Fortune brings me around for a respite when Cole and Caleb decide to go together on a rare outing to an art show, leaving me home alone. I have a cold from running around in those non-waterproof thigh-high boots for weeks on end. I am run-down and feverish and thrilled to have a day to myself. I promptly change into jeans and a worn t-shirt with a warm hoodie over that and my All-Stars. I take the bus into the city and I knock on Lochlan's door precisely at two.
He is not attentive or chivalrous. He takes a drag from his cigarette, pushes his glasses back up his nose and turns away from me, walking back inside. His apartment is three rooms and not luxurious in the least but neat and clean and..useful. The door opens into a half-hallway and the couch is along that wall, desk to my immediate right, small dining room table in the open space in front of the desk, TV unused in between, then on two walls there are cupboards that mostly construct a tiny kitchen. At the end of this open area there's a door on the left that leads to another micro-hallway with doors to his bedroom and the bathroom. I follow him in, closing the door myself. He puts out his cigarette and frowns at me.
How are you? He waits exactly five-tenths of a second and then says You know what? Nevermind. I can see for myself (Only it comes out meself). He pulls my collar down and sees marks. Who's responsible?
I shake my head.
The new guy? What the fuck's his name again?
Loch! Stop it.
I can't trust you with any of them, it seems. You have a new best friend? Just like that. How does that even happen?
He's just a friend. And don't you think things happen for a reason?
What things? No, they don't. There's no such thing as fate. There's plans and there's coincidence, nothing more.
What about magic, Loch?
Not the same thing, peanut. Magic, well, that's what you and I had.
He pulls me forward into his arms until my face is wedged under his chin, against his throat, his hand smoothing my hair down, his breath hot on my head. He leads me over to the bed and pushes me down gently, in the middle of a kiss. He unzips my hoodie and pulls my arms out gently and smells my hair. You smell so good, Bridget. He admires his girl before he breaks her heart into so many pieces we never did find them all. We never will.
I love you for everything you ever took from meHours later I feel rejuvenated and alive. I sit up and he pulls me back down, threading my hair through his fingers, pulling it away from my face as I gaze into his eyes. Lochlan kisses me and it means everything. He reminds me that I am to watch myself around the brothers Grimm and the new guy too and he lets go gently, pushing me away. I protest but he does not notice, too busy looking through his wallet. He takes out a stack of bills and gives them to me and kisses my shoulder. Hide those away in case you ever need them and stay here and get some sleep. You have a fever, he orders, I have to work but I want to make you dinner later tonight. He slips back into his clothes, grabs his backpack and heads out the door.
I love the way you dominate and you violate me
I love you for every time you gave up on me
I love you for the way you look when you lie to me
I love you for never believing in what I say
I love you for never once giving me my way
I love you for never delivering me from pain
I love you for always driving me insane
I carefully fold the bills and tuck them into his night table drawer for him to find some other time. I snuggle back into the blankets, falling asleep in the light scattered across the bed in the late afternoon, the late-fall sun still persisting through the turned leaves, delirium clouding my dreams.