didn’t take away the dizziness or nausea, it did give me the reprieve I was looking for, and that’s why I loved him so damn much.

“Thank you.” I say as I turn my head to kiss his cheek in gratitude. I wanted to thank him a thousand times over again for understanding what I needed, but the sound of Alec’s arrival had me looking at the door instead.

Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to see him walking towards me with a caring smile across his face, however it was the sight of Xavier behind him that drew my attention in.

I don’t know where he had left to, but it was clear he came back for me even if I could instantly tell something was wrong.

While Xavier remained stiff at the door, Alec walked until he was kneeling at my side, handing me a glass of water and a tray of snacks.

“Go slow. I don’t want you to get sick from eating too quickly too soon.”

After offering a tired yet genuine thank you, I moved to grab a cube of cheese I saw on the plate. To my surprise, Xavier moved with me.

As he got closer to where I was sitting, I saw more and more evidence that things were off with him.

His eyes looked swollen as his gaze locked on me, his irises as dark as coal. I had no idea where he’d disappeared to these last six hours, but I did know he didn’t sleep during that time period.

I opened my mouth to say his name, but Caleb’s tightened hold on me had me second guessing myself.

Instead, I watched as he sat half of his weight on the chair’s arm, his eyes darting down to the glass of water in my hand.

“Drink, sweetheart.” Xavier encouraged quietly, his words rough as though it hurt him to speak.

I knew better than to challenge him right now, and it broke my heart to realize he was putting himself on a constant edge being here just to make sure I was alright.

I saw it in the way his hands clutched onto the cushion so hard it seemed as though he was restraining himself from doing something that would warrant Caleb’s cautious hold on my body.

It almost seemed stupid because I knew he’d never hurt me, but there were a lot of things that felt off today that I was too tired to question.

Obeying, I took a long sip from the glass until almost half of the water was gone, pulling it away only when I saw satisfaction in Xavier’s eyes.

It was the food that came next, and it was a combination of all three of them feeding me while refusing my attempts to do it myself.

“Let us take care of you.” Alec says as he lifts a grape to my mouth, taking the fruit between my teeth before swallowing down the sweet taste.

Very soon, I simply gave in, especially to Xavier as he fed me in silence. The stiffness of his body never fully ceased, but I knew I was acting as a distraction of his own right now too.

I had no doubt he would be gone again once he saw that I was better, and unfortunately that moment was coming a lot quicker than I was prepared for.

I didn’t want to admit that the tightness in my chest had fully loosened and that their care had been everything I needed, but it was.

Together, my men gave me everything and indeed put back together the pieces of me that I’d previously allowed to shatter, yet I knew there were parts of Xavier that were still left broken in the end.

“I’m sorry.” He whispers for only me to hear before planting a gentle kiss to my lips in apology.

I didn’t know what it meant, but knowing that the climax of my pain had ebbed, Xavier left yet again. This time, I knew he would not be coming back until his mind was settled.

The hardest part about it was that I had no clue when that time would come.

- End of Chapter 69 -

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