It wasn’t a surprise. Booker had been addicted to Silt for as long as Micah had memories. The drug would eventually kill his brother, Micah knew. Booker never intended to live into a decrepit old age.
Now, laying in the dirt, Booker’s body shook slightly, his eyelids fluttering as a line of spittle dripped down his open mouth. Like this, he was vulnerable, incapable of protecting anyone much less himself. But Micah knew he would prefer to overdose in an abandoned alleyway after the Yellows had been summoned to the mines than risk his men seeing him like this.
Micah knelt beside his brother, gently pulling the needle from his arm. “Goddamn it, Book,” he growled, inching his way behind Booker and hoisting him up by the armpits. Booker’s body sagged against Micah like a sack of flour, just as heavy and just as awkward. But Micah couldn’t leave him outside where anyone could see him, where anyone could approach and harm him or thieve from his unconscious body.
Booker’s heels dug into the dirt as Micah tugged him along, pulling him roughly over the threshold of the warehouse. As Micah laid his brother back amongst the blankets, Booker didn’t stir. If not for the steady rising and falling of Booker’s chest, Micah might have feared an overdose. But the truth was that Booker knew his own limits. He took just enough to slip away, to forget what it felt like to exist in this God-forsaken world.
In the quiet of the warehouse, Micah sighed, listening to Booker’s contented, drug-induced snores. This was his life now. Booker had made that choice for him. His brother, though a drug-addled fool, was Micah’s only lifeline, his only connection. And besides, there was no life for Micah outside of Tartarus. Not anymore.
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