Episode 363: Living In DangerXavier had not ventured further than their backyard since the magazine article exposed the details of his mother’s murder, his survival methods on the streets and the drug use to cope with, and forget all that he’d seen and done.
Under the stars, she joined him at the patio table, delivering a sandwich to him. He was not eating well. Only on rare occasions. She watched him steadily while settling in the chair opposite as if her eyes could will him back to life, all she got was Shelby curling up on her feet. Normally a comfort. But she was too worried.
She worried about him not leaving the house and she worried he’d leave the house. He’d slip. He wouldn’t find his way back.
As the sandwich sat untouched, she absently disturbed Shelby’s catnap and went to Xavier, wrapped her arms around his neck. "I’m so sorry this happened. It’s my fault. Kylie Davidson wrote it. Phillip Marques published it. I’m so sorry; this has Sebastian written all over it."
"I don’t think so," he said, his largest sentence in weeks and kissed her hand. He pulled her onto his lap. "Preppie feels like I do. He wouldn’t purposely do anything that might hurt you."
Ava tensed, frightened by the look in his eyes, like he was about to do something rash, push her into Sebastian’s arms maybe. "Xavier, I-"
"Marry me tomorrow."
"Tomorrow?" She was breathless with relief, but thrown as well. " We haven’t planned anything."
His gaze lowered. "You’re right. Dumb idea. You should have a splashy ceremony. I just... I thought it might make everything better."
"You’re right. It will." She tipped up his chin, gave a soft kiss, he took it deeper, always did. Up for air, she smiled. "I don’t care about splashy. We’ll go to city hall. I would like to find a special dress though, that might take some time."
"How about we meet at the benches outside city hall at say four in the afternoon?"