21: candid

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T W E N T Y - O N E 

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Jakob's POV

I pulled the black shirt over my head, tucking my chain into it. I rubbed my hand on my head and over my hair, trying to subside the dull throb in my temples.

I looked at the time, knowing it was early enough that the sun had just started to rise.

I hadn't been able to sleep recently, and working out or going to work at the crack of dawn was my next best option.

I checked my phone like clockwork; it had a handful of notifications.

But not from the person I was hoping for.

I pocketed my phone, throwing my dirty clothes in the laundry basket and turning off all the lights in my room.

I put my watch and my chain bracelet on my wrist.

Walking downstairs, I turned on a light in the kitchen. The house was quiet and dark.

Opening the blinds, I let through the barely there daylight.

My legs ached from my run last night; I hadn't taken the time to stretch, instead falling into my bed after a cold shower.

I grabbed a protein shake and a water bottle out of the fridge; unscrewing the cap, I sat down on a barstool.

I hadn't felt hungry for the past few weeks.

I didn't miss a meal though; I was running through my energy on the daily. Half from all of the workload that I had taken on, and half from my worry for her.

I wanted to be ready.

Whenever she called me.

If ever she called me.

I understood her point of view. I secluded myself when I was trying to heal too.

But I wished that I could have seen her.

I just wanted her to be okay.

Her aunt had caught me one morning as I sat in my car in the parking lot of her building. I had to stop myself from doing it every morning, limiting myself to only a few days.

I couldn't handle it.

I wanted to respect her wishes.

I needed to respect her wishes.

But I wanted some semblance of sanity.

Something to hold on to.

And if sitting in my car and staring up at her building for a few hours before work would give that to me, fine.

I gulped down some water after finishing my other drink and grabbed my wallet. The house was too quiet; my thoughts echoed back to me.

Putting on my shoes, I unlocked the front door and walked to my car. My phone buzzed, and I didn't have to check it to know who had messaged.

Adrik.

A few seconds later, it buzzed again.

Adler.

I knew they hadn't planned it, but they sent messages at almost the same time everyday.

I knew they felt guilty for everything that had happened. They took over the case and everything went south.

Eliana, Zion and Jerryl got hurt, and a handful of Adrik and our team members sustained minor injuries as well.

It wasn't their fault.

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