"Don't flatter yourself," he said, smiling coolly through a cloud of smoke, "I don't hate you." He had always waved his lies with such cockiness, such bravado, hoping that it would somehow fool her; but no matter how well he believed he had spun his web, she could always tell.
"It's okay if you did," she softly added, losing herself in the lines of her palms. It'd be easier if you did, she thought, but please, please don't.
She didn't know how much time had passed—she was never able to keep track of time, not with him—but when she looked up, it was already dark. He was looking at her, eyes cold and harsh as the night, but against the faint glimmer of the street light, she could see a speck of color; evergreen, ever hopeful. Your eyes betray you.
Something in the way he peered into her made her suddenly aware of how painful it was to stand her ground, and she found herself dropping her mask, shedding her skin, and stepping nervously under the mercy of his gaze. Trying—and failing—to prove that she was better than what time had made her out to be.
And god, how she loved him; now more than ever. How his smile flared against her cheeks, filling her up with all the happiness, and the bitterness, and the selfishness, and the anger. I wish I was as strong as you wanted me to be, I wish I had fought for you as you would have fought for me.
And as she smoothed her dress and tucked in her hair, something he once said immediately came to mind, and she could tell from the amusement spreading across his face that he was thinking about it, too.
"I like you as the fucking mess you are."
Were* were* were*