And I've been a fool and I've been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I'm always dragging that horse around

Our love is questioned, such a mournful sound
Tonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues drawn
But it's always darkest before the dawn

-Shake it Out, by Florence + the Machine

~Clove~

So I put my faith, in something unknown-

I'm living on such sweet nothing.

But I'm tired of hope, with nothing to hold—

Sweet nothing

Sweet nothing

Budududua budududa—

"Jesus Christ," I groaned. My breath cut through the December air; it looked like tendrils of smoke were coming out of my mouth. Of all Florence and the Machine songs I could have stuck in my head right now, "Sweet Nothing" just had to be the one that was taunting me. Funny, because it seemed to have lyrical significance to my life. I hated it.

My only source of light were the lamps dotting the streets, and in between the darkness and the snow that was falling to the ground, I felt like I was running into an abyss. Well, fine by me, if it meant getting away from Madison.

Sweet nothing, sweet nothing, you're giving me such sweet nothing—

Fuck you, Calvin Harris.

Pop culture seemed to be mocking me. Florence and the Machine was mocking me, Vampire Diaries was mocking me—at this rate, it was only a matter of time before Taylor Swift slapped me in the face. And all for what, huh? For some boy?

And, like that, I felt the blood that was already rushing to my face start to boil.

There was complicated, and then there was frustrating. I didn't know what I felt at this point. "I never stopped loving you"—what the hell did that mean?

I flashed back to last weekend.

I can only watch my boyfriend gawk at you so many times before deciding that I can't fucking take it anymore.

Was that it, then?

Who was I fooling—of course it was.

Cato's confession wasn't a distraction, or part of any plan. It was the truth. And we both knew it.

… Which was exactly why I was running.

"So that's it, then?" I breathed. And, like that, I stopped. I stopped to look at where I was. Madison Reservation—exactly three miles from my house. And I hadn't even broken a sweat.

I looked into the woods. There was a trail I'd run there every so often, when I really felt like busting my ass, because it went gradually uphill for close to a mile before reaching a sharp incline to the top.

No one will ever sit around a table and tell stories about a man that couldn't love.

Well. So long as a blonde vampire was taunting me, I'd fucking walk up that hill.

There's something to be said about running. You can't think straight. Really, you don't even think about everything. It's all noise. You just do what you're doing, trying to stay in motion and having your thoughts jump from thing to another.

Maybe that's why I did it so much.

"You're not addicted to drugs," Marvel had told me once. "You're addicted to endorphins."

Yeah, well. Endorphins make it easier to distract yourself from your problems—

I almost stopped in my tracks.

Well, damn.

It took me long enough to admit that to myself.

At first, I fell into a sprint. I pushed myself up that hill, and I knew it was a desperate attempt to get back to endorphin-land. To get back to musing about Florence and the Machine and Vampire Diaries and the fact that I was running. Anything but Cato Ludwig. But I stopped almost as soon as I started sprinting, and found myself flat on my back and looking up at the heavens.

Maybe it was something in the air. Maybe it was twenty degree weather, the fact that I was only wearing a sports bra, or a general result of how long this had dragged on for. But I was tired of running—literally and otherwise.

"Okay," I whispered. I took a deep breath.

Fact: Cato loves me.

Fact: He was honest with me tonight.

Fact: Whatever he'd planned with Marvel was for my own good.

Fact: He's better than I give him credit to be.

My heart raced.

"Fact," I mumbled, so quietly that only I could hear myself, "I'm scared."

I let those words sit on my tongue for a minute. I let them sink in.

I knew what I'd have to admit it to myself. And I'd have to do it sooner than later. Because the longer I waited, the harder it'd be.

My feelings for him where clinging on to me. I needed to shake that devil off my back.

XXX

A/N: This chapter's delay has been brought to you by season depression, whoaaaaa!

-In all seriousness, I was in a slump recently and just needed some to focus on myself and log some miles. Lame, I know, but I'm hoping to make it up to you guys with mega-update-February (wheeee!)

Hope y'all enjoyed. This chapter was probably influenced by the xx's infinity, it's been stuck in my head all week so that'd be why :D

Thank you guys so much for the reviews. I love you all, and let's bring that pretty number up to over 200, eh?

xx Nina

Tease for next time—Glimmer and Cato hash things out.

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