-a beginning and an end-
Colin let out a muted sigh and stood gingerly, letting his aching legs get used to being stretched out for what seemed to be the first time in hours.
Five days after the events surrounding The Cult of Set and the battle with The Hand his wounds had healed well enough for him to be up and about again. His elation at that fact was short-lived however as the Interpol office in London called the following Monday with a case for him to work on. A pair of detectives was on their way over from Boston to look into a possible British connection to their fraud case and since he was the liaison officer for New Scotland Yard it would be his job to assist them in working with their English counterparts.
That had been almost three weeks ago and, much to Colin's dismay, it had been even less fun than it sounded. There was something about white collar crime that was so...boring.
And the cops were even worse.
The investigative arm of the Yard, otherwise known as "The Met" (short for Metropolitan Police Service), was organised into three groups: Forensic Services, the Intelligence and Serious Crime Group, of which Sara was a part with Violent Crimes, and the Business Services Group, which was in charge of financial and white collar crime. All of these groups fell under the umbrella of the Specialist Crime Directorate. He didn't think it was possible for anyone in British officialdom to be more yawn inspiring until he met Detective Inspectors Hughes and Claremont of The Yard's Business Services Group. The phrase "stick up their English Channel" didn't begin to cover it.
The Americans weren't as bad, even cracked a few jokes, but still not the kind of guys he would want to go on the piss with. In his mind, nobody was better fun than homicide cops, although he had to admit he was biased, having worked homicide in Surrey for a year before Kelly was killed.
Shaking his head clear of unpleasant thoughts before they had a chance to form, he allowed himself a weary smile. The case, the European end of it anyway, was closed. The Boston Police, after long investigation, believed they had enough to charge their suspect, a local Massachusetts politician, with multiple counts of fraud and had caught a plane back home that very morning. Unfortunately, he was left with a stack of paperwork and two reports to write, one for his own superior, who, although basically in charge of the liaison programme, was less of a boss than an advisor, and the second report for the Boston Police, to be sent via Interpol.
He didn't work often, but when he did, he certainly earned his money. It wasn't all bad though, at least he got to wear his street clothes rather than a suit like the actual Yard investigators. That fact alone pissed them off and he loved it.
Glancing at his watch he saw that it was almost six-thirty at night. Sara might still be at her desk on the floor below his and he decided to go down and see her, not having been able to for the last week due to all the work he had been doing with the Americans.
After The Hand all three of them had spent a lot of time together at his flat. He couldn't really do much for the first few days so they had mostly just stayed up all night watching movies. David quickly tired of that and since he was in the beginning stages of a relationship with a woman named Angela, he soon found other things to do.
Sara however seemed to enjoy their movie watching routine and they spent more than a few nights watching film after film, talking and just making fun of each other. For his part, Colin loved absolutely every second of it. Of course, he was in love with her so spending any amount of time with her wasn't the worst thing he could think of.
He smiled to himself as he waited for the elevator. Not the worst thing at all. It was just too bad she didn't love him back. At least not in the same way. He had told her of his feelings a year before but it hadn't turned out the way he had hoped it might. They were best friends. He was trying to replace Kelly. She just didn't feel that way about him. All reasons Sara gave in her gentle rejection. So they were best friends and that was all.
It was a year later and the feelings were still there.
Again he shook his head clear of thoughts that served no other purpose than to depress the hell out of him. The elevator doors opened and he stepped on, sliding his arms into his heavy black jacket and pressing the button for the third floor. Then doors closed in a soft whoosh and the elevator began to move.
She had to keep herself from falling asleep several times throughout the day but Sara Lukas let out a long, slow breath as she finished off the last of the paperwork that had accumulated on her desk during her "trip" to the north of England. In actuality, she had never gone north. The trip was a lie told to her superiors so she would be free to help Colin and David in the fight against The Hand. That didn't make the paperwork any less real however, and she had been seemingly buried in it since she had returned to work. Fortunately for her she hadn't been assigned to any new cases in that time or she would have countless hours of work still ahead of her.
Hearing a familiar voice she turned in her seat and smirked when she saw Colin being chatted up by one of the other Inspectors from Violent Crimes. She laughed when she saw the "help me" look cross his face as he tried desperately to move away from what was obviously a one-sided conversation. Finally the other man finished with whatever he was saying and Colin was able to break away, shaking the man's hand and pointing toward where she was working.
"Hey handsome," she said as he drew closer, "I was starting to wonder if you'd come down here to see me or Inspector Wakelam over there."
He reached over, pulled a chair away from one of the other desks and sat down. "Oh what, you mean my new best friend?" He joked. "I swear I've never met that guy before but he seemed to know me."
"Wakelam?" She said as she rubbed her eyes. "He thinks all you colonials are the same person. He probably thought you were someone else."
Colin raised an eyebrow in confusion, "Colonials?" He repeated.
She nodded, grinning widely. "You would be surprised at how many of the older ones still think of you crazy North Americans like that." She tried to continue but her words were lost in a squeaking yawn.
"Tired?" He stated more than asked.
"Yes," she muttered, "very."
"Guess I'm not the only one who's had a long week eh."
"Oh that's right I forgot," she said, suddenly perking up, "how was the case with the Americans? Are they gone home?"
"Yeah they left this morning thank God."
"Sounds like you had a lot of fun." She chuckled.
His face took on a serious look, "I would rather have spent the last 3 weeks watching soccer with David."
"Ouch," she said as she laughed at his pain.
"So anyway," he continued, "I was going to see if you wanted to grab something to eat but you obviously need to get some rest so how about you come over tomorrow night and we watch some movies, cause you know, we never do that." His sarcasm was warm hearted.
She pretended to think it over, "I think I can make myself available for movie viewage, but I get to pick the first two!" She demanded remembering movie nights of weeks past spent watching one action film after another.
He held his hands up as if to protest his innocence. "Fine, fine," he groaned, "just make sure you don't get too many chick movies."
She knew he secretly really liked the romantic comedies she always rented but she never called him on it. Better to let him keep at least some manly dignity. "Deal," she agreed. They both knew they would end up with mostly chick flicks but the pretence made him feel a little more in control than he actually was.
"Cool," he said, standing to leave, "I'll be in tomorrow to get my report sent off to Interpol so I'll meet you here and we'll head to the store together."
"Sounds good," she nodded.
"Alright," he said as he began to leave, "see ya loser!" Snatching a pen from her desk she threw it at him, hitting the back of his head. "Lucky shot," he called over his shoulder and she smiled as she watched him go.
The crowd at the Fox and Hound Pub was a decent size without being too big, which was a nice change from the large numbers it had been experiencing almost nightly for just over a year.
Colin smiled when he saw Angela waving at him from the bar as he stepped inside. Making his way through the crowd of pub-goers he couldn't help but wonder how this woman had managed to become his friend in the relatively short time she had been dating David. She was a warm person, the kind you immediately trusted and felt a connection with. She was funny and, although her occasional boisterousness hid it well, she was really quite shy. Something they had in common. She was kind and made you feel like she'd known you forever. He wasn't the only one who thought highly of her, as Sara had taken a liking to her almost immediately.
"There's our Colin," she beamed as she pulled him into a hug. She was also a hugger. "I haven't seen you in ages."
"Yeah," he groaned as he took up a place next to her, "I've been busy with work. You know, trying to make crime...not pay." He joked. Looking around he didn't see David anywhere.
"He's in the back," offered Angela, anticipating his question, "he's just finishing up some bills for the month, then we're going to a movie. You're welcome to join us if you like."
He appreciated the offer but he was just too tired. Besides, he thought, third wheel much? "No thanks, you guys have fun. Besides," he said, holding up the plastic bag he carried with him, "I just bought the new Indiana Jones DVD pack. I figure I'll watch until I pass out. Probably halfway through Temple of Doom."
"Sara coming over?" She asked. She had noticed...something between those two but didn't want to push either of them to talk about something they weren't ready to.
"Nope, just me. Anyway look, I'm off. You two be good eh. Tell him I said 'what's up'." Angela promised she would and with that he headed up to his flat to settle in for an easy night.
"So," said Andrew Hayes as he finished off his glass of wine, "how was your week? I feel like I haven't seen you since you got back from you trip."
At first Sara didn't know what he was talking about but caught herself before she asked. She had told her boyfriend the same story she had told her Chief Inspector at The Yard and although she had reported back to her superiors just days after the confrontation with The Hand in Portsmouth, she had waited a full week to tell Andrew she was "home," preferring instead to spend that time with Colin as he recovered from his injuries. She felt guilty about the lie, but Andrew just wouldn't have understood the truth, even if she could have explained how Colin was injured in the first place.
"Busy," she replied finally. "It was mostly catching up on paperwork that piled up while I was away." She was silent for a second, then, realising she had just sort of trailed off she smiled and laughed a little. "Sorry," she chuckled, taking his hand in her own, "I guess I'm just more knackered than I thought." That was the truth. Before she had left work Colin had asked if she wanted to go out for something to eat but she had said no, telling him she was too exhausted. Unfortunately, Andrew had been thinking along the same lines and called her cell just as she was arriving home. After lying to him about her trip, she just couldn't say no to his wanting to take her out.
"It's okay," he said apologetically, "I probably should have realised you needed to go home and get some rest after going non-stop for the last few weeks. I just wanted to see you."
"Well," she said playfully, "tomorrow is Friday so why don't I meet you at your flat after work and you can cook me supper."
"That sounds perfect," he replied happily, "although sometimes I think you only love me for my cooking."
The feigned look of suspicion on his face made her laugh out loud. "You just might be right," she said, "not every girl is lucky enough to be dating one of the best chef-slash-bankers in London." He was smiling widely at her words. "Don't get too full of yourself," she warned jokingly, "you may bring cooking talent but I am the Detective Inspector with Scotland Yard and that means I bring the 'cool factor'."
"The cool factor?" He repeated, looking somewhat confused.
"It's just something Colin and I are always arguing about," she explained. "According to him it is impossible for anyone English to be cool, so he thinks he brings the cool factor to our relationship. But since I'm far less English than you, I am the one with the cool factor. I knew being half Irish would prove useful at some point."
The waiter passed by, stopping to refill her wine glass, and she continued speaking about random things, never noticing that Andrew had grown continuously more distant since she had mentioned Colin's name.
The small flat was poorly lit, bathed only in the soft, flickering light of the four candles that had been used to mark the four Watchtowers of North, South, East and West which, when connected by a line drawn on the floor, marked the boundaries of a magic circle.
The incandescent glow silhouetted her amongst the myriad of shadows that seemed alive as they ebbed and flowed across the walls and ceiling. Unlike those shadows however, she moved deliberately and with purpose.
The three women lay naked on the floor like dolls left by a child. A Witch commonly worked nude, or skyclad, while inside a circle and she was no different in that regard. This is what they had wanted her to be and it gave her great pleasure to use their own ways against them. The three women were still alive; the spell she had cast against them wasn't meant to kill but to incapacitate so she could go about her work without interruption.
She bent down and, with some effort, turned the first of the three women over on her back and dragged her inside the circle which she had just finished drawing on the floor with salt, a purifying substance.
Flesh on flesh she sat straddled across the woman's legs, her hand gripping the white handled, curve-bladed working knife known as a bulline. She leaned over, her face almost touching that of her victim, and looked into the woman's gentle green eyes. She could see the fear pooling there and she smiled wickedly. No, the spell hadn't killed them at all. It had caused paralysis yes, but that didn't mean they couldn't still hear or smell or be otherwise aware of what was happening around or to them. In fact, as she sat upright and slowly began to cut into the woman's chest she could see in the eyes that every horrible inch of the steel blade could be felt.
She only wished the spell hadn't taken their speech. She would love to have heard the screaming.
"How the hell did we end up with three of your movies and none of mine?" Protested Colin as he and Sara walked out of the video store that was a few blocks from his flat. That Friday had gone by quickly, with him getting his report sent off on time and Sara Making sure all of her own work was complete and that she hadn't forgotten anything. The two of them had walked from Colin's building to the store after leaving work together and had spent nearly forty minutes inside arguing abut what they should rent. He had gone in determined to come out with at least one good action film but somehow had ended up with two dramas and a romantic comedy; Two Weeks Notice, the same movie she had rented the last three times they had done the "vid night." It wasn't that he disliked either genre it was just that sometimes a man needed to see some mindless violence. As long as it isn't real and coming toward me, he reminded himself.
"Umm, because I'm pretty?" Sara replied innocently.
He shot her a look that said "yeah right" and rolled his eyes. "I'm too nice," he pointed out, "that's the problem here."
"Aww," she giggled in the way that made his will soften into jelly, "poor Colin. You're so considerate to let us walk all over you the way we do!"
"That's right," he smiled, "I just want some recognition every now and then."
"You have such a hard life," she mocked, placing her head on his shoulder and scrunching her face at him as he looked down at her.
"Shut up," he said as he laughed at the look she gave him.
Andrew Hayes moved through his kitchen, his anger slowly changing to concern. It was just after seven in the evening and he had been waiting for Sara for over an hour. They had made plans to eat dinner together; a dinner he cooked for her, but she had yet to arrive or even call.
Despite the fact that he was employed at his father's bank and had been for four years, he had originally planned on a career as a chef. A world famous one to be more accurate. He had, in fact, completed culinary school and was by all accounts, and excellent chef. Unfortunately he had been unable to find permanent employment in the first two years after graduating and had decided that rather than live on the meagre and infrequent paycheques he was earning as what amounted to a free-lance cook, he would accept his father's offer of a position at the main branch of his internationally known bank.
Smelling the lasagne as he placed it in a plastic container he was thankful once again that he hadn't lost his culinary talents. That was little comfort however when measured against the fact that the only thing missing was his girlfriend, who still hadn't phoned to tell him what was keeping her.
He had already called her at work, thinking that maybe she had been forced to stay late and had simply been too busy to call and let him know, but there had been no answer. He got the same result when he called her flat and her cell phone was apparently turned off. Becoming more worried by the minute, he decided to try one final place.
"Fox and Hound this is David," answered the voice on the other end of the line.
"David? This is Andrew Hayes calling"
"Oh hey Andrew," David said immediately, "Sara's not here if that's what you were wondering."
Andrew shook his head in amazement, "How did you know I was asking after her?"
He heard David snort out a laugh before answering, "I went out on a limb and assumed you weren't looking to speak to Colin."
"Ah, good point," Andrew agreed. "Listen; do you know where she is? I've been trying to ring her for a while now."
"Actually she and Colin went out to get some DVDs. They're doing another one of their bloody movie marathons I think."
"Really," said Andrew evenly.
David didn't notice the man's change in tone or didn't care. "I'm just about to leave myself but if you like I can leave a message for her here at the bar. They have to come in this way to get upstairs."
"No," Andrew declared a little too quickly. "That's alright thank you. I'll just speak to her tomorrow." He heard David begin to ask if he was sure as he replaced the handset, cutting him off.
She had chosen him again.
To his great relief Sara had decided to give Colin a break and only make him watch one of the movies she had picked out. He had chosen Two Weeks Notice even though they had rented it at least three times in the past month. Only because Sandra Bullock looked hot in it he told Sara.
"That's what you say every time," Sara responded when he said it.
Colin sat on the floor, his back against the couch and his knees pulled up to his chest while Sara lay stretched out behind him, her head resting against the arm rest. She was so close he could feel her breath as it rolled across the skin of his neck and he had to concentrate hard to keep his chest from collapsing.
Fumbling about in the darkened living room he found the remote control and pressed play, hearing Sara giggle to herself as the screen flashed to life with an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was his all time favourite show. He had all seven seasons on DVD. "Laugh all you want," he said defending himself, "I don't care. It's a great show.
"I know," she smiled, patting his head, "I like it as well, I just wonder how seriously Zahra or Khalil would have taken you if they could see you sitting here in the dark watching a show called 'Buffy'." A muffled grunt was his response. "So," she continued, "what episode are we up to?"
"Umm, we stopped last time after Dead Man's Party so next is Faith, Hope and Trick. That's a good one."
She could see the side of his face in the glow of the TV, watching a small grin appear at the sound of the theme music and wondered, not for the first time how a man who could at times be so complex could at others be so utterly simple.
Voices echoed on the edge of his consciousness, coaxing him back from the sleep he had enjoyed didn't know how long. His head was hanging forward, his chin resting on his chest and judging by the soreness in his neck and the fact that they were now almost halfway through season three after having started the evening with the second episode, he knew he had been asleep for two hours at least.
He slowly raised his head, wincing at the stiffness at the base of his neck. The first thing he noticed was Sara's arm hanging limply over his shoulder and down his chest. He turned his head gently to the left, trying to avoid a repeat of the shooting pain that he had felt a second earlier, and saw that she too was asleep; her head leaning partly on his back and partly on the couch cushion. He shifted as best he could, trying to massage some feeling back into his legs and grimacing at the pins and needles now shooting down both extremities.
Despite his efforts not to wake her, Sara stirred at the movement. Blinking the sleep from her eyes she was still for a second, then, realising she was resting on Colin's shoulder, she moved her head back onto the pillow, stretching her body with a loud groan.
Colin turned sideways to face her and laughed, "Here I am all quiet so I don't wake you up and what do I get in return? You, bellowing in my ear like a yeti."
"I'm very inconsiderate," she said in a groggy mutter.
"I think I covered that with the whole 'yeti' reference."
"That was the most fun ever," she said facetiously.
"Yup," he chuckled, "sleeping, that's how we have fun back home."
Sara smiled and nodded, "Yeah lately we always seem to end up sleeping together." Suddenly it dawned on her just how that sounded. "I meant, not 'sleeping' know what I mean!"
"I know what you mean," he laughed, rescuing her.
There was silence for a few seconds, and then she noticed the look on his face. "What?" She asked.
"Uh," he started, pointing at her face, "there's um, on your-" finally he reached toward her and wiped at the corner of her eye. "Crusty," he explained.
"Oh," she said as she rubbed her other eye. "Thanks." She looked at him there in the semi-darkness. His elbow was on the couch and he was leaning his head on his hand. His head was tilted to the side and his eyes were still heavy from sleep.
He was close. Very close.
Out of nowhere he reached up again and brushed a few errant strands of hair from her eyes. She scooted slowly down the couch, unconsciously moving closer to him. Colin too was moving in and they're faces met. She searched his expression, not even sure what, if anything, she was looking for and she could see him doing the same. Then, almost before she knew it, she was leaning in, closing her eyes to the point where she could barely see.
There was a soft but audible in take of breath from one of them, maybe her she couldn't tell, and then his lips brushed the corner of her mouth and cheek, easing their way to her lips. Her mouth opened slightly in anticipation of something deeper but it never came. She felt him pull away suddenly and opened her eyes to see what can only be described as a look of both embarrassment and fear stamped on his face.
"I'm sorry," he stammered. "I wasn't thin."
She could only stare at him, speechless as he tried to choke out an apology for something she hadn't expected but hadn't tried to stop. Maybe even something she hadn't wanted to stop? Barely formed thoughts screamed through her head a thousand at a time, none more complex than what the hell are you doing? This is Colin!
"I-I think," she started to say and stopped. There were no words in her beyond that. Her mind was a confused jumble of feelings and thoughts, affirmations and denials.
"Sara," Colin pleaded, his voice snapping her back to reality, "I'm.."I'm sorry. I know you don' Andrew. and I would never-"
"Oh my God!" she shouted to no one in particular as she bolted upright. "I forgot about Andrew!" She jumped to her feet, almost tripping over herself as she grabbed for her coat. She looked back at Colin who was even more confused, if that was possible. "I made plans with Andrew for tonight and I completely forgot about him." She checked her watch and frowned. "Shit!" She said when she saw how late she was. Andrew had probably stopped waiting for her hours ago.
Making her way to the front door she took one last look at Colin, who was still sitting against the couch in shock. "I'm sorry," she said, not knowing exactly which thing she was apologising for. "I just..I have to go, I'm sorry."
Colin watched as she left, shutting the door quietly behind her. He remained seated, remembering that a man needed oxygen to live and trying to catch his breath. Time worked in strange fashion when events were as momentous, or seemingly momentous, as what had taken place and after what seemed like an hour, but was really only just minutes, he finally managed to muster the strength to lift himself onto the couch. Leaning forward he put his head in his hands and tried to figure out what the hell he had just done.
Andrew gritted his teeth against the pain in his foot. Groping about in the dark trying to feel his way to his front door he managed to stub his baby toe against the side of his bedroom doorway. He muttered a curse under his breath and limped the rest of the way as another round of knocking interrupted his angry tirade against his furniture.
Reaching the door he paused for a moment, already knowing who it was, then swallowed hard and opened the door.
"I know you're mad and you should be," were the first words out of Sara's mouth. "I'm so sorry I completely forgot. I was just so."
"You were too busy with Colin," he broke in angrily, not wanting to hear her excuses.
Her face drooped and she looked at the ground, hoping he wouldn't somehow be able to read into her expression and know what happened. Collecting herself, she looked up, "Yes, but I just...we made plans and I didn't realise..I just got everything mixed up." She stood watching as he listened, his face remaining passive. "I'm really sorry. I don't know what else to say except that."
He was motionless at first and she could see the anger and hurt just behind his eyes. "We'll talk about it tomorrow," he said. Then he closed the door and left her alone in the hallway.
"Wow," said David Burton after hearing his friend's account of the previous night. "I mean that's umm, well that's huge."
"I don't want this to be huge, God damn it!" Colin spat in obvious frustration. Falling asleep had proven difficult as he continuously replayed the events of the evening and he had dragged all day, trying again and again to get the courage to call her and try to explain himself. The problem was he didn't know what he would say. Now, sitting at the table in their office (and base of operations), he sighed heavily and shook his head. "It was just stupid."
David glanced over at Angela, who was sitting next to Colin with her arm around his shoulder. "It can't be that bad," he said.
"Have you spoken to her at al today?" Angela asked, patting his back.
Colin shook his head again, "I've tried all day but I have no idea what the hell I'd even say."
"Then you don't know she's brassed off do you?" David reasoned. "She's probably just as buggered about it as you."
Colin thought about what his friends were telling him. It would certainly ease his mind just to know she didn't hate him. "Maybe," he concluded, "but I'm comfortable with being chicken shit about it eh. At least for tonight. I need a bit of time to get right with it in my own head."
"I could speak to her if you want. At least you would know if she was cross." Angela suggested. She and Sara had become fast friends, probably partly due to the fact that she was another woman for Sara to talk to instead of the two men who, while they might mean well, weren't always the most sensitive creatures on earth. Sometimes a girl just needed the ear of another girl.
"Thanks Ang but I don't think so. I'm just gonna giver her some time."
"Well," said David as he checked his watch, "I'm hungry so let's go find someplace to eat. Food always helps me think."
"Nah," Colin started, "I was thinking of grabbing a two-four of Blue out of the bar and drowning my sorrows. Something about that seems very appealing right now."
"Bugger that," said David outright, "what are you an alkie? No, we're going out to eat, that's all there is to it."
"Alright, alright," relented Colin. "Where're we going then?"
"Why don't we just eat here?" Asked Angela.
"Because we always eat here," Colin answered before David could reply.
David pointed at him, "Too right," he said slipping his coat on, "I want to go someplace that is else."
"Why not go for pizza?" Offered Angela.
David nodded and after quick consideration Colin agreed, "I'm in."
If Colin was worried about the semi-kiss of the previous night, then Sara was flat out confused by it, especially when she asked herself why he had been the one to stop it when it should have done so. The question of what would have happened if he hadn't bothered her on different levels, not the least of which was the fact that she was in a relationship with someone else. Yes, Colin had kissed her, but she had done nothing to stop it from happening. In fact, she wasn't even sure that he was the one who had initiated it. At best she had met him halfway. At worst? She didn't even want to think about that.
At the moment her priority was Andrew and trying to somehow explain how she could have forgotten all about the dinner that had been her idea in the first place. He knew nothing of the kiss and she had no intention of telling him as it would only serve to complicate things even more, if that were even possible.
He had agreed to come to her flat so she could attempt another apology, but now, sitting across from him in her living room, she didn't really know how to begin. He wanted more than "I'm sorry's" and "I don't know's" but she didn't know what else to say.
Seeing that she was having difficulty getting started, Andrew solved the problem himself. "What is going on between you and Colin?" He asked, breaking the tense silence.
She looked up startled at both the question and by how loud his voice seemed in the quiet room. "Nothing is going on, we're-"
"Friends right," he broke in, "I've heard that before. The problem is..I don't believe you."
"What? Andrew I'm not lying to you. I just..I forgot about last night. I don't have any other explanation because that is the truth!"
"I didn't say you were lying to me," he continued calmly. "I believe that you honestly think there is nothing between you two. You have yourself convinced of that. But there is. I can see it more and more plainly, even if you can't."
She shook her head earnestly, "No. You're wrong. I know I've spent a lot of time with him and you don't like it and I understand that but-"
"You don't just forget about dinner with your boyfriend Sara. It's not even simply about that," he elaborated, "you constantly choose him over me. I don't think it's really even a choice for you. It's always Colin." She listened as he laid it all out on front of her. Everything he had obviously been holding in for some time. "I'm supposed to be the one you're in love with. There shouldn't be anyone before me. There is no one for me that comes before you. No one."
"I don't love Colin," she stated as evenly as she could.
Andrew sighed, "You may honestly believe that," he said quietly, "but I see your eyes when you say his name. I see when you talk about him or about some inside joke you both share. I see it when you know you're going to see him."
"Andrew just," she paused, trying to decide if she was going to contradict him. "What are you saying?" She asked finally, deciding there was no use in arguing.
Taking a moment to gather himself he spoke, doing something it hurt him greatly to do. "We should stop seeing each other," he whispered painfully.
"What? Andrew no-"
"Just stop," he interrupted. "Don't argue. Don't tell me I'm wrong. 't. You can say it all you want. You can believe it. But I see your eyes and they tell the truth, even if that's something you can't do with yourself."
Sara sat, shocked and quiet. Did things just get easier or much harder? She didn't want this to be it for them. She should fight, she knew. She should ignore his words and argue. Claw and scratch away at his reasoning. But she didn't.
Instead she remained seated and silent as he stood, placed a kiss on her cheek which was hot and flush with emotion, and walked out.
After a minute she sighed and then began to cry softly when she realised her first instinct was to run to Colin and let him try to make everything okay again.