Linden&Rhine

And the arms of the ocean are carrying me;
And all this devotion was rushing out of me

There were days Linden wouldn't even move. He would just lie on Rhine's bed and breathe in her faint sent of fuchsia. He was afraid that if he were to let go of the crumpled sheets they would evaporate and one of the few remaining pieces of her would disappear from him forever.

What he was really doing was trying to wake up. This was a nightmare, he'd tell himself. Any day now he'd wake up in these same sheets but her sleeping form would be next to him. He'd be able to reach over and trace the curve of her. Her eyelashes would flutter open and she'd look at him with that expression between confusion and warmth. Her blonde curls would tickle his cheek and he'd breathe her in.

Sometimes being with her just consumed him entirely. To him, she was an entity of gold and beauty. He wasn't sure how he had been lucky enough to find her, but he did.

He knew what people sometimes thought, that to him, Rhine was a replacement of Rose. But that wasn't true at all, Rose was his first love that was a part of his past, Rhine was the love he held for his future.

Or so he thought, until she was gone the next morning.

His father and Cecily continuously tried to get him out of her room. They'd tell him that she wasn't coming back, that she was never going to come back.

She's coming back, he'd scream to them, she's coming back to me. She promised me she'd teach me how to swim. She promised me.

He wanted the pain to stop. It was like when Rose had died, but worse. He knew Rose was going to die, but when Rhine had vanished it was a big blow to stomach that left his heart twisted and withered.

After a few weeks of the continuous memories and waiting his pain began to grow into anger. He didn't know what it was like to hate someone, but he assumed that this was what it felt like.

She promised, she promised, she promised.

He began to hit things off her night table. He'd throw the pillow that both their heads had rested upon during those nights they shared as they held each other in an indestructible embrace.

She lied, she lied, she lied.

But the anger and hatred only lasted a day, because he wasn't sure if he'd ever be able to truly hate the person he loved most.

You loved her so much, that you turned that love into hate, his father would tell him. Let her go, she already did the same for you.

He didn't want to let her go – letting her go meant that he'd have to pretend that none of it was real, but maybe it wasn't. He wanted to remember, but he also wanted to forget.

So he let her go as much as he possibly could. He came outside, he spent his time with Cecily, he drew houses, he cared for his son – he did everything he possibly could to forget.

But she was still there; she'd always still be there. He would find pictures he drew of her in his sketchbook that she never noticed him draw. He was planning on drawing a collection of them and giving them to her one day. He wanted to show her how much she meant to him because sometimes he felt that she didn't even realize.

His tears now stained the pictures of her, adding the sadness he felt onto them.

A weight almost crushed his barely beating heart when he saw her next. He always dreamed of seeing her again, but never like this.

Cecily had woke him up in dreamless slumber while urgently saying, it's Rhine, she's hurt, Linden, she's hurt!

Rhine? He didn't want to dare believe it, but he had to see. He had to know if she had come back.

He was led to the basement where he found a practically lifeless, bleeding girl. That wasn't his Rhine. His Rhine had pink in her cheeks and sparks in her eyes. This girl was a half-dead corpse.

He pulled her into his arms, not wanting to let go of her. Rhine, his beautiful Rhine, she was dying.

She looked up at him through half closed eyes. He pressed his hand to her head, what has happened to you?

He scooped her weightless body into his arms, not caring that her blood was staining him everywhere. He ignored Cecily's explanations and pleas of why she hadn't told him that Rhine was down here for months, being experimented upon. He didn't care; he just wanted Rhine to be safe.

Linden pulled her into him as the limo speeded them to the hospital. She pleaded to him, please don't leave me.

Never, he thought, never will I leave you. So as doctors and nurses speeded her on a gurney through the hospital, he remained beside her.

She was his wife, he told them, he belonged next to her. He spent the entire night making sure not to leave her side as the operated on her. He watched her unconscious body and his heart ached for her to heal. He looked at her hand, she still wore the ring, he noticed. But he didn't know what that means.

He blankly stared at the TV in her as he waited for her to wake up. The hatred and anger had returned moments before as he remembered that she left and lied to him.

Her eyes flickered open as she took in her surroundings. They searched and found him as he silently stared at her. She tensed and waited. Seeing her like that made him confused. He didn't know how to hate and love someone at the same time.

She hurt him, she continues to hurt him.

She accuses his father of being a monster, but how is he supposed to believe her when that man gave him life? How can she claim his father took away his and Rose's own child?

He calls her awful, but he wasn't sure if he meant it.

He wasn't sure of anything anymore, the only thing he was sure about was that it broke him inside when he closed the door on her; when he was separated from her again.

...

A/N: This was literately a spur of the moment fic. I reread the end of Fever and I became torn up and broken all over again. Anyone who says they don't like Linden is not a friend of mine, I'm just saying. I can seriously write an essay of how much I love these two (although Rhine as a character is not my favorite). No matter how the next book ends, these two will always be married and happy in my mind, let's just hope Lauren Destefano sees it that way too. Anyway, please R&R!