They stay at the bar for a while, not saying anything anymore, staring at the picture of his dad, her fingers still warm from where they had wound in his. Someone across the room coughs, laughs. She curls her fingers tighter against the edge of the bar.
She knows what had brought that faint smile flickering to light on his face, what he had seen in her eyes. There's more here between them than a shared history. She's trying not to think about what that is, what it means. She's trying so hard it makes her chest ache.
"I could've killed him."
Cece. She breathes out.
"I'm sure he doesn't-" Krista doesn't bother finishing. Bobby's gaze is still fixed on the frame on the wall, a distant look on his face. "We needed to know." She says instead. "Cece is fine. He's with his family." She swallows down a lump in her throat, the chance Silas never had. Bobby's shifted a bit, the side of his face turned toward her and she plows on in a way she never would with Blake, never could. "You saved his life in the end. You saved both of you. You came home."
He smiles at this, at the silent to me that she'll never say, not to anyone.
That smile’s there and just for a second she wants to reach out and take his hand again, but she's not so scared this time. He's ok. Bobby's ok. She looks away and wraps her hand around the bottle growing warm on the bar. She feels his eyes follow her, tracking the movement.
He's watching her now, not because he expects anything from her but because she's there, because he's here. When he slips past her to retake his seat his hand trails along her shoulders, warms her back for a moment as he sits.
His hand slipping away, she feels her skin prickle as the warmth fades.
"How was the lodge?"
"Fine." She doesn't mean for it to sound short, but it does, she knows it does and she winces. She wants to tell him about the bear in the cabin. He'll have a good laugh about that but she doesn't want to bring up Blake, not now. He knows about Blake the same way he knows about everything else in her life- mysteriously, completely- it's not that. It just seems so insignificant now, her weekend at the lodge, after the terrifying hour she had spent worrying, waiting for him on the tarmac. "I had a good time." She says more carefully.
There's something working its way around her chest again, another kind of worry. She feels her fingers twitch. She pushes her beer across the bar watching the trail of condensation form across the wood the same way she watches contrails form behind the big jet planes at the airport; it's boring but it's better than staring at nothing.
She knows he means it and there’s a part of her that wishes that he didn’t. “We should go out there some time.”
He laughs at this, reaching over to still the ceaseless motion of her drink across the bar and, despite her hesitance, she relaxes into the sound.
“Like your dad’s going to give me a day off after the stunt I pulled.”
“You never know.”
“I buggered up the landing gear. Again.” He says in a perfect imitation of Mel.
Krista shakes her head smiling. Her dad was fond of such outbursts. He’d be angry of course, but there was always an element of humor to the whole thing after the fact. She’d endured a torrent of similar outbursts the night after graduation, the night she knew Bobby thought about more than he should, when she’d catch him watching her. Even then though, when he’d been more right than even she had known, she’d had a hard time taking Mel seriously. “He hasn’t fired you yet. I think you’re good.”
“We’re talking about a man who brings beer to a hospital.”
“You have a point.”
They settle down into silence again, both of them smiling this time. She traces the names spilling out across the wood before them as he watches a couple across the room. “He’s glad you know,” she murmurs, “he’s glad you found out about Silas.”