I couldn’t help the whimper that fled my lips as Edix leaned over from the drivers’ seat, to run his lips across my collarbone and push his hand under my shirt, across the skin of my stomach. Disregarding the pathetic noise, he kissed my nose, the smell of smoke wafting in through my nostrils before he turned for the car door, opening it and exiting for the house. He’d disappeared into the entryway before I realized it, and I slid through after him.
The moment I’d set foot into the dark corridor, he shut the door behind me, and without a need for prompting, a stepped across to him, planting my hands against the wall and stretching up against him. He relaxed down far enough to meet my lips without my desperation causing me to stand on tiptoe, and his awful, bloodstained hands curled around my lower back and brought me in tight. Aggressively, he pulled me off the floor and opened his mouth, his tongue brushing over my lips to seek the way inside as he began the journey for the stairs. After placing me on the bottom step, I briefly fiddled with my sweater before he pulled it off for me, pushing me back, back, back and up the stairs on my elbows. At a sloth pace we made our way up the flight, and took the second on our feet, until I was practically slammed into my bedroom door, falling in with his arms catching me, until I was shoved into the sheets. He slid in over me, and began to bite at my fingers, whipping open the clasp to my belt, pushing at the denim band until it slid abruptly from my hips.
“Did you…lock the door?” I muttered into his neck, taking the moment after to breathe heavily onto it.
“What’s the fucking need?” Edix asked, his voice husky, pulling his shirt over his head. “It’s not like Sydney’s brave enough to open the door…” a malicious grin brushed his teeth, and he leaned in to me, “just…make it loud…he’ll never want to come up the stairs again.”
I closed my eyes , and then upon opening them once more, removed the glasses from his face, folding them on their hinges and putting them on the nightstand. He’d closed his eyes, and rest his forehead against my collarbone, feeling the soft flesh of my chest with his nose before touching his tongue to my sternum, and then to my tongue.
I was just about to reach for his belt when the door blew open, slamming against the neighboring wall.
Edix just kept on with the sucking of my neck while Sydney yelped loudly, falling on his ass and turning twelve shades of red. The bright, blue-grey spheres on his face had grown to the size of dinner plates. Bony, white fingers had jerked up in desperation, to grasp the wavy locks upon his head, to pull down the small amount of bangs he had, as if to shield his eyes from the overly raw transaction unfolding before him. Sighing, I gently eased Edix off of me and pulled my pants up, rolling half-heartedly out of bed.
“What?” I asked him.
Sydney had plastered his hands over his eyes, lying flat on his back, trembling. The man was your typical all-around virgin, almost irritatingly so, and there wasn’t a thing he could do to hide it. I crouched down beside him, leaning in so far my face was between my knees as I poked him deliberately in the forehead.
“What do you want?”
I peered over at Edix, who was now horribly grouchy-looking, chewing on a cigarette and angrily attempting to light it. My attention turned back to Sydney.
“Sydney,” I growled.
“Mission rundown,” he squeaked at me feebly. “Need to log…must report… It can wait…”
I scrunched my nose, “mission success. Gunshots to the head, no trace, gloved, all weapons and materials reacquired upon leaving the site.”
“All three dead?”
My mouth twisted, “not particularly. But in all technicality, I guess.”
His hands slowly dropped away from his eyes, and the bushes above them began to furrow. After opening his mouth and closing it again, he then slowly asked, “Technicality?”
“He sweep-drugged their fucking spoiled little scrounger. Down at the park. She’s still lying in bed, given the cops haven’t shown their oblivious fucking faces,” Edix grumbled through pinched eyebrows. He’d slapped his specs back onto his face, and he was glaring at Sydney with uncontested loathing. “He gave her the fizzed one.”
The blond man had jolted straight upright, “you did what?! You were supposed to kill her! Kill! We’ve never had a subject consume sweeping drugs without having killed them soon—if not directly—afterwards…Marian, what’ve you done!?” He clambered to his feet, the typical, white lab-coat flapping around his knees as he rearranged the circle-frame spectacles and adjusted his long ponytail. The man was already about twenty-three, but he was as virginal and inexperienced as a twelve-year-old girl. He eyed Edix with an increasing blush before continuing with his rant, “Why did you just leave her? Who knows what the side-effects might be?”
“It’s just amnesia, it’s been tested before, and logged, and well…” I sighed, “didn’t think it’d be a problem. And besides, we can’t go back now.” I raised one eyebrow and crossed my arms, returning to a standing position. He stood taller than me, but the air about him made him seem awfully small. But despite small, he still wasn’t convinced.
“She needs to be killed!” Sydney exclaimed, almost pleading.
Before I realized it, Edix had crossed the room, and in one moment, he scooped his hand to Sydney’s neck, and slammed him into the wall with a gut-churning rage. Fiercely, and with some sort of revulsion, he knocked a silenced pistol into the lab man’s chest. His eyes narrowed, glasses sliding down towards the tip of his nose.
“If she needs to be killed…then go kill her yourself.”
Sydney gulped, audibly, and then slid down towards the door, “as…as you wish…”
My brother slammed it behind him, and then pounded his fist against it. I ran my hand through my hair, and then walked over to him. His eyes had closed, his forehead pressed against the wooden frame. Red knuckles stayed firmly planted against the surface above him, and the other just hung limply with the cig dangling pitifully between his index and middle. My feet found their way forward, and my hand removed the disgusting little cylinder from his grasp. After looking around, I put out the flame against the door handle and tossed it aside. Shockingly, Edix didn’t say a word, just gritting his teeth.
My arm worked its way under his dead arm and around his back, and then I snaked my way between him and the door.
“Don’t be angry.”
“And why the fuck not?!” He stormed at me, a fleck of spit finding my bottom lip. I scraped at it with my front teeth as he continued, “I can be as fucking mad as I fucking want to be! You hear me?!” He slammed his other hand against the small space above me, causing me to flinch. “Little bitch! Fucking good for fucking nothing! Agh!” All of a sudden, my face was on fire and I spun for the floor. I choked, tasting carpet. “Piece of shit!”
I figured the good mood hadn’t been permanent, but to see something so…utterly pointless having snapped him back into fucking asshole mode wasn’t what I’d expected. I pushed myself up with trembling arms, only to have fire and metal crunching me on opposite sides of my head. The back of my skull crashed against the wall beside me, and the force of his knee to my teeth had been enough to split the inner flesh wide open. It stung. My eyes began to tear, but I didn’t make a sound.
“Little fucking…” Edix was backing away, and head for the door.
I waited until he was gone, when the spots had cleared my vision, before crawling my way to the bathroom. Sickly, I spat into the sink and flicked on the tap, rinsing my mouth with the lukewarm liquid before reaching for the antiseptic, already uncapped on the counter. Gingerly, I touched some of it to the outer edge of my lip-slice, and then replaced it, sinking to my knees, fingers catching the edge of the counter.
And I began to fucking cry.
Like a wife who’d lost her husband, after finding out he’d been sleeping with fucking whores. Or some little kid, watching my dad take the dog out back, and shoot it right between its eyes. Like a fucking teenage girl who’d found out she was pregnant with the seed of her father, who wouldn’t give a fuck what she wanted, wouldn’t help her, wouldn’t give a shit about her.
I asked myself why the fuck I was crying. The last thing anyone would expect from me. Nothing had even fucking happened, no gun wounds, no knives protruding from my gut, no cord around my neck, no limbs or organs lost. Just a little fucking cut on my lip and a few potential bruises on my face. I was a fucking assassin. I got paid to kill people, for fucking fuck’s sake…and I was crying. Because my cunt of a brother had slapped me, kneed me in the face, and stormed out on me on a string of insults.
But on the inside, I knew why I was crying.
He had already come back for me, and he dropped to his knees beside me. Still sobbing, my hands walked their way up his thighs, and then closed in a death grip around his throat. With hating eyes I glared straight through into the windows of his soul. Obliging me, he’d stopped breathing. Calmly, he removed the glasses from his face, and for once, I got to see his face uninterrupted by frames or cigarettes, without having to be seducing him. The gel had been washed from his hair, and it was beginning to dry and fall around his ears. I clenched my teeth, and released him in another wave of sobs, curling up into his lap as my chest heaved with the childish emotions pent up inside.
I hadn’t realized how long I’d been crying; my head pounded, my eyes swollen with tears, and my throat hurt from the constant, choking sobs. He’d practically scrubbed away the smell of smoke, and I realized it was the clothes he wore; they were mine, to keep away the perfume of ashes. His hand drew circles on my back. I seized the other with longing and pressed it to my lips, not caring of the calluses on his trigger finger, or of the scars on his palm and his wrist. I didn’t care of the burn that had placed itself on his forearm, of the yellowing bruise on the bone of his wrist, or the ripped nail to his ring finger. And I didn’t care that his skin was flawed with the years of threatening his own life, and stained with blood and tears. He’d told me so many times before, when he would just lie awake and stare at me while I tried to daze away to sleep, that if I ever did anything to my hands, he would kill me. Because they were still fucking gorgeous, and he couldn’t bear to let me ruin them like he’d done to his.
“Fuck…” I cried through chattering teeth.
“You hate me,” Edix stated, his hand moving from my back to my hair.
“You hate me,” he said again.
“Shit! I don’t!” I exclaimed, shooting onto my hands, my eyes locking on his once more.
“You do on the inside,” Edix whispered, closing his eyes and turning his face away. “There’s no way you could think anything different.”
“You seem to be pretty damn fucking good at making me cry!” I hissed, clamping down my jaw. “I fucking said I don’t fucking hate you! What else do you want from me?!”
He still wouldn’t look at me as he said, “For you…to stop lying to yourself.”
My chest contracted, and I recoiled. He still wouldn’t look at me. He was fucking bipolar. I rocked back to sit myself on my ass, and I covered my face with both hands. I knew he’d taken the time now to look at me. My fingers fell away in time to catch his irises in my direction. Seeing himself caught, he didn’t pull away. He just sat there, staring at me, as if I’d kicked him, left him out in the rain. Another tear ran down my cheek.
“Late at night, I sit up and remember the first time you came up to me with a gun in your hand. You told me to kill a man, and all I did was ask where to find him.”
My voice was soft, and cracking. Chest swelling, I choked a bit, spit running off from my lip and catching on the back of my hand. Edix eyed it, as if wishing to wipe it away, but almost too afraid to touch me. It made me wonder what made him this way.
“Is it wrong that I would do anything for you?” I choked.
And then, as if all hell had frozen over, his eyes began to grow red. He closed them and pressed fingers to his temple. Hair began to drape down across his face, hiding it away, as his body began to crumple back. I leaned forward a bit, reached forward to touch him…
His hand reached forth and caught mine, and before I realized it, he’d clutched me close, held me there, as if to never let me go. His heart was beating angrily against my shoulder, and his breath came raggedly. I closed my eyes, wondering what this weak creature had done with my brother… But I didn’t complain…I never would.
Trembling, he kissed my neck, and then pulled away enough to get at my mouth, kissing me again and again until I’d begun to cry all over again. He scooped me up and took my newly sobbing body across to the warmth of the sheets, and he curled up against me, one arm under my neck, and the other across my waist, holding me firm against his form, and I began to drift off there, with his breath on my scalp, and his heartbeat at my ear.
“You told me you loved me today,” Edix was murmuring above me, softly, so much so I could hardly grasp the words as sleep beckoned me closer.
I turned into his chest, “it’s because…I do.” I looked up at him and kissed his chin, calling down his lips to kiss them as well. His eyes closed as I got what I wanted, and then I turned back for sleep. “I love you more than anything.”
Dreams soon began to seize my mind…but not before I could hear him speak to me one last time before the night could come to its end.
“I’m sorry, Marian…” he had whispered. “Marian…” he brushed the hair away from my ear and murmured my name again, and then placed his lips against its edge, to tell me, “I love you.” And I turned in to brush my eyelashes against him, to listen as he spoke again, “I love you more than the world…” he trailed off, and pulling away and speaking it as if not for me to hear, the words escaped his lips, “and so much more than I love myself.”