“Let go Mike.”
“You can’t do this, Lauren!”
Defiantly, she ripped away her hand and with it her gentle tone. “I said let go, Mike. I need to go.”
“Please. Please don’t leave me again. I need an anchor, someone to hold me down, keep me stable. I need you.” Reaching out for her, the isolated island she had become, he gently caressed her wrist.
She pulled her wrist back. “You don’t need me. You need to stay the hell away from me. I’m not going to stay here waiting for the pain and loneliness that is the inevitable companion of love.”
“No, Lauren. I’m not going to leave you! You are the one pulling away from me. I keep reaching for you and I can see the flicker of desire in your eyes if for only a moment. But then the flood of memories of the past is projected onto me. I’m constantly competing with the guys who hurt you. I’m here and now and real and I love you Lauren.”
“Lies.” She whispered, but even as the words floated from her throat she stopped believing it. She leaned into him, crying softly, and he wrapped his arms around her as he sighed in relief. “I’m sorry they hurt, left, and broke you Lauren. But I’m determined not to. Let me in. Let me love you.”
And in that moment, the moat that kept out his love was destroyed, and the castle was taken over with a flood of love.