Roman and I sat there and let the music be the only communication. When Comfortably Numb came on I managed a sigh. That’s what I longed for, numbness and to once again be comfortable in my skin, in my life, without the what-might-have-been’s haunting my thoughts.
Roman, always too perceptive, turned slightly and asked if I was going to spill it or just drown in it. He’s always managed to cut through the bullshit but in true stubborn style I answered a question with a question.
“Roman, why bring Baby Abel into your life then keep him at arms length?”
I don’t guess I really expected an answer, mainly because I didn’t know if he would have one. He was a vampire after all.
The answer he gave surprised me and brought tears to my eyes. Crying for the man he had once been, and the man he had become. For all of his devious qualities and simple vampness, he also had the heart of a noble champion, a modern day knight, in an eternal state of his prime. What some vampires see as weakness in Roman, may very well be his greatest forte and the things that make him stand out among the masses.
So when his story was told, and he turned to me to see my tears he seemed shocked then angry till he saw my eyes. They held no pity or scorn, but rather understanding and acceptance.
It was if I could feel his eyes on me, so I turned to him, met his gaze and tried to let it convey to him everything I was feeling. Then I rested my head on his chest and answered his question.
I told him that I felt torn. My inner wolf seemed to be pushing me towards fulfilling my duties as a female, but my mind and heart were in other places. I loved my life as it was. I was good at my job and I knew I couldn’t balance my work for Queen Blackwood with motherhood and do either well. I told him about the broken engagement to a shiny unwrinkled wolf that sought to put me on display and turn me into the perfect mate…then I admitted the worst of it.
My true fear was that I was so dark and twisty that no one would ever understand me. I told him I feared I would never find anyone who I could be myself with…and then I stopped, because I had.
That realization meant the world to me, made the night less dark and lightened my soul. I went still for a moment and slowly pulled away from him wondering if he felt it too.
It wasn’t love, nor was it romance, but in it’s own way it was more. It was a knowledge that no matter what, there would be a person I could call who would get it, because chances were he had felt it too.
Roman was the one to break the silence when the distant church bells chimed and the riverboats changed their lights to pink, red and white. I slid off the car and stood to get a better look and felt him move behind me before he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close.
Roman mumbled, “Happy Valentine’s Day babe.”
And it was…