“I know,” Rosie muttered, his eyes growing more distant as he thought. Her gaze drifted up to the bars above us, her bottom lip quivering. “I know.”
The silence grew in the room once more, being comforting to the both of us. I draped one leg over Rosie’s, tightening my arm around his front.
“Why did you never tell me?” she eventually murmured, her gaze still burning into the bars above us.
I pressed my lips together, unsure of the answer. “You never asked,” I mumbled, glancing up at her. She opened her mouth, but clenched it shut soon after. She knew I was right. She’d never asked about my parents. She knew they were dead, but she’d never asked when, why? But I guess I was glad she didn’t. Ever since that day I’d blocked out all my memories from before, the first five years of my life a distant blur in my mind. Half of my childhood memories were wiped away because of that monster.
“I saw that picture in your bedroom,” Rosie confessed, dragging my thoughts back to the ring. I pulled my heavy body up into a sitting position as I smiled. Rosalie propped herself up on one elbow, lying on her side. I crossed my aching legs, gazing deeply down to her. “You were so cute,” she chuckled.
I bowed my head, a wide smile spread proudly across my sore face. My curls flopped over my forehead, tickling my skin softly. Warmth ran through my body as Rosalie placed her hand on my knee, squeezing softly. I gazed at her through my curls as tears seemed to form in her eyes.
“He was right,” Rosie finally mumbled, pulling herself up to sit opposite me, her hand pulling back the curls from my forehead. “He told me we have more in common than we think.”
It was true. It finally all came together in my head, the last piece of the jigsaw I needed. Our parents’ deaths are the largest connection. Samuel was in both our lives, changing them literally overnight. He was living happily in Rosalie’s life, a good neighbour to the family. And I was his secret life, the one he hid away. We both have that one framed picture of our lives before all of this happened, that one we could look at and pretend we were happy again. But I don’t need that picture to do that anymore. I had Rosie now.
Maybe it was fate me meeting Rosalie that night, like we were made to help, support and love each other.
“Maybe all of this was meant to happen,” I muttered, placing my hand over hers on my cheek. “I met you because of this, because of what happened to both of us. We were meant to meet that night. So I could fall in love with you.”
Rosalie pressed her hands into both cheeks and smiled. I nuzzled into her palm, rubbing the side of my nose into her hand.
That’s all she needed to say. I knew exactly what he was thinking. I placed my warm hand over hers on my cheek, pecking the side of her hand softly.
“I know, I know,” I mumbled.
“Now I want to ask you a question,” I said, my smile gradually fading from my face.
“Sure,” Harry mumbled, rubbing his thumb over the back of my hand. “Anything.”
I parted my lips, ready to ask that one question I needed an answer to. I shuddered, picturing what I had witnessed only last night. I closed my mouth again, pressing my lips together. Maybe I didn’t want an answer. I didn’t want to die remembering Harry doing that. I’d rather forget about it.
He knew what I was thinking. My touch left his cheek, lowering my head as the memories never seemed to fade from my mind. Tears swelled in my eyes, my hands resting on my lap. A finger was soon curled under my chin, guiding my head up to face Harry’s.
“Why did you do it, Harry?” I whispered. “Why did you kiss her?”
The words seemed to linger between us, the atmosphere growing dark. The tight claw around my heart squeezed harder as Harry refused to respond. His eyes slowly lowered, his teeth torturing his bottom lip.
"Tell me, Harry," I spat.
"I was doing it to protect you."
A sudden scoff emitted from my mouth, taking us both by surprise.
"I thought that if I found Samuel myself and told him to leave you alone, then maybe he'd back off."
I stared at him in shock. He’s been trying to find Samuel all this time? What did that have to do with what I witnessed last night?
“Why didn’t you just tell me?” I questioned, feeling tears prick behind my eyes.
“I was so close to finding him,” Harry confessed, the constant gaze shared between us showing that Harry was being completely honest. “I had plans to confront him the day after I met up with Scarlett at the park that day, but it was a dead end after all. She was an old friend of mine. She tried to help, but as soon as new information about Samuel’s whereabouts was brought to our attention it suddenly disappeared again. I even went to Louis for some help. He told me he would ask everyone he knew, he would make sure I found that bastard. Now I know he was lying and was working with Samuel the whole time. I thought I could trust him, you know? We’ve known each other for so long. Now I realise Louis wasn’t really my mate. He was just using me.”
Harry looked defeated, but gently shook it away. He reached out, grabbing my hand in his larger one. I watched with affection as he lifted my hand to his mouth and kissed my skin, running them up each finger.
"I wanted you to be safe," he muttered between kisses, his eyes fluttered closed. He eventually pulled back, his eyes opening once more to reveal that certain sparkle, making me grin madly.
"Zoe last night, she knew people," he continued, lowering my hand from his mouth. It rested on his hand on his lap, his thumb subconsciously rubbing my skin. "We made a deal. She'd give me the address to where Samuel was last seen. Then I'd give her something in return.
I nodded, not wishing to anymore details. I'd seen enough that night."
"And the phone calls?" I asked.
"I was trying to find people who knew of Samuel and whether anyone had any details of him." Harry suddenly squeezed my hand tighter, his eyes flickering up to mine. "I didn't want to lose you. But I failed, Rosie. I'm sorry."
I slipped my hand from Harry's to cup either sude of his bruised neck. Harsh tingles ran from my fingertips and down my arm as my touch lightly brushed the faint bite marks I had inflicted on him earlier. I ignored the anger pulsing in my veins with myself, giving Harry a faint smile.
"You never failed me, Harry," I reassured. "You've been with me through everything. Most people would have run. But not you."
A warm smile flickered on his face, filling me with sweet relief. A lone tear squeezed out of Harry's eye, silently running down his cheek. I brought his head closer to mine, kissing away his salty tear as if wiping the sadness from his body. "I promise you that you never failed me," I whispered against his skin.
I slowly pulled back, our noses grazing one another's. Harry stayed silent, his steady breath fanning over my swollen lips.
“I was going to sort this, Harry,” I muttered. Harry’s eyes shot open as mine did the same, our eyes locking instantly. “I hid secrets from you as well. It was to keep you safe. I didn’t know you were doing the same for me.”
The silence grew thick, our thoughts and emotions swirling around in the air between us. We’d both kept secrets from each other, Harry with his search for Samuel, and then myself, keeping Samuel’s threats towards Harry to myself. All we were doing was trying to protect one another.
“But I should have realised sooner, Rosie,” he mumbled after a long, thoughtful pause. “If I hadn’t have blocked out my childhood memories, then I could have figured out the connection quicker. I never knew I was looking for the man who was such a big part of my childhood. I never thought when you mentioned Samuel’s name of the Uncle Sam I used to cherish as a child.” His gaze lowered, his eyelids drooping closed. “I’ve let you down, Rosie. And I will never forgive myself for that.”
“We’ve both made mistakes, Harry.” I stared deep into his tear filled orbs glistening in the lighting above us. His dark curls tickled at my forehead, his long eyelashes brushing against his cheek. “But not once have you ever let me down. You’ve been with me through everything. I can’t thank you enough for that.”
His eyes flickered back up, his plump lips barely grazing mine. I wanted to thank him, give him what he’s wanted for ages now. That proper kiss. No worries about the beast exploding out of me. But now we’d never have it. Harry’s eyes flickered down to my mouth, his lips ghosting mine.
“Next time,” he murmured, pulling back from me. I nodded, now wanting to tell him there wouldn’t be a next time. But I knew deep down he already knew that.
We were sprawled out in the middle of the ring, lying in each other’s arms. We talked about everything, the little things in life that we never understood, the laughs we had had these past few weeks. Then sometimes we wouldn’t talk, just take in each other’s touch, both knowing the hours were quickly being swallowed up. We waited and waited silently for the sunlight to brighten up the dim room.
I squeezed Harry tightly, lying on my side, Harry on his. I nuzzled into his neck, hiding the tears running from my eyes. But Harry quickly realised, his arms protectively around me.
“Don’t cry, Rosie,” he mumbled. He squeezed his thigh between both of mine, weaving his long fingers through my hair. With each deep breath of mine I took in his strong scent, the tingling feeling he gave me. I was going to miss it.
I sniffled quietly, wanting my last few memories of us together to be happy, loving. I sprinkled light kisses over Harry’s neck, causing a small groan to emanate from his mouth. I hummed against his skin, Harry fisting my hair tightly. My lips worked their way down his neck, my body shuffling down on the ground to reach better. I avoided the red bite marks on his skin, guilt flooding my insides as I stared at it. Harry stopped tugging on my hair, realising I had stopped. One arm snaked away from me, a large hand cupping the side of his neck in order to hide it. My tear filled eyes flickered up to him, my bottom lip quivering.
Silently, Harry tightened his arm around me, pulling me in closer. My forehead rested on his chin, our hearts beating madly against each other.
“When you remember me, Harry, promise me you won’t remember me as this beast, this monster that killed.”
Harry stayed silent, planting a soft kiss on my forehead. His lips lingered on my skin, my eyes squeezed closed to really feel his touch, to feel the warm sensation running down my body.
“I’ll never forget what you’ve done for me,” I murmured, gazing up at him. Harry shook his head at me, refusing to accept that I’ll soon be gone.
“Remember what I promised you, Rosie,” he mumbled. I watched as each tear run across his face, his eyes growing red and swollen as I remembered that night Samuel first threatened to kill Harry. “I’m going to fight, Rosie. For you. For us. I’ll protect you until the day I die.”
I didn’t react; I just gazed deep into his determined eyes. I didn’t want him getting hurt trying to save me. But I didn’t want to stop him from what he’s determined to do. And with that look in his eyes, the determination mixed with his tears, told me he wasn’t going to give up.
I slowly rolled onto my back, gently pulling Harry’s body with me. He practically laid on top of me, his head resting in the middle of my chest. He rubbed his cheek against my shirt, snuggling closer to me. I wrapped my arms around him, my eyelids slowly drooping as exhaustion crashed into me. I knew we didn’t have much time left together, but my muscles relaxed inside of me, refusing to let me stay conscious.
Harry’s breathing began to steady, his body relaxing against mine. The silence was warm between us; the mere thought of this gorgeous, curly haired guy I could call my boyfriend sleeping in my arms in my final night brought a smile to my face.
Several minutes of comforting silence passed us, Harry’s body heat warming me. My eyes fluttered closed as the last little bit of strength fizzled away, sleep beckoning me.
“Rosie,” Harry grumbled suddenly.
“Hmm,” I mumbled, forcing myself to stay conscious to hear what Harry had to say. I peeled my eyes open as Harry’s head tilted up at me. I stared down to him, his tousled curls flopping on his bruised forehead. I watched as Harry took a deep breath before telling me what he wanted to say.
“Marry me,” he murmured.