Chapter 7

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"I can literally see the fire lighting up in his eyes, can see the flames licking at his iris, asking to be freed."


The more time I spend with Lincoln, the more I just know that I am in trouble. Deep trouble. Because not only is he good-looking as hell, there is also just something about him. Despite all the darkness surrounding him, he has a kind and good heart. It just went through a lot.

I know he's still wondering why I'm doing this. Hell, I'm wondering why I didn't just send him home the first morning. Probably because he doesn't seem to have a home, to begin with.

It's not that I pity him. I really don't. It just pains me to see him this way, to see anyone this way, when they don't have to be. 

"So, what about your brothers?" He asks me from the sofa, a glass of vodka in his hands.

We've been playing this game for the last few days now. I initiate a conversation to understand what's going on with him, and he always turns it on me, obviously in the hopes of getting me to shut up. Well, too bad I don't have to hide anything. Except for that one thing, obviously.

"What about them?" I reply with a smile, sipping my own gin tonic from the lounge chair.

"You have... four?"

"Five." I correct him.

"Five brothers... Wow. And how are they?" 

A heavy sigh escapes my throat as I think about my brothers. It's tough to find just one way to describe them, they're all so different. 

"Well... Max and Finn are twin brothers, they're four years older than me. Max is very protective and stubborn, while Finn... Well, Finn hasn't had it easy, it took him a while to figure out that he's gay and he struggled a lot in his teen years, fighting with accepting his sexuality. We grew closer, back then..." 

I can't help but take a deep breath, remembering these difficult times. Mom and dad have always been supportive of us, and they never steered us in any direction regarding our sexuality, but Finn was still afraid of how our family would react. It wasn't easy for him, coming out to his four brothers.

"Max is the one that was here a few days ago, right?"

"Yeah. He's the reason you had to hide in the pantry." I smile, and it almost seems like he's smirking as well, even though he does a great job at hiding it.

"What was that all about?" He asks with a sincere look on his face.

"Well... As I said, Max is very protective. Overprotective, almost. Not just of me, but also of Finn. And, well, with me being the only daughter of the Esperanza family... Let's just say nothing goes by unnoticed. And I don't want them involved in this, I don't want them asking questions I can't give them an answer to."

I make sure to look at him when I say the last sentence, hoping to get some sort of reaction out of him. It has been four days since that morning, four days since his breakdown. He slept a lot since then, trying to avoid my questions. I'm glad he avoided any physical contact, at least. I don't know what the hell that was, that particular morning, I just know it can't happen again.

"Yeah, well, I get that... And what about your other brothers?" He eyes the glass in his hand, obviously avoiding my hint, again. 

"You know what? It's time to play a game." I get up from the lounge chair, deciding that I'm tired of following the rules to a game I did not intend to play, to begin with. 

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