He wanted to pull her closer if that was even possible. He wanted to feel her heart beating against his chest, wanted to take away the pain she was feeling and envelope her in absolute security. He needed her to know that he was hers, that somewhere along the road it had happened.
Carefully he pulled her from his arms and looked down into her red rimmed eyes. She looked up at him with such vulnerability he wanted to hold her back to him again. Instead he dropped his hands from her, quickly removed his gloves and stuffed them into his coat pockets. She looked at him almost quizzically until he lifted one of his hands and gently stole away the trail of her tears. She sighed against his delicate touch and he pressed her close again, letting his lips linger on her forehead.
"Don't say you're sorry..." He whispered, his own voice weak with the emotion climbing inside of him.
"I'm just so scared..." She replied causing him to look down at her, waiting for her to explain. "...So scared of everything...of being alone." More tears fell from her lashes despite her obvious struggle to withhold them.
He shook his head with a small sigh. "You won't ever be alone, Rowan...I promise you that...I'm not ever going to leave you alone." He promised it with the kind of truth he hadn't felt in a long time. She was there before him and if he could he would have ripped out his heart and placed it there in her hands. She wouldn't break it, he knew. So why was he still reluctant with opening up completely?
She wasn't sure what to say, she wiped at her tears with the backs of her hands and lightly shook her head. "You don't know who I am...." She whispered, her voice again cracking, her tears again threatening their assault. Her heart was pulsing rapidly and her hands began to shake. She was beyond nervous, fear had taken root again and she wasn't sure if she could ever disspell something so strong that she had lived with for so long.
He stepped closer to her, gently touched his hands to her messy hair, caressed over the skin of her face, lingering slowly on her lips before he withdrew his hand and rested it on her neck. "Then show me." He said firmly but with all the gentleness he could offer. He didn't want to press her, didn't want her to have to tear herself apart at his behest. All he wanted was to know someone, to know who they were and to take care of them. He wanted to know what was hurting her so badly, what darkness had infiltrated her otherwise delicate mind to make her believe that none of this was something that she deserved.
She stared at him, her lips parted slightly and her chest trying to catch up with the rapid rhythm of her heart. Visibly she swallowed harshly as several more tear drops danced away from her lashes. Hesitantly she lifted her trembling hand and placed it over the one that he had resting on her neck. The warmth of his skin sent life back through her and she almost gasped at the feeling. She let her eyes slide close, trying to will away the reluctance and the fear. She hadn't let anyone in since her mother had died, since she had been ripped away from her. Her fear had been enough to paralyze that part of her completely. And yet here Jared was, perfect and beautiful, offering to carry the burden with her. His eyes were genuine, his words were true and everything about him eased away every pain she had ever had to live with. So she opened her eyes, meeting the perfect blue of his gaze and she nodded.
Gently he interlaced his fingers with hers and she turned around to face the door. She hesitated at first, the cold of the door knob enough to send her away but she felt him press her hand and so she opened it with a heavy sigh.
Jared walked inside after her and that's when she let go of his hand. She disappeared somewhere like she didn't want to be there when he took it all in. He looked around and noticed that nothing about it was what he had expected. Sure the size of it matched the outside of the rundown building. The kitchen seemed to blind with the square of the living room, the bedroom was even smaller but everything inside was clean. It smelled of lilac and something else intoxicatingly sweet. Besides all of that though the walls were what caught his eyes, overwhelming his mind with what he saw.
The walls were painted almost fiercely with a mix of different dark colors. They screamed out her sorrow, bled out her very pain. He pressed his lips together tightly as he managed to feel the ache she had when she had painted this. It covered every inch and within the pain were photos. Pictures of different people with similar features to Rowan, no doubt her family. He pushed his hand harshly back through his hair and tried to calm his own emotions. She had been suffering for so long and seeing it there displayed just killed him.
His attention was stolen by a creak that came from the bedroom. He swallowed harshly, shrugged out of his coat and went towards the sound. He pushed open the door and found himself surrounded again by the same kind of paintings on the walls. The bed was neatly made and there was a dim light that shone a quiet white. There were several relics of a childhood sitting on a chipped wood dresser. A jewelry box, an ivory based lamp and a single porcelain doll. An ipod sat on the nightstand with a photograph of an older woman who bore a striking resemblance to Rowan. That intoxicating scent sang louder in the room, he knew now that the scent was hers.
He sat on the edge of the bed, lowering his head to his hands. He wanted to find her, take her in his arms and tell her that none of this had scared him away. The pressure though of looking into someone's soul, their broken soul, was enough to etch you with their pain. You become scarred with what they reveal to you, beautiful or not.
Rowan's voice lifted his eyes to her. His breath caught in his throat as he looked at her.
She stood there, a lace camisole on her delicate frame, the skirt she had been wearing hit her pale knees. The messiness of her hair had been straightened out and swam down her back gracefully. She was more than beautiful, prefect, unlike anybody he had ever seen before. She had an innocence that could never be taken away, a tragic need that showed she was much too delicate for the world surrounding them. But none of that was what caused that small gasp to release from his lips.
There were scars running up and down her arms, some were bandaged and bled through. Her legs were marked as well and through the lace of the camisole he could see that her stomach also was. He knew what they were from, what had inflicted such pain on her. He noticed tears coming from her eyes, her lips began to quiver and then she hugged her arms about herself. She was trembling as she covered her face, shaking her head with her weeping. He stood up but she moved past him and sat down where he had been sitting.
He looked down at her, trying his best to know what to do. He had never been faced with something like this before but none of that mattered to him. He knew that there wasn't any right thing to do. He knew that the yearning to help her, to carry with her the pain that had torn her apart was still there inside of him, stronger even. He wasn't going to turn his back on her like he knew she thought he was going to do.
He went to her then, resting on his knees and gently lifted her face to look at him. She struggled against him at first but then she gave in, holding his eyes. There was fear there and more tears than he had ever seen in his life. And yet still she was beautiful, the most angelic girl he had ever seen. With her scars, her cuts, her tears, and all the torment tearing her apart. She was beautiful.
He held her gaze as he lifted her arm. She let out a noise of protest, suddenly regretting showing it all to him. He didn't withdraw though. He lowered his head and gently ran his fingers along the scars. She cried out softly in a breath and he continued, his own eyes blurring with emotion. He pressed his lips to each scar, gently caressing over them. He continued to the next arm and down to the visible cuts on her legs. He could hear her crying, felt her trembling hand on his shoulder. She could feel some of his tears falling from his lashes, she could feel the softness of his kiss lessening the pain of every story that came with each scar.
He looked up at her then, his fingers dancing in a whisper along her face. Her gently brought her down to him and without any hesitation he pressed his lips to hers. He made the kiss deep, her lips parting in soft breaths as she remained frozen for a moment. He didn't stop though, tasting her tears as they fell one by one. Finally she relaxed into the kiss, her arms losing themselves in the length of his hair. Everything that hurt inside of them became numb for that moment, as they poured into each other their need, and absolute love. She clung to him desperately, her heart racing, her need for him to never leave stronger than anything she had ever felt. He moved up with her onto the bed, laying beside her and leaning over her. His necklace hung down in a caress on her skin and his eyes softened beautifully in the dim light. He managed a smile, his hands unable to leave any part of her. He could tell she was nervous, could tell that something like this had perhaps never happened for her and so he decided against furthering things, despite how intensely he needed her. He closed his eyes as she ran her fingers back through his hair, traced the length of his jaw and whispered across his lips.
"Promise me something..." He finally said into the still that had fallen around them.
She nodded as she held his eyes.
Lightly he pressed a kiss to her lips before trailing them down to her neck. She sighed softly, her hands again in his hair, caressing over his back. He brought his lips to her ear. "Promise me we'll only be alive within each other..." He looked back down at her, tears were forming in her eyes with the need for that promise to last forever. And with that he brought his lips to hers, stealing every breath she had left.