Chapter Three

“None of this was your fault, Mother. I won’t allow you to blame yourself for any of it.”

“You were a child without his mother. A child who needed his mother. I failed you, Eden.”

“No.” He pulled away to meet her eyes. “You did everything you could to protect me. By allowing me to go to the academy, you saved my life. The military is the reason I’m alive today.”

She studied him, terror reflected in her large blue eyes, eyes so similar to his own. “Eden?”

“Have I made you proud, Mother?”

“Of course. You’ve always made me proud, my Eden. You always will.”

“That’s all I’ve ever wanted,” he sighed. He kissed the top of her head, breathing in the soft scent of roses in her long golden hair.

“I wish things could be different,” she whispered against the black fabric of his uniform. He nodded in response.

“Perhaps one day, they will be.”

She looked up at him and smiled, hope coloring the soft flush of her cheeks. “Perhaps.”

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