I've always had a temper. When I was five, I hit my little brother in the face with a shovel. I don't remember why I did it; really I don't remember it at all. But I've been told about it many times by my parents. I guess I just got angry about something that he'd done, and lashed out at him.

 I got my temper under better control after I learned to write. I started a journal my first year of school, and I've maintained one ever since. It's where I take out my emotions now, where I stash my anger so it can't hurt anyone. Writing had a soothing effort on my, and, for the most part, it keeps me from ever being violent.

 But, as I got older, another nasty little emotion began to effect me. Jealousy. I was 18 when my brother and I became lovers. We were unexperienced and a little scared, but we knew it was right. I've never been as sure of anything as I am of the fact that I love him with all my heart and soul. But with that love came intense, blinding jealousy. I hated the sight of him talking with other men. I couldn't stand to see another man lay a hand on him. And I especially couldn't stand to see him flirting with other men, no matter how innocently.

 I'm ashamed to admit it, but there were a few times when I just couldn't control my anger, my jealousy, and I lashed out. I lashed out at the thing I love more than anything else in the word; him. It's only happened four, maybe five times. It's always set off my something stupid; the way he smiled at someone, the way he brushed against another man, the way he said goodbye to a friend when we left a party. But there are times when my mind takes the smallest, most innocent thing and turns it into a catastrophe. Those were the times that I fought with Jeff. I would yell at him; call him names; accuse him of cheating on me. He would just look at me with tear-filled eyes, swearing he didn't want anyone but me. But I never believed him. For some reason, I was sure he was lying to me. So I lashed out. I hit him.

 Every time, I knew how wrong it was the second my hand connected with his face. My anger would vanish, replaced with remorse and shame. He would cry, and I would tell him over and over how sorry I was, and do everything to make it up to him. I've never felt so ashamed in my entire life as I did in the moments after I'd hit him. He's my baby brother, my blood, my lover. He's the person I'm supposed to protect from pain and hurt, and I had despicably raised my hand to him.

 Jeff always forgave me. He told me he was ok, that I hadn't hurt him. But I still felt terrible. What could be worse than striking the man you love more than anything in the world?

 I stare down at the darkened city below me, watching with unseeing eyes as the headlights of cars move by on the street far below. I'm sitting out on the balcony, curled up in the fetal position, my chin resting on my knees. I have my knees pulled up to my chest, and my arms wrapped around my legs. It's cold, and I'm shivering, but I can't go back inside. I just keep going over my history of violence. Those four or five times when I've lashed out at Jeff.

 A tear slips silently down my cheek. I can't believe I've done it again. I swore after the last time I would never raise a hand to him again. Never. Yet I've broken my promise to myself and to him. We went out to dinner tonight with Chris Jericho and Raven. They're together, supposedly, but I couldn't help noticing the way Chris was looking at Jeff. My Jeff. I could tell from the look in Chris' eyes that he wants him. He kept finding excuses to touch Jeff, to lay his hands on my territory. By the time dinner was over and I dragged Jeff away, I was seething inside with jealousy.

 The second we stepped into our hotel room, my temper exploded. I started screaming at him, accusing him of cheating on me with Chris. He denied it, telling me over and over again that he'd never done anything with Chris, and never would. He tried to tell me that he loved me, tried to pull me into his arms and hug me, but I wouldn't listen. I just kept screaming at him until he started to cry, swearing again that he didn't, and never would, want Chris.

 That's when I lost it. I had worked myself up so much, I had to lash out. I slapped him across the face, hard. After that, it was just like the other times. I couldn't believe what I'd done. I apologized over and over; I cried; and I came out here. I don't think I've ever felt lower than I do now. I feel like trash. I feel like scum. I feel so ashamed I wish the earth would just rise up and swallow me. I don't know why he put up with me. He should find someone better. Someone who would never hurt him the way I do, would never raise a hand to him.

 I don't turn around when I here the balcony door opened behind me. I flinch away when I feel a hand on my shoulder, continuing to stare off into space.

 "Matt, please come inside?" he asks softly. He sighs as I shake my head. "I don't want you to get sick," he whispers, rubbing my cold arms tenderly. Again I don't respond. He leans forward, wrapping his arms around my from behind and resting his head on my shoulder. "I'm ok," he whispers to me. "You didn't hurt me, and I'm not mad. You just lost your temper, baby. Don't do this to yourself."

 I snort, not looking at him. "You really want me around after what I just did to you?"

 "Matt, please." He holds me a little tighter, his breath warm against my neck. "I love you. I forgive you. Just come inside."

 I shake my head. "How can you forgive me? I...I hit you," I stutter. "It was wrong."

 "Then don't do it again," he whispers quietly. "But please come inside before you freeze."

 I look up into his eyes for the first time. They're so warm, so filled with love for me. He smiles, tracing a finger over my cold cheek. "Come on baby," he urged, standing and pulling me up with him. Taking one last glance at the slowly moving city, I follow, feeling a bit warmer inside as his arm wraps about my waist. He leads me over to the bed, quickly undressing my and tucking me into the warm covers. He leaves for a moment and returns with a cup of hot tea, handing it to me and letting me sip it. He sits on the mattress beside me, gently stroking my hair as I begin to warm up.

 "You feel better?" he coos, giving me a gentle smile as he takes the empty cup from me. I smile and nod, the shame having passed and given way to the sweet bliss of love. It's wonderful when he takes care of me. As the older brother, it's normally me who's taking care of him, and I enjoy the reversal. I think he does too. "Good," he states, quickly undressing and climbing into bed with me. I open my arms for him, letting him snuggle up to me. There's nothing more wonderful to me than the feel of his warm body pressed against mine. It's reassuring and comforting, always reminding me where the warmth in my world lies.

 "I love you, Jeff," I whisper, my arms holding him tightly, secure against everything.

 "I love you too, Matt," he breathes, resting his head comfortably in the crook of my neck. I listen to his gentle breathing as he drifts off to sleep, feeling the soft rhythm of his heart beating in unison with mine. Letting out a contented sigh, I close my eyes for sleep, once again feeling whole inside.


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