Edalene woke up slowly. Sleep clung to her eyes, and this time, waking up, she pulled herself closer to the warm body beside her. Duncan slumbered on, his expression peaceful in rest, his frame relaxed - a sharp contrast from the night before, when he was all energy and tension. It hurt to open her eyes, though not from drink this time, but from tears. The dried saline had sealed her eyes shut, and they cracked as she opened them. Edalene wrenched them open, and there was only one thought in her head in the cold light of the morning.
He was back. She had met him by chance, a chance she thought would never happen, and all it had done was shake all the foundations she thought she had built. She had learnt to live without him - no, she had had to live without him. Keeping him in her heart would have been too much, when she was already so fragile. Her fingers worried at the cool, empty pendant that hung around her neck, the silver cold from the chill. Empty. How had she let it become so?
Edalene thought about waking Duncan. After the night beforehand, he probably would not want another round - not after the breakdown she had had in his arms - but neither did she. She had fucked the anger out of herself, and now, all that was left was stiff joints and tired heart. What would waking him do, but draw him into her problems again?
She sat up, bringing the blanket around her frame as she did so, before ducking down the floor to pick up strewn socks and her night gown, a thick wool perfect for this weather. Wrapping the robe around her naked body, she stood, and did something odd. She leant down, pressed a soft kiss to his cheek. A rush of affection filled her, something she had not expected to feel for him, but he had sat, and he had listened, and Edalene had not been able to talk for a long time. Sure, she had not told him everything. In fact, she had barely told Duncan anything, skirting around the details and only telling the bare essentials. But it was a start. Finally trusting anyone but her brother was a start.