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Pen Your Pride


Time in present stood still. Romanov's forehead pressed against mine, I stared at his closed eyes as he stayed the same, knelt in front of me, foreheads touching, his hair falling in front of his face, between our faces.

My heart was palpating, but my breathing had stopped. He cared. It was so clear he cared. But did he really... believe in Lady Edika?

"You believe in her?" It was more a statement than a question. The whisper sounded foreign, alarmed. I could barely recognize my voice.

Romanov's eyes snapped open and I gasped when I realized there was a halo of gold that surrounded his black orbs. How had I missed that before?

"Yes,"

I blinked. Romanov continued to watch me.

Suddenly it dawned on me.

We stood stagnant. We would forever stand stagnant. Suddenly everything he had done after saving me, his refusal to give me his name, his refusal to admit, his refusal to stay.

We were soulmates, yes. But he was doing what Dominic's soulmate had done unintentionally.

He had been trying and was trying—still—to reject me.

"You saved me. You marked me. But you never stayed. You called me, because you couldn't keep yourself from knowing if I was okay. But you didn't tell me who you were. You showed yourself, because this mark draws us closer. But you refused to know me, know this—" I touched his mark and Romanov's dark eyes zeroed on my neck.

"—I came here and when you finally showed up, you tried to tell me. But did you really want to? It's one step forward, two steps back. Always. —" I couldn't help but let out a broken chuckle, shaking my head I turned my cheeks away when he cupped my face with his right hand. Sighing I looked into his eyes.

"— Tell me honestly, we're always going to be this way, aren't we? Just like this. With no name, no label. Just standing in the dark. Standing on ice."

Romanov's golden halo grew, and he looked away, his palm fell away.

My stomach fell. His silence supplied his answer better than his words ever could.

My vision blurred, and I looked away, unable to keep looking at him.

"But you're never going to let me go, are you?"

Romanov's fingers found my chin and he turned me towards him, I blinked, and the tears slipped down. His golden orbs blazed.

"No,"

"So that's it then, no name, relationship, no—" my eyes turned blurrier, thinking about the future, "—No marriage, no babies...—"

Romanov's eyes widened and burned brighter on babies, but I continued. My voice a cold whisper.

"—just... just this cowardice."

The room stood in silence, even the breeze had stopped dancing in from the open balcony door. Suddenly Romanov stood, and at once I closed my eyes and turned away. The flashes of his hard torso burning itself into my memory.

The sound of his feet slowly walking away thumped around the room and I let out a small sob when I heard the door open and shut close. The tears began streaming down as soon as I opened my eyes and dropped my face into both my hands.

What had my life come to?

When I had been in high school and mum and dad had died in that accident, I had known my life would never be the same. But the ray of hope had always shined through, Elizabeth, my sister had always been the first to tell me how mum and dad would never had wanted me to wallow. How they would have been ashamed to see me wasting away. Elizabeth had always given me hope.

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