|Summary:||Before Rose can reply to Jarod's letter, there's one loose end to tie up…|
|Related Logs:||Too many to list|
|Guest Room — Rockliff Inn|
|Nice clean room, a bed, candles.|
|10 September 288|
It seems so much like any other night. Rose arrives before him, as usual, and spends some time pacing the room, alternately wringing her hands and keeping them laced tight over the anxiety in her stomach. She's had a bit to drink — liquid courage — though not wine. She still has no taste for wine. The moment the latch scrapes she's at the door, and her greeting is… different than the amorous hunger she normally evinces. Instead, she wraps her arms around him and holds him tight, burying her face against his shoulder. That's it, initially. Just clinging to him for dear life and breathing him in.
If Gedeon was hoping for a greeting when he slipped into the room, this was, perhaps, not quite the one he had imagined. He lefts his foot kick the door shut as his arms lift and curl around Rose, finger curling through her hair. "What's happened?" he asks her softly, "Are you all right?"
Rose nods, already fighting tears. She presses closer, holding him tightly, then pulls reluctantly away. "It's…" she looks stricken, her hand lifting to cover the pendant he gave her. "We… can't do this anymore." She closes her eyes. "I'm so sorry."
Gedeon's quiet for a moment, fingers still sliding through her hair until she steps away. But the words he offers are the same ones he's already asked, though gentled even more for this repetition. "Rose, what's happened?"
She goes to sit on the bed, lacing her fingers together in her lap. "Jarod wrote me a letter," she says softly, unable to find a better preamble. "He's… uhm… I don't know. It will probably be another disaster. But… he wants to talk. And… I just can't." Her dark eyes open again, swimming with unshed tears. "I adore you. You take my breath away. And I can't… do this. As much as I want you, and will probably always want you, I can't keep you… in reserve. You deserve so much better." She takes a breath and swallows. "So I'll meet with Jarod. And we'll talk. And we'll fight. Or we won't. I have no idea what will happen. But… I'm letting you go. I have to let you go."
"Ah," Gedeon says softly when Rose mentions a letter. He gives a small nod, letting her speak on, a corner of his mouth curled wryly upwards. "You're letting me go for him, because you want to chase this with a clear heart, disaster or not. And I knew that's what would happen, if he ever looked your way and smiled. I don't begrudge you this, but please." He gives his head a small shake. "We both know it has nothing to do with me or what I deserve."
"It does," Rose whispers, her voice small. Ashamed. "It does. And if I were a stronger person, a better person, I would have ended this a long time ago. It was fine in the beginning, but…" She swallows again, one hand lifting to twine the chain of her necklace between her fingers. "I've been so selfish, Gedeon. You do deserve better. You deserve to be first in someone's heart."
"I've learned to settle," Gedeon replies with a small shrug. He takes a step backwards, towards the door so recently shut. "I do wish you well in this. I hope all goes as you'd like. I'll see you on the training field in the morning."
"Don't," says Rose softly. "Don't ever again. I'll box your ears if I ever see you settling." She wipes her eyes on her sleeve, nodding, unable to watch him go. "I'll see you in the morning," she whispers.
"Forgive me, Rose," Gedeon says softly, "but you do not get to use me as a stand-in lover and then lecture me on what I should or should not expect." He head dips into a small nod and his voice loses that faint edge it carries as he offers, "Good night." Then the door opens and he slips quietly through it.