“We’re going to get caught, aren’t we?” Nilo whispered to her, staring up at the sky. He felt more than saw Saryn turn and stare at him with all her usual attitude.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, it can’t be this good for long, right? Someone is going to catch us, or one of us is going to do something to severely piss the other off or some other grand hell is about to descend on our heads because we’re trying to get away with this?” Nilo continued to speak up to the empty air rather than turning to face Saryn.
“Really? Is that what you think is going to happen?” Saryn asked, reaching across Nilo and forcing him to turn and look her in the face. “Are you that worried?”
“Well, two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. And, to be honest, I would rather our secret come out than one of us dying. As a general rule.” Nilo answered, turning into the roll so that she and Saryn were nose to nose.
“Well, yes, I’d like that too—as a general rule—but I don’t think it has to come to that. We are very careful. No one is going to find out unless we want them to. And that will be long enough after my husband’s funeral that people will actually believe us when we say that we didn’t start this until after he was gone.”
“Do we really care if people believe us, though?” Nilo countered, “If we just tell them outright that we are together, people can whisper all they want, we know the truth, we know we haven’t done anything wrong. Isn’t that good enough?”
Saryn smiled at him, which he felt more than saw. “I wish it was enough. I do. But, I don’t want people to even talk amongst themselves about Darel being cheated on or cuckolded or anything like that. That would be disrespectful to his memory, and to the memory of him in a lot of people’s minds.”
Nilo sighed and rolled flat on his back. He knew that Saryn still loved Darel even though he was gone. He knew that she would love him for as long as she was still alive. Hell, Nilo still loved Darel, he had been a good friend before he’d gotten sick. But a small part of him—the part that was deciding to rear its ugly head today—was extremely jealous that he’d always have to share Saryn’s heart with him.
“I’m sorry, I know,” Saryn propped herself up on an arm so she could look down into Nilo’s face. “This whole situation is a mess, and I’m not making it any easier or cleaner. But—I don’t think there is a clean or easy way to do it. I just have to follow my gut.”
Nilo smiled again in spite of himself. She did love him. He knew that. It wasn’t fair to take out any frustration on her for things that neither of them could change. “No need to be sorry. We’ll figure this out.”
“Yeah,” Saryn rested her head on Nilo’s chest, “We’ll figure this out.”