She was held at knife and gun point, that is all he could think about when he had made his way to their tent.
He knew she was capable of dealing with those threats, he had seen her deal with worse things and come out as the winner. It was something he absolutely loved and cherished; her ability to look at the bigger picture, look at every angle, and make the hard decisions. He had no doubt that she had done so, had weighed the pros and cons and whether what she was defending was worth more than her life.
Her conclusion was what had scared him.
He knew she would give up her life if it meant that someone else could continue with theirs.
Scared out of his mind, he had burst through the flaps of their tent, his breath fast and hard, his eyes wide and showing his fear. She had been waiting for him, had patiently answered his questions of her well-being, had allowed him to look her over to make sure she was unharmed, heard his panic filled rant once he realized she was perfectly fine, then calmly walked up to him, embraced him and kissed him. She explained to him what had happened, how she had felt, the control she had to exert. Afterwards they made love with the earth-shattering knowledge that all could be lost in a second.
Now, with her head pillowed on his chest and her breathing evened out, Ezekiel can’t help but caress her shoulder and arm slowly to the beat of her heart.
“I can’t lose you.” He admits. “I know you are strong. I know you could take them single-handedly. I know you’ve survived way worse, but I love you and I need you. I can’t lose you.”
Carol embraces him harder, holds him tighter. “You are not going to lose me, Zeke. Not without me fighting until the very end.”
“That’s what I’m worried about.” He admits.
Carol raises her head, her chin pressing against her hand on top of his chest. “I love you Ezekiel. I love you like I never thought I’d love again, like i don’t think I ever loved, but you can’t use that love to keep me safe, you can’t try to keep me out of harms way. This only works if we fight side by side, if we complement each other, if we trust each other.”
“I trust you.”
“Then trust me to know what to do when I’m in danger.” She begs him. “Just like you trust me to know what to do when I’m in love.”
He can’t help but lose himself in her eyes, in her words, in her touch. He knows she will be in danger at some point, that they both will, but he also knows that he trusts her.
“We are here right now, my love.” She whispers to him. “That is all that matters. The future… the future will come and when it does we will be ready for it, together, fighting side by side, for now, let’s just live.”
He can only hope their future together is long… long and bountiful.