T H I R T Y - T H R E E

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The stay at the police station was long and painful, with countless recounts of what had occured and a lot of breaking down.

Seconds turned to minutes. Minutes turned to hours. With each passing second, my anxiety and grief rose. We hadn't heard from the hospital. Her condition was unknown.

They had seperated Tadgh and I hours ago, eager to see if our stories were similiar. They were. They never changed.

They were patient with me each time I broke down. I'd put my head down and sob into my arms, begging for them to bring Tadgh into the room.

They couldn't do that.

As far as they were aware, Gabe was dead and another was injured. To them, their attackers were one in the same. They were wrong.

At around midnight, they let us reunite. In a cold, concrete room with a single table and two chairs. The exhauastion of the day had no hold on me as I pulled Tadgh into a embrace, resting my head against his chest.

The tears came again. I couldn't stop them. Tadgh didn't mind though. He held me. He waited for the calm. The calm would be a long time coming.

"It's alright," Tadgh soothed. "We're alright," he promised, rubbing circles into my back. "The doctors know what they're doing. She'll be alright,"

A shaky sob escaped my lips, my face tearstained. Although I was crying, I had cried all the tears I could form.

More hours passed and we were alone. Despite the chairs, we sat against the wall. I was cuddled into Tadgh's chest, the exhaustion of the day literally weighing me down.

I wasn't crying anymore, I had tired myself out of that. It was quiet, the only sounds that could be heard were the officers outside, going on about their duties.

Tadgh's heartbeat was soft and steady against my ear. It's something that I could've never appreciated before today. His heartbeat. He was alive. Gabe could have killed him but he didn't get to.

I had made sure of that.

My heart clenched at the memory. How many times had I...? Twice? Three times?

Tadgh seemed to notice my relapse, of sorts. He simply hugged me tighter which brought me back to reality.

Reality is cold.

It's true. I stabbed Gabe. Till he was dead. And I don't know whether I am relieved or regretful.

"Its okay, you know," Tadgh hummed abruptly. "Not to be sure how you feel,"

I didn't reply. I just listened.

"At the end of the day, he was your father,"

If I could cry again, I would. He was right. As sick and vile as that man was. He was my father. It didn't matter how much I fought it.

"Did I do the right thing?" I whispered hoarsely, voice cracking with emotion.

"Matthew," Tadgh muttered, seriously. "You saved my life. You saved your mother's life, even Stitch's life. Fuck. You saved your own life. You did the right thing,"

"I-I'm glad he didn't kill you," I offered pathetically. There were no tears but I was shaking as I sobbed.

"Me too," Tadgh sighed, ruffling my hair. "But it'd take a lot more than him to take me away from you,"

His words. No matter how many times he'd say something like this, it would always catch me off guard. I've always wanted to say something back. To catch him off guard.

'"I love you," I whispered, my voice finally giving up on me.

Tadgh paused as he processed those words. I assume he didn't want to flip out at this moment in fear of breaking me again. Instead, he smiled softly.

"I love you too, Mattie," he promised. "Always have, always will,"

       -

I wasn't even aware that I had fallen asleep until I had begun to wake up. Tadgh and I were still on the floor. Said boy stroking my hair affectionately.

He hadn't slept.

"Morning, Sleepyhead," he greeted affectionately as I adjusted my position to get more comfortable.

Just as I was, the door slid open, revealing a familiar face. Tadgh's brother.

"Jonah?" Tadgh asked tiredly. Jonah simply sighed as he paced over to us and joined us on the floor.

"What have you both gotten yourselves into?" He asked softly. "You could've gotten seriously hurt,"

"Either way," Tadgh murmured. "He probably would have killed us,"

Jonah shook his head but said nothing on that matter.

"The Garda are working out the situation as we speak. In a moment, we'll meet a friend of mine, Detective O' Connor. He's going to bring us to the hospital to see your mother," Jonah informed.

"Is she alright?" I mumbled.

Jonah nodded. "As far as the hospital have updated, yes," he promised lightly.

"And what about Stitch?" I questioned further.

"He's at a neighbors," Jonah replied firmly.

"And how do you know all this?" Tadgh jumped in, suspiciously.

Jonah rolled his eyes. "I can see that you're fine. Anyway, the police contacted Matthew's family, seeing as they're in Canada, they cannot fly out tonight. So they contacted me seeing as I am Tadgh's legal guardian,"

I nodded slowly as this information. "Is Gran coming?" I asked meakly to which Jonah nodded.

"She'll be here within the next day or so," he confirmed.

"Is she...Is she going to take me back to Canada?" I continued to ask him questions.

Tadgh tensed up as he wrapped his arm around my waist and held me close. "Like hell she is,"

"Tadgh," Jonah scolded lightly before turning back to me. "If you don't want to go back to Canada, I'm sure you won't have to,"

I frowned but nodded at that.

The conversation didn't go further than that before an unfamilar person walked through the door.

"Hello," the man greeted. "My name is Detective Ciaran O' Connor and I've been granted permission to bring you to see your mother,"

"Is she okay?" I asked again quietly.

The detective gave a small smile of reassurance. "Why don't we go and find out?"

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Oof. And we're getting closer to the end. After this part, there are three more chapters. I know I said last time that there'd be two more chapters but i'm not good at maths so. I'm not sure if I did alright with this chapter but it is done. I hope you did enjoy though.

Peace

~Lion~

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