It's never too late to say I'm sorry

I heard his voice in the darkness, broken and scared….

"Starsk? I'm sorry…please forgive me…."

I drew a deep breath and exhaled slowly before reaching out and turning on the light on the nightstand beside the bed. Blondie blinked at the sudden light and stumbled back a step. He looked terrible. His hair was mussed and there were dark circles under his eyes. With his slumped shoulders and slouched posture, he looked like a man who had been beaten down by life.

Despite the residual anger that still lingered, the sadness in his voice cut me to the quick. I knew he was sorry…now. But, he should have thought about that before he fucked Kira behind my back right in front of me. My mom used to say that all the time when I did something I knew I shouldn't have done. I never understood what she meant until now.

I knew Blondie was waiting for me to say something. Finally, I said, "Is that supposed to make it all better. Make it go away? Make me forget what you did?"

"No…" Hutch muttered so quietly I could barely hear the words. He lowered his head and stared at the floor, unable to look me in the eyes. "I know I can't take it back. I would if I could…I need you to forgive me…even if I don't deserve it."

"Why, Hutch?" I demanded unable to keep the sharp tone from my voice. "Why did you do it? I told you how I felt…"

"I didn't believe you," Hutch admitted in a ragged whisper. "I thought you were trying to convince yourself that you loved her more than you were trying to convince me…"

"That shouldn't matter! Not after I told you that I loved her."

"No, it shouldn't," Hutch said, finally raising his head and meeting my eyes. "Not if it were true."

"Yeah, well it's over now, isn't it? You made damn sure of that."

"She didn't love you anymore than she did me. She was just using both of us…"

"Is that why you did it? So you could rub it in my face by having me catch you coming out of her bedroom?"

"No! I never meant to hurt you. You have to believe that. I don't know why I did it! God…I wish I could take it all back but I can't…I can't…"

Hutch suddenly crumbled, falling to his knees at the foot of the bed. It took me a minute to realize that the man was crying…deep, silent sobs that make his whole body shake. I never could ignore Blondie when he was hurting, physically or emotionally. Pushing my own anger and pain aside, I climbed out of bed and went to him, falling to my knees beside him and reaching out to pull him into a hug.

I gently petted at his hair as he buried his face against my shoulder, mumbling over and over again, "I'm sorry. So sorry. Please tell me that you forgive me…"

"Shhh…I forgive you…" I blinked back my own tears as I opened my heart to the man in my arms. He meant more to me that Kira or any other woman (Even Terri) ever had or ever would. "You hurt me…you hurt me back…and it's gonna take some time for me to get over that…but I forgive you."

"Can I stay here tonight?" he whispered hopefully.

"Of course you can. You're in no condition to drive back home…"

I stood up and helped the big klutz to his feet. He let me lead him to the bed where he crumbled down on the mattress, the tears slowly drying on his face. I laid down beside him and reached out to turn off the light. It was late and we were both emotionally drained. We both needed some sleep. Tomorrow was another day and we could start working on mending the rift that Kira had left between us then.