She Leaves Me Again
It seemed it was only a short time, though it’d been several hours, before Elsabet whispered to Sebastian that it was high time she go.
“No.” He whispered back. “Stay with me a while longer?” He was dancing with her again. Twirling her over the floor.
And enjoying the smell of wildflowers every time I turn her.
“It’s been the loveliest night. Thank you.” She murmured. Dropping her forehead against his chest as they stepped in tune.
Not wanting me to see her face.
What emotion is she feeling? He wanted so badly to peer into her mind but refrained. More important then ever that she knows she can trust me.
His arms moved to encircle her shoulders. Hugging her to him. Tipping his face into the hair at the back of her head, he held her. Pressing a quick kiss there. He felt his chest already beginning to ache.
At the thought of letting her go. Again.
I don’t know how Deragan does it.
“Thank you for coming back in.”
“I didn’t know you’d want me here. I wasn’t sure I’d be welcome.” She confided. Her head still buried between them.
“You’re always welcome where I am.” His voice broke. Reaching under her face he found her chin and lifted her face.
Seeing the hint of what looked like tearstains. “I’m going to kiss you.”
When their lips met there was a ferocity there, born of desperation. As they clung to each other.
Candles around the room begin sputtering out. Circling both edges of the wall bordering them and circling around to the far side.
Only those brightening from the chandeliers remained.
She pulled away. Chest heaving and hands shaking as she clutched his shoulders. Holding him back from her as she eyed him in panic.
“I have to go!”
“You’re going to run away from me, aren’t you?”
He leaned next to her ear. “Run, Little Bird. Run.”
Catching the sides of her head, he pressed a nearly rough kiss to her forehead. “I’m going to let you go. But I swear by all that’s Holy, if you don’t go now. I’ll never be able to let you go again.” His ragged voice was fierce. Intense in its honesty.
She stepped back. Looking at him warily as she distanced herself.
He stood in place. Stay where you are, Bast. Keep your word.
Her expression had turned to fear.
Knowing I hate letting her run from me.
But though it took every ounce of his willpower, he did.
As Elsabet rounded to run. She was met by Alazareth.
“Hello, Sweetheart.” He offered her an arm. “Don’t run out of your Birthday Gala as though we’ve done something wrong. Let me escort you with dignity.”
Sobbing under her breath she shakily took his proffered elbow.
Savage Jack appeared in their path and handed over her cloak.
“Hold it together.” Alazar patted her hand. “I’ve got you. Let’s get you out of here.” And he walked her out.
She cast a look over her shoulder and he followed her eyeline to Bast watching her go like a hungry predator watching its dinner escape.
“Walk faster. We need to get you out before he can’t keep his promise.”
“Because you’re his weakness.”
She sobbed again. Masking it by forcing her forearm against her mouth.
Alazareth pushed open the doors and led her out. He yanked the door closed behind him and led her around the side of Red Manor. Out of view.
“What can I do?”
“I can’t do this!” She plummeted against him.
His stunned arms slowly rounded her to pat her back. Slowly draping her cloak over and tying it at the side since he couldn’t reach her neck. “You’ll be okay. You’re strong. I don’t know what you’re up to, Els. But I hope you come to your senses before it’s too late.”
“It’s already too late.” She sobbed. Pushing back from him and stuffing her wrist in her mouth to quiet any further words.
“Not too late to come back to us.”
“I’m never going to be a prisoner in WaterRose again.”
“No, you won’t.” He shook his head. “None of us would ever let him do that to you again. He doesn’t want to. He just wants you.”
“I’m not-” She shook her head. “He can’t-tell him…I…”
“Just go if you’re going to.” He nodded toward the trees. “But Els, please don’t crush him. He’s suffered so much already.”
Rage replaced her hurt and she opened her mouth angrily.
“I know.” He put up a staying hand. “I can’t imagine you’re suffering either. But war is coming soon and we need you on our side.”
“Is that what this was about.”
“No.” He shook his head sadly. “Only you could think so. This was because he missed you. We all miss you.”
He nodded. “Of course, you’re family now. But please remember you’re lucky he is yours. Any woman in Ardae would love to be in your place. He is afterall, the best of us.”
She fled then. Turning and running into the darkness. Her cries echoing through the trees. Masked by the sounds of startled night birds.