“Dad!” Morgan hurtled into my arms, more tears streaming down her face. “I’m so sorry... I just...”
I hushed her and stroked down her flowing golden hair. “Come on Morgan, let’s just get home.”
“Please don’t make me go back there dad.” She looked up at me with frightened eyes.
“From what Morgan has told us it doesn’t look like either of you will be welcome back there tonight” Layla spoke in a flat tone I had never heard her use. It was obvious she was trying to keep her feelings and emotions to herself. Although I was grateful for this as it hopefully meant she wouldn’t try and follow us, it pained my horribly to not know what emotions she was hiding.
I sighed she was right. I just felt awful knowing I had to push her away.
“Come in. It looks like you’re both bunking up here.” She stepped backwards and motioned Morgan and I indoors. It was a very kind gesture although Layla wasn’t looking me in the eyes. I couldn’t blame her. Katha stood inside with an excited gleam in her eyes. “Come on Morgan! I’ll make up your bed!” She dragged Morgan by the hand and raced upstairs, leaving Layla and I stood alone in the kitchen.
After a few moments of awkward silence she looked directly at me, her eyes burrowing into my head, like they were searching for a reason I was so desperate to leave.
“Will you be staying for breakfast or pulling another heroic speech and leaving me standing there like a fool?” She snapped finally. It was better than the silence.
“I’m sorry Layla, you have every reason to hate me but I won’t have you hurt. When we leave tomorrow I need you to stay away from us both, promise me now Layla. I cant loose you.” I sighed as she just stood there looking a still breathtaking cross between angry, confused and broken. “I’m just too dangerous.” I tried to reach out for her hand but she snapped it away and looked disgusted.
“You don’t think I’ve heard that line a million times Mike?”
“Believe me Layla, if there was any other line I could be using right now I would.” I stepped towards her and took her dainty head in my hands. “Look at me and tell me I’m lying.”
She looked up and inspected my expression for a few moments, her eyes were filled with sorrow. It didn’t help that I’m sure she was aware as I was of the proximity of our faces. It didn’t take me long to realise she was wearing makeup and her hair was still warm. She had known I was coming, and made an effort. I suffocated my joy that she cared, it also meant she was probably far more hurt than she was letting on and that being so close to her right now was the opposite of where I needed to be. I swiftly removed my palms from her soft cheeks, my hands were bitterly cold where her warm skin had been.
She was clearly still angry with me but she seemed a little calmer.
“For god’s sake Mike, trust me! Where are you going? What the hell is going on? I deserve to know! You can’t just appear in my life and then leave without a trace!” Her eyes welled with tears which broke my heart even further. Her arms were thrown open in protest and all I wanted to do was throw them around my neck and kiss her. Kiss her and have it explain everything, how much I loved her, how much It would kill me to let her go, and how much it was hurting me telling her to run from me.