Author: BlackDaggerLover PM
Phury isn't the only addict in the house. Spoilers for Lover Awakened.Rated: Fiction M - English - Supernatural/Romance - Words: 2,971 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 35 - Follows: 7 - Published: 10-19-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4605331
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: The Addiction
Rating: R for language
Series: The Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward
Word Count: 2756
Spoilers: For Lover Awakened
Author's Comments: Zsadist is my favorite brother, and I think his story is the most heart wrenching of them all. I've become obsessed with his missing moments and have started some fics to fill in the blanks. This takes place near the end of Lover Awakened after Bella has gone to Charlotte. Lots of thanks to my beta and crack dealer – you know who you are!
His brother was an addict, that much was certain. He knew addiction like no body's business, and an addict could always spot another addict. And right now he supposed his brother was going through a form of detox. His drug of choice was nowhere to be found. He hadn't had it in his system for well over a week now. And the signs of his craving were written on his face even as he slept.
He'd slipped into his brother's room a while ago thinking he'd have to talk the male into trying to sleep only to find his pallet in the corner empty. After all the years of worrying about the male, he found it was impossible to stop, and immediately went in search of where he could have gone. He wasn't in the bathroom… or the closet. And then his eyes fell on the bed.
Zsadist was sleeping on the bed.
Phury looked over at his brother in concern and wonder. Z never slept on a bed. Never. He'd taken it to heart that he wasn't good enough to enjoy the comforts of life, and that included such luxuries as a bed. It was just one of the many things left over from his century of torture that he refused to give up.
Of course, a few things had changed in the last few days. Zsadist had started eating. Typically, his brother never ate anything that he hadn't seen prepared or could be easily poisoned. That meant mostly raw fruit and vegetables. And that left Zsadist very thin for a vampire, let alone a warrior vampire. And then there was the blood. Zsadist only took from human females. That is, up until now. Mary had suggested that Z could feed from the vein of the Chosen that Rhage feeds from, and much to Phury's surprise, Z had agreed. With food and blood sustaining him, Zsadist was on the road to recovery.
He was still addicted to something he no longer had. Phury was certain of that now more than ever. For even though Zsadist had made changes to the way he ate and fed, he didn't believe that Z had chosen to sleep in the bed because it was comfortable. No. Z was in that bed because it smelled like the drug. It smelled like Bella. And Phury knew that because he could smell her, too.
Upon closer inspection, Phury could see that Z had his face buried in a pillow, and he didn't think it was because it was a soft place to rest his head. It was the scent that kept Z's face plastered against that pillow. The robe that was twisted up in Z's hands also carried the scent of the missing female. Hell, the whole room reeked of her… and of Z's bonding scent. It hadn't been that long ago that this room was used during Bella's time of needing. And even though she hadn't physically been in the room for a while, Phury could still smell her.
Something caught his eye. Something dainty and feminine was wrapped around Z's neck. Bella's necklace. The one with the diamonds. It was tight against Zsadist's skin, but Phury supposed his twin liked it that way. Z always was one for pain.
That's probably why he had gone to Charleston.
Phury wasn't supposed to know about that. No one was. But Zsadist had left that evening full of wiry tension, making up some shit about having a possible lead on Tohr. Yeah, riiiiiiiight. Like any of them believed him for one fraction of a second. Vishous was doing everything he could to find their brother, and he had the biggest brain of all of them. There was no way in hell Z had found something that V had over looked, especially considering that Z couldn't read let alone work the internet.
Phury mentally slapped himself for that one. Zsadist's illiteracy was a direct result of him being kidnapped and shouldn't be referred to in such a demeaning way.
Even still, Phury knew that Z hadn't gone to look for Tohr. He'd gone to look for Bella. From the lack of color on his skin and the blackness in his eyes when he returned this morning, it didn't take a genius to figure out how things had gone. Either she had refused to see him or he had decided to stay away from her. Either option meant that Z was in a bad place right now. Which explained why he would be sleeping on the bed wrapped up on Bella's lingering scent.
It also meant that Z didn't know the full weight of what he had done. If Z hadn't talked to Bella, then he still didn't know about her condition. Because he had fed from the female after her needing, Phury knew damn well that Zsadist had lost more than his possible shellen. It was that knowledge that drove him to stand in Z's place when he attacked those lessers. Z needed to live, if not for Bella then for her young. Phury had hoped beyond all hope that Zsadist would talk to Bella and find out the truth for himself, but that hadn't happened.
And now here he was, watching over his wounded brother once again. But this time it wasn't the loss of a relationship with his parents that he was missing out on. It was the loss of his own family. And Zsadist didn't have a clue.
"It's shouldn't be like this," Phury mumbled quietly. "This wasn't how it was supposed to turn out."
Z's eyes snapped open and found his twin's face. "What the fuck do you want?"
"I was just checking up on you?"
"Go rock someone else's cradle, I don't need a baby sitter."
The word choice stunned Phury for a moment. "I'm entitled to worry about my own brother," he bit back.
"You've been doing that for far too long. Find a new occupation. One that isn't so shitty."
Phury considered a comeback about how his caring saved Zsadist's life, but figured that would only prove Z's point in the end. So instead he went for the jugular. "Did you see her?"
Aggression flared in Z's eyes for a moment, but soon softened and changed. And so did his eye color. Every time someone brought up the female and gave Z a moment to really think about things, his eyes would fade from their typical midnight black color to a golden shade similar to that of his twin's. Phury still wasn't used to that. No one was. Not even Z.
"Yeah, I saw her."
Phury had to give the guy credit for not wondering how he knew where he had been. When Z didn't fill in the empty space, Phury said, "But you didn't talk to her." It was a statement, not a question.
"Like there was anything to say."
There was everything to say, and everything to learn, but Zsadist didn't understand that. Going in for the kill, Phury said, "How about 'Bella, I love you.'?"
The gold in Zsadist's eyes went frighteningly black as he bolted upright in bed and met Phury's gaze head on. "Stay the fuck out of my business."
"Can't. I'm in this, too. And I know how you feel."
That one set Z over the edge, just like Phury knew it would. His brother jumped at him, grabbing his shirt by the front and tugging him with a force strong enough to shake someone senseless. "You don't know shit about how I feel!"
"Like hell I don't! I miss her, too, Z! Except I don't have the memory of how it feels to have her under my body." The moment the words left his mouth, Phury knew he had crossed a line.
Z punched him then, full out, no holds barred. "You even think about her like that again, I will kill you!"
"Interesting," Phury said, rubbing his jaw. "I thought you wanted me to be with her."
Z's nostrils flared and he took a deep breath. "Look, I don't presume to know what goes on in other people's heads. For some Godforsaken reason that I will never comprehend, she picked me. I gave her every chance to go to you. Every chance. You think I wanted to end up bonded to someone who hates me? I tried, Phury. I tried to push her your way, but she came back for me."
"Until you pushed her away for good."
Phury had expected his brother to beat him senseless for that one, but instead Zsadist said, "Yeah, well, what can I say? It's kind of my legacy to be a fuckup."
After a moment, Phury countered. "You're not the fuckup in the family, I am."
Zsadist answered with a piercing glare.
"You're right," Phury said, "she picked you. I wanted her to pick me, but she picked you. And for what it's worth, I'm glad for it. I'm glad someone managed to break through that hard ass wall you have around yourself and show you what love feels like. God knows I've never been able to."
Z's eyes were black slits. "Take your sermon somewhere else, preacher."
Phury stared back at his brother trying to maintain the same intensity of emotion, but after a few minutes gave up and took a step back. "Sorry I bothered you," he frowned as he turned to leave. He'd reached the door and was about to open it when Zsadist's voice stopped him.
The silence that filled the space between them was heavy. Phury waited for his brother to speak, but all he heard from the other side of the dark room was a slow, drawn out exhale of breath. Turning slightly, he looked over his shoulder at the bed to see that Zsadist had his head buried in a pillow while his hands, clenched in tight fists, gripped at the item so roughly Phury thought he might rip it apart any second. Z's shoulders were tense, indicating to Phury that whatever was going on in his brother's heart was just too damn personal to talk about, even to his twin.
Hoping to give his brother an out, Phury said, "It's ok, Z. I'm gonna, go."
A growl of frustration ripped out of Zsadist's throat. "Will you give me a damn minute?" He pounded the pillow in emphasis. "Christ… like I'm any good at this emotional shit. Just give me a minute, will you?"
Phury looked down at his feet feeling like a chastised child waiting for a punishment.
"I don't have a knack for being eloquent like you do," Zsadist mumbled.
"You don't have to say anything," Phury replied. "I shouldn't have even come in here."
"No, you shouldn't have come in here," Zsadist agreed, turning around to face his twin. "But you did. And you hit a nerve that doesn't need to be hit. So I do have to say something to you or there is going to be hell to pay in the future."
Phury nodded… and then waited for Z to say whatever it was he needed to say.
"Just because she isn't here… just because she won't have me, doesn't mean I don't need to defend her. Hell, I respect her more for having the decency to get away from my sick, sorry ass. But even still…" Zsadist swallowed hard. "You make one more nasty sexual comment about her and I swear to the Scribe Virgin that I will fucking take you down, you feel me?"
Phury nodded silently.
"I bonded with her," Zsadist continued. "And that is some shit I can't ignore. And it's also something that you don't understand, no matter how much you think you miss her.You don't know the meaning of the word pain until you know what it is to spend the rest of your life without the female you're bonded to. If it wasn't for the fear I have for what you would do, I would be tempted to follow in Tohr's footsteps and be out of here."
"I'm not done!" he snapped.
"You're not leaving!"
"Did I say I was gonna leave?"
"What happened to Welsie isn't what happened to Bella."
"I know that! Do I look that fucking stupid to you?" Zsadist laughed darkly. "Maybe I do. Maybe that's why you think you have to save me each and every time I fuck up. Well, I've got news for you, brother. I know I fucked up. I know what I did and what the result was. And I'm doing everything I can to try to make things better. And I promise you, I am not going to hurt myself anymore. I'm trying to help myself. But you have to let me do it! I have to do it, Phury. I do. Me. You can't do this for me. You can't save me."
Phury wet his lips. "I just want to help."
"Then stop trying to remind me every five minutes of what I've lost."
"Yeah, you do. Don't come in here while I'm trying to sleep and say shit like 'It shouldn't be this way,' because I don't need to hear it. My whole life could be reduced to the phrase 'it shouldn't be this way,' but it is. So, I deal with it and I move on. That's life, Phury. That's what everyone does. Except you."
Phury bristled in anger. "What the hell does that mean?"
"You try to fix everything. And when you can't fix it, you go smoke to try to get away from it."
In three long strides Phury was at the bedside staring down at his brother. "I try to make things better!"
Zsadist was on his feet in a flash. "You stick your fuckin' nose in everybody else's business to avoid having to deal with your own shit!"
Grabbing the dagger he used to take down lessers, Phury raised the weapon in aggression and aimed right at his brother.
"Go on! Do it!" Zsadist challenged, pounding his chest. "Right here! Like my heart could bleed anymore."
Several tense moments passed as the twins just stared at each other, neither saying another word. Breathing deeply, Phury reeled in his anger and slowly brought his hand down.
"You remember this," Zsadist said quietly. "The next time you feel the need to push my buttons, remember that I can push right back."
Phury sneered. "Message received."
They stood there, eye to eye, with the same frown on nearly identical faces. It was a long, silent minute before Phury nodded and retreated from the room.
With his heart racing and the blood pounding in his ears, he went right to his room, grabbed a hand rolled, and lit up. He sank down into a chair, willing the red smoke to calm his nerves and ease the discomfort in his chest. And it worked.
And in his state of induced brain fog, he considered what Zsadist had said. About Bella and being bonded to her. About saving himself. About dealing with his own shit. It was all very responsible and mature of him – two words that Phury had never used to describe Zsadist. Ever. Two words that couldn't be used to describe any addict.
And yet, if he really was trying to be responsible, why hadn't he spoken to Bella? A responsible, mature male would have told her how he felt. Hell, a bonded male wouldn't let her walk away from him so easily. Zsadist had even said how much it hurt to be apart from her – how much pain he felt as a result.
Taking a long, smooth drag on his smoke, Phury understood that Zsadist wasn't an addict in the way he had assumed earlier. Zsadist wasn't addicted to Bella. He was addicted to pain. After all the years of the beatings and the torture and degradation, Zsadist thrived on pain. And what better pain was there than being without the female you were bonded to.
As the fog began to cover his mind and pull him into a sleep, Phury wondered just how much pain his twin would be in if he knew Bella was pregnant. Or how much pain he would suffer years from now when a young male or female showed up at the door needing help from an absent father.
If Zsadist wanted pain, he'd get pain. Phury could deal that drug really easily. All it took was silence.