Chapter 28: In which it's decided

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"In the cold light I live, to love and adore you

It's all that I am, It's all that I have"

-There will be Time, Mumford & Sons

Alto sat close to me as the others gathered in

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Alto sat close to me as the others gathered in.

Something had changed within the bond.

It was...clearer.

Like a hazy window that had been cleaned, now I could see clearly past and view the landscape that was outside.

What once were fuzzy thoughts, coming to me with a hazed focus of Alto's mind- now were clear and precise. Alto loved me.

It startled me as I felt the flood of emotion come to me after we had kissed and held each other. We had only known each other for only several weeks, but Alto had not been hesitant about the bond. He had accepted it and me since the moment we met.

Me, however.

I cringed at the wave of patience and yet sadness that seemed to pulse in the back of my mind.

I didn't love him.

It made me think hard as I recovered in bed, waiting for the effects of the poison to pass, but what was love really? I couldn't come up with an answer. And Alto could not describe my own feelings to me. They were mine alone to interpret.

Thought I cared for him, would feel a rip within my soul if he left me- I still did not love him.

Love, I realized, did not come as naturally to me. I did not accept the bond as easily as Alto had. I had questioned him, me, us. I still did.

I felt weak, as I watched his steady black eyes roam the room, but I didn't have the confidence to think that fate could put me in so lucky a situation.

Instead, I questioned her also, wondering why me.

And then I felt loathing. A small dark seed inside of me that hated the fact that I could not have more confidence in myself. That, even though I had the assurance of the bond and of Alto's feelings, I still felt in some small way, that I was being tricked and lied into something, only to have the rug pulled out from my legs at any moment.

I wanted to love Alto. And maybe I did in my own small way. But since both our loves were comparable now to each other, I felt the overwhelming pressure and crushing sensation that I was not enough.

Alto's hand reached out and grabbed mine as my thoughts turned darker.

"Fayette," he said. He reached out and kissed the back of my hand, immediately calming my whirlwind of emotions down.

I relaxed within my chair, still clinging to his hand like it was my anchor.

Elden, walked in then, leading Lizzy and Jane. This was our small counsel- our band of trusted people. I was surprised when Alto wanted to gather them and even more surprised when he said not to include Gavin.

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