Chapter 22.3Mature

Beth pushed Robert’s shirt off his shoulders, along with the black jacket he was still wearing. She reached behind her back and started to unzip her dress. Robert caught her wrists and pulled away, his head tipped to the side.

Beth didn’t say anything as he slowly pulled her hands into her lap, his expression returning to its original steeliness. He watched her for a while in silence. Beth did her best to meet his gaze but ended up looking down at her hands in embarrassment.

“Please,” she whispered.

“No,” Robert replied softly.

Beth looked up at him through her lashes but gained nothing from trying to work out how he was feeling; he’d shut her out mentally too.

“Why?” she asked quietly.

“Because,” was his reply.

“That’s not an answer.”

“Yes it is. It’s just not a very good one.”

Beth found herself smiling. She wiped it from her face; that was what he wanted. He wanted her to forget about it and change the subject.

“Robert, please,” she begged.

“No,” he said simply.

“Why?” she asked exasperatedly, crossing her arms across her chest.

“Because you’re upset. You might regret it.”

“Would you?”

He raised an eyebrow. Beth shrugged. Silence settled beside the awkwardness between them.

“You’re tired, go to bed. I’ll be downstairs if you need me,” Robert said before kissing her forehead and heading down the stairs.

Beth watched him go. She sighed internally and got up, walking into the bedroom moodily. She kicked her heels off, grateful that she’d finally thought to take them off. She unzipped her dress and pushed it down to the floor, so she was standing in her underwear. Dropping onto the bed, she crawled underneath the bed covers before falling asleep.



The sun was streaming through the window when Beth woke. Robert was sat up beside her, reading. Beth didn’t recognise the language on the spine.

“Morning,” he said when she pulled herself up.

The curtains were open, as they had been since the previous night. And Beth realised that Robert didn’t have his ring on.

“Robert,” she said.


“You’re not wearing your ring.”

“I know.”

“The curtains are open.”

“I know.”

“Are you going to leave me here to worry?” she asked.

He glanced down at her before putting the book on the bedside table.

“All the windows in this house filter ultraviolet light. Meaning I don’t need to wear my ring.”


Beth moved closer to Robert and rested her head against his shoulder.

“What do you want to do today?” he asked.

“More interesting things,” Beth murmured.

Robert laughed quietly. “No,” he said softly.


“Just, because.”

“You sound like a seven year old,” Beth moaned.

“A seven year old wouldn’t even be considering it,” Robert chuckled.

Beth looked up at him. “’Considering’?” she asked hopefully.

“You know I am.”

“Good,” she said before leaning against him once again.

“So, what do you want to do today?” he asked again.

“Don’t know.”

The End

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