Over the last few months since I found out a guy I didn’t even know had effectively killed me, I’d been transferring money into Hadley’s bank account without telling him. In fact, I’d been doing the same for Ava, really – all I had to do was add on a few extra grand to what I was giving her anyway. I didn’t want anyone to have anything through a will. I’d just leave them what I had while I was still alive so no one had to pay inheritance tax. It’s a harsh system, really. Someone you love has just died and the state’s straight on your back demanding money left right and centre from you because this person had the nerve to go ahead and die. I’d set up a couple of accounts for the kids, too. I didn’t put too much in there. I’m not letting anyone spoil them whether I’m alive or not.
Of course, Hadley was gonna notice the money going in his account sooner or later. He waited until the kids were asleep before confronting me about it.
"So there's been a lot of money mysteriously appearing in my account lately," he said. I pretended to be too busy playing a game on the Xbox to notice him. "I'm guessing it's something to do with you?" I shrugged. He let out a sigh, "Maxxie, you need that money."
"For your meds. For hospital appointments. Stuff like that.”
“Bunny, are you forgetting just how much I made off that London house?” I paused the game and looked up at him, “There’s millions just sitting in my account doing nothing. And I don’t want you to have to pay any inheritance tax when I die,” I mumbled that last bit. He sat down next to me, pushing his fingers through my hair.
"You're not going anywhere for ages, silly,” he told me, sounding like he was trying to convince himself just as much as he was trying to convince me.
“I know, but better to do it now, right? Writing a will feels too final anyway. I feel better doing it like this.” He planted a kiss on my forehead and I snuggled up with him. “Sorry,” I muttered as he snuggled back, “I didn’t mean it to upset you or anything.”
"It's okay, you didn't upset me. I just... I dunno, I've seen how expensive this can get."
“The only difference it’ll make is if I need the money, I’ll get it out of your account rather than mine,” I shrugged a little.
“Okay.” He seemed to be willing to let me go back to my game but by then I’d lost interest anyway. The games were just something to take my mind off things and I was too focused on them to be distracted by racing against computer generated cars. When he stayed quiet, I put my head on his chest, trying to take some kind of comfort from his steady heartbeat and the kiss he planted on my head.
“I don’t wanna die,” I mumbled into his ribcage quietly. I was scared. Fuck, I was terrified. It was probably the least pleasant death anyone could’ve gotten themselves. Slow and probably painful, too. So yeah, I was scared of what was happening to me, of what was going to happen to me, of what was going to happen to Hadley and the kids. He held me tight against him, and I clung on.
"I'm gonna quit my job at the hospital,” he told me, kissing my head again.
“Don’t be stupid,” I said bluntly, “you love that job.”
"I know, but there's like a million and one illnesses I could bring home with me, and I don't want to take that risk.”
“You worked your ass off to get that job. Don’t quit just because of me.”
"You're more important than my job."
“Well it’s up to you, but I’d really rather you didn’t quit. Don’t pretend it doesn’t mean a lot to you.”
"I don't want to risk bringing home something serious, though"
I sighed, “You won’t.”
"You don't know that,” he protested. I settled for ignoring his comment and stroking his side under his shirt, letting him put his head on my shoulder. A hum left him as I kept stroking his side, smiling. I barely let him smile back before I kissed him. I felt like we were wasting time, even if we were together.