Will's eyes began to fill with tears, and he looked at her fearfully, as if he'd been stripped bare and was showing her his soul. 'I don't want to lose them, Sayara. I can't, I can't lose the little family I have left. If I did, I'd never forgive myself for letting them go, it'd be all my fault, just like last time...'
'Wait, last time? Will, what are you talking about?' She faced him more directly, gripping his hand tightly as he began to cry.
'My parents!' he exclaimed, 'it's my fault they're gone, all my brothers and sisters, they were relying on me. And what did I do? I ran away!' Taksony's words revolved in his head, "a scared little eight year old prince ran away...if only you'd stayed and been the hero..." 'I was a coward, so I deserved to go to prison! I murdered them, I - I -,' before he could fall into hysteria, Sayara grabbed him by the shoulders, pressing her forehead against his and looking him straight in the eyes.
'You listen to me right now,' she said sternly. 'None of that was your fault. You did what you had to do, without you, Carmen and Karn'el wouldn't be here. Do you think they got all that strength on their own? I think that even if they don't remember it, somewhere inside them, they're remembering their elder brother. They're remembering how brave he was, protecting them at the cost of his own life, fighting to stay with them until the very end.'
She pulled away, still holding onto him, 'I remember seeing you a couple of times when we were younger. You were always in your own little world in the corner of the room, and I'd sit with my mother. She'd lean in and tell me, "that's the one you'll spend the rest of your life with. He'll protect you, and you'll protect him, and no matter what happens, as long as you have him; you'll never be alone."' She drove the words home into him, gazing at him to see if it had sunk in. 'I think about that now and I can't imagine having anybody better to be with. You are strong, Will, and you fight for those that you love better than anybody I've ever seen. I am proud that you're my Companion, and I always will be.'
She leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek, Will felt a tingle through his skin, whether it was the combination of their powers as it had been before; or something else. She slid beside him, pressing her side against him and resting her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes and breathing lightly. 'You'll never be alone,' she murmured before falling into a daze brought on by the beautiful day and the calm that spread through her whenever she was near him.
'Yeah...' Will said, smiling over at her, 'I guess you're right.'