I sighed then as I hoped that she wasn’t going to have to learn the lesson in quite the same way. I couldn’t watch Mark hurt Charlotte, I would rather die. Unless this was actually the plan and Mark’s newest game to mess with my head. Maybe Charlotte wasn’t trapped here by chance and Mark had sent her. Maybe Charlotte was the thing going to drive me over the edge; the final torture. I leapt back with a small cry, actually believing my own paranoia.
“Simon?” Charlotte frowned as I cowered away from her. “I am not going to hurt you baby.”
'Mark’s best friend’. The voice in my head hissed the warning and I shrank back further. “You are the final nail in my coffin.” I murmured in the end and she stared at me in a stunned silence. “You were sent!”
Charlotte shook her head gently, her dark hair wafting with the movement. “Why would he send me?”
My arguments faltered in my head and I blurted out the first thing I thought of which was, “because you are the one thing that I love enough to die for!”
I staggered back, my hand clamped over my mouth. “I didn’t mean... Oh, God Charlotte I...” My voice trailed away and I looked down rather than meet her green eyes. I looked up after a few moments of silence out of curiosity but she hadn’t moved from her position. She was just staring at me although her expression did not give away her thoughts. I shuffled my feet, squirming a little under her steady gaze. “Charlotte? Are you all right?”
Charlotte just inclined her head slightly in reply and kept her eyes locked to mine. “What did you mean by that?”
I stared at her dumbly, wishing something about her expression would tell me what she wanted to hear. “I mean that you... Well, that is that I?” I sighed and decided now I would have to come clean and reveal my feelings. I turned away before speaking very quickly. “Charlotte I have always had a bit of a soft spot for you and I would do anything to keep you safe.” I sat down heavily on the floor as I thought this through. “Except I brought you here and now... And now I am what has put you in this danger.” I lay my head on my knees. “I have failed again; I really am good for nothing.”
Charlotte crossed the room and sat next to me. “Si, look at me.” I looked into her green eyes and she put a hand on my cheek to hold the eye contact. “Mark knows nothing about your soft spot, trust me. How could he know something that even I had no clue about? I wish I had known that a while ago Simon but... Oh, never mind. Look as for failing I don’t see me being here with you as a failure.” Her fingers stroked gently at my skin and she smiled softly. “You need someone to share this with and baby I am happy to be that someone.”
I felt confused by that, why would she want to share pain? Was it simply because she was the only thing between me and my brother? I stared at her and bit my lip in frustration as her thoughts remained a secret from me. I was still slightly scared about the possibility that Charlotte was sent here. Was she toying with my emotions now? Building me up before a fall so to speak?
“You are shaking.” She said, continuing to stroke my cheek. “I am not here to hurt you and he did not send me.” Charlot let her hand drop in order to grab mine so that she could hold it to her chest. “Cross my heart.” She muttered as she moved her other hand to clasp at my wrist.
I just stared at her as I felt that steady heart beat underneath my fingers. I believed her but then you would believe one who spoke with such sincerity. If she was here as some kind of spy I almost welcomed it. Somehow the pain she would cause was justified by the contact. “I believe you Charlotte.” I whispered, feeling myself relax against her grip on my wrist. “I honestly do.” I didn’t quite believe her yet and I wasn’t sure what she could do to convince me.
“Good.” She stated simply as she drew me into a hug. I winced slightly as her arms tightened around me. She instantly loosened her hold. “Sorry Si.”
“What the fuck do you two think you are doing?” Mark’s angry voice made us spring apart guiltily and turn to face him.