Belonging to Lust

Chapter 152: You Love Me?

Zaiyia began to fall from the bridge right before Heath’s eyes. She had been standing there one minute, a grip away from letting go, to now falling towards her death below in the icy waters of the river that ran through town, screaming his name. When she reached out towards him, her other hand had lost its hold on the rail that she was clutching onto to keep her steady. To his horror, she was going to perish unless he did something.

“ZAIYIA!!” Heath shouted, stretching his arm out towards her as far as it would go. Luck was on his side, for he managed to obtain a fortified brace on her wrist before it was too late. He let out a rocky breath as he watched her form sway from where she was suspended in the air. Her head was looking down into the waters at first before it gradually tilted up towards, and what he saw in her eyes took the alleviation from saving her and shredded it into pieces. Her brown eyes were desolate, completely unruffled by the fact that she was literally dangling directly over her death. He didn’t think his green eyes could magnify any further as he tightened his grip on her wrist, and attempted to evenly direct her on what to do next. “Baby, listen to me. I need you to hold onto me, okay? I’m the only thing keeping you up right now and so I need your help too. Just hold onto my arm, and I’ll pull you up, do you understand?”

Hold onto him? Hadn’t she been holding onto this man the moment her mother took leave of them and gallivanted off to enjoy her life? Hadn’t she been holding onto him when the entire school body frequently bullied her every day since she started school? Hadn’t she clung to him the second he forever made her his by making love to her?

No, she couldn’t do it anymore. It would be inhumane to do so to both of them. She had to let him go the same way he had let her go. She was ready. She could feel it in her soul. Gazing up at him, Zaiyia felt a tear roll down her cheeks when she realized that she couldn’t convey this to him. She couldn’t say anything anymore. It was time. All she had to do was wait for his grip to waver just enough to free her, and then it’ll be over.

Heath’s eyes overflowed with tears as he stared back down at her. He could see it etched all over her face that she wasn’t going to do as he instructed. She wasn’t going to help him save her. He was on his own. Heath gritted his teeth and furiously blinked the tears from his vision so he could see her clearly. He didn’t want anything to obscure what could be the last time he’d ever see her again if he didn’t figure something out quickly. As desperate as any man could become, Heath roared down at her, the boom of his voice quaking his form and making the tears race down his face and into the river below. “GODDAMN YOU, ZAIYIA! FUCKING HOLD ONTO ME! DON’T YOU DO THIS!”

“Just let me go, Heath.” Zaiyia managed to whisper out to him as she dangled listlessly in the air. He needed to stop doing this, it was too late. She couldn’t be saved nor did she want to be. It was okay for the world to continue to rotate without her on it anymore. It was okay for him to get up in the morning and live his life with her gone from here. It was all utterly okay. “Please. Let me go.”

Letting out a shout of anguish and anger, Heath turned his head and squeezed his eyes shut. He didn’t want to hear her say those things, welcoming suicide so easily like it wouldn’t affect him. If she died, he’d only go down with her, that was the reality of it. He wasn’t ready to die though unlike her. He was ready to live his life to the fullest with her at his side and that’s why he had to keep on fighting for. “I WON’T! I’M NOT LETTING YOU GO!” He had to think of something. Something that would disturb her as deeply as her death would overcome him. Of course! Returning his attention back to her, Heath decided to use himself as bait. He was her weakness after all and the idea of him ascending over the rail to stand beside her was enough to elicit an emotional retaliation from her after being so deadpan throughout their entire exchange. “Z-Zaiyia, I think…I think my grip is slipping!”

“Your grip!?” Zaiyia reiterated, her voice becoming sharper with terror. Like a light switch, she was back to being the woman who loved him, unbeknownst to her. The same woman who nearly lost it when he crossed that line to stand on the edge alongside her. The same woman that didn’t give a flying hoot about her life but did when it came to his. Her brown eyes flitted to his grasp on the rail and saw it trembling as if to authenticate his claim. My god, he had to let her go now or else he’d fall in with her! Reaching up with her other hand that had been hanging limp this entire time, she began to claw at the large fingers curled around her delicate wrist. “HEATH! YOU HAVE TO LET GO, RIGHT NOW! YOU’LL FALL IF YOU DON’T!”

“I SAID I’M NOT LETTING GO!” Heath shouted back at her, tightening his already steel-like grip to further emphasize. “IF YOU DON’T HOLD ONTO ME THEN WE’RE BOTH GOING TO DIE! ME ALONGSIDE YOU!”

Tears cascaded down her face as she winced under his stiffened restraint on her wrist. She continued to claw at his fingers anyway. “YOU CAN’T DO THIS! NOT TO YOUR FAMILY, HEATH! NOT TO THE PEOPLE THAT LOVE YOU!”

“THEN FUCKING HOLD ONTO ME, ZAIYIA, AND I WON’T HAVE TO!” Heath snapped impatiently down at her, a drop of his own tear falling from his chin to land smack dab on her soft cheek.

Zaiyia couldn’t believe this. She couldn’t believe this giant idiot was going to risk it all for her. Hell, she couldn’t believe that he also won this fight that was meant to be her ultimate escape, her chance at peace. But she couldn’t be at peace if the fool kills himself over her and leaves his loving family behind. They would be forever torn if they lost him. “SONOFABITCH!” Zaiyia screamed in dissatisfaction, before forcing her other hand to reach up and grasp onto Heath’s arm.

Heath let out a gasp of relief that she had finally submitted to his demand. But he didn’t give any more attention to his victory as he hauled the young girl back up and over the rail. With less ease, he heaved himself right over after her. Finally, they were both safe and out of death’s reach!

“You asshole!” Zaiyia wept to herself from where she was sprawled on the bridge, shaking her head in despondency. Her fingernails scraped over the asphalt beneath her with volcanic fury as she whipped her long braids out of her way to glower venomously at him through her tears. “YOU SELFISH SONOFABI-”

Cutting her off by rapidly and painfully grabbing the back of head in his big hands with lightning speed, Heath violently yanked her face so it was only an inch away from his. Green eyes glowing with mutual rage bore deep into her eyes as he growled murderously at her with a violence barely controlled according to his quaking form. “Zaiyia Halifax, if you EVER do THAT to me again, I’ll swear to god I’ll beat you so black within an inch of your fucking life that not even your own mother will recognize your mutlilated face!”

Eyes wide with dread, Zaiyia merely gaped up at him. She’d been so livid two seconds ago, now she was trembling under his penetrating gaze with genuine fear of him. He’d never spoken of hurting her with such austerity before that she believed every word that he would. She finally found her voice when her brown eyes caught the twinkling coming off his cheek. By the beaming headlights of his truck, she noticed the tears on his face. Not one, but many had been shed. Her brows furrowed slightly as she forgot all about his hatred towards her and whispered. “You’re crying.”

“Get away from me!” Heath spat, thrusting her away from him. He was still glaring at her with disgusted hate. “You suicidal fucking idiot, of course I’m fucking crying! Were you born yesterday!?” He swept an arm towards the side of the bridge they’d had been dangling off from not even a minute ago. “You tried to kill yourself right in front of me!”

“Hey, I told your stubborn ass to fucking leave!” Zaiyia reminded him, becoming peeved again.

“Are you fucking insane!? Are you even listening to yourself?” Heath shouted, unable to comprehend how she still wasn’t seeing how serious this all still was. “You don’t fucking let the people you love kill themselves in front of you, okay!? Not without trying to save them!”

“ love me?” Zaiyia whispered, her face softening as she stared at him with hopeful eyes. Instead of answering her, Heath turned away from her to mop the tears off his face. Taking that as a no, Zaiyia was vexed all over again because she was instantly damaged by his dismissal. Hunching over from where she’d sat on her knees, she began to bawl all over behind the private curtain of her long dark braids.

Trying to compose himself and his constant shaking, Heath stopped everything when he heard her faintly weeping to herself. Sighing wearily, his green eyes lifted to the sky in wonder as to why she was still able to affect him so damn much even after all she’s put him through. Crawling over to her, Heath gathered the small girl in his arms and rocked her against him to comfort the both of them. He needed to feel that she was still here, and wiped the lingering tears in his eyes on her hair. She needed his stability and protection. In utter silence, the couple adhered to each other at their second chance of life.

An hour later, Heath had transferred her into his truck and drove them back home. The ride home too was silent with Zaiyia soon falling asleep against his side. He kept her there with a protective arm, still needing to feel her to prove to himself he wasn’t driving home alone with her body swept away in the river behind him. It’s not like he could stare at her the entire ride either. Once they made it home, he ferried her inside and into his bed. Shedding a few of their clothes, he instantly fell asleep spooning her.