Chapter 12: CARNAL ADDICTION
Her eyes shutter several times before she finally allows oxygen to pass through her lungs, she cannot focus on anything but the man she love’s surname. She admits that if she could go back in time, she’d have continued her blissful morning and never stepped foot in the kitchen, but fate has never really been on her side. She should have known it’s always calm before a storm. Robotically, Malia absently reaches down and pushes Kai’s arms off her body.
Immediately, Kai knows something is wrong. Panic seizes his body and he stumbles back until he hits the counter. His shoulders curl in and he closes himself off while muttering, “Malia… look at me.” Her unresponsive state has his jaw clenching and his hands fisting by his sides. Flashes of the abuse he’d received from his past shock reality into him, everyone leaves… They find ways to destroy you before abandoning you. But he wishes she’s different, for her he tries, “please…”
The weak tone in Kai’s voice shatters through Malia, she turns ever so slowly. Her head remains lowered as her hands clench the envelope between her fingers, “Carson.” She hisses out. She’d been warned about his family. Told to never make contact with one of them, and here she is sleeping with one of them. Bile rises in her throat and the need to vomit becomes a blaring possibility. She can’t do this; her mind runs with outcomes; none of them good.
“Malia,” Kai steps forward but she holds up a hand. If he touches her she’ll give in, her body is not as strong as her mind, it wants to submit to him. Wants to pretend she’d never seen the damn surname, but she has and there is no turning back from it now.
Swallowing hard, she forces her mind to work and ignores her hearts biased behaviour. “Don’t come near me. I want to run so badly; I want to leave you.”
“You’re just like everyone else.” He laughs humourlessly. Turning he places his palms on the benchtop and breathes heavily to calm the raging storm burning inside him. Betrayal. She betrayed him. “You said you fucking need me, Malia!” He shouts, grabbing a lone glass and smashing it across the room. Spinning hard on his heels he glares at her, “you want to leave, huh. You think I’ll let you.” He grunts out possessively, a sick smirk takes contorts his features.
She pegs the offending envelop his way, “don’t fuck with me, Kai. I can’t. We can’t!” She runs her hand through her hair and gestures between them to emphasise her words.
“Why!?” He demands to know. Striding forward he grabs her upper arms, physically forcing himself not to shake her into submission. He should be the one leaving her, her family killed his; not the other way around. “Tell me why, Malia?” The words hang in the air like a knife above her head. He ignores her fierce glare and continues, “your family killed mine, sweetheart.” He speaks through his teeth, leaning down until his breath is hot against the side of her neck, “I should snap your pretty little neck for it,” he continues in a whisper.
It isn’t the threat of death that has Malia reaching up and slamming her fist into his jaw, it’s the accusation against her family that does it. “One more bullshit accusation about my family and I’ll really hurt you, Kai.” Her words shoot like arrows through him.
You already have, he wants to whisper. He swipes his thumb across his bottom lip, “of course you’d assume they’re innocent.” Kai mocks. It hurt like hell, he can’t help it. He wants to plead for her to stay, so tell her that he doesn’t care about anything as long as she’s by his side; but only harsh words escape his lips. Mentally he shouts his need for her, verbally he lays everything on the table. “Does it hurt to know you’re surrounded by killers?” He eggs her on.
“Yes. But I’m only surrounded by one killer… and he’s standing right in front of me.” Malia bites out. She regrets her words instantly as pain flashes through his dark irises. Unable to think rationally while being in the same room as him she decides to leave, before they say something that can’t be forgiven. “I’m not going to be as weak as Mary, Kai.” With that she turns her back to him and heads for the door.
Looking around desperately he searches for a way to make her stay; anger. He plays on her anger. “You are weak, Malia. Unable to see the fucking truth despite it staring you in the face.” She pauses, her back tenses and he continues, “I’m a fucking Carson,” he steps towards her. “I wanted to hurt you,” his arms wrap around her. “I still do,” He whispers tightening his hold. “And, if I happen to stumble across Johann or Sinn and Nikolas… I will kill them.” So cold. His touch burns her, but his words cause her to shiver in fear.
“We’re not killers.” She shakes her head in denial.
He closes his eyes, “Johann killed my brother, Malia… and like savage animals the other two tore him apart.” She shakes her head in denial. “And when I was called in to identify him, all I saw was blood. No fucking part of him was left untouched.” Hauntingly he continues, “you’re right Malia, they didn’t kill him. They tortured him until nothing was left.” Anger takes control of Kai. It’s when Malia’s tears fall to his hands that he finally comes back from the tormenting memory, comes back to her.
“Either hurt me, Kai. Or let me go.” She cries silently. “Take your anger out on me, but don’t hurt my family.” She lowers her head. Unable to hurt her or let her go, Kai simply adds more pressure and strength to his hold on her. Finally, sound breaks through and she allows the pain to escape. Her body doubles over and together they crumble to the ground, anguish fills Kai. He brings his knees up and holds her as close as he can. “I hate you!’ She shouts turning in his arms.
He shakes his head, “no you don’t.”
“But I should.” She slams her hand against his broad chest. Repeating those three words, Malia continues to abuse him. Kai silently keep her captive as she lays punch after punch, his body numb against the pain. All he can feel is the pain in her eyes. He can’t help but find her beautiful, even in this moment. She tires quickly, gripping his shirt and falling against his chest. “You could have been anyone!” She whimpers, “why a Carson?”
The cracked paint on the wall seemed more alive than either of them, Malia leans back and wipes her eyes. “Let me go,” she looks him in the eye. Kai shakes his head, no. “Please,” she begs him. “Don’t make this harder.” No words come from him, all he can do is watch her helplessly, with hopes that his strength is enough to cage her.
With fresh tears in her eyes, she reaches up and grabs his head tightly, pulling him down she kisses him hard. Slamming their mouths together and punishing him for being her enemy. Punishing him for not keeping it a secret. In return he rivals her. Did she have to find out. Did she have to be one of them. His grip on her loosens and she takes that moment to break free from him. Stunned Kai looks down at his empty hands, Malia uses his distracted state to her advantage and quickly swipes up her belonging from the counter.
Biting her tongue, she makes her way to the door in a rush only to be stopped by an emotionless whisper, “Don’t go.” She turns to find him with his head lowered, sitting on the edge of an armchair. “Stay with me,” Malia can feel it, a wave of weakness crashing through him. He doesn’t look up at her, in fact for a moment she wonders if he’s breathing. Motionless he becomes a shadow of a man, “You did this to me, Malia.” His mouth barely moves, “I can’t let you go.”
Swallowing hard, “don’t do this,” she replies.
“I need you…”
Shaking her head, she forces her legs to move. “Goodbye, Kai.” She breathes out, scanning his dull apartment one last time. Turning her back to the room she takes two steps before her body betrays her and she glances back to catch his destructive beauty. Like a broken man, he finally admits defeat.
As the door closes behind her, Malia finds herself regretting every decision she’d made leading to this point. Most of all, she regrets being a Silvetti. With tears coursing down her face, she clenches her fists and curbs the urge to turn back around and comfort the man she loves. Biting her lower lip, the young woman makes her way to the main street, where she hails a cab. Moving on auto-pilot, she allows Kai’s words to torment her.
She’s always been taught who to hate and who to love; so naturally when her brothers sat her down one evening and warned her of the Carson family, she thought nothing off it, simply agreed to be cautious with the simple nod of the head. She has never had a reason to doubt or question her family, but now she’s not as confident. Murders, no she refuses to accept that… but the Silvetti’s hide many secrets, many she knows not of.
Somehow Malia finds herself driving back home, unsure of when she’d left the cab and finally slide into the comfort of her own vehicle. Parking outside the studio, she lowers her head against the wheel, breathing through her lips she counts to fifty before sitting back. Something snaps. Systematically she slips out of her car, and makes her way inside the tattoo store.
Standing in the middle of the empty shop she looks around. Reaching out she grabs the photo frame at the front desk, stroking the image she finds herself clutching it tightly. Incapable of feeling anything, not even the pain running from her eyes, Malia screams out. Like a coil ready to snap, she closes her eyes tightly. It is as if she’s locked in a white room, unable to move, hear or feel. Numb. No, she is one up from numb.
In a fit of rage, she throws the frame against the furthest wall. But it’s not enough, losing all control over her body, she takes her anger out on the shop. Malia craves to destroy everything and anything, she needs to hurt to feel alive. Swiping everything off the stations and breaking everything she can, it’s only when there is nothing left to break that the sensation of burning discomfort registers.
Seated on the bottom step of the stairs, she drops her head and looks down at her bleeding arms and feet. Cocking her head, she looks around her store, it isn’t enough. She isn’t angry at her store… she’s angry with her family. Like the crazed woman she is, Malia stands up and swipes her keys from the group before prowling back out to her car.
Keying the engine, she slams the metal door shut and presses down hard on the accelerator. Her mind runs wild as she continues speeding away from her home, one line remains on constant repeat. I need you.
Brushing the tears from her eyes she catches the border highlighted on the billboard. Within minutes Malia is skidding to a stop in front of her cousin’s mechanic store, stepping out of her ride she heads for the metal roll down, reaching down she attempts to yank it up. The failed outcome results in her fist smashing into the surface. She is losing it, she needs answers. Resting her head on the hard overlay she prays for patience.
What day is it? She tries to calm her nerves. Remembering that her staff were absent from the store, she only then catches on, it’s Sunday. With jittery movements, Malia is back in her car and hurtling down towards Johann’s single story home. One hand holds the wheel, while the other strokes her bare thigh.
Anxiety nibbles at her insides and she begins to fear the worst. There is no plan, no organised way to find the answers she needs. Parking alongside several other cars, Malia gives little thought to the other vehicles surrounding the house. She gives less thought to her appearance, or better yet; lack thereof.
Much like the rest of her actions, Malia pushes through Johann’s front door with little thought.
Slamming the wooden panel behind himself, Kai walks away from the small apartment, if you could even call it that anymore. There is little left of his temporary home, like a monster he’d torn apart all he could. With adrenaline pumping through his veins, he heads out to look for something else to destroy. He finds exactly what he’s looking for in the middle of Shin’s gym.
Entering the old warehouse, Kai pulls his shirt over his head and treads across the gym. His dark presence is unmissable and highly intimidating, so when he steps into the ring most of the fighters back off. Destroying himself, that is his resolution. Glancing around he slowly lowers to his knees and waits for someone to step up. He has pissed off many people, it isn’t long before one brave fucker decides to take some of that piss out on him.
There’s a lot Kai wishes he could change, and if there was a chance to go back in time, he’d take it without a second thought. He’d go back to the day his parent’s died, he’d have taken the bullet instead of his mother. Maybe then his brother’s wouldn’t have been as fucked up, and they’d live a decent life with their parents. Or maybe he’d go back to the night he went into the hospital and would have denied knowing the mutilated body on the metal table. Hell, if he could go back to this morning, he’d have never allow Malia to leave his side.
But she had. Just like he’d assumed, she didn’t think twice about walking out of his life. Kai desires for Malia to defend him the way she had her family, another part just askes for her to remain by his side. Reality keeps him at bay, he’d messed up. Now he is left with no drive, no craving to kill and no Malia. Fucking pathetic.
When did he become this piss weak? His head cracks to the side as some bastard aims a punch to his jaw. Spitting out blood, Kai continues to allow the man to lay into him brutally. It isn’t enough. It’ll take a lot more than one measly man to destroy a Carson. They are sick bastards, after all. So he allows tormenting memories to fill his mind while he accepts punishment.
Kai releases a lung full of air masked in a dry heave, he takes in the three pairs of bare feet circling him. Mad; he must be insane, allowing himself to let his guard down. His aunt would have spat taunting words, sardonically. His uncle would beat him until he learnt not to feel the pain. His brothers, they’d have locked him in a small dark room just below their aunt’s house, until his mind slowly ate itself.
Abuse, he’d been privileged with becoming accustom to it since a young age. But just like Malia, his family is all he has… even if they are his worst nightmare. Releasing a humourless chuckle, he smirks up at the three men before him, “weak fuckers.” His mock earns another kick to the gut. Unfortunately, these men are indeed weak. He catches the next punch coming his way and tugs the fool down, using him as leverage to stand up. The other two take a step back, not expecting the brute to recover from their pummelling so quickly.
Shaking his head disappointedly, he steps out of the ring.
Continuing forward, Malia moves through the door and pauses on the porch. It doesn’t take long before she becomes centre of attention. Walking through the barbeque, she searches through the clumps of family for one specific man, ignoring the concern thrown her way. Narrowing her eyes, she locates Johann at the grill.
Kai’s words play on repeat, mocking each step she takes. Johann killed my brother, Malia… and like savage animals the other two tore him apart. Her body is fidgety, filled with adrenaline and anger she can’t help but fist her hands and bite her tongue to stop from losing it, completely. Come on, just tell me he’s lying. That’s all she needs, to be reassured.
He knows. The second their eyes meet; Johann can see his cousin building rage. His own anger picks up as he scans her down, noticing the look in her eyes, he is wise enough to clench his jaw and hold back from bombarding her with questions. But someone hurt her and that remained a pressing thought in the corner of his mind. Barefoot, clad in a large shirt, with dried blood running down her arms and legs… Malia is a sight to behold. The Silvetti’s circle her, ready to find the bastard that dared to touch her let alone inflict pain! Little do they know, they are the bastards that are hurting her.
She finally knew why she needed to come here; despite Kai and her relationship being destructive, painful and abrupt she craves it, he is her addiction and she’s hooked. But she wouldn’t allow her addiction to hurt Kai any further, her family would wound him without a doubt, if she isn’t enough a reason, Mary sure as hell would be.
Stepping up to the grill, Malia’s questions calmly, “did you kill him?”