For the first time she let herself think of what the three girls had told her. She began to wonder herself where that woman was, what had happened to have made him come home by himself. She wondered if all this had anything to do with how lost he seemed, how drained he was. She couldn't be upset with him, couldn't blame him. That was after all no one's business but his own but she wished that he could somehow lean on her. Trust her with the trust, with the opening of his soul. She was afraid now that would never happen.
She went to the front door, hoping that it was open and that she wouldn't have to go through the back where everyone was. It gave way to her twist and with relief she went inside. There were people inside of course but they were all so busy working that they didn't notice her. She looked through the rooms and finally came upon the bathroom. Locking herself in she lifted herself up to sit on the counter and lowered her head into her hands.
She felt pathetic with how alone she was feeling. It only went away when he was there. He was actually somehow interested in her when no one else had ever been. She hated the familiar feeling of loneliness but she couldn't seem to make it ever go away. Now she had ruined everything, he wouldn't talk to her now, he would think she was just nosy and meaning only to pry into the part of himself he was trying to keep to himself. He didn't know though that she understood everything about that. He didn't know that privacy regarding personal tragedies and emotions was something she knew first hand.
Gently she rolled her sleeve up, letting her eyes look over the cuts there. Jared's grip had agitated several of the cuts and blood had begun to pearl. Harshly she swallowed, squinting to see through the glaze of tears in her eyes. She turned around and opened the medicine cabinet, looking for something, anything at all to ease the pain that her loneliness had built up inside. A knock on the door stopped her though, a trail of tears from her lashes. She cleared her throat the best she could as she quickly pulled her sleeve down.
"Yes?" She called out, hoping that the thickness of tears wasn't apparent from the other side of the door.
"You hungry Rowan?" It was Shannon, concern in his deep voice.
"I'll be right out..." She replied, again lowering her head into her hands. She wiped at the tears and turned to look at herself in the mirror. She was a mess but the most she could do was fix the slight smudge of her makeup. She got down off the counter, straightened her clothes and let out a small and shaky breath. Within minutes she was out the door and in the living room.
Shannon smiled widely at her, looking her over to make sure she was okay. "You want something to eat?"
She nodded a little and followed after him outside. He got her a plate that had a freshly cooked burger on it and handed her a soda once they sat down. Everyone turned to look at her but after what they had seen Jared do they decided to keep their distance.
"He isn't really mad at you." Shannon said after a while of silence. He set down his glass bottle and sat back. The fading sun caught the honey color of his eyes and heightened the attempt at assurance he was trying to show.
"Isn't he?" She asked once she had finished chewing.
He shook his head. "He gets like that, don't really know why. But I guess it's understandable. He doesn't like people asking him about personal things, doesn't like anyone to know what's going on with him. I used to be able to get through to him but this time...well it's different." He pushed his hand through his dark hair and let out a sigh. His worry was more than apparent.
She swallowed down her drink of soda and with it tried to keep down the lump of tears in her throat. "Guess I'm not as good for him as you thought." She said, making an attempt at a smile.
"You got him to come out here today, that was enough." He stated, comfort showing in his eyes.
"And it was a disaster..."
He laughed a little, exasperated it seemed by the hopelessness he was surrounded by. "Guess that's his fault, surrounding himself with all these hens who want to gossip all day. But look it's going to be alright, okay?"
Reluctantly she nodded and set her plate down gingerly, no longer hungry.
"Will you be alright?" He asked, getting ready to get up.
"I'll be fine." She said, giving him something of a smile.
He nodded and left back inside, going back to work on whatever it was.
She sat there for the longest time, being avoided by everyone around. As night began to fully fall she decided it was time for her to get back home. It was obvious she didn't have any business staying there. Just as someone turned up some music she stood up and made her way to the side gate. Making her way to the driveway she stopped when she saw Jared's car parked there. Her heart began to race a little quicker as she made the walk to the other side of the car. A small gasp came out of her mouth when she saw him standing there.
"Jared..." She whispered his name softly without moving, unsure if she should go to him.
He didn't say anything for what seemed like the longest time. The blue of his eyes glistened in the night dark, his lips were slightly parted, and his swept back hair was windblown. Finally after a while he pulled his hands from his pockets and moved towards her slowly, hesitantly. "I'm sorry." He softly said, his eyes pleading with her to give him some kind of a chance.
She held his eyes, her own filling with tears before she nodded. She let him wrap his arms around her tightly, protectively. She wrapped her arms around his waist and listened to the gentle rhythm of his heart. He smoothed her hair back , pressed a whisper of a kiss to the top of her head. He gently moved her out of his arms and gave her a slight smile that softened his features and allowed her to relax a little.
"Can we go some place? I thought I was ready but I...can we go some place else else?"
"Do you want to?" She asked, making sure that this was something he wanted. She didn't want to be another person who bombarded him with their constant worrying and relentless attention.
"I just want to be alone...with you." He surprised himself with his answer, still unsure what it was that drew him so easily to her. Everything about her was what suddenly meant everything to him. He found something in her that made it easy for him to hold on. He lifted his hand, gently brushing her cheek with his fingers, noting the wet trail of tears that was stained there.
She nodded, let out a breath of gentle relief and let him take her into his arms again. She rested against him, wanting nothing more than this moment to last forever. She felt such a simplicity being there with him, a reason for things that hadn't even made themselves known to her yet. He let go of her and together they went into his car, pulling away from the house and retreating into a seclusion that only they could find.