"I'm proud of you," Lou told me, kissing at my puffy lip.
"What for?" I grunted. She had persuaded me to go back to bed eventually, in spite of the fact that the sun was starting rise already. Since breaking my ankle, she'd done a pretty good job of keeping me out of trouble for the most part, and everyone seemed to agree that keeping me from getting bored and wreaking havoc was the best way she could spend her time.
"For not blowing your top at Adam," she murmured the words between kisses, "for doing the right thing. For staying here for me. For staying here for Alicia," she pushed my hair back, tucking what she could behind my ear as she rested her head back down on her pillow. "I know how you feel about this place."
I pulled my lips up into a half smile. "I wanted to. But I wanna stay with you guys more."
"Aww," Lou grinned, "you drive me insane, but sometimes you're just so cute I wanna smoosh your face," she said, pouting her lips and talking to me like I was a puppy. Her palms slapped gently against my cheeks and squished my face.
I growled playfully at her, nipping her neck. "You love me really."
"I do," she smiled, tilting her head a little, "I knew there was a decent human being in there somewhere."
"Buried deep down, maybe," I rolled my eyes, "but you know I don't mean to be a shitty person. Not with you and Alicia, at any rate." I needed to check sometimes. Controlling my temper was still something I weren't too good at, and I always seemed to be taking it out on Lou. And when I wanted to take it out on Alicia, I took it out on Lou. It was a genuine fucking miracle the woman hadn't run screaming for the hills yet. Not that she couldn't hold her own.
"I know, Luca," she sighed a little, looking bored of the way the conversation was going already. I'd learnt what that look meant when she'd snapped at me to shut up enough times.
I was half way through opening my mouth to say something else before I changed my mind and decided it was safer to just fucking kiss her. Feeling her smile against my lips told me that I had managed to do the right things two times in a row. I pulled Lou closer against me, thinking back to the stranger I'd seen in the mirror. I'd come a long way from the fuck up scamming tourists in casinos and selling drugs for a living.