Walking Away

Her chocolate curls danced in the evening breeze as she stared out into the distance, the stars twinkling overhead. The crisp air nipped at her cheeks as she leaned against the railing atop the tower. It was such a beautiful night, if only her mind were filled with equally beautiful thoughts.

She had to choose, choose between love and what was right. Her heart ached with the weight of the injustice of it all. She closed her eyes as the breeze caressed her and wished that all of her problems could just melt away.

She sighed when a hand slid around her waist, pulling her back against a lean, toned frame. She felt the soft bristle of his stubble as he buried his face into her curls, placing a kiss on her temple. "What are you doing here?" She tried to sound angry but, she barely managed a note off annoyance. What was it about him that she found so irresistible?

"I want to talk, Andie, that's all."

"There isn't anything to talk about Rabastan. I told you I need to think." She opened her eyes and tiled her head to look at him. His hair was dark as night and tousled from the wind, his eyes as cold and crisp as the arctic sea. He frowned at her and she felt a pang of guilt. "Rabastan, please. This isn't easy for me. . . "She turned to face him, her fingers laced through his instinctively as she leaned against the railing.

"I love you. I love you more than anything. You have to know that." He insisted. His eyes darted over her desperately, looking for any affirmation of his claim.

At one time she would have believed him; some part of her believed it still. Then she thought of what lay beneath his sleeve and she pulled her hand away, dejected. She had believed he was different, that he would not follow his family's path. She had been wrong. She had thought that they were alike, that they could have a life together – a life away from the stain of their families' names. She had been mistaken. They were nothing alike. They were not meant to be. He had chosen them over her. Why shouldn't she choose herself for once?

"You did once." She said, taking a step closer. She ran hand a single finger up his left forearm. He swallowed, averting her gaze. "But, I can't imagine waking up beside you every morning knowing what you have done. I can't imagine making love to you and seeing, knowing . . ." She trailed off, dropping her hand away with a sigh. "I'm sorry Rabastan. I wanted this to work – I wanted us to work – but, you have ruined it." She turned to walk away.

It couldn't end like that. He refused to let it end their relationship end like that. Rabastan seized her wrist and spun her around to face him. "Andromeda, I love you. I still love you. You are the most important thing in my life. . ." He had never been one for begging but, he would have done anything to make her stay. "Please, don't leave me."

"If you really loved me more than anything, you never would have come home with that, that disgusting mark on your arm." Andromeda spat. "It is not just a mark, it's a stain, a blemish on your soul, Rabastan. You were a good man, you could have had a good life but, you threw it all away. I'm not letting you take me down with you." The bitterness in her voice sent a shiver down his spine.

"I know. I know I made a mistake -"

"A mistake! A mistake! This is much more than a mistake Rabastan, this is your life, you GAVE it to him, You signed it over to him... The life you could have had with me – you gave it away for free. Do not make it sound like I made this choice– you made it for me." She choked as tears filled her eyes.

"We can make it work. Please. I will do anything."

"I'm sorry Rabastan – there is nothing you can do."

"But don't you love me? Don't you still care?"

"That's the worst part. I do. I still love you. I probably always will but, I need to do what is best for me and what is best for me – is walking away." The tears streaked her cheeks as she turned and hurried away, disappearing through the heavy wooden door. He stood frozen as the door slammed shut in her wake.

Slowly he turned and looked out into the night sky. He sank to his knees as the tears began to fall.

How could he have been so stupid?

And as he sat alone, in the dead of night on the cold stone, he could swear the wind was laughing at him, mocking him.

He had just lost the only thing that had ever truly mattered to him and he knew there was no way to get her back.

This is written for Bex, for the June Fic Exchange. I hope you like darling. I am sorry it is all angst...

Word Count: 850


Camp Potter – Fireworks Show – "I tell myself that you're no good for me. I wish you well, but desire never leaves."- Halestorm, "Familiar Taste of Poison" & "That's the worst part"

disclaimer - don't own it.