There, this is the last chapter. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me what you think of this one. As much as you can write, I love reading reviews! Ahh! Thanks for reading thus far, too. :)
Cosette waited downstairs nervously, fiddling with the ties on her dressing gown. Her stomach ached with her worries, and her brow was wrinkled. Midnight passed, and then she did not try and keep track as the grandfather clock chimed off every quarter of an hour. However, she did notice when it rang out one o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock.
He's not going to come home, Cosette thought to herself as tears rang down from her eyes. He's gone away. He's not coming back.
This hurt more than she'd ever expect it to- and she expected it to hurt. But this was excruciatingly painful. How many times had she been left? This was worse than all the others- she'd never expected Marius to leave her. He promised he wouldn't, over and over. And yet he was gone. You'd think that, by now, she would be used to having people leave her. Would the pain dull? It did with her father, when he stopped coming to visit. This time, she knew it would not.
What would happen to her? Would she be allowed to stay in this house with grandfather, or would she have to move somewhere else? She remembered she still owned the rue Plumet, but she did not want to live there. Not without Marius. There were too many memories of him there.
"Oh!" she cried, holding her head in her hands and sobbing. "This cannot be true. He can't have left me. He must still love me!"
She realized that she would never recover from this. There were so many memories they shared- wonderful memories. When they kissed for the first time in her garden, all those hours spent under the moonlight, seeing him again after four months of him fighting for his life, making love for the first time, sleeping with their arms entwined... and silly memories, too. Like when in the middle of the night when they were both still awake, her stomach had growled. They went downstairs to get some bread, and ended up falling asleep on the living room couch, and were discovered by Grandfather the next morning. Or when they went to their first fancy dinner party together, with ball gowns and dancing.
Those memories, once so sweet, would turn poisonous in his absense. They would become weapons, and they would hurt to think about. They could no longer be good times- they would be reminders of the wonderful thing she had let slip by.
When the clock rang out three-thirty in the morning, the doorknob turned. Cosette's heart jumped to her throat, and her stomach turned over. Marius entered the house soaked to the skin, his hair plastered to his head, shivering. He jumped when he saw her standing in the living room, staring at him with wide and tearful eyes.
They both began talking at once. He fell to his knees, and Cosette marched forward, hitting him on the arm.
"Where were you?" she demanded.
"Please, forgive me-"
"I had no idea where you went, I thought you left-"
"I can't go on as things were-"
"If you want to leave, fine, I'll find some way to live with that, but at least say goodbye-"
"I know you no longer love me," they both said, and then stopped.
"Pardon?" they both said again.
"I no longer love you?" Marius exclaimed.
"Why- yes. Isn't that why you left tonight?" Cosette asked, her eyes giant.
"Cosette!" Marius exclaimed, jumping to his feet and taking her hand. "I didn't leave tonight. I went out- I went to church. I wanted to talk to a priest and confess what I did to your father- of course, I was crazed. The church was empty, it was past midnight. But I stayed in there for hours, praying, and then I walked home. I was thinking about you, and about fixing this, praying for a solution... I got lost, it was raining, it took me over an hour to get back-"
"A solution? You mean you don't want to leave me?" she asked in a small voice.
"I thought that's what you wanted," he said.
"No!" she said, almost laughing, it was so ridiculous. "Never!"
"So... you still love me?" he asked nervously.
"Of course!" she said, hitting him on the arm again. "I never stopped. But don't you dare just run away like that again. I wanted you here- no, I needed you here, with me. I needed you to help me, to take care of me... I missed my papa, I was sad, I was lonely, and meanwhile, you were nowhere to be found! Why weren't you sleeping with me?"
"I thought you didn't want to see me again, after what I did," he said.
"At first. Maybe for a few minutes... but I forgave you. I needed you with me..." she said, tearing up again.
"Oh, my God, I'm so sorry," he said, pulling her into his arms and kissing her over and over again. She felt the rain from his clothes seeping through her nightdress, but she didn't care, and just pressed herself closer to him as he pressed his lips to hers time after time. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'll never leave you again-"
"Promise me," she said weakly.
"I promise never to leave you again."
"I believe you. I forgive you," she said.
"Just let me show you how much I love you- I tried before, I was trying to protect you, but it did not work."
"I love you so much," she managed to get out, before he kissed her again, silencing her this time. She pulled herself closer to him, and they struggled up the stairs together. Once they reached the privacy of their own bedroom, he pulled her nightgown over her head and she undid the soaking clothing from him, letting them fall to the floor. Instead of just desire, they were feeling passion and need, so acute and present that it was physically painful. It was beyond sexual- it was sensual and cognitive, where the other person was the only thing in the world to them at that moment.
Once they were naked, they touched each others bodies with the kind of adoration that only comes from true love mixed with passion. It was rushed, but it was patient. It was erotic, but it was beautiful at the same time. He carried her to their bed and made love to her with an intensity that surprised the both. They pulled themselves closer together, as though no space at all could be between them. They gasped out each other's names, and held tight to each other. She dug her fingernails and bit her lip with passion, drawing blood from both of them accidently. She let out a small cry and closed her eyes, wrapping her legs around him and not letting him go until long after they were finished.
"Let's never let that happen again," Cosette said breathlessly. "I never want to go another day without speaking to you."
He continued kissing her lips and her face, and she closed her eyes, breathing out. As long as she had Marius, as long as she had this security of his love, she could get through. Even her father's death was not irreparable.
But when he pulled up and looked her in the eyes, his face was concerned.
"I can't promise we'll never have any difficulties again," he said. "We're too different not to ever fight about anything... it was amazing we made it as long as we did without any problems."
"Let's not make it a habit, though," she said nervously.
"No- I mean, if problems come up again, we have to do something about it. I promise not to just hide away, if you promise to tell me what you want. This time, I tried to fix the problem, but had no idea what you wanted from me, and it bitterly failed. We can only make it work if we both tell each other what we need. Can you do that?"
"Yes," she said. "I was unfair, too... I just expected you to know when I was done being mad at you, and when you were supposed to be with me again. But, there is something I want right now."
He furrowed his brow- did they already have another problem?
"Whatever you need," he answered.
"I want you to kiss me," she said, with a coy smile.
So he did.