Gently, firmly, his hands curled around her trembling figure. Her heart fluttered in the semblance of a dozen frightened birds,
and however tightly he held, it failed to ease the aching desire she had to collapse at the closeness
- and the reality -
of him.

“My little seraph,” he crooned, and her eyes broke to shed water upon her cheeks.
“how tremulous you are.”

“It’s you,” she managed, her voice timorous and uncertain.

“It’s me,” he answered, pressing long fingers into her face and along the delicate coils of dark hair. The bow of his lips dipped to tease along her temple, and paused there to whisper into the ticked ear that mirrored his own. His words, though his breath was hot, chilled her until she shivered in the cage of his arms.

“Your father."