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|Love and Loss||Started by: Madeline on Dec 07, '18 01:12|
Alex was dead.
It was cold. Too cold for Madeline to be sitting there, feet hanging over the edge of the dock, little bits of water splashing her legs whenever the waves would come in. She didn't notice, however, either because of the whiskey in her hands or the emotions running through her.
It had taken a few days for Madeline to accept it. She'd heard the news, that they had stopped searching, but she refused to give up. She'd already lost Nikolas, but Alex too? No. It couldn't be true. She had sent men all over the country to look for him, thinking maybe he had gone into hiding somewhere when the war broke out. But every move had been a dead end.
Eventually, she'd had to recognize that it was the only possibility. Had Alex been alive, she would have heard from him by now. He would never purposefully put her through this; no, his death was the only real possibility. No matter how hard it was, she had to force herself to face the reality of the situation.
This dock had been a special place for the two of them. Madeline had brought him here the night of their first real date after she'd shown him around the city of Philadelphia. It was here that she shared with him the story of Vernon, here where he helped her process the news of Gavin's wedding. It was here that he helped her take more steps towards sobriety and a life without alcohol.
The thought made her chuckle as she swung the glass bottle up to her lips - the very same kind of bottle he'd thrown into the ocean that night they'd spent here. She wondered if he'd be disappointed to see her tonight, halfway through the bottle already, or if he would understand. If the situation were reversed, would he have mourned for her as she mourned for him? They had never really expressed their feelings for each other, perhaps taking for granted that the other already knew. That was a bad habit of Madeline's; she was starting to realize. Taking things for granted. Assuming a person already knew how she felt. She wasn't good with words, never had been.
She thought back to the first time they met. He had just lost his first family in Los Angeles, and Madeline was new to the world of crime. She was out in Detroit doing a small job for Jemaine when she'd run into Alex in a gun shop. He was so very confused that she couldn't help but offer her advice. She didn't see him again for months, until one day he showed up in NY, taking on roles in hit Broadway shows. They'd formed a friendship then, but nothing serious. It wasn't until she returned from Texas, broken and lost, that they had truly found one another.
Another swing from the bottle and a smirk as she thought of that first night at the after party. Madeline had always been an attractive woman but around that time she had lost even that quality. She was a disaster in every meaning of the word, dragging herself through the days with little purpose to her life. But Alex saw past the dark circles, the skin, and bones, the mess that had become existence. He had seen right through to who she was and his patience with helping her was extraordinary.
But then he'd left. If she hadn't shown up at his apartment that day, she wouldn't have even know, a bit of cowardice on his part really. Tara Bryne had offered Alex the chance to produce an album in his very own music studio - what musician would turn down such an opportunity?
She'd hated Tara for a while after that. First Gavin had broken her heart and then Tara was stealing away the man she needed to fix it. She'd never told the woman, of course, but looking back the feelings were undoubtedly there. The Brynes had wrecked a bit of havoc on Madeline's life, even if they didn't fully realize how much.
And yet, despite their initial misgivings, the distance didn't seem to matter. Alex and Madeline were drawn to each other, like magnets that sought out their other half no matter what came between them. She was in Philly often enough, and he spent time in NY finishing his businesses dealings there. Madeline was never naive to Alex's ways - he was a womanizer through and through. But he knew how to make someone feel special, like in that moment she was all that mattered. What he did when they were apart never really bothered her, as long as he always came back to her. And he always had, until now.
Madeline had never thought about what love meant. Outside of Sadie, she never really loved anyone or anything. Love was a weakness, something that could be used against you, used to hurt you the way Vernon had used Sadie to hurt her all those years ago. But when she'd found Alex injured on the park bench in the City that rainy day, she'd taken him to her apartment to recover. When he told her about the man in Arizona who was holding a childhood contract against him in his new endeavor, she'd handled it, quickly. She'd had this overwhelming need to make things better for him, even if it was in no way her problem. It didn't matter the risk; she'd merely acted. She had brought him back news on his father and sat with him as he processed it. When he wasn't there, she missed him. They had been a support for each other, in so many ways.
There were tears on Madeline's cheeks, although she couldn't pinpoint when they had started to fall. A part of her felt ridiculous for her reaction; Madeline didn't cry over people. Madeline was thick-skinned. Madeline didn't need anyone to survive; she relied only on herself.
But Madeline realized, as she sat there on the dock trying to drink away her sorrows, that she did need someone. She needed Alex.
But Alex was dead.
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