The rain wasn’t softly cascading down the windshield of Carters car, it was pelting the poor glass with the force of a tornado. The sky outside was dim and gloomy, darkening the entire parking lot into what looked like a scene from a bad horror flick. Carter could almost imagine someone dressed in black, holding a knife, chasing some teenaged girl through the darkness of what should have just been an ordinary school parking lot. For a few seconds here and there, the surrounding cars would be illuminated by lightning, only to go back to darkness in the next second.
Carter was in his car, throwing glances at his watch every few minutes as he decided whether to face the wrath of the storm outside in order to get to his first class or whether he would rather drive home right then and there and hopefully survive the wrath of his mother. Taking a surveying glance of the sky through the window, Carter decided that facing the storm was preferable to another lecture from his mother on the importance of school.
It wasn’t that Carter didn’t like school, his classes were alright and the teachers were adequate. The only reason why he had been skipping school periodically in these last few months was out of his intense desire to pretend that he wasn’t completely heartbroken after his last break-up.
Sitting at home, knee deep in ice-cream and HBO, Carter could almost pretend that sleeping alone and spending his days void of a boyfriend, while being forced to see his Ex almost every day was completely fine and didn’t faze him in the slightest. Of course, this was a complete lie, but while drunk on sugar and sexually explicit drama, Carter could forget that.
The hand on the clock ticked again, signalling that Carter only had three minutes until his first class started. He sighed, opening the car door. He was instantly hit with freezing cold water which promptly turned his once dry and styled deep brown hair into a wet mess. The water seeped down his body as he closed the car door behind him and ran the short distance towards the main school building.
He pulled his hoodie over his head as he ran, cursing himself for not doing it before he left the car. He sighed as he finally reached the side of the building where the roof extended, allowing him to take a few breaths before he had to make his way to the entrance which was inconveniently placed on the other side of the building. He was completely unaware of the person standing behind him until he heard the person clear their throat.
Carter turned quickly and had to supress an eye roll as he realised who it was. The boy was leaning against the light brick wall, an indifferent expression on his face. The boy was dressed all in black, a similar colour to his messy hair which somehow wasn’t even damp in the dreadful weather. There was no spec of actual colour on him, even his eyes were a shade of grey not unlike the clouds above them. They boy was well built and Carter could almost see the outline of hard muscle underneath the dark clothing.
This wasn’t some stranger standing against the wall, that would have been one thousand times more preferable, it was someone that Carter had once knew well.
A physical pain manifested itself in Carters heart as he looked at the boy he had once loved. There was nothing of that boy left, no remnants of the person who had once held Carter close in the night or held his hand as they walked each other to class every day. In the boys hand was a cigarette, and he brought it to his lips and away before raising his eyebrows at Carter as if to threaten him for staring at him so long. The twinge of red which surrounded Alex’s eyes made Carter think that maybe it wasn’t tobacco he was lighting up.
Carter cast his eyes down, shaking his head slightly as he walked off towards the entrance, willing the hole in his heart to stop aching throughout his body. He imagined Alex’s eyes watching him longingly as he walked in the rain but he knew better than that. Alex didn’t care about him now.
He almost ran to his classroom once he made it inside the building, stopping at his locker for only a few seconds to get what he needed before continuing to the class room. He stopped just outside the door to wipe the excess water from his face and attempt to make himself look somewhat presentable. He threw his fingers into his hair and pushed it away from his face. He reached out with a wet hand and opened the door, revealing a classroom which was half full, each of the students staring at him as if he just butchered a couple of kids for fun, instead of just being a few minutes late to class.
The teacher was sitting at the front of the room writing something down into a note book so Carter took the opportunity to quickly make his way to a desk before she started the lesson. There were a few free seats in the room but most were at the front and there was no way that Carter was going to sit in the front row. He wasn’t that keen to learn. Other seats were at the back in the left hand corner but just taking a glance at the others sitting there made Carter want to sit as far away from them as possible. They were Alex’s ‘friends’, the bad boys who thought it was funny to tease people and do absolutely no work in class. Thank-fully there was one spare seat in the middle, right next to Carter’s best friend.
‘Hey Roxy,’ Carter greeted the brunette with weak smile. He knew that his encounter with Alex had put a dampen on his mood and he tried to force himself to forget about the other boy.
‘Hey Carter,’ she smiled back, turning her body in the desk to face him more. ‘I figured you weren’t coming today, I’m glad you’re here.’ There was a genuine sincerity in her words.
Carter knew that Roxy worried about him and he knew why. Sometimes it seemed like he was a shell of his former self. Ever since what happened with Alex he had felt like he wasn’t connected to his own body sometimes, withdrawing him from the people around him. Some days, Roxy was the only person who he thought actually cared about him at school.
‘Yeah, couldn’t keep missing school.’
She nodded, her bright green eyes softening. She spoke quietly, making sure that the boys in the back didn’t hear her. ‘It will get easier, I know that Alex and his friends are jerks sometimes, but you are doing great.’
He nodded, trying to believe her. He turned to face the board as the teacher started the lesson, thankful for the distraction.
It was twenty minutes into the lesson when the door suddenly opened, drawing everyone’s attention. In the doorway stood Alex who barely acknowledged the teacher or the class before sauntering to the back of the room and throwing himself into one of the seats. He looked as high as a kite. An achy pain shot through Carter’s heart as he locked eyes with Alex. He averted his eyes quickly and focused his gaze on his almost blank notebook.
‘Alex,’ the teacher drew out his name as if it was a warning. ‘See me after class.’
‘Whatever you say, Miss.’ Alex’s voice was hoarse and drained. It was like the life had been sucked out of the guy. While looking down, Carter could almost imagine that it wasn’t his Alex speaking. His Alex didn’t sound like that.
Carter didn’t listen to the rest of the lesson, instead he contemplated how they had gotten to this point, coming up with nothing. Only a few months ago he and Alex were the schools golden couple, the two of them were inseparable. Carter never thought that he was one to fall in love but when he fell for Alex, he fell hard. When Alex broke up with him it was completely unexpected and broke him completely. Now he was left to pick up the pieces of himself after Alex left.
‘Carter?’ Roxy’s voice brought Carter out of his head. He looked around to see that the other people in the room were all packing up. He must have been so deep in his mind that he didn’t even hear the bell ring.
Roxy and Carter packed up their books and made their way out of the classroom, but they had only made it to the hallway when someone grabbed Carter’s arm. Strong fingers clasped around his skin, he could almost feel the bruises that would be left in their place already. He yanked his arm away as he turned to face whoever had grabbed him. He wasn’t all that surprised that he was now face to face with four of the guys from Alex’s group of so called friends.
‘You were late to class Carter, what were you up to, aye? Sucking off some guy behind the gym?’ The guys laughed, one guy hi-fiving another one.
The words came from Jake, the ringleader in this little circus of obnoxious idiots. This was a regular occurrence from Jake. In fact, Jake used to tease Alex just as harshly as Carter but since Alex started smoking and skipping class he had been strangely accepted into Jake’s posse. Carter was stunned into silence by their derogatory accusation but Roxy was fortunately not lost for words.
‘Don’t you fuckers have some cocaine to sell to school children or something?’ Roxy took a threatening step forwards. The girl wasn’t threatening at all in looks but she could be a force to be reckoned with when she wanted to be.
‘You let a girl fight your battles, aye?’ Jake laughed, the sound almost sadistic.
‘You are going to get your ass beat up by this girl if you don’t shut up.’ Roxy narrowed her eyes at Jake. A laugh sounded from around them and it was then that Carter realised that they had drawn a small crowd of people who were watching the confrontation with curious yet somewhat worried eyes.
Jake ignored the comment, looking over Roxy’s shoulder to Carter who hadn’t said a word yet.
‘Alex told us how much of a dead weight you were, how he never loved you, how thank-full he is that he dumped your ugly ass.’
The words sliced straight to Carter’s heart and his breath caught in his throat. The words were as hurtful as if they had come from Alex’s lips. His hands formed fists at his side. He had the self-control not to raise them thought. He knew that wouldn’t end well for him.
Roxy didn’t seem to have the same self-control. She wasted no time, her fist striking out and colliding with Jake’s jaw in a matter of seconds. The punch was powerful and he stumbled back with wide eyes. His hand cupped his jaw as anger filled his expression. In that time one of the other guys had pulled his fist, ready to hit Roxy.
Carter saw him before Roxy did, pushing Roxy out of the way. The fist landed in his face, forcefully whipping his head to the side. Pain radiated through the left side of his face as he fell to the ground, hitting it with a loud thud. Pain ran up his spine from the impact and he groaned, his hand cupping his face. He looked up to see that the guy who had hit him was standing over him, an animalistic expression on his face as he raised his hand to hit him again.
‘No! Carter!’ he heard Roxy scream out. She went to move towards him but Jake had a hold on her arm.
‘STOP.’ The words were strong and powerful and Carter knew exactly who they had come from without looking up. The guy who stood over him dropped his fist and took a few steps back.
Carter suddenly felt hands on him, helping him to stand up. He realised that Roxy was the one who was helping him, but when he brought his gaze up he didn’t look at her instead he was looking at Alex. Alex’s face was filled with anger as he looked Carter up and down before turning to Jake and the other guys.
‘Let’s go,’ he told Jake in a gruff voice, who only rolled his eyes.
‘Don’t you want to help us beat up this little shit?’ Jake gestured towards Carter, causing a shiver to run through Carter’s spine.
‘Jake.’ He used his name as a strong warning. Jake’s eyes were angry for a moment and he huffed out a sigh. After a few moments he followed Alex who had started walking back down the hall. The other guys were tight on their heels, a few of them turning their heads to look back at Carter and Roxy. As quickly as they had came, the group of people around them dispersed, continuing each of their own ways.
Roxy was in Carter’s face, her hands feeling around his eye. Her mouth was slightly open and her eyes were worried as she examined his face. He flinched as her fingers touched a particularly tender spot.
‘You didn’t have to do that.’ Roxy shook her head as her worry filled eyes searched his entire body for further injuries.
‘I wasn’t going to let you get hurt,’ Carter stated simply because it was as true as the sky being blue and the grass being green. Roxy was one of the few people he had left in this world who he truly trusted and loved and there was no way that he would let someone hurt her.
‘Let’s get you some ice for that eye,’ she said, leading him in the direction of the school nurse.
Carter followed silently pondering, one thought swirling around his head. He stopped suddenly, his feet suddenly unable to move anymore. The sudden stop caused Roxy to turn to him.
Carter was silent for a moment. He avoided her eyes. ‘What Jake said, that Alex never loved me, was that true?’ he tried to keep his voice steady but it wavered on its own accord.
‘I think that Jake, the little fucker he is, doesn’t know what he’s talking about,’ Roxy proclaimed strongly, her hatred for Jake dripping from her tone.
‘It doesn’t matter anyway, he doesn’t love me now so why does it matter if he loved me before?’ Carter asked in a quiet voice, his eyes filling with tears he refused to shed. He bit his bottom lip as he willed the pain in his heart to stop. It had been so long since the breakup, he wasn’t sure if he was still entitled to feel this much pain.
Roxy seemed to not know how to respond to that, linking her hand with Carters before continuing down the hallway. They walked and kept walking even when they passed Jake, Alex and their friends. The group of them were skipping class, their backs up against the lockers as they watched the pair walk past. Carter felt their eyes on him, but one set of eyes seemed to not just stare, but to bore deep into his soul. He lifted his eyes to meet Alex’s only for a second, but what he was in that second shocked him.
He saw worry.
He saw guilt.
It only lasted a second. Alex tore his gaze from him, preferring to look down at the ground, but Carter saw it. Carter saw a tiny flicker of the old Alex behind the mask of drugs and indifference.
What did that mean?
‘What happened to your face?’ Carter’s mother’s hands were suddenly on his chin, turning his face at different angles trying to get the best position to view the dark blue and purple bruise which had formed on his face throughout the school day. He knew that this would happen, he knew that the second he came through the front door his mother would be asking questions that he seriously didn’t want to give answers to. That’s why he had gone to Roxy’s house after school, hoping that maybe it might magically fade in those extra hours, but unfortunately that hadn’t been the case.
Roxy had offered him some foundation and concealer, at which point he stubbornly pointed out that he was ‘gay but not that gay’ causing his friend to narrow her eyes at him for a few moments.
‘Mom, it’s nothing.’
His mother wasn’t having any of that, she looked him in the eye.
‘This,’ she pointed to the bruise, ‘is something. Who did this to you?’ She asked the question as if the second that she knew who the person was she was going to hack them to death with a chain saw. She was always this fiercely protective of him.
Carter loved his mother, but he was not about to spill all of his problems onto her. She was a single parent looking after two kids. She didn’t need more stress.
‘It was an accident, please don’t worry about it.’
‘You are my son, of course I am going to worry. Did…was it..’ she paused for a moment, as if saying Alex’s name was enough to break her son to pieces.
‘No mom, it wasn’t Alex. I am fine, I promise.’
Doubt crossed her face. ‘Are you sure? Do I need to call the school?’
‘No mom, there’s no problem, ok? I’m going upstairs.’
Carter saw that his mother still wasn’t convinced but he was thank-full that she didn’t push it.
He walked up the stairs of their small home, stopping by his room to put his bag down before knocking on the door to his sister’s room.
‘Mom, I’m doing homework, I’ll do my chores later ok!?’ His sister’s somewhat irritated voice floated through the closed door.
‘Lucky for you it’s not Mom,’ Carter said, amused.
‘Come in!’ His sister’s voice was a lot happier than a second ago.
Carter opened the wooden door to reveal his sisters room. The twelve year old had an obsession with the colour pink, the all too bright colour staining every wall, piece of furniture and article of clothing the young girl wore. Her light brown hair, a similar colour to her brothers, was in a messy bun on the top of her head. She was sitting on her bed, a small bottle of pink nail polish balanced on the duvet as she blew on her fingernails.
‘You are such a liar.’ He laughed as he sat on the end of her bed, tucking his legs under himself. She looked up at her brother for the first time since he entered the room and gasped at the sight, suddenly forgetting about her wet nails.
‘Woah, I thought it was a lie,’ she exclaimed, leaning forward to get a better look at her brothers messed up face.
‘You thought what was a lie?’ he asked, tilting his head slightly in concern.
‘That looks horrible, it’s like purple,’ she commented, still fixated on the bruise.
‘Huh?’ She met her brother’s gaze.
‘You thought what was a lie?’ he asked again.
‘Well,’ She sat back, her wet nails remembered, and blew on them periodically as she spoke, ‘Jessica, who is William’s sister, well, she told me that Jake told William that Alex was making out with some girl and you saw and got super jealous and tried to punch the girl, or maybe tried to punch Alex, but Jake stepped in and punched you, or you punched him, I forget what she said.’
‘Woah what?!’ Carter asked with wide eyes. That was one hard story to follow but he knew that not a word of it was true.
‘Please tell me that you punched that bitch or at least punched Alex. Did you? I can just imagine you beating the shit out of Alex and that bitch. You never did get your break-up revenge on Alex. That would have felt so good to punch him right in the jaw!’ She made a move with her arm as if she was punching an imaginary person.
Not for the first time, Carter wondered how a girl so obsessed with pink and pretty dresses could have such a violent mind.
‘No, no.’ He had to stop his sisters train of thought before it derailed and destroyed the whole town. ‘None of that happened.’
‘Oh.’ Lara sighed. ‘I knew it was too good to be true, you would never hit someone. Even though Alex has totally had it coming for three months now.’
She wasn’t wrong. There was a part of Carter that wishes that he had punched Alex the moment that they had broken up.
‘Jake and his group were being dicks and one of them tried to punch Roxy and in the process of trying to help her, this happened.’ He pointed to his face.
‘Oh. So you didn’t punch Alex?’ she asked, disappointed.
‘Can you? Please?’
‘Lara!’ Carter chastised his sister for her sinister mind.
‘He really hurt you Carter and you are just letting him and his friends walk all over you.’ She shook her head sadly. ‘I remember how much he meant to you and after what he did, leading you on and breaking it off like that.’
‘I don’t like how things have ended either but I am trying to move on, and from the sounds of it, so should you.’
Lara nodded. She then bit at her lip nervously. ‘I have something to tell you..’ She trailed off, slight worry in her tone.
‘What?’ Carter asked, slight concern dripping into his voice.
Lara opened her mouth to reply, but was cut off by her mother’s voice. ‘Dinner guys!’
‘I’ll tell you later,’ Lara muttered quietly as she got off the bed.
Carter followed his little sister down stairs, sitting at the head of the table, his mother on one side and his sister on the other.
They ate in mainly silence, the occasional words were shared but Lara was on her phone under the table and Carter was too preoccupied trying to make sense of the events of the day. Alex had been completely emotionless toward him but then that look. Carter saw past the mask for just a second and what he saw made him question everything. What happened to Alex? Why did he break up with him? Why was Alex, his best friend for years, his boyfriend for over a year, suddenly turning into a ‘drug dealing goth’ as Roxy would call him?
‘Carter, did you hear me?’
Carter realised that his mother was speaking to him. ‘Oh, sorry, what?’
‘Can you please take your sister to her date next week? I have to work.’
‘Yeah sure.’ He suddenly realised what he just agreed to. ‘Wait! A date?’ He turned his gaze to Lara who was blushing and avoiding her brother’s eye line.
‘Yeah. Please Carter! It’s my first date!’ She sent him her best puppy dog eyes.
‘Fine, Fine. I’ll do it, but I’m chaperoning.’ There was no way that Carter was going to allow his baby sister to be alone with a boy without someone watching out for her.
‘Mom!’ Lara got her mother’s attention. ‘He can’t do that!’
Their mother stifled a laugh before backing up Carter. ‘I think that a chaperone is probably a good idea.’ She turned to her son. ‘Thank-you Carter for that idea.’
Lara rolled her eyes, getting up from her seat abruptly and stomping up the stairs.
Carter’s mother stood. ‘Thank-you for chaperoning your sisters date, it means a lot to me that you would do that.’ His mother pressed a kiss to his head before gathering the plates and walking to the kitchen.
Carter made his way to his room, almost stopping by his sisters on the way, but he didn’t, knowing that she would probably just kick him out.
He flopped onto his bed, staring at the celling for a few moments before a bing came from his bag in the corner. He reluctantly got off his bed, collected his phone and flopped back onto his bed.
6.05pm -- Roxy: How did your Mom react to your face?
He sent her a quick message.
8.10pm – Carter: Pretty well actually. Only a minor freak out.
There was another message on his phone and Carter wondered for a second who would be texting him.
3.10pm – Alex: I’m sorry about today. I will make sure that Jake leaves you alone from now on.
He must have sent the message just after school had ended. Three months of no communication, three months of nothing and suddenly a text? Carter was filled with confusion, what did all of this mean?
He closed his eyes, letting his head rest against his pillow. He was thrown head first into a memory.
The fifteen minute drive to the airport seemed to stretch out for an unimaginable amount of time as Carter tapped his fingers impatiently against the dash, his eyes focused on the horizon, just waiting to see the airport in the distance. His mother seemed to be unaware of his impatience as she drove a few miles under the speed limit, casually humming to the song on the radio. Carter knew that he had good reasons to ask his mother to drive, that way on the way to the restaurant he and Alex would be able to sit in the back and talk. As Carter huffed at his mother’s compliance with road regulations he wished he was the one behind the wheel.
Alex had been in Italy to visit his father for two whole months and Carter had been looking forward to this perfect day for every second of those sixty days. He and his mother were going to drive to the airport, getting there at exactly eleven am, they would meet Alex’s mother at the terminal where they would then meet Alex at eleven fifteen. Carter and Alex would have that cliché moment where they would kiss in the middle of the airport, arms wrapped around each other and giant smiles on their faces. Then the four of them would have lunch, where Alex would tell them of his adventures in Italy, and Carter would tell him that he thought of his boyfriend every single day.
It was going to be the perfect day, or so Carter thought.
As they got closer and closer to the airport, Carter couldn’t help but think about the last time he had seen Alex. Carter had driven him to the airport, Alex having said goodbye to his mother that morning. Alex had held his hand so tight that his fingers had almost gone numb, but he didn’t even care. When they reached the end of the line Alex had turned to him and said, ‘I’ll miss you’ and Carter had replied, ‘I’ll miss you too, remember I’m only a phone call away’ and Alex had promised that he would call as often as he could. Then Alex had smashed their lips together, in what had to have been the most cliché moment of Carters life.
Carter had received phone calls for the first three weeks. Then they had stopped. He didn’t know why, but every time he called he got voicemail, every time he messaged he received no reply and every time he wrote to him there was never a letter waiting in the mail box when he got home. Eventually he had received an email stating that Alex had lost his phone and the internet at his father’s house was down. That email was a week ago, and it was killing Carter that they hadn’t been able to talk for so long.
‘Are you alright?’
Carter’s mothers voice brought him out of his head as he brought his eyes up to see that they were stopped at a red light and his mother’s concerned eyes were on him.
‘Yeah, I just..’ He trailed off, stopping himself from voicing his concerns out loud.
‘What?’ his mother prompted.
Carter took a nervous breath. ‘I just don’t know why Alex didn’t really call me or message me at all for so long, it’s not like him at all.’
‘I know honey, he must have been really busy in Italy, I’m sure that he will explain it all when we see him.’
She made sense. Carter nodded. The light changed to green and off they went.
As they walked into the arrivals area Carter felt like a child lost in a crowd. People on phones were running around, families were herding children around and he was barely able to hear his mother asking him which gate they had to go to over the sounds of the people around them. Somehow they were able to find their way to the gate, where they saw Alex’s mother.
Alex’s mother was a petite woman, the exact opposite of her son, who towered over her. She wrapped her arms around Carter the second she saw him, pressing a kiss to his cheek.
‘I feel like I have been without two sons these past months,’ she told him with a smile. ‘You better come over for dinner soon!’
‘I will.’ He smiled, stepping over so that his mother could greet Alex’s mother as well.
Carter hadn’t seen Alex’s mother or his little brother since Alex had left. Alex’s brother was only his half-brother and wasn’t related to the father in Italy, so his little brother had stayed behind.
After they exchanged greetings Carter looked around them, trying to figure out where Alex would be coming from.
‘Where will Alex be coming from?’ he asked.
‘Oh, just around that corner is the gate.’ Alex’s mother gestured past the wall they were standing next to, and Carter followed the gesture, leaning past the wall to see a group of people waiting next to an arrivals gate. ‘Why don’t you go greet him and we will wait here?’
Carter gave the two women a gracious smile before walking the short distance to the gate.
He tapped his foot against the ground impatiently as people started coming out of the gate, families and couples past him, and even though he scanned every face, he didn’t see Alex. He bit his lip as he smiled when he saw a tall boy with dark hair walking in his direction.
Carter flung himself at Alex the second that the boy was close enough, wrapping arms around his waist and burying his face into Alex’s shirt. Carter felt like he was complete for the first time in two months. His arms tightened around Alex but then he realised that Alex’s arms were limp at his sides.
He slowly detached himself from his boyfriend when the boy still made no move to hug him back.
Carter brought his confused gaze up to meet Alex’s eye line and where he was expecting to find the warm, loving eyes of his boyfriend all he saw was coldness and detachment. His boyfriend was looking at him like he had never seen him before, had never held his hand as they laughed, had never told him that he loved him. He gave Alex a look over, realising that the usually brightly dressed boy was covered in black clothing.
This was nothing like Alex, yet it was Alex.
‘Alex, what’s wrong?’ Carter asked, fear seeping into his words.
‘We need to talk.’ The words were so void of emotion that it scarred Carter right to his core.
The next words were spoken so harshly and without any trace of emotion that Carter wondered whether this really was his boyfriend standing in front of him. ‘We are done.’
‘Done?’ Carters eyes widened in shock at what was happening. This wasn’t how the day was supposed to go. Where was the loving boyfriend? Where were the kind words whispered in his ear? Where was his cliché kiss?
‘You. Me. Over.’
‘What are you talking about Alex?’ he asked horridly. He knew that this was a joke. A sick, sick joke that Alex would regret doing later. This was his boyfriend talking. This was Alex, his Alex, and yet the boy who was looking right at him didn’t look like his Alex at all. This boy was hard faced and emotionless. This wasn’t right.
‘You can’t really be this stupid. We,’ he gestured between the two of them with slight anger and irritation on his face. ‘Are finished. I don’t want to date you anymore.’
Tears welled in Carters eyes and he fought a losing battle to keep them from falling down his cheeks. He looked at Alex, their eyes meeting for a brief moment. He was looking for some sign that this wasn’t true. He was desperately searching Alex’s grey eyes for hope. He found nothing but cold, grey orbs that looked straight past him.
Disbelief and hurt swirled around Carters mind as he turned away from Alex and ran. He ran past his and Alex’s mother and through the airport, stopping only when he reached their car. He pressed his back up against the side of the car, his head in his hands and tears rolling down his cheeks. Carter’s worst nightmare had just come true, and his entire world was crumbling around him.
Carter blinked tears from his eyes as he drew his mind away from one of the most painful memories his mind held.
The phone was still in his hand and he looked down at the silver object, biting at his lip. Carter didn’t reply to the text. He didn’t know what to say.