Emma was like a dying flame, an old memory that had faded over the years. He felt a familiar pang in his chest whenever he thought of her soft, beautiful smile. Time had dulled his pain, so that it was just a tiny prick of regret when he thought of her.
Rachel was a dream to him. Sometimes he would see himself running his hands through her golden halo of hair. She drifted in and out of his thoughts. Sometimes, in the middle of the day, he would find himself thinking of her. When he looked at her, he imagined kissing her, pushing her back against the wall of their house and bringing his lips to meet hers. She was a wisp of a memory, something that he clung to in his weakest moments. He was drawn to her, unconsciously, unwillingly. He would do anything for her, and he hated himself for it.
Nora, on the other hand, had burned bright and hot in his heart. She had a passion and heat that matched his own. She wasn't a dream or a fading memory. She was hard reality, making him feel the world around him like never before. She was one in a million, the only woman whose strength of spirit was a match for his. Nora made him feel, and it hurt like hell sometimes. He remembered back during militia days, when they'd sneak away together to steal moments alone. They looked out for each other, watching each other's backs. They were partners on the run, the general and the bounty hunter, fighting for a future and for each other—like Bonnie and Clyde, Bass had once said. They were partners in everything, and when she'd died, she'd nearly taken him with her.