Episode 439: Standing StillOn a deep, shaky breath, Sebastian gripped the door handle and forced himself to pull it open. He stood there, holding the door for her, feeling the crisp chill in the air far more than he should have given his heavy coat and the scarf Ava had knit him for Christmas.
While he waited for her slow, short steps to reach him, he nuzzled the thick, navy blue wool, inhaling her still lingering scent, trying to stamp it permanently in his sense memory bank so when she was gone he could call it up and pretend she was there.
He had the most awful, sickening dread that she wouldn’t be there.
She reached the door finally—although maybe she’d done so quickly and it only felt like the band-aid slowly, excruciatingly ripping off. Their eyes touched. They just looked at each other for the longest time.
Bas forced himself to choke out, "we’d better hear what she has to say."
Ava hesitated, and then gave a half-hearted nod. Her lack of enthusiasm, the confused emotions swirling in her eyes comforted him some. Some.
Sebastian followed her inside, every step tightening the knot in his belly. Somehow, he made it to the chairs opposite Shanti Lakshmi’s desk and took a seat next to Ava. He kept his eyes away from her. No desire to see light sparkling to life in her eyes the moment she received the good news.
"I’m afraid I have bad news," Shanti informed them.
Sebastian immediately reached out and took Ava’s shivering fingers. He hadn’t wanted her to leave him. Nevertheless, he hadn’t wanted the worst possible hurt to keep her with him, either.