I returned to Peter's cave. He was sitting on the rug reading a book. When he saw me, he put it down and stood up.
"You okay?" he asked.
I nodded. "I've decided that I don't want to tie my soul to yours, or, for that matter, anybody else's. It's too great a commitment and my feelings are in confusion right now."
Peter nodded, looking understanding. "That's a very wise choice. Then again, you were always quite intelligent."
I nodded, not smiling.
Peter approached me and stroked my arm. "Sorry if the Intertwining of Fates scared you."
I gazed into those forest-green eyes, desiring to find some sort of anger which would lessen my pain at having to disappoint him like this but all I could see was love and concern for my welfare.
I looked away. "Romulus was right: you are too good for me," I murmured.
"Romulus doesn't know anything," Peter said, looking annoyed. He lifted my chin so I was looking up at his face. "You deserve a prince for a boyfriend, Tilly."
"I don't think so," I admitted.
"Don't listen to my stupid brother. You're worth more than diamonds."
Peter leant in and gently kissed me. He broke away to say "Your heart is so pure, your imagination so wonderful, your compassion so incredible. You care so much about the ones you love that if they didn't love you back, they would be ungrateful fools. Your poetry is moving and since you express yourself through it, you convey your wonderfulness which you would always be too modest to accept. You're the most perfect girl I know."
"Then you can't know many," I replied, my view of myself unchanged by his sweet words. "I don't deserve you. I betrayed you - and myself - in the most awful way imaginable."
"Everyone makes mistakes. And trust me when I say you make far less than anyone else in the world. Please don't punish yourself in this way."
"You're too kind," I muttered, moving my head so he was no longer gripping my chin. I looked at the floor. "You need to be careful. People like you get taken advantage of. I don't want to see you hurt."
"You sound almost like Romulus," Peter said unhappily. "And Romulus is so, so wrong about lots of things. You have to ignore him before he hurts you and destroys your beautiful nature."
I sighed, relenting. Peter was just too stubborn and I was too tired to argue further.
I gave him a quick kiss on the cheek before sitting down. Peter sat down too.
We didn't find anything else to talk about so we just sat in silence. A little while later, Peter teleported me outside my front door and promised to come back at about midnight when, hopefully, the adults would be asleep. He promised me the best stargazing experience of my life and kissed me for a long time before departing. The bliss of the moment added to my guilt at my betrayal (which I wondered if I would ever forget) and made me hope that Peter's future would be happy whatever I decided to do over my next few days or weeks around him.