Winter Rain, part 11

“Oh Tiergan,” she breathes as she pulls away from me. Her hand jumps to her mouth. “What have you done?”

I had expected her to be angry with me. But it’s not anger in her eyes, in her voice. Anger I could handle. It’s disappointment. Deep, wounded disappointment. In me.

Keaira had looked at me the exact same way.

I turn away from it. “I did what I had to do,” I reply to a bright line between two wall boards. “And I’m not apologizing for it, either.”

My back is cold where her arm had been. I pull my legs up and wrap my arms around them. To hold in the warmth.

“You’re an idiot, Tiergan,” she says. Her voice is soft. A steel gauntlet in a velvet glove. I study my feet.

“What did you do? Tell her you didn’t want to see her again? No—no, that’s not it—you wouldn’t have needed to avoid me for weeks for that.” She pauses, then inhales sharply. The sound of a light going on. “You pretended you didn’t have feelings for her any more, didn’t you? So she’d break it off. So you wouldn’t have to. That’s it, isn’t it.”

I really am transparent to her. Most days, it’s one of the things I like about her.

She kicks my hip and I look up. Anger bubbles up, but I let it pass, unheeded.

“Is, that, it?” she demands.

I meet her eyes. I try to stay impassive, but some of the hurt gets through. Her expression softens, just a bit.

I nod, and break contact.

“Tiergan!” she cries, and moves in close. She lifts my head with her hand. “Why would you do that? You love her!”

I smile sadly, and try to avoid her eyes. “Because it’s not enough, Tara,” I say with a shrug. “Her parents are insisting on a First, and we both know I’m never going to be that. They’re old school. She won’t be welcome home again if she disobeys them. And that’s the best case scenario.”

I shouldn’t say the rest.

But it won’t stay in. “I thought maybe we could make it work, anyway, so I asked Faolan if she could Pair with me.”

My eyes start to burn.

“And that’s when he told me he wanted her for himself.”

“He what?”

The anger rises again. Much stronger this time. I dig my nails into my palms, and struggle to hold it. “He says it’s because we need an alliance with her family. And we do . . . . Things are getting really precarious with Rian.”

I can feel it getting ahead of me, slipping from my grasp. I look straight ahead and squeeze harder. “But I’ve seen the way he looks at her, Tara. And I hate him for it.”

She grabs my hand and pulls at my fingers. “Tiergan! Stop!”

I know what she’s reacting to. I can smell the blood. I can feel it starting to run down my leg.

And I like it.

“Can you believe he actually acted like he was doing me a favour?”

I jerk my hand out of hers and ram my arm back into the wall. The pain blooms in my elbow, round and shiny. I ram it back again, on the same spot. The pain races up my arm and and spreads into my head. I ram it back again. And again.

Something. Again. Anything. Again. Break!

“Tiergan!” someone yells in my ear.

I drive my fist up and towards. Hard.

I want it to connect. Want it go through.



Not Tara!

I pull it back just in time.

And I’m in the pumphouse again, and my arm hurts like it’s on fire, and I’m dripping blood over everything, and Tara is looking at me with a fear I’ve never seen from her before . . . and for all of those reasons—or none of them—I can’t stop sobbing.

5 Responses to “Winter Rain, part 11”

  1. I apologize if the pacing is a bit off near the end there — I’m running on almost a week of almost no sleep, so I’m having trouble gauging timing.  :-)

  2. srsuleski says:

    Whoa.  Self mutilation . . . Tiergan’s a volatile one. :-O

    Stupid parents.  Nasty brother.  Hmph.  If idiots like them would just stop viewing relationships as tools for them to use and as something between two people, the world would be a better place.

    Damn straight!

  3. Showeda says:

    Timing was spot on I found . . . ‘the pain blooms in my elbow, round and shiny’ love it . . . Synaesthetic too . . . Loving Tiergan . . . BTW the name Tiergan is that of irish origin too? Not heard it before . . . Well certainly not the way I’m pronouncing it like de’tergen’t . . . (sorry)

  4. It is Irish.  I try to use Irish names of pre-Christian origin for the wolves, and post-Christian origin for humans. 

    I generally pronounce it “tier gun”.  I usually say it with a little extra pause on the “er” and a slight roll on the “r” — as I imagine an Irishman would say it.  That said, it’s been 25 years since I was last in Ireland, so I may be entirely wrong.  :-)

  5. Showeda says:

    Oh Yes . . . Sorry to be so thick, now you said it, of course I’ve heard it, pronounced just as you describe . . . Thank you . . . Like the pre and post christianity touch . . . Just as it should be.

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