Drawn to You: Volume 2

By: Vanessa Booke







TWO


TRISTAN



THE WORLD AROUND me is one chaotic blur of hospital waiting rooms and doctors in white coats. I should be used to this by now. My mother wasn’t new to this, but it’s not my mother who’s lying in the bed across the room. And it isn’t my mother who the doctors just said would never be waking up from a coma. It’s Emily and Nicholas’s brother, Alexander.

The sight of him lying on a hospital bed looking so broken and fail is unnerving. I’ve never really had a connection with Alex the way I did with Nicholas and Emily, but it doesn’t make seeing this any easier. I pace the room feeling the need to reach out and comfort those around me.

“He has to wake up,” Emily cries.

“He will!”

Nicholas storms past me and proceeds to slam his fist against the gray hospital room wall. It vibrates with the pressure of his hand and fills the room with a booming echo. The sound of Emily’s broken voice calls to me from the other side of the room. Her frame sits curled in a ball on top of a chair as she rocks her body back and forth. It seems I’m destined to watch those around me suffer. I must be cursed.

“Please stop, Nick,” Emily cries. “Tristan, make him stop.”

Nicholas’s gaze never leaves Alex’s bedside as I stop to give him a quick squeeze on the shoulder. If I could help him somehow, I would, but the best thing I can do now is to comfort Emily. I walk over to her and wrap my arms around her shoulders. Her pale fingers curl around the ends of my hair just below my neck as she sobs into my chest in soft tremors that pull apart the very depth of my soul. The need to console her makes my very heart ache.

“Emily, look at me.”

“No, I can’t.”

I lift her chin with my index finger, forcing her to meet my gaze. With a shaky breath, she finally gives in and looks up at me with watery eyes laced with pain. She blinks away tears from her eyes. Damn it all to hell. I wish I could draw every thread of tears from them and fill them back with stars.

“You’re going to be okay,” I say.

Her small frame presses against me sending electric waves of tension running through my veins. My cock throbs at the sensation and memory of two weeks earlier.

“Let’s give Nicholas a minute,” I say, lifting her into my arms. Emily’s petite frame sags against me as I carry her across the room and outside.

“Tristan,” she murmurs into my chest. “Tell me I’m dreaming. Tell me Alex is okay and that he’s going to wake up.”

I cradle her in my arms squeezing her against my chest. The sensation is hauntingly familiar. I held my mother this same way when I found her passed out on the floor. It hurts just thinking about her. I didn’t make time to see her enough. God, I miss her. I wish she were here with me now, but I know that will never happen.

“I’m going to take you home,” I say, squeezing Emily.

“No, I don’t want to leave!”

I spot Stefan rushing down the hall toward me with a haunted look in his face. His broken gaze washes over me as he spots Emily sobbing in my arms. For a moment, I feel happy. Happy that Stefan finally understands what it is to lose the person you love most in this world. He’s incredibly lucky he still has Nicholas and Emily, but I know Alex meant something greater to him. Alex meant his succession. It meant Stefan’s name would live on. Now there’s the possibility it will be forgotten over time. Much like my mother, he’ll be reduced to just another name on a wall.

I force myself to purge the bitter thoughts from mind and focus on the blonde angel whose hands are wrapped around my shoulders.

“Tristan, could you please take Emily home?” Stefan asks.

The edge in his voice is undeniable.

“Yes.”

I leave Stefan to mourn for his son. As much as I hate that he hurt my mother, I can’t be the monster that takes pleasure in watching his world crumble around him.



* * * * *



I watch her lips curve into a smile as she falls asleep on the couch. The house around us is empty of all light with the exception of the television that’s on. Despite the need I feel to tell her how much she means to me, I leave things as they are.

I slide my book of Lord Byron’s poems underneath her hold for her to keep. It’s the one thing I’ve kept from Stefan’s library all of these years. The thought of leaving it behind for her to read is more comforting than any pleasure I’ll get from re-reading it. Emily’s eyes flutter open momentarily at my touch before quickly closing once again. I lean in, capturing her lips in a chaste kiss. The memory of it will stay with me always.

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