Chapter 21

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I kissed him.

His lips were dry and chapped, and I was sure that mine were too. He tasted of hospital jello and chocolate milk, and I could feel his palms pressing into my cheeks, his fingers weaving themselves through my tangled hair. I couldn't remember if I'd brushed my teeth that morning, but I couldn't think straight long enough to care. We stumbled agaisnt and along the walls, and he pressed himself to me. And, my God, when his lips part against my own, I couldn't breathe and I couldn't think and there was only him and me and the rest of the world was gone.

His forehead was pressed against my own, and his fingers trailed themselves down my spine making my breath hitch. He was kissing me like he needed me and his fingers were brushing so gently against me like he thought I would break if he was too rough. 

But by the slight tremor of his hands, I knew that it was bad. Whatever haunted his dreams, shook him to the core, whatever made him the way he was, I knew it was bad and I knew I could never heal him the way he seemed to do to me so effortlessly. I couldn't comfort him with a look, a touch. I would never be able to heal him, because whatever had happened was there and it would always be there, scarring him, haunting him. It would always be burned into his heart.

Our lips parted and met together and we were on his hospital bed soon, his hips on my hips, his skin against my skin. I opened my eyes when we pulled away for air. His eyelashes brushed against his cheekbones, so long that any girl would envy them. His eyes flitted open too, and his blue eyes were dark, heavy-lidded and tired and he was beautiful. I knew boys weren't supposed to be beautiful, but in that moment, he was.

"Will you tell me?" My voice was barely above a breath, but I knew he heard me by the way his face seemed to close off slightly. His eyes weren't locked onto mine anymore. I could feel myself losing him slowly, his walls slowly being built back together like they always did. I put the back of my hand to his cheek to keep him with me, connected to me somehow. I was grateful he didn't flinch away from me. He was closed off and I knew he was prepared to run away from me. Don't leave. Don't go. Don't close off. I chanted it over and over in my head. And he was so close, physically.  I could still feel his warm breath on my face, from thigh to chest were pressed against eachother on the bed. 

But in every other way, I was a million miles away from him. His eyes were glazed over, staring into nothing. 

"Don't do that," I ground out, grabbing his chin. I made him face me, stare at me. I hated when he pushed me away.

His voice was low when he spoke, barely even a whisper, "I can't." He pressed his lips together, and shook his head once. "Can't." He wouldn't tell me and I hated myself for thinking he would ever let me close to him and I hated myself for kissing him and I hated myself most of all for caring too much, all the god damned time. All I did was care and for once I did not want to care.

He looked frustrated, but it seemed he was really only frustrated with himself. He rolled off of me and I knew it hurt his ribs to do so by the way his face contorted in pain. We were facing each other on the bed, not touching but our faces were not even an inch away. There were tears in my eyes because I felt like I'd lost him again. He brushed the back of his fingers on my cheekbone, so softly I barely felt it. 

"I'm always hurting you." His fingers trembled as they brushed the underside of my jaw. 

"Then stop," I said in a hoarse voice. His eyes looked like liquid, bright and beautiful and clear as they stared right through me.

"I'm trying," he whispered and his lips were on mine again, his fingers tracing my cheeks and my eyelids and brushing themselves through my hair. He pulled me onto him so I was straddling him and I was worried that I was too heavy or that I was hurting him, but he kissed me harder and I forgot what I was thinking. I could faintly hear the door opening but I was too lost in Nash's scent and his deep kissing to pay attention.

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