Elon began to yank at the threads closing the flaps of the tent, trying not to rip them from the canvas. Something wrapped around his leg, and he startled, glancing down.
Carissa sat by his feet, her arms twined around his leg. She glanced up at him, tears streaking down her cheeks. “Elon, don’t go. Please don’t.”
As lovely as she was, the sight infuriated him. It seemed she cared about Algernon enough to try and shield him from Elon’s wrath. Allowing that man to accompany them had been a mistake. Elon should have tied him to a chair within his cabin and allow him to remain behind and rot.
He gently tugged his leg out of her grasp, and she released it, covering her face with her palms. He began to unknot the rest of the strings, but when Carissa’s cries turned to sobs, his movements slowed at the sound. Nothing, not even healing Carissa’s wounds, had ever caused him as much pain as hearing her cry so bitterly. Was she truly so grief-stricken at the thought of harm coming to Algernon?
He glanced down at her, sifting through her last words. She hadn’t asked him to spare Algernon; she’d asked him not to go. She thought that he was walking away from her, casting her off for her infidelity. His chest cramped so tightly that he could barely breathe. Yes, he was angry—and more than a little jealous—but no emotion could ever be strong enough to overcome his love for her. In fact, the only reason he felt so strongly was because he loved her.
Elon knelt by her side and swept her into his arms. “It’s alright, Carissa. I’m not leaving you.” He pressed a kiss to her wet cheek. “I didn’t mean to frighten you.”