11 | Mistake
Running up that hill, Meg Myers (cover)
Lizbeth had fallen asleep on the couch after watching a movie and part of the second, but some noises in the hallway startled her to consciousness again. Someone was trying to break into her apartment.
Fuck, fuck, fuck!
She ran towards the door, hands shaking, heart palpitating, mind racing. She was so scared the lump in her throat made it almost impossible to breathe.
As quietly as she could, she grabbed an umbrella that was by the entrance, inside the closet. It was stupid, but she didn’t have any other weapons at reach. Unlocking the screen of her phone to check the time, feeling her chest tightening, she realized it was late, or early—depended on how you looked at it—maybe Sawyer would be at home... But if he was, he could be sleeping or with someone.
What the hell? This is a life or death situation!
She pressed the call button and waited for a few seconds, jumping like a cat as a phone ringing on the other side. What the—
Her mind connected the dots.
Lizbeth snorted, shaking her head. She left the umbrella in the place where she had picked it up from and opened the door, only to come face to face with Sawyer.
“What the heck are you doing?” she asked, having a hard time to hold the laughter.
“Huh? I’m tryna get into my place.” He squinted and she could almost hear the wheels in his head turning. “What are you doin’ in my house?” His tongue tangled up a little.
“Check the number again,” she said, raising an eyebrow as she pointed to the metallic plate hanging on her door.
“You sure are drunk.” She chuckled.
“You think?” he slurred. “Of course, I am,” he scoffed, then laughed alone.
“Need help?” She mischievously grinned.
“If you can open my door, that’d be a blast, yes,” he admitted, handing her his keys.
“Sure.” She shook her head, smiling to herself. “I thought you were going to sleep out tonight.”
“You’re tryna get information ‘bout what I was doin’ tonight and with whom I was doin’ it.” He smirked. “You know? I’m drunk, but I’m not dumb.”
“Smartass.” With her cheeks turned a deep shade of pink. “There.”
As the door opened, a barking beast came running towards them. If she didn’t know her, she would have run away. Noah was a lovely animal that wanted nothing but to cuddle with her owner—or whoever offered her treats and spoiled her—but she was an eighty-something pounds pit, so she could seem a bit scary when her fangs brightened in the dark.
Sawyer shushed her, but Noah didn’t understand; or didn’t care. She was just too happy to see him. Walking in circles around him, she started whining as her whole body shook at the rhythm of her frenetic tail. And when he squatted down to pet her, she let herself fall on the floor, belly up.
“Missed me, girl?”
They were there for another couple of minutes and Lizbeth started to feel uneasy. They were being pretty noisy and their neighbors could get upset—especially one of them.
“Sawyer, why don’t you keep this inside?”
“Ugh. Fine,” he protested, making her giggle. That childish side of him was kind of adorable and funny.
“What are you doin’?” he asked when she followed them inside.
“Making sure you don’t slip, fall, and smash your head.”
He was wasted enough to not be capable of opening his door and she wanted to make sure he made it safely to his bed. For real, she wasn’t trying anything weird, still a bit shaky after going over the worst scenarios of someone breaking into her house, all she wanted to do was go to bed. He would have to make it up to her for scaring her like that. The bastard.
“Okay.” He shrugged, unzipping his leather jacket before tossing it on the couch, revealing his amazing frame. That burgundy shirt fit him like a glove, highlighting every damn muscle of his strong arms and torso, the black jeans making him look incredibly hot. That ass—
Earth to Liz!
“Can you check Noah has enough water in her bowl? I’m goin’ to the bathroom.”
When Sawyer disappeared behind the door of his bedroom, Lizbeth walked to the kitchen, the dog following suit. Her bowl was full, but she sat beside her and looked at her with puppy eyes. “Oh my God... Really? Don’t do this to me...” Noah started wagging her tail, making a sweeping sound with it as it brushed over the wooden floor, mouth open pulling her face into some kind of smile, tongue hanging on the side. “Fine.”
Reaching for the metal box with a bone painted on it, she opened it. Noah immediately got up, her gaze fixed on her hands as she took a double-layered biscuit with the shape of a heart. It smelled good, almost appetizing.
Has your stomach a black hole, woman? You had a pizza all for yourself a few hours ago...
Noah took the treat and ran to her bed, placed beside the couch in the living room.
“I’m gonna check on your dad,” Lizbeth said as she petted her head, thinking about the different scenes she could find when she stepped inside Sawyer’s bedroom. Maybe he had fallen asleep, face down on the bed, and she would have to wrestle with his dead weight to turn him around, or maybe he was puking his guts out.
Please, be the first.
The room was dimmed, just the lights coming from the street illuminating it, but it was enough to see the space. It was the first time she was there, but it didn’t surprise her how neat and clean everything was. Just like the rest of his apartment, minimalism was a thing. Straight lines and neutral colors that were only broken by a wall painted in a darker shade—it seemed some kind of blue, but she wasn’t sure.
“It’s late, why don’t you go back home? I can take care of myself, I promise.” Sawyer’s voice snapped her back, making her turn to him.
“Oh my God! Don’t you have any shame?” she exclaimed, her body lighting like a match with a mix of embarrassment and arousal. He was wearing nothing but his underwear. Growing up, becoming a real man, had done him so well.
“What? I’m gonna sleep.” He shrugged, moving towards her. Well, probably towards the bed behind her, but her brain was having serious trouble to focus on somethings that weren’t his muscles tensing as he walked.
Every fiber of her body reacted to the incredible view approaching her. Pecs, shoulders, arms, abs, and those strong quadriceps hypnotized her, but that perfectly defined V slipping into his boxers was what forced her to squeeze her legs together.
What the hell?
He left his phone on the night table and then turned around. “You shouldn’t stare a man like that if you’re not plannin’ on fuckin’ him.”
“What—” He had caught her with her guards down. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Sure.” Sawyer smirked, letting himself fall on the bed.
“Are you okay?” Lizbeth asked him as he rubbed his face with both hands and groaned. It wasn’t just tiredness, but he looked mentally exhausted too.
He sat up, elbows resting on his knees, head hanging down. He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. “I saw Madison tonight.” Her chest tightened, the fire running through her veins a minute before vanishing.
“I thought she had moved to New York?”
He had told her so during one of their walks with Noah. That she had finally got someone to promote her metal sculptures and showed them at an art gallery. So she had moved there, leaving her part-time job as a waitress and everything behind to devote her life to her art.
“She came back to help her grandmother.”
“It was fuckin’ weird.”
“I don’t know... She felt like a stranger.”
Lizbeth sat beside him. “Wanna talk about it?”
“I just didn’t expect to feel such emptiness when I saw her again... After everything that happened between us I expected to feel mad or sad, something.” He shrugged.
“... What happened?” She knew it wasn’t very ethical to use his drunken state against him. He was confused and vulnerable, but she was really curious and he hadn’t ever been that talkative and honest about his feelings.
Letting out a heavy sigh, he looked at her. “She cheated on me.”
“I’m sorry, Sawyer...”
“It’s fine. It hurt when I found out, but after a while, it didn’t matter anymore... We even hooked up some time later...” He bitterly laughed. “But everything was so different...”
“The sex was amazing, don’t get me wrong, but we didn’t make sense anymore, that’s why I cut things off, definitely.” Sawyer laid down on the bed again. “Fuck, my head’s starting to hurt like a bitch,” he grumbled.
“Now I get what you meant with you making decisions that made you fall apart...” she said, thinking out loud. “Do you still love her?” She didn’t even know why she wanted to know that, but her insides were twisting and feeling slightly uncomfortable. Not that she was planning to go back to him, but maybe if he said yes she could stop wondering about what could happen if they gave their relationship another try.
“What?” He lifted his head.
“Are you still in love with her?”
He stared at her in silence for a few seconds. “No, but she isn’t one more; if that makes sense. It’s hard to explain.”
“Have you ever thought about going back with her?”
“No. She betrayed me, and even though I don’t hold a grudge against her, I don’t think I could trust her again, and without that, you have nothing but pain in a relationship.” It was the first time he was opening to her like that, and she loved it. Sawyer was a very interesting man, with so many different layers and shades, but he hardly ever said out loud what he kept in the deepest parts of his mind.
“I get what you mean...” She really did. Some people went through your life like ghosts, some only taught you a lesson, but others... Others took a part of you with them.
“I don’t regret gettin’ her out of my life either. It helped me focus on my family.”
Lizbeth stayed silent, thinking about how it must have affected his family, and him, losing Beth. She had always been such a kind soul and so supportive of her twin brother. Hell probably would have felt better for all of them, at least for some time. “You have some inner strength.”
He chuckled. “Gotta have it.”
She gave him a small smile. “Okay, I’m going to leave, so come on, move your ass and get into bed so I can go to mine.” She was about to get up when he grabbed her wrist “What is it?”
“You know... There’s something I’ve been avoidin’ for a while, but after tonight...” He reclined on his elbows. “I realized it’s stupid that we keep ignorin’ what we really want. You and I, I mean.”
“And that would be?”
The atmosphere became heavier around them as he sat up again.
“Don’t play dumb.” His voice sounded deeper than usual and the way his eyes plunged into hers got her heart hammering so hard she was afraid he might have heard it.
“Sawyer, you’re drunk and you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Why do you keep denyin’ the obvious?” he rasped, lips dangerously close to hers as he put a lock of her behind her ear. “Tell me you don’t want me to fuck you.” He smirked.
She was speechless, and hot. He had always been very bold about everything, but since they had met again he hadn’t acted like that with her, not even once. Alcohol sure loosened your inhibitions.
“Whatever it is you’re trying, it’s not gonna work.” She almost choked on her words as all the blood and heat of her body rushed to one palpitating place.
Lizbeth was trying to figure out her own emotions, struggling with inner demons she never thought she would have to face. And while she had managed to calm most of that anguish down, she still didn’t feel in control. Everything had been a mess during the last half-year and she wanted to have some time for herself, to heal, to let go of all the shadows beneath her feet, at least until the trial was over... But she also wanted him.
“Don’t worry, I’m not gonna jump on you tonight.” He chuckled. “If I didn’t do it when you were wasted that night at the wedding, I’m sure not doin’ it now... I want to remember you screamin’ my name...“′ His hot breath grazed the skin of her neck. “And in this state, I’ll sure have huge memory gaps tomorrow.” A smug smile appeared on his face as he looked at her again.
She let out a nervous laugh, shaking her head and thanking the gods it was dark enough for him not to see her blushing. She hated when her face gave away everything so easily, even when she didn’t feel embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, or anything.
“We’ll talk tomorrow morning if you’re not dead. Good night, Sawyer,” she said, pushing him back on the bed.
“Good night, Kitten.” He laughed as she walked back to her apartment.
Her eyes opened wide as she woke up, panting. A wet dream? What the hell?
Lizbeth rolled on the bed and groaned into her pillow. It had been long enough time since she last had sex, and Sawyer being so bold the night before made it pretty hard for her to ignore.
Maybe she should have jumped on him to end her suffering.
She huffed and got out of bed, frustrated, not knowing what to do anymore. She sure wanted him, it was a fact, but at the same time, the idea of getting involved with him again made her grimace.
Of course, some activity between the sheets would be fun, it had always been with him, in the past. But it wasn’t a smart move. What if they got entangled in old memories and lost track of reality? What if a hot exchange of energy confused them and fucked everything up? She couldn’t deal with any more drama at the moment, and him being around had made her days not so gloomy. She needed a friend… But also some lower action.
In an attempt to relax a little, she put on some comfy clothes and went for a walk. Staying at home, caged between four walls would only drive her nuts and lead her to do something stupid.
Wandering around the neighborhood for an hour, looking at the shop windows, and thinking about stuff she wanted to buy but didn’t need, helped her to get back into her normal state of mind. A safe place where she could control everything; except for her craving to eat some of those spongy, golden delicious-looking croissants displayed behind the window of the bakery close to the condo.
Happy, carrying her breakfast, she stopped when she reached her floor and saw Sawyer opening his door. Noah was standing by his side, nose glued to the wooden panel as if that would make it open faster, her tail swinging from side to side in a soft movement that was almost permanent on her. She was so cute.
“Morning.” His voice snapped her back to the real world.
“M-morning… I thought you’d be hungover,” she said, pointing with her eyes to his outfit.
It was barely eight-thirty, but he was wearing some dark blue sweats and a white t-shirt under a grey hoodie, one of those with a zipper. They had probably been running, the back of his neck glittering with a thin layer of sweat. He loved taking Noah for a run whenever he was off or worked a normal schedule—not a night or one of those sixteen-hour crazy long shifts.
“And I am.” He sighed. “But thought this could help to get rid of the alcohol still in my system…” He trailed off. “What’s that? Smells good.” He gestured with his head towards the box in her hands.
“Croissants…” She noticed how his gaze grew slightly brighter. “Wanna have breakfast together?”
“Let me take a quick shower.” He flashed her a wide smile.
As Sawyer entered his apartment and closed the door, Lizbeth did the same.
She left the box on the kitchen counter and switched on the coffee maker. Then she ran to make the living room look more presentable.
When she came back from having a few rounds of beers with Emily—she lost count of how many—and having dinner by herself, Lizbeth plunged on her couch. She almost blended with it and that amazing white, soft, and warm blanket she had.
The coffee table was covered with napkins, an empty bottle of coke, and a plate with pizza crust. It wasn’t that she didn’t like it, but it was plain bread, if she ate that she wouldn’t be able to eat the whole thing. Cheese and pepperoni couldn’t be wasted like that.
While her body was moving like a robot programmed to clean, her mind drifted somewhere else. To her neighbor.
After the conversation they had a few hours before, she thought he would act strange around her. Maybe distant and cold. Or elusive. But he talked to her as if nothing had happened, he even accepted her invitation to have breakfast together. Was it all that so normal for him? Blatantly flirting with someone and then keep going on with his life as if he hadn’t added fuel to the fire?
Before she could get trapped by that delusional thinking, her bell rang.
“Hey, you!” she said as she opened the door, her heart pounding hard.
Fuck. She was really nervous.
“How’s the hangover? Did running help?” she asked as she walked inside her apartment, rubbing her sweaty palms on her legs.
“I was dying at the beginning but feel better now.” He chuckled. “I have a mild headache, but I’m hungry, so that’s a good sign.”
“Glad to hear that… Coffee, right?”
“How do you want it?”
“Black. One spoon of sugar.”
“Some things never change...” Lizbeth smiled to herself.
“Yeah,” he almost breathed the words when she handed him the mug, his eyes fixed on hers, making her entire body tingle.
She cleared her throat. “Want anything else? Orange, grapefruit juice?”
“Nah, this is perfect. Thanks,” he offered as he sat on one of the chairs in the kitchen.
“Aren’t you visiting your parents this weekend?” she asked as she sat beside him, her cup in one hand and the box with the croissants in the other. Some small talk might help her to get down from that stupid roller coaster going on inside of her at the moment.
Lizbeth was never so jittery around him, not anymore. The first few days felt awkward, for sure, but she had gotten used to him. However, that morning her hormones were throwing a party she hadn’t even approved.
“They’re in Orlando. Suffering,” he sarcastically noted, the sides of his lips curling up.
“Oh! That’s nice.” Her mind pictured the tropical trees adorning the streets under a bright high sun in the sky as she started eating one of the croissants. “Have you ever been there?”
“A couple of times.”
“ It must be so warm...” She sighed.
“You really aren’t a cold-weather person.” He chuckled before sipping from his coffee.
“Never. And it’s not even that cool here, yet. I guess my body temperature being lower than average doesn’t help.” She shrugged.
“Aah!” Sawyer let out a soft groan, his mouth stuffed with that sin in the shape of a pastry. “These are so good. You got them from the bakery around the corner, right?” he asked, closing the croissants’ box to check the name.
“If you knew they were that good why didn’t you tell me before?” She narrowed her eyes at him, lips pressed to a tight line to hold the grin back.
“I’ve shown you around the neighborhood. Took you to have dinner at one of my favorite places, even told you where to go if your car has any issues. Excuse me your highness for forgetting that little detail,” he quipped.
“You should know by now that I’m a goner with this stuff. You’re gonna have to make it up to me.”
If she was feeling a bit weird before, she wasn’t anymore. Overthinking had never been an ally, and not knowing what to expect made her very anxious, but that man knew how to put her at ease. No matter what.
And by the way he was acting, so laid back and relaxed, he probably didn’t remember any of the things he had said the night before. Yeah. That had to be it. If he was drunk enough to get their doors mixed up, there was no way his brain had registered anything from the conversation they had. Right?
Sawyer raised a mocking brow. “How?”
“Share with me one of your mom’s recipes.”
“You don’t even know how to cook without burning everything.”
“Oh my God! I’m so offended right now!” She put her hand on her chest, exaggerating, of course.
He smirked. “Am I lying?”
She fake-glared at him and then laughed. “Not at all.”
“But...” He stared at her.
“Maybe I could cook dinner for two one night.”
“Deal.” She beamed.
“That was easy.”
“Oh well… I could never reject such an invitation. You’ve always been good in the kitchen, and if you do one of those amazing Italian meals... I’m all in.” She grinned.
Sawyer shook his head, a smile plastered on his face. “Do you have plans for today?”
“Hm... Not really, I was just going to lay on the couch and watch a movie.” Lizbeth shrugged. “I promised myself I’d have a weekend like that from time to time. To disconnect and recharge my emotional budget, you know?”
“Yeah… Work has been energy draining lately.”
He didn’t say anything and gave her an apologetic look. She had never got into any details about what she talked about in her visits to Courtney, or how the case was going. But she had vented about how heartbreaking all that was, and how she wanted to be over with the trial.
“It’s alright,” she said before finishing her coffee. “Why did you ask though?”
“Do you have plans?”
“Nope.” He got up, grabbing their empty mugs and leaving them in the sink.
She bit her bottom lip and smiled, realizing he was being considerate, respecting her boundaries. Since she had told him she needed some alone time, even though he had nothing to do and was actually asking her to spend the day together, he didn’t push it any further.
But she felt bold. Or something like that. That thrilling sensation hadn’t invaded her in a while.
“Wanna join me for a movie marathon?”
“You know… If you’re feeling lonely, you don’t need to be this weird. Just say so.”
“I’m not feeling lonely.”
“Mh-hmm.” She cheekily grinned.
“I’m not.” He laughed. “But we’re both alone, with no responsibilities… thought it’d be nice to spend some time together. I could even cook something for lunch.” He shrugged. “But I can leave and go find someone else.” A smirk stretched his lips.
“I-I—” How did he do it? She was feeling confident one second and completely disarmed the next one. “You might get bored though.” She tried to act nonchalantly.
“As long as you’re around I don’t think that can ever happen,” he stated as he made his way to the living room.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
There it was again, the hitched breathing and that loud pounding.
“Nothing,” he said as he plopped on the couch. “What are we gonna watch?”
“Whatever you want. But it better be good.” She threw him the remote as she made herself comfortable beside him, feet on the table and a couple of cushions in between...
It was almost lunchtime. They had spent the entire morning together, watched two movies, talked, and teased each other as they drank beer and ate chips and some crackers with Cheddar cheese—that shit was good.
Having him all for herself like that, with no rush, no stress, or specific time to leave, allowed her to discover more about the man he had turned into. There were lots of things that were the same, like the way his eyes squinted when he laughed, the tone of his voice, or how he crossed his arms over his chest when reclining on the couch, fingers constantly touching his chin.
Things like the way his gaze spoke for him even if his mouth didn’t utter a single word. Exactly like it did when they glanced at each other as they both snorted at a silly joke in the last movie, the silent fire in his irises challenging her to get burned with him.
Her body moved as if it had a life of itself, hands cupping his face, lips smashing against his. He was frozen for a second but soon after, his arms wrapped around her waist, pressing their bodies further together. His tongue languidly licked her lips, coaxing her to open her mouth, to let him in. And so she did.
Lizbeth changed her position, sitting on her heels as she kneeled on the couch, legs spreading, straddling him when his palms roamed down to her ass. It was as if their minds, their hearts, and their everything were still in sync, pounding at the same rhythm in a beautiful and perfectly coordinated dance.
Their hips shamelessly rocked together, increasing the friction, building the pleasure, hard breaths puffing out of their nostrils, both of them ready to step into the next level.
She had missed that sensation.
Sawyer’s fingers circled around her wrists, and after sucking on her bottom lip and planting one more soft and wet kiss over her lips, he broke the kiss.
“Wait,” he rasped as he touched her forehead with his, chest rising and falling, fast.
“What?” Lizbeth asked, panting, feeling the spot between her thighs palpitating, yearning for him to be inside of her.
“I—” His eyes bored into hers, glowing with mixed emotions she couldn’t decrypt. “I think we should talk…”
“Can we do that later?” She pressed her center further into his hardness.
He hissed, clenching his jaw.
“It’s obvious you want this too… Let’s have some fun now and leave whatever you wanna talk about for later,” she whispered, almost begged, before connecting their mouths once more.
And for a fraction of a second, he gave in, letting his lips mold to hers, igniting her as his hands tightened around her wrists. But then, he stopped her, again.
“Fuck, Liz!” he groaned, though it sounded more like a pained grumble. His head fell back on the couch, brows creased together. “We can’t do this.”
She immediately tensed and put some distance between them. That was the second time he was rejecting her in less than a month.
“I’m sorry… I—”
“What?” Her tone came out harsher than she intended.
“What I said last night… I shouldn’t have blurted out all that the way I did.” He stared at her with contrite eyes.
“So, you remember.” She crossed her arms over her chest.
“Yeah…” He sighed. “But it was so out of place.”
“I don’t know what you’re playing at.” Lizbeth got up, feeling hurt and embarrassed. But before she could get too far, he grabbed her forearm and forced her to turn around as he towered over her.
“Liz, I’m not saying I didn’t mean everything I said. I like you, I really do. I thought it’d be all gone after so many years, but it’s not and it’s driving me fucking nuts.”
“Then, what’s the problem?”
“This is wrong...”
“We’re both adults here, and that”—she pointed to the couch—“didn’t feel wrong at all.”
“We’re obviously attracted to each other, you just admitted it yourself. And we also know we’re great at it. So, what’s the problem?” she repeated.
“I don’t think this is the best moment. There’s a lot going on in your life, and mine too…”
“It’s just sex,” she snapped, freeing herself from his grip.
She knew it wasn’t just that. It had never only been sex between them, but frustration had reached its peak. She didn’t want to think about anything, simply indulge herself with something that had always made her feel good, erasing all her worries for a short amount of time. She needed that mental and physical release.
“You’ve never been one to have a fling or a nightstand... You get deeply involved with whomever you are, which is something I truly admire, but I’m not sure I can have that kind of commitment right now. I…” He lowered his gaze.
“Is it because of Madison?”
“What? No! That has nothing to do with this.”
“This is the same story all over again.” Lizbeth huffed. “You’re making one-sided decisions just because you think it’s the best,” she scoffed as she walked away, towards the door.
“What are you talking about?” His brows furrowed in a questioning expression.
“When we were in college and you decided to break up because it was the best for both of us as I was going miles away,” she sarcastically mentioned. “You never asked me what I wanted, didn’t even give us the chance to see if it was possible.”
“Are we seriously talking about this now? That’s fucking ancient history.” He looked completely lost, she couldn’t blame him though. She didn’t understand why she was bringing all the shit from the past back, but the self-control switch had blown, unleashing all the repressed pain, thoughts, and needs.
“Fucking ancient history we never talked about.”
“Liz… Please… I know I shouldn’t have said what I said last night, that I shouldn’t have kissed you back to stop you afterward—”
“... I didn’t want to hurt you, not again, not like this.”
“Sawyer, I’m too old of this tug-of-war game. It’s easy, you either want me or not.”
“Of course I do. But it’s not that simple. My life is too complicated and I’d hate that our relationship got ruined like it did the last time. It could affect too many people, like Liam and April. That’s why I think we should talk before—”
“It didn’t affect them in the past.”
“It did, you just weren’t around to see it.”
Okay, when she moved to the west coast, she disconnected herself from her previous life, a little, and Liam had never told her their break up affected anyone else... But it made sense, he was best friends with the guy that had just broken his sister’s heart. And even though they were older and could deal with things differently, if that relationship didn’t work out, they would be putting those around them in an uncomfortable and unnecessary position, again.
Confusion and disappointment filled her as a heavy silence flooded the room for a few seconds that felt like a lifetime. That was supposed to be an escape, not a problem to add to her list.
“You know what? I get it.”
“I need to be alone,” she said with a sigh, hand tightening around the handle of the entrance door.
“Sure…” He nodded and reluctantly walked out of her apartment.
She leaned against the door as she closed it behind him and looked up at the ceiling. Her legs felt like jelly, completely out of strength. Her heart was racing like never before, her belly tightening as shivers traveled up and down her back.
He had said he wanted her, and his body actually confirmed it, but his eyes and the things he wasn’t telling her seemed to weigh... a lot more.