A/N: Hey, guys! This is the second to last chapter of Coffee & Vinyl. Can you believe it? I'm currently writing next week's final chapter and honestly, I can't get through it without wanting to cry just a little bit. I love this story so much and the fact that I lot of you guys love it too means so much. This chapter is a lot to take in so please prepare yourselves. Also, I've added a new tag in the description of the story so please go make sure you're okay with everything on the list before reading. This was honestly the hardest chapter to write in this entire book so I hope nobody is hurt or offended by it. I love you all and I just want you to enjoy the chapter. Thank you for reading. :) Also after next week, I'll be doing a Q&A chapter so if you'd like to ask me or any of the characters questions please comment. You can also email me, tweet me, or leave a comment on my Instagram.
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I was woken up by the terrible sound of Jeremy singing Christmas tunes. It was actually terrible, not that I'm surprised or anything just shocked that there's someone in the world who sings THAT badly.
He was currently singing Jingle Bells and decorating the room with Christmas lights. I knew he was planning something bad, I could feel it. I looked around the room and noticed a small artificial light up tree. Under the tree, there was a single box with a bow hanging off the side. It wasn't wrapped it was just a cardboard box that was taped shut. I had a feeling that whatever he had planned to hurt me was inside that box. He'd kept me here for about 3 weeks now and I wasn't dead which could be a good or bad thing. He could be waiting to kill me or he may not kill me at all. He'd fed me under the condition that after every meal I had to throw it back up and if I didn't, I wouldn't get to eat for 3 days.
He's tortured me, he made me say over and over that I never loved Michael. If I hesitated to say it, he'd rip off one of my fingernails. Since I refused to say it even once, I'd had all 10 of my nails torn off. I was never ever going to let myself speak a bad word of Michael. I don't care how much pain I have to endure, I'll get through it for Mikey. I'll get through it, go home to him, and propose to him. I've been wanting to propose to him for a while now, I just couldn't find the right time to do it. The sh*t we've gone through in the 9 months we've spent together is insane, but it brought us closer to each other every time. It made us appreciate each other and realize we only have such limited time together. I'm grateful for everything that has happened and I know we can make it through this, just like we made it through everything else.
"Merry Christmas Lukey," Jeremy said, putting a Santa hat on my head.
"Do you believe in Christmas miracles Lukey?" He asked me after a minute.
"Stop calling me Lukey," I told him strictly.
"Why? Is Mikey the only one who's allowed to call you that? Well, guess what? I don't really care," He told me.
"Now, let me ask again, do you believe in Christmas miracles?"
"Ask me again after today then I'll have an answer for you," I said laying my head on the concrete wall.
"You think you're magically going to escape and go home to Mikey all because of some Christmas miracle?"
"No, actually I'm hoping that by some crazy Christmas miracle you'll drop dead and I'll finally get to be free of you and your bullshit,"
"Aw honey, maybe Santa will make your wish come true next year." He said pinching my cheek.
He walked to the little Christmas tree and grabbed the small box. He brought it over and dropped it in my lap. It wasn't heavy at all but I had lost so much weight and muscle that it felt like he'd dropped a rock.
As I'd seen before, the box was taped shut and my hands were chained so I didn't know how he expected me to be able to open it.
"Right, you're useless... I forgot," He said turning around and going toward a table in the back of the room. He grabbed a knife and walked back toward me to open the box. He sliced through the tape on the box and laid the knife on the floor next to me.
If only I could reach it.
He tore the box open the rest of the way and turned it upside down. I saw a tape fall out of the box and onto my lap. It had a label on it that read, "Michael Video 7/19."
I immediately knew what was on that tape and it needed to be destroyed. Before I could make even the smallest attempt to damage it, he'd picked it up and walked over to a VCR which he'd hidden under a blanket.
"It's movie night Lukey, sit back and enjoy." He said while sitting on the floor next to me and cuddling into my side.
As the video started I saw Michael walk or more like stumble into a room. He was mumbling incoherent words and Jeremy was holding him up.
"I miss Luke." He said with a sad voice.
"I'm right here baby it's okay," Jeremy told him.
"He bought that. He was so piss drunk and miserable he couldn't tell who was who. You left him and made him miserable," He whispered in my ear.
I closed my eyes and turned my head away from the screen.
"Baby, watch it, if you don't I'll have to kill you and then taunt and torture Michael for the rest of his pathetic life." He said after grabbing my chin and turning my head back toward the screen.
I looked towards the screen again and frowned. Michael was now laying on a bed which I assumed was Jeremy's bed and cuddling a pillow.
Jeremy pulled him by his legs to the foot of the bed.
"Lukey...M'tired," Michael whined trying to crawl back to his pillow.
"You can sleep later baby, you have work to do right now," Jeremy told him.
"Work?" Michael asked sitting up.
"Yeah, you get to be my little toy tonight. I get to use you." Jeremy said to Michael while slowly sliding his hand up his thigh.
"Lukey I don't want to do this," Michael whined trying to stop Jeremy's hand.
"Be quiet," He told him strictly.
"Luke please stop," Michael cried.
Jeremy began to unbutton Michael's pants even with Michael trying to push him off. Michael was thin and pale, he couldn't fight him off. This is my fault. He's thin and pale and defenseless because I wasn't there for him.
"Luke please get off me I don't want this." Michael cried louder.
"You don't have a choice," Jeremy told him while removing Michael's pants completely.
"Keep watching, the best parts almost here," Jeremy whispered in my ear.
I felt like I was going to throw up if I had to watch anymore, but I had to, to save Michael.
I had flown to Sydney for Luke, Ashton, and Calum's funeral a couple weeks ago. Their families had decided on one big funeral instead of 3 smaller ones, they figured most people would have ended up going to all three anyway. Cayla had flown out here with me. Turns out she and Calum were actually a couple and not just a one night stand. I loved Cayla so dearly for trying her best to help me and put her sadness aside but the truth was, we both needed to grieve alone and at our own pace.
Ever since December 3rd I've had the same reoccurring nightmare of how Luke died. I'd see him crying out for me, bloody, with only a few limbs still attached. I'd hold him, try to stop the bleeding, and try to get him to focus on me instead of the pain. He would eventually bleed out and stop breathing and I'd lay him down gently before standing over his body in fear. I'd be covered in blood and breathing rapidly. Then I would wake up crying and screaming for Luke. The only way I could calm myself down was to tell myself over and over that he's in a better place now. He doesn't have to feel pain anymore.
I missed him. I needed him.
I'm sitting with him today on what would have been our first Christmas together. It sounds cheesy but I was planning on taking him on some really cute Christmassy date and then I was going to propose to him on New Year's Eve. For Christmas, I had ordered him this little coffee mug that had records all over it along with some music notes here and there. It sounds silly but if I hadn't gotten that job at the record store I would've had to go live with some family far away or I would've ended up homeless. For a while before I met Luke I had to juggle school and 3 different jobs. I needed the money desperately and I had to work 24/7 in order to get where I wanted to be. If I hadn't of gotten that job at the record store and Luke wouldn't have gotten a job at Starbucks, chances are we would never have met. We met because of music and Starbucks.
I love Luke more than I've ever loved anybody. He made me feel like nothing mattered except for us and our happiness. I knew he was who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with ever since that first night that he stayed over at my house. When I woke up next to him the next morning I felt so incredibly happy, it was unexplainable. I watched as he peacefully slept and listened to the quiet little snores he made that were barely audible. I kissed his forehead and wrapped my arm around his waist as a small smile appeared on his face and his eyes fluttered open.
"Good morning cutie," I had told him.
He hid his face in his pillow and smiled widely.
"Stop it!!" He giggled.
"But you're adorable," I argued.
"Nooooo stop," He continued.
"Never," I said before scooting closer to him so I could reach his lips.
"I really like you," I told him while he cuddled into my side.
"I really like you too," He smiled.
"I love you," I thought to myself.
Or at least I thought I said it in my head...
I had accidentally said it out loud, but does it still count as an accident if I meant it?
Luke had stayed silent and I feared that I had scared him away with just those 3 words.
As soon as I opened my mouth to apologize, he spoke.
"I love you too," He said looking at me with a nervous but cute smile on his face.
I thought my heart would explode from pure happiness.
~End of Flashback~
I was tired of living without Luke. I wanted to be with him and I was done waiting for my misery to end on its own. I needed Luke.
I took a piece of paper I'd written my final words on and laid it next to Luke's grave. I then laid my phone and my keys on top of the paper to keep it from flying away. I reached into my pocket a final time to pull out the dozens of sleeping pills I'd been carrying around all day. I laid down so that my head was next to my belongings and next to Luke's name that they'd carved so beautifully into his grave. I looked up at the bright summer sky before making my final decision.
"I'll see you soon Lukey," I said once the damage was done.
There was no going back now. I didn't want to go back. It was finally over. I could finally be happy again with Luke.
The video Jeremy made me watch was over an hour long. I tried so hard to have no reaction to it so he wouldn't get the reward of knowing that he was hurting me. I could feel so much anger and frustration building up inside me and I didn't know what to do with it. I didn't mean to have tears fall down my cheeks while I fought against the chains that were keeping me against the wall.
My arms had gotten just small enough over the past couple weeks that if I was really careful I could maybe slip them out without Jeremy knowing. He'd left the knife he used earlier just a couple inches away from me, and if I tried hard enough I would be able to reach it. He had left a while ago and I didn't know where he'd gone or when he'd be back. I slowly tried to slip my hands out of the cuffs he had them locked in but it was no use. It would probably be another couple weeks before they were small enough to fit through it easily.
Before I knew it I heard the door open and close a few seconds later.
"Oh Lukeyyy?" Jeremy sang.
He walked into the room and came toward me.
"Guess what?" He asked me.
"You're letting me go because it's Christmas and you've had a sudden change of heart?" I said with a hopeful tone.
"Not yet, but I brought you another present." He said smiling.
"Wow... thanks," I said unenthusiastically.
"You wanna know who I brought you?" He taunted.
"I don't have anything to lose anymore so- wait did you say who?" I asked once I realized what he'd said.
I didn't know if I hoped that it was Michael or not. I needed him here and I wanted to stay alive for him but I didn't want him to have to be here and suffer through Jeremy's torture. I just wanted it to end.
"Why don't we see who I brought you, Lukey?"
I braced myself for whoever was about to come through the door.
I was confused and shocked when Cayla walked into the room.
"Cayla?" I asked myself quietly.
"I'm so sorry Luke," She told me.
"Your little friend here was my key to you and your precious Mikey. How do you think I kept tabs on you so well?" Jeremy said.
Cayla was helping Jeremy?
"You idiots trusted her enough to tell her every single thing that goes on in your life. She's jealous of what you guys have. Isn't that right Cayla?"
She nodded slowly.
"Luke, ever since you came along I've hardly been able to see Michael anymore. He discarded me for you." She told me.
"Cayla, that's not true, he loves you, you're his best friend," I told her truthfully.
"No! You're all he cares about anymore he hardly remembers me!" She screamed.
"Even Calum told me you were planning on proposing to Michael. Why can't I just have somebody love me?" She cried.
"Calum loves you. You can have something like that with him." I told her mindlessly.
"Calum's dead! God don't you remember anything? Everyone around you is dying and I'm not about to be next."
An ear-piercing gunshot was heard and before I had time to process what was happening, Cayla was on the floor.
"Spoke too soon I guess," Jeremy shrugged.
I was frozen with fear and I didn't know what to do anymore.
"Why would you kill her?!?!" She never did anything to you, Jeremy!" I shouted.
"I didn't kill her, you did, and besides, if she lived she wouldn't be able to keep her mouth shut about me to the cops. She deserves to be dead, just like your friends."
For the first time, it hit me. Ashton and Calum are dead. The guys who I've called my best friends for years are gone.
Jeremy continued speaking to me but I wasn't listening. He had killed everyone I love and I had no one. He's most likely going to kill me too so why fight anymore?
He came toward me and began yelling at me to listen to him but before he could finish his sentence, he was interrupted.
We both turned toward the door after hearing sirens in the distance getting louder meaning they were approaching wherever we were.
I had such little hope in my head that maybe, just maybe, they'd found me.
But how would they ever find me?
"FBI! Open up!" A man shouted before there was a loud banging on the door.
They'd found me.
I couldn't help but smile weakly and feel relief take over my body.
"Wipe that look off your face Hemmings, they may have found me, but they sure as hell aren't gonna find you alive. I win," He said pulling a gun out of his jacket and pointing it at me.
He pulled the trigger right as the door swung open.
I didn't have a choice but to realize, he'd won.
*Somewhere between life and the afterlife*
I opened my eyes and found myself lying on the floor of what seemed like a big white room. I looked down and realized I now had both of my legs. When did I get my leg back? How did I get my leg back?
I stood up carefully to try and figure out where I was. I could walk perfectly fine as if I'd never lost my leg to begin with. There was nobody around and it was painfully silent.
Am I dead?
"Hello?" I said quietly.
I didn't mean to say it so quietly I was just scared.
"Luke?" I heard somebody whisper softly behind me.
I turned around and saw Michael standing there with puffy cheeks and tears in his eyes.
"Mikey?" I whispered confused.
I ran toward him and wrapped my arms around him, securing him in the tightest, warmest hug in the world.
After a couple seconds, I pulled away and kissed him passionately.
Oh, how I've missed the feeling of his lips on mine.
I held his hands in mine as we rested our foreheads against each other.
"Are you real?" I asked hoping to God that I wasn't just imagining him.
"I'm real. Are you?" He asked back.
"I think so," I said wonderingly.
"What are you doing here baby?"
I didn't know how to answer.
"Where are we?" I asked.
"This is where we go before we get to go to heaven. We're dying." He told me.
"Why are you here? What happened?" I said once I realized he's dying too.
"I missed you too much. I was miserable without you. I just wanted to be with you." He said with tears running down his face.
I felt myself becoming weaker in his hands. I felt numb. I looked down and saw my leg was slowly dissolving into thin air.
"What's happening to you?"
"Jeremy he- He kept me hostage for weeks and he amputated my leg and shot me," I said starting to fall.
Michael held me and slowly laid me on the floor. He sat next to me and pulled me into his lap.
"Am I gonna die?" I asked scared.
"I don't know baby boy, but I promise you everything will be okay." He said while running his hand through my hair.
"I love you,"
"I love you too," He said before kissing me on the forehead lightly.
I heard voices in my head and my vision started to blur as I saw bright lights in my face and heard doctors yelling and shouting around me.
"Mikey, they're trying to save me. I don't wanna be saved. I wanna stay here with you." I said burying my face in his neck.
"Lukey you have to go, I want to be with you too but if you have a chance to live, you should take it." He told me sensitively.
"What about you?" I asked feeling myself start to miss him already.
"They won't be able to save me in time. I've been here for a while now, I'm going to heaven soon." He told me.
"But I need you." I cried.
"I know baby. I promise you'll always have me. I'll be watching over you and protecting you every day." He said.
"Mikey? Can I ask you something before I go?"
"Of course sweetheart." He said.
"Will you marry me?" I asked him.
I couldn't leave him without asking.
"Of course I'll marry you, baby. I love you," He said before kissing me.
"I love you too, so much," I said before I finally felt at peace in his arms.