Alex stood behind me. I could hear him breathing as I left. I was breaking inside. The pain, the anger, the loss all of it was tumbling around. I tried to slam the stair well door but it closed with a soft snick behind me. I didn’t make it much further before I let my shield go. It hurt, and I broke into a thousand pieces as I fell against the wall in tears.
Broken, alone in a cold dimly lit stair well I curled up in the corner and lost every shred of dignity I had left. There was nothing but pain and anguish tearing through my soul – shards of glass ripping it to shreds. My world crumbled just like it had the last time I’d thought it was over with Alex.
The door opened but I didn’t look up. I didn’t care who saw me. Though I knew it was Alex without even looking. I knew the sound of his breath, the way he smelled slightly of citrus and fresh soap. I knew him. I fucking knew him.
He stood there staring above me, he didn’t say anything. And I didn’t move. The only thing I heard was his breath and my heart beating a mile a minute. Alex broke the silence, “Ant said you’d break into a million pieces. I didn’t believe him.”
My brain raced, how did Ant speak to Alex? When? Where? What?
Alex answered my thoughts out loud, “I ran into him in the bar. He and I had a talk. About you. And what happened 5 years ago. Did he tell you I was here?”
I shook my head. I had already told him how I got here. I wasn’t going to repeat myself.
Alex chuckled. “You are that mad at me, you can’t even talk to me?”
I shook my head again. I wasn’t mad at him. Not really. Mad at myself really. I was a fool to fucking love a con man. Funny thing was that I didn’t care about what he did to other people. But I didn’t like being played. And I fell so hard for it, for him. I was so naive with my heart. This is why I never let anyone in.
Alex sighed. “Nox…”
He sighed again when I didn’t respond to my name, “Come on pretty boy.”
Alex growled when I didn’t respond again, and then let out a long deep breath. “Fine, Baby, when you are ready, come eat, I’ll order you some food you’ll eat, and you, me and Benji will watch a movie and maybe then you’ll talk to me. When you are ready Pretty boy, please come to my room.”
The door opened and Alex slipped out and the tears tumbled down my cheeks again.
I don’t know how long I sat there curled up in a ball in the corner of a fancy hotel in Vegas before I calmed down enough that the tears stopped flowing. My mind had gone blank. The only thing I felt was numb. I’d come all this way to see Alex, and when I did I broke. All we did was fight, yet the only thing I wanted was to see him still.
It took all the energy I had to pull myself up off the floor and out of the stair well. I knew that I had to look a sight. My face had to laced with black tear streaks and my eyes puffy and red. But I didn’t care. I’d been worse, looked worse and what did I care what anyone saw in me.
I knocked on Alex’s door and then stepped off to the side and leaned against the wall my head pressed hard into the golden wallpaper while I waited for the door to open.
I heard Benji’s voice in a hushed whisper, “I can leave if you want me to.”
Alex didn’t say anything, out loud so I assumed he shook his head before Benji responded, “You sure? I don’t mind. He sounds like he could use some alone time.”
Alex chuckled softly as he opened the door. “That’s why you need to stay.” Alex looked up the other end of the hall and then back towards me. “Come on in, Pretty boy.” He took my hand and pulled me in after him. I entwined my fingers with his and Alex relaxed.
There were two carts in the room covered in white linen and silver trays, one was uncovered and pizza slices, burgers and fries were strewn about it like there were more than two people here. The second cart was still covered and I felt a wave of nausea pass over me. “Can I use your bathroom?”
Alex looked at me with concern and then nodded in the direction we’d just come. “You okay?”
I nodded. “I’ll be fine. I just need to clean up a little.”
Alex smirked, “You are fine pretty boy.”
“Please?” I begged.
Alex’s smirk deflated and he nodded, “Yeah, sure. Make yourself at home.” He said as he took the lid off the trays that were still covered revealing a healthy pile of sauted vegetables, chicken in a sauce and a green salad. I gave Alex a weak grin, “Thanks. I won’t be long.”
I squeezed Alex’s hand before I let go and went into the bathroom to close the door. Benji sighed, “He looks like shit. You sure you want me to stay?”
“If you keep asking I’m going to kick you out.” Alex said. “We do as we planned – watch the movie then you can go home to pack. We leave in the morning.”
I turned on the water and wondered why they had to leave in the morning. But I let it go as I focused on the running water, on washing my face, on the feeling of the cold water to make me whole again. I had promised myself I wouldn’t break down in front of Alex again, and here I was – a mess in his bathroom – again.