I looked at the pictures, he hated them I knew. But I also knew it wasn’t because they were bad paintings. He just didn’t like himself. I would have to try to persuade him otherwise, if I couldn’t I could always hang the forest paintings. Perhaps try to sell that picture of my mother too. I picked it out of the wardrobe and carried it downstairs. If I didn’t sell it, I’d burn it. When I walked downstairs I saw Luca pulling up a pair of trousers. I instantly pulled the canvas up to put up a barrier between me and him. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t see you come down here!” I exclaimed, oh God, oh my God. Well, it could have been worse.
"S'ok. Not much more to see than you've already seen," he laughed, zipping up the fly on his tight jeans.
"Not the point!" I shook my head, hearing the zip I lowered the canvas but my eyes were still screwed shut.
"You can open your eyes, you know. I'm decent, or as decent as I was earlier." He picked up a black shirt that looked like the sleeves had been ripped off. Pulling it on he grinned.
I opened my eyes blinking. "Good. I am so, so, sorry about that."
"Uh... Why?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Well I didn't mean to walk in on you practically naked. How embarrassing that would have been!" Although, I was already embarrassed a slight blush appearing on my cheeks.
"Not really, but y'know." his shoulders lifted in a slight shrug that made his muscles ripple gently beneath his shirt. The tattoos that scythed down his arms seemed to sway with his movements. I had to blink and clear my mind. Wow.
"Not really?" I repeated, dazed. Why did he have to be so beautiful?
"Well... I guess it would have for you. But it's not like I have any dignity, is it? I live in a drug den for god's sake."
"Oh Luca," I shook my head softly as I rested the canvas on the armchair in the corner, making sure the sheet covered it. "You still have your dignity, with me anyway."
"If you say so, Is that the painting that was in the wardrobe?"
"Mhmm," I nodded slightly, I would show him. But it would be his regret.
"Why's it covered?"
"I warn you, it's very dark... I painted it when I was 14. I couldn't bear to throw it away before, nor could I look at it.” He shrugged and I pulled away the sheet and shied away from it, grimacing at the look that would be on his face.
He looked at it longer than he had looked at any of my other paintings, his eyes apparently taking in every detail of the painting. "It's like a really bad trip." he muttered after a while. "I did say you were a piece of work," he laughed.
I nodded my voice and face softening. “It gave me nightmares for years.” I shrugged it off, "But now I am planning to sell it. I cannot stand it any longer."
He nodded and shrugged, "your painting. Good painting, by the way. Disturbing, but good," he smiled and turned back to his bag.
"Thanks..." I muttered, "When the police are finished will you move back to the drug den?"
"Probably, someone's gotta keep the place going,"
"Oh. Okay." I nodded.
"Curious." I shrugged, trying to hide the hurt I felt inside. His eyebrow shot up again, clearly not believing that was all there was to it. He pulled a pot of something out of his bag and unscrewed it, dipping a hand in. Smearing the goo between his fingers, he ran it through his hair, creating an array of messy spikes with his short dark hair. I watched him intently before speaking again. "Okay, I lied. But you'd hate me if I explained.
"Right, the 'L' word," he said half jokingly, though his tone was dark. I shook my head.
"That and the tug in my stomach that is telling me not to let you go, but I can't keep you from your home."
"I'd say you're welcome to stay sometimes, but the look on your face when you saw where I live didn't pass me by, Gemme."
"I'm sorry." I mumbled, I really didn't want to let him go.
"I can still visit, if you want me to, though."
"Of course!" I exclaimed, perhaps a little too hastily, but I didn't really need to think about it.
"I just wouldn't feel right, staying here and leeching off you. And I don't know how I would feel knowing the local drug business is in someone else's hands. At least I can control myself and what goes on. It stayed fair when I was around. Every time I left there was a massive argument or fight. It's just... safer, if I go." I wasn't sure if he was making an excuse or if he was telling the truth, or perhaps using the truth as an excuse.
The words just skimmed me by and I sorrowfully nodded. "Okay." I whispered.
He looked up at me from his bag. "Sorry," he murmured.
I shook my head. "No, it... it's okay." Was it? Was it really? "Would you mind... if I hugged you?" I don’t know why I asked permission, I just felt it was right.
Rising from his bag, he stepped towards me and folded his arms around me, for the first time without a hesitation. I didn’t feel like crying, I just wrapped my arms back around him. I felt upset, but I knew I couldn’t really do anything. I just really, really didn’t want him to go. “Please, don’t go.” I whispered beneath my breath, part of me wished he didn’t hear another wanted him to hear and nod, then never leave me. But that would be selfish.