The first time she gets a hickey, she hasn’t even properly kissed a boy yet.
It appears two days before she starts high school, and she’s so mortified that she hides in her room all day until Margot threatens to get Dad to take the door off the hinges.
For the most part, her soulmate had been bearable. The typical bruises, sprained ankles, and a broken wrist at one point. The worst had been when she was four and her chin split open at the dining room table. Margot cried for two hours until their parents sat them down and explained how soulmates works.
It was simple. Soulmates shared injuries. Bruises, cuts, broken bones. Live play-by-plays without the blood or the full extent of the injury. If your soulmate broke their arm, yours would be sprained. A cut would turn into a scab. A bruise would be halfway healed.
If your soulmate died, you would grow a birthmark that mirrored how.
(The Covey’s found that out the hard way when their mom hit her head cleaning, and their dad’s pain disappeared and transformed into a birthmark before he could call and see if she was okay.)
Lara Jean was used to most of her soulmate’s flaws by now. She assumed he played a sport like football or something similar based on the consistency of the aches and pain she was in. She had a concussion once.
But this, this is almost too much.
Margot teaches her how to put makeup over the bruise, and helps Lara Jean choose a new outfit for the first day of school, one that includes a scarf just in case.
She’s never been mad at her soulmate before. She knows that people don’t always end up with the person they share a bond with, that people date other people, that just because you have a match doesn’t mean that that person is your person.
But knowing her soulmate is getting hickeys while she’s enjoying the last few nights of summer baking cookies and watching old movies with her sisters makes her upset.
(Maybe it’s because she’s afraid that she’ll meet them in two days and be woefully inexperienced in all areas of dating and kissing, and they will choose the hickey giver over her simply for that fact.)
She’s flustered about all through dinner, until Josh shows up, and instinctively her eyes fall to the spot in his neck. And her heart breaks.
She’s not sure if she’s upset over the fact that Josh isn’t her soulmate, or relieved that he isn’t making out with pretty girls who give serious hickeys. It doesn’t matter anyway, because a year later, almost to the day, Josh is helping her bake brownies and he burns himself on the pan, and Margot runs down 2 minutes later to run her hand under the cold water, and suddenly all of Lara Jean’s hopes and dreams about Josh Sanderson are shredded into a love letter that she will never send.
The first thing Peter is going to do when he meets his soulmate is confiscate anything sharp or flammable and store at least three states away.
They need to give their hands a break, for at least 6 months he decides. At first, he almost resented them, paper cuts and what he can only assume as vegetable chopping incidents gone wrong appearing all the time on his hands, but now he just feels like he needs to wrap their hands in mittens and keep them away from dangerous things like paper and possibly ovens.
He knows he probably hasn’t been the easiest soulmate to deal with. He’s played lacrosse for the past 4 years, and suffered his fair share of injuries, a concussion, a broken wrist, too many bruises to even count, and the whole smashing his face into a rock when he was 4, but this person, this nameless, faceless person is putting their poor hands through hell.
It was how he knew Gen wasn’t his soulmate when she cornered him in the 8th grade and kissed him. Her hands where too soft, to void of injuries to be his mystery person.
But once she discovered that things like hickeys could be shared with the matched, well, that’s when he started to really feel bad for his soulmate. Gen liked to mark her territory, and for a while, he enjoyed it. But then it started to feel like more of a show than out of actually wanting to be with him. And then she dumped him for some college guy, giving the excuse that she liked to keep her options open, leaving him a little bit flustered and still completely head over heels for her.
His finger stings, and he looks down to find a brand-new paper cut, and he sighs. His soulmates poor hands.
“Shit.” Lara Jean says, slicing her finger on the envelope. She sticks her finger in her mouth and flicks the letter in her other hand.
She’s had a particularly bad day.
Josh, her very much not soulmate because he’s Margot’s even if she doesn’t want him, had cornered her and asked if she knew that Margot was going to break up with him.
Gen, her ex best friend and girlfriend of love letter recipient number 2, had made fun of her outfit.
And Peter, recipient of love letter number 2 and current boyfriend of ex best friend, had almost been hit by her car and terrible driving, so Lara Jean closes her door and pulls out the box.
When she’s had a particularly bad day, she reads her love letters to remind herself of what it feels like to be in love with someone. She’s a romantic at heart. And while she loves the idea of soulmates, she also loves the idea of falling in love with someone because you want to, not because it’s what the universe expects.
Her phone rings and she reaches across her bed to grab it, nearly falling off her bed in the process.
“Is Josh okay?” Margot says on the other end of the phone. Scotland is miles and miles and a time zone away.
“Why?” Lara Jean asks. Margot had broken up with him 2 nights before she left for Scotland, but they were still matched. Still forced to know what each was feeling and how they hurt themselves, but no real way of speaking to each other. So they used Lara Jean.
“I just, there’s a big bruise, and I just want to check up on him.” Her voice is shaky, and Lara Jean almost wants to yell at her and tell her to call Josh herself, but Margot’s made up her mind, and only she can make up her mind to get back together with him.
She drops the love letter, Josh’s love letter, and looks out the window. “He’s not here right now, and I don’t see him outside. I can text him if you want?”
“No.” Margot says, almost too quickly. “It’s fine. He’s probably fine.”
Lara Jean sighs and falls back onto her bed. “I miss you.”
Margot laughs on the other side of the ocean, and it’s the closest thing to a hug she can get at the moment. “I miss you too.”
(She texts him anyway, and he says he accidentally ran into a doorknob and Lara Jean pretends for a moment that the reason she knows is because he’s her soulmate, and not because Margot told her. Only for a moment.)
A few very important things happen on Tuesday. First, he gets tackles hard enough in practice that he knows it’s going to be hard to move the next day.
Second, Gen posts a pic on Instagram with her new boyfriend. It hurts almost as much as the tackle.
And third he gets a letter. A love letter. From Lara Jean Song-Covey of all people. Which is kind of endearing, and a little bit weird, but mostly it reminds him of a kiss in seventh grade, before Gen and possessive hickeys and a whole lot of other things.
He finds her on Wednesday, slowly walking around the track as if she’s in pain.
“Hey, Covey!” He calls. She attempts to turn to him but flinches in pain, but she’s composed by the time he catches up to her.
“Yes?” She asks. She has her arms crossed over her ribs and is standing as still as possible.
Her eyes narrow. “Fine. Why?”
He shrugs and pulls out the envelope. “Look, I think it’s cool that you think I have golden flecks in my eyes…”
She faints. Just straight up drops to the floor, and he has no idea what to do.
“Covey. Hey wake up!” He shakes her shoulders, and her eyes flutter open.
“Come on, sit up.” He helps her into a sitting position and is about to ask her about the letter again, but before he can, she’s kissing him.
Full on, hands in his hair, back on the track kissing him.
Before he can process it, she’s slipping away, his letter in her hand, and running away from him.
(It’s not until he gets home that night after practice that he realizes the back of his head hurts a little, but he chalks it up to being tackled and calls it a night.)
Her ribs are killing her. At this point, when she meets her soulmate she is going to wrap them in bubble wrap and keep them in a pillow fort.
But she has more important things to be worry about right now. Like the fact that her letters are gone.
Everyone knows. Peter Kavinsky knows. Josh knows.
She tries her best to not start crying because even breathing sort of hurts her ribs, but it’s a lot. A lot is happening.
Josh knows that she was in love with him. Even though he’s Margot’s soulmate. Everything feels like it’s crashing down around her.
She wishes Margot was home. She also never wants Margot to come home ever again.
Lara Jean doesn’t know if this day can get any worse, and then regrets thinking it the second she does.
The doorbell rings.
“Lara Jean! Josh is here!!!” Her dad yells up the stairs.
She almost laughs. She cannot deal with this.
The window it is.
He almost falls over on his way up the stairs of the Covey’s house. His soulmate must have just been hit by a bus or something, because Jesus, every bone in his body hurts for a moment. The wind gets knocked out of him, and he thinks he can feel his ribs collide against each other.
Peter stops for a moment to catch his breath, and the door flies open, Josh Sanderson walking out looking thoroughly distressed. His eyes flicker over Peter and he looks confused as all hell, but Peter just smiles and takes the final steps up the stairs, reaching the door just before the girl behind it shuts it.
“Is Lara Jean home?”
The girl’s eyes flicker over him much in the same way Sanderson’s did, but he feels a lot more intimidated by her.
The girl’s eyes light up and she smiles at him. “She’ll probably be at the corner café.” She slams the door in his face before he can ask her anything else, and Peter feels like the girl knows a lot more than she is telling him.
Peter Kavinsky tracker her down at the diner. He tries to reject her. She tries to tell him she doesn’t like him. He asks her questions she doesn’t want to answer.
She drinks her cherry coke and tries her best to not think about how attractive he is, or how good of a kisser he was, or how he knows exactly what she thought about him when she was 13. (Which goes against all of the words she is saying to him but that is neither here nor there.)
And then, to top it all off, he gives her a ride home, and her day goes from terrible to confusing.
He suggests they pretend to date. She all but runs away on her bike.
But it’s a nice thought. To be Peter Kavinsky’s girlfriend. He can make Gen jealous, and she can make sure Josh doesn’t think she’s still in love with him, and maybe, just maybe, she can become a little bit more experienced in all things dating before her soulmate walks into her life.
So she agrees. And then he kisses her. And her entire world flips.
She cannot continue to kiss Peter Kavinsky. It’s too dangerous.
They make rules. The sign a contract. And Peter Kavinsky is officially her fake boyfriend.
He burns his finger on the cookies. Lara Jean is the best baker he has ever met, and the perks of fake dating her being able to eat all of her creations.
The downside is the amount of times he accidentally burns himself on the pan or a not fully cooled cookie. (He tells himself it’s good practice for his soulmate, and silently promises to never be mad at them again.)
“Crap.” He shakes his hand to try and stop it from burning as Lara Jean rushes over to the sink.
“Cold water.” She says, grabbing his hand and pushing it under the water, pressing them together against the counter.
He doesn’t mind. He really does not mind being so close to Lara Jean at all, but he can’t tell her that. Because this whole thing is fake. And she still thinks he’s in love with Gen.
She pulls his hand out of the cold water and inspects it.
“You should be fine.” She says, dropping his hand once she realizes exactly how close they are. She takes a step back and smooths back her hair. “Your soulmate should be fine as well.” She freezes, spatula in hand, and he watches as her cheeks turn pink. “I’m going to stop talking now.”
He pretends to inspect his hand instead of looking at her. He was curious to what she thought about soulmates, but he wasn’t sure how to bring it up.
“You believe in them?” He asks, trying to be nonchalant as he could.
Her cheeks flush even more. “My parents were.” She says, moving the cookie from the pan to the cooling rack. “And as you know I’m a romantic.” She refuses to look at him.
He wants her to look at him.
“What about you?” She asks, sounding a lot more nonchalant than he did.
“I hope they are.” He swallows hard and glances at his hands. “My parents weren’t, and you know, my dad ended up leaving. But, I want them too. I like the idea of knowing someone is out there, meant just for me.”
She stops moving the cookies and settles across from him on the island, head in her hands.
For some reason, he keeps talking. “I want to meet them, because I want to wrap their hands up in chainmail and mittens, so they stop getting paper cuts. It’s ridiculous, but I feel so bad for their hands.”
Lara Jean’s smiling at him, and his heart is thudding a little faster than it should. And as he’s looking at her, he thinks he might be okay never finding his soulmate as long as she continues to smile at him.
“I think mine might be a brute.”
He laughs, because it’s such an odd statement, but then Lara Jean is laughing with him, and for a second, he completely forgets about everything else that is going.
Her nose scrunches up. “Or they play sports that my body cannot handle.”
They laugh and they talk, and she listens to him about his dad, and she tells him her favorite memory of her mom, and sometime later they are frosting cupcakes and she’s wiping a piece of frosting from his chin, when her face falls.
“Do you think it will hurt?” She asks.
“Meeting them? I mean, we spend our entire lives feeling their pain, knowing they are hurting but not being able to do anything about it. If our whole relationship is based in pain, don’t you think meeting that person is bound to hurt.” She’s staring at her hands, and she looks terrified, and he doesn’t know what to do.
He wants to kiss her, but it’s against the contract. Instead, he brushes a piece of hair behind her ear, and tilts her head up toward him.
“I think we share each other’s injuries because it makes it easier. You have someone to share that with. You might not know that person, but they know so much about you. Like I know my soulmate doesn’t know how to handle paper and you know yours is dedicated to a contact sport. I don’t think it’s about the pain. I think it’s about sharing.”
“I think I’m afraid to meet them.” She whispers.
“Don’t be. Whoever gets to be your soulmate is the luckiest person in the world.” The words slip out of his mouth before he can stop them.
But she doesn’t step away from him.
“So is yours.”
She should have known the second it started raining that everything was going to go to shit.
She’s wearing his varsity jacket. It’s 3 sizes too big, but she loves it. She might never give it back to him.
It’s a Friday night, and it’s raining, and she’s wearing his jacket like they are in some goddamn Disney movie, and for a split second she lets herself imagine.
Imagine running up to him after they win the game, grabbing his face and kissing him in the rain, soulmates and contracts be damned.
But Lara Jean should know better than to imagine right now.
“I don’t know if you heard, but my cousin is newly single.” Chris says. She bops Lara Jean on the nose with her twizzler. “Not that lover boy has eyes for anyone but you, but I would watch my back.”
Lucas tosses a piece of popcorn at her. “But, Chris, he gave her his varsity jacket. That’s basically a proposal in high school.”
“Shut up.” Lara Jean says, teasing. But something inside of her cracks.
If Gen was single, then their contract would be over. She had talked to Josh, and they were cool. Better than cool they were friends again. So, her side of the contract was good. All that was left was for Gen to be single, and then Peter could get her back.
She was in love with someone who was in love with someone else. That always seemed to be her luck.
“You have nothing to worry about, LJ.” Lucas says. “The way that boy looks at you…”
A few very important and terrible things happen in the span of the next 30 seconds.
The whistle blows.
Peter gets tackled.
Lara Jean can’t breathe.
And not in the way that she’s terrified because her fake boyfriend was just hit by the biggest guy on the other team.
In the way that she just got tackled by the biggest guy on the other team.
Her entire body tenses, and Chris grabs her before she goes slack.
“LJ, what’s wrong?”
She tries to catch her breath, but her head is spinning.
The world comes back into focus and both Chris and Lucas are staring at her.
Chris gets it first.
“Oh dear.” She turns from Lara Jean to the field where Peter is still on the ground, the trainers rushing out to him.
Lara Jean’s heart stops.
Peter Kavinsky is her soulmate.
She needs to get out of here.
Out of the corner of her eye, Lara Jean sees Gen running to the field, but she can’t handle that right now.
“I need to go.” She stands and rushes off the bleachers, but it’s raining. And the bleachers are wet.
She loses her footing and slips, landing hard on her wrist.
There’s a cry from the field, but Chris is at her side in an instant, and Lucas is helping her up, and she will not cry in the front of half the school.
They make it to Lucas’s car before the tears well up in her eyes.
He’s pretty sure he can hear his bones rattling.
It is not a fun sensation at all.
The trainer flashes lights in his eyes and he’s aware that someone is holding his hand, but too many people are rushing toward him and asking question for him to comprehend everything.
“It’s okay, babe. Everything’s going to be fine.”
He knows that voice. And he definitely knows it’s not Lara Jean.
(She refused to call him pet names, and said babe was the worst one out of all of them.)
“Gen.” He says. He knows it’s her. He doesn’t want it to be.
She smooths back his hair, and tries to pull himself away from her, without being too mean.
He glances around the field, wondering how in the hell his ex-girlfriend was currently sidled up next to him. The guys who hit him is still on the ground.
He instinctively looks to where Lara Jean was sitting the last time he saw her.
But she’s not there.
“Where’s Lara Jean?” He asks, and he can feel Gen tense.
“She ran off. Made quite the spectacle of herself, slipping on the bleachers before running away. All but broke her wrist.” Gen scoffs.
Her wrist. He glances down at his own wrist, and suddenly he feels like he’s been hit by an emotional truck.
He knows the guy didn’t hit his wrist. But it’s in a decent amount of pain.
Lara Jean fell on her wrist.
Lara Jean baked nearly every night and knew exactly what to do when he burned himself.
Lara Jean loved books and letters and notes.
She called her soulmate a brute.
“We’re done, Gen.” He says, shaking her off. Hurt crosses her face.
“But Peter —"
“We’ve done for months now.”
“Fine!” She says. “Just remember who ran to your side, and who ran away.”
He watches her walk away, before pushing himself off the bench, but the trainers push him back down.
“We’re not done looking at you yet.”
He needs to leave. He needs to talk to Lara Jean.
The trainer studies his face. “The rain is getting too hard for the game anyway. We’ll have you out of here in 10 minutes. I promise.” They say.
Peter nods. He can wait 10 minutes.
“Wait, back up. This entire thing has been fake?” Chris asks. They are the Corner Café, and Chris had made her drink half her Cherry Coke before allowing her to speak.
“And you got a letter?” She says, turning to Lucas.
Lucas holds up his hands in surrender. “That is as far as my involvement goes. I thought they were real too.”
Lara Jean slumps forward onto the table. Chris chews on a fry.
“I don’t think it changes anything.” She says.
“Of course it does! I just found out my soulmate is my fake boyfriend who is very in love with his ex.”
“He’s not in love with Gen.” Lucas says, like it’s the clearest thing in the world.
“How do you know that?”
Chris and Lucas share a look.
“Have you seen the way that boy looks at you?” Chris asks.
“How?” Lara Jean says.
“Like you’re a sexy little Rubik’s Cube he can’t figure out.” Lucas says. Chris nods and grabs another fry.
“It doesn’t matter.” Lara Jean groans. “I can’t tell him.”
“What?” Chris and Lucas say at the same time.
“I don’t want him to have to choose.” She doesn’t know if she can handle him choosing Gen over her. “Just because people are soulmates doesn’t mean they end up together. Look at Josh and Margot!”
Chris rolls her eyes. “He should know.”
Lucas nods. “If it were me, I would like to know.”
Lara Jean looks between her two best friends, and sighs, letting her head fall back onto the table.
“I don’t want to be his second choice.”
No one is home. The rain stopped when he pulled up to the Covey’s house, but no one answers when he rings the bell, and Dr. Covey’s car isn’t in the driveway.
And she won’t answer his calls.
Peter doesn’t know if she knows they might be soulmates, or if she saw him and Gen, or if something else happened, but he’s still sitting on her steps when Dr. Covey pulls up.
“Peter!” He says, a huge smile across his face. “What are you doing outside?”
Peter stands and shakes his hand. “Lara Jean and I got separated after the game, and I think her phone died, so I’m waiting for her.” He says, shrugging.
Dr. Covey gives him a look eerily similar to the one Lara Jean gives him when she’s trying to figure him out.
“Everything okay with you guys?” He asks.
“Yeah! I’m pretty sure.” Peter says. Because he thinks they are. He doesn’t know exactly what’s going on, but even if she knows they are soulmates, it can’t be a bad thing. He hopes.
“Good. Want to come inside? Pretty sure there is some sort of baked good in the kitchen.” Dr. Covey asks.
“Are you sure?”
“Of course.” Dr. Covey pats his shoulder and pulls him inside. “Lara Jean would kill me if she knew I left you sitting outside.”
Dr. Covey finds a box of brownies and pours them both a glass of milk. And they talk about lacrosse and college, and Lara Jean, and all of the stress that Peter was feeling disappears. Because, Lara Jean might be his soulmate, and that means he might be able to come over and have dinner, and mess around with Kitty and talk to Dr. Covey, and he might be able to love Lara Jean. Fully, unconditionally, without any barricades.
And he wants that. He glances at his wrist, which is still sore when he moves it the wrong way, and he lets himself hope.
Dr. Covey is telling him a story about when Lara Jean was little, and he mentions Mrs. Covey, and he touches the birth mark on the left side of his face.
“How did you know?” Peter asks, before he can stop himself. “How did you know that Mrs. Covey was your soulmate.”
Dr. Covey looks surprised by the question, and Peter realizes what he’s done, and tries to back track, apologizing and saying he should probably go, but Dr. Covey places his hand on his shoulder.
“It’s okay, Peter. Your parents weren’t matched right?”
Peter shakes his head.
Dr. Covey smiles. “We were in college, and I had just donated some blood, but they missed my vein the first time, so my left arm was slowly growing a bruise. And then I bumped into her. Eve Song, the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met and she was looking at her arm like she couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Until she looked at me.” There’s a sad sort of smile on Dr. Covey’s face. “And it felt like everything was going to be alright.”
Before he can say anything else, the front door crashes open, and Lara Jean walks in.
Her eyes fall on Peter. She looks terrified.
Dr. Covey doesn’t seem to notice as he walks over and kisses her forehead. “Peter and I were just sharing some brownies. I didn’t want him to wait outside for you.”
Lara Jean is still staring at him. She knows. She must know.
“I’m going to go upstairs now. Goodnight Peter.”
Dr. Covey disappears, but the stress and worry doesn’t fill him bones again.
He looks at her, and he feels like everything is going to be alright.
He’s in her house. He’s in her kitchen, eating her brownies, with her dad.
She ignored three calls from him and was hoping she would have the night to figure this out. But he’s here. And he’s looking at her like he’s just as confused and lost as she is.
Which could mean a lot of different things.
She tucks her hair behind her ears. “Are you okay?” She asks, because it’s the first thing that comes to mind. She can feel a dull ache just about everywhere, but her wrist is the main point of pain at the moment.
“Yeah. Could’ve been worse.” He says. “Are you?”
Her heart stops.
“Yeah, why?” She turns away from him and goes toward the fridge. Maybe an ice pack will help.
“Your wrist. I heard you fell pretty hard.”
He doesn’t know. She sighs, letting go of her stress. He probably chalks it up to the rest of his injuries.
“And you know, it hurts when I move it the wrong way.”
The bag of frozen peas clatters to the floor.
He knows. Peter Kavinksy is her soulmate and he knows.
And he’s in love Gen.
“Woah, woah, woah.” He reaches for her, as she teeters over to the counter. “Hey, Covey come on, don’t scare me like that. Can’t have fainting on me again.”
His hands wrap around her shoulders, and she wants to fall into him, but she can’t. That’s not how this works.
“How long have you known?” She asks. She settles into the chair and folds her hands in her lap.
“About 2 hours. And I wasn’t sure until right now.” His hand brushes over her cheek, and her eyes flutter shut. “You?”
“I felt you get tackled more than I saw it.”
His thumb slides over her cheek, and her breath catches in her throat.
“You’re my soulmate.” He says. Her eyes a still closed because she’s afraid to see his reaction. “I’m the luckiest person in the whole world.”
She opens her eyes and he’s smiling at her like she’s the world.
“But —" She’s confused. Everything is happening slightly too fast for her to handle.
His face falls just slightly.
“But?” His hand falls from her face to her shoulder.
“No!” She grabs his hand. “Wait. I just…” Her hands are shaking now, and she doesn’t exactly know what she’s doing. “Gen.”
“Gen?” His face goes through about 10 different emotions in the span of 3 seconds. “What about her?”
“This whole thing, our whole thing was based on...” She stops. “I’ve always dreamed about my soulmate, and meeting them, and having them choose me. I spent three years waking up to hickeys on my neck from someone else. I spent my entire life afraid that they — that you — wouldn’t choose me.”
“Lara Jean.” He tucks her hair behind her ear. “I haven’t thought about Gen in weeks. I’ve only been thinking about you. Hell, I said damn soulmates if it meant I got to be with you.”
“You what?” She says, cheek warming.
“I chose you before the universe told me to.”
She’s pretty sure her heart almost stops.
She slides her hands up him arms until she can link them around his shoulders. “I chose you too.”
He cups her face gently, and his nose knocks against hers. “You gonna break my heart, Covey?”
The second time Peter Kavinsky kisses Lara Jean Song-Covey for real, he’s pretty sure his heart explodes.
Her lips are soft, and she tastes like Cherry Coke and vanilla lip balm, and her hands bunch the fabric of his shirt, pulling him closer, closer, closer.
He wants nothing more than to breath her in, the be encompassed by her, to never ever let this moment end.
His hand ghosts down her back, pulling her even closer, the other brushing against her ribs.
She hisses, pulling back. “Ow.” She says, breathless.
“Guess that’s my fault?”
She laughs, leaning forward as she does. “Very much. I told you my soulmate was probably a brute.”
“Hey now.” He gathers her hands and pulls them up to his lips. “I’m buying you mittens for Christmas.”
“I’m going to wrap you in bubble wrap.”
He kisses her again, because he loves her, because she’s his soulmate, because he wants to spend the rest of his love kissing Lara Jean Song-Covey.
She pulls back again, pressing her forehead against his. “I’m glad it’s you.”
She presses her lips against his, quick and sure.
“I know I don’t have to be afraid.”
(She’s in love with him, and he’s in love with her, and she never has to be afraid again.)