Chapter Eleven | Moonlight
I lavished this feeling. Euphoria coursed through my veins and intoxicated my senses like a king drinking the richest of wines. The taste of my tears, salty and cool, lingering on his lips from just moments after, allowed a sense of vulnerability to wash over me. I wanted to break the kiss and pull away, wanting reassurance.
I’ve been broken, used, and the part that hurt most of all, being in a relationship where I was manipulated and naively believed that it was my fault I was forced into certain circumstances, where I feel there was no way of getting out safely. I left him. After years and years of putting up with his crap, I left him; and that’s where I met him. The one who helped me through my darkest time - Cayden Marx. Now, when I met him, I thought he was interesting. He was quiet and shy in class, but with Viktor and Azyriah, he was the sun - joyful, loving, and above all the most important, amicable. We didn’t live in the same family situation, but the two appalling years I spent with ass allowed me to get a sense of what he was going through. He needed love. Love and reassurance, although everyone in the room needs it one way or the other, he was the soul who’s been broken and beat with an invisible bat. The soul, who if not given basic necessities would crumble in my arms and never be heard or seen from again. The soul who loved us all, and above all, the soul who is slowly coming back to reality after being blinded by love.
As fast as my thoughts came to me, they left. This wasn’t the same as all the kisses we gave each other while saying goodbye. It was different; filled with passion and greed, where if we let go, we’d lose all hope or fall off the face of the earth. His soft, pale lips, still slick with my tears moved to my jaw, giving open-mouthed kisses. His breath caressed my neck, and a gasp, I had hoped to contain, escaped my lips. It set something off in him and they became desperate, “Blayne Carver. If I had to fall in love with you again, I’d do it in a heartbeat. If I had to keep one moment and have it in my memory, cherished forever, it’d be the moment I fell in love with you.”
My eyes flew open and a second wave of tears were threatening my eyes. I broke the connection. - the connection keeping us both sane. “And I, Cayden Marx would never, in a million years, ask for someone different. You are the only person to have brought me true happiness and ebullience, loving and taking me as I am. I will love you forever and optimistically, in the future until we are no more, other than ash buried side by side.” He searched my eyes, sparkling with tears dancing in the moonlight.
“Please, please Blayne I beg of you. Only this; the only thing I will ever ask of you is please. Don’t ever leave me. I can’t lose the only person worth living for.”
“Cayden. I can assure you this. I will not leave you unless you ask me to. I will never stop loving you for you are the light of my soul and all things above. If you ask me to leave, I will. But just know, you will never leave my heart, and occupy a piece of it with everything I am.”
“He continued his soft assault on my neck and murmured, “I will never for as long as I live, ask you to leave. You are my anchor to this earth and-”
“I hate to break up with love fest, but we really need to leave. If I stay even a second longer in whatever this is, I’m going to spill my guts all over the place.”
“Viktor, please, for the love of God, fuck off. My dad, or whatever he is to me right now, may be passed out on the floor, but my mother is locked in the closet just down the hall, so I suggest you keep your voice down.” I stared at him. He’d usually attack whoever talked about his life this way, but considering they had this special bond which I really couldn’t understand, even after the several times he explained it to me.
“Cayden, Azyriah and Viktor can take care of locking the place up,” was all I could say at the moment, taking his hand and gathering my cup and book. He nodded and eyed the two. They exchanged looks, talking with their eyes. Azyriah let out an exasperated sigh, knowing they had no other choice.
We walked out, arm in arm, and the crisp, winter air welcomed me with a kiss on my nose and cheeks. “Here,” he offered his jacket, goosebumps immediately forming along his collarbones and biceps.
“Cayden, you’ll freeze. Put it back on,” I pestered, setting my stuff down in the soft, pale snow, shining silver in the blue moonlight. He swiveled around me and lunged for my book, water already seeping through the back.
“Blayne, I’ll be okay. It’s a 30 minute walk. It’s not that long. And take this, before it gets ruined. I want to read whatever poems you’ve written today in there.”
“And they say chivalry is dead. I’ll let you read them once I watch you put the damn jacket on.” He stared at me in shock. I was shocked. I have never used that language in my life - ever.
In a matter of seconds, his hands were around my throat and his rings dug into my pale flesh. His face was millimeters away from mine and his breath mixed with mine. My breathing hitched in my chest and his palm, pressed softly against my windpipe. “What did you say?” His palm added the slightest bit of pressure and his eyes were dark and set, with his jaw clenched and flexed. His demeanor had changed and he was demanding. “Answer.”
I racked through my brain for an excuse, but nothing came to mind. I straightened my posture, and looked him dead in the eye, and replied with “put the damn jacket on.” With emphasis on every word. He moved closer. Even though it didn’t seem humanly possible, he managed to move closer, the warmth radiating off of him. He moved his lips to my ear, his breath caressing the shell of it, as his hands moved under the hem of my sweater and under the clasp of my bra; his hands were like ice and I gasped in shock at the contact, “Cay-Cayden ple. Please. We-we can-can’t do this... here.”
“They can either watch or walk past. I don’t mind.”
I pushed away from him and stared. A low, dark chuck emitted from the back of my throat. “I said no, so fuck. Off.”
“What has gotten into you?”
“What’s gotten into me? Cayden Marx, I should be asking you that question.”
“Calm down, Carver.”
“Oh great. You know what? I’ll enjoy this; the last name basis. So, Marx, how’s it feel to officially have pissed off the one person who loved you more than herself, huh?” He didn’t respond. It was greatly appreciated, and seeing him trying to come up with an answer only fed by ego. “That’s what I fucking thought.” I snatched the book from his hands, ring-shaped imprints left in the damp cover. I grabbed my cup from the cement post leading up to his stairs and stormed away. I stopped in my tracks and looked over my shoulder. He was shaking with rage, and stood. He just stood there, staring at me. I half-sprinted, half-walked up to him, threw my cup at him and spat at his feet. I walked in the opposite direction, towards the library instead of my home, and decided it’d be best to ask the librarian for help with my damaged cover. She didn’t say anything out of the ordinary, besides keeping it in a cool, dry area. I should’ve known, considering most of my books contained coffee ring stains.
I was welcomed home with a warm dinner, ready on the table. My parents were already in bed, and the house was eerily quiet. The aroma of roasted potatoes and garlic bread scented the house with love, care, and warmth. Although I was frigid, the scent warmed my heart, reminding me of how close Christmas truly was; one week. One week until the merriest day on earth, and I still hadn’t come up with a gift to give everyone. I’ve already decided on a collectors edition of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” for my mother, and a leather bound notebook for my father, but what about the others? A new board for Viktor? Basketball for Azyriah? Cayden hadn’t asked for anything in particular, so I was thinking of a fine, silver nubbed fountain pen; durable, elegant, and finely crafted - perfect for writing back when he’s gone at the Academy. The Academy. The place where he’d train to sacrifice his life for Pento, our wretched city, demolished and fixed by war. The war my father served in and the war that killed my friends’ parents. Friends, whose soul left them whilst their parents were left for dead under rubble and fire, eating away at anything and everything in its wake.
There was a faint glow of candle light coming from the kitchen. Never, in my life, have I seen anyone in my family use a candle. They all considered it a ’waste of time to light and use,” besides me. The smell of Teakwood grew stronger as I stalked closer, a medium-tall figure at the stove. It turned around without warning and I caught my breath to quiet my fear. My palms were slick with sweat and I could hear and feel my stomach beg for food. I tried my best to get a clear view of the person, but the shadowy darkness short-sighted me. I took a step around the corner, forgetting which floorboard it was the creaked.
I held my breath, terrified that the intruder could hear every bit of me; my heart pulsing against my ribcage, like the beat of a hummingbird’s wings, and my breathing, rapidly growing louder and faster as the seconds passed. I saw them disappear around the corner. Relieved, I lean the umbrella against the wall, and take a calming breath, trying to regain composure over myself for hopefully the final time.
I eat my dinner in peace, continuously staring daggers at the door, looking for any sign of the intruder. Nothing. Smiling at myself for no apparent reason, I clear the table and get ready for bed.
I take out my sage green silk gown and light a candle, illuminating my room with the scent of delicately roasted marshmallows. The reverberation of water from the bathroom startled me. Everyone’s asleep. Who could it be? I don’t second guess anything, and turn the corner, candle in hand, and nothing in the bathroom seemed out of place. I quickly turn the tap off, and run to bed, terrified of what could possibly be lurking in the dark.
I open my mouth to form words, but they catch in my throat, fear coursing through my veins. I could feel a hand firmly press against my lips, feeling the outline of my teeth against them. An arm snaked around my waist and pulled me into a room. The darkness washed over me and my eyes didn’t have time to adjust to the change of lighting.
“Thought you could get rid of me that easily?” The voice was husky and light; a glorious mix. The arm drew me in tighter, where there was no space between the stranger and I, “You’d have to kill me in order to do so.”
“Watch your mouth, or I might just do so.” I could feel the rising and falling of his chest with every breath he took, like the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. My heart skipped several beats, feeling almost as though it had stopped completely, when his hand jumped from my mouth to my throat, cutting off my windpipe. I grasped at his hand, in immediate need of air. He loosened it faintly and spun me around in his arms, shoving me against the armoire with awful tenderness, careful not to make a sound.
“Now, Blayne, please keep your mouth shut, or I might just have to find another use for it.”
I swatted at his chest and moved around him. “You’re a sick, sick man, you know that, right?”
“Oh, but you love it, don’t you?” His chuckle was carefree, his spirit lifted, and I could see it vividly. The light in his eyes had returned and his smile was genuine, unlike the mask he usually wore. Alexithymia washed over her, and she’d never seen this side of him; almost as if he was livsnjutare again, before everything his parents put him through. Both arms wrapped around my lower back and the heat radiating off of him causing goosebumps to travel up her spine, and chills to completely take over her body.
“You have no idea.” His fingers dug into my thighs and he lifted me like I weighed nothing, walking to the desk in the corner of the room. The touch of wood was cool and sharp and a gasp took every bit of air out of my body.
He hovered over me, his breath was warm and caressed my ear, bright red from the cold. “You have no idea what you do to me, do you, Blayne Carver?” The open mouthed kisses he gave me behind my ear and neck drove me mad. My eyes fluttered closed and his fingers lifted my chin to face him completely. “Look at me.”
“I-I... Please Cayden.” I battled with his hand, trying to free myself from his vice like grip.
“Look. At. Me. Now.”
I said fuck it to my nerves, almost getting the best of me, and faced him. I felt a change in the atmosphere and I could sense Cayden’s reaction to it; his grip softened, but stayed firmly planted on my waist and thighs, exposed by the slip’s straps slowly falling off my shoulder, exposing what looked like miles of my skin. The luminescence radiated off my skin and made me look a pale shade of blue. Him, on the other hand, was ill-lit; the darkness engulfing every feature, but the moonlight cast shadows on him in such a way, that I was in a trance. His jawline was firm-set and sharp, and his eyes. Oh, his cool and glorious vale-green eyes. They’d be the death of me one day or the other. They stared into the depths of my soul demanding an answer, when no question was asked, and I was immediately lost in them. The pure thought of waking up every morning, staring into them, while I was blessed to be the happiest woman alive allowed me to crave the future even more. No matter what, nothing could possibly get in the way of what we were; two two teenagers in love. You, dumb, and blinded by love, but I couldn’t care. He was the only important thing in my life, keeping me together.
“Hey Blayne, I know it’s late and all, but I really need you to look over my essay. Yes, I know it’s two in the morning and that your parents are asleep, but I really need you to- OH MY GOD.”
“Jordeyn! Hi! Um, I didn’t know you would be here.”
“Yes, evidently. But it’s fine. I looked over Cayden’s essay, and he needs some help too. Well not some, more like a shit ton, but you get the memo.”
“Jordeyn, I’m spending time with the one girl who I can spend my bank account on coffee for. Please, for the final time, stop obsessing over my essay and I.”
“Well great. Thanks for putting in such simple terms, really. I’m pretty fucking fond of it. I just thought that you’d like to be informed that you did the essay completely wrong, therefore Ms. Merrit reading it, and you failing the class and her making fun of you in front of everyone for the second time this week.”
“And how did I do it wrong?” His voice rose with every word, obviously displeased. His fingers dug into thighs and waist, trying to keep himself composed and not lash out on Jordeyn, small and exhausted, framed in the doorway.
“You didn’t do it in the proper format, there’s no citations, and theres no textual evidence. You basically wrote a persuasive essay, with the persuasive. It’s honestly not even a fucking essay, so please. For once in your life, do something correctly and rewrite it.”
His smile faltered and his eyes showed his mind shutting down. He despised being called a failure, and especially by those closest to him. “Get out.”
“What? No. This is Blayne’s house. Only she or her parents can kick me out.”
“I said, get the fuck out. Want to hear it in french? Foutre le camp. Now, get out.”
“Bite my ass.”