My hands shook frantically as I reached out and touched the handles of the wardrobe doors, trying to grasp them and pull the doors open but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I couldn't force myself into action and get ready for this day. This dreaded day. I took a few steps back, feeling the bed hit my calves and I sat slowly, welcoming the soft comforts it could offer.

My eyes filled with the tears I'd tried so hard to push away, I'd wanted to be strong in front of the others but now that I was alone, in their room, I could feel my control slipping. A tear finally escaped and I almost flinched as I felt the moisture tracing its path down my cheek, marking my anguish.

Taking a deep breath, I let myself lay back on the bed and curl up on her side. I blinked as I looked over at the nightstand on the far side of the bed. His side. The lamp was still on, I hadn't dared turn it off. He was always the one that turned out the light at night. I always fell asleep before him no matter how tired he was. One night I'd absently mentioned it.

"I like knowing you're not going to leave me." His tone was joking and he'd said it with a smile and normally I would have glared at him for sounding possessive but I'd seen the insecurity in his eyes that he'd never voice. So instead of giving him a glare I just smiled, leaning over to kiss him before I pulled the covers around, me and drifted to sleep.

Now, looking at the lamp, the light that shone from it felt like one last piece of normalcy I could hold on to. The light could protect me. My eyes fell on the half empty glass of water next to the lamp and under the beam of light I could see the fingerprints he'd left on it. I felt my gut clench at the thought of never getting to hold his hands again. Never getting to tease him about the roughness of them even though I secretly loved the way they felt against my soft skin.

I loved the way his hands seemed to hold my body in the most perfect way. The way they would grasp at my thighs and butt when he'd lift me up and how they would cup my breasts and hold my sides and hips when we were making love. I couldn't believe I'd never feel his hands at her neck as they kissed or the way he tenderly cupped me face when he told her me loved me.

I reached out and pulled his pillow to me, wrapping myself around, squeezing my eyes closed and breathing deep as I took in his scent. It was a mix of soap, cologne and engine grease. And I loved it, I craved it. As I breathed it in I felt like I could see him, as clear as day.

Smiling at me deviously, like he'd done something wrong. Again. His silent laughter reflecting in his deep eyes. His eyes that held so much more than I'd ever know. His eyes that bore into me whenever he looked my way, making me feel strong yet small all at once.

I let myself drown in the memories of him, trying to breathe him into life with my thoughts but when I opened my eyes he wasn't there, I was still alone. Swallowing back a frustrated cry I sat up and pushed myself up to stand, my feet with a mind of their own as they walked her to the bathroom.

I froze at the door, reaching out to grip the frame for support as I stared at the cold white tiles. I couldn't bring myself to go in there, not yet.


I tensed hearing the voice from the door behind me, part of me praying that it was him and it had all been a horrible nightmare. But it wasn't him. It would never be him.

"You need to change, we have to go soon."

I felt my head nodding, my body once again taking over as I went back to the wardrobe, this time successfully grasping the handles and pulling it open. I clenched my jaw seeing his clothes but I pushed the thought aside as I reached in and pulled out what I needed and quickly closed the doors.

Stripping off the shirt of his that I was wearing I turned to look in the full length mirror by the bed and saw the marks he'd left along my bronze skin. I could remember each time his mouth had nipped at me, sucking to leave his mark on my skin. I'd gasp and moan, hit him when he nipped too hard but I never pushed him away. It always amused me that my skin never went long without him trying to mark his territory. And I let him, let him have my body, even my heart, knowing that regardless, I'd always be the keeper of my mind.

But now I knew even my mind barely belong to me right now. I'd lost control of that too.

My fingers tugged at the zip of the dress, pulling it down so that I could step into it and pull it on. I pulled the zipper back up and stared in the mirror at my reflection. The dress felt too tight, suffocating me in the cotton and silk material. Normally I liked wearing black, but today I hated it. Hated knowing that today it meant putting him to rest. Today, black meant knowing I couldn't hold onto any more hopes that it was all some horrible nightmare that I'd wake up from.

Today black meant death.

"I love you baby." He muttered breathlessly against my lips before he eased off of me and lay by my side, panting to catch his breath. I chuckled softly as I looked over at him before turning onto my side and kissing his shoulder.

"Love you too." I winked down at him before I reached over the side of the bed and picked up his button down shirt that had been discarded in the fight to get undressed. I slipped it on, smiling at how big it was on me, only doing a few of the buttons before pulling on my underwear.

I watched him get out of the bed, grabbing his boxers from the floor and pulling them on before heading for the bathroom to clean up. I just stretched out with a satisfied sigh, pulling the covers over me as I closed my eyes, waiting for him to come back to bed.

I heard a crash in the bathroom and laughed softly to myself, thinking he'd just knocked things over on the shelf again. "You're like a bull in a china shop!" I teased from the bed. My brows furrowed when I didn't hear a response and I opened my eyes, sitting up and shaking my head. "I was just kidding!" Again, no response.

I sighed and stood up, stepping over clothes to get to the bathroom and knocked on the door. "C'mon, don't ignore me. I'll help you clean it up." Still hearing nothing from him I reached down and opened the door, my eyes falling to the floor.

"Dom! Dom!" I knelt to the ground next to him and grabbed his shoulders, shaking him desperately. "DOMINIC!"

The next thing I knew I was in the hospital, hooked up to tubes. I'd looked around, for him, but only saw Mia and Vince, sitting by her bed on either side, each of them holding one of my hands tightly. I struggled to find my voice, my throat impossibly dry, the only thing I could get out was a gasp.

Mia's head turned to look at me and as soon as I looked the other woman's eyes I knew something was wrong. I couldn't say what I was trying to get out but she saw the question in my eyes.

"I'm sorry..." Her words were shaky as I saw the tears welling quickly in her eyes. Vince looked over then from where he'd been staring at the door. He managed the smallest of smiles but I knew something was wrong, that he'd been crying too.

As I looked between them I saw Vince shake his head and I begin to sob. It felt like someone had ripped out my heart and crushed it.

It wasn't possible, I repeated over and over in my head. I told myself he was okay, that they'd made a mistake.

It wasn't a mistake.

He was gone.


I saw Vince's reflection in the doorway.

"I'll be down in a minute."


I watched him leave, taking one last look at myself in the mirror before I picked up my coat from the bed and slipped on my shoes, pulling the strength together somehow as I got ready. I reached out to the lamp but hesitated.

"I like knowing you're not going to leave me."

My heart clenched.


You left me.