Magnus laid sprawled out on the couch in Woolsey’s living room, the one he’d spent more nights on than he’d like to admit, especially in the past few weeks. His life without Camille Belcourt was one that was dreadful and lonely; sparing Woolsey Scott, Magnus’ last remaining friend that he could bear to be around.
Ragnor had warned him against Camille. Catarina had as well. They were good friends though; they wouldn’t throw it in Magnus’ face or go on about how right they’d been, not yet anyway.
Still, Magnus couldn’t face them. He’d been so stupid. Everyone else had seen through Camille’s tricks so easily, everyone except Magnus and Woolsey himself.
They’d both loved her. Magnus more so and in a different way but love was love and the three of them had felt it. Magnus couldn’t bear to be with anyone else when he felt so broken and so stupid at once.
Woolsey finally came home late that night, when Magnus had had enough whiskey to loosen his tongue and feelings.
Woolsey slipped his hat off and placed it on the table with his cane. Instantly, tears brimmed Magnus’ eyes. Something about Woolsey coming home reminded him of Camille. Everything did.
Woolsey sighed. He walked over to the couch and sat at Magnus’ side, his arm gently coming around Magnus’ shoulders. Magnus cried harder, drunkenly hopeless to stop himself. Woolsey patted his back.
“I’m sorry.” Magnus murmured, his wet tears dripping into Woolsey’s shirt. “I shouldn’t have trusted her.”
Woolsey’s fell back against the couch, relaxing into it. They’d had this same conversation countless times now. “I shouldn’t have either.”
“I’m sorry,” Magnus repeated. He wasn’t even sure what he was apologizing for now.
Woolsey shushed him.
Normally, this was the end of their conversation but this time, something else bubbled to Magnus’ tongue. He spoke without thinking. He was too drunk to think about anything without it coming out. “I could have loved you.” He whispered. He did love Woolsey but Magnus meant in a different way. He could have loved him. “I should have loved you instead.”
Woolsey’s hand stilled on the back of Magnus’ neck before slowly continuing to caress his skin. “I could have loved you too.” He murmured back. “In a different life, my friend.”
“Without her, without him.” Magnus knew he was talking about Will. Woolsey didn’t dislike Will but he thought Magnus got too involved with people who would not get involved with him, if their situations were reversed. Perhaps, he was right.
Woolsey’s sighed again. “We can’t go back and change anything. We can only go forward. We missed our chance but you haven’t used up all your chances just because you fell in love with someone poisoned. You will love again. It’s who you are.”
Years later, as Magnus stood to marry Alexander, he thought back on Woolsey Scott and he wondered if he’d be surprised to see him today. He wondered if he’d be proud.