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Damien was glad that Roslyn hadn’t pulled away from him, her arms looping around him and her body pressing close. She was returning his kiss and Damien was surprised but he wasn’t opposed to it. He was trying his hardest not to apply too much pressure to the kiss despite how excited and elated he was to find that she wasn’t pulling away. She had grown to like him and to trust him. Damien eventually drew her in and when she pulled away, he found himself holding her loose by the waist. The blush against her cheeks, the soft and sweet way she said his name made him smile.
“I take it this kiss went better than the last?” He asked in a low teasing voice. He knew earlier the kiss had come out of nowhere and she probably thought he did it out of sympathy. In reality Damien just didn’t know how else to express the emotions he felt and certainly hated how Roslyn was talking down in herself. If there was one thing that he expected of her through her treatment was to finally get a hold of her confidence once more. He didn’t want her thinking down on herself and he certainly didn’t want her to think her value lied in a mans word or that of anyone else’s opinion. Roslyn was the only one who could bring herself up or down and she had to realize never to give anyone else that sense of power over her. His hand reached up to gently caress her face, filtering slightly through dark strands of hair as he stared into her eyes. “Guess what I was trying to say is – I have a bit of a crush on you.” He chuckled lightly, biting his lip then in nervousness, feeling like he was back in high school.
He cleared his throat then, leaning forward to kiss her once more. “Is it wrong I dont feel an ounce bad about doing this?” He took her hands gently then, interlacing their fingers together.
Roslyn couldn’t deny that she had started to feel something for Damien any longer. At first he had offered her friendship when she needed it and he would talk her down from those moments where she felt like she was about to lose everything she had worked so hard for. However, somewhere along the way, the care he had shown for her had clearly wormed its way into her, blossoming feelings that she didn’t yet understand, nor could she explain if she was asked to articulate how she felt about Damien.
She had thought that she knew what I’d felt like to love someone and be loved by someone before but the longer she spent away from Michael, the more she realised how deluded she had become by his manipulation. She loved him one, maybe right at the beginning but that had faded very quickly and she was realising that through her treatment and it was clear that he never loved her, hell he didn’t even care about her. Damien was different though. She [i knew] that he cared about her and she was positive that he would continue to protect her in the same way he had been in the last month.
Her heart seemed to be racing in that moment, the way he was looking at her told her that there was about to be a moment between them. He stepped closer and voiced her name, that in itself seemed to be enough to make her heart race even more. Before she knew what to say or how to say it, his arms had wrapped around her waist and he drew her closer. This kiss felt different to the once they had shared earlier that day. A part of her thought that his kiss was one that was out of sympathy, trying to make her feel better about the herself but this...he [i wanted] to kiss her and she wanted it too.
Her arms wrapped around his neck and she melted into his kiss, never having experienced something that seemed to hold so much emotion. After a minute she pulled away from him and looked into her eyes, her cheeks reddened from the heat between them. [b “Damien...”]
Damien looked into her eyes, the same eyes he had called beautiful within just the first day of meeting her and he wondered then; was that when his feelings for her first developed ? His eyes then fell to her lips, full and rose in color. He knew he was lying to Roslyn earlier when he told her that he wanted to keep things as a friendship. He already admitted to her that the kiss hadn’t been a mistake but he had tried to brush off the incident so as not to make her feel uncomfortable as she was fresh from crying after her devastating trial. Maybe he was being selfish. But the way she looked there in his own special world, took his breath away.
Damien looked down then to see how Roslyn had took his hand. His eyes widened some in surprise as it was rare that Roslyn instigated any sense of contact and while she had gotten better being close to men, touching still seemed to be a little off her radar. “Roslyn,” Damien said softly as he closed the space between the two. He swallowed thickly, his face burning some as he got that same feeling of nervousness once more. His stomach felt like a hundred butterflies had been released inside him. He tightened his grip on her hand, not wanting her to walk away. He was scared though that he was coming off a bit too strong.
“I know we shouldn’t do this. All I ask is, you just – I feel so strongly –“ Damien couldn’t find the words and instead drew her in by the waist, his lips pressing against hers gently so as not to come off too brash or dominating. This was wrong only because it was against the rules. But if Roslyn felt an ounce of what he felt when together or even now in such an embrace – what was the worst thing about that could happen? It was just a matter of not getting caught. He cared about Roslyn and he didn’t know where this would lead, but he didn’t want to ever have to think what if.
It had been a while since anyone had taken her somewhere like this. Michael would rarely let her out of the house and when he did it was escorted and it would only be to the supermarket or somewhere like that. He rarely took her to the doctors even when she got sick . There was a time where she got really sick. A virus had turned into an infection and she really needed medical attention but he refused to take her, knowing that the doctors would noticed the broken rib and the split lip. Instead he sourced antibiotics himself. She wasn’t sure how he got them and she didn’t really ask because she needed them.
These were the things she didn’t have to put up with anymore. She was free now and that’s what she had to keep telling herself. She was in control of herself and her own destiny now and with the help of some friends along the way she would be stronger than before. The trial would come to an end and she would eventually be able to move on with her life, never having to think about Michael ever again.
Roslyn couldn’t help but glance up at Damien, his features highlighted by the beautiful light of the moon and she found herself wondering if she could ever feel something for someone again. Could that kiss they shared have meant more that she realised? She didn’t know but a part of her wanted to explore things a little further but she was scared. She was scared of moving too fast when she wasn’t completely healed herself and she was also scared of the consequences considering it was not allowed for them to form a relationship.
She sighed and looked around with the shadow of a smile dancing upon her lips. She could see why he came here and she would probably find herself coming here herself. It was beautiful and she imagined it would be just as beautiful in the day but this was atmospheric and peaceful. She looked up once more smiling towards him as he welcomed her. [b “I know exactly what you mean.”] Roslyn reached out for his hand then, a gesture which was instigated by her for the first time.
“It is,” he said softly, hands shrugged into his pockets. Luckily it was a nice night out, the weather not too hot or cold. A comfortable in between. The look on Roslyn’s face was enough to make him smile, and he ducked his head to hide how ecstatic he was that she was here with him. This was something he and Justin only knew about. If Damien was ever missing this was the place to find him. Clearing his throat then he walked over to a small patch of flowers. They reminded him of his brother, a man who would talk anyone’s heads off about plants. He had a real green thumb and for the longest would spend time with his mother in the garden, helping her tend to her roses and the vegetables she grew in the back. Damien never really had much interest in the outside world. He was always trapped in his own mind.
Music, art, and books – he had the desire to escape into these worlds. Worlds that seemed perfect or at least ended with a happy ending. Instead he would get distracted from the banging on the walls, things crashing and breaking against the wooden floors. Screams he could still hear no matter how hard he held the earphones to his head.
Damien remembered then the sound of his brother’s sobs through the walls. He looked out the window to see his father pulling at every flower his brother had grown – a small plot their mother gave him to call his own. He pulled every single flower and left them for his brother Andrew to see in the morning before school.
As twins they shared the same birthday, Damien remembered sneaking a small potted plant in his brother’s room under the bed. It died soon enough and Damien never saw or heard Andrew speak about plants again. His hands were fists then, the memories overwhelming and Damien wanted to cry. He sniffled and stood then, shoving his hands back into his pockets. “It’s nice to just have somewhere to let go you know? It’s too many noises and voices inside, sometimes drives me mental. You’re always welcome here,” he told her as he stood before her, looking down at her. It still blew his mind how someone could be so cruel to hurt a woman like her; kind and patient and breathtaking.
Roslyn had no way to know what was going through his mind right now but the look on his face told her that there was something there but she wouldn’t press him. If he ever wanted to open up to her he would do it on his own terms, exactly the same way she had. She hadn’t told him something so personal just so he would reciprocate. In honesty, if she knew what was going on with him and the news he had just found out she would feel so guilty and selfish for acting the alway she did and saying this things she did.
Roslyn followed him closely, placing her treat down as the woman working in the cafeteria nodded her head and noted down that Roslyn had finished her dinner. It all felt very child-like in some respects, almost like a sticker chart for a child, rewarding them for finishing their dinner somehow. She chuckled to herself at the thought of that whilst continuing to follow Damien.
She hadn’t been out here before and Damien was usually quite precious about his space so that face that he was sharing this with her meant something. It meant a lot. Roslyn was careful with her footing as instructed on wobbling a few times because she couldn’t see where she was putting her feet but when she arrived at the clearing she was completely awe struck. [b “Oh my God. Damien...”] Her voice lowered for a whisper then as she continued to glance around and take in the scenery. [b “This is beautiful!”]
It was too much, but Damien was no stranger when it came to difficult situations much the same as Roslyn and little did she know that Damien too was going through something. He didn’t know whether or not to tell her about his father. Damien had gone the last few years of his life ignoring his father and trying to run away from the abusive male. Damien constantly struggled with even acknowledging that he had a father as he was afraid to face his abuser. Here was Roslyn though, a woman who had been more than just yelled at and berated – she had been physically harmed and lost her child because of it. Here she was with some sense of insecurity he could tell, but at least she was facing her accuser. He wouldn’t get away with it like his father, a man who never was brought to justice for his crime and managed to get away and escape just by death.
It even sickened Damien more to know that the people who showed up at his funeral probably talked only good things of the man, when Damien and his family knew he was a monster. They were all good at faking happy in public and his father made himself seem like a calm and caring man. When behind closed doors he was a monster. Truthfully he had been the reason Damien had turned into the rough housing bad boy who moved away to the city only to become involved in a world of crime and drugs.
What did his father tell everyone when they asked about him? [I I don’t know where I went wrong. How could he fall into a world of drugs. I love my son.] Loved him enough to dislocate his shoulder or a black eye whenever he tried to get in between his father and his mother. To know Damien left his brother to deal with that situation alone made him want to gag.
Instead Damien took a deep breath and repeated his mantra. He was brought back to the present then, Quinn’s hand no longer in his own and her plate empty, ready to go. He stood then, collecting and dumping his tray before walking along side Roslyn and heading through the back exit. Damien had found this place when he first actually started taking his treatment seriously. It was a place he went to cry, to scream, to think, or to draw. This was a place that had always been his own and now he was sharing it with Roslyn, who had just shared something so personal to her with him. “Careful, the trail gets a bit bumpy,” he stated. It was night, a large moon above them peeking through foliage and the spaces between the trees. He finally pushed back a large leaf, exposing a medium patch of land. There was a small little pond that collected water from a rock formation when it rained, a boulder where he usually sat when drawing, but most of the time he liked to lay on the cool grass, staring up at the sky and just absorbing the silence – the shred of peace he had in a crazy world.
Roslyn has no idea what it was that made her want to open up to him. Of course she knew that she could trust him but she had made a decision when she first came here that no one besides Justin needed to know about some aspects of what she had been through and losing the child because she had been stabbed was one of those things that she had wanted to keep to herself. She had surprised herself though, opening up without any prompts. She didn’t want his sympathy or for him to protect her, she just needed to talk and get it out and Damien has always been so good at listening to her without making any judgments. He was probably the only man besides Justin she couldn’t trust.
The silence was almost defeating though as she gave him the time he needed to process what she had said. It wasn’t exactly a small thing she had told him. The whole time she never took her eyes off him though. His reassurance was exactly what she needed in that moment as she hadn’t realised that until the relief swam over her. She smiled softly as he held on to her hand a little tighter than before, but in an affectionate way, not intended to hurt her.
[b “I’m sorry if that was...too much.”] She said as she looked down at their intertwined hands. [b “A walk sounds like a good idea.”] Roslyn released his hand to finish her food, knowing that it would get noted down if she left anything. [b “I’m all set.”]
Damien admittedly felt uncomfortable having to hear about Roslyn’s ex Michael. He felt disgust when the woman mentioned his name and his actions – the way he took away her decisions and didn’t allow her the chance to even have any sense of control her body. Though the way that Roslyn talked about the baby that she lost, he didn’t suspect that Roslyn didn’t want to keep the baby. Even though she was forced into the pregnancy, he figured she was most definitely excited to be a mother.
He was still trying to gather his thoughts and just listened to Roslyn with something of a blank face. [I Stabbed]? She was on the brink of crying and Damien knew he would have to navigate this conversation carefully. Running his hands through his hair, he exhaled largely. Damien leaned in close then, at that moment feeling so stressed out that he wouldn’t mind a drink at that point – anything to clear this fuzzy moment in his mind.
“Roslyn,” Damien finally said when he could think somewhat clearly. “They’re not going to believe him. You’re not perfect I’m sure, no one is. But, you’re also not a monster. They will believe you.” Damien sighed out as this was terrible and he couldn’t believe that Roslyn had to go through this. He didn’t doubt that a good portion of her young life had been stolen from this man and he was still taking time away from Roslyn while dragging her through a trial. He knew what he did and he knew he was guilty. He just wanted to hurt Roslyn in any way he could.
Damien tightened his hold on Roslyn’s hand. “Just trust that you will get through this and you have a lot of people in your corner.” Damien offered her a smile then. This was certainly a load to be dropped on him and it took all of Damien told hold in his anger and not even for Roslyn. Had he seen Michael in person it would be hard for him to control himself. “You want to for a walk? There’s a nice area I usually go to. Secluded – a beautiful garden – helps to relax you know?”
Roslyn of course had no idea that Damien already knew what she was about to tell him. She would have been mortified if she knew that. Justin has told him on a need to know basis, so he could be sensitive around her to ensure that he didn’t mention children because it was a trigger for her so even though things were supposed to remain confidential there was this heads up given to Damien. However, the only this Justin has told him was that she had a miscarriage. There were no circumstances of the miscarriage related to him at all.
She took a deep breath as though she was trying to work herself up to saying it, knowing that she would feel better for telling him and that Justin has told her before that opening up about these things were a sign that she was getting better.
[b “When I was with Michael he wouldn’t let me use protection when we...you know. I wasn’t allowed to go out on my own so I couldn’t go to the doctor to get the pill and he would never use protection. He said that it didn’t matter because I wouldn’t be going anywhere anyway.”] She shook her head briefly and glanced back at her hands for a moment before looking back towards Damien. [b “He got my pregnant and... when he stabbed me, I lost the baby.”] She was holding back the tears at this point.
[b “Today in court...he told them all that I killed the baby. That I drank carelessly because I didn’t want it. He lied so easily. I’m scared they will believe him. I could never...I would never...”
“I care about you too Roslyn. You can always count on me.” He figured soon he would get out of treatment and most likely it would be before Roslyn. He didn’t want her to believe that this friendship was just only to exist in the facility itself. He would be there for her whenever she needed him, whether by phone or letter – he would even visit her if she wanted. Anything to make sure she had someone in her corner until the trial was over and her treatment finished. He wondered where that would take Roslyn, she certainly couldn’t go back to her place with that monster living there. Damien himself had lost his apartment and he knew the smartest decision would be going to live with his mother until he could get back on his feet. Could the relationship with Roslyn change into something more then?
Damien stared down at their hands that were connected by palm. It was different for him to be close to Roslyn in this manner and his mind thought of it in a different way since he had kissed her. Her tone had changed to something more serious and Damien wondered just what she had to tell him. He hoped it had nothing to do with Michael or the trial – hoping that it wouldn’t lead to Roslyn having to move or anything.
“What is it? Is it something bad or?” Joshua paused, knowing that if it had to deal with the trial then it certainly couldn’t be something so soon. He didn’t expect one day at trial to give any signs that Michael would be convicted. “I promise of course a no judgment zone.” Damien wondered if this was something that she had already told Justin. Though he was true to his word that he had no intent on judging her.
He wanted to. The very idea that he [i wanted] to kiss her was something she could barely comprehend in any way at all. She wouldn’t have been able to notice the blush of his cheeks because she was too busy hiding her own. She was actually quite scared of the prospect of having feelings for another man, especially since Michael had done such a number on her. She could never compare Damien to him though. Roslyn has a connection to him and ever since she had started to form a relationship with him, she put him in a pedestal. If they had met under different circumstances she imagined that the two might have explored their kiss further. Even thinking about that made her blush further.
Friendship. Right. She had to remind herself of that. [b “I’m glad of that.”] She reached out and took his hand and swallowed hard. [b “I care about you too and I would hate to think that I had ruined things between us.”] She looked back down at her food and started to eat a little more, feeling a little better. In fact, she felt like she wanted to open up to him a little more and get some things off her chest. She knew she would tell Justin these things in her session with him tomorrow but she wanted to talk to Damien. She took her hand back and glanced down at her plate.
[b “I want to tell you something Damien...something that came up in the trial today that I haven’t...told you yet...”]
“It wasn’t a mistake. I wanted to-“ Damien paused then. He focused on his meal, head ducked to hide the blush that had formed across his cheeks. He wasn’t trying to go back down that road again. “I wouldn’t be mad at you Roslyn. I never could be mad at you. I don’t want to risk our . . . friendship.” He knew that Roslyn probably felt very confused about everything and with her being distracted by the trial, it wouldn’t be the best idea for him to further complicate her treatment here at the facility. Damien didn’t know what he was thinking.
He figured though that’s she had feelings for him at least that’s what he suspected. Damien must’ve thought wrong or read the signs wrong. He washed the lump in his throat down with some of his drink. Damien himself was confused, it had been a while since he had developed strong feelings for a girl and admittedly he was a bit at odds. He didn’t know how to act or the proper way to go about it. Damien already kind of jumped the gun by kissing her and Roslyn didn’t seem to take it too well. He figured it would do more damage to explain how he felt about her. Damien just told himself to push the emotions to the far back of his mind and just treat this as it was supposed to be: a lighthearted friendship and that’s all. H thought back to Justin’s words, it was true that he had to remind himself that he was supposed to be Roslyn’s mentor. His duty to her had nothing to do with romance, it was about making sure she successfully got through her treatment.
He was meant to be a confidante when she couldn’t get to Justin or just wanted something a little more private. Finishing his food, he took to looking at her finally then. She wasn’t eating as much but that was expected considering the day she had.
“We can just move pass it right? I care about you, all I want to do is help.”
Roslyn couldn’t deny the fact that she was nervous about speaking to him because that kiss had completely caught her off guard and now, she was left feeling very confused, not really knowing why he did it or what it even meant. She was so used to receiving such attention as part of an ulterior motive and she still couldn’t see why he would even [I want] to kiss her. She was a complete mess and she was sure that Damien deserved better, someone who wasn’t broken and someone he could actually be with since relationships and intimacy was not allowed in the facility.
She smiled as she sat opposite him as she usually did, unsure of whether he was angry with her or whether he was pissed that she had walked away from him after he kissed her. It can’t have done anything good to his ego. She didn’t bring anything up straight away though, getting stuck in to her meal, not as hungry as she had been most nights that week. The trial had really taken its toll on her. Then she heard him say her name in a tone that made her heart skip a beat and she couldn’t help but look up from her plate of food to look at him. He was apologising again but she still didn’t know why he had done it in the first place.
Roslyn sighed and shook her head. [b “I understand, you…made a mistake?”] Her statement sounded more like a question, as though she wanted an answer from him. She assumed that he was apologising because he realised that it was something he didn’t want as well as something that wasn’t allowed. [b “I don’t want you to be mad at me Damien. You are the only person I can talk to aside from Justin and I don’t want to lose what we have.”] Roslyn had feelings for him, but she couldn’t begin to try to understand them with everything that was going on in her life right now. She didn’t know how.
Damien looked up then, the sound of Roslyn’s voice a bit shocking to him and a something in him made him want to get up and leave her alone. He worried that he would further make her uncomfortable.
“Never,” Damien finally responded, looking up briefly before turning his attention back to his plate. He was embarrassed, not really sure what to do or say. He didn’t want to offend her as he had earlier and Damien was unsure just exactly what their boundary was at this point. Damien looked down and began to eat. He knew it was wrong for him to have crossed the boundary and kiss Roslyn, but there was something that clicked in his mind when he saw Roslyn and he hated how she talked about herself. The death of his father – seeing Roslyn so affected by her ex and how she was crying and in pain – he was going through a whir of emotion. But he knew that he did have feelings for Roslyn and he just was confused if it was care or if it was something else.
“Roslyn,” he finally started in a soft voice which was definitely unlike him. “I am very sorry . . . about earlier. I shouldn’t have – kissing you – I shouldn’t have done that.” He didn’t regret the kiss, but Damien did regret how he came at her after her trial, a dramatic time for her after seeing her ex. Damien didn’t want to make it seem like he was trying to trick her, harm her, or fool her. He really did have some sense of feelings for Roslyn. “I don’t want things to be weird between us. I promise not to cross that boundary again.” Secretly he wondered though, did Roslyn hate him for what he did. Damien was not used to feeling this way and he was more than willing to force these emotions to the back if they wouldn’t be reciprocated.
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