Part Forty-TwoMature

Later on, after Nannie takes Seb home - however reluctantly he goes - Daniel and Judo quietly enter the room.

Judo asks me a series of questions, and I answer them until Daniel gets uncomfortable with it and sends him home. Then he sits in the chair beside the bed.

"You complete idiot," he says to me, smiling slightly. "As if we haven't got enough going on."

Then he explains to me why he was so mean to me over the past month. He says that his privacy is very important to him, that's why he has a lot of secrets. He tells me that it seemed worse to him because it involved the way he felt.

"You probably noticed the only one I can't control is my temper," he says. "I don't hide my feelings for nothing."

Then he gets me to explain my nightmare to him, and tells me that he had a similar one a few months ago. His expression while I'm describing it shows he understand why I was so scared.

Finally, after a break in conversation and five or ten minutes of silence, he sighs.

"Lola, I need to tell you, I'm sorry I made you swear on Seb's life. I could see how much it hurt you after I said it."

I shake my head, and pain spreads across my scalp. "It's fine, honestly. I don't expect you to-"

"No, I know," he stops me, having worked out what I was going to say. "He told me the other day, about what happened and what he said to you. If I had known, I would never have said it. It was a horrible thing to do, making you promise against his life. I actually have a bit of admiration that you did it, because I would have refused if I'd been in your place. It was very bold of you. You don't understand how sorry I am."

"I do," I insist, almost begging. "Listen, Daniel, to be honest, I'm sick of people blaming themselves. You didn't know, and you're forgiven. But it's happened now, and it's in the past, so can we just leave it, please?"

He nods and says he should probably go, gesturing to the clock showing how late it is. Before he leaves, he kisses my forehead.

"That is because you mean a lot to me, Lola," he says. "Finally, someone who completely understands. You're a sister to me, and you must never tell anyone I said that."

And he laughs as he exits the room.

The End

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