Secrets and deception always find a way of being revealed.
I can’t sleep, so I find myself in Catherine’s library, looking for a book to help my mind settle. I hear the beeping of the alarm and hear a rustling noise coming from the kitchen. I walk slowly down the hall. As I get up to the doorway to the kitchen, I see a jacket over a chair, then the light from the fridge comes on. It’s Gabriel; he’s here. I turn on some of the lights, not all: I didn’t want to wake everyone in the house. He has blood covering his skin and shirt. I allow myself a second of shock, then I pull it together and walk over to him. I close the door to the fridge and grab his hand. I walk him over to the table and sit him down in a chair. Without a word, I go to the cabinets to locate a bowl and towel. I fill it with some warm water and soap then carefully bring it over to the table, without spilling any of the water as I go. I wet the towel and wring it out, then kneel and grab Gabriel’s hand again. His knuckles are busted, so I start to wipe the blood off with the cloth as gently as I can. He just stares at my face as I go. As I finish with one hand, I go to the next, repeating the same procedure. We still have not said a word to each other. I glance up at him and down his neck, and I see blood under his collar. So, I start to unbutton his shirt. He grabs my hands, and we just glare at each other.
“Let me, Gabriel.”
He releases my hands, and I proceed to unbutton his shirt, praying I don’t see any injuries. Once it is fully unbuttoned, I slide my hands to his shoulders and remove the shirt. I pass my hands through all the blood to check for wounds, then let out a sigh of relief when I don’t find any. Glancing back at him, his eyes are closed and his breathing is deeper. His chest is muscular and tight, with just enough hair. All I want to do is run my fingers lazily through his chest hair. Instead, I grab the towel again and wash him off. Starting at his neck and going down his chest I repeat on his arms.