Hello again and welcome to summer!
Today our resident Guest Author has provided us with a tantalizing tidbit from another one of her Works In Progress. Tentatively titled “Remissionem Quaeritis” it’s a bittersweet tale of – well, I can’t give anything away. After all, it’s not my WIP!
Enjoy this delicious nugget!
Avan winced as he scooted over to make room for me on the hospital bed. I laced my fingers with his, careful of his IV, and laid my head against the pillow.
“Promise me,” I whispered, fighting back the tears. “That this one was your last.”
He lifted our tangled fingers to his lips and kissed them.
“I promise,” he said.
With another wince, he rolled onto his side and touched my cheek. I mimicked his actions, stroking my fingers through his hair. For a while we stayed there, softly touching, our lips just inches apart, staring into one another’s eyes. His breath warmed my skin as he spoke softly to me.
“I promise. No more fighting. For you.”
He forced a smile and, for his sake, I smiled back. But then my chest tightened and I couldn’t breathe. Images of him, my sweet Avan, going down, hitting his head, lying motionless, replayed over and over in my head. I remembered the sound the most, the sickening “whack!” of the opponent’s foot striking Avan in the face. I shivered. I fought for air.
“Hey,” Avan soothed, resting his palms on either side of my neck. “I’m okay. Look at me. I’m okay.”
Then, just as he’d done so many times before, he breathed with me. He shushed me and he breathed, inhaling deeply through his nose and exhaling through his mouth, despite how much it must’ve irritated the nagging injuries to his chest. I breathed with him. I focused on details: the sound of my heartbeat, the softness of his hands, his lips on my forehead. Slowly, I began to calm down. I caught my breath. And I buried my face into the warm skin of his neck.
“I just don’t want to watch you get hurt anymore,” I whispered through trembling breaths. “I can’t.”
He shushed me again and pressed his lips against my ear. I heard his breathing becoming uneven as he pulled me closer to him.
“You won’t have to.”