The doorbell drew her out of her bedroom, and down the stairs she sauntered, glancing in the hallway mirror. She looked great; no, she told herself. She looked perfect. She'd resisted falling apart, and although she hadn't left the small house in three days, she'd still managed to get up, shower, do her make-up...her normal routine.
Because he might come back at any moment, and if he did she wanted to create the illusion that she was fine, completely unaffected by his betrayal.
Even now, her heart thumped at the thought that it might be he behind the door.
She threw the door open, and raised an eyebrow at the two unexpected guests standing on her doorstep.
"Where's he live?" Growled one, a cigarette dangling out of his mouth as he pushed past her, hoisting the backpack further onto his shoulders as he did so. "We'll kill him."
"Great." She hissed, stepping back to allow the second into her home. "The cavalry's arrived."
"Are you alright?" The slightly shorter of the pair, the second, placed a gentle hand on her arm, staring at her with his chocolate brown eyes.
"Fine." She rolled her eyes. "How the hell did you two know anyway?"
"Mum told us." The shout came from the kitchen, and she struggled out of the hold on her arm and followed the taller into the small room that contained the basics.
She frowned when she saw the backpack thrown on the floor, as the smaller gently placed his suitcase in the hallway. Already the taller was bustling around, digging in the fridge and withdrawing three bottles of beer. She pouted as he opened them all using just his lighter. "Can't keep anything quiet in this family, can we?"
She was joined by the smaller, who laughed lightly and clapped her on the back. "We expected to find you in a mess."
"Me? Of course not." She scoffed, sliding into a chair and lighting a cigarette, eyes watching as the pair of them settled down.
Despite her cold exterior, she was glad to see them here. The twins, the only constant thing in her life, she couldn't remember them never being there. Which made sense, as they were three years older than her. As opposite as the taste of Southern Comfort and Vodka, one soothing and calm, keeping a clear eye on everything and aware, at once, of various different factors that would affect an outcome. The other sharp, powerful and ready to knock you out if you needed it. Yet strangely laid back and easy when it came to his own matters.
She loved her brothers, for though they had fought and bickered for years (she'd been bruised, strangled, left tied by sellotape to a skateboard...) when things were important, they were there, working together. The siblings had been through too much together to not be close.
Like her two favourite drinks, sometimes she needed one, sometimes the other, but at moments like these she desperately craved seeing them both. Because they were stable – not always around when things were going smooth, but there when things were rough.
They dug out Kitty's DVD of Airplane, drank beers and quoted lines in just the right places. They laughed, but with every giggle that came from her mouth, Kitty felt a stab of pain. She'd watched this just two weeks ago, on this same sofa, laughing with him.
Along with the pain came the hate, the fury that made her mind cry out "how could he do this to me?"
When the film had finished, they'd all drunk a fair amount of alcohol, and Kitty listened patiently as Richard ranted about how much he never liked that douche bag anyway, and Max watched her with calm eyes.
"I'm going to bed." She announced, throwing her legs off the sofa and turning away from her brothers, leaving them to talk and moan as they usually did.
She woke in the early hours, stretched her arm out and mumbled his name. Her eyes snapped open and she glared at the empty space where he had once been. She tried to muster up all the anger she felt, but found that all she did was make herself tired.
Tears fell from her eyes, and suddenly she was sobbing, her breath coming out in short gasps that hurt her lungs. Burying her head in her pillow, she gripped the duvet, squeezing it until her fingers were digging through the thick material and into her palm.
She did not hear the door open, but she felt the bed dip. A hand stroked her hair back and she turned her head to see Max holding a glass of water.
She sat up, taking the glass from him and gulping at it, letting out a relieved sigh as it cooled her throat.
"I was going to check up on you anyway."
"I said I was fine."
"And I'm your big brother whose known you for twenty three years. I can tell when you're not fine Kitty."
"I hate that about you." She groaned, using her fingers to brush her hair back from her face. With a sigh, she leant against him, closing her eyes. Stable and dependable, that was Max all over.
He put his arm around her, shaking his head. "We never have any luck, do we?"
Despite herself, she giggled. "I guess we don't. Richard and Lucy, you and Dara. Now me and..." She couldn't bring herself to say it, and instead found herself crying again.
"Hey, hey." His voice was soothing as he reached over for the box of tissues at her bedside. She took a couple, wiped her eyes and blew her nose, eyes searching his face for some comfort. "It gets easier, you know. A little bit every day. And you know me and Richard are here for you."
"Yeah." She nodded slowly. "I know."
He stayed with her as she climbed back under the duvet, waited until her breathing was coming slowly and regularly. As he had done when she was a new born baby, when Richard had broken her favourite dolly when she was a toddler, when she'd taken a nasty fall trying to climb a tree with the twins, when her first boyfriend had broken up with her – all events that had left her sobbing and crying for a good few hours after – he watched her sleep, making sure she was deep asleep and away from the nastiness of the cruel world before he left her alone.
A/N: I forgot I hadn't uploaded this on here yet. Anyway, here is chapter two of Broken Pieces, which was originally meant to be a one shot. I'm not sure whether to continue it or not - if you'd like to see more, let me know. I do have a couple of ideas for it but it really depends on when I have the time to write more. Of course, if there is demand then I'll do it :P