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Soul got into the car and buckled his seatbelt. Anywhere was better than here. Even the horrible house with its overwhelming miasma of disappointment, even the scarlet room and all the expectations that went with it. Sylvia had won so why not just give her everything that she wanted? Why should he drag out the pain when it was going to happen either way? Soul knew now that nothing in his life had ever been what he thought it was. He had held onto his childhood somewhere inside himself assuring himself that all the craziness had started when he met Scott. Learning about the twins had ruined that vision to some extent, but finding out that not even his mother was real was the final straw. Nothing he had ever done, no one he had ever been close to just liked him for who he was. No one had ever stayed and he had always been alone.
The ride home was silent. Soul imagined this is what going to be sentenced for murder would feel like- an inescapable slow trek to nowhere. He knew Sylvia would be waiting. He knew they would all be punished. He just didn’t know how. And somehow that was even worse.
The house was dark when they arrived and the sun was just setting. It was about dinnertime but food was the last thing on any of their minds. The huge doors were open when they pulled up and Sylvia was sitting on the staircase. She was smiling the same smile as when Soul had first arrived. It was as terrifying as it was fake. Soul didn’t care, he walked past her without a word, and she let him go. He almost imagined he felt a brush to his spirit and wished her well. There was no need for her to make him feel awful; to take away his hope- it was already gone.
Scott arrived to the scarlet room shortly after Soul; he seemed fine if subdued. There was a hint of a red mark on his cheek. He sat beside Soul and wrapped his arms around him. Soul didn’t move, he didn’t move as Scott undressed him. He didn’t move when Scott left to shower and get ready for bed. And even when Scott pulled him up and tucked him under the covers he didn’t resist. Scott slept, his breath falling on Soul’s face is soft minty puffs, and Soul lay awake the whole night wondering if there was any way to gather any dignity, any agency. And when the birds began warning that dawn was near he had one small idea. Not hope, but an idea. If it was going to end he could be the one to end it. He would not be manipulated any more. If his destiny were going to be this unyielding he would walk into it on his own power.
Scott woke slowly to the feeling of being touched, softly, slowly and all over his body. It was one of his dreams, his favorite, most embarrassing dreams. He didn’t want to open his eyes because then it would end. It always ended, but he also couldn’t keep his eyes closed, on the off chance- Scott opened his eyes and they met the deepest pools he had seen. Soul was looking up at him kneeling between his thighs. It was his dream come true- almost.
Soul didn’t look like he should. He was beautiful but his eyes were almost empty- deep still, but like a dead sea, there was no life in them, and there were deep bruises under them. His touch was gentle, almost loving but Scott sighed. Opening his eyes had ruined it again. As much as he wanted this he couldn’t. He couldn’t have Soul hate him and if he went through with this he knew something out be irreparably changed, and not in a good way. Any progress they had made would be gone and Scott would be alone again. He held Soul’s face in his hands and gently tugged him upward. He wrapped Soul in his arms and pressed Soul’s face into his shoulder. At first Soul was still rigid, but he melted soon enough and from the slightly shuddering breaths and wetness on his shoulder Scott knew that Soul was crying. Scott tried to keep his own tears from falling but he couldn’t. Once again he was unable to comfort his man. Once again he was not able to solve the problems Soul was dealing with, once again he was a failure.
Scott held Soul for hours while he cried and then when he slept. Neither of them had much of an appetite. Scott had begun to hope that everything would be okay but he couldn’t see it being okay now. He rubbed Soul’s back and tried to think of anything that would make Soul feel better, to make him feel the same way Scott felt about him.
Soul dreamt of the end of everything. He dreamt of his own death, and it was comforting, beautiful. No one could hurt him there; there was only one problem. In all the scenarios he imagined there was always Scott, devastated. Soul dreamt of the picture he had drawn, of Scott crying over his dead body, and even through the picture had meant nothing to him just a few days ago, it now haunted him and ruined all his fantasies.
Soul woke slowly but when he woke he had another idea. If he could show Scott how he felt Scott would understand. If Scott could feel the desolation he felt, the loss of everything he had ever thought he had known, he would know why Soul had to end it. He would know why he needed to have one last act, his only truly autonomous act. Soul knew that Scott would never finish the bond if he thought Soul didn’t want it. But Soul had a plan for that as well. He would Sakarya Escort just have to fake it- and with all his recent practice Soul was sure he could do it. He could ignore the house, Sylvia, all of it, and just focus on Scott, and once it was over, he wouldn’t have to pretend or hide anymore he would have what he had always really wanted- complete understanding and then quiet, peace.
When Soul finally opened his eyes the first thing he saw was Scott. And Scott looked almost as bad as Soul felt, his skin looked dull and his eyes were rimmed with red, he had to have spent a lot of the time Soul spent sleeping, crying. Soul tried to smile at him, but even with his plan firmly in place it didn’t quite come out. Giving up and figuring it was unrealistic for him to feel better after one good cry Soul wrapped his arms around Scott and tried to offer the comfort Scott always wanted to offer him. Scott didn’t respond for a moment but then hugged back, and for a moment it was like they were the only two people in the world.
Soul and Scott showered separately but spent the next hours attached at the hip. They didn’t go anywhere without each other, even if they hardly spoke. Sylvia stayed out of the way, Soul guessed it was because she figured nothing she could think up would compare to the punishment he had brought upon himself, and if she couldn’t detect any happy emotions what was there for her to take away?
The next days passed similarly, almost in silence, and with few interactions with anyone other than Scott. It was almost as if the house had been abandoned. All the new guests seemed to have vanished and the siblings were only seen in passing and only around meal times. They looked subdued, or determined but Soul paid them little attention. He had only one goal at the moment and it only required his own powers of deception. He had to convince Scott that he was feeling better, and that he wanted to finish the bond. He didn’t mention it at all the first day, but began answering Scott’s queries to how he was feeling with variations of loneliness. And as time went on Soul realized it wasn’t a lie at all, he was lonely, he did want to feel a connection with someone he did want at least one person to really understand him, to stay with him. He found that the more he spoke to Scott he began to believe his own words. Maybe everything really would be better with the bond in place; maybe all of Sylvia’s plotting would mean less to him. And logically it made sense, Scott had survived her and Soul was only a promise of a future. Soul did most of his talking when they were alone and in bed, right before sleeping with all the lights off and with the lurid color of the room hidden Soul found it was embarrassingly easy to spill his feeling and insecurities. Scott was a wonderful listener and crying himself to sleep ensured that he slept without dreams.
On the fourth morning after discovering his mother was only a shadow Soul woke feeling almost hopeful. He knew that when he opened his eyes he could look into Scott’s and the feeling warmed a small piece of his heart. He still felt disconnected and alone, he still felt like nothing would ever be okay, but his plan was working in ways he hadn’t imagined. And soon it would be complete.
Soul opened his eyes slowly and found Scott already awake, looking down on him with the strangest expression in his eyes.
“You were smiling in your sleep.” Soul blinked sleepily.
“You were smiling in your sleep. You haven’t smiled in days and you looked like you were dreaming of happy things.”
Soul smiled again and it didn’t feel forced.
“I was just thinking of you.” And it was the truth.
Soul sat up and gave Scott a kiss, when Scott sat up too; Soul wiggled himself into Scott’s lap facing him and looked into his eyes. He had never thought that he had really been able to see anyone’s soul but Scott’s seemed to be shining out of his as surely as the early morning sun shone through the windows. It was bright and sweet and full of love, and Soul wished he could reach inside and touch it. Instead he brushed a finger against Scott’s eyelashes, and when Scott closed his eyes in response it was as if a bit of the light in the room had been turned off. Soul brushed the lashes as they sat on Scott’s cheeks then kissed them. His mind was made up. Tonight was the night, he just had to convince Scott that he really wanted it, and in that moment Soul didn’t think it would be a difficult task because it was the truth, he did want the bond, he wanted to touch Scott’s soul.
Scott couldn’t understand what was happening. Just days ago Soul looked like not only had his heart broken, but that his spirit and soul were gone. And today just four days later he was smiling in his sleep. Scott had been preparing himself for years more of torture, of knowing Soul was hurting and not knowing how to help him. But it was like the devastation had opened something in him. He talked to Scott, really talked to him, about all kinds of things, about what his dreams had been, and about how worried he had been that he would never find anyone to be with, about how alone he had always Adapazarı Escort felt even with the twins. Soul had cried but he was finally sharing himself, and now he was smiling. Scott couldn’t stop smiling himself even though he was still wary of the change. He listened to Soul humming softly to himself in the shower and Scott wondered if he would ever understand Soul even with the bond.
“I’m finally hungry, starving really, can we make breakfast? I feel like creating something. Something yummy.” Soul had just stepped out of the shower and still wrapped in towels flopped onto the bed next to Scott.
“I think probably. There is probably breakfast made already though.” Scott smiled at the bundle of towels wrapped around Soul and was rewarded with a bright smile in return.
“But I want to make something.” Scott shrugged but in his mind he was going to make sure that Soul was able to create to his hearts desire, even beyond breakfast. Scott hadn’t spent any time in his studio since returning home and he missed it. He had a sudden urge to share it with Soul, to make something of the day, literally. Something told him that today was going to be a special day.
“Okay then we will make something. Put on something you don’t mind getting dirty.” For a minute Scott thought Soul would put on one of the outfits Sylvia had gotten for him, just for the sake of ruining it, but he turned from the wardrobe after a minute of considering it and began to dig through the bag he had first brought with him. Scott wanted to stay and watch the towels come off one by one but he dragged himself to the shower. It wouldn’t do to ruin the day before it even began.
Scott was surprised when he saw what Soul was wearing. When he had seen Soul dress before it was always in dark neutral colors, but this- Soul had a soft well worn t-shirt with a sunflower in faded ink on the front and soft green corduroy cut offs. He looked like he had just been in an art studio, and he looked perfect. The colors suited him, as did the careless feel of the outfit. Sylvia would hate it and that just made Scott love it all the more.
Soul had a blast making the kitchen a complete mess. It was spotless when they entered and didn’t seem at all homey like a kitchen should feel. Soul had a moment of deep sadness when he realized the kitchen he compared it to, his mother’s kitchen, wasn’t really homey either, but this was sterile. Even a fake mother infused a kitchen with more life than Sylvia, but in a way it’s clinical cleanliness and strictly ordered implements made it even more fun to play in.
Soul made pancakes and they were a horrible mess. They didn’t even taste very good but the act of making made the day feel even better. They ate the pancakes right out of the pan and the syrup crystallizing in the pan made it impossible to cook the later cakes correctly, but it didn’t matter. The only things that mattered were the smile on Scott’s face and how thoroughly debauched the kitchen looked when they were done. Soul felt a hint of guilt about not cleaning up, he knew it wouldn’t be Sylvia that did it, but it quickly faded as Scott lead him through a door he hadn’t been through before and down a very narrow flight of stairs to his studio.
Soul had imagined anything underground in this house to be damp and full of monsters but he couldn’t have been more wrong. The room was filled with light. Two of the walls were a rich cream and the other two were covered in beautiful murals they seemed oddly familiar to Soul but he was quickly distracted by the rest of the room. There were hundreds of small statues, some ceramic, both glazed and not, there were also racks for drying paintings, some full, some still waiting for paintings to fill them. There were tall shapes that were covered with drop cloths, and in one corner there was a large kiln. Soul was stunned by the number of pieces as well as their quality, and by the sheer size of the studio. It was magnificent and Soul felt like he was seeing another part of Scott’s soul, of his life. It was obvious that this was the place where Scott felt the most comfortable in his house, the space was filled with bits of him from the murals to the hint of his scent mixed with the smells of oil paint, clay, heat, and stone. It was beautiful.
Soul spent hours looking through the racks of paintings careful not to smudge the paint even though it had been drying for ages. He picked up the tiny figures amazed at their detail, he gazed at the murals trying to figure out why they were so familiar, but even though his fingers ached to uncover them he left the covered pieces covered. As an artist himself he understood the need to keep some things covered. Plus there was so many other things to look at he didn’t need to see more. Scott didn’t say a word and just let Soul look, but even with the silence Soul felt closer to Scott than he ever had. Seeing the studio reinstated the feeling Soul had had before of what could have been if things were different. He felt a twinge of sadness that even just a few days ago he could have thought of it- however subconsciously- as what could be.
After Scott led Soul out of his studio they Serdivan Escort went outside to the garden where Soul had met the twins to discuss their escape. In the daytime the garden was even more beautiful, the flowers were open and their buds were magnificent, the colors were more vibrant that Soul could remember seeing. Their perfume filled the air and though it should have been overwhelming it just smelled like paradise. Even at the short distance from the house the oppressive feeling was less overwhelming. The whole day was like a vacation from depression. Soul knew it was waiting for him later but each moment felt like a gift. Soul still felt a bit guilty that they were having such a lovely time and he was going to stick to his plan, but he also felt resolved. If this was going to be one of his last days it might as well be one of his best days, and it was a good way for Scott to remember him when he was gone. Plus he hoped that Scott would be able to feel the happiness Soul had felt through the bond. Maybe then he would be able to give up on his guilt that he had never been able to make Soul feel better.
They went inside when the light was starting to fade, and even though they sat down to dinner with Sylvia, Scott’s father, Josie, Nova, and a few others, the meal wasn’t enough to ruin Soul’s mood. And when Sylvia mentioned that she would be out that evening his spirits soared. Not only would he get all that he wanted he wouldn’t have to worry about Sylvia listening in and peeking through keyholes. Even her cutting comments about his outfit, which was now covered in soil and flower petals, did nothing to ruin his mood. The only thing that came close to upsetting Soul’s levity was the desolate look on Josie’s face but he told himself that he couldn’t help her, that he couldn’t take on any other problems. He could only focus on solving his own and hope that somehow it would make some things easier for the others. Sylvia made it seem like he was the key to her plans, and if he was no longer around maybe the others would be able to come up with a better plan. She would at least be distracted.
Dessert was cleared and Soul didn’t spare a thought for anything other than getting Scott upstairs and naked. After enduring Sylvia’s seemingly endless goodbye and list of instructions for taking care of the house Soul nearly dragged Scott upstairs. Scott seemed surprised, but willing and Soul was willing to use anything to his advantage. His excitement almost overcame his nervousness but when the doors of their suite were finally closed he couldn’t help but pause. To finish the bond they had to have sex, and Soul really didn’t know what he was doing.
Soul knew that he would have to initiate, he knew that Scott was terrified of pushing him too fast, but he hoped that Scott would take over. Soul was second guessing himself and considering how he could somehow manipulate Scott into taking the lead. Scott seemed to notice something had changed and was beginning to lose his glowing reflection of Soul’s happiness. Soul reached into his limited knowledge of romance and blurted the first thing that came to mind.
“Do you want to take a bath with me?” He cheeks flamed once the words were out of his mouth but the idea didn’t sound half bad, it was relaxing and he was a bit dirty, and it was an excuse to get Scott naked that Scott wouldn’t consider threatening manipulative- he hoped. As the moment extended in silence Soul considered for the first time day that his plan might not work, that Scott might say no. Soul felt the bubbly warmth that had filled his chest all day begin to fade, he ran a hand through his hair and waited for the rejection.
“That sounds really nice, I haven’t taken a bath in ages- do you want candles?” Soul almost cried his relief was so complete, even though the whole interaction took only around a minute it felt like his whole existence rested on it.
“I would love candles.” Scott’s smile brightened and the glow was back in Soul’s chest. Everything was going to be all right.
Scott was surprised by Soul’s request and almost suspicious for a moment, but his happiness had remained steady all day. Maybe his opening up had just been coming all along and finding out about his mother was just the key. Scott wanted to believe it was real and with the option of just leaving gone he couldn’t imagine a reason why Soul would be faking. Scott barely dared hope but something told him that not only could tonight be as special as the rest of the day, it could be the best night of his life, the night that would free him from the pain that had been his constant companion for his whole life. Finally Soul would see- would feel what he had felt for so long. Scott tried not to let the hope overwhelm him but it was almost impossible. He could feel a tremor beginning in his hands as he searched for candles and matches. He started the bath in the claw foot tub and spent an inordinate amount of time trying to determine what the perfect temperature would be. He decided on just this side of lukewarm and added honeysuckle bubbles. The smell reminded him of Soul and he figured with a neutral temperature it would be easy to adjust. He hung towels on the warmer and finished lighting the candles but was unable to leave the bathroom for a few long moments. What if none of it was what he had imagined? What if they still didn’t finish the bond? What if? The questions would have continued if there hadn’t been a soft knock on the bathroom door.
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