Chapter Thirteen

Tay wasn't sure what to say. He had no clue what to say, to be perfectly honest. August wasn't saying anything either, but that was probably because she was pretty much preoccupied with trying not to cry. He stepped in and shut the door behind him, afraid to talk out loud. August, with all due respect, looked like she'd just been pulled through a conveyor belt or something along those lines. She wasn't exactly the most gorgeous looking of creatures at this point, to say the very least. August nervously pulled a lock of hair behind her hair, which consequently revealed a trickle of blood coming from her temple. She wasn't too happy about that, though...he'd never made her bleed before. He'd bruised her badly, but never drawn blood. Not wanting to say anything, [he still wasn't sure this was for real] Tay reached forward and gently touched the cut at her temple. When he pulled his hand away, the blood on his fingers brought him back to reality. August sat down, and stared up at Tay with huge, begging eyes. It was too quiet. The silence was absolutely deafening. They both couldn't stand it any longer, and both opened their mouths to say something.
"I...I...Tay, don't look like that. You're scaring me," August started. Tay crouched down on his knees in front of her so they were at eye level, then replied softly,
"I'm sorry, August...I couldn't help it. Can you actually balance yourself, or are you completely temporarily crippled?" the tone to his voice on the last sentence almost made her mad, but she knew he had a right to be upset. He hadn't had to say it like that, but she got the point to his cut-to-the-quick words.
"I can walk...if that's what you were asking."
He nodded slightly, then collapsed on the couch beside her.
"How the hell do you live through this? Do you have nerves of steel or something?" that question was enough to crack anybody's senses, and August's eyes started to brim. She blinked it away quickly, though, and gazed at him.
"I don't know...if you find out, could you tell me?"
He glanced at her, then said swiftly, trying to slightly change the subject,
"If I take you back to the hotel, there won't be anyone there, except maybe my mom..." [see, I changed this slightly...Diana came later, after that, but left the little ones with their grandmother...otay? It works nicely this way.] August glanced into those clear blue eyes and asked,
"Can she keep a secret?"

"I know I shouldn't ask, so I won't..." Diana remarked as she wiped away the trickle of blood from August's temple. August sighed in relief at not having to answer any more questions, but still feared what might happen later. Diana knew now...and she wasn't too sure whether she should keep her mouth shut or not. It would break poor August's heart if something was said that caused changes, but it might break her neck if something wasn't said.
"I think maybe someone should know about this," she said quietly. August jumped an inch off the bathroom counter, and Tay nearly fell off his perch on the edge of the tub where he'd been watching the slow process of August being patched up.
"Please, no...please, Mrs. Hanson," August begged pitifully in her weak voice. Tay looked at his mother with such a look of innocent implorement that she was sorry she'd said it. It tore her apart, to know that the both of them only wanted one thing...for no one to know about it. She sighed.
"Allright...but...what if..." she trailed off, and August suddenly changed the expression on her face.
"He's done worse, Mrs. Hanson. Just give him one more chance, please?" Diana glanced at her son, who sat beside them on the edge of the tub, wondering how to word it.
"I'm just afraid that if I do give it another chance, there won't be another chance..." the words hit August like a slap across her face, which she'd already had enough of for that day. Diana had a point, and August knew it. She set her lips in a line, though, and said softly,
"Just one more chance, please?" At the end of her words, her eyes started to brim again, but Tay noticed it before his mother did. He reached over to the counter and squeezed her hand, temporarily calming her down. August shook it away, then asked another question... "Does it look that bad? Will I ever be a supermodel again?" the slight tone of humour to her voice added a tiny note of comic relief to the situation, and Diana smiled slightly.
"You'll be back on those Donatella Versace runways before you know it," she replied. August grinned weakly.
"I can be beautiful all over again," she exclaimed in a high-pitched voice. Tay suddenly cleared his throat.
"I don't seem to ever remember there being a time when you weren't," he said quietly, looking at the floor tiles and turning red at the tips of his ears. Both mother and girlfriend stared at him.
"Taylor, that was sweet. What's gotten into you?" Diana stared intently, and Tay shrugged, turning a deep shade of scarlet that seemingly matched August's mother's Danforth Tech [Toronto,'s called Danforth Institute or something now] high school ring...the ruby in it, anyway.
"I think I'll shut up now..." Tay looked at the floor tiles again. August shivered, suddenly cold, and extremely hungry for some strange reason. That, and her ribs hurt. More bruises, she thought. Tay noticed the shaking and decided to do something about it quickly, standing up, then hoisting himself up onto the counter. He carefully positioned his arms around August.
"Calm down,'ll be okay, I promise. I swear. Didn't I tell you I'd take care of you?" He cooed that into her hair, and and she nodded as Diana took a look at her limp wrist. Diana had seen enough of those from having Tay crash into trees on his rollerblades to know what it was and how to take care of it.
" swore on your life that you'd always be here for me...and that you'd take care of me."
When the words left August's lips, Diana looked up at her son.
"Are you my offspring? My Taylor?"
Tay nodded as he kissed the top of August's head.
"I hope I am, anyway..."
Diana stared still.
"The same Tay that babbles on about mushy tomatoes, drums Wipe Out on the table when I'm on the phone, and talks about playing Kerplunk with Zoe on a regular basis?"
August answered this time.
"He should be..."
Diana stepped back, finished with her.
"I can't believe that, she started. She shrugged. "That's the best I can do, August."
August sighed, not daring to look in the mirror; for fear of what she might see.
"Does it look that bad?" she asked nervously, anxiously scanning Tay with hopeful eyes. He smiled.
"You'll be fine, I promise. Just a scar or'll live."
August relaxed, relieved beyond belief. She looked at Diana.
"You need some food, don't you guys? I'll go order a pizza..." Diana glanced at Tay "Or three..."


-Kenny, South Park

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Chapter Twelve
Chapter Fourteen