Part of the Equation

“Don’t let two men fall in love with you, girls. It’s not the sort of thing that ends well.” – Uncommon Criminals

His eyes cut downwards to April’s hands. She was clutching her gun so tight her knuckles were white and the veins practically popping out of her skin. She looked more pale than usual; her breath quick, uneven, and loud enough to fuel his growing concern.

Suddenly, April turned to him, eyes wide, and her face only inches away as she stepped, almost stumbled, forward. “Walker,” she started, her eyes frantically searching his. He gripped her shoulders lightly, holding her steady. “I didn’t mean it. What I said earlier. I just-”

“It’s okay,” he stopped her, still holding onto her shoulders. His chest tightening at the thought of pulling her closer, but he stopped himself and dropped his hands to his sides. “You had every right to say what you did.”

“No I didn’t,” she whispered and this time it was her who reached for his hands. “Emmett’s not mine; he’s your brother.”

Walker nodded silently, unable to tear his eyes away from hers. He wanted to believe that in the end she would choose him. He was the one who protected her no matter the cost, but without doing the same for Emmett, he already lost her. This is fucked, he thought. He never thought he would be in the middle of something like this; it almost made this war seem simple.

A loud crash came from their left causing them both to jump apart, startled. The stone gates were opening slowly, inch by inch. The rumbling was so loud it started to hurt his ears and he could tell it was the same for April as she clasped her hands on each side of her head. The vines on top of the gates started to fall, covering the ground in minutes.

The walls finally broke open enough to make out a figure. One that looked very much like his 6’5” brother stumbling out, looking dazed and confused. His jacket was ripped in more than one place and he was caked in what could have been dirt or blood, but considering the gashes on his face and chest, it must have been the latter. Emmett’s eyes shifted towards them, meeting Walker’s first.

Walker held his breath thinking there would be nothing but anger and resentment in his eyes like there’d always been. Instead, he looked relieved. It looked like he was about to call out to him, that Emmett smile he’d known since they were kids starting to form, but then his gaze cut to April.

It was as if all his pain was erased; as if an angel laid a hand on him and he was miraculously healed. His shoulder’s lifted, his body alert, and a look in his eyes Walker wasn’t familiar with. Emmett was suddenly running towards her, his feet making large, effortless strides and then she was running too. Within seconds April was leaping through the air, landing hard into his embrace. His arms snaked around her back and held on as if she was the last breath of air he would ever breathe. They were holding on so tightly, the devil himself couldn’t tear them apart.  

Walker stepped back, his breathing shallow, as the realization of the obvious hit him. Walker had never been a part of this equation. He had been so convinced that for April it was a decision of him or his brother, but it was much simpler than that. It would never be anyone besides Emmett. He wasn’t even a viable option, it wasn’t about him, and it never had been. He could see from the way they had crashed into each other so violently and desperately that no one else existed.

*Photo Credit* 

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