It hit her like a sack of bricks, and she turned away from him. Turns out she had reason to worry. She tried to remember what it felt like to put that thick skin on and force out any of the hurt of the world. But no matter how much she tried to convince herself she was stronger than this, it felt like his words were tipped his blades and they just dug in, deeper and more violently. She blinked, refusing to let the tears that wanted to fall escape her eyes. Then the moment she opened her eyes, they slipped out. No.. she tried to stop herself. Don't do this. Don't cry. Shaking her head, Raina decided to focus on one thing he said. She tried to steady her voice, "You blame yourself for that." It wasn't a question, it was a statement. She could see the guilt in his eyes.
She didn't want to face him for fear that it would hurt even more. "It's not your fault she was attacked. Do you remember what you told me when my sister died? You told me they were events that were out of my control. You weren't put on this Earth to watch her and make sure harm doesn't come to her. It's not your fault. And you.. did what you had to." Raina swallowed the urge to cry but did have to wipe at the fallen tears on her cheeks.
It was his reminder that she didn't understand that helped anchor her back into the moment. This time she looked at him with more strength in her eyes. She held herself and shook her head. "This is unbelievable." Her lips pressed together and she had to bite into them a little to keep from succumbing to the horrible feelings that threatened to drag her under. "You keep telling me that I don't understand. Then tell me. Explain it to me. Make me understand." It was harder to hold those tears back anymore. She was upset, angry, confused, hurt. "I said I wanted to be with you, Desmond. That means all of you, the good and the bad. I know there's a dark side to you. I know about the monster you fight tooth and nail to keep at bay. It's what makes you into this man that I want so desperately." She wiped at the hot tears angrily, hating their very existence. They reminded her that she could still be so easily weakened. Her grandmother used to tell her it was the heart that made you that way, kept you weak. And while the ache was incredible, she had also never felt so full as she had with him. "Your struggle to keep him down is what makes you different from the vampire that attacked me. I know what you are, and I still want you. But I need you to let me in. I need you to let me be a part of you. Please." Her head shook lightly, almost as lightly as her body did.
She raised her fingertips to touch her lips and looked away again. Damn it, she cursed under her breath. She was trying so hard to be strong. Maybe she wasn't as strong as she thought. Her emerald eyes filled with tears once more, hot droplets burning down her cheeks. "What do you want?" She asked once she sniffled back a sob. "Do you even want.. me? Do you want her? You need to tell me." The question scared her almost as much as waiting for his answer did. Raina knew what she wanted. She had never been so sure. But she was preparing her world to shatter.