.... But although Darcy thought she knew all there was to know about Snow, she couldn't have been more wrong.
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She takes a step forwards, but I pull her back. She spins round, hitting out at my face; grabbing her above the elbows I pull her into my chest, encasing her in my arms.
“It’s okay, Darc, it’s okay.”
The harder she fights, the tighter my hold on her becomes. After only moments I feel her tenseness dissolve and her yells become sobs. I reach up, softly stroking my hand down the back of her hair in the same way I remember my mother doing to me as a boy when I was upset… But that’s Snow’s story and locked away. There are so many facets to my life, ones I’m not prepared to share.
Still holding her against me, we’re almost as one as I lower us back onto the bed. This is foreign territory I enter, for never in my life have I held a woman the way I’m holding Darcy now. I have this overriding feeling that takes over my head, telling me I want to protect her, keep her safe. Suddenly, my heart hurts, for it is something Snow was unable to do for Summer. But this isn’t a sisterly love I feel for Darcy; I can’t place what I feel. I glance down onto her soft forehead, my eyes following the bridge of her nose, and it suddenly dawns on me that I can’t imagine my life without her in it; yet what chance do two people as broken and as lost as we are really have?
It’s strange how moments can turn into hours without you realising, and it’s amazing how long our arms stayed wrapped around one another without either of us wanting to pull away. I look down at her as she lifts her head from my chest, and we hold each other in a long drawn-out stare. I smile at the multicoloured paint on her face. Seeing a half-empty glass on the table beside us, I stretch my arm towards it and dip my finger into the water. I lift myself from her, allowing her head to fall lightly onto the pillow behind. I draw my wet fingers down from her forehead, smudging the shades as I try to rub the paint away. But as I wipe away her painted mask, I see a woman beneath, a beautiful woman whose eyes have settled on me… At the end of the day she’s still a woman, and every woman I have every loved, who has ever meant anything to me, has just caused me pain. Faces from my past flash into my head… Is it only a matter of time before I kiss Darcy goodbye and she becomes no more than a memory? Then, like so many times before, I will forget her, pick myself up and start my life over.
I lean my arm past her and turn off the light, then once more hold her in my arms.