“Dearest Miss Blackcrest. Flaw is nothing to be ashamed of. One should only be ashamed of flaw if they do not conquer it. You can come to me in thousands of pieces. Mind, body and soul, and I will pick you up to put you back together as your wonderful self again.”
“I’m tired. I’m tired of pretending I’m okay all the time. I’m tired of being strong, because sometimes…I’m just not. We’ve a lot to learn about each other don’t we?”
“If you trust me, you may lean yourself on me and I promise that I will be strong enough to hold the both of us up, proudly. You’re no longer alone, you do not need to pretend to be something or someone you’re not. Please, grant me the right to take care of you and hold you. I’ll be your power, your strength, your fire. As for the rest … perhaps there are many secrets and pages we’ve yet to read about each other, but this is another step closer to flipping yet another page, is it not? Another passage for us to learn from, another sentence written beautifully.”
How could she ever forget those words? He had meant them, had he not? Kaeth had been many things, and had been perceived by others in as many different ways, and although those moments of heartfelt sincerity and caring had been few and far between, she had never felt as if he hadn’t meant a word of them. He would have razed entire cities for her if she’d asked it, torn down anyone that caused her grief, or danger. And she’d walked away from him. Like a fool, a blind fool.
“He’s dangerous, Ana.”
“I don’t care.”
“You really believe he loves you? That he wants what is best for you?”
“I do. He does.”
“You’re blind. Wake up and see this for what it is, Ana! I’m begging you. He’s no good for you.”
“He’s everything to me.”
“Please, Ana. Please…”
“Mommy? Why did you make Daddy sad?”
Ana startled, stiffening a little where she lay, squeezing her eyes closed. Eyla wasn’t here, was she? Slowly, she rolled over to face the edge of the bed, reaching out for the little girl as she did so, but her arms would reach for nothing. She wasn’t there. Maybe she’d been half asleep. Maybe she’d just heard what she wanted to hear. The little girl’s voice, news of Kaeth, any news. She’d put everything out of her mind, or tried to, but if forced to admit it, she was desperately lonely for him, for their daughter, even for the demons that had roamed free in their home.
What had she done? Was there any going back? What would he do or say if he saw her again, if she was to just turn up back at his door. Would he take her back in, no questions asked?
“Why did you leave us, Mommy?”
Ana squeezed her eyes closed as tears began to fall, streaming down her cheeks onto the pillow underneath her cheek. She couldn’t go back. She wouldn’t. She’d made a promise …
What had she done?
“I miss you, “she whispered, the sheets balled up in one of her fists, “I miss you.”