14 new voice messages was what Dallas Genoard woke up to at three o' clock in the morning on Tuesday, and he held his phone in his hand as he debated on whether or not to bother listening to them. He figured he'd have to sooner or later, so he sighed and pressed the button on the pad.
There were a few from Eve that he listened to all the way through. She was worried, but of course she was. She was always worried. She was the only one he'd told here he'd gone, though, so Dallas didn't think too much of it. They were short, just making sure that he was eating and drinking something other than alcohol and was sleeping. He decided to save those.
Most of them were from other people he knew, or automated voice messages telling him he had x amount of days to pay some stupid bill or something. Those he deleted.
Then he got to the last one.
"Dallas, where are you? You've been gone for three days. If I did something, if something happened, I want you to let me know. I love you, okay? Bye."
Dallas couldn't bring himself to delete the message, so he just slowly set his phone down back on the table beside his bed and fell onto his side.
He'd been holed up in this shit motel for the last three days. Dallas didn't know exactly why he'd snuck out of the apartment that he and Luck shared three days ago, but he felt like he had to. He felt like he didn't belong in Luck's place anymore.
Like he didn't belong with Luck.
Dallas's hands clenched at the fabric of the thin blanket that he'd wrapped around himself, sighing heavily. Despite their pasts, the two of them had really come to love each other over the past few months, but Dallas found himself being held back by his insecurities. Could someone like Luck really love someone like Dallas? He didn't think so.
Although, he had to admit, he was starting to miss having Luck Gandor's arms around him while he slept.
Deciding that it'd only hurt both of them more if he didn't do this, Dallas picked up the phone again and dialed Luck's number. It rang endlessly, until it eventually went to voice mail. While he was slightly upset that he couldn't talk straight to Luck, Dallas took a deep breath before he spoke.
"Hey, I got your message. Just wanted to say I'm fine and I love you too." He paused, finding the next words hard to say. "But I can't come home. I love you too much to..." To end up hurting you like everyone else. He couldn't finish the sentence, though, and Dallas hung up before it would pick up any sounds of him crying.
Looking longingly over at his car keys, Dallas wondered if he'd be able to go out and buy some alcohol at this hour. He stopped that thought in its tracks, however, and buried his face in his pillow.
It'd been a part of the agreement that, when he started dating Luck, he'd stop the substance abuse that got him into so much trouble. They'd come to it after Luck had bailed him out of jail for the fifth time, and quite frankly, Dallas couldn't blame him for being pissed. He'd helped him out a lot though, finally getting him to quit taking pills that weren't his and to show self-control whenever he went out for a drink. And this was how Dallas chose to repay him, by leaving and never coming back.
There was no chance of him stopping it now, and Dallas started to sob into his pillow.
Dallas's fit was interrupted by a knock on his door. Sitting up, the man rubbed the tears from his cobalt blue eyes, before heading over to open the door. Who could possibly be here, at this time of night?
"The fuck do you—" Dallas started to say, before he noticed who it was standing there. Looking almost as wretched and sleep deprived as he was, standing there in front of the door to his room, was Luck Gandor. Luck managed to give a little smile to Dallas, who took a step back. "Luck, how did you..."
"I did a lot of searching. I know people." Shocked and numb, Dallas stepped to the side to let him in, before shutting and locking the door once more. "I got your voice mail on the way here. Sorry I didn't pick up, I was preoccupied." It was obvious by the look on Luck's face that he'd been crying too, and immediately the sick feeling in Dallas's stomach returned. "Why can't you come home?"
Dallas let out a heavy, shaky sigh as he sat back on the bed, wrapping his arms around his stomach. "Because," he barely whispered. "Because I just can't."
"Why?" The desperation was apparent in Luck's voice, and Dallas flinched.
"I don't fucking know why."
"You're lying to me, you know why. Tell me, what happened?"
"Nothing happened!" Dallas snapped, putting his hands on his temples. "I just...I just don't want to hurt you like I hurt everybody else, okay? It's just easier for you to hate me."
There was an uncomfortable silence between them, as only the sounds of Luck's footsteps echoed across the floor. And then, Dallas felt weight beside him on the bed, and Luck's arm was wrapped around his shoulders. Dallas could feel him shake, and when he turned his head to look at him, he wished that he didn't. Although he didn't make any noise, the tears fell swiftly down Luck's face, and Dallas pulled him close as he did, his rough, calloused hand cupping Luck's soft cheek gently.
"I can't do it, Dallas. I can't hate you anymore. Can I be angry with you? Yeah, but...not..." His voice shook, and Dallas pulled him close as his own eyes filled with tears.
"Don't...don't cry," Dallas murmured, his arms wrapping tightly around Luck's back. "Please, not for me. I'll come home, just don't cry."
"Only if you come home."
"So that was your plan? Come in here, cry a little and make me come home?"
"Well, I wanted to make you come home. With or without tears."
"...I love you."
"Love you too, Dallas."
Maybe it was better for Luck to love Dallas than to hate him.