His chuckle was dry as he shook his head. “I can’t pretend anymore, Kyla.”
She frowned and he knew he had to continue. It was probably time they got it all out anyway. “This light has dampened nothing of my feelings for you. I’m trying to let it go, but every time I get within a breath of you, I…I want to cover your body with kisses.”
Her eyebrows shot up. “My entire body?”
“Kyla!” His voice rang with a desperate plea.
“I’m sorry.” She threw her dagger into the dirt with a tut. “It just sounds really nice and…appealing.” She bit her lower lip. “How am I ever going to get that thought out of my head now?”
His lips twitched with a smile that was hastily eaten by the truth. “Oh that you were mine.” He shook his head with a heavy sigh.
The heartache in Kyla’s expression mirrored his own and he couldn’t stop himself. “What if we did run away together? Once we’ve spread the light in Taramon and Ashan is defeated, we could disappear.”
Kyla’s eyes shone with desire and for a fleeting moment he thought she might say yes, but then she looked to the ground. “You couldn’t love me like that, Jethro. You’d be plagued by guilt.” She tapped the tip of her sword on the ground. “You can’t steal me from Athra…just like I can’t break his heart. What we started in Doran was a fleeting dream.” She swallowed, her chin trembling. “We always knew it.”
His chest constricted and he fought for air. He tried not to let it show and raised his eyes to the crystal clear sky. Grappling for composure, he scanned the trees in the distance before finally looking at her.
“You, me and an unexplored horizon.” Kyla’s smile was etched with sorrow. “If that dream ever did come true, I’d want it to be guilt free.”
“As would I,” he croaked after a long beat.
Kyla met his gaze and opened her mouth to speak, but no words came forward. She bit her lips together and was about to try again, but he cut her off.
“There's nothing more to say.” Collecting his sword from the ground, he sheathed the weapon and began heading back to the forest. “Come. It’s time to wake the children. We must not waste the day.”
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