464 - Emma
Staring up at the ceiling of the guest room, I can't fall asleep. The words I've read keep on haunting me, floating through my brain every time I close my eyes.
Ever since I arrived at Brie and he sat by my side whilst I read the article, all I've done was cry and groan in frustration. Without saying it, he has called me a whore once again, one who was only in it for the money and the status.
Not once did he mention his abuse, his cheating, the way he's made my life miserable even after we broke up.
Every time I even try so much as fall asleep, I see him again. In our kitchen, yelling at me for cooking him broccoli. In our shared bed, having sex with some blonde. Fighting Lucien in front of a club.
It makes my stomach turn, and more than once I have to sit upright to make sure I don't throw up.
The digital alarm clock on the night stand signals seven past twelve as I hear a knock on my door, the light from the hallway still on.
"Yes?" I went to bed about an hour ago, leaving Brie and Matt in the living room, assuring them I would be fine.
The door opens slowly, revealing Gabriel with a steaming cup of tea. "Can't sleep?"
I sit up, turning the light next to the bed on, smiling at my friend. He's in a robe, falling open ever so slightly to reveal his entirely bald chest, and some slippers.
He sits next to me on the double bed, handing me the cup of tea, that smells like chamomille. "Thought you might like this."
The two men have already fed me dinner and made sure I drank some wine to calm me down a little, so I shouldn't be surprised by this act of kindness.
"Thank you," my voice breaks a little, though I try my best not to let it show. "I just can't quite shake it yet."
Brie simply nods, moving a little closer to me and wrapping a single arm around me. I'm in one of his shirts and just my underwear, but still feeling entirely safe with him around.
"I'm sorry, Em," he tells me, rubbing my shoulder softly. "I can't imagine what you're feeling right now."
"I just...," I have to swallow some tears before I finish my sentence. "Every time I think I've let go of what he did to me, it comes back to bite me in the ass. And..." I'm reminded of what I've talked to my therapist about. "It's scary."
"He can't hurt you any more," Brie smiles, having gone to tracing shapes on my arm as I blow cold air onto my tea. "You can stay here as long as you want, if you need to."
"It's not that," I mumble, taking a sip out of my mug and burning my tongue immediately. "I'm not scared of him. He's an arse. But..." I blink multiple times to get rid of the tears clouding my vision. "Don't tell Lucien about this, because he will worry."
I watch him intensely until he nods, swearing me to his secrecy, though he looks a little doubtful.
"Callum's go-to was telling me how hard it was to love me. He broke my heart by cheating on me and making me feel like I was totally useless," I can't help but let the tears go as I tell Brie this, and even less when I see his pityful glance at me. "And... this is scary, because I'm afraid Lucien will..."
I bury my face in Brie's robe, having put the tea on the night stand, his both arms wrapped tightly around me. He rubs my back softly as he lets me cry,
"You're afraid he'll leave," he breathes softly as he has me look at him, wiping away tears like he's my father or my older brother, taking care of their little one. "That he'll feel the same."
I can't help but nod, letting a sob escape my body as I do so. I know how dumb it is, but it's the first thing that worried me when I read the article.
This puts the both of us in a bad light. Of course it's negative about me, but it also mentions Lucien, and it's bad press he can't really use right now. What if his agent tells him to leave me, or at least keep it on the down low until this all dies down? Or what if he just realises this is too much drama for him to handle, not worth whatever it is we've just rekindled?
"Emma," Brie has me look at him once again, smiling. "Listen to me. Lucien... he loves you so much. I know you might not entirely believe me, but I know him, and thus I know he has never loved anyone as much as he loves you. A dumb article isn't going to change that."
The door creaks a little, and when we both look up, Matt is standing in the doorway in just a pair of joggers. He's looking at us, a smile on his face, leaned against the doorframe.
"Is everything okay in here?" he simply asks, sipping from his water bottle.
"Em's just a little sad," Brie tells him before I can even open my mouth, moving some tear-drained hair from my face. "Which is totally normal in a situation like this one."
"Want to join us for a movie, Em?" he smiles, tracing his fingers over the wood of the door. "Our bed's big enough for an entire family, and it might take your mind off of things."
"Oh, sleepover!" Brie immediately perks up, and seeing his excitement tells me I can't really say no.
"Sure," I shrug, wiping some tears from my face. "Anything to get this nightmare off of my mind... I do have one condition though."
Matt nods. "Anything."
"I want a Julia Roberts movie."
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