César could not comprehend what he was feeling. That was the worst part. He had always known what he was dealing with before; he had never encountered something that was foreign to him except for that incident with the parallel universe last year. He had always understood. Now, he hadn't the slightest idea of what was going on.

Kyara hated him. César fell down on his knees with this realization. The only woman he had ever loved, ever would loved, and if he was honest, would ever love him, turned her back on him. The weight of César's actions came crashing down upon him. He had done this do Kyara. he had made her hate him. But why? He was only protecting her. That was always what drove him. To protect her from anything that the world threw at her. When her drunk uncle came driving up to the lab one day, trying to take her back to her abandoned mother, César had tackled him, only because of the fear he saw in Kyara's eyes. For no other reason. The man had been twice César's size and he dislocated César's arm, but César never thought anything about it. He had done what he did to protect her.

So why was it so different this time?

"You are the boy in the picture," an old woman dressed in gaudy, bright clothes and jangling jewelry came up to him with a slight look of awe on her face. She had sent Rex to the hospital a moment ago, because despite of the welcome, Kyara still needed his help. Meechum had complained about the heat before walking inside. Rylander and the woman had flirted more than César thought was normal, but then again, he seemed to understand nothing at the moment so perhaps it was normal.

"What picture?" César asked, still on his knees.

The woman handed him a picture of him and Kyara a few months after they first got together. César smiled at how happy they looked back then and how innocent they were. It was so much simpler back then when all he had to worry about was if Kyara would enjoy this bouquet of flowers or another. He never knew why she enjoyed daffodils so much, but he soon knew that a single daffodil was better than a dozen roses.

César wished he could go back to that time when he could show her everything. When he was her senior, when he knew the answers to everything she was so curious back then. Was she still that curious? He had done the math and now instead of five and half years her senior, he was now only a couple months older. Had she changed much during those five years he was gone? That broke César, the thought of her changing so radically that she was no longer someone that could ever love him.

"I never stopped loving her."

The woman smiled. "She never stopped loving you." This captured César's attention. "Even though she might seem less than reconciliatory right now, she never stopped loving you."

"How can you be certain?" César hated asking those words, but the skeptical scientist inside him forced the question aloud. If Kyara didn't love him anymore, how could anything be certain?

"When she first came to the island, she lived with me. She became very close friends with a man who was going through a rather messy divorce. It was obvious to everyone that the man loved her. A few even suggested she was the reason for the divorce, though the town loves to gossip. If any of those rumheads thought hard enough, they'd have remembered that the divorce started before she even came to the island. However, all rumors had a grain of truth in them. The man loved her. She loved him. But she refused to marry him. He asked her many times, but each time she said no. No one understood why, and I doubt that Kyara even knew the real reason why she said the same thing every time. But I knew. She loved another man even more. I never knew who though until I found this picture of you. Then it made so much sense."

"Who was man?" César asked. Though he was slowing coming to the realization that he had right to ask after so much time, he still needed to know who he was up against. He had to win Kyara back. He had to earn her heart.

"Rohan's father."

The words broke through César rather harshly. He collapsed onto all fours, his stomach twisting and wrenching itself into one giant knot. He felt sick as he remembered that Kyara had a son. However, the fact that she had given birth to a son without marrying the man was not like Kyara at all.

He was walking her back to her dorm room. Kyara had mentioned that Carrie was partying that night and would not return back home until the early hours of the morning if at all. Carrie was very much the typical college student and every Friday, such as tonight, was a mandatory celebration of the weekend according to her. César hand one hand resting in the small of Kyara's back and the other in his pocket where a small package lay. His hands were getting sweaty at the thought of what he planned for the night. He swallowed, hoping some of the pressure and anxiety would go away as well.

They reached her door and Kyara turned back to him and smiled. She stood up on her tiptoes and kissed him. It was gentle and loving like Kyara. It was not desperate or hungry, begging for more. It was sweet. She walked through the door. It was the end of their dinner, but he had suggested going back to her place for a quiet place to talk. It was simpler that way than speaking over the din of the restaurant. It had become their routine within the last month, talking after dinner while on a walk or in a room. So as César followed her inside, he felt his stomach drop. His mind began to think of every possible solution that could go wrong. Which with his mind and especially with his luck, was a lot.

"Do you want any water, hot chocolate, tea, coffee?" she began to list off anything drinkable while heading into the small kitchenette which barely had a microwave and minifridge.

"Estoy bien, gracias." Several of the scenarios running through his head involved liquids. She turned around and smiled at him as she began to make her own cup of chai tea, the only drink she would even think of consuming, especially on a cold March night such as this. César decided that he had to do it now. Before he lost the courage.

He walked over to her and cupped her face. He kissed her soft lips lightly at first, but then stronger and stronger. Kyara was surprised, but she melted into the kisses, her resistance and guard slipping away. His hands slowly fell down from her face, to her neck, to her shoulders, to her back, to her waist. Her hands rested on his chest, not wanting to stop. His lips stopped kissing her then moved on to her ears, her skin cold against his hot breath. She sighed, rolling her head backwards. Almost unaware of his actions by this point, his hands traveled from the back of her waist to the front of her waist.

Instantly, the kissing stopped. Kyara pressed him away with her hands, and backed away. César glanced into her eyes and saw fear. He stepped back away immediately, wondering what he had done that had caused her to be frightened. Was she scared of him?

"César, I- I can't. If...if this is going where I think it's going... I- can't." Her voice came out shaky and there was no mistaking the fear in her voice. She was terrified. Her words were broken and her body began to shake. She looked down at her hands which were shaking particularly badly. She walked out of the kitchen away from him, where she collapsed onto her bed. Her head sat in between her knees and he could tell she trying to fight back something as he breathing accelerated to an almost unhealthy pace. She was hyperventilating.

"Kyara..." He walked over to her and not for the first time noticed the pale silver lines along the inside of her upper arms. She had never told him what had caused those scars, no matter how hard he pressed her for the truth. He only knew that they weren't recent, which Kyara confirmed. He still worried about her, but he never pried beyond what Kyara could handle. He sat down next to her, but far enough to make sure he didn't overstep any boundaries. "I would never do anything you didn't want. If you're not ready, then you're not ready. I made a mistake."

"Is that what I am?" she whispered. "A mistake?"

"You could never be a mistake, mi amor. You're too perfect for that. I thought that we were ready. I'm wrong about that. I'm sorry-"

"No, César. It's more than that. I won't be ready. Ever. Not until I'm married." The words came out a little stronger. Kyara looked at César directly in the eyes. Gathering her courage, she continued, "My mom was a prostitute. I don't know if she became one before or after my dad, but I do know that after my dad left us, her work came home. She always sold her love to other men, and occasionally women. Every night, one of her 'lovers,'" Kyara spat, "would be in her room loving her like no tomorrow. I was always locked in my room at night, forbidden to leave while she worked.

"I had nightmares every night after my dad left. And I couldn't even go to her because she was working. I was stuck in my room, forced to be a good girl so she could pay our bills the next morning. Every night, I was trapped, without anyone or anywhere to turn because she couldn't find any other job. I lived like that for twelve years before I ran away and became my own person. For twelve years, I had to listen to her foreplay, her work, her love, while I was helpless to do anything other than listen to it. And that was all sex was to her. Another way to make money.

"I can't be like her, César." Kyara looked away, tears starting to fall down her cheeks. "I can't have love being anything other important in my life. I can't give my love to just anyone. It has to be to the man whom I spend the rest of my life with. I'm sorry if you hate me for it. I'm sorry if you don't want to be with me anymore because of it, but this is the choice I made long ago. I'm going to stand by it no matter what."

César smiled at her. He took her hand and kissed it softly as she always kissed him. "That's okay. I thought we were ready and I thought you expected it from me. But if you want to wait, then I'll wait. I will always wait for you, Kyara."

"Why did she say no?" he asked. That was the one question that bothered him. Even if Kyara's views had changed since he left, she would have said yes if she really bore the man's child.

"Because she loved you, idiot," the woman said.

"Where's the man now?"

"He died last year from a rare form of cancer."

"What do I do now?"

"Go to her. She has never had the chance to deal with her feelings and now that she has, I think you'll find her a little more happy to see you. Go, my boy. Never let her go. Never stop loving her."

Encouraged by her words, César left. He followed Kyara. Now that he had her back, he would never let her go. He would never stop loving Kyara. He couldn't stop. He had chosen her to be his wife long ago, and he intended to make it happen. He had a chance, now he would take it. He was done with being patient. He would make her his. Nothing would stop him. Only Kyara mattered.


Author's Notes: So what are your thoughts so far?