He was glad that she hadn’t gotten up to talk to him. Perhaps she would once morning rose up and she would have thought that his head had finally cleared and he was now capable of talking again. But she- in her obvious state- would think that this was all about Essie. That in some weak place formed inside he was lost to complications and false relief that he was trying desperately to think of a way to get the woman she had sent out back. That wasn’t the only thing left for him though, that wasn’t the entire core of this at all. He had gathered up a bit of strength that was not only reflected in Essie but in other places as well. Places like his own healing. She wouldn’t think of that though, her in her hollowed mind.
Standing there in the kitchen he watched the glittering rays whisper down along the granite counter tops. It was becoming morning slowly and surely, the dark being chased out by the quiet lights that would brighten up the sky. Clouds shifted in a slow and gentle dance that appeared beautiful and yet entirely contrasting towards the different shades. Jared merely watched them caress over the canvas above him. It was so quiet and for a moment he wanted to breathe it all in, calm himself for the moment. He wasn’t sure when the last time it was that he had felt so entirely at peace with himself and his surroundings. He was sure it wouldn’t happen again.
The sound of a door opening had his breath hitching in his chest. He didn’t want to see Marissa right now, he wasn’t sure if he had himself entirely healed enough. He needed a few more hours until the night fully disappeared and morning rose up in the quiet sky. Jared slowly pushed himself off the counter and waited until whoever came back showed themselves. Whoever it was was going to have to deal with the sudden melancholy that had spread over him. Hadn’t that been the case for awhile?
Finally the slow steps came towards his own figure and Jared let out a slow breath from between his parted lips when he saw that it was Shannon coming out of his room. Of course the tension would still be there, swallowing the atmosphere up between them but it would be easier to talk to him than Marissa, then even his own mother. That was a crazy thought but it was the only one that he had left inside of him. He was alone, that’s what it felt like anyways.
"You’re up early." Jared stated, eyes going over the mussed appearance that marked Shannon’s features. His hair was all over the place, eyes struggled with veined sleeplessness. Even his clothes were slightly wrinkled. He looked like a wreck. Jared wasn’t entirely sure when the last time had been when he had seen him so disheveled. "Sleep looks good on you." He chuckled a little, the lack of humor echoing in the words was stark but still managed a small relief from the melancholy of before. That was only something that his brother could manage to do.
Shannon laughed softly, hand pushing back through his mussed strands as he nodded a little, eyes fluttering with sleep. “Yeah, well not all of us are vampires.” He stated with a slow shake of his head. “But I just kept waking up. Guess I need a drink.” He walked towards the cabinets, opening one of them before moving onto another and grabbing a glass to fill with some water. He glanced over at Jared who was now looking downwards at the tiled ground, the dying night light creating a calm light on the surface. He noticed something different about him, about the way his eyes were both downcast and yet entirely hopeful. He wanted to ask what happened, what changed but he wasn’t sure if it was his place anymore.
With the whispering sound of the water coming from the faucet Jared let out a small sigh and contemplated whether to leave Shannon or to stay remaining there until Shannon said something to crack the building wall that remained there between them. He wanted it to come down, wanted even to see the shattered fragments there on the ground, that would prove that there was still something that existed between them. That would mean they still had the bond that they always had. That could never be broken, could it? Jared was simply in complete denial that something like that could happen. Not to them, no matter what happened.
Taking one single step towards the bedrooms he stopped only when he heard Shannon quite loudly clear his throat. He took in a breath, eyes skittering across the tiles before turning around to face his brother again. “Wanna talk about something?” He asked, tucking his hair behind his ears as he met Shannon’s eyes, carefully trying to extinguish the barrier lingering between them. Was there another step that could be taken without mending the broken and burnt bridges that were left in his wake?
Shannon took in a breath before he finally nodded, hand wrapped around his glass of water without drinking from it. “Could we?” He asked, tongue going over his lips as he held his brother’s eyes with his own gentle gaze.
Jared let out a slow breath before he nodded and took the necessary steps to bring him closer to where Shannon was. Just being close to him again was a cause to feel more at ease, in spite of everything that had happened nothing could shatter the bonds and the connections that had once sealed their relationship. Shannon was his brother and that, alone, was what mattered wasn’t it? He could let go of everything if that’s what Shannon really wanted. He could stand there and offer him the forgiveness if that’s what he thought he could ask for. Either way it didn’t matter to him anymore, he just wanted something- someone to make him feel grounded and alive. “What is it?”
Shannon set down the glass and seemed to be contemplating his own movements where he stood, watching the surface of the water shiver and then settle. There was a quiet that descended onto them like a veil that took the place of barriers and brokenness. They had a tinge of relief now that could be reached out for and felt and held onto. They just both had to grasp onto it. His dark eyes turned to his little brother’s, a glaze of emotion quivering there before he closed the space between them and wrapped his arms around him.
Jared wasn’t sure how to react, not to this sudden closeness. He hesitated until his eyes closed slowly and his arms followed suit, going around his brother as well. There were breaths finally taken in sync again, chests rising and falling until there was nothing but that bond reformed. There were no cracks only honesty and the raw emotion that had separated them. There wasn’t any room for words, for pleas for forgiveness. It was already out there in the open and Jared accepted it with the way he fell into his brother’s calming embrace.
It lasted for a few moments until finally Shannon pulled away, hand smoothing back the already mussed strands of Jared’s hair while a smile came whispering onto his lips. “What are you going to do?” He asked, the only thing left to ask since everything was already resolved in the most quiet and honest way that the two of them could possibly offer. That was the only way to consider things, the only way to offer solace the way that it was needed. Shannon knew what he had done and it was time, he knew as well, to close the book on it for good.
Jared thought on it a moment, eyes lowering to the ground before a small shrug pronounced itself onto his shoulders. “I don’t know.” He answered, thinking of all the possibilities that wound themselves permanently inside of his mind. There were crevices that needed to be covered and filled. Cracks that needed to be mended. Did he do that on his own or was there a path that needed to be mapped out with others traveling on it alongside him? The only thing was, that he had never been one to solve things with others in tow.
Was it selfish for him to want to retrieve those feelings he had felt with Essie? Was it wrong to want to go back into the past and feel honest love there in her arms again?
"You know where she’s at." Shannon reminded him, unsure if that was really the right path to set his brother on but could he slip himself again into the middle where he didn’t belong? Could he close his eyes and assume the role of mender when he had no logical clue what could be and should be done for someone who was healing like Jared seemed to be doing?
Jared thought of New York. That abandoned roof, that makeshift bed with her there in his arms, her kisses on him and her whispered words of love caressing over his senses. Was love at first sight really as real as all that? Was that a ridiculous notion to be grappled with? Or was he simply trying to negate the possibility that this was exactly where he should be? Contemplating returning to the one lasting person that could offer him the bond that his tatters felt like they were missing? “I do.” He whispered in response with a nod of his head. He could go back there, all the way back it wouldn’t matter, would it?
A thin and uncertain smile made itself known on Shannon’s lips as he once more brought his brother into a hug that was halfway done so that he could release him easily. “Well, do what you have to.” He stated, sending Jared off with a small pat of his shoulder. He couldn’t further dictate what needed to be done in his brother’s life. He was, after all, a man that could make all the decisions and moves that needed to be made himself.
He stood there a moment, watching Shannon and wondering what the uncertainty meant. But surely that was related entirely to something different, something that required neither question or probing. But he couldn’t shake the thought that it had something entirely to do with this moment right here where everything felt so entirely shaky. He didn’t ask though, he merely turned on his heel and made his way towards his bedroom. Facing Marissa or not was enough fuel to let him walk out the door and never come back into the mire that he had allowed his desperation to lower him down into.