Bleeding Heart

By: Alannah Carbonneau


“Because you’ve already hurt me so deeply.” I replied, looking straight at his chest. I couldn’t find the courage to meet his blue eyes. They were - intimidating. But it wasn’t only that, I was afraid I would see a flash of pain in response to my words, and being the coward I was, I avoided that pain.

“How?” He held his breath and I knew my reply was going to surprise him.

“You left me.” I whispered. I didn’t say anything more. I didn’t need to. I was being truthful with him in a way that both shamed and liberated me.

He hissed in a breath, pulling away to catch my chin in his hands. He tilted my head back, forcing my eyes to meet his. “Look at me, love.” He commanded gently. I obeyed. “What do you mean I left you?”

“After telling me why I was here - after telling me why you took me - you just left me. For six days. You didn’t think that would hurt me?” I felt my throat close with emotion I choked through. “You didn’t think I was confused, shocked, afraid? You thought you could just walk away and not return for six days?”

Calix caught my face in his hands, resting his forehead against mine. “Shhh,” he cooed. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking. You’re right, love. It won’t happen again - I’ll never leave you again.”

“You will.” I predicted through an unsteady breath, before half-heartedly joking. “You still have to work.”

“You’ll come with me.” He vowed, kissing the top of my head. “I won’t leave you.”

Closing my eyes, I wondered where my outburst had come from. Deep inside, I had known I was hosting these feelings of anger and resentment and hurt toward Calix, but I hadn’t expected, in my wildest dreams, for them to surface. At least not like this - and I hadn’t expected his reaction either. To say I was surprised, by both of us, was an understatement.

Without thinking, I wrapped my arms around his middle and reveled in the intimate contact. Calix was solid and warm - always. There was something both unsettling and soul-quenching every time I found myself in his embrace. My feelings should be unsettling, but they weren’t. I was done fighting feelings for him. There was no point - not when there was no possibility of my freeing myself from this man.

Wrapping me tight in his embrace, Calix sighed. “I’m truly sorry, Nova. Leaving you to deal with everything alone was selfish of me. I should have stayed, but when you looked at me that night, the horror and disbelief in your eyes - I couldn’t stick around.”

I shook my head against his chest. “Why won’t you tell me what happened - between our parents?”

Calix hissed in a breath. There was a long pause before he answered. “Because you’re innocent to the evils in the world, love. I don’t want you to change.”

“I,”

“Nothing you can say will change my mind, Nova.” Calix announced firmly. “I’d prefer you accept that as fact and move on.”

“But,”

Calix lifted me in his arms - and before I knew it - he’d jumped from the end of the dock. The cold water was a shock at first. It submerged us entirely before the fight or flight response ignited in my brain and I kicked, flailing my arms desperately in my need to resurface.

Somehow, I’d broken away from Calix, and when I surfaced, I heard him laughing deeply.

Wiping my eyes of the water, I sputtered. “You’re, you’re,”

Calix swam closer to me, his hands finding my waist in the water. “I’m what, love?”

My breath caught at the feeling of his warm hands connecting with my body. With the cold water surrounding us, the feeling of his warm hands on my skin was intense. Flattening his palm against my lower back, he pulled me closer to him and my legs, as I continued to wade in the water, slipped alongside his.

“You’re - not very nice.” I replied quietly and he flashed a grin.

Beneath the light of the almost full moon, Calix was captivatingly beautiful. He looked almost - seraphic. His inked hair, so deep and dark, appeared as though it were streaked with blue beneath the glimmer of the moon. His eyes were so bright and playful they practically glowed.

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