He had always found her beautiful. Had he always loved her?

Since he first laid eyes on her, he was captivated. Everyone was. Anywhere she went, she turned heads. It had been a problem for him, her beauty. Having to endure the animal looks of men whenever she walked by. Repressing the urge to pound his fists into the head that thought of her twice.

Many praised her hair, or perhaps her figure, or her porcelain skin; but he'd always liked her eyes best. Dark green with flecks of amber, surrounded by thick lashes, that could pierce his very soul with a glance. Every portion of her resided in them.

But there was something else. She was infuriating. She was amazing. She made him laugh. She made him angry. She made him happy.

He'd never met someone who understood him so well. She knew all of his expressions and sounds, and knew how to push his buttons. What to say to make him feel better. How to hurt him.

Looking back now, she had always held his heart in her hands. Had always treated it with care. Until she ripped it in half. With ease.

When had it happened? When had she begun to only think of herself? If someone had asked him this, once, he would have said when she first came back. When he thought he had recovered the person he loved more than anyone he had ever met.

But now he realized it was before that. She had started to think of only herself when no one else did. She looked out for herself because no one else would. He definitely hadn't. He had ignored the signs, ignored the pleading desperation in her eyes. How could he have missed it?

He was sidetracked by her opposite. He was so consumed with his longing for someone he couldn't have, that he neglected the girl who had stood by him his entire life. If anyone deserved to die for their crimes it was him.

He wondered how quickly she had been able to lose all feelings for him. Was her betrayal of him easy? Did it weigh on her? Did she ever think of him?

He thought of her often. More often than he ought to. More often than was healthy. He saw flashes of her everywhere. The girl she had used to be. But that girl was gone.

He had always found her beautiful. He imagined he always would, even now. Even years from now. Had he always loved her? Had he ever ceased?