Chapter 4

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I fix the sleeves of my grey sweatshirt. I've only had it on for two minutes and the hot fabric is already sticking uncomfortably to my skin. I sigh, pulling the shirt off over my head and tossing it onto the bed. "Gerard?" I call, making my way back to the closet. Most of my clothes are either dirty or already packed in boxes in the corner of the room and I only have about ten minutes left to get ready. "Can I borrow your black shirt?" Ruffling through the few hanging clothes-- some T-shirts, a couple pairs of jeans, really anything that made the closet seem less empty and unused-- I didn't hear the bedroom door open.

"Which black shirt?" Gerard asks and I spin around, almost peeing myself and jumping behind the rack of swaying clothes. I cling onto some random fabric-- a jacket, I think-- and pull it against my chest. The sound of metal against metal rings in my ears when the hanger's balance on the rack wavers. I only catch a glimpse of Gerard, leaning against the doorframe, before spinning back around to face the wall.

I close my eyes and bite down on my lip, hating the feeling of more than just the leather on my skin. I can feel his eyes on my back, my arms, and I shake my head. "Can you give me a second?" I ask in a shaky breath.

"Frank..." The sadness in his voice makes me clamp my eyes shut even tighter. I hate that sadness, I hate knowing that I'm the cause of it. "Frank, please." I feel the ghost of a hand moving near my shoulder, his hesitation to touch me, especially when I cringe away from the almost-contact. "Please... Can you please look at me?"

I inhale deeply before shaking my head again, but looking at him wasn't my problem. I didn't want him looking at me. Still, he doesn't move. I hear the faint noise of feet shuffling against carpet as he steps closer, this time his fingertips brushing ever so lightly against my shoulder. I swallow hard, but don't shift away. I let him touch me. His slim fingers move down my arm, skimming over the dark, indented scars that cluster on the skin. His breath hits my neck and I shiver, not realizing he was so close. The closest he's ever been, in a way.

It's been almost three years I've been with Gerard, since my suicide attempt in high school and finding my skeleton boy, and this is the most exposed he's ever seen me. And it's fucking terrifying.

I keep my eyes closed, facing away from him, too scared to see the look on his face when he sees what I've done to myself.

In the past three years, I've done my best to keep my body hidden. The self-harm scars and the battle wounds, all concealed under a long sleeved shirt and pants at all times. The simple thought of him seeing all of me scared me more than anything else-- He would see exactly how damaged I was. And who wants damaged goods? He would leave, realize that he deserves better than me, and I would be left alone again. Though maybe it was better that way; I couldn't hurt him if he left me. I didn't want to hurt him...

Gerard sighs again and I feel his lips brush against the skin between my neck and shoulder. "You're so beautiful, Frank." He mumbles.

I shake my head, not believing his words as they're muffled against my flesh. I don't have time to argue before Gerard's hand wraps around my wrist and I'm spun around to face him. My eyelids come up and I catch sight of his breathtaking hazel eyes. They bore into mine, a vivid intensity clouding the gold and green swirl of colors. His forehead is crinkled in concentration as he watches me, his eyes flicking to each of mine. "I know what you're going to say, and please don't," He sighs. He looks just as scared as I feel. "I know you think you're not beautiful, but you are. You're the most amazing person I've ever met and I love you. All of you." He looks down at my arms, the wrists he has lightly grasped in each of his hands. I follow his gaze to the the pink, puckered marks. Tens, if not hundreds of them. I lost count a long time ago though I can still point out exactly which ones were my last. The day I tried to kill myself, three years ago. Four swift, almost graceful, lines. Thin and short, a lighter pink than the others, just left of the vein.

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