I took the stairs and at the bottom I remembered I hadn’t brought food for Joe down. My storming out would get ruined but I went back up stairs. I could have just walked in and taken a plate and left but every piece of me was breaking inside. A little girl was hurting and in pain, her dad too and I’d left. All because Alex wanted to be the hero for once. Yet he was my hero every day. But I guess that didn’t matter.
I knocked on the door. Alex knew it was me, but he didn’t answer it. I knocked again. I heard, “You know he won’t come in unless you answer the door right?” Ryan knew me better than Alex sometimes.
I sighed and knocked again. Alex threw open the door. “What?”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breathe.
“What the fuck do you want Nox?” Alex growled at me. He was seething with anger, at me? At the bastard step father? His ex-wife? I didn’t know but it wasn’t helping. And then like a magic bullet, it hit me; Alex was picking this fight to deal with. I was near to crying again, the slow deep breathes weren’t working with Alex’s anger piercing through my body. “Fuck you Nox,” he growled and slammed the door shut. Or at least he tried to, I stuck my foot in the door jam and it slammed hard on my foot. I winced in pain.
“What the fuck do you want?” Alex growled and threw the door open.
I still didn’t say anything, if I said anything I’d break down. Instead I pushed Alex backwards and he stumbled inside. I closed the door and set my things down in the time it took Alex those few moments to catch himself. I taunted, “Hit me, I know you want to.”
Alex growled, but he didn’t move. “You think you know what I want. Other than maybe you not fucking walking away every single time we fight, how’s this.” And in the next moment I was hit with another mental blast. This time it was guilt, and anger, and confusion. It was all Alex. His emotions and on top of mine I cracked. There were no words, or sounds as I collapsed to my knees. I didn’t press my hands to my head, it wasn’t that kind of pain. I gasped for breath, my heart raced. It was hard to breathe. I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs. It was a forced panic attack like no other. I curled up on the floor. I couldn’t even rock or make it to a wall.
I heard Ryan yell “Shit!” and then he was sitting next to me trying to pull me from my position.
Quinn was screaming in the background. There was a knock on the door, frantic. Ryan was the only one moving. I heard him answer the door. The murmured conversation was not coherent as I tried to calm my self. Five things I can see. I didn’t want to look around. I didn’t want to move. I gasped for air. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! I kept muttering in my head. I had wanted Alex to hit me, I hadn’t expected he’d do that. I hadn’t known he could do that.
And just as suddenly as all those feelings overwhelmed me they were gone and Alex was at my side. “Jesus, Nox. I’m sorry.” But the damage was done, I had to regain control, but at least I wasn’t fighting his emotions too. I tried to breathe. I tried to calm down. I tried not to need Alex. I tried to find my calm inside myself.
Alex wrapped his arms around me, I’m so sorry. He kept muttering it in my head.
“Alex, let me get him into bed, where he’s safe.” Ryan was yanking Alex away from me and all I kept thinking was I didn’t want to go to Alex’s bed. I didn’t want to need him to feel better. He was going to leave me and I was so broken already he was going to leave and.
Ryan lifted me and I reacted out of instinct and made it impossible for the Chevalier to lift me. The moment of defiance broke the panic enough to think straight and I pulled myself away from everyone like a frightened dog and curled up in the corner.
Alex whispered softly, “He doesn’t want me to help him.”
Ryan looked back at him and I watched through a hazed filled fog of anxiety. “He does. Even if he’s thinking he doesn’t Alex. You just hurt him. He’s rebelling against his instincts because he’s afraid. You two are pair of fucking idiots. I swear the sooner the two of you bind your fucking souls together the better off we’ll be.”
I croaked out, “What do you mean?”
Ryan looked at me as I sat there against the wall my knees pulled up to my chest and my head against the wall looking at them. I looked like I was drunk, and maybe it was sorta. I just let it go. I stopped fighting I stopped fighting with myself when Ryan knew what was wrong. I wanted to be free for Alex to leave. But I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want him to leave. I needed him. I needed him like I needed air.
“He’s scared you’ll leave. You’re scared he’ll leave. And from where I stand you two threaten to leave each other or push each other away all the fucking time. But you aren’t going to leave, you are drawn together as soul mates are. No matter where you go, no matter how far away you get you two are meant to be. So just do it already. Bind your souls together so you can’t ever leave. You can fight, hate each other all you want but being apart for too long would hurt you. That’s what you guys want isn’t it. To feel each other’s pain. To know the one is hurting as much the other being apart. Tony and Cari did it as a reminder of their love and they had to part ways. And they’ve lived centuries like this. I feel her pain everyday, so I know how it feels.”
Alex crawled over to me and kept himself low. “I’m so sorry Nox.”
“I know,” I said. “I’m sorry too.” I pulled him into my lap and I wrapped my arms around for him. “I’m here Alex however you need me to be.” Alex didn’t relax in my arms right away, but he did eventually.