Caution, unedited- as always, read at your own risk.
BTW, I'm searching for a title for this one. In case you think of one.
He heard Kelly move out of Minuet’s room, tiptoeing down the hall. She paused at the top of the stairs, it was only for a second but he felt it. That moment of hesitation told him she was feeling that day’s effects too. It spoke of her fear, her courage and made him want to rip something to shreds. She was afraid, but she had no choice.
She would walk in here and seduce him if she had to. Kelly was that strong and just that vulnerable. He couldn’t afford to refuse her courage. She had no time for a courtship, no time to pretend that was something a creature like him could give her. The end of time was the legacy they’d been given.
She appeared in the doorway, outlined by the dark entry behind her. Coming out of the shadows to him, the wind witch smiled with her lips, but her eyes could not.
Cord stood slowly as she stopped three feet away from him. Her gaze didn’t waver as she raised her chin to look him in the eye.
“You’re afraid,” he observed softly.
“Will you hurt me?” Kelly asked.
“Probably, but never by choice,” he answered as honestly as he could.
“Are you afraid?” she wanted to know.
“Not of this, a little of you,” he admitted.
“I scare you?” She did smile this time.
“More than you can know. But the problem isn’t yours.”
“No, it’s not my problem. It makes me feel better though.”
Cord took a small step and reached for her, he had to. Standing so close and discussing the distance fear was putting between them was a fine new form of torture. His palm ran down her arm from shoulder to elbow in a soft caress. He didn’t close his fingers around silky flesh, didn’t draw her to him. There was nothing he wanted more than to help her cross the cold space between them but he refused to take that choice from her too.
All she had to do was ask and he’d gladly cross it for her. He suspected she knew that. She was looking at him from the safety of her old life. Coming to him now would shed that illusion forever.