The second night in a row that I did not cry, I celebrated with a glass of cold milk. With my back against the fridge, standing alone in the dark kitchen I felt horribly conflicted--I felt content but also discontent.

Content because I wasn't crying and getting my nose all runny. Discontent because (I kept repeating to myself) I was the broken one so I should be crying. Only now, I was afraid Dallas wouldn't be here to save me. And there was no point in being broken when there wasn't a Dally to come in and kiss your wet cheek before he fell asleep sitting up next to you.

So anyway, I twirled my fingertip on the edge of the glass cup, watching as it delicately traveled around the edge when I heard the door open. I caught my breath and held it until I felt blue in the face.

There was a shuffle and approximately two grunts before I heard a body sit on the couch. Of course I knew who it was. Mainly because it was around the time he should be shuffling in anyway, but also a little because I had memorized the way he moved to the point where the rhythmic pulses of his footsteps were enough for me to identify him.

And knowing who it was did not calm me down in the least.

I kept taking in big gulps of air just to hold them in as long as I could as my back pressed so tightly against the cold surface of the fridge. My knuckles had turned into perfect white ghosts all ready to trick-or-treat as they strained from my grip on the glass of pale milk.

I listened more for him.

Silence except the smallest noise of him running his hands across his face. And as I pictured it in my mind--his beautiful, rugged, handsome, rough face clouded with insecurity and doubt--I had to see him.

I walked feather-light on the soles of my feet before I was standing in the threshold between the kitchen and the living room. He was wearing the same thing as he was two nights ago, but that's all I could see because the moon was only a sliver tonight, providing the smallest amount of light. And also because he was hunched over in the shadows with his head cradled in his hands.

I held my breath.

Will he cry?

"How about you stop standing there and staring and actually come sit next to me, will ya?"

I felt like a fool for being caught, but a giddy fool that I was going to sit next to him.

He didn't look at me when the cushions sunk next to him. He only breathed deeper into his hands and I waited. Waiting for anything.

I waited for a long while in the dark until Dallas Winston placed his warm hand on top of mine.

So that's how the night went--just sitting in silence, avoiding all eye contact, while I let him hold the back of my hand.