we've got a long way to ride

He’d been spotted; there was no getting out of this now. He calmly tried collected himself, if calmly was ruffling the back of his hair, shifting nervously, and damn near refusing to meet her gaze directly. Era nudged his hand encouragingly, what else could she do? This was his idea, his sister, even if she was just as much a part of that - she was still only there for support. He rubbed her dark blue ear gingerly.

Sucking in his breath sharply when he finally met her chestnut brown eyes; he was so used to them swimming with warmth and love that the cold and emotionless stare caught him off guard. As much as he had tried to build up this idea that she was going to be angry with him, he knew then he hadn't been expecting it. It was childish of him to believe his sister would have always welcomed in back openly, of course she was hurt and angry at him.

He didn’t say anything; her words cut him straight to the heart, the serrated edge working deeply and slowly as if causing him physical harm. He winced and looked down, his shoulders slumping and his hands fallen slack to his sides. Era licked them and he flicked his hand at her casting her away. Not wanting any comfort from her because he deserved this, didn’t he? The little blue dog didn’t mind, she understood. She eyes Saffron for a minute, the depth of her brown eyes watched her thoughtfully before she tipped her head and left, disappearing into the woods. They needed some time – she knew, and she wasn’t going to interrupt. As desperate as she was to try and get Grayson back on track this was the one thing he had to do alone. The link between them closed, it was an odd sensation since it was always open. Like that feeling when every night you go to sleep with the fan on and one night it breaks. The constant drone of the blades that filled a room now felt quiet, empty, and vacant.

He’d replayed this moment in his head many times hoping to have himself ready for any questions, any outcome, and anything she’d been able to throw at him. But he’d been wrong, and he felt as unprepared as ever. All he wanted to say was he was sorry, to ask forgiveness, to let him in her life again.

He couldn’t bring himself to do it. He deserved this, didn’t he?

I…” he tried, but words failed him. The world around him swooned and talking just felt too hard. Too hard with the lump that was swelling in his throat, and the hot tears that stung his eyes. He tried again to form words but nothing came out, again. He wanted to be here, he wanted to be here for Saffron, for Tristan, for Nimmy.

And then he couldn’t help it any longer, with a ragged breath and his stiff shoulders shuddering he sobbed and covered his face in shame. He had so much he wanted to say, so much he needed to say but he couldn’t. Everything just felt like excuses, and excuses weren’t something he wanted to make, not to Saffron. There was only one thing that because increasingly clear to him, he couldn’t tell her his darkest secret, not yet. Despite the need to unload on her this was something he was going to have to take slowly. He didn’t want pity to be what let him back in her life. He wanted it to be because she wanted him back in her life. If he told her the truth now he wouldn’t earn her forgiveness.

He'd been captured by the darkness for so long that the only person he'd ever thought about was himself. Perhaps in not telling her he was still only thinking of himself. But he didn't want to believe it. He had no idea what her life had been like these last few years. It could have been fantastic or it could have been hell. Who was he to come here and add to whatever was on her plate?

Everything he wanted to do felt wrong and everything he didn't want to do felt right.

He had to do better.

Slowly he stilled, wiping away the tears on his cheeks as he looked up at her, desperately searching her face for something, anything that showed she still loved him. But he found it void of all emotions. He frowned. “I’m sorry, I’m so so so sorry Saffron.” It was all he could offer her, all he could say. He slumped against the rock still half standing exhausted from the walk, exhausted emotionally, and still very frustrated that his will extended far past what his weak and useless body was able to manage.


photo by Marvin Meyer at unsplash.com

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