She felt good, honestly and completely. She hadn't felt like this in..well she had never felt like this. Knowing that he was there, knowing that someone actually cared about her and loved her was enough for her to know things were going to be okay. She actually felt alive for the first time in so long and that was a beautiful thing. Everyone at work had asked her if she had changed something, if something amazing had just happened to her. It made her more than happy to know that people could see it too.
She made to walk down the sidewalk to go on home but out of the corner of her eye she saw Jared's car parked across the street. Her brows knitted together softly before a smile softly broke onto her face as she walked towards it. On closer inspection she noticed that his head was resting back, his eyes were closed. She thought about just walking on home anyways, not wanting to disturb him but since he was here he obviously wanted to see her so lightly she knocked.
He stirred first, his eyes fluttering open as if something unknown had disrupted his sleep until he saw her. She laughed a little and he managed a smile. Quickly she got into the passenger seat, closing the door behind her and turned to face him. He couldn't help but feel his heart race at seeing her. It didn't matter how heavy everything felt inside, she had a way of making that seem non-existent.
"You didn't have to pick me up." She said, her smile still resting there on her petal lips. She was slightly disheveled from work but that didn't change anything at all.
He gave a small shrug. "I wanted to see you..." He was trying his hardest to keep his composure. How was he supposed to let her know what was going on when that was the biggest risk he would ever take?
Her smile widened, glistened beautifully in her eyes. She rested her soft hand over his, the warmth of her skin permeating inside of him knocking away the hurt while she was near. He held her gaze for the longest time and judging by the way her smile faded he could tell he hadn't succeeded in keeping the emotions from his eyes. He lifted his hand, gently touched her face before he brought her to him delicately by the neck. He kissed her deeply, trying to wash away the pain that flooded bitterly through him. Her kiss was enough to drive away the darkness but if he let her go now that would only bring it all back.
"Jared...." She whispered, carefully moving from the kiss. "What's the matter?"
"Can we go back to your apartment?"
She looked at him skeptically. "Why?"
He couldn't help but laugh a little at the way it must have sounded but he shook his head. "I need to talk to you."
She nodded then, smiling when he did and letting it fall the same as him. She didn't say anything the whole short drive. Something told her that whatever he wanted to talk about wasn't good at all. There was a drastic change in the way he was acting. It was easy enough to catch on just from that. He was so far away it almost hurt. Being there in that moment with the euphoria suddenly sucked away she wondered if any of it had ever been real. It would have been easier to accept that she had dreamt the whole thing up than to sit there with so much worry and so many questions.
Finally they made it to her apartment building and she grew nervous. He opened the door for her and walked behind her up the stairs. She wanted to look down at him, see his blue eyes watching her softly. She wanted to stop walking and make him tell her right there. She caught a single glimpse of him when she turned the corner to her door and it broke her heart. He had his head lowered, his hair was back but loose pieces fell in his face. She opened the door and let him in. She heard him sit down as she locked the door. How tempted was she to leave the room and never come back? Fall back into the memory of the night before when all that mattered was the solace she found in the strength of his arms?
"Rowan...." He called out her name softly. His voice seemed to break.
Slowly she turned around, tugging nervously at her sleeves. She didn't approach him until he held out his hand to her. She took it and nearly clutched onto it as he set her in his lap. His arm went around her waist and he rested his head against her shoulder. She kept her eyes on their hands, his fingers intertwined with hers as if they weren't supposed to be anywhere else.
"What's the matter?" It took awhile before she finally spoke but when she did he lifted his head and looked at her. "Is everything okay?"
He wasn't quite sure what to tell her, how to tell her or what words to use. He visibly took an intake of breath before he brushed back fallen strands of his hair.
"I need you to do something for me...promise me one more thing." His eyes took on a glassy glare, her reflection in them became murky. He had tightened his jaw with emotion, preventing perhaps the slight quiver his lower lip took on.
"Anything." She replied, tightening her hold on his hand. What was that foreboding breaking inside of her? What was the sudden uncertainty making itself noticed in the loneliest places of her heart?
"Promise me that no matter what you found out about me, no matter what this was true. Promise me that you saw inside me and you...you still loved me. That you knew me and that didn't matter because this is real and true and you won't ever stop loving me." He wasn't even sure how much of what he had said made sense. He wasn't sure if it sounded as if he was merely rambling or not. The words had come out so quickly that he hadn't even been able to breathe.
Softly she sighed and touched his face, the hair there pricking her palm. "I don't have to promise that....Jared you already know it's true."
He lowered his eyes, watching something. Perhaps their hands, the way the overhead light danced on the fabric of her skirt. Slowly he lifted his gaze back to her. The blue of them drained and yet so heightened by the tears glistening there. "Just promise me. Please?"
She could feel her heart breaking. She knew that he wasn't questioning between them but sh also knew that he was keeping something from her. "Jared I promise." She replied firmly. She took his face in her hands and looked down at him. "I love you...no matter what." It had been going around with her for a long time, those three words that seemed so simple from afar but felt like the world when they were yours to say or hear.
He looked up at her, studying her. It seemed as if he was surprised by how genuine she obviously was. He ran his tongue across his lips taking with it the dryness and leaving a moist color that his breath immediately stole away again. His gaze drank her in, her beauty enough to entrance him to the point of complete intoxication. He wanted this with her so badly but the things standing in their way were too strong or that was how it felt. He wasn't sure how she would take the news of what had gone on in Italy, what had really happened. He figured it was perhaps better to keep all of it away from her. Something like that didn't belong to a girl as perfect as her.
"I love you too..." He eventually whispered before bringing her down to him and allowing her lips to caress over his. Her breath washed across his skin, her hand gently touched up his neck. He sighed against her, the warmth of her body so close to him enough to drive him insane. He wanted to stay like that, wished that he could but everything inside knew he couldn't. He regretted everything that had happened before, wished it had been her this whole time.
Regrettably he pulled from the kiss and held her close to him by the waist. She ran her fingers along the back of his neck as his breath danced against her skin where he was resting. She wanted to feel or hear his heart beating, just to know that he was there with her, living. She wanted to know that whatever he was going to say next wasn't enough to tear this apart. She didn't want to be without him, she wasn't sure how she would bear it. But him abandoning her didn't seem very likely.
"I'm going to be gone for a few days, alright?" He looked up at her, his eyes silently pleading with her to not ask questions. He knew that it wasn't fair but what he was holding onto inside of him was enough to burn whatever had passed between them to ash.
She nodded sadly not wanting him to go. She didn't protest it though. He was Jared Leto after all. She had to learn how to be alone sometime.
He made to say something but his phone began to ring. She got off of him, his hand still in hers and he answered the phone. She listened to him answer in short replies, his voice distant and hurt. Her soul was aching inside of him, the pain emanating from the depths of his eyes was enough to drain her of bliss.
Once he ended the call he stood to his feet with a sigh. "I have to go."
She reached her arms up and wrapped them around his neck bringing herself close against his chest. She rested her head there, listening to the beats within. That was enough for her to accept. He was really there, his heart was beating and everything in his eyes told her he didn't want to go.
"I'll see you soon." She said with a small and almost too sad smile.
He nodded, smoothing back her hair as if he wanted to remember the very touch of it. With his fingers he lifted her face to him, touching the side of her face and moving over her lips. He kissed her softly, small touches which were enough for him to tell himself to stay in check. He let her go hesitantly, not wanting to leave her alone to fend for herself. She had been hurting and he wasn't enough to drive those demons away. Him being there wouldn't help her but he just wanted to hold her when things got bad. How was he supposed to do that when he would be so far away? But he knew that he had to do this, that this was something that needed to be done.
He moved to the door, unlocking it and stepping out. He stopped and turned to look at her when she called his name.
"Does it have anything to do with Italy?" She asked cautiously. Her eyes were nervous over her own question and quite suddenly she looked unsure.
Harshly he swallowed, his hands dropping into his coats pockets. "I have to go." He whispered before he slipped out and closed the door.
She only stood there, unable to keep track of how long. The warmth of his hand stayed on her skin, his scent lingered about the apartment, his whispered voice echoed sweetly in her ears. She still felt the burn of his kiss against her lips, permanent she hoped. She could still see those tears that seemed to continuously haunt his eyes. Nothing made sense, she started to worry. The thought of Italy came to her mind and something about that began to scare her.