If he had been anyone else, I don’t think I would be here right now. I don’t even know that I still would be alive. Eoghan might not be willing to admit it but his compassion is ever present and he gives his all to those he considers his friends and family. He’s gone out of his way to get the library moved to a better building when the old one proved to not be worth saving. He took me in after he woke up my gift, he offered me this roof, this place I can call my own, a place I never would have been able to afford otherwise.

I sink in deeper into the couch, a couch he had given me and I think back on that day in the woods though, I still get chills. I don’t honestly remember the weather or the particular day or any of those insignificant details. I just remember him coming out of seemingly no where and offering to help me get back to the building. If Alexis hadn’t told him that he’d seen me heading off into the woods, I would have stayed lost and I would have died. It would have put an end to the misery that had been my life at that point but I’m glad things turned out differently.

I close my eyes, my mind almost effortlessly bringing up that time I was on the roof, ready to give up, ready to give in to these voices. I think I would have honestly jumped if he hadn’t come out to me. If he hadn’t offered me his hand. The quietness of things when I took his hand, I could barely believing it. I didn’t even want to let it go. I cried like a child finally meeting their parents for the first time, like a child finally understanding what it was like to be accepted, to be loved.

I don’t much remember how I felt after he released my hand, when he’d put that bracelet on me. Here my fingers brush along that bracelet as I think about it. I smile, just the ghost of a smile. I had been terrified, so I suppose it is a lie to tell myself I don’t remember how I felt after he released my hand. Though I was terrified just before he released it, when he did I was swept with a sort of relief. The voices were so quiet, not silent, no, the silence would take months to achieve, years without the bracelet but they were so much quieter.

There, on the door, a short series of knocks. I chuckle softly, shaking my head as I ease out of the couch and make my way to the door to let him in. “You know you can always simply come in, it isn’t as though I have anyone in my life to spend time with and it’s unlikely that you’d catch me doing who knows what. Other than the usual stuff, that is.”

Eoghan chuckles and touches my shoulder, I keep a sigh to myself. Any touch I can get from him is always wonderful. It makes me feel accepted and wanted though I know he could never give me what Andoni has given me. For one, I’m sure Alexis wouldn’t appreciate and two, Eoghan is far too faithful to Alexis to even think of those things. I know this and I accept it as well as I can, it isn’t always easy but there’s nothing else to do about that.

“I would honestly love to walk in on you having some private, personal times, one of these days, Armin.”

I blink up at him, my cheeks taking on a rosy glow. He laughs and we head back into the living room. It is my favourite room, the crackling fire is just so relaxing.

“Do you even take care of those needs?” He actually sounds genuinely curious as he asks his question. He settles into the armchair and I sink back into the couch. I blink wide, owl-eyes at him, as if I can’t wrap my mind around what he’s asked and I honestly can’t really.

“Since Andoni, there hasn’t really been any needs, Eoghan.” The words are out of my mouth before I can even think them through. I frown softly at myself and shake my head. They are true enough. I haven’t felt any sexual desire in any way towards anyone since Andoni’s death and there just hasn’t been a need for me to have any ‘private, personal time’ as he puts it.

He nods, as if that answer was sufficient though there is a sad look on his face as he does it. I suppose that it could be something of a sad thing that I have no sexual desires whatsoever. I don’t much see anything that could pass as good looks when I look in my mirror and I suppose that’s enough to kill any thought that anyone might see me as a potential partner. Some might not see how it all links together but it’s rather clear in my mind, really.

His hand touches mine and I look up to him, a little startled. He smiles, that smile that warms me in ways I can’t explain. “You were staring off. I didn’t mean to pry about the private moment things. I just believe that anyone, even if they doesn’t have anyone in their lives, deserves a little pleasure. Though I know some aren’t interested in sexual matters at all and that is something else entirely but you know what I mean.”

I do know what he means and I shrug lightly, a quiet chuckle escaping him. “The voices are silent now. With the bracelet at least. I can keep them silent without the bracelet but it takes too much focus to keep that going for too long, it’s a bit frustrating honestly but I know, it’s likely to take me years until the control is as natural as putting on some clothes in the morning.”

There is nothing overly natural about putting clothes on in the morning for me, I always feel very clumsy but I can’t help it, that’s just how I am and there’s no changing that. He squeezes my hand gently and I relax a little more. I know he’s only looking out for me, he’s just doing all he can to make my life more than just ‘bearable’. He’s so compassionate that only a blind man wouldn’t see it.

“I’m glad the voices are silent now though, with the bracelet on at least. You’ve made so much progress. I hadn’t made that much progress in that short an amount of time myself when I started learning the trade and I was born into this gift. I guess I didn’t have the kind of discipline you have now.”

I blink at him, one quirked brow to let him know that I’m pretty sure I don’t have a whole lot of discipline to my life but I know that’s not the case. Still. I feel some pride in knowing I’m a quick study. To be praised this way, even though it isn’t really a praise, is just one of those things.

My handicap has always been on the forefront with my family. No matter how good my grades were or how well I was going anything I put my mind to, they were always more worried that my handicap would get worse or that somehow I’d become completely lame if I kept up with all those things I was doing. I wanted to learn more about the whole world and nothing could have stopped me. Except my leg, that was.

“You know you don’t have to come and spend this time with me every week still.” I don’t like saying those words but I don’t want him to feel as though he has to keep on coming down to see me.

“Armin, I step down from my own palace in the sky to spend time with you because you deserve to have someone to spend time with and because I want to spend time with you. It really is that simple.”

I can only smile, my eyes a little wet. It means so much to me.


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