Shaking his head of his thought Jared walked on up the stairs to his bedroom. His brain was tired, overworked and exhausted. He wasn’t thinking clearly at all. He was still himself no matter what happened, still himself despite what money was in his bank account and what new piece of art he’d purchased and tried to hang on his wall. Nothing would change him as long as he held onto himself, as long as he let his soul breathe every now and then. If he could do that then the doors remained opened, they never closed on you as long as you don’t want them to.
He didn’t look at his bed, didn’t look at anything only headed straight into the bathroom, stripping off his clothes and hiding behind the white shower curtains, the water drenching him until he nearly couldn’t breathe in the steam. Just hide where he could. Hide from the safety of his own home, from the thoughts raging through his mind. He was still alive, he’d gotten through today. He’d gotten through. Everything was a strain, everything but those moments with Shannon, but those adoring moment with his fans. Nothing else meant anything. Nothing else mattered.
He ran his soaped hand slowly along his chest, eyes closed as the water rinsed away the suds. He let his mind clear, his head blank. His eyes opened, blue orbs watching the water rain from the shower head. “Stop.” He whispered to himself, hand pushing back the strands of his drenched hair. “Just stop.”
His hand reached out and grabbed a towel once he shut off the water, drying himself off before pulling on his underwear and black pants, white shirt and a pair of socks. He just needed to let himself relax, maybe read something, watch something on TV, anything. No work, not today. He ran a brush through his hair before lifting his eyes to his reflection, eying himself carefully, trying to catch the brightness of his expression earlier during the premiere. There had been life there in his gaze he had recognized it and yet right now, in this moment, he found none. The differences between loneliness and being surrounded by people who love you. He shook his head once more at himself before brushing his teeth, drying out the sink and putting his hair back in a hair tie. He walked on towards the bedroom, slipping into bed, smoothing the blanket over his legs and resting his head back against the headboard. The world was empty without someone around. It was empty without his phone beeping every so often with a text, an email, a tweet, anything. He needed to get that fixed, soon as possible.
Moving down to rest his head on the pillow he let out a small and tired breath, hands folded beneath his head as his eyes slowly closed. The wind sweeping through the crack in the window hummed a gentle song, the cold caressing over his skin despite the blanket that was covering him up. Sleep was struggling to stay away but he gripped onto it, pulling it towards himself despite the exertion. It slipped over him, whispering its persuasion over him as he abandoned himself to it. But he kept the dreams away, letting them fade to the background as he tried to find peace in the only place he could grasp it.
The morning came too quickly but he was awake before anyone had bothered to knock on his door. Another moment to himself. Today he would have to find himself a new phone, he would have to slip back into his usual routine. But there was only one thing on his mind, one thing he wanted to do. Could he deny himself that single thing? Could he tell himself to stay where he was and forget everything that had happened just last night? He couldn’t, he refused to. Shannon had been right, hadn’t he? He couldn’t keep running. Once you started there was no way to slow yourself and look back.
With something new behind his step he got up quickly out of bed, dusting himself off of the melancholy he’d drowned himself in before sleep and got dressed. He was done in no time, pulling on his coat and grabbing his keys, heading out the door to his car. He drove down the roads he’d driven on the bike with her, kept his speed tolerable but there was still a rush to it, he couldn’t get there fast enough. Everything blended into each other, every building. Every shape, the sky swallowed it whole, the surprising appearance of the sun enveloped his sight. It all faded when he pulled the car to the curb, stepping out and looked up at the falling building in front of him. Such an exhausted and worn sight and yet almost a beacon of the life he’d felt spread through his veins mere hours ago.
Jared dropped his keys into his coat before heading up towards the front of the building. There wasn’t a sign of life anywhere inside but he wasn’t just going to walk away. He couldn’t let himself turn his back on one more thing. He walked on forward, entering inside and climbing the stairs one at a time, his heart racing inside his chest, his mind trying to conjure up just what he would do once she was with him again. He had the thought of taking her in his arms, pressing her closer than she had been last night, whisper his lips to hers and lose himself inside of her. One breath and one lone moment of abandon. He could sacrifice everything he had to do for that, just this once.
The door was opened when he reached the top floor, her door. His brows tensed as he carefully stepped forward. He didn’t think that she was the kind of person that would simply leave her door open, she looked more cautious then that. Well not entirely cautious, not with allowing a complete stranger into her home so blindly. But last night and leaving her door open were two completely different things. He entered in quietly, eyes scanning the already empty room. There was nothing different, no one was inside, nothing was taken. But there was a letter resting on top of the beds surface, an envelope held it and his name was scrawled on it. His brows tensed, finger slipping beneath the edge to tear it open but the sound of footsteps behind him stopped him from it and he turned around, the envelope being tucked away into his coat.
Essie was standing there in the doorway, eyes staring at him with a bit of surprise. Her hair was the same mussed mess it had been last night, her clothes were night worn and her makeup was smudged. She was a mess standing there, nervously holding his gaze like she was completely unsure of how to act. A breath escaped her lips as she parted them. “You weren’t supposed to be here so soon.” She whispered causing his brows to tense with a bit of confusion. “I mean it’s…it’s just so soon.” She finished, lowering her eyes to the ground at a loss it seemed.
He wasn’t sure what to say. Had she been expecting him to come back? Was that what she had wanted? She seemed upset, lost and he had no idea what to say. There weren’t any words even after the ones he’d conjured up on his way over here. Jared really had no control over himself as he crossed the room, throwing her words out just for the moment before he took her in his arms. A small gasp came from her as she rested against his chest, her small hands grasping onto his shirt. He could almost feel the race of her heart against his chest, the feel of her breath against him. She belonged right there, this felt right. His hand smoothed down her hair before he carefully pulled her back from his chest. There were tears on her face, whispering down from her lashes as she held his eyes. He stole the trail of tears with his fingertips, shaking his head slightly before he leaned down to her. He hesitated at first but there wasn’t any reluctance from her, she let his lips touch to hers, let the caress of his breath wash across her skin. Her hold on him pressed her closer down to him as she deepened the kiss, breathing him in and everything his presence offered her.
After a moment he broke from the kiss, eyes dazed as he stared down at her. He’d been in love before, had flings, even thought he’d one day marry one of the girls he’d had a relationship with but the feelings that had just rushed through him at the feel of her kiss, the solace, the absolute abandon it couldn’t be rejected or denied. He made to say something but she shook her head and pressed her fingertips to his lips. “Jared…” She whispered, more tears building in those emerald eyes. “…just don’t read the letter.”