She wanted to be better.
Not just better as in a better human being. No, she wanted to be able to support her weight freely again, without use of a cane. She wanted to be able to walk and run, and be able to let her lover worry less about her being in pain if they so much as moved the wrong way. She wanted to be able to do things for him, so he could relax.
She wanted him to stop worrying about her. He didn’t need to say it, she could see it in his eyes. In those times that his brows drew closer when she let loose a soft groan during cold weather, in the times where he was sometimes too cautious about how they shifted in bed. The tender moments, the ones in private, where his touch was even more gentle, and he asked after her.
It would drive another girl to scream. She was used to it. She was used to the worry, the fuss. Her brother had done that enough. No, it was every day for her. And yet, still, he never made her feel like she needed to be carried or pampered. He never reached to help her until she asked first.
And he made her laugh. He knew how she took her coffee, shared his private stash of special options with her. Never needed her to ask her if she needed another, but poured it and set it before her every time. He kissed her, in the sweetest of ways, and in the most passionately raw of ways. Every moment was new, was something she didn’t know could exist.
Lately, it was better. Worse? Better. His little smiles, the jokes meant just to make her smile and laugh. Her heart felt so full it could burst. And even though they both tossed “luv” around as an affectionate term, hers always meant a little more towards him. Every time she heard it from him, her heart felt tight, almost like it was hard to breathe.
It was never supposed to be a serious relationship. She knew that. She knew it from the start. And, if he was anything like Miss Grace, based on him talking about his Grammie Grace…he couldn’t stay tied down to one person. She was fine with that. No, that wasn’t the problem.
She had talked with Sian. Asked him what it was like. Asked him if he felt the things she did, when he was with Annie, or Grace. He told her. It confirmed her fears, her hopes.
Evelyn O’Rourke had a goal on Glass, and no time to pursue romance.
Evelyn O’Rourke was making a home on Touchstone, and had done the one thing she hoped to never do.
She fell in love.
And she was afraid.