He found himself sitting in a jail cell again, this time for disorderly conduct. He stared irritatedly at the bars and sighed. He should be at home, not here next to a sleeping drunk who smelled worse than anything he had ever had the pleasure of inhaling. He heard the door to the cell block open and smiled when he saw her. “Again Lupin, really?” Brigid asked, a look of disappointment on her beautiful face.
“Officer Donell, sorry you had to come down here.” Lupin replied.
“Oh save it for someone who is stupid enough to believe such a bullshit story. Sorry my ass. Santoro, unlock this please.”
The officer charged with watching over the prisoners unlocked the cell he was in and Brigid came in, grabbing him by his ear and hauling him to his feet. “Ow what the fuck Brigid.”
“Oh shut up you big baby and you don’t get to call me Brigid you ass. This is the sixth time Lupin, not one and not two, but six.”
“You were sorry last time when you slapped that prostitute and the time before that when you were driving drunk and before that and before that. Are you really that stupid, are you so keen on self destructing that you don’t care who you take with you. You could have killed someone that night and you’re going to make me lose my job if I keep bailing you out. Do you even care about that?”
“I apologized didn’t I?”
“Oh shut up. I called your brother.” He groaned. “Be thankful the great and powerful Jasper Bookchild is even coming this time. He was ready to leave you in here.”
“No doubt Stella made him come.”
“Just get out of here and if you get arrested again I’m not bailing you out.” Her brown eyes blazed with fury, her red hair only adding to her fire. He felt guilty for doing this to her and like a child being reprimanded by his mother. He left, heading outside and groaning when he saw Jasper leaning against his car, waiting.
“Get in and don’t say a damn word unless it’s sorry.” Lupin climbed into the passenger seat as Jasper got in and started the car. “You are really lucky Lupin. If Stella had not asked me to come I would have left you there.”
“Sure you are. You’re going to make it up to Brigid. She’s a good cop and doesn’t need your shit.”
“I know and I don’t know how to make it up.”
“Whatever she asks you do. If she wants you off drugs then get off them. If you can’t then next time I’ll put you away myself.”
“I don’t know her number, how am I supposed to talk to her?”
“I got her number tonight. I told her you’d be calling, willing to do what she asked to make things up to her. To be honest with you I couldn’t tell if she was ok with it or not. I insisted.”
“You always get your way” Jasper shot Lupin a cold glare and he shut his mouth. Jasper pulled to a stop in front of Lupins home. Jasper gave Lupin a small piece of paper with Brigids number “I expect you to call that woman tomorrow you pig. Be a decent man for once, please” Lupin hung his head as he went into his house. He sat down on the couch, seeing Brigids angry, gorgeous face. He didn’t know why she would ever go anywhere with him or allow him to make things up to her. He didn’t even know why she would bail him out. He knew he repulsed her. He had to, she knew what kind of slime he was since she knew about his every arrest.
He wondered what she woudl think if she knew the stuff he hadn’t even gotten caught for. He put her number into his cellphone then went to take a shower. This life was getting tiresome. He got tired of always getting disaproving looks from everybody around him. The only people who Lupin didn’t feel hated his guts were Stella, Corina and Shante. Stella didn’t have it in her to hate a fly, his mother only loved him because she was his mother and Corina was just always willing to forgive.
Brigid grabbed her jacket and pulled it on before leaving the precinct. She was irritated she had had to spend one of her nights off taking care of a drug addict who cared only about himself. She mentally shook herself for giving her number to Jasper to pass on to Lupin. She doubted he had a sympathetic bone in his body. She slid behind the wheel of her car and pulled out of the parking lot, wishing she had just left him in his cell. Everything she did for him was because she cared and he just threw it back in her face without even a thank you. She pulled into her driveway and rested her forehead against her steering wheel for a minute. From the very first moment she had laid eyes on him, she knew he would be trouble. She sighed and stepped out of her car, heading inside.
She was greeted by her German shepherd Odin. He jumped up and licked her chin, making her laugh. He was a retired police dog. He had been shot in the line of duty protecting his handler from a drug dealer. His handler had died while Odin had made it. Brigid had adopted him and given the four year old dog a good home where he could live comfortably. “Hey boy, easy now. You and I both know you have a bad shoulder. So guess who I saw today?” Odin cocked his head to the side. “Lupin Bookchild.” Odin barked. He knew the name well since she often ranted about him. “He was in jail again like a moron. Of course he apologized as usual, but you know how that song and dance goes.” She went into her room, sitting her cell on the counter and switching on the shower then pulling her clothes off. “He’ll never change boy, he’s a self centered asshole.”
Lupin stared at her number, unsure of what to say to her. He took a deep breath and dialed her number, waiting patiently as it rang. It rang through to voicemail and he hung up and redialed. She answered that time. “Uh hey Officer Donell, it’s Lupin.”
“Give me a second.” He heard her set the phone down. The sound of water caught his attention and he guessed she had been in the shower. The sound stopped and she was back. “What do you want?”
“To apologize again and see if I could make all the times you bailed me out up to you.”
“Is Jasper making you do this?”
“I want you to do it because you want to, not because he told you to. Now, do you want to or not?”
“Yes, of course I do. Look, I’ll do anything. Just tell me what to do.”
She sighed and he swallowed nervously. “First things first have you been tested for STDs?”
“Yes, I get tested every time I have sex. Why?”
“Because if you get hurt and I have to stop the bleeding I don’t want to catch anything.” That stung, but he knew he deserved it.
“No more drugs, no more booze, and no more porn. I’ve been in your house if you recall the night you slapped that prostitute and she asked me to get her shoes out of your room. I can easily say that what I found was not only disgusting but made me want to bleach my eyeballs.”
“Are you going to be there while I go through withdrawals?”
“Yes, as soon as you get your apartment cleaned up I’ll be bringing my dog Odin over as well as Jasper to make sure you don’t even have Tylenol or wine coolers in the house. If you can’t do that then the next time I get a call that you’re in jail I’ll make sure you make it to prison where a good looking little thing like you won’t stand a chance.”
“I wont be going back…you’ve done so much for me…I’ll stay sober, no more drugs and I wont watch porn anymore”
“all lies until you prove it. Your word means nothing to me but we’ll see. Get to cleaning”
“ok, bye..thank you”
“goodbye, call me when i can come over and I’ll pack a bag”
‘i will” They hung up and Lupin went straight to his trash can. He drug it to the fridge and began to drop every bit of alcohol he had inside. He went through every cabinet in his house throwing away drugs and alcohol. He wouldn’t mess this up, he had to be better for this wonderful women he had in his life. Brigid wasn’t truly in it but she kept getting him out of jail and she seemed to atleast semi care about him. He already filled two bags by the time it was down to his porn collection. He quickly took the first two bags to the dumpster by the curb then got ready for the massive clean up. He had been collecting porn since he was fifteen and never got rid of any of them.
Lupin filled bag after bag, even shocked at himself for having all of this. Most the boxes were sleezy. He couldn’t blame her for wanting to bleach her eyes. It took a long time to get everything in bags but when he finally did he took it all out and threw it away. Lupin was exhausted but he checked the house one more time anyway for drugs, drinks or any porn he may have missed. Once he was sure he allowed himself to crash in the bed. Planning to call Brigid in the morning.
Brigid dried and slipped a air of shorts and a tank top before crawling into bed and setting her alarm. Odin curled up in his bed and fell instantly asleep. Brigid hoped Lupin was being genuine and not trying to pull the wool over her eyes. If she found out he was lying she would shoot him somewhere non vital and drag him to prison for possession. She finally fell asleep an hour later, her mind still spinning even though she was resting. The next morning she jerked awake to the sound of her alarm, yawning and stretching before getting out of bed and changing her clothes. She pulled her hair up and took her phone with her into the kitchen so she could hear it while she cooked breakfast.
Lupin woke around eight and took a shower, wanting to look presentable when Brigid came over. He got out quickly drying and dressing then calling her. She answered immediately and he told her to head over. He had never been so nervous about having a woman in his home in his life. He would never see her again if he didn’t do this. He did a quick once over of his place before taking a seat and switching on the TV. Brigid packed her duffle bag and gave Jasper a call.
“My brother giving you trouble again?” He asked when he answered.
“I need you to meet me at his place for a drug, alcohol, and porn sweep. I’m going to be staying at his place for awhile while he goes through withdrawals.”
“Are you sure that’s a good idea. He might get violent.”
“Don’t worry, I’m taking my cuffs and Odin.”
“I’ll be at his place in half an hour.”
“Just wait for me before you start searching.” She hung up, deciding to leave her gun. She called her boss and told him what was going on. She told him it was a favor for Jasper. He gave her permission to take the days off and promised it wouldn’t cut into her vacation days. She thanked him and hung up before grabbing her keys and heading out. She made it to Lupin’s an hour and a half later. “Come Odin.”
Lupin answered the door quickly, giving Brigid a nervous smile as he moved out of her way. Jasper stood and shook her hand. “So now what?” Lupin asked.
“Odin, finden es.” She commanded and the German shepherd took off around the house. “Jasper check the bathroom, especially in the back of the toilet, I’ll search the bedrooms.”
Lupin followed Brigid around, hoping he had found everything here was to find. “You know this is going to be painful right?” She asked as she searched under the mattress and pulled the sheet off the bed.
“Nausea, vomiting, irritability, anxiety, unbearable pain, you’re going to cry, get the chills, crave the drug.”
“You might hate me and say things you may or may not mean.”
“Let me apologize ahead of time.”
“But I will hold your hair back, wipe the sweat from your skin, help you into the shower, cook for you and make sure you stay hydrated. Kitchen next.”
Lupin was still nervous and hopeful he could make it through this. He desperatly wanted to for Brigid. When the whole house was cleared Jasper was in shock. Brigid had to admit to herself she was too. “wow, well good luck Lupin. You drive us all crazy but we still love you. It may not always seem like it but we do. If you need someone to do this for you should atleats do this for mom. She’s been nothing but a good, caring, wonderful mother. You need to clean yourself up and start giving her the respect she deserves. One of these days she wont be able to stop our father from giving you a pounding.” Lupin nodded “Love you too, tell Stella I love her”
“I will” Jasper left and Lupin felt even more nervous. “want to watch TV?” Lupin asked “sure” Brigid answered. He gave her the remote. “I’ll watch anything”
“anything” she switched it to Lifetime just to test him. She chuckled when he sat through a whole movie without a single complaint. “what?”
“I was testing you. I hate Lifetime. I can’t believe you made it through that movie without snatching the remote”
“You have done a lot to help me and plan to do even more. I mean it when I say I’m sorry. I’ve just never really known how to stop. Even in rehab when they could make me go I didn’t know how”
“I’ll help you get your life back on track if you’ll let me Lupin. I forgot to say, no whores either. Wait to fuck around until I’m gone.”
“I’m not going to sleep with prostitues any longer. I wont do it ever again” He hated how disgusted she seemed when she talked about those things. It was merrited disgust but anytime he made her upset made Lupin feel low. Brigid turned off the TV. So, what’re you going to do with your life when you’re clean?”
“I might try going to college if my dad would pay for it again”
“That’s good, to be what?”
“I was going to be a Lawyer like LJ and Jasper.”
“wow, was that really what you wanted?”
“Well, I coudln’t decide and it was what they were doing”
“you should think about what you really want to be”
“Okay, I will.” He bounced his leg, not used to making small talk. “So Odin, he’s a police dog?”
“Retired. He was injured while protecting his handler.” She explained. “He took a bullet. It just shows how loyal dogs can be.”
“I wouldn’t know, I haven’t spent a lot of time with animals. It’s not that I don’t like them, I love them actually, I just loved other things more.”
“Maybe you should get a dog. It would be something positive for you to focus on Lupin.” Odin made a grumbling sound when she said his name.
“What was that about?”
Brigid laughed. “I complain about you a lot.”
He frowned. “So even the dog is disappointed in me.”
“Dogs don’t know what that means. He lives in the moment.”
Lupin had thought that’s what he had been doing all these years, but obviously he had been wrong. He felt antsy and kept bouncing his leg. “They’ve already started. I’ve been without since you bailed me out and I’m already ready to pull my hair out.”
She placed a calming hand on his knee, stopping the bouncing. “Just take a deep breath. One to two days is usually when it peaks and you start feeling really shitty. Sometimes it can take days, sometimes months. It just depends. No matter how long it takes I’ll be right here so just breathe.”
He slid his hand over hers and held it, her soft skin easing his anxiety. “Thank you.” He said softly.
“You’re welcome. Would you like me to cook you something?”
“I don’t know what I have, but you can if you want.” She smiled and went into his kitchen, opening his pantry and fridge. She decided on salad. It would be easier on his stomach if he got sick. She chopped the ingredients and tossed them in a large bowl. She scooped some out for each of them and headed back into the living room.
“If you say so.”
“Trust me, salad will be better if you decided to throw up. I recommend staying away from bread and milk products. I’ll ask you brother to buy some chamomile tea and bring it over. I’m sure he won’t mind.” She took out her phone and texted Jasper! asking him to grab tea on his way home and drop it off.
“Where will you sleep tonight?”
“The couch so I can here you if you come through. Make sure to wake me if you need me.”
“well I’m not sleeping in bed with you”
“I meant I could have the couch”
“I’m fine, I’m not made of feathers. Besides, I don’t want to hurt your feelings but I’m just an honest person. A lot of women have been in that bed of yours. I’m sure you’ve nailed your fair share on this couch too but I’d prefer here to your bed. I do like you Lupin. I know I’m hurting your feelings here and there but I’m not going to lie to you to make you feel better. You’ve been a rotten person”
“I understand, I’m just grateful you want to stay here with me. Are we friends?”
“Of course we are. I’ve kept bailing you out of jail haven’t I?”
“Yeah, I just wanted to be sure.”
“I haven’t been that harsh have I?”
“I’d say all your words have been justified”
“Let me text your brother real quick.” Brigid took out her phone and asked Jasper for tea and some cards so she could play with Lupin. It would be a good way to keep his mind off things. Jasper responded “No problem”
“He’s bringing the tea and I also asked him for some cards” They talked until Jasper and Stella arrived. “Hey Stell” Lupin said, getting up and hugging her “Hey, glad to hear you’re kicking your bad habits. Thank you for helping him Brigid” Brigid got up and offered her hand. They shook then Jasper handed Brigid the bag. It wasn’t long after that Stella and Jasper left. The two played cards and chatted the rest of the evening. Lupin had never spent this much time just talking to anyone. It was nice and he actually enjoyed it. That night Lupin pulled out a spare pillow and blanket then set them on the couch. “Thanks” Brigid said then opened her bag. She pulled out somthing to sleep in then went in the bathroom.
Lupin went to his own room and stripped before pulling on a pair of pajama pants. When he heard her walk out the bathroom Lupin came out “goodnight Brigid.”
“Goodnight Lupin, I’m a light sleeper so I will be right there for you if you come out here”
“Okay.” Lupin went and crawled into bed while Brigid plopped down on the couch. She swithced the TV off and allowed herself to fall asleep. Around two in the morning Lupin woke with a splitting headache and a sick stomach. He tried to ignore it, not wanting to wake Brigid. It got worse the longer he laid there and he finally had no choice but to run for the bathroom. His stomach emptied itself, the pressure on his head getting worse. He felt fingers brush the back of his neck as his hair was pulled away from his face.
“Sorry I woke you.” He said, clutching his stomach.
“It’s okay, lets wash your face and get you some water.”
“I don’t think I can move.”
“I’ll help you.” She pulled him to his feet and helped him to his room. “I’ll be right back.” She went into the kitchen and filled a glass for him. She brought it back and she helped him set up. “Can you hold it on your own?”
“Yeah thank you.” He took a drink and she pressed the back of her hand to his forehead.
“You’re feverish.” She went and got a rag and soaked it in cool water. She wrung it out and brought it back, placing it on the back of his neck.
“Thank you. I hurt, I mean really hurt.”
“Try to get back to sleep.” He grabbed her wrist. “What’s wrong?” She sat down next to him.
“I don’t want to be alone.” He gripped his stomach and was out of bed again. She followed him, rubbing his neck and holding his hair back.
“There you go, let it all out.” She helped him back up and he rinsed his mouth in the sink. “I don’t want to sleep on your bed.”
“Then let me sleep on the couch. Please, I know it sounds whiny and pathetic, but please let me.”
Brigid sighed “I’ll sleep in the bed if you need me that badly. The couch is too small, especially since you’ll be uncomfortable. You might want space. The girls you slept with were obviously clean since you’re STD free. I’ll stay in bed with you”
“Thank you” They laid down in Lupins bed “Let me atleast hold your hand.I need it Brigid” Brigid laid on her side facing Lupin and took his hand. Just that somhow made things better. He still felt miserable but her touch was heaven enough that he could fall asleep. Brigid let herself fade when she knew Lupin was out. His bed didn’t feel as grimey as she imagined it feeling. The next morning Lupins muscles and head were throbbing. He felt worse than any hangover he had in his life. Brigid woke only moments after he did and felt his head “you still have a fever”
“Yeah” Lupin groaned. “want some water?” Brigid asked then Lupin answered “yes” Brigid got up and went to his cabinets. She took out a glass then turned the sink on. She handed him his water then said “want to stay in pajamas today? They’ll be more comfortable since you’ll probably want to stay in bed”
“That sounds good” Lupin said when he finished his water. He pulled the blankets back over himself “will you lay with me longer?”
“If thats what you need”
“How long will I feel this way?”
“Like I said, I don’t know”
“I hate this.” He curled onto his side and pressed his forehead against her shoulder. He laced his fingers through hers and closed his eyes, his entire body shaking. Pain tore through him, making him grit his teeth and cry.
“Your nose is running.” She got up and went into the bathroom, grabbing a roll of toilet paper and heading back to the room. She handed it to him and he pulled some off and wiped his nose. She settled back down next to him and he took her hand. “Just remember this when you get the urge to use again.”
“I’ll never use again, I promise you.”
“I don’t want to disappoint you again.” He mumbled. “It really hurts to disappoint you.”
“What?” She looked at him, but he had fallen back to sleep. He was covered in sweat and still shivering. When he woke again she would draw him a bath. She slipped off of his bed and went into the livingroom, grabbing her phone and calling Jasper. “Sorry to keep bothering, but I was wondering if you could buy me some lavender oil and Tylenol.”
“Are you sure pain relievers are safe?”
“Tylenol is fine and I’ll regulate the dose. He has a fever.”
“And the lavender oil?”
“Lavender is calming. If I put it in his bath it might make him feel better.”
“I’ll send Stella at lunch. I have to be in court in half an hour and I have no idea how long that will take.”
“Thank you Jasper.”
“No, thank you. My brother really wants to do this and it’s all thanks to you. You have no idea how many times he checked himself out of rehab not even a day after I dropped him off.”
Hearing that meant a surprising amount to Brigid. She felt Lupin might actually care about her too. Especially remembering the words Lupin said before he went to sleep again. “Could I have Stellas number so I can text her if I need anything added to that list?”
“Of course, I’ll text the number as soon as we hangup.” They said bye then Brigid waited for the text. Once the number was saved she went into the bathroom with spray cleaner and a rag to clean up. When it was clean she put the spray cleaner away and washed her hands before returning to Lupin. He looked just as bad as before, his hair soaking with sweat. While he was bathing she planned on changing his sheets for him. She hoped he had a few more sets so she could keep them changed. It was miserable enough without him having to lay in his own sweat. He woke with his stomach and muscles in even worse knots. He wouldn’t have believed earlier he could feel worse but his body proved him wrong. Brigid helped him to the bathroom to throw up again.
Just as before she helped him clean himself up and got him a water. He wasn’t up long before Stella showed up with Brigids requested items. “Thanks”
“No problem, don’t hesitate to call me.”
“I wont, will you keep an eye on Lupin while I get him a bath ready”
“Of course” Stella sat next to Lupin “I’m so proud of you Lupin. Your mother told me to tell you she’s proud aswell”
“Yeah, I have lunch plans with her and I’ll be late. I told her why and she was really happy” Lupin tried to force a smile “I’m glad to make her happy. I’ve given her too much hell. I’ve bene more trouble than all my siblings combined,”
“but she loves you just the same. We all do and hope you stick to this”
“I will, I promise Stella”
“I believe you” When Brigid came back out Stella hugged her “remember, call for anything. Even if you just want somthing call me.”
“Thanks” Stella left and Brigid took Lupin into the bathroom. “Need help undressing? I know you feel weak.”
“You wouldn’t mind? I promise not to be weird”
“Of course I wouldn’t”
She tugged his pants down along with his underwear and he stepped out of them. She helped him into the bathtub and went and grabbed the bottle of lavender oil. She went back and put a few drops in the water. “What’s that for?” He asked.
“Lavender is calming. It might help you sleep better.” She grabbed a rag out of one of the drawers and sat down on the edge of the tub. She dipped it in the water and ran it over his back, rinsing off the sweat. “Look at me.” He looked up at her and she wiped his face.
“You don’t have to do this.”
“Just let me do it.” She rinsed his chest next and he swallowed nervously. “Wet your hair.” He laid back and let the water soak into his hair. She helped him set back up and grabbed his shampoo. She rubbed some into his hair, massaging his scalp. He closed his eyes, enjoying her touch and a little moan escaped his lips. His eyes snapped open and he looked embarrassed.
“Sorry, that just felt really good.”
“It’s okay, lets rinse your hair and get you out.”
“Okay.” He laid back and she ran her fingers through his hair. Once all the shampoo was rinsed out she pulled the plug and helped him to his feet and out of the tub. She then grabbed a towel and dried him. “This really, really sucks.”
“Why, because you have a woman taking care of you?”
“A beautiful woman who I’ve given a good deal of grief to. You should just let me suffer, I mean it’s what I deserve right?”
“Hush now and lets get you dressed.” She helped him into his room and grabbed a pair of sweats. She helped him into them then took him into the living room. “Do you have extra sheets?”
“Yeah, in the hall closet. My mom bought me a whole bunch when I moved in.” She handed him the remote then went to change his sheets. Afterwards she would make him some lunch.
She grabbed a new set, changing his pillow cases along with the sheet. When she was done she went in the kitchen to make him soup if he had any. She was glad to find chicken noodle and made two cans of it. Lupin had a show playing but he wasn’t really watching. He felt a lot better after his bath so it wasn’t so much pain distracting him as it was him wanting Brigid to be by his side again. He didn’t like her seeing him so weak and pathetic but he liked actually getting some time with her. He hoped she would stick around after so they could go somwhere fun together and he could be better company.
Brigid divided the soup between two bowls then walked into Lupins living room. She handed him one “you got it?” she asked before letting go. “yeah, thanks” They ate and watched TV. Lupin prayed this stayed down and he didn’t end up seeing it in his toilet later. When they both were done Brigid took their bowls back into the kitchen then set them in the sink. She made Lupin another glass of water while she was already in there. He gave her a smile when she came back with it “Thank you, I was actually pretty thirsty even though we just ahd soup”
“I thought you might be. I don’t want you getting dehydrated”
“You are far to good to me. I still hurt.”
She grabbed the bottle of Tylenol. “I got Stella to bring me this for your fever. You can have two now and two before bed.”
“Is that safe?”
“Yes, the fever can be treated like any other fever and I have faith you won’t try to take them from me.”
“Really, you have that much faith?”
“Well if you try anything I’ll just handcuff you to your bed.” He laughed. “Are you thinking bad thoughts?”
“Yes, sorry. It would be the first time I was being cuffed and not arrested.” She shook her head, but couldn’t help but smile. “I got you to smile, I’m making progress.”
“Don’t push your luck buddy and take these.” She handed him two Tylenol.
“I promise not to try and steal them from you. I mean you can still cuff me if you want to.”
“Didn’t I just say don’t push your luck? If you weren’t in pain I’d put you in more pain.”
“Sorry, I’ll be good.” He stuck the pills in his mouth and took a drink of water to wash them down. He gave her a warm smile then took her hand and rested his head on her shoulder. “Thank you so much.” He yawned. “Sorry, I’m just so exhausted and in pain.”
“Then go to sleep and I’ll sit right here with you.” She took his glass and sat it down.
Lupin sighed, falling asleep quickly. Brigid turned off the TV to enjoy the silence. She enjoyed Lupin so close, his soft hair falling on her and the tight grip he had on her hand. It tugged at her heart how miserable his breathing sounded. She could tell he was resting but even in his sleep Lupin was miserable. She couldn’t believe it was because of her that Lupin was going through with this. She knew Jasper wouldn’t lie, it was just shocking. Brigid couldn’t reisist giving Lupin a gentle kiss on the top of his head “thank you” she whispered then laid her head on his.
She got comfortable and had to fight off sleep. She was just about to lose when she felt Lupin move. She lifted her head off of him and he looked at her with a half smile “I slept better on your shoulder than I did last night”
“Did the Tylenol help?”
“A little, but I still hurt and I’m nauseas again.” She pressed her forehead against his and he flushed.
“Stop blushing or I won’t be able to tell if you’re feverish or not.”
“I can’t help it, you’re just so beautiful and close enough I could kiss you.” She felt a blush creeping up her own neck.
“You might get slapped if you try.”
“It might be worth it.”
She laughed. “You’re flirting so you’re not feverish.”
“Or maybe I’m just so feverish that I’m speaking the truth.” She rolled her eyes and pulled back.
“You said you were nauseas. Do you have to throw up again?”
He frowned. “You’d rather me be throwing up than talking huh? I understand, I’m obnoxious and insensitive.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m being a pain in the ass again and I’m sorry.”
“That’s not what I said.”
“You didn’t have to, it was the look on your face. I’m going to go to the bathroom.”
“Do you need me to help you?”
“No, I can do it myself.” She sighed as he slowly stood and made his way to the bathroom. She had not meant to hurt his feelings. Lupin felt dizzy as he relieved himself then washed his hands. The room spun and he fell. “Brigid.” He yelled. “Help.” Brigid jumped up at her name and ran to the bathroom. She pushed the bathroom door open and helped him to his feet.
“Are you okay?”
“I got dizzy and fell.”
“That’s one of the symptoms. Let’s go sit down okay and I’ll make you some tea.” Lupin let her take him to the couch then just sat there and stared off into space. She made him a cup of chamomile tea and put some honey in it before coming back to him. “Here.” She handed it to him and he took a sip. “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”
“Don’t apologize to me. I don’t deserve it and I said something stupid. I’ll try to keep my mouth shut from now on.” He shivered.
“You’re getting the chills again. Would you like a blanket?”
“Sure, thank you.”
Brigid hurriedly grabbed a blanket then returned to the couch. She sat close to him and wrapped it around them both. “you don’t have to be so close to me”
“I want to be. I really didn’t mean to hurt your feelings Lupin, you embarrassed me so I backed out of the situation quickly”
“I embarrassed you?” a small amount of Brigids blush returned “Talking about me being beautiful and wanting to kiss me, even if it meant a slap” Lupin felt a little better, hopeful even. “does that mean a part of you wants to kiss me?” Lupin asked nervously. Briid felt her heart rate pick up “you just concentrate on getting through this Lupin.” He didn’t want this line of conversation to end but he didn’t want her upset, not when she was so willing to stay and help him through this. He wondered if maybe he could show her he could stay off drugs, away from porn and alcoholic drinks that maybe she would want to be with him. It was a long shot since she knew all of who he had been but he was daring to dream it in this moment.
Lupin finished his tea then set his cup down. “Would you hold me?” Lupin asked as he continued to lightly shake. Brigid got as close as she could then wrapped her arms around Lupin. He sighed, enjoying the comfort her arms brought him. He hated being such a pansy but kicking this habbit was enough to make him one. There was no acting tough in front of Brigid now so he may as well ask for what he wants.
“Is that better?”
“Yes, thank you.”
Brigid brushed her fingers through his hair, making him give a contented sigh. “You look like you’re about to fall asleep again.”
“You make me feel comfortable. I’m in so much pain, but you make me feel amazing. I want to make you as happy as you are making me. I want you to be able to trust me. I know I don’t have a very good reputation, but I’ll do anything to make you see me in a different light. I can be good for you, I can do anything for you.”
Brigid’s heart gave a little stutter. She laced her fingers through his and he brushed his thumb over her hand. He rested his head on her shoulder and she continued to stroke her fingers through his hair. Before she knew it he was back asleep. His withdrawal was taking such a toll on him. “You have no idea how much this means to me Lupin.” She said softly. She kissed the top of his head. She let him sleep for a couple of hours then gently woke him.
“You don’t have to keep apologizing.”
“I do until you believe me.” He raised his head and rubbed his neck. “Is it dinner time yet?”
“If you’re hungry I can make something.”
“Maybe we could order pizza?”
“That will burn coming back up and bread tends to stick in the throat.”
“What’s okay to eat?”
“Soups, broths, you can drink water and juice or sprite.”
“How about clam chowder?”
“The milk in it might taste bad if you puke, but you can try if you want.”
“I have to go to the store for it, do you think you can be good for twenty minutes?”
“I can do anything for you.” He smiled.
“Good, no calling your dealers. You have come to to for that and if you’re good I will make you dessert.”
His eyes lit up. “Can I have a kiss too?” She rolled her eyes and he felt ashamed again. She leaned forward and kissed his cheek.
“There, now be good.”
He wore a wide smile just from that which made Brigid smile. It was really sweet to her how much that small kiss obviously meant to him. “I’ll be better than good” He finally said then she left. She knew she coudl trust him. Lupin wrapped himself tightly in the blanket, turned the Tv on and concentrated on it. He was in so much pain but he wouldn’t call anybody. He refused to mess this up. He felt like he needed his drugs but he needed Brigid more. It was harder to be strong without her right there but he touched his cheek for strength. He could get more of those kisses, maybe even some on the lips. Her kiss was far better than any drug he had ever taken.
Not any of the things he had been addicted to his entire life could measure up to what it felt like for Brigid to kiss his cheek. Brigid drove as fast as she could within the speed limit and obeying the rules of the road. Once inside she was practicly in a jog. She was confident Lupin wouldn’t do anything bad but he was still struggling with his withdrawls and she didn’t want him to have to suffer alone. Brigid found all she needed, paid then actually ran for her car once she was outside the store.
Lupin wished he would either throw up again or stop feeling so naseous. Brigid hadn’t been gone long and he knew that but it felt like he’d been sitting there suffering without her for well over an hour. If he had it in him he would have jumped up in excitement when she came through the door. “are you ok?” Brigid asked as she quickly came to his side. He was drenched in sweat again. “Now that you’re back”
“I’m giving you another bath after lunc. I’ll wash this blanket for you too”
She smiled and pulled a container of clam chowder out of a paper bag. “They have a little soup stand at the store. This stuff is delicious.” She grabbed one of the plastic spoons and pulled the lid off and handed it to him. She grabbed her container and did the same and they ate in silence.
“That was very good.” He handed her his container and spoon and she threw them away along with her own.
“Feeling any better?”
“The soup helped my shivering.”
“Come on lets get you clean.” She helped him to his feet and walked with him into the bathroom. “Do you need my help again?”
“I think I can manage. Are you going to leave?”
She laughed. “Lupin, I’ve already seen you naked and the last time you were alone you fell on your face.”
“I fell on my back thank you very much.”
“And missed the tub by about an inch. Now get undressed while I fill the tub.” She moved around him and switched on the water then plugged the drain and put some lavender drops in it. She moved out of the way and he got in the tub and sat down. She grabbed a rag and took her spot on the edge of the tub.
“You really don’t have to wash me.”
“I don’t mind and you seemed to enjoy it last time so let me do it.”
“Enjoying it would be the problem. I don’t want to make a fool of myself in front of you. I…I really, really like you and this is awkward and I’m trying really hard to be good.”
“Maybe I really, really like you too. I mean I would have to right, to be doing all of this. So just let me wash you then you can nap and I’ll do some clothes.”
Lupin smiled as he felt a rush of happiness. Brigid gently washed Lupin wich only made him feel better. He briefly forgot how much pain and misery he was in. Lupin was glad he decided to do this and that he was lucky enough to meet a woman like Brigid. It wasn’t every woman who would do this and even touch him knowing his history. Brigid was more forgiving than he deserved and if she would let him after this he would do everything he could do to show her how appreciated she was and how much he cared about her. When Brigid was done washing Lupin she dried him then helped him to his room where he pulled on pajama pants then settled into bed. “Call if you need anything. I’m going to start a load of clothes now then clean up around the house a bit.”
He just smiled then curled up under the blankets and closed his eyes. Brigid left him to rest, washing what dishes they had. She decided to take a shower before washing clothes and grabbed a pair of shorts and a t-shirt out of her duffle bag. She switched on the water and pulled her clothes off then stepped in. She scrubbed herself quickly then got out and dried and dressed. She grabbed her dirty clothes and tossed them in the washing machine with Lupin’s. She poured soap inside and started it then went and sat down in front of the TV, switching it on and stopping on an episode of Law and Order. She almost laughed at the irony of being a cop and watching cop shows.
She pulled her legs up and rested her head on her knees. She hadn’t been getting a lot of sleep since deciding to take care of Lupin. She had only drifted in and out of sleep, wanting to be there if he threw up or tried anything. She hated herself a little for not trusting him at first. If she had known he was doing this all for her she would have rested easier. Before she knew it she had drifted off.
Lupin woke feeling dizzy. His head was hurting again which made him feel sick. He managed to get out of bed and make his way into the living room. “Brigid.” He said as he moved over to the couch. He froze when he saw she was sleeping. He rubbed his eyes and willed himself not to fall down again. He went to the hall closet and grabbed a blanket then went back to her and sat down. He sat down against the arm of the couch and pulled her slowly between his legs, resting her head gently on his chest and putting the blanket over her.
“You’re really sleepy.” He said softly as he brushed her hair away from her face. “You’ve been working to hard taking care of me.” He brushed a light kiss onto her cheek. “I love you to much to let you overwork yourself Brigid so just rest.”
His heart rate increased slightly as he looked down at her. Brigid looked so peaceful. It increased her beauty exponentially. He would have kissed her again but it could wake her and Lupin didn’t know how much rest she had gotten. Telling her he loved her a few moments ago was the first time he said it out loud. It really impacted into him how much he truly did love her when he said it. He thought of their time in the bathroom before, how she said she liked him too. Lupin wondered if he was changing her view of him yet for the better, if she realized he would do anything for her love.
He laid his head on the couch cushion and closed his eyes, allowing her soft breathing to lull him to sleep. It was the most comfortable he had been since he quit using. Brigid woke around dinner time feeling overly warm. The next thing she felt were the arms holding her. She slowly tipped her head back, surprised to see Lupin sitting there. He was sound asleep, looking peaceful. She was afraid to move, not wanting to wake him, but needing to get up and use the bathroom. “Lupin.” She said softly. “Lupin.” He jerked awake, looking a little lost at first then recognition dawned when he looked at her face.
“Sorry, you looked uncomfortable.”
“Shh it’s okay, I’m not mad.”
“I didn’t do anything to you, I promise.”
“I know and I’m actually very comfortable, but I need to use the bathroom.”
“Oh.” He let her go and she got up, hurrying to the bathroom to pee. When she came back he was folding the blanket and taking it back to the hall closet.
“How are you feeling?” She asked as he turned and followed her.
“Better, I’m not dizzy anymore and my head barely hurts.”
“How about your stomach?”
“Still a little achy, but better than it has been.”
She smiled as she headed into the laundry room and moved the clothes into the dryer. “See nothing a little bit of tender, loving, care won’t do. How about your appetite?”
“My stomach says no more soup, please feed me something not runny.” She laughed and he smiled happily, looking almost boyish in his joy.
“How about I make spaghetti and then afterwards we can make cookies together.”
“I would love nothing more. May I sit in the kitchen while you cook?” She nodded and he followed her into the kitchen and hopped up on the counter to watch her make spaghetti. He loved watching her cook, loved the way she moved around the kitchen. She was so gorgeous and he wanted to kiss her and hold her. He craved her soft skin and had to grip onto the edge of the counter to keep from grabbing her as she walked by.
Lupin started setting the table while Brigid mixed the noodles and sauce. After their plates were served they sat down together and enjoyed their dinner. “It feels good to eat real food. Do you think I’ll keep it?” Lupin asked and Brigid nodded. “good” Lupin said in a very relieved voice. Brigid smiled “It means a lot you did this Lupin”
“I couldn’t keep disappointing you. I’ll never disappoint you again if I can help it”
“I’ll hold you to that” Brigid said with a playful wink. Lupin sighed, longing to kiss her even more than before. Brigid recognized that look in his eyes and knew what he wanted. She could read his body language the whole time they were making dinner and could see how hard he was fighting not to kiss her. When their dishes were rinsed and in the sink Brigid removed all distance between her and Lupin to give him a gentle kiss. He wrapped his arms around her, them locking tightly so she couldn’t go anywhere. Brigid could have never imagined a kiss from Lupin could be this sweet. The way his lips moved tugged at her heart. It became overwhelming when she felt wetness against her cheeks and opened her eyes to see Lupin was crying.
Brigid pushed against Lupins chest and he reluctantly let her go. She wiped his tears “why are you crying Lupin?”
“I love you so much. It felt incredibly good to have your lips touching mine…I didn’t deserve it..could never deserve a kiss from a woman like you Brigid. I..thank you for kissing me” Brigids heart fluttered then she wrapped her arms around his neck to kiss him again. Such sweet words could only be followed by another kiss. He started kissing her back just as sweetly, putting his heart into it. When their lips parted a second time Brigid said “I love you too Lupin. Thank you for doing this for me. Jasper told me you never comitted to getting clean before. I love you and want to be with you. I’ll help you stay on the right path but you have to promise I’ll never find another drug, porno or drink in this house.”
“I wont need that stuff as long as I have you.” Her heart fluttered again “lets go relax on the couch until we’re ready to sleep” Lupin nodded, wanting to pick her up and carry Brigid over but not trusting his strength just yet. “will you lay on my chest again?” brigid smiled then nodded. Lupin sat down first then Brigid got comfortable between his legs. A few days later they told his family of Lupins success and the new relationship. Both of which were celebrated at Lupins parents house with cake, icecream, soda and a loving family. It only increased Lupins conviction to be around his family and not have any dissapointed looks from any of them, to finally not make his mother have that sad look in her eyes. He owed being able to do this to Brigid and he could never thank her enough.
~ The End ~