Nineteen - Linkin

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When I woke up the next morning, I couldn't feel anything. My panic at my total numbness caused Desmond and me to get in a fight, and it only ended when he hit. I didn't feel the pain as the bruise appeared on my cheek and over my eyes, just felt a pinch in my neck from my heading flying sideways.

That completely ended the argument and I went into shock. I didn't care that Desmond hit me; I cared that when I looked at myself in the mirror, the only thing I could feel was the slight cut in my lip. Even as we sat on an outdoors lounge chair, me leaning into his chest as he kept his arms around me, the bruises continuing to darken, I felt nothing.

I sucked on my bottom lip, almost enjoying the little pain I could feel from it as I stared off into the distance. Desmond noticed that I was shivering and got a blanket to wrap around me, not that I felt the temperature change as the wind picked up and the sun kept falling behind the clouds.

He whispered sweet nothings into my ear as if we were dating and every once and a while I could hear him kiss my neck. He kept apologizing for hurting me, but I think he was just scared about what I was going to do. The more I ignored him and drowned him out, the more he continued to talk into my ear. 

"I'm sorry I grabbed you so hard last night, but you weren't yourself. I didn't want you to get hurt," he breathed before I heard him kiss me again.

I shivered and tilted my head away from his lips, hating the idea that he was kissing me and I couldn't tell. He took it as an invitation to continue, and my head was too high up in the clouds to even protest. My eyes fell down to my wrist as I bit on my lip. The taste of blood filled my mouth as I stared at the grasp mark around my wrist. I could clearly see his finger marks indented into my skin, but as I grabbed the bruise and squeezed as hard as I could, I felt nothing.

"What's wrong? I know things have been bad lately, but I want you to talk to me about it..." Desmond continued, his pleas falling on deaf ears.

I pulled the blanket tighter around me as I shifted a bit, bringing my knees to my chest before leaning against his. I couldn't feel his breath on my head or the subtle movements as his chest rose and fell. Something was wrong with me, something that started around the same time Jaysen had saved me from drowning.

My mind wandered back to that night, the giddy Desmond as I chased him towards the pool; how naive I was. I'd laughed and joked with him, even flirted with him as we raced. For the first seconds in his arms, as I smiled up at him, I felt safe. It was when I realized his intentions that things went downhill, but still. It wasn't until my back hit the bottom of the pool and the weight on my lungs became too much that I really felt scared. Desmond had tried to save my life. He spent days trying to make my bruised ribs up to me, and he even let me drive a dirt bike down to the beach when he knew I missed home. It was obvious he cared for me, but there was something else.

The beach party was the worst I had ever been to and I did things I would never do. Even now, I sat against Desmond, letting him hold me and kiss me like hours ago I wasn't holding my arms above my head and begging him to stop. Before this, Desmond and I flirted, laughed, and it was always consensual. Ever since Jaysen pulled me out from the water, things had taken a darker turn. I was missing something, something bigger, and I couldn't figure it out.

"What's happening to me?" I finally whispered as I shifted to face Desmond, my gaze hard as I stared at him.

He was a little taken back as I completely separated myself from him, pulling the tan knit blanket tighter around me. "I don't know, that's why-"

"Don't lie to me, Desmond!" I was quick to cut him off, not wanting anymore of his bullshit. "Something's happening and you know what, but you aren't telling me. Why? Do you think I can't handle it?"

"No, it isn't that..."

"Then tell me! Not knowing is going to drive me insane. It'll break us apart!" It was the last point that really made him tense and go quiet.

A gust of wind came. His long hair blew in the wind and he calmly raised a hand to brush it back into place. His hands then went inside his sweater, his hazel eyes looking everywhere but my face. "Things aren't right here. This island isn't what it seems." He was hesitant to start, obviously ill-prepared for my interrogation.

I shook my head, bringing my hand up to tuck my hair behind my ear. "What do you mean?" I objected. "I've heard this before, but no one will tell me anything."

He seemed surprised, "Before? What do you know, I'll fill in the rest?" He offered, but I could tell it was just an excuse to stall.

My eyes examined his facial expression and his position before I started talking. I wanted to make sure I would be able to tell if there were any changes to his body language which would give me a clue as to what he was hiding. "When I first arrived here, I noticed a piece of paper stuffed between two bricks on the road. It was a note-"

"Desmond, Linkin, I've been looking everywhere for you the two of you!" Our conversation was cut short as Doctor Stuart came strolling up the path in his typical suit and tie, an envelope clenched in his hand. "Am I interrupting?" he asked as he adjusted his glasses, his face twisting again into an unreadable emotion. Stuart looked calm as ever, but there was something behind his eyes and in his smile that said something was very wrong. 

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