I don’t hesitate.
I walk straight through the trail of discarded clothes. Jacket. Vest. Dress shirt, cufflinks tossed to the side. Dress pants, suspenders still attached.
All drenched in a deep shade of crimson.
A part of me wants to pick them up. A bigger part of me isn’t ready to see exactly how much blood has been spilled.
My only source of calm, the only reason I don’t panic is this odd sense of comfort beneath my bare feet. No matter how heavy I make my strides, no matter how hard I dig into the carpet, blood isn’t oozing between my toes with every step. So, I’m either too late and he’s already dead…
Or it’s not his time to die tonight.
Fate doesn’t take requests.
Steam is pouring out from a thin sliver of light, rising steadily toward the ceiling like smoke from a campfire. Taking a slow, deliberate breath, I push the door open and enter the bathroom. My lungs burn immediately, along with my eyes.
I barely see his silhouette through the haze, but I can tell he isn’t moving. He’s sitting slumped over in the corner with one leg straight and the other knee bent, his forehead resting on top. Both arms hang by his side, limp, palms facing skyward. Scalding rain continues to fall, carving streaks through the dried red paint coating his skin.
He doesn’t react as I open the glass.
He doesn’t react as I step into the shower and kneel down in the shallow, muddy water.
He doesn’t react as I gingerly cup his jaw.
A chill runs through me. It’s fear. I’m scared. I slide around to the side of his neck and exhale a sigh of relief. A gentle pulse thrums against my fingertips. “Slim,” I whisper.
He simply doesn’t react.
I ease him back against the marble wall. Tipping his chin up, I sweep his matted locks aside and gasp.
Black eyes are locked on mine, darker than I’ve ever seen them before. His pupils are dilated so wide they appear to consume his irises completely. No doubt he’s high as a fucking kite on God knows what, but I don’t give a shit.
And he’s smiling.