Love in Chains Ch. 19byNephylim©
I was feeling very unsettled as I made my way back to Nye's room. When I paused outside and heard voices from within blazing anger flared inside me. How dare they! He'd promised!
I flung the door open, ready to give someone the earbashing of their lives... but all that met me were two startled faces. Nye and Kane were sitting up in bed, resting against the pillows with their arms around each other, Nye's head cradled on Kane's shoulder. I suddenly felt foolish and not a little embarrassed.
"Way to go to scare the shit out of us Mir. Where's the fire?"
"I... er... sorry. I got a little carried away." I smiled at Nye who was still looking startled. "How are you feeling today sweetheart."
He smiled, a little uncertainly. "Can I...? I want... I need... Can I go home?"
"Soon. The doctors have to make sure you are okay first. You hurt your feet remember?"
He frowned and then tears sprang to his eyes. "He carried me."
"Who did honey? Who carried you where?"
Kane and I exchanged glances. Whilst we were both glad that Nye was talking we would both have much preferred if he had not been talking about Adam.
Nye, however was blind to the look, his eyes were seeing another place and another time. His face took on an intensely introverted and pensive look and tears spilled from his eyes.
"There was glass... in the corridor. All over the floor. I... didn't ... didn't feel... He... he carried me and then... and then Lian was there... in the smoke. He... was... he... and then... Adam..." Nye shuddered and his hand went to his head. When he touched the gory hair he pulled strands of it in front of his face and stared at them before lifting shocked eyes to me. "Lian's. It's... Lian's blood. Adam... Adam shot him... and he..." Nye closed his eyes and said in a tiny voice. "Please... I don't want it."
"What don't you want honey?"
Kane was quicker off the mark than I was. "You want to get rid of the blood?"
Nye nodded shuddering and Kane tightened his arms around him. "Do you think it would be alright if he had a shower?"
"I don't know. I'd better ask. Hang on."
The nurse I spoke to who, incidentally was the one with whom I had had the row earlier, was scornful at my suggestion asking me did I realise that my brother had hurt his feet. I asked her if she realised that my brother had his hair full of another man's blood and did she realise he was severely traumatised and did she realise the blood wasn't helping him get over it? Wisely she went straight for the doctor.
He took one look at me and groaned. "Not you again. I only left you five minutes ago. Can't try for at least half an hour without causing trouble?"
"I have no desire to cause trouble. I just want... I want my brother back. I want him to be happy and well. He is starting to come back to me and he's in pain because his hair is full of someone else's blood. Is it really too much to ask for him to take a shower?"
For some reason all the pain and fear came pouring out in a torrent and I found myself sobbing against his shoulder. He patted me on the back in the way that people do when they are taken by surprise and embarrassed and don't quite know what else to do.
"Alright, alright... there's no need to get so emotional about it. I tell you what... I'll come and take a look at his feet and if they are not so bad then he can take his shower."
I sniffed and snuffled and thanked him and then noticed that my make up had run all over the shoulder of his white coat and I wiped at it with the tissue he had handed me but only made it worse.
The doctor took me kindly by the arm and led me back into the room. Kane was stroking Nye's hair and they were both crying. Both looked up, startled and Nye seemed to be afraid when he saw the doctor. Fortunately he was a kind and perceptive man and put him at his ease although he was still suspicious and 'closed' while the doctor looked at his feet.
I was shocked when I saw the injuries. The underside of both feet were cut and bruised, although they seemed to already be healing well. The doctor frowned.
"I would really prefer if you kept off these feet for a couple of days. It would be very painful for you to put your weight on them now and it might open these wounds again." His eyes went to the gory hair and wide eyes. "I tell you what. I'll get one of the nurses to put a stool in the shower. If your friend can carry you in then you can sit on the stool while he washes your hair. The nurse can re dress your feet afterwards. Is that alright with you?"
Nye stared at him for a few moments then he nodded and said "Yes." It was the first word he had spoken to the doctor and it made him smile.
"How are you feeling today Aneurin? You were very confused yesterday. Are you thinking more clearly now."
Again Nye thought for a while and almost seemed to be struggling with something then eventually he nodded.
"It's... hard. I... don't want to think but... I feel very tired. And a lot of things are... confused and muddled in my head. But... I know it isn't me. Soon it will be alright."
The doctor smiled again, more brightly. "Yes Aneurin. I am sure you're right. Soon it will be alright. Are you ready for that shower now?"
"I want it very much. I feel... sick. Lian was... his head... I don't want to think about it."
"I'm sure you don't." He patted Nye's hand. "I'll send the nurse in straight away."
When the doctor left I noticed that Nye was looking at me with a strange expression on his face. I sat down on the bed and took his hand. He stared at our linked hands and tears began to run down his face.
"What is it darling? What's on your mind?"
"Did I hurt you very much?"
"Hurt me? What do you mean? You haven't hurt me darling, you never would."
Still with lowered eyes he murmured. "I was a fool. I made you angry. I made you cry. I was afraid you would hate me. I didn't come."
The sadness in his voice tore at me and I squeezed his hand. "You never hurt me Nye, you never have. It was seeing what was happening to you that hurt me... knowing I was helpless, that there was nothing I could do to help you. It wasn't you, never you."
"I... loved him. I really did. I never saw... I thought..." He sighed with frustration that he was not able to find the words he wanted.
"I know you loved him Nye. I know you did. And that is what made it so hard. I could see what he was, what he was doing to you but there was nothing I could say because I knew you loved him and when you love it is with all your heart. It is your way and I would never want you to be any other way. You made bad choices but that does not make you bad. I hated the situation you were in but I never hated you. I love with all my heart too, and I love you little brother, no matter what."
He looked up then, his eyes brimming with tears, very bright.
It wasn't me who answered. I didn't have the words... but fortunately someone else did. Kane tightened his arms around Nye and leaned forward to rest his cheek on his hair. "To quote a corny phrase babe... Love is never having to say you're sorry. You have nothing to be sorry about because we love you... we always have and we always will. We love you for who you are, not what we want you to be. We love you... bad choices, good choices, smart, dumb... even though you were a little crazy to fall for that complete lump of shit..."
"He killed for me. He died for me."
"What do you mean died for you?"
"They killed him... the soldiers... shot him because he had a gun."
"Soldiers? They weren't soldiers babe. It was the police. They rescued you."
"They still killed him. He was protecting me."
I wanted to say that if Adam hadn't got him into that situation in the first place there would have been nothing to protect him from and, when I glanced up and met Kane's eyes I know he was thinking the same thing... but we coulmdn't. Monster though he'd been Nye had loved Adam... and in the end Ada had saved him... so what could we say?
"He did love you then, at least in the end."
"He... saved me. Jon said... he said that... that Adam loved me... in his way... as much as he could, I think that's right. I don't think he could... feel... like us. He wasn't... right. But I did love him."
"I know you did. It's okay that you did. It's okay."
Kane was crying but his voice was steady and his thumb made little unconscious circles on Nye's arm. "I can't blame anyone for loving you, or for wanting to keep you all for themselves. Adam was a lucky man to have had your love... especially when he didn't deserve it. I am grateful to him, more grateful than you will ever know, that he saved you, even though I can't help but hate him for what he did to you. I know you loved him... I know the way you love. I can only hope that you can give half that much love and devotion to me."
Nye looked up, surprised and turned his head to look at Kane. His face held the sweetest, most openly tender look I had ever seen.
"I never stopped loving you. I almost... when you came to The Club to see me... after that... almost... I almost... but I didn't. That's when it all... when everything went... when things changed. But I would have come and... but that's not..." He sighed and shook his head. "I always loved you. I thought you didn't... that you didn't want me... and then it was too late. But now... He closed his eyes and rested his head against Kane's chest. "I love you. Completely."
Kane's face transformed in an instant. Although the tears flowed, even more so, the smile that touched his lips and lit up his eyes was awe inspiring. I felt more than ever as though I was intruding on something intensely personal and made my excuses to leave. The nurse was about to go in and I persuaded to give them a moment.
I am not a religious person but, on a whim I sought out the hospital chapel. It was a very small, sparse room but it was instilled with the sense of peace that all chapels have. I sat on one of the hard wooden chairs and looked up at the plain white cross.
Crosses are symbols of a transition, crossroads, the intersection of the spiritual world with the physical one and it made me think of my own life, the things that were important to me at this time of great change. I knew that my brother had changed, that the sweet innocent child was gone forever and that whoever had replaced him would be a stranger to me for a time.
Surprising myself I offered a prayer for Adam's soul. I still hated him but, in the end he had made the ultimate sacrifice and he had given my brother back to me. I could not let that go unmarked.
I found that I felt unbearably weary and I bowed my head, not to pray but because it just felt too heavy to hold up anymore, and I let myself weep. They were good tears, healing ones and I felt more positive when I left the chapel, silently thanking the spirits or whoever had lifted my burden.
It is strange how, sometimes when things are going badly and everything seems dark and hopeless, something simple lifts our spirits and suddenly everything is different as if a light has gone on somewhere.
When I got back to Nye's room, surprised to find that more than an hour had passed since I left it, I heard laughter through the closed door and when I opened it my heart lifted so fast I felt light headed. Nye looked so different, with his hair clean and soft again, and a life in his eyes I hadn't seen since before Adam.
Kane must have said something to make him laugh because he was all lit up. The sun was shining through the window behind him, turning his hair white and throwing accents of gold onto his pale skin. He is beautiful, my brother, have I mentioned that?
"Mir. Where have you been? I can go outside. The nurse didn't like it but the doctor said I could. They're going to bring a chair and Kane will push me. Will you come? I want to feel the sun."
"Wow. You sound as though you are feeling a lot better. What a change a shower makes."
Nye blushed and glanced at Kane shyly. Kane affected a stance of exaggerated innocence and I had to laugh.
"Maybe I'd rather not know. But I'm glad you are so much better darling. I was worried about you."
Nye's smile softened and he looked a little pensive. "I'm awful confused Mir. There are great big fuzzy holes in my head... especially when I try and remember. I feel... strange and..." Then he smiled and his eyes filled with light. "But it's okay. I feel safe. I'm going to be alright now."
And he was.
It's hard to remember back to that time. I can hardly bear to think how close we came to losing the bright star that is my brother. He and Kane were made for each other and there should never have been room for Adam in between them. Kane learned his lesson well and he has rarely left Nye's side in all the years that have passed since that day.
It took a long time for Nye to fully recover. Sometimes I wonder if he ever truly has, or whether there was a part of him that died or fell asleep and never woke again. There are still times when he retreats within himself and no one can bring him out until he's worked through what he needs to.
Thank the Gods there was never another mention of them putting him in a mental hospital because I would have gone to prison for kidnap or murder before I'd have allowed that. The psychiatrist who came to see him was, thankfully a pragmatist and recognised the healing potential of his relationship with Kane and the love of his family and friends. I don't think Nye ever really appreciated how close he'd come to something that would have ended his life as surely as one of Lian's poisons. He appreciated everything else though, as only Nye can. It was amazing how quickly his energy returned and how fast he and Kane rekindled what had always been there.
They're in California now. Oh, not permanently, they're staying with Kane's cousin Vicky. She's just got married to a man she met while she was over here visiting Kane. That's a strange story in itself, but for another time. Kane and Nye would never dream of moving away from here, their work is far too important to them.
The events that took place while Nye was with Adam affected both he and Kane very deeply. I think that for Nye it was possibly Luke's death that hammered home the bone numbing horror of what had happened and what had almost happened. For Kane it was not only what had happened to Nye but his own experiences, both at Adam's hands and while he was staying at the safe house.
Neither one of them could simply let it go and so when they'd finished school they came back, found Riz and Marco and started doing anything and everything they could to root out the darkness and provide safe and nurturing homes for those who were fleeing it.
They're world famous now. They help run a string of safe houses all over the country for those who are fleeing; not just escaped slaves but anyone who's running away from anything. They offer counselling, accommodation, education, and whatever assistance they can. Nye uses his writing skills to great effect and has published novels under his belt as well as scores of articles and pamphlets. He writes for a local newspaper too and uses his connections shamelessly when needs be.
Kane is more practical. He does all the business side of things. Keeps books, organises schedules... even does repairs on the houses when he has to. They have a lot of help from some very capable people... like me. Yes, their enthusiasm was catching and it didn't take long to infect me. To be honest, it wasn't just Nye. The image of that boy, Ben, haunted me. I couldn't get him out of my mind— so young, so damaged, so scared and yet ready to put himself at risk to save my brother.
He's fine now. He works with the boys at one of the houses. He trained as a counsellor and he's an amazing personality. But there are so many others. So many broken boys, all the time. It's so hard to reach them, to show them there is another way. We only scratch the surface and Nye is coming up with plans all the time that we just can't keep up with but we don't mind. His energy is boundless and infectious and he brings light wherever he goes.
Life is good.