The Puppet Assassin - Ch 37 [hard times]

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Nothing much happens in this chapter. Another filler, I suppose, but it's not the end yet. Still a few chapters to go. I think that's why I'm getting slower with my uploads though. Not because I don't want this to end (although, it is kinda sad) but because I have the next in the series in my head. With the characters and the... OOOOOOOOOOOHHH I'M SO EXCITED!

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Chapter Thirty-Seven

Hard Times

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I spent three days under the care of the medic, Paddy, before waking up one morning with Larkin’s nose an inch from my own.

“Good morning.”

I felt, along with twin surges of panic and longing, total relief to see his blue eyes twinkling as they raked over my face. Without thought, I found myself reaching to touch his face. He seemed so bright after close to a week of living in a dark room and dreaming of dark things, dark memories. I realised what I was doing and pulled back but his hand gently latched onto my wrist and he brought it to his mouth. He kissed the centre of my palm and I felt it all the way up my arm to my chest.

“I love you,” he murmured. The suddenness of it made it seem casual, but the look in his eyes was anything but. He appeared to be looking right into me, staring straight at my soul and seeing exactly what he wanted to see.

I pulled my hand away. I should say it back. So many times I’d wished that I’d told him. I knew now what held me back all this time, for I’d loved him before I’d admitted it to myself during a desperate, shadowy moment. I was scared, so terrified, that I didn’t know what love was. I was screwed up, I had been mentally tortured over and over again. What if I didn’t love him the way he loved me?

And then there was the big what if. What if I couldn’t hold myself together anymore? What if I’d been somehow tweaked by my father to collapse later in life? What if I suddenly went insane?

What if Larkin found someone else? Would I be able to handle that? Would I be able to deal with heartbreak?

“Stop questioning everything.”

I stared at him, my thoughts suddenly silent. When he spoke, I felt like I was tuned so that all I’d be able to do was listen. His voice gave me peace and restlessness at the same time.

“I can see it in your eyes, puppet. Sometimes the answer can only be found when you take a step forward.”

I took a deep breath. I had to tell someone. “I killed someone, someone who didn’t deserve to die. Someone who deserved to have an awarding and happy life.” I felt tears push their way to my eyes and quickly dashed them away. Why feel sorry for myself? What good did that do? “I murdered her.”

I waited for him to flinch away. I’d forgotten that Larkin never did what I expected.  He took my hand back in his and held it tightly so I couldn’t yank it back. He stared into my eyes, his own hard and searching.

“I know you.”

Something broke inside me and burning pain pulsed in my chest. I let out a loud sob and caught my breath.

“Dizelde, for once you need to see yourself the way others see you and stop doubting the person you are. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are no murderer.”

“I killed someone, Larkin. Whatever you say doesn’t make that a lie.”

He smiled softly. “I don’t doubt that your hands ended the life of another. I do doubt that it was your choice.”

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