He mouths the word, muted, and closes his eyes just as his features screw up in a mix of frustration and anger once more. He stiffens, tenses, every muscle in his body ready to lash out, but doesn’t. He’s not violent. He has dark desires and tastes at times, but he is in no way, shape or form a violent individual. Too often on the receiving end in foster homes to allow himself to act out in kind. But he does attempt to pull away, a sudden quick movement, and when he falters, he tries again to pull free from that steadfast embrace.
Oh how he tried to keep this from Bryce, and he’s failing miserably.
"…me go. Let me go. Need to be alone…"
He’s a terrible liar.
"Seb, I know what’s going on," Bryce says softly, firmly, calmly twisting his body and holding the other man close to his chest, lips to his ear, "and I know it hurts, and I know you’re mad at me."
He kisses his husband’s jaw, nibbling softly, making his presence known, the strength in his arms known. He wants to protect Seb from anything, even from himself, because he loves him so much.
So he does something he normally wouldn’t, he enforces his presence because he would rather have Seb angry at him then watch his husband hurt himself with that kind of poison again. “Be mad at me, but I know you’re stronger than needing that shit. Let me give you anything else.”
His eyes fill with a hollowed emptiness belying the crumpled expressing ruining his features, and he goes limp, complacent in the other’s arms. He lets Bryce do what he wants by this point, nodding to humour his lover despite the ache threatening to collapse his lungs. He wants an escape, wants to stumble from their room to lock himself away in his studio and fill his ears with loud, ravaging music, fill himself with a syringe topped off with liquid release. He can’t handle these post-argument moments, and what a match it was, so memorable he’s almost forgotten the topic of polite conversation. He can’t suffer the quiet seething, the darkened moods, the shrugging off and moving on that Bryce seems so adapt at. There is no resolution for him but to pick at fresh wounds until there is nothing left.
It’s how he copes, but it’s a system that is no longer admissible in this new chapter of his life, where more than words and actions are needed to drive away the stability of being truly loved. He’s afraid for all the wrong reasons.
So he relents, surrenders, gives up because he doesn’t know what else to do.
And he nods, refusing to swap needles for tears.
Bryce just sighs, heavy-hearted and sad. He pulls back to look him in the eyes, a hand on Seb’s cheek as he presses closer. He can’t think of a way to poke through, anything inspirational. All he can think is how much he wants to help, to give him anything to fix it.
So he goes with what he would normally do. He just talks.
"I love you," he murmurs, "I love you so much it aches.
I love you when I was so ready to never feel this way about anyone again. I was ready to give up on everything and then you came along and stole my heart and changed the picture on my cellphone.” He runs a hand through his hair and hums again. “I would give you anythin’ to see ya smile, sing any song or never sing again because the only music that matters is the music that I hear in your voice.”
That did it.
The hopeless words crack and shatter his resolve, bringing down any and all subterfuge and ripping apart hollow masks. He’s left to cling to Bryce, burying his face into a shoulder, a hand coming up to feel along his husband’s features, another fisting tightly into the other’s dreads, his body curling up against that dark warmth. His own ropy, scarred tapestry of flesh trembles, desperate as the ugliness of a broken dam of sentiments cracks from his throat.
"Don’t look at me…"
He gives not a single fuck, knowing that Bryce can feel that salty dampness streak his skin, but he pleads again for the other to close his eyes and just feign ignorance, just this once as his grip tightens all the more.
"…que je t’aime…"