~18~

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Owen peeks his head in the door for the third time in the last hour, and I finally give in and let him enter. I fold my arms across my chest and glare at the not-so-perfectly-coiffed version of him as he takes a seat beside me.

"Miss Freeman," I raise a brow at him and his hands wander up to adjust the non-existent tie. He clears his throat and tries again. "Sang, I really am sorry for violating your trust." His grey eyes are pools of liquid silver, and I feel his sincerity wearing me down. "When they brought you into the emergency room yesterday, I admit that I went through your bag. I thought you might want fresh clothing, and when I pulled out your sweatshirt, your diary fell out onto the floor." He runs his fingers through his hair and sighs. "There was a folded paper and money that slipped out, and when I went to put them back, I was surprised to see that it was filled with Korean instead of English. I flipped a few pages just out of curiosity, wondering if you had any other languages in there, when I came across the calorie count." He hesitantly takes my hand and holds it tight. "It was an honest mistake. Please believe me. We were all concerned with how often you were sick, and you weren't eating well, even with us, and we jumped to the wrong conclusion." A single tear begins a slow trek down his cheek as he begs for my understanding. "If I had put the pieces together sooner, if I had paid closer attention, perhaps you wouldn't have lost the ba-" his voice chokes out before he can finish the thought.

I feel the last of my walls crumble as he lets out a sob. I clutch his hand to my heart and lean into his shoulder. We share a moment of grief before I realize that he's blaming himself. I sit up and turn so that I'm facing him.

"Owen," I whisper. "You aren't any more to blame than I am." I sniffle, and he hands me a less than pristine handkerchief. I wrinkle my nose at it and he quickly stuffs it back into his pocket in embarrassment. A slight blush kisses the tips of his ears, and his face takes on a rosy hue.

"Sorry about that," he mumbles as he reaches across and grabs the hospital issue tissue box, "forgot about using it earlier."

"It's okay," I assure him. He's looking a lot more human right now, and I feel drawn to him more than ever. "There's a reason that they say hindsight's 20/20." I blow my nose in a very unladylike manner and he smiles and tosses the tissue for me. "I lost the baby that I didn't even know I had because a really," I suck in a breath and some courage, "bad guy," he pulls me into a hug, "hurt me."

I close my eyes and inhale the fresh Irish Spring scent that is Owen. He strokes my hair and I'm momentarily mortified that I haven't washed it since right after rehearsal the other day. It doesn't seem to faze him, and I feel myself relax with each repetition.

"You're right," he says softly. "It's human to try and take the blame when someone you care about is hurting, but that doesn't make it true."

I think I feel his lips press gently into my hair, but I can't be certain...wait, someone he cares about? Me?

"Sang, you continue to impress me. You have every right to be furious with me, and yet you find it in your heart to be comforting and compassionate instead."

I grin into his chest and feel him chuckle.

"So, Darling, do you have any more surprises in store for us? You speak Korean as well as Japanese and Sign Language...any others? Are you a closet Francophone? Do you dream in Afrikaans?" I fail to hold in a giggle and he smiles down at me. "Maybe a little Klingon or Esperanto?" My giggle turns into half a dozen, and for the first time, Owen looks completely carefree.

He cups my face with the palm of his hand and his thumb strokes along my cheekbone. "I would be ridiculous for the rest of time, Darling, if it would guarantee me the sound of those giggles for eternity." We lock gazes and the electricity that zings between us pulls him closer.

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