I could tell Lark was blushing even from where I was sitting.
What I couldn’t tell was if she was blushing at whatever Colt was saying, or the fact that he practically kissing her ear while holding her in his lap.
I caught Luka’s eye as he was trying to hide a knowing smirk.
A flash of movement caught my eyes as Lark disentangled herself from Colt’s arms and stood up.“Could someone please point me in the direction of the bathroom?” She sounded a little breathless and I couldn’t help but smile at her.
“Up the stairs and first door on your left”. I gestured the path with my hands as I gave her instructions.
She turned and bounded up the stairs. Out of sight, but most assuredly not out of mind.
Aidan was the first to break the silence. “I fucking missed her”. He exhaled hard and leaned his head back against the couch.
“It feels like a weight I didn’t realize I was carrying just lifted off my chest”. Luka’s admission surprised me. He was always the one that could find the positive in any situation. Hearing him admit to an emotion other than happiness was a rarity.
Colt just nodded as he looked off in the direction Lark had just walked off to. I think we all knew that Lark was something we all needed. I just don’t think we realized how much her absence truly affected us.
“She’s not going to just come right out with whatever happened to her. Knowing her, it will come out in bits and pieces without her meaning to.” Colt spoke with a finality in his voice. His hand rubbed at his jaw as he turned his attention back towards us.
“We’re going to have to fit those pieces together. She’s not going to do it for us. She’s too scared.” I could hear how much it pained him to admit Lark didn’t feel completely comfortable with us yet.
“It reminds me of when we all first met each other in New Haven. None of us knew what trust meant back then.” Aidan’s words, while somber, gave me a little hope. We just needed to give Lark the chance to trust us again. We only needed to be patient.
“We just need to give her some time. Let her know we aren’t going anywhere. Not this time.” I stood up after addressing the guys. They looked at me and nodded their agreement.
Even though we all wanted things to go back to normal, we needed to get used to the fact that they couldn’t.
It was time for a new normal.
I walked to the kitchen and shouted to the guys without turning around. “Alright, who’s helping me cook. We need to feed her before she gets into a hunger coma of rage.”
“Hey!” Lark’s objection came from the bottom of the stairs. Her hand was on her hip as she fixed me with a glare before walking over to the kitchen.
“I’m not that bad when I’m hungry.” Her grumbled words stated as she took a seat at the kitchen island.
Everyone else joined us in the kitchen as Colt and Aidan started helping me cook and Luka took a seat next to Lark. The two of them were chatting about their class and I could hear Luka grilling her about the proper Italian pronunciation of a word he was struggling with.
The normalcy of it all took my breath away.
Lark was in our home. Waiting for dinner. Hanging out.
I couldn’t remember the last time I was this happy.
Lark looked at me in the middle of her conversation with Luka and smiled at me. It was brief and I could tell she was trying to assure me that she was okay.
I smiled back and then turned around to help Colt and Aid. Our girl wanted food and we were not going to disappoint.