Everything I Can Never Have

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You can thank Flash for this. 

Or burn him at the stake for it. 

Either way, thanks to him, I’m posting a scene from my latest story/novel/thing. 

Well, actually it’s more of a short story spinoff thing. I was writing about the background of one of the characters in the story/novel/thing and one thing lead to another and I ended up writing a short story.

Which includes a sex scene at the end.

Also, yes Flash, that’s what I named you. Welcome to my blog. Don’t bother stalking it for new posts because you’ll only see one once every blue moon. Blame Year 12.

And no Daniel, you cannot toast marshmallows on Flash’s bonfire.

Let’s go.

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“I don’t love her…” grumbled Xavier. 

“Well you’re going to have to. You want to be a humanitarian, you need money. Which your parents won’t give to you if you refuse to marry her.”

“Oh I can marry her.” He rolled his eyes. “What’s a few more lies? Yes, I am interested in attending that gala. Of course I like that decor, put it all over our home. Yes, I love you and want and spend the rest of my life with you.”

Cassidy sighed. “You shouldn’t have let your parents meet her if you despise her so much.”

“Oh, I didn’t introduce her. She conveniently found a book that I left behind and went to my house to drop it off. When I got back from work, she had them eating out of her hand.”

She let out a long whistle. “She’s that good, huh?”

Xavier groaned. “Yeah, she’s everything they dreamed of. Well groomed, impeccable manners, and most importantly, our children will be physically perfect.”

“And boring as batshit. Here’s an idea, after she gives the Augustine line their precious offspring, set her up in the most public, most scandalous affair you can imagine. Mummy and Daddy will rush to remove her from the family portrait.”

“And tarnish the reputation of our children? Have them questioning their parentage? My parents have enough trouble keeping us in line already.” 

She stuck her tongue out at him. “You’re boring too.”

He ignored her. “Not to mention the bullying and psychological damage that years of name calling would cause. It would be less traumatic for them if she died.” 

Cassidy glanced around her apartment. “Since there’s no wood to knock on…” She tapped on the glass coffee table. Xavier rolled his eyes at her. “Would your wife even be interested in raising your children?” she asked, a slow smile spreading across her lips. “Maybe you’ll be needing a nanny. Think Mummy would recognise me?” 

Xavier shook his head, smiling. “Oh they’ve never forgotten you. And you’d never be able to remain civil and polite for so long. There’s also the fact that you hate children.”

“Not if I had to push them out of me, I wouldn’t. But I can deal with other people’s children fine. Just don’t make me give birth to one.”

“Isn’t that half the joy for women? Experiencing the miracle of birth?”

“This is why you need someone like me as a nanny. Otherwise your children are going to grow up stupid,” she told him. 

“I think the term is idealistic.” Xavier wasn’t at all put off by Cassidy’s insult.

“As I was saying…” Cassidy was ignoring him. “If I had a baby, I’d probably go under watch for post natal depression, knowing my parents’ history. And your soon to be fiancĂ© is probably the same.”

“You don’t know that,” Xavier said.

“You said it before; she’s an air headed snob, she’s probably never even heard of it. I bet that she’s never going to give you head.”

“Oh, the horror,” Xavier said dryly. “I don’t believe I can handle such a torturous fate!”

The doorbell rang. Before he could say anything, Cassidy threw a blanket over Xander’s head before answering it. Xander rolled his eyes and smiled. He could fall asleep like this, on Cassie’s couch. He was even beginning to drift off when she plopped herself next to him. “I come with unhealthy peasant food!” she announced, handing him plastic container filled with rice and a bright red sauce. “Don’t tell Mummy.”

“I eat this all the time, I’m not that sheltered,” he told her. “Now go put on the movie.”

“Whatever you say, your highness,” Cassidy rolled her eyes as she got up.

“Did Matthew have the pleasure of being called ‘your highness’?” he asked provocatively.

“Of course not, he’s an asshole,” she retorted. “The only reason I call you ‘your highness’ is because it makes you laugh, which is better than you being a poor little rich boy.” The opening credits started playing, and she went to go dim the lights. When old Zachary began his story, she finally returned with the bottle of wine. “I’ve got a feeling I’m going to need a lot of this,” she informed him, settling down with her curry. 

“You’ll enjoy it,” Xavier reassured her.

She did, much to Xavier’s satisfaction. It was so rare to find a movie that she could sit through without getting bored, though she did come up with a drinking game for it; drink every time the sextet plays, a magic birthmark appears, or you recognise an actor playing more than one character. By the end of it, the bottle was empty, and she was snuggled against him. “You’re so much more cuddly when you’re plastered,” Xavier informed her.

“Am not,” she mumbled, not making any attempt to move herself from her current position. “And so are you.”

He smiled in the dark. The only sound that could be heard was their steady breathing. It was peaceful.

“You’ve never done it before, have you?” she asked softly. There was no teasing in her voice this time.

“Of course not,” he replied. “Girls were terrifying in high school. And now that I’m considered old enough to carry on the lineage, I’m not allowed to get into any ‘scandals’. Not that I was before. Surely you know this?”

“Yeah,” she said. “I guess it only sank in when I saw you watch Chang and Sonmi.” She looked up at him, almost gentle. “You’re a romantic. The worst thing you can be in this world.”

Xavier rolled his eyes. “Pessimist.”

There was silence. “Have you ever wanted to?”

“Do what?”

“Don’t be so naive. You know what I’m talking about.”

He looked down at her. “Of course I have.”

“What stopped you?”

“.,.fear?” It sounded more like he was asking.

“Fear?”

“I don’t know!” he said impatiently. “It’s harder than you make it out be. The possibility that she’d laugh in your face is terrifying. And why would she even both with you? She’s beautiful and unattainable, and you’re just this scared guy she probably hates.”

“Why would she hate you?” She frowned. 

Xavier was about to respond, but he cut himself off. He searched desperately for a suitable answer. “You know how it is,” he said weakly. “Girls are proud…haughty…you know? And it’s a fucking private school too, so they’re worse.”

“…ah.” She went quiet again.

Xavier went on. “I’m not like you. I’m scared of what will happen if I do something I shouldn’t. I’m scared of messing up permanently, and losing everything I love as a result. And-” His lips were suddenly covered by her palm. He stared at her in shock, before the blood rushed to his face. 

She wouldn’t look away from him. “You shouldn’t think so much,” she informed him. “If you want something, you should take it. In that regard you should be more like your family.” She took her hand down from his face, and rested it on his shoulder. He was frozen, completely entranced. “Don’t be scared of me. If you don’t want something, tell me, and I’ll stop. And I won’t mind if you do.” She looked deep into his eyes, waiting for affirmation.

He swallowed, closing his eyes. Despite the pit in his stomach, the hammering of his heartbeat against his chest, there was a part of him that was screaming at him to accept. Despite that, the words of loyalty were on the tip of his tongue. I can’t do that to Annabelle…My family will kill me… “I…” 

“I don’t want anything from you,” Cassidy insisted. “I don’t care if you walk out of here and never contact me again. But…if I can help you this way…”

“How…how is this helping?”

This time, it was Cassidy going still. “I…I want to show you what it’s like. When…it doesn’t have to be a chore. And…” Another pause. “…I want your first time to be with me,” she admitted. 

Xavier opened his eyes. She was looking away from him, her long hair hiding her colourless face. She moved her hand from his shoulder and stood up, almost robotically, clearing the coffee table of the empty takeout containers and wine glasses. The lights came on, and she went to the kitchen, leaving Xavier alone. 

The sane part him turned to the door, listing to him all the reasons that this shouldn’t happen. What would they do if they knew? His parents saw her as a corrupting force, a gold digging hobo who would bring nothing but scandal. They’d destroy her if they knew that she…that he had let her…

He wasn’t ready for this. Truth be told, he wasn’t even sure he’d be ready on his wedding night. All of his weaknesses- his shyness, his complete lack of self confidence- would be on full display. He was terrified of looking foolish, and he knew that Annabelle would rip him to shreds if he did. He thought of Cassie’s teasing and bitter remarks. Would she be just as critical as a lover? He didn’t know. 

But he did know that he felt more like himself around Cassidy than he ever would with Annabelle.

He stood up. He wished that he was normal, that something like this would come easily to him. His voice came out a stammer. “Cassie…”

She didn’t respond. He walked over to the kitchen, where she was rinsing the pan of failed casserole. “I know you can hear me,” he told her. Cassidy said nothing, but she inclined her head slightly. Xavier breathed in. “I don’t know what to do,” he confessed.

“That’s fine,” she said. “You don’t have to make yourself do-” 

“No, I mean, I don’t know what to do,” he interrupted. “I mean…I don’t know what sort of things that I’m meant to do, or how I’m meant to touch you. But…” He nearly jumped when Cassidy suddenly looked over her shoulder, but he quickly regained control. He inhaled. “But…I want to. And I want…”

She turned her whole body away from the sink then. “Do you want me to show you?” she asked directly. She made no move to touch him, however.

So Xavier took a small step forward. When she wasn’t wearing heels, they stood eye to eye. He breathed in, averting his eyes. “Yes…I do,” he said, ignoring the discomfort in his stomach. “But…just so you know, I probably won’t be any good,” he added hurriedly.

Her lips curled into a small smile. “I wouldn’t expect you to be,” she told him. “But that’s okay.” She glanced downward, and raised her hand to the laces of her shirt. 

Xavier’s hand came over hers, stopping it. Before she could say anything, he cupped her face and pressed his lips against hers, losing himself in the warmth of her skin. She feels and smells like summer, he thought, before his hand found her neck and he lowered his head to nuzzle into the softness, planting kisses against the base of her throat. He could feel Cassidy sway slightly, before suddenly tightening her grip on his hand. He looked up at her, feeling the heat come back to his face, and any confidence he had gained from kissing her retreated to the back of his mind. 

She noticed his discomfort and smiled reassuringly. She leant in again, for another kiss, and Xavier was suddenly aware of his zipper being pulled down, and the warmth of her fingers searching around the fabric of his-

He let out a yelp, as if he was a scared little puppy instead of a grown man. He felt the blood rush to his face, praying that Cassidy wouldn’t laugh. Their eyes met, and his chest tightened, as he felt the urge to bolt. Her hand backed away, but he was still trembling from her touch. “May I?” she asked gently. When he didn’t answer, she released his hand and rested it against his face, waiting again.

Xavier took in another deep breath, and nodded. In case that wasn’t enough for her, he put his hands on her waist, pulling her towards him. His lips found her again, and she relaxed quickly. Her fingers traced the edge of his waistband, Xavier’s breaths becoming shorter and shorter the further her hand went. When she first stroked him, he couldn’t help but shudder, gripping onto her like a lifeline. Her hand kept going, and just when Xavier thought he’d fall apart, she stepped away from him, chuckling slightly as he groaned in frustration. Finally there was a trace of the Cassie he was used to. He didn’t stop her as she stripped off her shirt and her shorts, nor when she wrapped herself around him, drawing him to the kitchen bench where she hopped up and looked down at him with eyes almost black, though there was still that slither of silver at the edge.

Forgetting everything, forgetting his promises, forgetting his duty, Xavier crushed her against him, kissing her breasts through the thin fabric of her bra and cupping her mound with his hand. His fingers pushed aside the flimsy underwear, running one down the entrance of her sex. When she let out a sigh, he looked up, surprised. Cassidy looked just as shocked, though she instantly recovered, making her face as neutral as possible. “I’m the one who should do the teasing,” she murmured. She wouldn’t look at him.

Xavier felt like grinning, but then her hand was stroking him again, and the pit in his stomach returned. Her grip was tighter than before, but it definitely wasn’t unpleasant. “Does this feel good? Or do you want more than this?” she asked him, taking back control.

Her touch was so warm, so tantalising that it made Xavier ache. “Please…” he managed to speak.

“Do you want to?”

“…yes.” He took the hand that was rubbing him, hesitating. No matter what Cassie said, he couldn’t stop now; the line had already been crossed. He did his best to ignore his heart throbbing in his chest, as he held her by her hips and finally buried himself inside her, sealing away his soul.

Madness took over. He grabbed her legs, kissing her frantically as he drove into her again and again. All his fear had vanished. The threat of his family was gone. The only thing that existed was the skinny little homeless girl he met three years ago- who now writhed beneath him on the granite benchtop, calling out his name. 

It had never been that simple though, and from that moment on, there would be absolutely nothing that could’ve described what she meant to him. The moment he finally collapsed into her, her name spilling out from his lips, Xavier could’ve died then and died happy. Instead, they slid onto the kitchen floor, wrapped in each other’s embrace. Neither of them wanted to move, especially him. For that moment of time, he had everything that he could ever want, and everything that he would never be allowed to have.

You Love Him

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Daniel was no longer having seizures, but he was confined to bed rest until he could stand without falling back down. As I didn’t have anything to do on Friday, I decided to leave Reality to stay with him during his recovery, leaving Kaya to her own devices. For the past few days, Daniel’s room was occupying the space that was my room, another piece of Delirium occupying Reality. Only this one have me a large headache. It was helpful when I was busy and needed to check in on Daniel without blacking out, but now all it gave me was a giant pain in the neck.

On Friday, I woke up in Daniel’s chambers, and when I opened the door, I saw the ostentatious hallways that was the palace. Trusting that the time I spent in Delirium wouldn’t be too long in Reality, I spent ten days in Delirium with Daniel.

I became used to having Jhaq and Noah as companions for this duration. When Daniel was asleep, I sometimes helped Jhaq with reading. She practised often and was now able to understand some poems, though I usually had to read them first in case she decided to show them to little Ray.

I slowly learnt to trust Noah, against my better judgement. My reasoning was that he had loved Kaya and supported her after her death, and anyone who was sympathetic with a traitor must have a decent reason for doing so. Besides that, he was willing to talk of things at court, and talk about Kaya when she was a child. He was able to satisfy some of my curiosity, though he still had boundaries, just like anyone else did.

When Daniel was considered competent to work from bed, I became used to servants coming in and delivering messages to him. They no longer did double takes at the sight of me, one even bowed when they entered and encountered me sitting by Daniel’s side as he slept. I was responsible for taking messages when he was unconscious. Most of them were queries as to when he would recover, but there were some requests for him to look into something suspicious around the Lake of Ghosts after he was better. I kept that one in mind, just in case I felt like tagging along.

Daniel’s bandage was removed and replaced with a black eyepatch, like Noah had told me would happen. He complained of the strangeness of only having one eye on a regular basis, and how he wouldn’t be able to react properly now that his peripheral vision was disabled on his right. He was embarrassed about taking his eyepatch off, so he kept it on even when he was sleeping. He probably took it off when he was helped down to where the hot steam was to bathe, but according to Jhaq, he usually did that when I was catching up on rest.

I shouldn’t have been entirely surprised to see Christan raise his admittedly beautiful head again. Daniel was still bedridden, and he was asleep when Christan quietly came in.

“What are you doing here?” I demanded.

Christan put his finger to his lips as he closed the door behind him. “No one knows I’m here,” he explained.

“Should they?” My left hand started burning again, and I didn’t even care that Daniel was sleeping next to me. I would light this prick on fire if I had to, no questions asked.

“I don’t want to hurt either of you,” he told me. “I…may I sit down?”

I didn’t answer him. “As you wish,” he sighed. “I understand why you hate me so.”

I didn’t respond to that either. Daniel suddenly cried out, and I immediately grabbed his hand. “Cat,” he hissed.

“It’s alright,” I told him. “It was just a dream, that’s all Daniel.”

“Argh…” He let out a shudder and his left eye squeezed close. He was still wearing the eyepatch, the vain man.

“Relax now,” I told him. “Do you want to go back to sleep?”

“Sleep…yes…” he murmured. His eye blinked open and gazed up at me. He lifted the hand he was holding to his lips, and kissed the fingers. “You should sleep too, you know,” he told me. “You look drained.”

“I’m fine,” I insisted. “I’ll go to bed soon, I promise.”

“Good girl.” Even drowsy and exhausted, Daniel’s tone still managed to sound as dry as a bone. His hand slowly drifted down to his chest and he fell asleep once more.

I was gently removing my hand from his when Christan spoke. “Tell me about him,” Christan asked quietly.

“You’re lucky he didn’t see you,” I told him.

“Cat…I…” I turned to face him. “I want you to know that I am ashamed of what I had done. Not only what I had done to Daniel, but to you as well, most of all. You…” His face was scarlet, but he didn’t stop. “I called you a dear friend, and then I treated you like a dog. I know you can’t forgive me, but just know that I will never do anything like that again. To anyone.”

I hesitated before giving him a nod of acknowledgement. “Thankyou,” I said.

Christan tentatively walked to the end of Daniel’s bed. “Thommand would’ve banned me from coming here,” he confided in me. “He told me to act like the whole thing never happened. But that…wasn’t right. It did happen, and Daniel is proof of it.” We both watched Daniel’s sleeping face. “I’m curious,” he started.

“About what?”

“Mercy.” Christan was frowning. “Everyone knows who you are, Cat Madigan. What you’ve done hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

Here we go again. “I want to understand why some people die at your hand, while others are left alive,” he said. “Why you let me live.”

I hadn’t thought much over that, much to my surprise. I chose to spend more time considering why I killed at all, but I soon realised that he was right. “I…I don’t know.” I held my hand in front of me. The letters aren’t glowing right now, all that’s there are the dark scarlet carvings. “I…I suppose it has to do with loyalty. Of a sort,” I amended. “It has to do with my state of mind as well. In a blink of an eye, you don’t see that you have another option, you just focus on your instinct.”

“Instinct?”

I realised how awful that sounded. “It’s not always my instinct to kill,” I informed him. “But in that moment, when Daniel or I have been hurt by them…anger takes over, and I don’t see anything else.”

“What’s the difference between them and I though?”

“I think it’s the Cat Madigan,” I said. “You came to my world, remember?”

“I thought you two were the same.”

“No…” I told him sadly. “I’m weak in Reality. Daniel would tell you differently, but that’s the truth. When I’m in Reality, I can’t let many people know about your world, so I conceal my actions. So I can’t fight back in Reality, at least not with my physical body.” I remembered that day I murdered that Fury in the brothel, when I broke away completely and snapped every bone in her body. “Using…that though, is difficult. I can’t control her as easily.”

“The shadow,” he told me. “That’s your shadow.”

“I…yes…that’s what it is.” I closed my eyes. “I hate it when I come here. Every time, I feel like I’m becoming some sort of monster. I shouldn’t be able to kill like I do. But I can. I’m losing my humanity, and that means something to me.”

I knelt down on the floor beside Daniel’s bed. “He’s the only thing keeping me human,” I told Christan. “The only reason I can live with myself.”

“How did you two meet?” Christan asked. “When did this start?”

“I…was fourteen at the time. Or fifteen, I’m not sure actually. No, I was fifteen. I was being attacked. Strangled, to be exact. Then suddenly, it stopped. And he was there.”

“You must’ve been frightened.”

“Of course I was. But not of him.” I thought back. “He wasn’t like them. He didn’t make any move to touch me, and I decided he was safe.”

“He wasn’t your guardian though,” Christan pointed out.

“That was Kaya,” I confirmed. “I could see Kaya, so it made more sense that she take care of me instead of Daniel. I still saw him though, of course. He was often with Kaya. He was annoyed with me though. Like I said, I’m weak in Reality, and I had trouble fighting off the Shadows there. So he didn’t have time for me unless he needed something. He was an ass.”

He laughed at that. “He wasn’t that bad though,” I added. “A couple of times, after bad attacks, he’d stay with me and help me sleep. And then when he found out about my parents, he stayed with me all night.” I smiled slightly. “He insists that he didn’t cry, but I know that it wasn’t me. I didn’t cry in front of others, well, not when I wasn’t in physical agony.”

“Never?”

“Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration,” I admitted. “Still, I could count on one hand the number of people whom I trusted enough to cry in front of for no reason.”

“Then Kaya died,” I sighed. Well, not exactly, but I don’t tell him that. “He was devastated, you know that.” Christan nodded. “So was I. But I…” I changed my mind at the last second. “I…I managed to get past it,” I lied. “I made myself focus on helping Daniel recover. It was difficult, but I managed to do it, somehow.”

“But then, after he recovered, I started having nightmares. I kept dreaming about Kaya dying, again and again. I thought it was me though, and I knew that I was going to die.

“Then the dreams got really bad. I could feel everything she felt, from the ice beneath her feet to the sudden shock of her heart stopping. And I couldn’t take it anymore. So…” What I was confiding in him was more than I trusted to some of my close friends, but I continued anyway.

“One night, I tried to drown myself,” I said quietly. “I held my head underwater until I started dreaming. But then I realised something.”

“And that was?”

“I was the stupidest person alive,” I said. “I would let myself die because of my visions, because I was frightened of a figment of my imagination. So I got my head out of the water, somehow.”

“Daniel came immediately. He was furious at first, but I was too out of it to care, I just wanted the pain inside my head to stop. I didn’t speak to him for a few days, not really. I couldn’t speak about it to anyone. I tried to get help from my friend, and she had a panic attack. She made it clear after that incident that I shouldn’t tell her these things, even if they were killing me, because she would be hurt too. So I kept it inside, along with everything else.

“I don’t remember when I started self harming, but I hated myself for doing it. I just wanted some way to get my pain out, and that seemed like the only option. Soon after, Daniel caught me, and I expected him to be angry. Instead, he took the razor from me, and let me cry on his shoulder.” I paused. “It was good to cry,” I added. “Before, I felt so cold on the inside, and I couldn’t do anything to get rid of it.”

“Anyway, after that, Daniel changed. Before, he was saying that I was weak, though never to my face. But then he took me under his wing. He didn’t treat me like an invisible person, he explained things to me, and he took my opinions seriously. And he stopped discouraging me when it came to fighting off the shadows. In return, I stopped being timid about everything, and I warmed up to him more. And I developed more a thick skin when it came to…what happened to me.”

“He cares about you deeply,” Christan observed. “He’s devoted to you and your safety, I know he is.”

I smiled softly. “When I changed, so did Daniel,” I said. “When I opened up to him, he relaxed a lot around more around me, and he stopped being so serious.” I laughed a little. “He teased me a lot too. But it wasn’t mean hearted, like other people are. He just did it to get me to stop being a sulk.” I looked down at Daniel. “He’s not perfect. But he’s the best man I know.”

“You love him.”

That statement made my heart stop. “You do,” Christan told me. “I should’ve seen it before, but I was blind. Now I can see the truth. He has your heart.”

“No, we’re not like that!” I flashed around in horror. “No, I don’t.”

“You do,” he repeated. “If he hadn’t survived your blood, how would’ve you felt? Tell me that.”

“I believe you should leave now,” I told him coldly. “You’ve overstayed your welcome enough.”

“So you don’t deny it.”

Leave. Now.”

He closed the door behind him, and I realised I was shaking. It made no sense to me why I was shaking, and I felt anger at Christan for making me feel that way.

Romantic feelings would always be pushed to the back of my mind when it came to people. Because no one would want to love a depressive schizophrenic, particularly one who is a total fuck up. It didn’t stop me from growing attachments to people though, which may or may not contribute to my emotional instability.

My ideal ‘romance’ wasn’t the type involving mushiness and flowers and stuff. To me, it’s more simple than that. I haven’t ever fallen in love, but I think that it would happen when I finally let myself trust them inexplicably.

Hence why I have classified myself as Forever Alone. Because after everything’s that happened to me, I don’t think I can let myself trust anyone that much. Besides, they all leave in the end. People always do. The only person who has stuck by me this far has been-

Oh god no.