The first time it happens, they share a shocked, surprised look. The air hangs thick and stagnant between them, their breathing laboured, their bodies still trembling with pleasure and its aftershocks.
He notices then that her eyelashes are the exact same shade of red as her hair. He doesn't know what he expected their colour to be, doesn't even know if he's ever thought about it before, but now that he has, he can't tear his eyes away.
And now they can't take it back – that confused kiss that came out of nowhere a couple of months ago that has somehow escalated into this twisted and dysfunctional thing they are doing, not when she belongs to someone else.
Especially when that "someone else" is his brother.
They weren't even supposed to be in her old bedroom in the first place, not while everyone else were downstairs, celebrating the arrival of a new year. But she was upset, needed someone to talk to, and if there's one thing he has never been able to ignore, it was seeing her hurt and not reaching out.
Somehow, between her sobs and his awkward attempt at a hug, they were tangled in her all-too-small bed while their tongues battled for dominance, their bodies crushed together, his hands fisted in her hair, hers fisted in his shirt.
Her skin feels so soft beneath his hands, and she has those red eyelashes. She moans his name like it's a prayer, Lorcan, and he can no longer hold back.
Afterwards, when they're lying naked and avoiding each other's eyes, he reaches for her, and it's ten times different than their frenzied embrace from earlier.
This time, he holds her like a lover, and it all turns into a blur of whispers and colours when they come together again. When she whispers to him, "What are we going to do?" he silences her with another kiss – he doesn't have an answer.
He didn't want this, didn't start it, but now he can't imagine anything else, not wanting to be with her, not feeling this restless when he's not.
Lily really wishes she could tell him the whole truth. But how does one tell another such a sordid story, such a hurtful truth?
How can she even begin to explain what happened, why she'd did it, why she couldn't stop once it had started?
She still doesn't know the reasons herself.
So she brushes her teeth and takes a shower after their meetings, for she knows Lysander will greet her with a hug and a gentle kiss. She's afraid he'll smell him on her, dreads the day that he inevitably will – for he will, she's sure of that.
What she's doing – what they are doing to Lysander – will be the death of her.
Still, she doesn't know how to tell him, she doesn't want to. Despite everything that's happened, she loves him. When he holds her in her arms, she feels like she belongs. She misses him when he's away, his absence a permanent ache.
It should be enough.
Then why isn't it?
He wonders, when they're together, if she's thinking about her lover. He wonders where her head is, whom her heart belongs to, whom she prefers.
Whether she can even notice the differences between them.
He knows, from the way she touches him, kisses him, like it's the last time she'll be allowed to, that she loves him, that she's terrified of losing him.
Well, he's just as scared of losing her; he wouldn't still be there otherwise.
But he can't help but speculate why she keeps on coming back to him when they're so clearly in love, so obviously right for each other.
Lysander knows that if it were any other woman and any other man, he wouldn't put up with this situation. But she isn't any other woman, and he could never love another as he loves her.
And he isn't any other man – he's the one Lysander knows just as well he knows himself, even though they had never gotten along growing up, never felt the need to. This isn't a mere case of sibling rivalry – he can tell from the way his brother looks at Lily that there's love there, love like he's never dared to feel.
So he doesn't say anything, doesn't do anything, when all he wants to do is kill her, kill him, and just end this excruciating circle of misery and betrayal.
Maybe he's just as screwed up in the head as them, but even though he tries to break free, he just cannot alter the pattern. They all refuse to budge, and something has got to give eventually, but he can't give her up.
That's why, although it's torture knowing she's with him, he still says nothing.
Lorcan doesn't understand any better.
For the life of him, he can't figure out why Lily keeps on knocking on his door, why he always invites her in, why she comes back even when she tells him she's not.
Why she never means it when she does.
But he needs this, needs her, and he knows she feels the same way. That's why even when they offend and scream and tear each other apart, even if sometimes they hate each other so much he can't breathe, she keeps coming back for more. He doesn't want her to stop, to stay away; doesn't think he can stand it.
He can't do without biting on her lower lip, without soaking himself up in her smell, without seeing the fire in her eyes when they argue, when they kiss, when they make up and when they come together.
Lily can't pick one.
It can't keep on going on like this, she's always known it, but she still can't choose.
She loves Lysander.
Loves the way he makes her feel safe, how he lets her know she's his entire world. She loves that when she feels like everything is crashing down, he's always there, willing to fix it, fix her. He puts her back together until she's seamlessly whole.
Lysander soothes her, calms her down – he anchors her. She knows what to expect from him, loves that he knows exactly what she needs from him.
Being with him, loving him, it's simple.
It's not hard.
It doesn't hurt.
But with Lorcan...when she's with him, everything, including her, magnifies and grows painfully alive, beautiful, colourful, as bright as the surrealist paintings he once took her to see in a Muggle Art Gallery.
Except that it's hard.
And it hurts.
His recklessness and unpredictability drives her wild with frustration, and when she gives him hell, he just throws it back at her without so much as batting an eye. Sometimes he gets so jealous and hurtful that hate chokes her, hot and fast, and it makes her want to kill him, makes her want to die.
Nevertheless, with him, she feels, and feels more than she's ever felt before.
Without Lorcan, she's a dimmed and numbed version of herself. Without Lysander, she spins out of control until she shatters into tiny, broken pieces.
So Lily can't make a decision. She can't pick one, because she no matter what she does, whom she chooses, ultimately, she will always end up losing.
A.N: Yes, I am one sick puppy. But you know you enjoy it. So review, please? Inspired and titled after a Damien Rice song. Blame him for it.