Brief scene from Vicadia

"I can't do this," he says as his arms encircle me.
I pause, because this is not a man who says anything lightly. I know his body cries out for the release, yet his mind does not. I've never lost someone like he has. I was too young when my parents passed. I've seen into his mind, know how deeply he feels. So I don't pull away, but I don't push either.
"Tell me about her," I say, though it hurts, because I can't compete with a ghost. There are tears in his eyes as he holds me tight.
"I'm sorry."
  "For what? For caring? For loving someone that much? If you hadn't cared, what would make you?"
"Sorry for hurting you."
    I shift in his arms and lay my head on his chest. The beat of his heart sings against my cheek. My fingertips play with a bead in his hair. I don't know what I feel for him, whether it is love or he is the rock that I cling to in all this insanity around me. I only know I want to be here. I want to be held, to be wanted.
"Have you ever wept for her--truly wept?"
His heart skipped a beat as he drew in breath. "Don't," he said, before the floodgates opened.
That strength he had born all this time, held it in as we battled. All those thoughts and images we'd shared, but never this. And I knew that wherever she was, his wife, she watched and she applauded and if I achieved nothing else it was her blessing.


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