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The muscled-demigod turned and fixed his hooded dark green eyes directly on mine and pierced me with a look. “I believe so.”

Holy mackerel, Batman! What do I do with that titbit of information?!

Tudor suddenly changed the subject again, breaking the moment. His muscular back tensed. “Tink doesn’t like me much does he?” he asked quietly, avoiding my eyes.

How do I answer that? ‘No, he thinks you could potentially screw me over, shatter my soul and never let me in that Helms Deep fortress you call a heart.’

“He doesn’t know you, that’s all. I don’t either really, and you don’t know really know me. I only met you last night, for goodness sake!”

Tudor flinched at my words and rubbed my calf that was resting on top of my quilt. “I would like to know you. I don't understand it but I feel like I already kind of do. It’s... weird.”

Well that is a surprise.

He laid back once more and I patted his huge arm. “You have to understand a few things with Tink. He has very little family and the bit he does have are deeply religious and believe that he is an abomination who will burn in hell for eternity for being born attracted to men. When he was fourteen he came out to his parents, I thought he was so brave and encouraged it. Anyway, they freaked on an epic scale and sent him to a summer ‘retreat’ in back-country Alabama for teens who were sexually ‘possessed by the devil’. It was horrific for him. Obviously it didn’t work and he was made to leave his home and live with his uncle until he moved out to live with me.”

Tudor laid his hand on his cheek, absorbing every word. “Places like that actually exist?” I knew he was finding it difficult to wrap his head around. Most people do.

“Unfortunately they do. After that he practically grew up with me and my folks. We both had a tough time at school and really only had each other for friends. He has never even had a serious boyfriend, not once. I also wonder if it is due to his parents’ continued rejection of him as why he can’t commit to a lover for a long period of time, but I’m no Psychologist so I let it go. We have been everything to each other for so long that sometimes it becomes blurred to both of us just what the boundaries are. If I’m hurt, he feels pain. If he’s upset, I cry alongside him, and if someone he doesn’t know tries to take over his caregiver role, he gets extremely defensive,”

I prodded Tudor’s chest and grinned. He nodded in understanding.

“Quite honestly, I wonder sometimes if we are too close. I admit now that I was not fully invested in my previous relationship. I always put Tink first, whether that was as simple as choosing a night out clubbing over a romantic meal with Nathan, or as serious as taking his side in any argument between the two, or even missing Nathan’s grandmother’s funeral to comfort Tink over a horrendous argument with his parents. Tink always won.

“I worry that we’ve never had fully committed relationships because we don’t know how to balance the love we have for our boyfriends with the fact that we are soul mates. We’re a package deal – buy one get one free! Whoever eventually takes us on will have to accept that or it’s a no go.”

I didn’t wait for Tudor’s reaction to my soul bearing, as I became distracted by my favourite song coming on MTV.

“Aww, I love this song.” I commented, starting to sway slightly in time with the music.

Tudor turned his attention to the TV. “What is it? Are they British?”

“Yeah, they are. It’s ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’ by Labrinth and Emeli Sande. Just listen, it’s so perfect.”

We did, nearly the whole song in silence.

“The words are gorgeous aren’t they? Just imagine if someone felt that way about you? To write something so incredible, and the muse was you. To love someone that much and talk about them so passionately that it only did them justice in song, to declare it for the world to hear.” I sighed dreamily, “It would be everything to me, for someone to be so proud to be with me that they want everyone and their mothers to see.”

I blanched. Why did I just say that in front of him? I hope I can just pass it off as being heavily medicated.

Tudor was silent, his gaze flashed to the end of song playing on the screen, listening to the words. When the song had reached its end and I subtly wiped away a stray tear, he shifted his body my way and ran his fingers over my head, lips pursed in concentration.

“W-What are you doing?” I croaked.

Oh f**k, is he, is he going to kis–.

He reached for the bag of peas and grinned. “Just removing the bag, Tash. It’s been twenty minutes,” he said, pointing to rule number five on the laminated instructions propped up against the bedside lamp:

5. ‘Do NOT leave peas on for longer than twenty minutes at a time. You will freeze her freakin’ head off!’

“Oh yeah, thanks.” I deflated like a balloon.

What the hell was that all about, Tash? Do you want him to kiss you? I thought you didn’t like him? Oh shut up, I don’t know, okay?!

We slouched down again, lying to face each other as before. Tudor seemed content to just lie in silence, looking at me. Errrr, f**k that. I certainly wasn’t! To say he was intense was an understatement. He had asked a lot of questions about me, he claimed he felt like he ‘knew me’, and had turned me into a quivering wreck of a girl. But I didn’t have the foggiest about him! How bloody rude.

“Can I ask questions about you now?” I asked, nudging his arm tentatively and attempting to use my big brown eyes to lure him in – hey, it worked for Puss in Boots in Shrek!

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