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Nathan sighed out, placing the mug down beside him before running his hands through his hair. How could she have known? How could anyone have known what he had been through if he didn’t tell them? He knew that Milli was soaking up the blame for him, when it was him to which had destroyed everything. Maybe Julia and him could have worked if he hadn’t isolated himself from her so much. It was wrong of him to have done that to her, much the same it was wrong of him to had backed Milli into such a corner that she had to push him away. Though it had been obvious that Milli did care for him and he her, he was just upset that she had ignored them. Though, she had every right to do so considering their situation. Still, the moment so close to her, he’d never felt so comfortable.
He stared out the window briefly, eyes closing and replaying the static imagery of him at Julia’s. His stomach turned recalling the look of panic on Milli’s face. ”Guess that’s what happens when you hold things in.” He admitted with a small lazy chuckle. “I met a woman when I was . . much much younger than her. Things became serious, she was wild but I loved every bit of her. This woman was a friend of my mother’s. Eventually we were caught and of course my mother threatened to have the police involved. I still saw her secretly, but soon she started to pull away. Eventually I didn’t see her at all. I’d met her at the hospital, she was there to get rid of –“ He paused then, this was difficult. “Our baby – anyways I kind of never was allowed to leave the house then.” He shrugged, though you could tell he was clearly upset. “How could someone do that? How could something so right be so wrong? I’d do anything for her and in the end she left – didn’t once look back.” He swallowed thickly before groaning in frustration into his hands, shaking.
This was becoming exhausting and he knew it best he get some rest. Milli definitely needed to as she was biting through the pain he knew she must have felt. Her hand reached out for his, small and warm. He looked up at her then, tears in his eyes. “I’m sorry Milli. I’m so sorry.”
Milli looked at the man before her. He looked broken somehow, like pieces of him were missing. She watched him as he spoke and sat with her own drink, opposite him as she let her fingers warm around the rim of the mug as she shuddered. He had loved someone and she had pushed him away, just like Julia back at the house and... Milli had done the same. Without even realising it.
“Nathan, I didn’t...” She set aside the mug and forgot about it. She didn’t bring up his art again, knowing it was a sore point and done out of anger rather than malice. Guilt riddled her like a plague and she had no idea how to sort through his emotions.
Instead Milli sobered slightly and watched him,
“And I knew a man. A passionate man who would do anything for anyone. And he buried everything so deep inside, he exploded.” She murmured as she watched him carefully.
“You should rest, Nathan. Or- talk about this woman with me, I’ll listen but back at Julia’s... Nathan you were a man possessed. You can’t bottle this up.” She knew he was keeping quiet about past hurt. She hadn’t meant to reopen his injuries like that.
“Please.” She was tired and everything hurt right then from too much strain but she put it to the back of her mind. Nathan was broken, something had snapped inside of him, she could only tell because the same thing had happened to her all that time ago. Hesitantly and ever so slowly, she reached out and took his hand, there was no ulterior motive other than comfort.
Nathan allowed himself to be handled out by Milli, no longer in the fighting spirit. He felt weak and the sound of the door slamming seemed to shatter him even further. What had he done? How had he allowed himself to get to that point? For so long he had managed – [I managed] to put everything behind him and all it took was a few words to break through a cracked dam, a rush of emotions he couldn’t handle overwhelming him. He got into the cab then, not even opening his mouth – not sure where Milli was willing to take him. Had she no fear of the possibility of him tearing her house apart like some Tasmanian devil? Things could’ve gone worse, but this night certainly had been nothing but a disaster. He felt orphaned, then, ushered inside an apartment he knew well for the most part, but now felt uncomfortable in. Sitting down, he watched Milli then.
Her movements were slow, but out of pain or more so out of observation? Was she watching for a sign of him to lash out any time soon much as he had toward Julia. He was coming down from his mood then, but still felt like everything was too raw to talk about. He looked out the window, it was dark out – but he’d painted plenty of sunrises to know that it was just a very early early morning. It occurred to him how long he had been out and he frowned then.
He didn’t want to think about his paintings, months of work now gone. There were his critical pieces safe at the gallery – though nearly half of his pieces for the exhibit were now gone. He sighed, hanging his head. He was upset with himself. “I knew a woman, a beautiful and troubled woman who I loved – who pushed me away. I guess . . . today just made me realize maybe it best I’m alone?” If Julia loved him, why had she pushed him out? Why had Milli not asked him to stay?
Milli stared at Nathan, in some sort of shock at what had come over him. She looked to the cops and then the state of the studio. And then finally to Julia. She didn’t say a word to her friend, Nathan was clearly having some sort of breakdown and rather than attempt a gentle touch Julia just wanted him gone. Milli looked to Nathan and then the cops, taking a deep breath.
“Alright, he’s going. I’ll- Ill find somewhere for him to stay.” He could stay with her. Anything was better than the streets.
“C’mon.” She nudged Nathan and looked to Julia apologetically as she ducked out the home. She stood in the cold air, somewhat shaken by what she had seen from Nathan. She supposed passion worked both ways; for good and for harm.
“Don’t come back!” Julia yelled and slammed the door, Milli assuring the cops she would sort something out.
She helped him into the cab and was silent, unsure of what to say or do.
“Let’s get you inside.” She murmured softly as she helped him into her small apartment. Was he angry at her? She wasn’t sure quite that moment.
“I’ll get you a drink, something.” She said quietly, almost dropping a mug as she fumbled. It was still dark out, surprisingly.
“Nathan... what happened?” She asked him as she pressed a cup of hot tea into his hands and eyed him over, keeping her distance just in case he lashed out. She wasn’t afraid she would hurt her but she was afraid of what might happen if he did let his temper take control.
“Your paintings....” she trailed off. He had the exhibition, he had so much planned and now it was gone. But more importantly it had been an expression of himself, his world and his take on what he found beautiful.
Julia was yelling at him and in the background he could hear her on the phone. She didn’t know what to or handle the situation and frustrated at his actions, had left him alone, but he could feel another presence. He stayed quiet though. Everything he looked at seemed ugly and off – disgusted him to think that anyone would find them beautiful or worth looking at.
It was her touch though to which brought some sense of warmth to his coldness. That touch he had knew so well. He’d turned around then from the massacre of pieces to face Milli. She looked tired and hurt – a slight sense of panic in her eyes. He wondered if she thought he would hurt her too. Sound came then, no longer muffled and he could hear the sounds of radios playing as the cops had more than likely entered the apartment. Julia was going off, obviously upset and why wouldn’t she have been?
“I’m sorry,” he muttered, not really all too sure what he was apologizing for really.
“Sir?” The cop stood in the doorway then, obviously looking at Nathan with suspicion and worry. Who wouldn’t, with the condition he had left the room in. Julia stood behind the officer, her eyes red from crying, not from being upset out of care he knew – maybe more so anger at him embarrassing her. She was high profile now, this wasn’t something she wanted to be associated with. She loved him, but could she love all of him?
“I want him to go.” Julia said, not able to meet him in the eyes.
The officer looked to him then. “She’s refusing to press charges but you do have to leave the property.” Nathan’s eyes danced across the shredded pieces of canvas, the painting of Milli that hadn’t been finished – destroyed. He didn’t want to say anything – did it matter even what came out of his mouth. He grabbed his bag, watching as the officer carefully eyed him. Nathan felt so lost – he could go to his apartment and yet for some reason he felt like he was a wave of disaster to anyone he came close to.
Milli wasn’t going back to sleep anytime soon. She paced the apartment until it become agony to move and finally sank into a chair, her spot by the window, looking out into the street. She clung to her phone and it rang sometime later.
“Milli he’s gone insane!” It was Julia. Milli rubbed her eyes and sighed,
“What?” She couldn’t make anything out from what Julia was saying and Milli got up,
“Alright, calm down. I’m getting a cab over just-“ Just what? Julia sounded scared and Milli was worried.
The cab was a short one given the time of night, or was it early morning now? She got out the cab and thanked him heading towards Julia’s. She could hear the ruckus and thankfully the door was unlocked. She stepped inside and followed the noises to the studio. His art... Milli froze and she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. All his hard work, all his passion, gone.
“What on earth is going on?” She said, not nearly as hot tempered as Julia.
“He’s insane! Hasn’t said a word! Came home and this!” Julia huffed and Milli eyed her.
“You talk some fucking sense into him, he’s a ticking time bomb! I’m done with it!” Julia yelled and stormed out, slamming the studio door. There were sirens then and flashing blue lights outside. Someone had called the police?! This wasn’t happening.
“Nathan, stop it!” She took hold of his arm, desperate to bring him back to reality, willing him to calm down.
“You need to stop!” She said to him, the cops were here and Milli had no idea what to do. Nathan hasn’t done any harm, just caused a bit of worry and she sighed out in frustration.
“Nathan the police are here you need to stop.” Seeing his paintings being ripped and shredded, taken apart brought tears to her eyes. Everything he had worked for was destroyed and Julia had just stormed out, in a fit of anger, leaving Milli and the police to deal with this.
Practice makes perfect. That was the old saying that for the most part rang true. Though, for Nathan his practice had been bred from pain and depravation.
“I told her get rid of it.” His mother had said to him. Nathan was young, but not naïve and entering into his prime teenage years, pregnancy was not something that was confusing to him. He had grabbed Charlotte’s hand before she got into the cab.
“Are you alright?” He asked her, worrying that she being sick was why she had been pulling away from him. Everything around him seemed to have died down in sound as he listened to her. She didn’t look him in the eyes, her voice soft as though she were embarrassed and they both were ignoring the cab driver who wanted them to wrap the situation up.
“Terminated,” stood out to him. “Little boy.” Nathan could see the tears brimming in her eyes. “Now you go home. You have to go okay?” She said as she pulled her hand away. She shrank from his touch. “Please, you need to go.” She had slammed the door then, leaving him standing on the sidewalk in front of the hospital confused, his heart beating so hard he felt like soon it would give out.
Questioning his mother didn’t seem to help. “I’m never letting you out of my sight.” She had told him. “You don’t ever talk about that [I vile woman].” She was kneading dough for bread furiously, tears streaming down her cheeks. He was confused – later learning that his relationship hadn’t exactly been the normal type as he grew older. His mother and him had never talked about it again from that day. Therapy had helped, but Nathan still at times battled with being smothered and abandoned.
His phone’s vibration was what brought him out of the trance. Nathan watched the number flashing on the screen, wanting so badly to pick up. Instead he shoved the device back into his pocket. He’d caught a cab then, heading to Julia’s apartment. She was angry and upset.
“Where were you?” She asked, clinging the robe to her body, tugging on him only to be torn away from. “Nathan! Nathan what’s going on?” She watched him walk into the second bedroom a makeshift studio for the days he would sleepover, nights after making love and coffee in the morning. Those were the good days. It’d surprised her then to see the usually calm artist begin to shred at his paintings. Julia’s words did no good in stopping him. Frantic she had called Milli, and much the same her upscale neighbors had called the police.
Milli watched him, feeling lost herself because every inch of her wanted to reach out and gather him in her arms and hold him ode for the remainder of their days but she couldn’t. He wasn’t hers. He had to go to Julia. Milli stared at the closed door for a long time before registering she should move. She got to her feet, slowly and got dressed once more, sitting my the window and looking completely forlorn. She didn’t hear from him, she figured to expect that.
She eventually managed to settle in bed and was on the brink of sleep when her phone buzzed, sitting up and fumbling in the dim light for the device.
“Hmm, hello?” She mumbled sleepily and listened to Julia. She sounded scared and Milli took a moment to sit up.
“Milli, have you heard from Nathan? He hasn’t come home and- oh I know it’s late and I don’t know why you would ever hear from him but-“ Milli was surprised and she frowned a little.
“Nathan didn’t come home?” She murmured sleepily.
Julia huffed and Milli felt her own stab of panic. Where had Nathan gone, if not home?
“Uh. I’ll try his phone?” She offered and Julia tutted.
“If he won’t answer me then he’s hardly going to answer you!” She Jung up and Milli frowned a little, letting her scathing comments pass over. She rubbed her eyes and sighed softly.
Hesitantly, she dialled Nathan’s number, if it went to voicemail or if he picked up, her words were the same.
“Nathan where are you?” She wasn’t awake properly, voice heavy with sleep.
“Everyone’s worried- I’m worried. Just tell me... I’ll come and get you.” Milli said. What was he doing out by himself this late? She was already shoving on some shoes, wincing slightly as she took a some painkillers to dull the injury.
“Nathan please just let me know where you are.” This was her fault. She shouldn’t have let him leave and now she was panicking.
She’d pulled away from him, slow like the pull from a honeycomb. Her eyes watched him carefully and once more he buried his face into her soft palm. She was so close, he had her so close and yet Nathan could feel her pulling away from him, without even moving. He could see that look in her yes as she began to go back and burrow into her shell; her personal shelter from hurt and expectations due to the fear of being let down before and not wanting it to happen again. She couldn’t have him, Julia had him and all she had then was Julia – no matter what Nathan thought or said.
“I don’t want to go,” he said and he felt like he did all those years ago – staring into the eyes of Charlotte as she packed her bags, Nathan desperately clinging to her and so confused. Why had he had to find her at the hospital? Why had she stopped visiting? Why had his mother cursed her over the phone? What was so wrong? She looked at him much the same as Charlotte did – so much pain tightened into a ball of passion.
Nathan could feel his stomach turning then, memories he had tried so hard to block out overcoming him. He could feel the anger stemming from confusion, his body somewhat cold then and numb. There was so much he wanted to say, but words failed him and embarrassingly, he stumbled away from her. His mouth was warm then, bitter tasting eventually turning into metal as he bit his tongue – to stop the scream. There was nothing to be said. He’d lost himself then, numb and quiet as he packed up and walked out, gently closing the door behind him.
Texts and calls from Julia and Sharon were ignored the remainder of the night, Nathan riding the train for hours until last call, ending up who knew where, sitting on a bench. He was lost in a loop then it felt like. Julia had reached out to Milli then, wondering if at all he had reached out to her as she couldn’t get in touch with him and it was reaching late. She was worried he was hurt considering Milli had gone through.
This was wrong, it was betrayal. Betrayal of Julia and betrayal of everything she had ever sworn to not do. She wasn’t supposed to fall in love. She was supposed to remain alone, exploring the world with hesitant eyes and shutting out any idea of love and what it would mean for her. She was terrified. What if Nathan decided to go to Paris after all? This would destroy Julia. His kisses were soft but demanding, demanding love from her like a curse. But she didn’t stop him.
She closed her eyes and just let them be, be together for now. He wouldn’t stay, she knew that. He would leave soon and go back to Julia and do everything with her, carry on the facade that they were in a relationship. And Milli wanted nothing more than to be with him but at what cost? Julia had been her only friend, her only anchor and now she was leaving. She shivered a little and clutched at him like he was keeping her safe. Eventually, her grip loosened and she leaned back to look at him. She wanted nothing more than to hide them both away from the world, but she couldn’t. Their reality was not a storybook ending.
She cupped his face and watched him, reading his every expression, losing herself in those eyes.
“You have to go.” It hurt to say it. But he didn’t belong here right now in this tiny apartment in the middle of the bad neighbourhood. He belonged with Julia right now, so they could work out their issues and find some sort of common ground.
“You [i need] to go.” She whispered to him. She wasn’t denying him, she had confessed everything to him in a rush of emotions and that wouldn’t simply go away. It would stay with her for a lifetime but Julia would get suspicious. She lowered her hands and watched him. She wanted him to go. She wanted him to not look back.
“Please, Nathan.” He had taken so much from her and yet given her so much at the same time. But there was a quiet acceptance he had to go before suspicion was aroused from Julia. Nathan needed to be sure, he needed to look at Julia and know his own heart. And Milli needed time. It felt so wrong to withdraw from him, especially after their shared moment but she couldn’t handle the deep set feeling of guilt and betrayal. Nathan wasn’t hers. He was Julia’s. He was her best friends and she would hold him tonight, she would probably screw him and everything would go back to normal.
She spoke words he had wanted so desperately to hear and yet, knew how sinful they were despite being out of a good space. Was it truly good considering this confession could break a friendship, this confession could create more pain and troublesome time in their lives? He leaned into her embrace, satisfied and completely overwhelmed by the feeling of her arms wrapped tightly around him. Her breath tickled his ear and he closed his eyes at that feeling of a shared moment; a secret that would forever remain their own unless finally confessed to an outsider. Julia - she was an outsider in a relationship that was in between good and bad. Nathan was careful with her, his hands looping around her waist, knowing that she was still recovering from the attack - though she had gotten better since that first visit in the hospital. Still he held her as close as he could fathom they could get, clothes a barrier between their two bodies.
Her nose lied in the crook of his, his lips catching just the edge of her jaw as he timidly kissed her. She loved him. Milli had admitted to Nathan that she loved him and he knew just how much strength it took for her to admit to such feelings, let alone to actually tell him. He was sure that it was brave enough for her to admit it to herself.
He leaned forward and gave her a kiss, deeper than the one before and damn he knew it was bad. How could he continue to deny such a forbidden fruit as tantalizing as she before him though? A soft moan had escaped his lips, Nathan pulling away and trying to collect himself. Had he continued to go any further, he wasn't sure if he could eventually stop himself. He was testing the waters; if everything with Milli was how he imagined, feeling her and kissing her, connecting in so many ways - he knew there was no way he was going to go to Paris.
His nose buried into her neck then, hands playing with the soft short hairs at the nape of her neck as he brushed his lips against her shoulder, taking in her scent - adoring the softness of her skin.
Milli watched the man before her, how strange of a creature he was. She felt his lips on her palm and sighed out softly. He was so kind and gentle but she could tell he was passionate, full of fire and warmth. Milli looked stricken when he said he loved her and she stared at him for a long time. She had heard those words before from a man who had broken her, shattered her into a million pieces.
She didn’t know if Nathan was different and she didn’t know if he would break her heart the same way but there was a small part of her that so desperately wanted to take that leap. She couldn’t stop thinking of Julia. Her best friend, she was hurting her best friend and she swallowed thickly. She felt like shit for it all but she couldn’t deny she had feelings for Nathan. She met his gaze and leaned up, wrapping her arms around him because she found safety with him.
She just wanted to be close to him. She brushed her lips just under his ear and like it was the greatest secret in the world she managed to whisper;
“I love you.” It was like a secret confession, and she didn’t want the world to know right then, she just wanted it to be a secret that only knew because she knew they were being terrible people sneaking around like this. Guilt riddled her like a plague as she buried her face in Nathan’s neck, inhaling his scent and just wanting to lose herself.
He knew what she meant, knew that she was afraid and yet he wanted to push her so badly. For the most part he had managed to resist the urge to say it, but he knew he was falling in love with her and suspected that Julia knew it too. Had that been why she had refused him from seeing her? It was more than likely why he agreed, he didn’t want the moment to come to this. Though, he could only ignore his feelings for her for so long. He closed his eyes against her touch, bundling in, lips brushing gently against the inside of her palm. He did know and he had found out much too late, that night at the party. The look in her eyes still haunted him, such a deep sense of sadness. Of course, it wasn’t just fear of being burned once more or of a broken heart, Julia was all she knew and if she didn’t have her, who would she truly have in this world?
Still Nathan would have been a fool. She could at least know that he hadn’t chosen her because she wasn’t Julia, he was just a fool to have missed out on such a prime opportunity to be with her and he himself was even conflicted. He too didn’t want to hurt or harm Julia and he knew that despite her fits and moments of seeming like they didn’t fit well, he had shared some good moments with Julia. Nathan battled with the words, trying to keep they stored away, thinking this was the end and that Milli had made up her mind to not pursue or continue her wanting of him. Nathan was an emotional man though and it had become clear to him that the fire burning for her could not be put out.
“I love you.” He admitted and it scared him, he hadn’t even said those words to Julia. Milli didn’t know his past, but he too was scared of love and yet still was bold enough to have faced the world and searched for it. He’d found it in her.
Milli looked at Nathan when he took her hand, not resisting that much as she listened to him. She had been burned so badly before and she felt damaged, somehow. And he deserved so much more than that. He deserved a whole person, not someone like her. He really didn’t see her faults though, how he looked at her with such softness and affection.
“Just- Don’t say it.” She whispered to him as she let their fingers interlace slowly. She met his gaze finally, how often had she looked at him and wondered how things might have been between them if fate had pulled them a different direction. Milli couldn’t cope with it if he told her he loved her.
“Dont make that promise.” She said to him. Because it would be a promise, and she wasn’t sure if he would hold true to it. Nathan saw things Milli couldn’t see within herself. He truly was an artist and Milli could dent her feelings out loud to others but never to herself.
She brought a hand up to his cheek, brushing her fingertips over his skin.
“You know how I feel about you.” She said to him quietly. It was so obvious but she just couldn’t say it out loud, it would feel like a betrayal somehow. And Julia...
“Julia- She would never forgive me.” She whispered quietly. Fear. It was fear keeping her from giving in, to submitting to rampant emotions. She didn’t want to be hurt.
He’d definitely put her in a tough spot and seeing how choked up she was getting was not making things any easier. Nathan resisted pulling her to him even though he desperately didn’t want her to skip through and escape him. Though he had already broken a promise and kissed and already things were complicated. He wanted to see where he mind was at and so he let her make the next move. Nikki’s hands were then against his chest, warm and causing his heart to race quicker. “You’re not a fool. I’m the fool.” He feared raising his voice despite how enraged he was getting with himself. He’d been an idiot – he wanted to push her out of her zone and had waited too long. How could Nathan expect a sweet soul like Milli to go against a friend – but how was she so scared to go against herself?
“I want you to feel loved Milli,” Nathan said. He closed his eyes, hating how she had withdrew from him. He was tired of being scared. He came here with more than the intention to paint – he didn’t want to lose her and hoped Milli would make his choice easier. She had, but his actions seemed to have further flipped their [I relationship] upside down. Things made less and less sense but Nathan so desperately wanted them to figure it out.
“You’ve gone your whole life I bet giving – why won’t you allow yourself to have what you want?” She was selfish – a beacon of kindness in a world that had grown to be made up of people who only cared about themselves. Despite not being one for love and happily ever after, Milli still carried herself with such tenderness and compassion. “Right now I’m with you.” He looked up at her, taking her hand. This was the moment though, her chance to take a leap much the same as he had. It was her choice and Nathan would respect it. He just didn’t want to keep evading the thought that Milli and he could have been.
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.