“Why are you yelling at me?” I start to sit up but like a tidal wave everything comes flooding back at once, threatening to take me back under. I grasp my fingers, gripping the side of the sofa.
“You’re safe, Vi. I promise you that.” He reaches for me but I flinch. I don’t miss the hurt he tries to mask. A hurt that I caused him. That’s what I always seem to do to everyone around me.
“I’m sorry.” I hate how weak my voice sounds. That my stalker has this control over me. That no matter how many times I tell myself I’m safe, I never truly feel that way. Especially knowing he’s free now.
“You have nothing to be sorry for.”
I nod. “Can I have some space?” I push back onto the sofa, my eyes flicking all around the sitting room. Eden stands a few feet back, her face red and blotchy with tears. Guilt starts to eat at me at the worry I’ve caused all of them.
“Don’t you say it.” She points her finger, cutting me off. I give her the best smile I can muster. One of the many things I love about Eden is that she’s sweet as can be until something rattles the cage of the people she loves. Then the claws can come out. Her loyalty is unmatched.
“Did I fall?” I reach up, touching my head. I’m pretty sure that I fainted.
“I caught you.” Eden takes a few steps closer to me.
“Of course you did.” I worry my bottom lip between my teeth. I don’t want to be alone, but I also want space from everyone. Gah, my head is so messed up. “You didn't tell me,” I accuse them.
“I only found out myself recently.” Miles really has no reason to lie to me. He’s never given me a reason to not trust him. He is always looking out for me and going above and beyond to keep me protected. “He got out last night.”
“So I was told.” Eden tucks into Miles’ side. I don’t for one second think Sebastian only found out today. I’d bet my life on it that he knew. I’m not happy that he hid it from me. I have a right to know. Keeping that information from me only makes me feel more vulnerable. It reminds me of how delicate everyone thinks I am.
The room grows quiet again, no one saying anything. What is there to say really? They want to help me but they don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do either.
Each second that ticks by I feel my anxiety start to pick up. I think about the meds in my bathroom that are supposed to help me calm down. That only makes my anxiety worse. Being groggy is the last thing I need. There is only one thing in this world that I know will calm me down. It doesn’t matter how mad at Sebastian or how hurt I am that he kept Adam’s release from me, I still want to be near him.
“Where is Sebastian?” Miles’ jaw flexes. I don’t know why he thinks he can hide his emotions from me. I mean we spent the beginning of our lives in the womb together. There is nothing that he can hide from me. I can read him like a book. “I’m mad at him too.”
“I’m sure he’ll be here soon, Vi. You know you’re safe here. This place is locked up tight.” I nod. Logically I know that, but logic and my brain aren't much on the same page lately. “Do you want me to get your medication?”
I go to answer, but the words freeze in my throat as once again panic tries to take me. Not the meds. Anything but that. Where are you? my mind screams. I need you. Then I hear him. As if he manifested from my thoughts.
“Vi!” Sebastian shouts my name. His heavy steps are loud as he runs down the hallway. He rounds the corner, his eyes coming straight to me.
“Don’t,” Miles growls at Sebastian, holding his hand out to motion for him to not come any closer. “She’s pissed at you and doesn't want anyone near her. Come back later.”
“I’m not going fucking anywhere,” Sebastian barks at the same time I scream.
“No!” I jump to my feet without thinking. I don’t pause as I run over to him. He grabs me, pulling me into him as I wrap myself around him. I bury my face in his neck. His spicy smell with hints of wood and vanilla fills my lungs, making it easier to breathe.
“Vi.” His hand rubs up and down my back.
“I’m mad at you,” I say against his neck. It’s muffled so I’m not sure he even understands me. It doesn't matter. My heart is finally starting to calm. The tightness in my body releases. And I know it’s because he’s here.