I'm not too sure about this chapter, but meh, oh well. I might come back and change it later. Most of it was written while under the influence of mah peelz, soooo yeah ;) Thanks so much for still following this story and whatnot :) Reviews are my life :D They make me want to continue :3
Things might start looking up next chapter :)
Chapter Seven: Careful, He Bites
It was nearly sunset now, and she joined Lo and Que in the alleys near the edge of town. According to Lo, this was where he last saw Taylor, but she felt like he was hiding something. His gaze kept shifting away from her every time she mentioned Taylor, like there was something on the tip of his tongue that he wanted to say but he kept biting it back. She wished he'd just tell her.
"So, you never said how you got the concussion," she said as they waited. The sun was nearly gone from the sky now. It was turning out to be a cloudy night, mostly dark already due to the light fog. A cool breeze blew around them despite the fact it was May. Next to her was Que, wearing a light jacket. Blaise had one as well but hers was old and she was still a little cold. With a sigh she focused her energy on warming up her body, and within seconds, she felt better.
Lo didn't answer, and she glanced at him.
Lo sighed and shook his head. "I don't want to talk about it."
She frowned but let the matter drop for the time being. "Are you sure this is where he will be?"
"No, but it's where he was last time."
She hesitated. "How, um…how different is he?"
She'd never seen Taylor not be himself. When the necklace broke on the road trip, she'd been in the hospital and hadn't seen anything, although she knew some of what happened. Taylor turned into his monster self and killed the rogue and managed to regain control after a bit. But she never saw it. Before that, he lost control when dealing with Sean, after he'd been killed, but he hadn't been full on changed or anything. Mostly he just had his wings. During the fight he changed a little, according to Corbin, but Blaise had been a little busy at the time and thus didn't really see him.
So she didn't know what to expect, and she had to admit she was more than a little afraid to find out. She didn't want to see Taylor not being himself. She didn't want to see this part of him. Then she felt bad, because this was a part of Taylor too. Taylor was her friend, and she needed to accept all of him, not just the part she knew.
"He's different. That's all you need to know." A pause. "But he's still Taylor. Okay? We're not hurting him." Lo's icy blue eyes snapped toward Que in a heated glare. Que rolled his eyes.
"I don't even have a weapon. You took my knife," Que said, folding his arms across his chest.
Lo watched him for a moment before he sighed and looked away. "And we're not deafening him either."
"Deafen a guy one time and get a grudge held against you," Que muttered under his breath, and Blaise smirked.
"You know he can hear you, right? Dog hearing and all that," she said, and Que sighed and shook his head. "And it was more than once, if I recall correctly."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," Que said.
Que glared at Lo. "Hey, you can't tell me what to-"
Lo gave him a harsh look. "Shut up. I hear something."
Que frowned and got this concentrated look on his face, before he nodded. "Footsteps," he said.
Lo nodded and glanced in the direction the footsteps must have been coming from. Blaise herself couldn't hear anything but she trusted the guys. Que could listen for certain fluctuations in sound waves – or so he said, anyway – and Lo had dog DNA and thus had heightened senses. She could only control fire, which didn't really help when needing to hear something, so she trusted them to be her ears.
They hunkered down in the shadows, waiting. She had to admit she did feel a little lost without at least a blade, because ever since the road trip she liked to have a weapon somewhere near her, especially when hunting down a rogue…but this was Taylor. He wasn't a rogue, not like the others.
"Damn it," Lo hissed.
"What?" she asked.
"It's those fucking idiots."
Two people came around the corner, one a guy with short brown hair and brown eyes, and one a girl with long, straight blonde hair and bright green eyes. Her gaze latched onto Lo even as the guy glared at them.
"You again," the guy growled.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" Lo asked.
"Who are they?" Blaise asked, stepping out of the shadows somewhat to greet the new people. Obviously they knew Lo and he knew them. Maybe they could help.
She felt more than saw Que step up behind her.
The girl hesitated for a minute before she smiled. "I'm Alison, and that's Cory."
"I'm Blaise, and that's Que." She gestured at the sound maker. "And you already know Lo."
"What do you prefer?" Alison asked, looking at Lo.
"What?" Lo asked stupidly.
"Logan or Lo?"
Lo blinked at her and then shifted, facing another direction. "Have you seen anything?"
"Not so far, we were going to get set up," Alison said, glancing over her shoulder at Cory, who stood further away, still glaring at Lo. "We thought he might be in this area since it's where you were attacked."
"Attacked?" Blaise frowned and looked at Lo. "By Taylor?"
"Yes and no," Lo sighed, scrubbing a hand over his face. "Drop it."
Blaise wanted to argue but dropped it for the time being. Everyone already had enough on their minds, and she knew Taylor wasn't himself. If there was anything that reminded her of that, it was the fact he attacked Lo. Taylor would never hurt the blonde. But he wasn't in control.
She hoped he'd regain control. He had before, so he could do it again, right?
"Keep going," Lo said to Alison. "This is our spot."
"I don't see your name on it," Cory scoffed.
"I don't see why we can't all stay here," Blaise said.
But then she remembered Lo's words. Corbin sent people to take care of Taylor – to kill him. Were these those people? But if they were, she was sure Lo wouldn't be talking to them. Right?
"Let's all be civilized," Alison agreed.
"I'm not staying anywhere with him," Cory said.
"Likewise," Lo replied.
Blaise sighed. Men, she thought. Why can't they just get along?
Que remained quiet next to her, thankfully. She didn't want to have to worry about both of them arguing.
"So leave," Lo said.
"You," Cory sneered.
"Guys," Que said.
"Please stop," Blaise put in.
"Guys," Que said.
"What?" Lo snapped, tossing a glare at the sound maker.
"I hear something," he replied.
Lo paused momentarily and then nodded. "Yeah, so do I."
"I think it's wings."
Blaise frowned. "Taylor?"
Lo's lips made a thin white line and he gave a stiff nod. Blaise swallowed and looked around but saw nothing. She really didn't know what to expect and she had to admit it was making her nervous. She'd never seen Taylor not himself before, after all. She was a little afraid to do so.
The other two moved toward them, into the shadows with them, despite the way Lo released a low growl. Whatever happened between them, he didn't seem to really like them, especially Cory. Then again Cory kept glaring at Lo as well. She didn't know what happened between them, or why they hated each other, but she wasn't going to pry – at least not right now.
Right now her main focus was Taylor. She and Lo had been on the same page when it came to that for a while now. Where Corbin wanted to shift away from the search, she stayed on Lo's path and helped whenever he'd let her. Taylor came first – he came before the jobs, before Corbin, and before following orders. He wasn't just one of her partners – he was her friend. Her best friend, and she missed him. Not only because of that, but because she missed how Lo was when Taylor was around.
Lo wasn't the same without him. She'd known that since the day he woke up in the hospital and she'd had to lie to him to get him to relax. She didn't want to do it, but she did because it was for Lo's own good. But she knew how he behaved when alone, and it wasn't like he did when he was with Taylor.
As antisocial as Lo usually seemed, it was worse without the emotion taster. Without Taylor, Lo seemed consumed with the hunt and kept pushing her away, more so than usual. She hated it, and she couldn't help him, because she wasn't Taylor. She wasn't what he needed, and she wasn't what he wanted.
Only Taylor could fulfill those roles.
Please let everything work out okay. Please. For Lo if not for Taylor. Please.
She hated seeing him like this. She hated all of this, really. Everything about this stupid situation because it wasn't fair. Taylor was a decent person – he didn't deserve to be back with Red. She knew little of the man but she knew it was bad, and Que's words a month earlier, at the diner, assured her of the fact it was a fate worse than death, and Taylor went into it willingly.
She couldn't imagine.
Everything has to be okay. Okay? Okay, God? It's not fair. Everything has to work out. Do you hear me? Please?
She took in a slow breath and released it shakily when she heard movement not far away. She snapped her head up and was zapped out of her thoughts by the presence of-
"Taylor?" she whispered, staring, because surely this wasn't him.
The figure had the same black hair, but shaggier and more tussled and wild. Pale skin gave way to dark rings and blood red eyes. Giant golden wings split from the figure's back and when he sneered, she saw razor sharp fangs, stained faintly with blood. The figure wore a dark grey shirt a few sizes too big, thus it was baggy and the long sleeves covered most of the clawed hands, but she saw the sharp nails – the curve of the claws, the light tint of red and gold to them, and saw the rage in those red eyes when they latched onto her.
"Taylor?" Lo said, taking a step forward.
Blaise fought the urge to grab him and pull him back. This was Taylor – not a monster; not a rogue; not someone Lo needed protection from. Right?
Please let this work, please. Please, you owe him this much. Okay?
"It's me," Lo said when the rogue – Taylor – did nothing and only settled the red gaze on him. Lo's head snapped to the side and a snarl sprang free from his throat as he darted to the side. "Don't you fucking dare!"
Blaise watched as the blonde tackled Cory to the ground. A pistol hit the ground and slid away from the two of them. She stared at it. She was never a fan of guns, and the thought it might be used on Taylor…
An unwelcome shiver slid down her spine.
"Get off me!" Cory snapped.
Alison moved and grabbed Lo's arm, successfully hauling him away from Cory. Lo sneered at him for a moment before he returned his gaze to Taylor, who stood watching them, head cocked to the side somewhat. Red eyes followed Lo's every move.
"Taylor, it's me," Lo said quietly, and Blaise was a little shocked at softness in his voice. "It's Lo – okay?"
With each word the blonde moved a little closer to the emotion taster. Now he stood only a few feet away. Taylor still just watched him.
This will work, Blaise thought. He's still there, just not in control. It will work. It'll be okay. He obviously knows Lo. That's great!
For a moment, everything was fine.
But then she watched as a jolt went through the emotion taster, and he stepped back, away from Lo, a snarl emerging from cracked lips, fangs snapping at the air as red eyes narrowed and glared at the blonde. Taylor charged forward and she watched as Lo was tackled to the ground, clawed hands biting into his shoulders.
"Lo!" she said as she hurried toward him.
"Stop," Lo hissed, but it wasn't at Taylor. "Stay back."
Despite herself, she did stop. She didn't want to, but it was what Lo wanted, and she wasn't sure what she would do if she got to Lo, anyway. She couldn't hurt Taylor…but she couldn't let Taylor hurt Lo, either.
Alison stopped next to her, hesitating. "Logan, you know it's not him, right? He's not in control!"
Currently Taylor was snapping at Lo's face. The only thing stopping him was Lo's hand shoved against Taylor's throat, holding him back.
"Taylor," Lo growled, "it's me, you bastard! It's Lo! Your friend! Your…"
Taylor growled and changed his aim, biting deep into the flesh of Lo's wrist. The blonde stiffened and released a mild yelp, but mostly of surprise.
"Lo!" Blaise cried, darting forward, but stopped when Lo tossed her a harsh glare.
Are you crazy? He's not in control, Lo! He hurt you!
"Cory, don't," Alison snapped, and Blaise looked back to find Cory holding a very sharp knife, eying Taylor as he stepped forward. To her surprise, Que stepped in front of him, arms folded across his chest as he looked down at Cory. Cory was a little shorter than Que, and since Que was clearly older than him, she had to admit it was a little intimidating, even from where she stood, and she wasn't the one under the scrutiny of his glare.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Que said.
Whatever Cory said in reply, she didn't hear it, as she saw movement out of the corner of her eye and snapped her gaze back toward Taylor and Lo.
Except they weren't there anymore.
"Lo!" she hissed, looking around, eyes wide, but the alley was empty except for her, Que, Alison and Cory.
"What the…?" Alison asked.
"They're gone," Que said, a frown evident in his voice.
Where would they be? If Taylor took him, where would he take him?
Please, God, you have to let everything work out okay. Please.
Lo wasn't entirely sure what happened, but when he woke up, he found himself in a dark room, sitting on a damp floor. He coughed and looked around, confused, because the last thing he remembered was being in an alley with Blaise and Que, trying to get through to Taylor again.
Then there was pain in his wrist, and then his head, and that was all he knew.
What's going on? Where am I? Where's Taylor?
Swallowing, he got to his feet, his eyes adjusting to the darkness. With a blink, he could see pretty well, due to his heightened sense of sight due to his dog abilities. He found himself in a nice room, to be honest. It wasn't dusty, but where'd previously been sitting was a little damp. He glanced back to find an empty water bottle sitting next to where he'd been, and figured it had spilled or something. He looked around the room and saw comfortable looking furniture, but when he got closer, he noticed very distinct claw marks.
He recognized those marks.
He spun around when he heard something move behind him, and found the emotion taster standing there. He didn't appear to be in control, as his eyes were still far too red, his wings were still out, and he still had that snarl on his pale face.
"Taylor…where are we?" Lo asked, watching him. Maybe simple conversation would help – he wasn't sure what to do if it didn't. He didn't know what else to do – what else he could do.
He hadn't been there last time Taylor lost control. He'd been there when it happened, sure, but then Taylor flew off and the next time Lo saw him, he was in control again.
That was on the road trip. He never actually saw how Taylor regained control. He didn't know the process, what helped and what didn't, what he could do and what he shouldn't do. He had no idea. He had no idea what to do or how to help the emotion taster, and he hated feeling so fucking useless.
"You know me, right?" he asked quietly, taking a step forward. Taylor just stood there, watching him, but the snarl died down to a mere scowl. "You know me. I'm Lo. I…" He bit down on his lower lip. "I know you, and I know you aren't like this, so just…snap out of it, okay?"
For a minute he thought it was working, with the way Taylor looked at him, but then, as he followed his gaze, he found the emotion taster was only watching the blood drip down his fingers, slipping free from the wounds on his wrist, where Taylor sank his teeth in.
It wasn't the first time it happened. On the road trip, Taylor bit him in the kitchen, but he'd regained control fairly quickly. He'd been hit on the head and viola, he was himself again.
Somehow, Lo didn't think it was going to work like that this time.
Why does everything have to be so fucking hard?
He sighed and then paused when he realized Taylor was only watching the blood drip. He wasn't tackling Lo to the ground, or biting him again, or even trying to get to the blood. He was just simply watching.
"Taylor?" he asked. He waved his hand and red eyes followed his wrist.
A jolt went through him. Lo swallowed and watched as the emotion taster snarled and took a step back, clawed fingers stabbing at his head. When the scent of fresh blood hit the air, Lo growled and lunged forward, snagging Taylor's arms, hauling his hands away from his head.
"Don't do that," he said.
Taylor shoved away from him, causing Lo to stagger back and smack his elbow against the wall. For a moment, the two simply stared at each other – Taylor near the middle of the room, clawed hands clenching and unclenching at his sides; and Lo, against the wall at the back of the room, quietly rubbing his elbow.
Lo's gaze traveled toward that spot on Taylor's wrist, where that bracelet device was. The bulge didn't show like it did before, but the shirt was baggy and this time, Lo knew better.
"What's that on your wrist?" he asked, gesturing.
There was a slight pause, but then Taylor raised his hand a little.
Lo blinked. "You understand me, right?"
Hesitation, but yes, there was something in his gaze, in the way he watched the blonde.
Lo breathed out a sigh and tried to ignore the feeling of relief which flowed through him. "I know you're not in control, exactly, but…you know it's me, right? It's Lo?"
He tried not to be hopeful, but it was hard because he might actually be able to do this. Things might actually be okay. He was going to get Taylor back, and everything would be perfectly fucking fine.
Except Taylor just watched him, and another jolt went through him. He stepped back again, snarling, glaring at Lo, but he didn't attack as he had before. Lo didn't know why.
"The bracelet – it's hurting you," Lo said.
He walked forward, toward Taylor. Stopped about three feet away.
"I can help," he said quietly.
Taylor watched him, cocked his head to the side, and for a minute it looked like Lo won, and Taylor would present his wrist and everything would be fine. But then Taylor growled, his expression shuttered, and his eyes darkened.
When something hit against the door to the room, Taylor darted toward the window and jumped through it, causing glass to shatter and fall in his wake. Lo rushed toward the window and looked out but the emotion taster was long gone.
"Damn it!" he hissed, slamming his hand against the window frame, not caring that broken shards of glass lodged into the skin. "Fuck!"
Again. I lost him again.
Warm arms came around him, hugging him, and he stiffened and shoved the person away. "Blaise," he grunted.
"You're okay," Blaise breathed, watching him, gray eyes wide and too bright to be normal. It looked like she might have been crying or something. "We didn't know what happened! Are you okay? I mean…you are, right?"
"I'm fine," Lo sighed.
"Did Taylor bring you here?"
"Que heard you talking," she said, hesitating momentarily before gesturing off to the side. Lo looked over to find Que standing there, watching the two of them.
"Alison and Cory didn't come."
He didn't want them there. He wished they'd go away.
"So where's Taylor?" Blaise asked, causing Lo to glance back at her.
"He's gone," Lo muttered. "Out the window."
But it worked. For a minute, it worked. He's still there – I just have to get to him, that's all. Then everything will be fine and we'll go the fuck home.
The warmth in his arms had him opening his eyes. The scent was familiar, the body was warm, and before he knew it, he found himself burying his face into the person's neck, tightening his hold on them. For some reason he felt the need to keep them close, even though he didn't know why at the moment. Right now everything was okay – the world was fine, he was home, and he was warm.
But then he remembered, and snapped his eyes open to find himself looking into a mess of black hair. The warm, familiar scent wafted up his nostrils and he felt himself relax even as he told himself to get up, because this couldn't be right.
"Taylor?" he breathed, staring, and tightened his hold. The figure shifted closer to him and released a quiet breath before settling back into sleep.
Just like Taylor always did.
Lo looked around.
He was in his room in the apartment – in the room he shared with Taylor. It was dark and he could hear the wind tapping against the window, evidence of an upcoming storm, which he knew he'd hate. Everything was as it'd always been – shoes thrown into the corner, a jacket strewn over the only comfortable chair in the room, and an open book sitting on the nightstand behind the alarm clock.
And Taylor was there like he always was.
What's going on?
Swallowing, Lo freed an arm from around the emotion taster and grabbed Taylor's shoulder, shaking him lightly. "Hey. Hey, wake up."
Taylor grumbled something and opened his eyes. He rolled toward the blonde and blinked at him. "Hmm?" He gave into a wide yawn, and Lo stared at him.
"Taylor?" he asked, almost afraid to even ask because the moment might shatter.
He could remember pain in a stairwell, searching for the emotion taster…and now here they were. Like they always had been.
"Mm?" Taylor replied, watching him, a frown forming on his face. "Everything okay?"
"Well, yeah – I live here," Taylor said, his frown deepening. A hand untangled from the covers and came to rest on Lo's forehead. "You feeling okay?"
Lo closed his eyes and took in a slow breath. Taylor was here. Everything was okay. Nothing was different.
It was all a dream. That's all. It's fine.
He opened his eyes and glanced at-
No one was there. He found himself holding onto a wad of covers, and the scent was different, not of home. He looked around and found himself in a hotel room, like he had been for the past few months despite his hatred of them.
Because there was something he found he hated far more than hotels.
Right. Just a dream. He's not here.
Taylor wasn't there because Taylor was being called a rogue and Corbin ordered people to keep Lo out of the loop. That was not acceptable. When Lo got his hands on his boss, he would enjoy ripping into the man.
He sighed and looked around again but everything was the same as it had been since he first got here. His bag remained on the floor near the bed, unpacked. Dirty clothes lay strewn on the dresser across the room. His alarm clock was blocked by two empty beer bottles, and the key to the room lay mixed in with his car keys.
He sat up and scrubbed a hand across his face.
"Fuck," he sighed.
He'd really thought…
But no. Nothing was ever that easy. Life wasn't that kind, and especially not to him.
Sunlight seeped through the cracks in his curtains and he was reminded of how it was morning now. He had dark curtains, though, which kept the room surprisingly dark and shielded from the light while he slept.
What got to him wasn't the fact it was daylight outside, though.
No, what got to him was the figure standing in the corner of the room, leaning against the wall, arms folded across their chest. The light cast odd shadows across their face but Lo could see those eyes.
Those familiar, golden eyes.
And there's that chapter ;) Like I said, hopefully things will start looking up for them next chapter! Thanks for reading and please review!