Who is this?
Ne Obliviscaris. It's their acoustic arrangement of Painters of the Tempest Part II, Movement III: Curator.
You should hear the original.
But Caleb isn't really paying attention, standing here on the front porch in the near dark, gazing at me with that truncated half-smile, moreso with his eyes than his mouth. His hand comes up to touch my face and I flinch automatically and the smile is gone. A soft kiss lands on my lips. He doesn't close his eyes. I don't close mine. He steps back out of my personal space and asks for my evening in return. So he can apologize properly, profoundly, for what was a tense and unwelcome week solely due to his jealousy. Not the birthday week I was hoping for (because oh, I envision so many things and the anticipation paralyzes me regardless), instead a tough navigate through conflictingly-charted waters ending on an island with no name.
It has a name, he says without turning. Point Perdition. You named it.
I did. I go back inside without answering his request and Lochlan asks if I want the music off.
Maybe. Not like I can hear it when I move. If we can talk over it it may as well be off, because I can't strain hard enough to catch a note.
Hey. He says as he comes back (the remote is in the kitchen for the sound).
Losing my grip, Locket.
You're not going anywhere, Peanut. I gotcha. We're going to go up and have a nap with Ben. He's feeling similar. Looks like I have my hands full tonight.
I can get Sam, if you-
I can handle this.
We bundled in with popcorn and watched documentaries on Netflix until I was asleep and Ben was calm enough to try to close his eyes. We locked the door. We left two very dim lights on. We boarded up access to the outside world but the impending storm never came. When we emerged, somewhat pale and shaken, worn through for holding on, we realized Lochlan was right.
He did great. No one lost their shit or fell in a hole on his watch and now I know all sorts of things about the world's worst prisons, the Ganges river in India, and the secret lives of bodyguards, one of which I seem to have right now.