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She scuffled her feet in the sand and brush, then slid them forward to land gently on the bank. In the weeks since she'd discovered him here, it had become their custom to watch the sea swallow the sun in silence. It bothered her, this habit he had of sitting just out of the reach of danger in the late afternoon, but she’d never break their ritual to tell him.
As she looked up the darkening skies through the thin protection of overhanging branches, she leaned back on long, strong arms. Greater support existed, but she wouldn’t take it from him.
For a while, she simply listened to the waves, scraping rock and sand from the shore and leaving behind the detrius of their moon dances. In the distance, she could hear the shrieking of the seagulls. And more than anything, she absorbed the utter silence of his presence as the sun sank its last embers into the beckoning swirls of the horizon, leaving behind the streaky aftermath of the day's rays.
She’d never been big on the great outdoors--communing with nature had been someone else's turf. And she was only just beginning to learn how to truly listen. But in reaching for what closeness could be found in the months since last spring, she’d come to appreciate how the sounds of nature could quiet the storms that raged in her.
No sound or movement gave away his mental state, but she had no doubt that his thoughts were as entangled as her own.
Tonight, in the orange and purple glow that signaled today fading into tomorrow, the tension broke so still that she could stand it no longer. A tiny spark might be all it would take to force action from inertia.
"So. We're still here." She turned bright eyes on him, waiting for an answer. And when he made no move to respond, she wondered if perhaps she should reach for him. With a sigh, she settled back. He'd speak when he was ready.
Eventually, he raised his head and turned clouded blue eyes on her. "Still? Again's more like it." The weariness in his voice matched that in her very cells. "And what's the bloody use?"
Willow drew in a deep breath. What she would say could tear him apart or build him back up again, all in a breath. Could he survive it?
"She'd want to know."
Without a word, he stood and walked away. She wasn't surprised. The words she'd spoken went beyond the boundaries the twilight held so tenuously around them.
Still, he'd be here tomorrow, to search for himself in the gloaming.