She could barely see his face seeing as he was laying on his stomach, his hair a mess around him. Despite being unable to see him she smiled to herself, just barely allowing the emotion to make its way onto her face. She could smell his faint scent all around her and could feel a sense of calm emanating from his very presence.
She wasn't sure when the last time was that she had woken up feeling at ease, alive even but now was the only time she could remember. The past seemed like something of a blur, the only memory she wanted to keep alive was the one from last night.
It flashed through her mind as it had done in the depths of her dreams. The way he had held her to him so softly throughout the night, his whispering breath relaxing every fear she had been carrying. His fingers lightly dancing over her skin making her suddenly unashamed of anything she had done. He had actually seen inside of her, had come to know what and who she was and yet he was still there, as perfect as he had always been.
There was one thing that stood out amongst the rest. The thought of doing what she had always done to herself was at the far back of her mind. She could still remember him asking her why she did it, a question that she had taken of only concern and nothing more. She had cried a little, wishing she didn't have to dig so deep and yet the gentleness in his eyes had been enough to convince her. She had told him the truth, she wanted to bleed out the pain that seemed to slip inside of her so strongly with each breath that she breathed, each day that she lived. He had kissed away her tears then, capturing them with his lips with the promise of them never returning. He gently took her face in his hands and he told her to promise her she would never do it again. She had blinked away her tears, interlaced her fingers with his and nodded.
The promise was alive inside of her, she could feel it easing the fear that had seemed to grow with each day. She was unsure how something that had happened so suddenly, without her being aware had managed to make her feel safe, to make her feel...dare she say it? Loved?
She looked at him again, daring her fingers to brush away some of his hair. She managed to look at him. His peaceful sleep undisturbed by her movement. His lashes touched his skin, his lips were slightly parted with a the breath of sleep escaping them. Again she smiled, she wasn't even sure when it had been that she had smiled so much. Lightly she traced her fingers over his face which caused him to stir. He turned his face away, making a small noise and she laughed a little.
She made up her mind then to slip out of bed and go to get dressed, leaving him there to sleep but her plan was stopped when his phone began to ring on the nightstand. He nearly jumped out of his sleep and grabbed immediately for the phone.
"Hello?" He answered groggily, pulling himself off the pillow and sitting on the edge of the bed. He mussed his hair with his hand and let out a small yawn. "Yeah I'm here, I'm fine." He gave a nod of his head and somehow Rowan knew that it was Shannon on the other end. She couldn't help but feel a bit envious of the close relationship they shared. Her own sister was miles away and she hadn't talked to her in so long.
"What?" Jared's voice was suddenly more than alert. He had fully awakened and worry began to drip off his demeanor. "What do you mean? How did she know I was here?" Heavily he sighed. "You're right...She won't leave?"
Rowan lifted herself off the pillow, pulled one of her sweaters from the dresser and shrugged it on. She watched the way he stiffly sat there, something was obviously not right. She grew worried suddenly as she thought about everything he was also dealing with. She had been thinking so much about herself these past days, she had let it slip from her mind how much in despair he had been for so long.
"I'll be there....give me a few." And with that he set the phone back down and let out a heavy sigh. He lowered his head to his hands and gripped tightly onto his hair.
"Jared? Is everything okay?" Rowan finally asked, so soft it was a wonder he had heard her.
He turned to look at her, his worried eyes softening as he took her in all over again. She sat there, her eyes demure and so full of worry over his current state. Her loose hair cascaded over her arms and the pale pink of her sweater managed to heighten the alluring red of her lips. He thought of how soft she had been in his arms, how small. He had never spent such an innocent night with a woman in his life. He had never been so completely overwhelmed by a kiss in his life either. Yet she had managed to give him both in one night. Her with all her angelic beauty, her scarred heart and those perfect promises she had so effortlessly thrown herself into. His heart ached to be near her, to take her into his arms again and forget the world around them. Away from her he wasn't breathing, how could he be when her very presence seemed to suddenly sustain him? But he couldn't throw out what was pressing on him, what he found himself faced with.
"Everything's fine." He replied, holding his hand out to her. He brought her close to him, taking in that sweet smell that he had felt himself intoxicated by the entire night. "Do you work today?" He asked and when she nodded he smiled. "I'll give you a ride."
She looked up at him, her eyes gaining that quizzical look again. "Are you sure everything's okay?"
He bit the inside of his cheek, wishing that she couldn't read the distress that was no doubt taking over his gaze. He couldn't hide it though, who Shannon had mentioned had been enough to burden him.
Gently he kissed her, pulling away quickly and he smiled. "Everything's fine. Now get ready, don't want you to be late on account of me."
She laughed a little and moved out of his arms. He watched her climb off the bed, grab some clothes and hurry into the bathroom. He held the closed door in his gaze for a long moment before he tore his eyes away and looked out the small window.
He hated being thrust into reality, hated the feel and smell of it. He hated knowing what awaited him once he made his way back home. He didn't want to have to face the questions again, didn't want to feel it all build up as if it had just happened. He didn't want to relive any of it, he hated the thought. And he hated leaving Rowan in the dark over it. She had been so afraid of showing him who she was inside, of baring her aching soul to him. How much more afraid was he over displaying for her the truth of himself? After all the intoxicating promises would she really want forever with someone like him?