With Willow's reassurance that she was fine, I let my head rest on the top of her head and began to nod off. 

Suddenly, I was pitched back into our old house, in my old room.  Helena was at my elbow,  small and blonde, as she was back then. She barely reached my shoulder, and I moved her further behind my back as the door flew open.  My father came in, livid and muttering swear words we had long learned to block out.  My mother followed him in; back then, she wasn't dependent on the sweet nothings of whiskey and  finger widths vodka with her breakfast.  Her face was tearstained and she was yelling at him, bad, bad words sticking like tar.  We huddled together in the corner, my only instinct to protect little Helena.  She was shaking, sobs wracking her frame. Suddenly, Mum stormed out, slamming the door, and he turned his attentions to me. Helena gulped, and I pushed her backwards, sticking out my chin and bracing myself for the hit. When it came, it shoved me backwards, pushing Helena to the floor. I pushed her out the window, knowing we were on the ground floor, and she wouldn't be harmed. He wouldn't hurt her this time.  The blood welled in my mouth, and I jolted awake, instictively curling my body up smaller, and probing my teeth for blood. 

Willow gazed up at me. What must she think of me? I slumped down, not even trying to hide my distress from her. She already thinks I'm insane.  She shifted around so she was facing me, and caught a teardrop I never knew was there on her finger. The water glittered in the evening sun, making beauty of my fear.  " You were dreaming of him, " she said. She never asked- she knew.  I nodded, and she grasped my hand, tightly. The motion was reassuring, calming.  I pulled our entwined hands to my cheek, feeling her pulse increase. 

Suddenly, my mind sprung to life. What am I doing?! This is new territory. I don't know how to do this, this love lark.  What sane man lets someone else into the crossfire of my father? I can't do that to her. I just can't. But beneath all the doubt, I don't care. I just want Willow, with me always. 

Suddenly, darting forwards, she kissed me lightly. My head reeled. Then, she was almost throwing herself at me, pushing me to the floor.  She just looked at me, eyes wide, laughing at me. " You look like a startled rabbit!"  she said, brushing a tendril of my hair back.  Then, she kissed me, harder.

When we rolled to face the other, it was dark, with starlight lighting pinpricks of silver in our hair.  I once again was awash with an urge to protect her, to protect this moment. Fachtna be damned!

I'm scared to tell her, but I think I'm in love with her. 

The End

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