“Is it gone?”
“Yes. It’s over, for now.”
She opened her eyes and looked at him, tears welling up inside them. “Is it okay if I cry now?” Without waiting for an answer, she burrowed her head into his shoulder and began to weep.
Richard closed his arms protectively about her for a fraction of a second and then leaned into his need. He wanted to shelter her, protect her, and consume her. She belonged nowhere else but in his arms. She felt right. He held her tighter, with tenderness, aware that this sudden need was irrational, alien to his nature. He rocked her gently, letting her weep away the tension and the fear, uncaring of his own discomfort, rubbing his cheek against the softness of her hair. His back was straining from the effort of keeping her balanced on his shoulder, but he didn’t mind. All he cared about was that she felt good, her delicate perfume pervading his senses.Richard shifted his body and nestled her closer still, not analyzing his behavior.