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Lyrical: Chapter 34


After sending a text to Clancy and River telling them that I’ve left the club, I sit in silence looking blindly out of the window as Dax drives us both back to the Academy. Well, at least that’s what I thought he was doing. Only when we pull into an underground car park filled with expensive cars, all gleaming and shining, do I realise we’re not at the Academy at all.

“Where are we?” I ask as Dax pulls into an empty bay with the number 605 painted in yellow on the concrete wall in front. There are three empty bays next to it all marked with the same number.

“Come with me and I’ll show you,” Dax replies, stepping out of the car. I watch as he walks around the bonnet and opens the door for me. “Come with me, Kid.”

“Tell me where I am first,” I reply, my head still fucked up from everything that went on in the club. I feel like I’ve been hit by a freight train. My head is spinning with all the emotional punches I received tonight. I feel vulnerable, uncertain.

“Pen, this is our home. The Breakers’ home.”

“Your home?”

“Yes, come with me. Please?” He asks, framing his request like a question.

“Okay,” I say, taking his proffered hand, too exhausted to question him. His warm fingers curl around mine and I step out of the way whilst he closes the car door, locking it with a click of a button.

Beneath my feet the concrete floor is cold, and I wince, shifting from foot to foot. Dax takes one look at my shoeless feet, and just like he did when we left the club, lifts me up into his arms and cradles me to his chest. My initial reaction is to stiffen in his hold, but as his familiar scent washes over me I find myself relaxing against him, my head leaning against his shoulder. With me held aloft in his arms, Dax walks over to the elevator and presses a button to open the doors. They slide apart and he hits the button for the sixth floor.

“I can walk now,” I murmur, as he steps out into the hallway from the lift with me still in his arms.

“Nah, I got you,” he says, stopping only when we reach apartment 605. “The key to open the door is in my inside jacket pocket… Could you grab it?” He keeps his gaze fixed on the door, and when I cast my gaze down it’s because the top of my bustier has slid lower. I adjust myself, wriggling in his arms a little.

“You could just put me down and open the door yourself,” I suggest.

“No.” Now his eyes clash with mine, and I swallow hard at the determination I see swimming in the grey-green depths of them. He was always my protector. Always. He seems to be reverting back to that role tonight and a large part of me likes it. Wants it. Needs it, actually.

“Fine,” I mumble, sliding my hand between his shirt and jacket, trying not to pay attention to the way his heart is thumping beneath my hand, or the firmness of his pecs beneath my fingers.

Twisting slightly in his arms, I manage to pinch the credit card style key between my finger and thumb, then wave it over the lock. A green light flickers on, and the door swings into a large open plan living space with floor to ceiling windows that look over the city spread out below us. A grey L-shaped couch is set off to one side, with a large flatscreen TV attached to the white wall directly opposite it. To the left of the room is a flashy white kitchen with a large island and four black bar stools placed around it. Dax strides into the room, with me still in his arms. I’m acutely aware of how Dax’s fingers are digging into my bare flesh as he clutches me against his chest. It’s like he’s afraid of dropping me, even though that isn’t possible, given his strength and size.

This is your place?” I ask incredulously as he lowers me gently to the floor.

“Yes. We bought it six months ago.” He moves towards the kitchen and starts making tea. I perch on one of the bar stools and watch him closely.


“The Breakers, of course.”

“Where exactly are we?” I ask, hiding my shock behind another question. I wasn’t exactly paying attention in the car, too lost in my own thoughts to notice what part of London we were heading into.


“Is this an apartment in one of the new developments?” I ask, recognising some of the landscape through the huge window. It might be dark but there’s no mistaking those familiar buildings.


“Fuck,” I mutter, having no other words to say. I can’t even begin to think how much this place cost to buy. “But why have you all been staying at the Academy if you’ve got this place?”

“Not all of us. Xeno and I live here whilst York and Zayn stay there.”

“Why? Why not all live here, together?” I press, not understanding.

“For reasons I can’t go into just yet…” he says, shutting down my line of questioning. I frown, but leave it at that.

“Here,” he says, passing me a cup of tea. “You still like two sugars?”

“I do,” I answer softly, watching as he slides over a dish of sugar across the counter towards me. I drop two heaped spoonfuls into my tea and stir before taking a sip. We sit in awkward silence drinking our tea.

The truth sits between us, the proverbial elephant in the room. “Dax, I owe you an explanation—”

He shakes his head. “No. When the others come home, then we can talk. Are you hungry?”

“Sure, I could eat,” I say.

He pulls out his mobile phone and scrolls through his list of contacts before hitting dial. “I’ll order in, you’re welcome to go change into something more comfortable. You can borrow something of mine… My room’s the last door on the left,” he says a little awkwardly, nodding towards a door on the far side of the apartment, past the L-shaped sofa.

“Actually, that’d be good. Thanks,” I mutter, following his instructions.

I find his bedroom at the end of a long hallway. There are five other doors situated off the hallway too, all of them closed. I’m curious to look inside but refrain. Dax’s bedroom is dominated by a large king-sized bed situated in the centre of the room. A built-in, mirrored wardrobe runs across one wall, and a chest-of-drawers is situated beneath a large window that looks out over the city, providing a pretty backdrop of twinkling lights against the night sky.

“I haven’t had a chance to put my stamp on it yet,” Dax explains, making me jump. He’s standing in the doorway, his forearms pressed against the frame as he watches me.

“It’s lovely,” I reply, but he’s right, there’s none of Dax’s personality in this room. There are no knick-knacks on display, nothing to personalise the space. It’s empty. Yet, when I look up at Dax, his expression is full. It’s full of everything. He’s not hiding behind a hoodie and a cap now like he used to do so often when we were kids.

“Dax, I—” I begin, gulping down the rock lodged in my throat.

“I’ve ordered us pizza. You’re welcome to use the shower,” he says, as he walks towards me. “You’ve got mascara all down your face…” Dax reaches for me, his thumb running over my cheeks.

“What’s happening?” I whisper as he moves closer and closer, nothing but longing in his gaze. It’s the wrong thing to say because he suddenly realises what he’s doing and seems to shake himself.

“I’ll wait for the food delivery. You should find something to wear in the chest-of-drawers. I’ll be waiting for you in the kitchen, okay?”

He shucks off his jacket before discarding it on the back of a chair, then kicks off his trainers and strides from the room without a backward glance. I can’t help but notice how his jeans and t-shirt hug his muscles in all the right places, or how his tattoos wind up the back of his neck reaching the base of his skull, in thick, dark lines. He’s such a big man, so much bigger than the boy I remember, overwhelming in so many ways.

Over the past few weeks, Dax has done everything in his power to ignore me, to shut me out, but tonight something has changed. I see it in his actions, hear it in his words and feel it in his touch. He may still be fighting that right now, but he can’t deny it. Neither can I. I let out a whoosh of breath and step into the bathroom. Right now, I need to get clean, and I need to eat. I have to focus on the simple things so that I can deal with the complicated things later.

Stepping into the bathroom, which is as immaculately kept and as perfectly decorated as the bedroom, I strip off my clothes. This whole apartment reeks of the kind of luxury I’ve never experienced before, and I can’t help but wonder what kind of dark deeds the Breakers have had to commit to be able to afford to live in such a place. It’s exactly how I imagine a posh hotel to be decorated, with neutral colours and rose gold accents. There’s a sensual vibe to the décor that appeals to me and the life I’ve always dreamed of, longed for.

And out of nowhere that realisation is like a sucker-punch to my stomach.

Tears spring from my eyes as I turn on the shower and step beneath the spray. Fat droplets fall unbidden down my cheeks mingling with the water that flows down the drain. My body shakes with emotion as the tears keep coming and I have to stuff my fist into my mouth to stop the sobs from escaping. The flat of my hand slams against the shower wall as I double over and cry for all the things that might’ve been. Right here, naked, and vulnerable inside the Breakers’ home, I let all the agony out.

I let it all out, and on the back of my tears, I realise something fundamental. Whilst I’ve been struggling, living in a dingy council flat with my bitch of a mother, trying to take care of my baby sister and trying to make ends meet, the Breakers have slept in clean sheets, in warm clothes, with food in their bellies and friendship in their hearts. They’ve had each other throughout it all, and whilst I might’ve had my sister, it hasn’t been easy. I’ve not been able to relax once in the past three years. I’ve just kept going. Looking after Lena, dealing with my mother’s shit, my brother’s threats and Jeb’s demands all the while striving for something better, something more. I’ve done it all. I’ve carried all that stress.

On. My. Fucking. Own.

That hurts.

But I cry for more than my own selfish pain. I cry for them, for my Breakers, because there’s no soul in this flat. This isn’t a home. It’s a place to lie their heads, it’s the culmination of all the bad decisions they made and all the pain they’ve caused in Jeb’s name, and I hate it. I hate that they fought each other this evening. I hate that my actions pushed them to that point. I did exactly what Xeno said.

I broke them.

Now it’s my job to fix them. Fix us.

Stripping naked and washing away the events of tonight won’t rid me of that feeling of guilt.

Only the truth will. That knowledge gives me the strength to force back my tears and to stand upright. Sniffing loudly, I swipe at my eyes, washing away the mascara, and scrub my body clean. I wash my hair thoroughly before stepping out of the shower to dry myself off on a beautifully soft towel. It’s like being wrapped up in a luxurious fur coat sprayed with expensive perfume. These towels haven’t been washed with cheap detergent like my mother is prone to use, but even though I’m surrounded by luxury, opulence, richness, all of it is soulless. There’s no heart. This isn’t a home.

Sighing heavily, I head back into the bedroom and search through the drawers. I find a black t-shirt and a pair of grey joggers with a tie-waist that I’m able to fasten to stop them from falling down. Both items of clothing swamp me, but I don’t give it a second thought. I’m not here to impress Dax, or any of them. I don’t care what I look like.

Twenty minutes later, with my fingers working out the tangles in my hair, I head back into the main living area to find Dax with his back to me, dishing out slices of pizza. I stop dead in my tracks. My body sways, my stomach churns, and my mouth waters not just for the delicious smelling food, but for Dax.

Dax the man, not the boy.

Dax with the wide shoulders and slim waist.

Dax with his strong muscular arms.

Dax with his beautifully detailed tattoos.

Dax who’s removed his t-shirt and has bared his skin to me.

I watch him move gracefully, my throat drying as he twists on his feet lightly, placing plates onto the kitchen island. His eyes snap up as he notices me standing there gawking at him, and for a moment the only hunger I feel is for him, my Dax, my Dark Angel.


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