WARNING: triggering themes
Louis sat in the cold, dark room, his knees pulled up to his chest. He couldn't bring himself to speak to Nico. Not yet. He was afraid that if he tried, he would certainly say something he would regret. His anger was not unwarranted, however. Nico had lied to him for months, and then almost them killed.
It felt like they had been in the room for hours, although they couldn't be sure. The single window was completely boarded up, keeping any light from passing through, so even if it was morning, they wouldn't be able to tell.
Louis felt his gut clench at hearing his brother's voice. It wasn't hate, necessarily, but it definitely wasn't love. He didn't answer.
"I'm sorry." Louis could hear the tears in Nico's voice and he took a deep breath, choosing his next words carefully.
"Why didn't you tell me? What did you think you would gain by lying to me?" He couldn't see him, but he could practically feel Nico flinch.
"I was afraid... that you'd hate me," Nico replied quietly, then sniffled. "Do you?"
Louis's jaw clenched along with his fists. Did he hate Nico? Had what he'd done made him unworthy of his love? Was Louis willing to give up the last thing he had and loved because he lied to him? Finally, he shook his head, even though Nico couldn't see. "No, Nicolas. I don't hate you." Nico sighed in relief, but it sounded more like a sob. "But I am very angry with you," Louis made sure to add. Yes, he forgave him, but his actions couldn't not go without consequence. "If you had only told me how bad your job was, I would have helped you find a new one. You didn't have to steal. All our years living on the streets and we didn't steal even once. I know you know better."
Nico sobbed loudly. "I know. I- I'm so s-sorry, Louis."
Louis sighed and reached out into the darkness until he found his brother. He moved closer to him and put an arm around him reassuringly. "I forgive you. It's in the past now, and we're going to move on, all right?" He felt Nico nod. "And now, we just have to find a way to get out of here."
The door opened at that moment and the brother's squinted at the sudden light that poured into the room. It was morning. The two thugs from the night before entered.
"Get up and come with us," Ronny said harshly. "Demon wants to see you."
"I have considered your offer, boys," Demon said coolly, looking them up and down again. Louis really hated that. "I've decided to give you a chance."
The brothers' shoulders slumped in relief at the weight that was suddenly lifted off their shoulders. "Thank you, sir," Louis said sincerely.
"But," Demon snapped, "I have rules. 1. You are never to leave this building unless specifically ordered to, and you are accompanied by one of my men. 2. You will do exactly as I, or any of my men, say. 3. You only get two meals a day, and they must be worked for. 4. If you ever try to leave, or turn on us in an way," his voice lowered to almost a growl, "I will not hesitate to kill you. Do you understand?"
Louis swallowed hard. "We understand, sir." He'd never thought it would be easy for them to escape, but these rules made it nearly impossible.
Demon smiled. "Good. You begin immediately."
Being slaves to a crime boss wasn't exactly what Louis had imagined in his future. The duties they were given were difficult and if they messed up at all, they were sure to get a beating. At night they were thrown back into the dark room, sore and exhausted from a hard day's work, only to be aroused a few hours later to do it all again.