The final chapter :) I felt so bad about that last ending I decided to go ahead and give a little more, even if it is just a really short wrap-up chapter. I feel this is a better ending :)
So, it has been decided this is the final chapter of the book :) I hope you have enjoyed it so far (and this book was always supposed to be shorter than the other two) and I hope you will join me in book 4, "Monster". I apologize for the cliffhanger-ish ending, but it had a good stopping point and if I were to write more, I feel it wouldn't do it enough justice as it is. The boys are tired and need a break, and Taylor wanted it to end here. Lo didn't get a vote for once XD Anyway, there will be some flashbacks in book 4 which should explain what happens between the two books in better detail.
I'm not sure how long book 4 will be (it was supposed to be as long as Road Trip, if not longer) because my plans for it have changed. As of right now I am planning on the series ending in book 5, "Carnage", where you will learn of Lo's backstory more. "Monster" will deal with Taylor's a bit more, I think.
Originally this story was supposed to end on a happy, lighter note like Christmas and presents, but it decided to wrap itself up in this chapter and steer itself into darker waters. More will be explained in the next book, including how Taylor didn't get hurt when he fell with Lo (it was supposed to be in here but it decided not to) and other questions will also be answered in time. Currently I am editing Tasteful because I really like this series :) I think Lo and Taylor are my best characters yet, and they feel more real to me...even if they are remakes of my original characters from years ago XD I don't know if I will post the edited version, but we'll see.
As always, though, thank you so much for the reviews and everything! You guys kept this story going :) Sorry if this isn't the ending you were looking for - it wasn't my planned ending, either, but it's where it decided to go and I can't say I'm entirely disappointed with it, as it does seem like a good stopping point for the book.
Anyway...for the last time in Soundproof...
Chapter Twenty-Three: Aftermath
The incessant beeping woke Lo. He pried his heavy eyelids open to find himself in a semi-familiar room. For a moment he couldn't remember why it was familiar, but then realized he was in his usual room in the library, but couldn't understand why he was there, or why that beeping occurred. He glanced over to find himself attached to a heart monitor, which beeped out a steady, even rhythm.
Movement next to him caught his eye and he rolled his gaze toward the movement to find Corbin entering the room.
"Logan," Corbin said, blinking at him as he quietly closed the door behind him and approached the bed. "How are you feeling?"
" 'm fine," he said, surprised at how rough his voice sounded. " 's going on?"
"You were shot," Corbin told him matter-of-factly.
Those words echoed through his mind and he suddenly remembered Taylor the exact phrase in a stairway as his hands pressed hard against the seeping wound. Lo's eyes widened and he looked around quickly but found the room empty except for him and Corbin.
"Where's Taylor?" he asked quietly, glancing at his boss but Corbin simply shook his head. "Red," Lo said as it hit him. He remembered Red being there, and running down the stairs to avoid him as he came up in the elevator. Then there had been something like a harsh punch to his back and he'd collapsed.
Taylor had been with him, though. His memory of then faded in and out, but suddenly he remembered with startling clarity the deal which was made in the stairway. He remembered Red telling Taylor to willingly go with him in exchange for the call which saved Lo's life. If Lo was alive, that meant the deal had been made, right?
"Where is he?" he asked again when Corbin didn't answer.
Corbin smoothly avoided his gaze. "He is gone."
"Gone?" The word swirled through the air, knocked against Lo's mind, but the blonde refused to hear it or let it seep in, because it was wrong.
"We have not been able to find him," Corbin told him. "He wasn't at the hospital with you when I arrived, or at the apartment waiting for you. I have heard no word from him in the past week."
Now Lo stared at his boss. Had it really been a week already?
"Yes, Logan, a week. You have been unconscious for a while and are lucky to have survived. Had the paramedics arrived much later, you would have bled out in the stairway."
Lo swallowed thickly and closed his eyes. That bastard did it. I said not to and he fucking…
Taylor said yes. He willingly went with Red.
"Do you have any idea as to his whereabouts?" Corbin asked, and Lo felt the man's gaze on him, watching, waiting.
Lo blinked his eyes open and stared up at the ceiling. "The bastard made a deal."
"He fucking…he went with Red."
"Taylor?" Corbin asked.
Lo gave a stiff nod, mouth suddenly too dry to speak, because he realized what it must have meant to make that deal. Taylor was terrified of the man – he would never willingly go with him. The fact he had, in exchange for Lo's life, said something about how much the emotion taster care about him, and something stabbed painfully at the blonde's heart.
"Why would he go with Red?"
"Red said he'd let Taylor…"
"Yes?" Corbin prompted.
Lo closed his eyes. "He said he'd let Taylor save me if…if he went with him willingly."
And the last time I saw him was when I was being carried away by the paramedics. He didn't follow after me. He always does. But he didn't.
"We tried, man." Taylor's words slid through his mind.
Fuck you, you bastard. Why would you…?
"I see," Corbin said slowly, calmly, and then rose to his feet. Lo blinked his eyes open and glanced toward him. His bossed watched him momentarily before he turned and stepped away from the bed. "I will look into it," he promised, and then disappeared from the room, closing the door quietly behind him.
Lo stared after his boss and then looked up at the ceiling. According to Corbin, Taylor hadn't been seen or heard from since he'd been shot and taken to the hospital, which apparently had been a week ago. That meant Taylor had been with that bastard for a week now.
"You'll be okay."
Why would you…Taylor, why? You idiot. You stupid, fucking idiot…
Except he couldn't blame Taylor. It had been a tough situation. He wasn't so sure he wouldn't have done the same thing under the same circumstances, but fuck, that didn't mean he had to like it. Taylor worked hard to get away from Red, to stay away from the man, and now he'd gone back with him willingly, all because of Lo.
"I don't blame you. And…and know that I love you."
Angrily, Lo sat up and tore the IVs out of his arm, getting to his feet despite the wave of dizziness which threatened to overtake him.
"I love you."
As of right now, Taylor was missing and had been for a week. Whatever hope Lo had of finding him was dwindling as the hours and days ticked by, and he'd wasted enough time as it was.
He had work to do.
End of Soundproof
Story continues in book 4, Monster
And there's that, the finall chapter to Soundproof :) I hope this is a better ending than last chapter's. I don't know when I will start working on Monster, but I will try to do so soon! Reviews make me want to write faster :) So, yep. Review, review, review! Thank you guys so much for following this story, and I hope I didn't let you down. Further questions will be explored/explained in later books, I swear. As always, thanks for reading and please review!