out on your corner.

Regal had been distracted and thus, he had no-one to blame but himself. He had been more concerned about Presea and her obvious likeness to Alicia, blue eyes and her hair and the shape of her face to notice anything and anyone else. And thus Regal didn't pay attention to the fact that anyone else could be like her.

"Don't your hands hurt like that?" Colette asks once, her eyes worried. A small hand touches his, such a gentle, careful touch. But her hands are rough, from hard work and tripping and fighting, and her eyes grow so worried that Regal cannot not smile, the urge to comfort her heavy within his chest.

"I've grown used to it," he says, trying to stop that frown on Colette's face.

His words, however, just make her seem sadder, and it's such a gentle way that he remembers Alicia, and then Regal hates himself for doing so like this.

"Grown used to pain... " her hand curls around two of her fingers, so small, but Regal feels taken back by the way her eyes look at him. "Regal, I think... no, I know you're a good person! So that's why... if you're hurting, you shouldn't keep quiet. If it hurts... ah, I might not be able to help much, but I'll do what I can! So... please.."

She barely reaches his chest, and had he not seen her fight, Regal would almost call her fragile. But Colette is strong in one thousand ways and then more, and more than Presea, she thinks that Colette reminds him of Alicia even more.

He makes himself return the gentle squeeze of her fingers just once before letting go. "I will," he promises her. His words make her smile and she lets go too, and his hand remembers the warmth of her hands.

This is another sin, one that he bears in complete silence, one that no-one will ever learn, and he won't think about gentle hands, now inches from his fingertips.