Adrian's heart stopped in his chest as he watched the emotions flit across her face. Fear...and then hurt. The silence that had lasted after having uttered those words had been too long and Annalise thought that it was a rejection. But Adrian wasn't rejecting her, no. The words couldn't form in his mind as he acknowledged the reason behind why she'd asked that question.
How much he longed to pull her close and embrace her, to kiss her softly and just have her in his arms, knowing that he too was in her heart. But he couldn't. What about the consequences of those actions? He'd put them both in danger.
The silence overwhelmed Annalise and she could feel tears blur her vision. Looking away, she inhaled a deep and shuddering breath, trying to recompose herself before slipping her feet into her night-slippers and standing up.
Her sudden movement caught Adrian by surprise and he found himself looking up at her with questions in his eyes.
"Where are you-"
"You've made yourself clear Adrian. I understand." The tears fell, openly down her pale cheeks that no longer held the rosiness that they once had. She lifted her hand, to wipe them away to only have Adrian catch it midway as he got to his feet.
"You don't," he whispered, his eyes searching hers for a way to explain without words.
How could he show her? About all those countless nights spent wondering if he'd ever see her again. How would he tell her? About the times he'd whispered her name to himself...a name that was enough to make him feel so much more happier than he had in his whole life?
And ultimately, how could he let her know how very much he'd fallen in love with her?