I could feel Demrin's eyes heavy upon me, but still I refused to roll over. No, I would stay where I was, curled up on my bed, with tear stained cheeks and a heart that had never felt so betrayed.
"Calla," he said softly. The bed shifted as he sat down beside me. Fighting back the urge to reach out and touch me, hold me. Take away my pain even if he'd been the one to cause it. How ironic that the only two people in the world I loved were the ones who kept on tearing me apart.
I bit at the insides of my cheeks until I was sure they would bleed. Doing all I could not to give into him. There was a sort of aura that surrounded him, one that pulled me to him and made me want to be closer. I'd always felt this undeniable longing to feel him at my side. And now he was. And I was pushing him away.
"Calla, I can promise you that I only did it so as to protect you." His words were gentle. I wondered how hard it was for him to stay so composed, knowing that I was so completely shattered over someone else. "I was so scared that Adder might try to hurt you again."
Still I ignored him, wishing I could pull the covers up over my head and hide. Escape to somewhere far, far away, where there would be no pain or lies. Where we wouldnt have to fear for our lives, or the ones we loved. Where things would start to make a little sense.
"I cannot make you choose me, you know."
Demrin's words were low and emotionless. Something in me sparked at the sound of his voice, made me roll over and look at him. His dark, deep green eyes were filled with an immeasurable sorrow.
"I want you to love me, Calla. But only if that means you'll love no one else. I shared you once before with Everette, and I will not do it again. I will not feel that pain. I need you here with me, more than you'll ever know. But if your heart lies somewhere else, then I want you to be happy."
I stared, stunned at his words. Tears were brimming my eyes again; he was right. Demrin had been there through everything, every struggle I'd faced. He'd held me as I'd mourned the loss of Everette, even if I could only barely remember him now. He'd saved me from Adder when he'd fallen into madness. He'd protected me from all the dangers of the world, given me a home. Loved me. Above all else, he had loved me.
"Oh, Demrin," I cried, crawling over into his lap. He pressed my head into his chest and held me there, kissed me atop the head.
"I'm sorry for hurting you," he whispered. "I'm sorry for everything."
I couldnt find the strength in my voice to tell him that none of it was his fault. Or any of ours, really. Who could have foreseen what perils our lives would hold, or where our intertwined paths might follow? We couldnt have predicted it, and certainly none of us had the power to change it. All we could do was accept it as it came, make the best of what we had, and keep on fighting.
I tilted back my head to kiss him then, letting our bodies mold against each other. Demrin pushed me softly back into the bed, lips never parting from my own. His hands moved over my bare skin, working to remove the clothes I had on. I closed my eyes and fell into the familiar rhythm that was us.
"I love you," Demrin breathed against my neck. "We can be perfect, you and I."
I said nothing, for there was nothing to be said, only writhed and moaned as he moved harder within me. When we'd finished, we lay motionless in the bed, our breaths falling from our lips in unity. His hand found its way to mine, and I took it, gave a light squeeze.
I could not help but think of Adder, then. Of all the nights we'd shared. Nights that would be lost to him forever. I wondered if it was better that he didnt know. I recalled the look in his eyes when he'd first learned of Demrin and I. There was no way I could stand to see that look again, not for anything. Not ever.
And yet, I so desperately wanted for him to know. I wanted Adder to remember how it had felt when his skin was pressed to mine, when his kisses covered every inch of my body. I wanted him to remember the first time he told me that he loved me.
Whatever it took, I would bring those memories back to him. I would save him, somehow. And maybe, maybe, find a way to save myself too.