Chapter 22 - Actions Speak Louder

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(A/N: Character Cast/Aesthetics posted in the first chapter 'Introductions & Characters'. Please go comment what you think if you'd like, I would love to know. X)

The rays of warm sunlight poured through the cracks in the blind, filtering into the darkness that consumed my vision. I burrowed myself back into the comfort of my sheets as all of last nights event tumbled back to me like a row of toppling dominos: the flashback, sleepwalking, broken glass, Dominic, pain. If I had managed to convince myself by rubbing my eyes vigorously that last night was just a horrible vivid nightmare, the throbbing ache where bandaged wounds still lay pulled me back to the frightful but very real terror of last night. 

It hurt. It really hurt. It was almost like those injuries were a gift from Dominic himself. He might as well have attached a note that said, you will never escape, I can hurt you from beyond the grave. But what really made my throat clench was the tragic fact they were all self-inflicted, permanent muscle-memory from Dominic.

I blinked away the sleep in my eyes, rolling over onto my back. When my glazed vision finally cleared, my tired eyes fixed on the empty fuzzy blue rug by the wardrobe where I was sure a thousand shattered shards of glass should have been. It was like spot the difference. For a moment, I believed that my memory of hurling the photoframe of Mum, Dominic and I into the wardrobe was apart of the nightmare before the sleepwalking. But I only had to lock eyes on the empty stand where the photoframe had now vanished from to remind me this was reality. A very tragic reality.

So it was confirmed. I really had sleepwalked last night with the belief I was with Dominic. I really had broken a glass and in a frantic state, injured myself whilst trying to clear it up. And all my brothers really had seen the whole ordeal. All those truths still felt like lies, it felt like last night I was a ghost of myself, although I couldn't deny the very real warmth in my heart when I remembered all my brothers had been there for me and cared for me. 

The tapping sound of a keyboard bought me back from my memories and to the silhouetted figure sitting in the armchair in the corner of my room, by the window. Not even my imagination could try and refute that the man was Mason, despite his surprisingly casual wear (for him) of an untucked shirt and dark trousers. I didn't miss the shadowed circles under his eyes and felt a pang of guilt for contributing to, or at least not helping his exhaustion. My heart sped up a little at the sight of him, from what I can recall he managed to snap me out of my sleepwalking trance last night but that was about all I saw of him. Now that he was here, in my bedroom, my breathing raced at what he must think of me.

Being the most perceptive of my brothers, he must have heard my accelerated breathing, as he drew those dark eyes to meet mine.

"Maddie," he said simply, closing his laptop and placing it back on the seat when he stood up. He walked towards me and sat at the desk chair, twisting it around so he was sat opposite me. "How are you feeling?"

Being in Mason's presence always felt like being at a formal business meeting, so in my pyjamas, with messy bedhead, covers strewn all over the bed, and generally a rather unkempt appearance; I felt a little uncomfortable, to say the least. In a form of compensation, I propped myself up on my elbows and ran my hand through my hair like a hairbrush. 

"Okay, thanks..." I trailed off when I received those cold, stern eyes that always seemed to know when I was lying. "I mean, they ache a little bit," I mumbled, glancing down at the bandages. I looked like a wreck. 

"They will for a day or two," he said, pouring me a glass of water from a jug I didn't realise was on my desk. "Take two of these."

"Thanks," I said when he handed me the glass with two painkillers. "What time is it?" I asked, still a little confused by this impromptu meeting. I really wanted to ask what the hell he was doing here, but I thought better of it and decided to make the most of the rare compassion. 

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