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Linu paced back and forth, her arms alternating between crossing in front of her chest to flying to her sides, hands balled into fists. It had been almost two weeks, and she still hadn’t heard from or seen Leena. At first she was hurt, and sad. Now she was just mad. She was beyond mad, she was downright pissed.

The nerve of that human! How could she cast me aside like that, after everything we had been through together. How could she after…. she shook her head and sighed, ceasing her furious movements to run her fingers through her hair. She closed her eyes and bit back the tears, the permanent furrow in her brow only deepening. She just…didn’t understand, at all.

Her ears twitched slightly and she turned her head to the side, her eyes opening. There was somebody in the room with her, she just knew it. Linu grit her teeth and whirled around, the demand for whomever to leave dying on her lips as her eyes widened in shock, her heart stopping for a beat or two.

Marleena stood in the doorway, her shoulder leaning against the door frame. She had been there for a good ten minutes, her eyes fixated on the pacing elf. Relief coursed through her entire body upon seeing Linu, and she had to lean against the frame in order to keep herself from crumpling to the floor in a heap. The rising guilt also contributed to the rolling emotions coursing through her, and it only deepened as she realized just how mad Linu was. However she couldn’t help the small amount of amusement that crept up amid the relief and guilt; watching Linu pace around the room in her little night shift was adorable.

Their eyes met and they both stood stock-still, Marleena fighting the urge to run towards Linu and sweep her up in her arms. She took in a deep breath and blinked slowly, urging the sheen of mist to leave her eyes. She cleared her throat and smiled slightly. ”Gend said I would find you here.”

For a moment Linu had forgotten what it is she had been mad about. She forgot the things that had been said. All that mattered in that instant is that Leena was there, alive, in front of her. The need for air finally hit her and she released the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding, shaking her head slightly. She opened her mouth to reply, but then the memory of their last meeting hit her like a slap to the face. She clenched her jaw tightly, the furrow returning to her face as she frowned. ”Why do you care?”

Marleena sighed and walked into the room, the door shutting softly behind her. ”Linu, you know for a fact that I care.”

“No Leena, I don’t. You said so yourself. Now please, just go, get out of here. I don’t want to see you ever again.”

“You’re in my room, Linu.”

She stopped pacing and sighed in exasperation, whirling around to glare at the advancing woman. ”That is irrelevant, Marleena. Leave. You made it all perfectly clear.”

Leena stopped to stand in front of her and shook her head. ”Linu I didn’t mean any of that at all. I would never in my wildest dreams EVER mean something like that.”

“You’re lying!” Linu yelled, her eyes burning as angry tears threatened to break free. ”I saw it, in your eyes. You meant every single word that you said, Leena.” she sobbed slightly and made to turn away, but Marleena had locked her hands around her wrists. ”Let me go.”

She shook her head and pulled Linu closer, the elven woman not even offering to break free from the light grasp. ”Linu I swear to you on my life that I didn’t mean a single word. I love you, I do-“

“If you didn’t mean it, then why did you say all of those things?”

“I had to!” Leena yelled back, hating herself even more than she already had.

“Stop lyi-” Her phrase was cut short as the other woman tugged her back, their lips crashing together. Marleena wrapped her arms around Linu tightly, her brain barely registering the fact that the elf’s were clinging to her as well. In their scramble to get closer the two fell back and stumbled, luckily falling onto Lenna’s bed.

She broke away from Linu’s lips and kissed the tip of her nose, brushing the tears away with her thumbs. ”I am so, so sorry Linu, I really am. If I could change it all I would in a heartbeat. I know I don’t deserve it, or you, but I am begging you Linu….please, please forgive me.” Leena kissed her again and looked down at her, the tears that she had tried to keep back this entire time close to breaking free. ”I had to say those things.” she whispered.

Linu searched Leena’s eyes with her own, the rage dying down as she saw the sincerity in those blue orbs. It was then that she finally noticed the fading bruises, the healing cuts, and the busted lip. She could see even more on her arms, the sleeves rolled up on the thin cotton shirt she was wearing, and something told her she had even more. Linu frowned in concern and traced a deep, but healing, jagged cut on her neck. ”What happened? Who did this to you?”

She shook her head and smiled slightly, trying hard to mask the haunted look that flashed in her eyes. ”Don’t worry about it, they got the worse end of the deal I promise.”

“Those cultists?”

Marleena nodded her head. ”Linu... I had to make them believe that you meant absolutely nothing to me. It was the only way to protect you. If they had gotten wind otherwise…” she broke off and swallowed deeply, her brow creasing. ”They would have held you over my head. Broken you, to break me. I could not let that happen. I couldn’t let them do things to you that…”

Immediately, Linu felt a wave of shame run through her. Marleena is the one that should have been mad, not her. ”Oh Leena I’m such a-“

“Don’t. Do not start that, alright? I didn’t expect you to know. The only ones to blame for this entire thing, are those damn cultists. They’re dead now, and they won’t ever do this to another person again. Be mad at them, alright? Not at yourself.”

Linu wrapped her arms around Marleena and pulled their bodies close, resolving to never let this woman go again. ”I love you too. And I’m sorry for ever doubting you.”

“To be fair, if I were in your shoes I would have thought the same thing.” She pulled back slightly and kissed along her jawline slowly, their hands intertwining. ”I’m sorry too. If it makes you feel any better, I was only with them for about four days.”

Linu smiled slightly and arched her neck before here eyes popped open, arching an eyebrow curiously. ”Four days? Then why did it take you so long to get back here?”

Marleena snorted against her skin and squeezed her hands. ”That’s a story for tomorrow, love. We have some catching up to do.”

Linu laughed lightly and squeezed back. ”Agreed.”