“Isn’t it hard?”
“What is?” he asked softly, his fingers tracing the sheets. His eyes were blank as they stared up at the ceiling openly, but you knew his full attention was on you. You sighed, turning onto your side and placing your hand against his cheek.
“Knowing that everybody is lying to you.”
Matt shrugged with his shoulders lightly. “Not really. If it’s a quiet room, it’s pretty easy to tell—”
“I’m not talking about that,” you murmured. “Isn’t it hard… to have to know that you aren’t being told the truth?”
“You’re the psychologist,” he replied, dry humour in his tone. His hand fell against yours, warming it to his skin. “You tell me.”
With a laugh, you gently pulled away. Matthew Murdock—what a figure of a man. You’d been hired as a consultant on one of his court cases, and you only agreed due to the sizable compensation—euphemistically known as a bribe—the attorney duo had offered. Besides, Matt had a way of… desperate begging that had you swaying towards him, no matter what he was saying.
“You’re leaving?” he asked, sitting up with you as you dug around with your leg for lost clothes. You hummed your response nonchalantly, redressing yourself as Matt listened distantly.
“You know, working with you was good. You really helped crack our case.”
“I’m glad to have been of help,” you replied. Their client had been a barely-eighteen kid with a stubborn love for lies, so they’d brought you in to help counsel the boy into their direction. In the end, he’d spilled the beans, allowing Nelson & Murdock to plead not guilty and win. Your hands slowed as you heard him shuffling closer. His chin hit your shoulder and arms wrapped around you, warming the bare skin of your back with the rough ridges of his scars.
“I’m saying that you should stay, [Name].”
“Oh, Matt. Are you falling in love with me?” you asked, cocking your head to the side. You felt his breath on the back of your neck.
“I think you’d know the answer to that.” His grip tightened around you and his rough lips were hot on the side of your bruised neck.
“And I think you know my answer.” Gently, you released yourself, placing your hand on his wrist with a gossamer touch. You stood and tried to hunt down the rest of your clothes in the colourful rainbow light of Matt’s next-door neighbour, the giant LED banner. The cool melange of lights washed over you like non-existent rain.
“I really do like you. So does Foggy. He really does, actually. You and Karen get along well, too. You should come work for us.”
He had that light tone that he’d used to coax you into the contract, and then his home, and then his bed. It was a voice that made your heart race and your thoughts scatter. You closed your eyes to resolve yourself.
“I like you too, Matt.” You took a step away, dodging him as he tried to touch your shoulder again. You saw him lick his teeth, cocking one ear towards you.
“But… you’ve got problems. Look at yourself. Nobody gets hurt like that from accidents. I don’t believe you for a second when you act like you’re the helpless blind guy… you’re not the only one who knows when people lie.” You found your bag and was ready to walk past him when he sidestepped you, stopping you easily.
“We all have problems,” he murmured, leaning forwards and pressing his forehead to yours. The light touch was enough to paralyze you and you swallowed thickly, the scent of him drifting up into the vast reaches of your memories and making your blood warm in your chest.
“But,” he continued, his lips grazing yours, “you know that I didn’t lie when I said I liked you.”
“Yeah,” you sighed, feeling defeated as you closed your eyes. “Yeah, I know. And you know that I didn’t lie, either... but something’s really broken in you, Matt, and I don’t know that you’ll let me in to fix it. I don’t want to be around to drag people’s baggage when they won’t even give me a second’s glance. Besides…” You inhaled deeply. “You didn’t say ‘I love you’, did you?”
“So how about a second shot?” he asked, leaning away. The warmth of his body was immediately missed by yours, but he went to his bedside, rifling through for something. You didn’t know what to expect, but was surprised when he handed you a thin white card. You checked it over. It was his business card, name and number printed in plain black ink.
“We’ve all got problems,” he repeated, his voice softening. “But you make mine feel like they’ve gotten better. So… call me.”
You couldn’t help but laugh in disbelief. He’d done it again. Convinced you. He might as well have had that as a super power. No wonder he was such a good lawyer.
You rummaged through your purse and gently pressed something into his hand. His fingers closed around it and he cocked his head in confusion.
“My business card,” you explained. “Y’know. If you want a… ‘consultation’ again.”
“You do know that I can’t read it, right?”
“I’m sure you’ll figure it out. My number’s on there, after all.”
With that, you turned and walked away, unaware of the distant grin on his face. You were a bit different than the others. He hadn’t said ‘I love you’ yet, but… he damn liked you. His thumb ran over the printed ink, feeling the divots.
Tomorrow morning, you had one new message:
Can I book an appointment?