"This place is..." Shannon looked to Jared then, taking the hat from his head.
"Amazing?" Jared finished with a nod. He glanced at the walls, felt again the pain that she had felt while making these.
"She really is something, isn't she?" Shannon gave a bit of a smile. He could see the distress in his brothers eyes and it killed him to see it. But despite the pain resting there, despite everything that had been happening he could also see the change in him since Rowan had come into his life. She had made things easier for him somehow. She had lessened the pain that had been scarring him more and more each day ever since Italy.
Jared nodded again, smiling a little himself at the thought of how amazing she was. But there was too much pain filling him, too much sorrow that Rowan was going through. How could he calm himself when she was hurting so badly? When Bianca had come here and was suddenly the weight on his soul that he couldn't rid himself of.
Silence filled the room and the two of them just stood there. Shannon could feel the atmosphere dampen with Jared's fear, his ache and his anxiousness. He looked at him then, his blue eyes gazing out the window, his jaw clenched, and a million thoughts racing across his features. He wanted to be able to do something but what was there to do?
"Do you want me to leave?" Shannon asked after awhile.
"No please don't....stay?" Jared seemed to be pleading almost, a vulnerability filling his gaze.
Shannon nodded and silence fell again. The sound of the bathroom door opening stole their attention. She came out into the living slowly, unsure. Her hair was braided over her shoulder, her eyes looked tired, and the way she hugged her arms about herself made it obvious that she wasn't quite sure what to do or say after her ordeal. The afternoon light danced off the pale fabric of her sweater and sent her skin aglow.
Jared rushed to her side, looking at her face, checking to make sure she was definitely okay. "Are you okay?" He asked softly, touching his fingers to the side of her face. He caught sight of the cut on the left side of her head. It wasn't so bad but the lack of a bandage made the red gash more than prominent. He didn't dare touch his hand to it but seeing it only filled him with an intense anger. Again he couldn't bear to think of what would happen if he were to see her dad.
She rested her face gently against his palm before she nodded and demurely smiled. She didn't want this fuss over her, didn't want the worry to be so strong in her eyes. And she didn't want the pain that still grew so much inside of her. The pain of what had happened with her dad, the pain knowing that maybe things were going to change now that Bianca had come back.
"Jared I'm fine. I promise." She took his hand form her face, pressed a whisper of a kiss to it and then moved away. She caught sight of Shannon and gave him a little smile. "Sorry for all the worry." She said, tugging at her sweater.
Shannon shook his head. "Don't mention it, Rowan...Anything for you." He gave her a smile. "I'm just glad you're alright....I'm gonna go out and get something to eat...any requests?"
"You don't have to do that."
"I insist...see you both later." He tossed them a smile before he left the apartment.
Rowan looked up at Jared once they were alone before he pulled her gently against his chest. She breathed in his scent and lightly clutched onto his coat. She just wanted this, not any of the pain that she had only just encountered. She wanted this gentle peace that filled her whenever his arms were around her, whenever she could hear the gentle rhythm of his heart. But now she was left with wondering if it would last. Standing there now she could have sworn nothing had changed. She could have lied to herself and said that nothing at all could push them away from each other but how could she? How could she when she had encountered it? She had heard his silent crying after Bianca had come in. She had felt the both of them closing up on each other. It was painful to face but it was true nonetheless.
"I'm so glad you're alright..." He whispered, gently moving her from his chest. He looked down into her eyes, smoothed some of her hair and gave her a bit of a smile.
"I'm glad I am too." She laughed a little at her own words, drawing a bit of laughter from him as well. She wanted to ask about her dad, wanted to bring something up. She just wanted everything back. Back to how it had been. But she couldn't bring herself to do it. She told herself that it was because Shannon would be back and him walking in on a scene wouldn't be too good. She told herself that it was because of the relief that filled Jared's eyes at that moment. But she knew that it was really only because of the fear that took hold of her at the thought of being alone again, of being without him. She was afraid of being without this man who had come into her life on surprise, who had made her know somehow what love was, what actually feeling was. This man who had shown her a way of living where she wasn't the only one alive, where her pain wasn't the only thing being felt. The kind of living where pain fell away. She didn't want to let go of that. Not just yet.
Lightly he pulled her after him, settling back onto the couch and bringing her to rest against him. She was so small there, her head light against his chest, her fingers soft as they danced across the front of his shirt. Her scent filled his senses, the warmth of her body calmed him. This was where he wanted to be. In this moment when nothing else existed but the sweetness of her love, the enrapturing completion that he had only ever found in her. He pressed a kiss to the top of her head and promised himself silently that he was never going to let this go. He was going to fix everything somehow. And soon.