Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

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Dante has never refused to tell me anything before, and he's frozen like a statue. How can I trust him when he's so intent on guarding his feelings from me?

We stare at each other.

"It was only a potential future," he says eventually. "Nothing set in stone."

"So tell—"

"I can't."

"Why not?"

"I could die, Harry!"

There's a pause, where I almost let him win.

I rub my nose. "What do you mean?"

He's angry with himself, and it's making it more difficult for him to keep his feelings hidden. Good. The wall he's built between us starts to crack. "It doesn't—"

"I deserve to know if I'm gonna lose you."

He shakes his head. "You won't lose me."

"You just said—"

"I could—but that's why I was speaking to Ophelia. Only they need to know. It's best if you don't know any details."

"Dante—"

"Harry, darling."

I push my hand into my hair. "Let me help."

"You can't," he says, voice softer than it has been for hours. "It's okay. I'm fine."

Dread tickles my spine. "That's the worst thing you could say."

Dante groans and strides towards me so we can look into each other's eyes. "Stop pushing this. Nothing—"

"I deserve to know—"

He kisses me, trying to shut me up. I consider shoving him away so we can continue arguing but, actually, I can make this work.

I give him my best. I take a sharp bite of his lower lip, letting my instincts fill my mouth with venom, and tug him by the belt loops so we're closer together.

He cups my face between his hands and lets out a long, trembling breath.

The wall between us crumbles.

I kiss him and keep my emotions wide open, begging him to step away from the remaining rubble and let me know what he's feeling.

He groans and my eyelids flutter open in time to see his honey eyes roll back, towards the ceiling. I slip my mouth down to his throat, kissing and biting and sucking, until he whimpers and gives in.

Everything he's tried to hide spills out, drowning me and making me tremble.

"Oh, you idiot," I moan, shivering as his fingers undo my jeans. "You think they're gonna be disappointed in you."

He doesn't answer.

"Is it because of me? You really think they'd kill you for this?"

Dante groans and pushes me away, holding my hips but keeping us apart. He looks exhausted, and those honey eyes are heavy when he speaks.

"Ophelia saw it. This could end in you having to survive on your own so we're doing everything we can to avoid that."

"How? What can I do to help?"

Dante presses a kiss to the corner of my mouth. "Nothing. Just be you, darling. And don't freak out if I have to kill a lot of people."

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