Eeeeek! 100 pages!!!
When Beth woke it was still dark outside, but the lamp in the corner was on. She screwed up her eyes against the light and sat up.
“Zeke?” she asked, recognising the mint hair.
“Morning,” he replied quietly, not looking up from what he was doing.
Beth frowned, trying to see what it was he was actually doing. After a several blinks, she was able to open her eyes against the light. He was sat in the armchair in the corner of the room, the lamp on behind him. He was looking down at his hand... which he was stabbing with the tip of his dagger.
“Zeke, stop,” she said sharply, but trying to stay quiet.
“Because...” He couldn’t really lose enough blood to die by doing this, or even badly injure himself, so she didn’t have that reason. “Because Caelan wouldn’t want you to do this to yourself.”
That made him pause, the dagger resting against his palm. He sighed and placed the knife on the armrest.
Beth got out of the bed and went over to him, talking his hand in both of hers to look at it. Blood was smeared all over the skin but he didn’t seem to complain about it. She pulled him up and over to the bathroom, putting his hand under the tap and turning it on.
“Please, stop doing this to yourself, Zeke. It’ll get you nowhere.”
“It was never supposed to.”
She looked up at his blank expression. He just stared back at her. She sighed and grabbed a little towel, dabbing at his hand.
“Why?” she asked him.
“Why do you do this to yourself?”
“Because it lets me escape from my thoughts.”
She didn’t say anything for a while as she wiped the blood from his hand. After it had stopped bleeding, she turned the tap off and took a slightly larger towel, gently drying his hand with it.
“Thank you,” he whispered when she was finished, pulling his hand back and turned away, heading back into the room.
“What was it you were going to give Caelan?” she asked him, making him stop in the doorway.
He didn’t turn around to look at her. “Nothing important.”
“I know you’re lying to me. You don’t look at me when you lie to me,” she challenged, unsure of whether he was actually lying or not.
After a few seconds, he sighed, ran a hand through his hair and turned around to look her.
“It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know about it,” he said.
“But what was it?”
He sighed and scrubbed his face with his hands. He looked at her for a minute that dragged on into infinity.
“I’ll show you,” he whispered.
He slowly turned back and walked into the room. He went over to his shoes and pulled something out of the left one, curling his fist around it. He dropped into the chair he’d been in when Beth had awoken. She joined him, sitting in the seat on the other side of the tiny table. She copied his pose, sat sideways in the seat with his legs folded underneath him.