“Audra, he’s an idiot, but he would never mean what he said,” Ethan pleaded, trying to get her to understand. “You have to believe me. He didn’t mean it. He doesn’t hate you and your people.”
“Then how do you explain what he said, huh?!” Audra snapped.
She was still heartbroken. Ethan has been at her house for hours now. He was trying everything to get her to go talk to him. She had just about had enough of him pestering her.
Tears were running down her face as she shot up off the couch she was sitting on. “He doesn’t love me anymore, Ethan! You can’t convince me otherwise.”
“So that’s why you’re packing everything up?!”
Audra pauses, then slowly looked around her house. She had started packing, yes, because nothing was keeping her here. Her friends were in danger the longer she was there from people like Ersa. She would’ve stayed because of Colton, but her made it pretty clear to her that he didn’t want her around.
She’d even put on a traditional star outfit, as the Equinox D. would be there in a few hours to take her home unless she changed her mind. Her beige shawl was wrapped around her shoulders, a simple white leather dress that fell to her knees with small slits on the sides, beige leather wrap boots, and a blue sash tied around her waist. Her hair was just hanging loosely around her face.
“He doesn’t want me around,” she said quietly after a moment, lowering her head. “It’s the best option…”
“Audra, please.” Ethan walked over and took her hands. “Don’t leave because Colton said something stupid. We all want you around.”
Audra remained silent. What was she supposed to say?
“Audra, come on. Please don’t leave.” Ethan went silent, then, after a moment, he sighed. “But… if you must… at least go talk to the idiot before you are fully set on it. For me. Please.”
She bit her lip as she thought. Ages seemed to pass before she nodded a little. “Alright, fine. I’ll only leave if he shows that he really wants me gone,” she agreed quietly.
Ethan let out a small breath of relief and nodded, stepping closer to her, pulling her into a hug, letting her go a few moments later. “I’ll drive you there.”
She nodded and before they knew it, they were in Ethan’s car and heading in the direction of Colton’s house.
The car ride was silent. When they arrived there, Ethan parked and let her out.
“I’ll be right here if you need anything,” he called after her as she shakily walked to the door.
Before she knew it, Audra was standing numbly in front of the door. She hesitantly raised a closed hand and, after another quick moment of hesitation, knocked.
She thought she could hear something on the other side, but nothing happened. So, as a last resort, she pulled out her phone and dialed his number, holding it up to her ear.
It rang three times before he answered. “Hello?”
Audra let out a breath of relief. “Oh thank the stars! Colton, please let me explain what happened. I am so, so-“
“I’m just kidding. This is actually a voicemail. Whoever you are, you’ve been tricked. Please leave a message.” And she heard the beep.
Tears welled up in the corners of her eyes as she lowered her head. He didn’t want her back. He wouldn’t even hear her out, and that was possibly the worst pain she’d gone through in a long time. She took a deep breath, lightly placing a hand on the door, and dove right in.
“Colton, you have every right to be mad at me. I should’ve told you, I know. It wasn’t right of me to keep that secret from you. But I had promised your mother that I wouldn’t tell you, even though I was against it. It seemed right coming from her anyways. But… you have to understand. I was so scared- I was scared of losing you. Now… you’ve been lost for two weeks now. I just… I needed to apologize, at least, before I return to the island where I’m from.
“You… Colton, you meant the world to me. You still do. I didn’t want to lose you. I’m so, so sorry for all the hurt I put you through with not telling you, and then Ersa kidnapping you… I should’ve told you the truth from the beginning. But I loved you too much to put you through all the complications of that. If anyone found out that you were the first half-star, Equinox D. would’ve taken you away from me and put you through a crap ton of tests and experiments.”
Her words just came pouring out of her mouth. It was getting harder to speak as pressure started to build in the back of her throat.
“You didn’t deserve all that I put you through. I should’ve been a better person to you, like a good girlfriend would. But, instead, I just took and took and took, while all you did was give. You were perfect and supportive in every way. I didn’t deserve you. You should’ve had someone- someone better than me. Colton, please… Talk to me. I love you. I’m sorry. Colt please-“
She couldn’t take it anymore. It was just too much. She broke down in tears then and there, unable to say another word or even hang up the call.
The door was flung open so fast that she didn’t have time to react to what was going on before she was suddenly tackled in a hug, Colton saying he was sorry profusely while stroking a hand over her hair.
“I’m so, so sorry,” Colton cried, burying his face in the crook of her neck. “I forgive you. I have. I’m sorry… I didn’t mean it, I swear I didn’t. Please don’t leave…” He said the same thing over and over again.
For what seemed like hours, the two of them stood there, crying, murmuring numerous apologies to each other. Neither of them noticed, but Ethan has driven away.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Colton pulled away from her, using a gentle thumb to brush away her tears. “Please don’t leave me…” he pleaded in a quiet whisper. “Please, Auds…”
Audra smiled a little, reaching up and brushing away his tears. “Never in a million light years will I leave you. And I forgive you, too. You were righteous in your anger.”
His face visibly filled with relief as he pulled her closer to himself, holding her as tight as he dared. “Oh, thank goodness…” He secured his arms around her waist, his head resting in the crook of her neck. He stood there, silent.
She returned the embraces, wrapping her arms loosely around his neck as she gently stroked a hand through his soft hair. After a moment, her brows furrowed. “But I haven’t got anywhere to stay. I gave my house to my cousin Asa. I haven’t-“
“Move in with me, then,” Colton said suddenly, lifting his head to look into her eyes. “Stay with me. Please. There’s more than enough room. You can take my bed. I’ll-“
“Stay with me,” she interrupted, “on the bed. I’ve seen your house, and you haven’t got a spare bedroom I can use. I have animal skins I use, though…”
“We’ll camp out in the living room on the animal skins and figure everything out tomorrow.” Colton smiles at her, and she felt her heart soar.
She returned the smile. “Alright. I’m on board with that plan, as long as I’m with you.”
He beamed, then grew serious. “And I’ll make it up to you. I’ll make everything up to you. Whatever you want.”
“Then go with me to the winter prom?” she suggested.
“Absolutely.” He grinned. After a moment, his face fell a little, looking a little curious now. “Can… Can I kiss you again? Are we-?”
He never got to finish what he was saying, as Audra had stood a little taller to kiss him, which he gladly returned