No offence, Maxxie, but people are born good at stuff. It might take a while to found out but deep down you know what it is. I’ve never been good at anything. Besides being an alcohol tolerant slut, that is. I guess I could always go to some redneck town and be the local drinking champ. I don’t think my liver would forgive me, though...
But Hadley a doctor, huh? I could picture him doing that. Granted he was afraid of other people’s blood when he was a kid but he got over it after a few years. He’s fine with blood now, as far as I know. Man, I really am a shit brother. Like I’d said to Maxxie, I guess it is kinda nice that at least one of the Smiths is making something of themselves. I’m not exactly something to be proud of and, as far as I know, Ava’s life ambition is still to sing in the Sydney opera house. Let’s just say neither of us have done anything to make Mom and Dad proud.
Would Gage have stuck around if he knew I was this useless?
Maxxie kept hugging me while I rambled at myself and I hugged back a little tighter after a while. Even with Max and Hads looking out for me, it still hurt to think about Gage. I sighed a little when Maxxie kissed my shoulder. I might’ve had the hots for Gage but it still fucking breaks my heart being around Maxxie. If I hadn’t been so fucking stupid we’d still be together. Maxxie frowned a little and I smiled weakly at him.
“Just ignore me”
“No” he laughed slightly and I chuckled.
"Guess I should get out of bed, huh?"
I scratched my chin. Eww. "And maybe shaving would be a good idea"
He nodded and I laughed.
"You're not s'posed to agree"
He giggled slightly. "Well it doesn't matter to me whether you shave or not"
I smiled a little and he smiled back, tucking a bit of hair behind my ear. I kissed his cheek and he hugged me a teeny bit tighter.
"If I didn't know better I'd say you wanted me to stay in bed" I chuckled and he hummed slightly.
"Just as well you know better, then"
I pecked him on the cheek again. "You better stop with the hugging then"
He let go kind of reluctantly and I shuffled into the bathroom. I could’ve done with a shower but it could wait til later. I took a little longer than usual shaving, staring at my reflection for at least fifteen minutes. What are you even doing, Cayden? You’re just a waste of space.
I came back out eventually all shaved and presentable looking. Kind of. My hair was a more than a little scruffy looking and I looked like I hadn’t slept in about a week but it was good enough. At some point Maxxie had decided to start cleaning my room and I smiled.
"You don't have to do that"
He glanced up and smiled back. "It's fine. Unless you don't want me to" he shrugged.
I hugged him and he hugged back.
"Hadley's gonna get jealous" I chuckled a little.
He smiled slightly. "I'll just have to make it up to him somehow later"
"I hope you stuck with my condom rule"
"No need to worry about that while his sex drive is on holiday"
I arched an eyebrow and he shrugged.
"All I know is I'm not getting any and my balls are going to explode soon"
I laughed and he smiled.
I hummed a little. "Want me to mention your predicament to him?"
"No. I don't wanna pressure him into it, bless him. I'll just make do with my hand if I have to" he laughed slightly.
I smiled. "Is he still tired all the time?"
He nodded slightly and I felt concern pull at my features.
"Seeing a doc about it?"
"Last time I tried to make him see a doc about it, he refused. And then he seemed to get better, so I didn't push it. I know I should've but it's stupidly hard to get I-want-to-be-a-doctor to go actually go see a doctor"
"Let him know you're worried about him"
"Keep telling him"
"He's never liked doctors"
"I know. Well, I'll keep trying"
I hummed and he smiled slightly, settling his head on my chest as I hugged him a bit more. "I missed you"
"I know. I missed you too"
I sighed a little. Why can’t I get over you, Maxxie?
He pecked me on the lips and made my stomach sink. That’s not helping me, dude. "You'll find someone better" he smiled.
I smiled back weakly. "Sure about that?"
"You're the nicest guy I've ever known"
He smiled. "That's a lie"
"It's not and you know it"
"It is. You're forgetting about your brother"
I cuddled him a bit. "I love him but you're still nicer"
He chuckled and cuddled back. "I won't argue"
I closed my eyes and he rested his head on my chest. I sighed again.
"M'sorry" he mumbled quietly.
"I can't be as nice as you say I am if I abandoned you over one mistake" he sighed.
I kissed his forehead. "I don't blame you. If anything I deserved it"
"How did you deserve any of this?"
"I fucked up big time"
"We both did"
I snorted a laugh. "How did you fuck up?"
"Well I could've been more understanding. I can pretend all I like that I wouldn't have done the same if Alex had been in the right place at the right time". He sighed and pulled back slightly when I didn’t say anything. "Sorry"
"I should shut up and go back to cleaning" he said, trying to go back to cleaning but I didn’t let him.
He didn’t struggle and I cuddled him again. He sort of gave in and hugged back. Tightly. I cuddled him for a while and he cuddled back. I couldn’t help but feel like this was how things were supposed to be. And then for some God awful reason, I kissed him. He froze. Well done, Cayden.
I pulled away and took a step back. "Sorry"
He bit his lip.
“Sorry" I mumbled.
I chewed on my lip. "No it's not"
"You didn't mean to... it's okay"
I looked down at the floor. Why can’t I be around him without turning into a fucking whore? Seriously, do you want Hadley to hate you again or something? Fucking idiot.
I didn’t say anything. I didn’t trust myself to say anything. He closed the gap between us and lifted my chin. I bit my lip and tried not to look him in the eye.
"What, you can't even look me in the eye anymore?" he sighed and kissed my cheek, moving back a little.
I chewed my lip again. "I don't want to hurt anyone"
"Fuck's sake" he muttered under his breath and hugged me.
I kept chewing my lip.
"I love you, you stupid prick. Just more like a brother, y'know? I'll always be here for you, if you need me"
I looked at the floor again. "I keep fucking up around you"
"Then you'll have to practice not fucking up around me" he said, smiling weakly.
"I don't... I can't..."
I glanced up at him then looked at the floor again. "I can't trust myself"
He sighed slightly and I shook my head slightly.
"I can't. And I don't want to hurt Hadley"
He nodded a tiny bit and sat on the end of the bed. I stayed where I was. Like I said, I didn’t trust myself.
"What're you gonna do, then?"
I shrugged. What was I going to do? Being around him just seems to make everything worse but... Man, I don’t even know. I stood thinking for a while with Maxxie watching me, unsure of what to do or say. After a while I sighed and he gave me a questioning look.
"I can't do this"
"This. I can't be around you for Hadley's sake" I sighed again. "But the two of you... You're as good as part of the family now"
"You just need to find someone else. I mean what I said - you can do plenty better than me. You just need to get off your ass and find them" he smiled weakly at me but I shook my head again.
"I can't... I'm sorry" I grabbed my keys and started heading for the door.
He got up and grabbed my arm. "Where're you going?"
He looked upset and tightened his hold slightly. I shut my eyes. Please don’t make this any harder for me. He sighed and let go reluctantly.
"I'm sorry" I mumbled.
"It's fine, I understand"
I walked out the door, ignoring the curious look on Hadley’s face and resisted the urge to turn round when I knew Maxxie was watching me. But then I heard the door close and sighed yet again. Alright, Cayden, where exactly are you going?