Eight – 03

[This post is from Thom’s point of view.]

Marin reached up, her fingers threading through his hair. Thom relaxed another fraction, though found it didn’t come easily. Something was bothering him, something he couldn’t quite put a finger on, couldn’t quite put a name to. It was becoming an uneasily familiar feeling.

“I love you,” she murmured, “you know that, don’t you?”

“Of course.” He pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “I always have, even when I was doing my damnest to make you hate me—or at least fooling myself into thinking I was.”

“That’s the second time you’ve brought it up,” she said, looking up at him in the dim. “It’s really bothering you. Why?”

His throat tightened and he swallowed bile, uncertain when it had crept up in his throat. “I don’t know,” he whispered. “I really don’t know. It’s—maybe it’s just the timing. Maybe it’s just because it’s been a year. I just—I don’t know, Mar. I really don’t.” I’m not sure I want to, either. He was bothered enough by it as it was. Would knowing really help?

“I’m not going anywhere,” she said, kissing his collarbone gently. “You’re stuck with me. From now for as long as love lasts, remember? I don’t see myself falling out of love with you, Thom. Not ever.”

“I know.” The words came as the barest thread of a whisper. “I know, Marin. And I know I shouldn’t worry and I shouldn’t be afraid but somehow—”

“It’s okay,” she said. “I understand. You can’t help it, just the same as I can’t help it sometimes. It just is.”

He squeezed his eyes shut and nodded. “Yes. Yes, that’s exactly it.”

“We’ll get through it,” she said softly. “Together. Always.”

He nodded, burying his nose in her hair. “Always.”

For as long as love lasts, and love lasts forever.

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