I stop wriggling around and hold my breath.
"Maia - I'm sorry. I was trying to flirt outside the coffee shop but it was such a poor excuse. I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to touch you like - shit. LIke this!" He pulls away quickly and backs away. "And I'm sorry about then -" He stumbles to his feet, knocking over a plant pot. I suddenly realise the loud music playing upstairs. Mat and Izzie can't hear me if I scream ...
I look to my phone on the floor.
"Shit! I'm so sorry! I'll buy you a new one, ok? Just don't tell Jack! We used to be best friends until -" I hear the door fly open, and then an enraged Jack is storming in. He takes one look at me on the floor, and Michael standing there, towering over me and roars in anger.
He shoulder barges Michael to the ground; I scramble to my feet, unable to do anything. Both boys hit the ground; arms and legs fly around as they try to send a punch to one another's body. I scream in terror; the music upstairs stops and then Mat and Izzie are stumbling down the stairs. I stagger backwards as Jack sends a lethal kick to Michael's side; the other boy howls in agony. I scream as Michael grabs the first thing closest to him, a glass, and brings it down on Jack's head. Jack wails; my legs go jelly like as Mat and Izzie stumble into the room. The blood is bright, powerful. The brightly colour red stains Jack's hair. I scream again and throws myself at the two, trying to pry them apart.
"NO! STOP IT! MICHAEL! JACK! JACK, STOP IT! MICHAEL!" I grab Michael and haul him to aside; Jack rolls on the floor, cradling his face. Michael hugs his arm to his chair; he was wounded by the pieces of glass that got stuck between the two.
"YOU BASTARD!" Jack cries. I turn and push him onto his back. He pushes me off and tries to attack Michael again. I stop him swiftly.
"Oh my god! Jack! Jack, oh god! You're bleeding!" I whimper. I try to look at his face but he pushes me away.
"I'm fine! Are you ok though? That monster better have not touched you -" He searches me, checking my wrists, my arms, and then finally my face. His hand hesitates on my face. I watch the blood spilling into his left eye; I begin to sob.
"What the FUCK?" Mat yells. "MICHAEL! JACK!"
"Maia!" Izzie screams. I can't tear my eyes away as my shaking fingers find their way up to Jack's head. The cut is deep; it cuts into his forehead and into the side of his face. I push his hair out of the way; he grits his teeth together and hisses.
I hear Michael starting to cry as Mat steps over him and grabs the first aid. He starts to pull out bandages and disinfector.
"Someone call an ambulance!" I yell over my shoulder. I turn back and help Jack to lay down; he groans and grabs my wrist.
"No! Maia -" He whimpers. "I'm fine! Stop fussing! It's just a little graze - help me to sit up, will you please?" I do as I'm told; Mat kneels down beside me as Izzie checks over Michael carelessly. She looks flustered slightly. She doesn't meet my gaze ...
I turn my attention back to Jack and grip onto his top tightly. Mat pushes me gently to aside.
"Maia, If I'm going to help him, you're going to have to move over." I dip my head and move, only slightly, but Mat doesn't say anything else. I grip onto Jack's arm as Mat starts to dab the wound with cottonwool. Jack swears and his hand finds mine. He squeezes it hard; I pull him into my chest. Mat gives a grunt of disapproval.
"Do you even know first aid?" I sneer. He glares.
"I have a little brother that falls over and cuts himself, and breaks bones, as a hobby; I think I know what I'm doing." I fall silent, unable to feel any other emotion but fright and sadness. I'm holding back the tears, just, and Michael sobbing in the corner isn't helping.
Izzie gets up and joins us. She leans against Mat; I pay no attention to them and watch as Jack's face contorts with pain.
"Is he ok?" She asks quietly. He nods his head.
"He'll live, won't you bro?" He teases, trying to lighten the spirit. Jack gives a forced laugh and pulls away from my chest. He sits up and does a handshake; the blood gushes down his head faster. I snap.
"Look, give me the bloody first aid! You're going to let it get infected!" I snarl, grabbing the green box. Mat backs off quickly; Izzie looks surprised. I turn Jack's head towards me and dab the cotton wool in whatever Mat was using. I push his hair out of his eye; I get a tissue and wipe the blood off of his cheek/eye. He watches me through his good eye, biting down hard on his lip. I hold back the urge to start crying, and glance over at Michael.
"Mat, can you bandage up his arm for me, please? Since you're an expert with your little brother and all ..." He gives me a glare; I turn my back on him and back towards Jack. "Izzie put the kettle on, will you?" She nods and scurries to her feet. Jack's eyes never leave my face. I swallow hard and turn my gaze to him. I force a smile. "You're going to be ok."
"I know I am. I have an amazing nurse looking after me." I blush hard.
"Shuddup." I smirk and look down at my lap with the first aid box on. I bite down hard on my lip, before glancing back up and wiping away the remainder blood around the cut. I put pressure onto the wound; he flinches.
"Sorry." I breathe. He shakes his head.
"It's fine." His hand finds my spare one; he squeezes it reassuringly. I hold my breath as he flinches again.
"Maybe we should call an ambulance?" I ask slowly, trying to keep the nerves out of my voice. He laughs.
"It's ok. You're doing well!" I can't tell if he's teasing or not; I pack the things up quickly.
"Let's continue this when you're upstairs and resting." I tell him. He nods and I help him onto his feet. He stumbles; I watch as he suddenly holds something on his stomach. I give him an astonished look. "Are you ok?" He nods me away and hisses in agnoy. He starts moving without my support.
"I'm fine. My head hurts, that's all ..." I watch blood soak through his top; I swear and wrap his arm around my neck.
"You've been stabbed!" I snap. He shakes his head.
"Just take me to my room!" I fall silent and help him up the stairs and into his room. I help him onto the bed and then run back for the first aid. I get caught up with Mat and Izzie. Izzie's made tea; she's sat Michael up on the stool and Mat was half through wrapping a bandage around his arm, with a tight glare fixed on the other boy. Michael looked up at me when I came in, but said nothing. I grab the first aid box quickly, a glass of water and a banana, before running back upstairs. I realise Jack's changed top; I hate him for it. Now I can't see what was hurting his chest ...
"Lay down!" I command. He stays sitting up. I swear and throw the items onto the side unit; I hit the light and shut the door to allow some privacy, and to drown out the noise of the washing machine and Izzie's loud talking. I turn back to Jack and give him a hopeless look. His eyes flicker to my lips, before returning to my eyes. He gives me a weak smile. I kneel down beside him and start to clean the wound on his head. He breathes out slowly, and lays down. He swears in the process; tears spring to his eye. I stop and demand to know what else he's hurt, but he refuses to tell me. I get pissed with him and stay quiet for the next few seconds. It must affect him, my silence, because he starts to talk.
"We were on the phone and I told you I loved you ... You said you loved me back ..." He smirks at the memory; I smile slightly, unable to help it. "I was going to ask you to facetime me so I could say it to your face but then the phone line went dead ... He touched you didn't he?" The smile disappears from my face; I swallow hard.
"He touched you?" He tries to sit up but I push him back down.
"No! No he didn't! I don't want to talk about it anyway. You need to rest -" I lean over and grab the bandages. He hugs my chest to his face. The wound sticks to my top and creates a patch of red blood. He breathes in sharply at the pressure against his face, but pulls me closer. I wince. "Jack - I'm hurting you -"
"No your not!" He lies. His head buries into my breasts; I hear him whimper. His lips move against me in silent howls of pain and I draw back.
"Maia! Please! I'm fine!"
"Jack! Stop it! Please! You need to rest and let me take care of you!"
"Jack -" I sigh. He shakes his head and his fingers come up to my face. They pull my face closer to his; his fingers entwine with my hair.
"Please! It will help me recover!" He pleas. "And if you cuddle with me afterwards, I'll let you look after me and I'll rest and I won't get in anymore fights and I'll do whatever you say! Just - ... Just kiss and cuddle me? Only for a few minutes?" I hesitate; my heart flips. I want to kiss and cuddle with him for hours but he's hurt ... I need to take care of him - "Please Maia! Don't make me cry!" Jack? Cry? I'd rather have my heart ripped out of my chest and eaten while I breathed my last breath (dramatic or not, I would prefer it anyday!).
"Ok." I whisper. He smiles as I turn and curl into his chest, cautiously. He wraps his arm around me and breathes out slowly. I turn my head into his cheek and let my lips rest against his jaw line. I'm too exhausted, too tired and scared, and my emotions too wild, to kiss him, but he doesn't mind. He holds me into his side and exhales slowly.
"We're face to face now, aren't we?" He mumbles after five minutes. I turn my head further towards him.
"Huh?" I whisper. He turns his face towards mine; his lips brush against my own. Every movement of his lips tickles against my own. I don't just hear his words, I feel them.
"I can now tell you how much I love you." He says, smiling. The heat rushes to my cheeks; I find myself unable to breathe. "I can now admit how much I've dreamt about sleeping next to you; about becoming your boyfriend; your husband; the father of your kids. I love you so much Maia that it hurts to be away from you for even a second! I can't believe I let that lunatic touch you in these ways; I can't believe how much you make me smile! You make me so happy, Maia! My sweet, beautiful Maia. I love you so much! Even more than snowboarding!" I laugh, the tears streaming down my cheeks.
"I love you so much as well!" I whisper. I go to say more, but he presses his lips into mine and kisses me. I let him, pushing my mouth closer into his. His hand comes up and takes my face, tilting it closer to his. I lean up and take his face in both hands. I pull him closer.
He rolls onto his side, grunting slightly, and pulls me into his chest. I wrap my arms around his neck and tangle my legs up with his. I feel him wince and try to pull away, but he doesn't let me leave. He pulls me closer into him; his teeth sink down onto my bottom lip to stop me fleeing. I whimper into his lips and let my hands slide up to the back of his head. I run my hands through his hair; he gasps and pulls away sharply.
I remember his wound.
I swear and pull back.
"No! It doesn't matter. Come here -" He tries to pull me back into his embrace but I haul myself off of the bed and stagger away.
"No - I can't! I'm going to hurt you!" I beg. "Don't make me hurt you!"
"Maia! I don't care -"
"You may not, but I do! I can't hurt you! I care for you too much! I love you too much!" His eyes turn watery; his outstretched arms seem to outstretch even more.
"Maia-" He sobs. I shake my head and grab the bandages.
"Let me fix you and then we can cuddle, OK?" I sob. He nods and swallows back tears. I start to clean the cut and wrap the bandage around his head.
He grunts in his sleep; I pry his top up further and then sob at what I see. There's a nasty looking gash across his chest; it looks sore. There's a deep purple bruise on his shoulder blade; his face is pale and ghostly under the bed sheets. He feels like he's burning up; I try to stay as quiet as I can as I pull out the first aid and get to work on his chest.
I slip some paracetamol into his open mouth; he swallows half consciously on my command.
"Maia -" He mumbles. I smile and kiss his mouth.
"Don't worry ... I'm right here ..."
"I - I love you ..."
"I - I love you too ..."