"Congresswoman-" Drew tapped on Taylor's office door before she pushed it open. This was the sort of news that Taylor would want to be delivered personally, and she knew she wouldn't want to hear it from anyone else, much less hear it at all.
Taylor looked up. "I thought that I asked not to be disturbed." She wasn't particularly upset at the interruption, though. It had been a long day, and it was barely noon.
"Yeah, I... Taylor, I'm so sorry." She handed a Taylor a piece of paper, knowing that Taylor's look of confusion would disappear as soon as she read the note.
Taylor squeezed Abbie's hand, silently letting her know that she needed just another moment before she was ready step out of the church and rejoin the world. Abbie nodded and squeezed her hand back before pulling away and making her way toward the door. Taylor didn't watch her go, preferring to make her way back to the front of the church instead. She sat in the first pew and simply stared up at the alter, trying to make sense of something that she knew to be nonsensical. Her eyes were red with unshed tears and she pressed at them, trying still to keep those tears back.
As she got up and walked toward the first pew, Samantha was too aware of the sounds of her shoes on the stone floor. She slipped in beside Taylor and looked down to her hands as she crossed them in her lap. She didn't need to see Taylor's face. It would be too much like her own, which the well-placed net veil hanging from her hat was covering. She let the silence between grow, not searching for words.
Taylor looked up, but she continued to say nothing. But eventually, she did have to speak. "He..." She sighed, not quite knowing what to say. "The service was..." She could only shake her head. There was nothing for her to say, really.
"Yes," Sam replied softly. She had seen Taylor with Abbie earlier, but she understood the blonde's desire to be sitting there without her just then. Samantha finally turned, looking at Taylor fully. That summer came back to her so clearly, and she felt a pang of regret for the way they had strung Todd along. "He would have hated every moment of it." She couldn't keep a small smile from her face.
Taylor couldn't stop herself from chuckling. "Yeah, he would have hated the elaborateness of it all, even if he deserved it." She sighed again and pressed down on the bridge of her nose. "It still hasn't sunk in yet."
"He said you had lunch...when he called before he left." For a moment, Samantha wondered if it was the wrong thing to say. Todd called her regularly; somehow it had been easy for him to accept her and Selena. But with Taylor...he had something different. They shared things that he and Samantha didn't. "He was a good man."
"He was." Taylor nodded. "He was... He was better than I gave him credit for being." She leaned back in the pew. So many regrets. They should have talked sooner. She should have sought him out, rather than assuming the worst.
"I'm sorry," Samantha said softly. She looked back up at the alter, at the dazzling stained glass window above it. There was certainly enough of that being said that day, but there was more to Sam's apology. She knew that at least part of the tension that had always been between them had to do with their mutual friendships with Todd.
"So am I." She smiled slightly and squeezed Sam's forearm. This wasn't a day for hard feelings over things that had happened decades before. Taylor followed Sam's gaze and blinked back more tears, standing as soon as her vision cleared. "I'm sure Abbie is wondering what's taking me so long."
Samantha stood slowly, but she gently took Taylor's hand before she let her pass. "He's gone, but..." She took a long, shuddering breath in an effort not to spill any other tears. "Don't hesitate to call..." Sam didn't think Taylor would, but she wanted her to know that she was willing to try, that she was hurting as well.
"Thank you." Taylor nodded before pulling her hand away. She took one last look at the alter before she turned away. There wasn't anything left to keep her in the church.