When Jared stopped the car she was surprised their drive was over. She had lost herself in the quiet that had enveloped them, had wanted it to last forever.
"I hope you like it here." He said softly, turning to her then and giving her a gentle smile that glistened in his eyes before it had made its way onto his face.
"I'm sure I will." She replied, barely nodding.
He got out then, taking his keys with him and came around to her side. Opening her car door he let her out. She felt something inside of her piece together when he gently interlaced his fingers with hers. The warmth of his skin was enough for her to just fall apart.
They walked away from the car and towards an opening of trees that seemed almost black in the night. There were barely any lights but what little she could see she knew it was beautiful. The lake that was nearby was what caught her eye and she smiled a little to herself. It was serene and serenity, peace were both things she was so desperately craving.
They stopped walking just above the lakes rim and Jared let go of her hand and released a small sigh.
"It's beautiful." Rowan whispered, looking at the way the moon danced tenderly on the lakes surface.
Jared looked down at her, his eyes softening. He had stolen the beauty from the view around them and had let it settle there in the blue of his gaze. He felt himself suddenly admire her, the way she seemed a bit retreated. How she seemed to feel that no matter what attention she got she felt it was not deserved. He saw the way she looked almost too small for the world they were in, too fragile for anything that came before her. He saw a brokenness in her eyes, the kind that he wanted to fix, that he wanted to make go away. But how could he do that when he couldn't make vanish his own emptiness?
"Rowan, I'm sorry...I really am. I shouldn't have acted like that...it was uncalled for." He was more than ashamed for how he had acted. He hadn't driven very far when he had first left the house, only down the road. He had felt like an absolute bastard for treating her that way. He tried to think of ways to apologize, to make it alright and yet it had come easier than he had expected.
"It's fine really...no one should get into other people's business, I understand...and I won't ask you about it." She had to push her words out reluctantly. She hadn't wanted to close the possibility of knowing the truth but she also wanted to earn his trust. She knew that he wanted a private life, that he liked to deal with things on his own. The only way to be brought into his closed off world was by handing it over to him to bring her in himself.
He watched her for a moment, trying to see if what she just said was genuine. He really couldn't believe it that she had literally allowed him to back away and deal with this on his own but he knew that he really didn't want to be by himself in this. Something told him that he wanted her to be with him but he wasn't quite sure why.
"You want to go in?" He asked after a short while of silence. He made a gesture towards the lake and threw a glance back at her.
"Go in?" She questioned, a smile breaking onto her face.
He nodded and stepped closer to the lake. He pulled his shirt off over his head, taking his pants with it as well. She watched with surprise as he made his way into the glistening look, letting out a small noise at the cold water. She laughed a little and gave a shake of her head.
"Come on, it isn't so cold." He urged, a sudden and beautiful smile on his lips.
"I don't know how to swim." She replied loud enough for him to hear. She knew that she had just lied but the thought of being close to him with so little on was already making her nervous.
He looked at her skeptically for a moment and then he held out his hand. "I'll stay with you. I'll make sure nothing happens to you."
She saw how serious he became, how his eyes held hers with all the offerings she needed so badly. She swallowed harshly, unsure how she was going to go about this but nodded anyways. "Okay." She replied with something of a nervous smile.
She let her jacket fall to the ground and pulled her dress over her head. She had on a slip underneath and so she decided to leave that on. She wasn't sure if it was such a good idea what with the scars and fresh cuts on her arms but she was sure it was dark enough to mask them and besides they would be halfway in the water anyways.
He laughed a little when she shivered at the cold water before he met her halfway, letting her lean on him a little. "You alright?" He asked, calming when she gave a nod.
She managed to lift her eyes to his despite how nervous she was. His hair had fallen damp and water pearled on the tips of his lashes. His skin seemed almost pale in the dark but still he was warm against her.
"You're beautiful." He whispered, one of his hands letting go of hers and lifting to her face. Gently he traced her bottom lip with his thumb taking with it the drops of water that had settled there. He gave a breath of a smile before he made one of her hands to rest on his shoulder.
Her eyes held her hand that laid there. She grew even more nervous at the closeness between them, at her hand being on him, at the short distance between his chest and hers. She didn't stop him though when he brought himself closer to her, the silk of her dress clinging to his chest. He pressed a kiss to her forehead and rested there, his breath making its way along her face in a soothing wave.
"You can get out if you want to." He said softly, having noticed how rigid she seemed.
She lightly shook her head, loving the way she could still feel his lips on her. "I don't want to. I want to stay here..with you." She whispered, moving back from him and looking up into his eyes.
His lips parted, his hand moved down to her waist and suddenly she was closer to him. She sighed against him, her hand tightening gently on his shoulder. She felt every part of him next to her and she couldn't fight the need she had for him, to be closer to him than she had ever been with any man. She wanted him to take her up in his arms, take her back home and make love to her the way she hadn't let anyone do before. She had never been with anyone before, had never met anyone and yet now felt like the perfect moment, the time that she had been waiting for. But she knew he wouldn't because she could never let him in close enough without him seeing the things she had done to herself, without him knowing the torturous damage that she lived with. Fear distanced her from her need, from her desire, from the love that began to pulse its way into her damaged heart. So when he leaned down, his lips brushing lightly against the skin of her neck, his breath dancing there, she pulled away. With all the regret in the world she pulled away. She couldn't let him see her.
"I have to go..." She whispered, breaking loose of his embrace and making her way out of the water. She didn't hear him follow her until she had slipped her dressed back on, not caring about the wetness of her slip. She pulled on her jacket, hugged it around her and then turned to look at him.
He had already gotten on his pants and was buttoning his jacket as he watched her. His hair had fallen wet in his eyes and confusion had settled onto his face.
"What's the matter?" He asked, walking towards her worriedly. "Did I do something?"
She shook her head. "I just have to get home." She replied, her tears making their way painfully to her eyes.
He didn't believe her, that was evident from the way he was looking at her. But where would he get with pressing? He would take her home but that didn't mean he would let her get inside without him being completely assured that she was alright. He gave a slight nod and they made their way back to the car, pulling away from the lake as silently as they had come.