From his seat on the bed, only scattered words and phrases reach his ears: daughters, huge mistake, Christine, too young, come to your senses.
Elijah worries at a cuticle until he tastes the copper tang of blood. Sean warned him that Anna would take the news badly, but the reality is worse than his worst fears. What the fuck has he done, to Sean, to his family?
He has bloodied three fingers by the time the voices finally fade, and the front door closes.
Elijah bows his head. Anna has always had so much influence with Sean. What if…?
Sean looks exhausted, lines of strain bracketing his mouth. Elijah desperately wants to say or do something, but fear holds him mute and immobile as Sean comes to him and kneels before him.
“Elijah,” he repeats softly, cupping Elijah’s face in his warm hands. “It’ll be okay. Trust me.”
Elijah blinks hard. “Sean, I’m sor-" he begins.
“Uh-uh. Stop right there, Elwood. Don’t force me to say it.”
Sean’s teasing look sends relief flooding through him. “Say what, Irish?”
“‘Love means never having to-' hey!”
Laughing, Elijah pushes Sean to the carpet, and stops his words with a kiss.