|The Hardest of Hearts|
|Summary:||Regrets and truths on Danae's long ride home.|
|Related Logs:||The Sweetest of Words Have the Bitterest Taste and The Tenderest Touch Leaves the Darkest of Marks., following The Distance Between Us|
|The Long Ride Home — Stonebridge|
|April 27, 289|
Branches lash at her cheeks and catch at her loose blonde hair as Danae urges the horse to an canter, clutching at the reigns with a reckless abandon. The lashes sting, but no more than that pair of words that choruses through her head. The ground urges on beneath her mount's hooves, blurry as seen through the haze of tears that she cannot — no, will not — allow to fall. The sting of the branches offer a comforting, physical reason for the pricking of hear in her eyes.
If not the true one.
The phrase burns bitterly at the back of her throat, ire rising again and singing in her veins. Pointlessly cruel, that he could ever be so callously give the words up to the air — without chance of them being realized, knowing for certain that he will never reach for them, whatever else he will reach for his house. How could she have been so stupid?
In her heart, Danae knows why and the lurking truth does little to sweeten her thoughts. His pretty words, prettier sentiments, the sheer quiet solace of the idyllic setting leaving them alone for the first time and the wine made for a heady combination. It seemed so easy to give in for that one moment. To just have that one moment and forget all the things that brought them to it and would inevitably tear them apart.
It was a mistake.
He would have her in body, in words, but not in hand. Both of them left shamed by the mellifluous joy of an afternoon's pleasure. Urged by something so pointless and so fallible as emotions and the folly that comes by speaking words of love. Idle tongues. Idle hands. Idle bodies. Idle shame. Love.
Danae scowls, leaning forward on the horse to urge her dangerously faster, letting her guide their aimless path through the trees. The mare will know the way better than she. For this one day her rider is callously unflinching as the beast jumps over trees and through streams, any fall earned will be no great that the one she has already crafted for her own. She simply wants to go, to drive herself as far as possible from his side and the memory of the false promises of an afternoon: the daydream from which there was no joy in waking.