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    welcome to across the chessboard! we're an alice in wonderland based site with an original plot and slight modern dystopian twist and canon characters from alice's adventures in wonderland and through the looking glass and what alice found there, both by lewis carroll. for a longer summary, please visit our information center here. if you have any questions, feel free to give an admin a shout in the cbox (it's to your left- just click the chatter button and it should pop open). again, welcome, and we hope you join us!

    it is currently summer 2015 in london.
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    Wonderland wasn't always this way. There was a time when it mirrored medieval England, albeit with a few magical elements: a few quirks and eccentricities that made it truly unique. While all feared the Queen's mercurial temper and the fine blade of her Guillotine, all was well, until a little girl named Alice Liddell disturbed the status quo and sparked a revolution. The kingdom began to fall into decay as the taint of the modern world invaded. History is beginning to repeat itself and no one is happy. As the Queen of Hearts tangles in a battle of wits and riddles with the Cheshire Cat, the rest are starting to wonder ... is it true that the White Rabbit is bringing humans to Wonderland when they themselves are banned from going to London?

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 Hurt and Comfort (M), Blake | sexual themes | personal thread
lance chevalier
 Posted: Sep 21 2015, 04:07 PM
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Aha! What villains are these, that trespass upon my private lands! Come to scorn at my fall, perchance? Draw, you knaves, you dogs!
30RedWhite Knight102 postsapplicationplotting
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lance chevalier


Lance entered Blake's quarters and smiled, leaning against the door as he closed it behind him. The strange human had been here for a little over a week now, already starting on his duties as a card. Lance had been introduced to the new Card earlier in the week, and had seen him around the castle. He thought it was about time to speak to him privately. He was naturally inclined to make friends, even with the cards no matter how hard Achilles protested. Why would this one be any different?

The new human fascinated him. He looked old, but he had the innocence of a child. He acted like he didn't need help when even Lance could see that he was in over his head. He worked diligently at whatever he was asked to do when clearly all the man wanted to do was collapse onto the floor. Lance wanted to know more. He wasn't sure if he was impressed or if he wanted to laugh as the stranger stumbled around like a newborn colt, but he wanted to know more.

"Mr. Everly. " He said sweetly "How was your first week? How are you adjusting to your new quarters?"

He was mostly just being polite. He could already tell from their limited interaction that Blake didn't like him. He hoped speaking with him privately like this could help that a bit. He hated thinking that he'd made a bad first impression, though he wasn't surprised. Blake was so quiet and acted so old it was no wonder he wouldn't like lance's exuberance and loudness. But, he'd do his best to be the strange human's friend.

The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
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blake everly
 Posted: Sep 22 2015, 12:22 AM
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I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle. As soon as I reach some kind of definite policy about what is my kind of music and my kind of restaurant and my kind of overdraft, people start blowing up my kind of planet and throwing me out of their kind of spaceships!
44RedCard124 postsapplicationplotting
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blake everly


Blake was sitting on his bed when the knight entered, feet pulled up onto the mattress and a pillow in his lap. He was holding the silk necktie he'd been wearing when he first came through the portal into this strange new world, playing it through his fingers. He looked like he'd been crying, and indeed he had been. There was hardly a moment he was alone that he didn't start crying.

He wiped his eyes quickly when Lance entered and sat up, moving the pillow and putting his feet on the floor. He still held the tie in his hands, squeezing it gently. "S...Sir Chevalier... I'm sorry, I didn't expect to see you. " he stuttered. It was one thing to be caught crying, it was another to have your superior surprise you, and combining the two was certainly not something he'd wanted to do on his first week.

He frowned at the questions. He wanted to answer honestly. This week had been hell. His own, personal hell. He'd never felt more alone in his life, and he'd lost a wife and his parents in the span of a year. He'd lost everything, and he was essentially promised that he'd never get it back. He felt awful every moment of each passing day, and he had been regularly finding himself praying to a god he'd never truly believed in before that he would be shown some kind of mercy. He hated his new quarters and he couldn't think of any place he'd ever felt less at home.

Of course, he couldn't say that. Not to his superior. Not to someone like Lance, who seemed like he couldn't be more pro-Wonderland if he tried. Not to someone so closely connected to the Queen and King, who have so graciously offered their hospitality.

"...I'm.... I'm well. Thank you, Sir Chevalier." He lied blankly, squeezing the tie in his hands a little tighter "... Is there anything I can help you with? "

All of us have ways in which we mask and cover our pain.

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lance chevalier
 Posted: Sep 22 2015, 12:03 PM
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Aha! What villains are these, that trespass upon my private lands! Come to scorn at my fall, perchance? Draw, you knaves, you dogs!
30RedWhite Knight102 postsapplicationplotting
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lance chevalier


Lance frowned visibly at Blake. He wasn't the best at telling when people were lying, nor was he ever very keen on spending too much time around sad people, but he could tell immediately that Blake was feeling awful. Everything about the man was wrong. His posture was guarded, not confident. His hands were holding that tie for dear life instead of resting comfortably. His eyes were red with crying and he looked like he hadn't gotten a good night's sleep all week. A card should be well-rested, fit, and ready for duty. And even Lance could tell his mind was anywhere but the castle.

"Please, just Lance is fine. " he corrected. He did love that someone finally used a title of respect with him, but this just didn't feel like the right setting for such formal speech. After all, he was here as a friend, not a superior. "Sir Chevalier is stiff and hard to say. No one calls me that.... in fact I don't even think the Queen calls me that. So call me Lance. "

He moved away from the door and over to Blake's bed. "May I?" he asked before sitting beside him. He turned his body to face him, knees pulling up onto the bed beside him, looking far too comfortable in Blake's bed. Lance couldn't help but noticed how Blake seemed so small like this. Like a scared child worried he was in trouble. He gave Blake a gentle look. "You can talk to me, you know?" he offered. "Completely off the record, unrelated to work. I really, genuinely want you to be comfortable here, and I think it would be nice to be your friend. You seem smart and kind, so knowing you're sad..."

He placed a hand on Blake's shoulder and squeezed it gently but firmly, blue eyes warm, but still serious. "I don't want you to feel alone. I know it must be hard adjusting to life here, so please, feel free to speak your mind to me. "

The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
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blake everly
 Posted: Sep 23 2015, 12:08 AM
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I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle. As soon as I reach some kind of definite policy about what is my kind of music and my kind of restaurant and my kind of overdraft, people start blowing up my kind of planet and throwing me out of their kind of spaceships!
44RedCard124 postsapplicationplotting
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blake everly


Blake frowned as the knight told him he wanted to be called 'Lance'. Everything else about the man before him was so prim and proper, he hadn't even considered the idea that he wouldn't want to be called by an official title. Though he did suppose 'Lance' suited him more than 'Sir Chevalier'. He had that youthfulness about him, much like Luca.

He felt a small pull at his heart as that thought came to his mind. He missed his younger lover so much. Everything about the castle felt almost oppressively structured. He thought he'd be okay with it, being such a calm and orderly man himself, but every moment he found himself missing that spontaneity, that bright laugh from out of nowhere, those arms that flung around him from behind when he least expected it... The gentle knock on his door and the smile as his lover entered the room to say good morning and remind him that for once he hadn't gone to bed alone.

He forced the thought from his head and chuckled softly, trying to seem at least a little cheerful. "For a moment I thought you were about to tell me not to call you that because 'Sir Chevalier' was your father's name. " He admitted honestly. It seemed like something the knight would say. Or, at least, it's what he would say if this was one of Blake's own stories.

He'd been thinking that way a lot lately. Maybe it was the easiest way to deal with being in Wonderland. If he pretended it was a story. Stories had happy endings, and if it was a story he'd wake up in Luca's arms. He'd write down the strange and terrible dream he had and publish it... sadly he knew that it wouldn't happen.

He frowned slightly as Lance sat on his bed, shifting over for him. He hadn't expected it, but he wasn't going to tell Lance to get off. There was nowhere better to sit and he didn't want to tell Lance to leave. He was sick of being alone and Lance did seem genuinely concerned. He was surprised, though, to hear Lance say that he could talk to him.

"I.....thank you, Lance." Blake blushed as the hand squeezed his shoulder. He didn't like to be touched most of the time, but sometimes he really needed the soft reassurance. "I didn't realize you cared... I didn't realize anyone really cared. I've been a bit under the impression that I'm just supposed to be here for the sake of being here, regardless of my happiness..."

He realized he sounded bitter. He hated to sound so bitter, but it was too much to take. He'd been dragged here without his permission, without being asked or consulted, and then immediately threatened not to screw up. He had a week to himself, and now he was expected to just be able to work for his captors as if nothing was wrong. He'd had a week to himself to MOURN. Mourn the loss of his old life, the loss of his love. It was too much in too little time.

He felt himself starting to cry again and he cursed, wiping his eyes quickly "S...sorry. " he stammered "I'm sorry. I shouldn't... I'm okay. I'll be okay..."

All of us have ways in which we mask and cover our pain.
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lance chevalier
 Posted: Sep 23 2015, 02:04 PM
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Aha! What villains are these, that trespass upon my private lands! Come to scorn at my fall, perchance? Draw, you knaves, you dogs!
30RedWhite Knight102 postsapplicationplotting
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lance chevalier


Lance blinked at Blake's odd joke about his name. Maybe it was a human thing? He would never say that 'Chevalier' was a family name. It was his own name. He'd chosen it especially for himself. Maybe Blake didn't know that yet... Actually, it wouldn't be surprising if Blake just hadn't considered the idea of him having another name. After all, even Achilles hadn't thought to notice that Lance hadn't always been his name.

" 'Sir Chevalier' isn't and never would be my father's name." Lance said, almost dismissively "My father's name would be Lord Sorrel, but that is neither here nor there. I just want you to call me Lance. "

He frowned gently as Blake spoke, wishing he could say something reassuring. He wanted to tell Blake that everyone cared about his happiness and that he definitely had a higher purpose in being here, but even Lance knew that wasn't true. Very few people would care at all about the happiness of this new random human. Blake's only purpose in being here was mostly a secret between the Queen and the White Rabbit, but Lance knew enough to know that Blake's happiness certainly wasn't a part of the grand design. If it was, he wouldn't have been kidnapped.

Lance could feel a small twinge of pain in his heart for the poor man before him as Blake started to cry. He was just so... pitiful. He'd never seen a full-grown man look so distraught, so... No. That was a lie. He knew that exact face. He knew it well. He'd worn it before himself. It was heartbreak. Loss. He could still remember his own bitter tears from when he'd cried just as Blake is crying now.

He gently brushed the tears from Blake's cheeks with the back of his hand, big blue eyes soft and full of sympathy. "I care about your happiness, Blake. " he said softly "So you can talk to me. Who did you have to leave behind that you're hurt this way? Tell me anything, everything. I'll listen. You don't have to be alone. "

He'd wanted to hear these words from someone himself, and he hoped Blake would feel the same. Maybe if Blake got to speak his hurt before it festered, the gentle creature wouldn't stay as hurt for as long. Lance wondered how differently his own life would be if he'd heard those words when he'd needed to... He knew he could talk to Achilles, on the surface. He knew Achilles would say something like that if he knew Lance needed to hear it, but he'd never been able to bring himself to actually talking to Achilles about anything. So he'd try to do that for Blake. He hoped Blake wasn't as stubborn as he himself was.

The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
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blake everly
 Posted: Sep 24 2015, 12:54 AM
Quote
I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle. As soon as I reach some kind of definite policy about what is my kind of music and my kind of restaurant and my kind of overdraft, people start blowing up my kind of planet and throwing me out of their kind of spaceships!
44RedCard124 postsapplicationplotting
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blake everly


Blake was stunned by the gentle hand on his cheeks, staring up into Lance's eyes. The soft gesture, the reassuring words, the concerned tone... It was all too much for him to take in. He hadn't been expecting any of it. Of anyone, the loud, boisterous, prideful White Knight wasn't the one he thought would be so kind.

The tears started to flow more easily, feeling suddenly overwhelmed. He had so much to say, he wasn't sure where to begin. But he decided he would take Lance's offer to speak freely. He may not get another chance to do so and he really, really needed to talk. He'd needed a therapist for decades, but he needed one now more than ever.

"I.... I was taken from my boyfriend, Luca." He began, covering his face with his hands. Even saying that was too much. He'd never... He'd never gotten to say that to anyone. He didn't have anyone to talk to about Luca, even in London. He hadn't 'come out' to anyone, as it were. Anyone who would have reacted negatively had been out of his life for ages, and everyone else had been the ones who'd been assuming he wasn't even IN a closet.

"We were.... we got an apartment together. I was supposed to move in with him the morning after I was brought here. He was so excited-" He felt and heard his voice crack and he squeezed his eyes closed. He sobbed and quickly tried to compose himself. He looked up at Lance again. He felt slightly reassured just by his presence. It really helped to know someone was listening.

"And... and I'm realizing that I'm never going to see him again. I had a wife when I was younger, and we divorced, and I haven't seen her since and it broke my heart... and then Luca came along and I was happy. I was so happy... and now I've lost the love of my life again. But it is so, so much worse this time. " He wiped his eyes and began playing with the tie again, trying to find something to keep himself calm.

"He doesn't know what happened to me.... what if he thinks I left him? What if he's worried I'm dead? What would that do to him? He's such a gentle, loving man. I don't... I can't stand the idea of him being alone. I can't stand the idea of never seeing him again." Blake frowned softly, eyes down on the tie in his hands. "... I didn't even get to say goodbye. The last thing I said to him was 'goodnight'. I didn't even say I love him. How can I live with that? How can the last words I ever said to him not be 'I love you'? And I'll never get to fix it. I'll never be allowed to go home. I just.... I don't know what to do."

All of us have ways in which we mask and cover our pain.
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lance chevalier
 Posted: Sep 25 2015, 01:51 AM
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Aha! What villains are these, that trespass upon my private lands! Come to scorn at my fall, perchance? Draw, you knaves, you dogs!
30RedWhite Knight102 postsapplicationplotting
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lance chevalier


Lance listened as Blake spoke, keeping his eyes on him so that the other man would know he was still listening. Some of it confused him, of course, just because of how different human customs were. He could see that Blake was still not used to calling Luca his 'boyfriend', for example. 'Being gay' wasn't really a stigmatized thing in Wonderland. Most everyone was pretty fluid about who they slept with, though of course people had their preferences.

He was surprised to hear so much about the human's old life. He'd expected him to be a more private person, though when he thought about it, it was really no different than the rare occasions he actually let himself talk to Achilles about things. These feelings had been piling up for so long, Blake obviously needed this opportunity to talk about them. He'd lost a wife, and now he'd lost a boyfriend...

Lance's heart broke for the man before him. It really, truly did. He'd never felt more sorry for anyone in his life. He couldn't even imagine what that must feel like, to be dragged away from the person he loved most, to never be able to see them again. He knew what losing a love felt like, but devoting himself to his Queen was what he lived for. He didn't know what it would feel like if he were never able to see Jacqueline again. He returned from London just to see her, after all.

He gently took Blake's hands into his own, squeezing them and the tie with it. "I'm very sorry, Blake. " he said softly, using his first name in hopes of fostering a closer connection. "I can only imagine how that would feel. I was engaged to be married for a while, and was later rejected, but it would kill me to never be able to see her again. You can always talk to me when you feel this way, and I'll listen. "

He kissed one of Blake's hands gently. It was a gesture he reserved for women, most of the time, but it felt right to do. He always meant it as a comforting thing and it wasn't always exclusive to women. He kissed Achilles's hand too, on occasion, usually when he found himself curled up in Achilles's arms.

"Tell me about him. " Lance said "Your Luca. What was your boyfriend like? Tell me anything you can think of. Maybe it will help you keep him in your heart."

The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
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blake everly
 Posted: Sep 25 2015, 06:50 PM
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I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle. As soon as I reach some kind of definite policy about what is my kind of music and my kind of restaurant and my kind of overdraft, people start blowing up my kind of planet and throwing me out of their kind of spaceships!
44RedCard124 postsapplicationplotting
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blake everly


Blake found himself blushing a deep shade of pink when Lance kissed his hand, feeling his cheeks burn. It seemed so...intimate. It was obviously a very personal gesture, because in his week here he hadn't seen the custom a single time. His mind reeled as he processed what Lance had said.

Lance had been engaged? Engaged and rejected, no less. And yet the young man before his was trying to claim he had no idea what pain he was going through? Sure, he found himself more angry about being taken from Luca than he had his divorce from Emily, but it wasn't so different. The only change was closure. And if Lance was still seeing here, the knight obviously didn't have the type of closure he needed either.

It made him feel more comfortable talking about it, knowing that Lance understood his heartbreak. And Lance wasn't encouraging him to forget, like others might. He never wanted to forget Luca. He would never allow himself to forget, and so he took the opportunity to make the image fresh in his mind.

Blake closed his eyes, trying to remember as much detail as possible. "...Luca looks about the same age as you- 32, though I've been told you're much older. About 1.88 meters, so about your height. Beautiful brown eyes that crinkle around the corners when he smiles. Slightly wavy brown hair that he keeps short and tidy... The sweetest laugh I've ever heard... "

He smiled weakly at the now bitter-sweet memories, tears stinging his eyes. He'd never feel Luca's arms around him again. He'd never hear that laugh again. Never see the sparkle in his eyes again. And Blake felt suddenly very alone. He hugged Lance tightly, practically throwing his arms around the taller, stronger man. He hoped it wasn't too inappropriate, but he couldn't help it. He'd been clinging to his pillow earlier and having someone else there instead was a much better substitute. Especially someone as kind-hearted as Lance.

All of us have ways in which we mask and cover our pain.

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lance chevalier
 Posted: Sep 27 2015, 01:36 AM
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Aha! What villains are these, that trespass upon my private lands! Come to scorn at my fall, perchance? Draw, you knaves, you dogs!
30RedWhite Knight102 postsapplicationplotting
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lance chevalier


Lance listened to Blake as he described his lost love, trying to picture the other man in his mind. It was hard to imagine what kind of man the strange human would like. Blake was so small and twitchy and emotional Lance could only guess that the one he left was a protector to him. Blake seemed like someone who needed protecting.

He didn't voice the thought, of course. It would be quite rude. Surely Blake was trying to take care of himself, and if he'd had a wife before then Blake was certainly used to being alone and fending for himself. But Lance still couldn't quite imagine leaving the shivering little creature to himself for so long. It would seem cruel, like abandoning a small dog.

Lance's eyes widened with surprise as Blake threw his arms around his torso, temporarily stunned. He was surprised mostly because hadn't taken Blake for a hugger. He seemed more the type to bury his feeling, but Lance didn't mind at all. Lance was very much a hugger, and if Blake needed a hug he was happy to give one.

He wrapped his arms around Blake's shoulders and gave him a gentle squeeze, resting a hand on the nape of Blake's neck. His fingers gently stroked the short, soft hairs there. It was a comforting gesture that he always appreciated from Achilles, but of course he had no way of knowing if Blake liked having his hair played with. If he didn't, Lance hoped something as small as this wouldn't seem too strange.

"It's okay." He said quietly, warmly. He wasn't entirely sure why he felt the need to say that. Maybe because he knew he himself needed reassurance that everything was okay sometimes. It was such a simple phrase, but he knew sometimes it was all he needed to hear to make everything seem alright.

"Why don't you tell me what he was like?" Lance asked "His personality, the things that made him special to you. What you loved about him. If your heart is ever going to heal, those are the things you need to remember most. "

He spoke from experience, but not his experience with Jacqueline. He was only thinking of Achilles. Whenever they had a minor squabble, or he was getting the silent treatment, or even when he was just feeling down on himself, it always helped to remember the reasons why Achilles was special to him. Their trust in one another, their shared experience on the battlefield, all the years they'd spent learning each other's strengths and weaknesses, the little ways Achilles showed affection when he was pretending to be angry... There were so many things he could list and he didn't have time to process the thoughts.

The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.

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blake everly
 Posted: Sep 27 2015, 08:46 PM
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I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle. As soon as I reach some kind of definite policy about what is my kind of music and my kind of restaurant and my kind of overdraft, people start blowing up my kind of planet and throwing me out of their kind of spaceships!
44RedCard124 postsapplicationplotting
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blake everly


Blake appreciated the gentle petting of his hair, sighing softly as he relaxed in Lance's arms. He needed this. He needed the physical comfort. He needed to have something grounding him, to remind him that it was real. He wasn't usually a physical person, but he felt that this was what he needed. He couldn't deal with this purely emotionally.

"Luca is the kindest, sweetest, most gentle man I've ever met. " Blake said softy, resting his head on Lance's shoulder. "As silly as it sounds, he saved me. I was sad and alone, and I thought I didn't deserve happiness. But from the first moment I saw him I knew that as long as I could be near him I could be happy. "

He gently gripped the fabric of Lance's shirt, clinging to the other man. His arms were strong and sturdy, muscled with constant work instead of body-building... It reminded him of Luca. A lot of Lance reminded him of Luca, actually, once he thought past Lance's boisterous personality.

"Luca worked so hard, all the time. And he wasn't as appreciated as he should have been. " He let go of Lance for a moment and took his free hand, feeling the small callouses there. "His hands were so gentle, but rough from work. He's strong... I always felt like he would protect me, even if just from my own loneliness. Forgive the phrase, but... he was my knight in shining armor. I never felt that way about anyone before. "

He rested his head on Lance's shoulder again, clinging to the front of his shirt this time. "He's a virtuous man. Pure, in everything he does. His thoughts, his feelings, even his laugh seemed more pure and honest than anything. He never did, and never would have done, anything to hurt me.... those are some of the reasons I love him. I'm sure I could go on forever, though. "

Blake was having trouble figuring out what tense to speak in. Luca was still alive, yes, but he was lost. He was in a whole different world, one that he himself could never return to. Could he still actively love someone who was so gone? Or was it heart-ache? He knew he'd never love like that again, that was certain. But Lance spoke in past tense, as if Luca was an entity that used to be, but was no more. It was a hard thing to think about.

All of us have ways in which we mask and cover our pain.

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