Willas took a deep breath. “I don’t know you well, Roslin. I would never pretend that I do. But I can see that you’re incredibly special - in general, and to Edmure. I knew he was seeing somebody, and I can’t possibly express to you the look on his face when he mentioned you. I have rarely seen him look like that about anybody. You’re it, Roslin. You’re the one.”
The duration of Willas’s entire speech seemed to last a lifetime, and when he was finished Roslin was speechless. Her heart was in her throat; Roslin could only wish Edmure would articulate his feelings for her like Willas had on his behalf. They’d had one night together, as passionate and touching as she could dream of encountering, but nothing compared to the meaning behind words.
And there was too much behind Willas’s. Roslin’s gaze dropped to her coffee cup. “You sound as though you know him very well,” too well, she surmised, and her skin prickled as though she was suddenly a little out of her comfort “forget I asked.” Forget I brought this up; forget I have urged you to delve into your past. Forget this meeting, and forget Edmure Tully. She looked up then, and she felt her uncles, father, cousins and enemies whispering in her ear. Her gaze was not so sweet, not so Roslin-like. Her hands cupped the coffee cup as though it were something important—perhaps the most important thing in the café.
It didn’t last, and her gaze dropped again. Her fingers were red where the heat had burned her skin a little, but she felt nothing. I feel nothing. Where at once his words had moved her, concerned her, made her feel as though he was challenging her to best him in his love for Edmure, they now had nothing to offer. They’re just words, she told herself inwardly, and sitting back in her chair she contemplated retaliating with her own.
But what would they serve? Willas didn’t seem the sort to care much if she could best him, he probably expected her to. He had told she was the one, after all. Edmure’s hands and lips and entire being had told her she was right for him, but perhaps it was she who was looking for a reason to doubt. She wanted a reason to mistrust Edmure and his love for her, so that she could blame him when she messed everything up. Roslin messed everything up.
“How many girls have you told that speech to, Willas? Perhaps it’s not for me to ask, but I don’t believe he’s found his wife in me. He’s selfish and rude and makes me feel so small.” And in the same breath he lifts me higher than anyone has before; and I can touch the stars and taste their warmth. Roslin could feel her heart sinking from her throat, only it continued passed her chest and down to the pit of her stomach. “I don’t know how to make him happy because I don’t think he knows how to be happy. His family have oppressed him into a figure of a man he doesn’t fit. He should be fucking girls every week and getting drunk, and instead he’s trying to be what Hoster and Brynden need him to be. And I fit into that.
“He needs to use me to look like a family man; an honest and good man. He made me feel so—… like I was the only one that mattered. But it felt effortless, as though he’d perfected the art of making someone feel special. By the look on your face,” she dared to glance up at him then, with as much effort as it took to move a truck up a hill on rollerblades “he’s done the same to you. Whether physically or not, I’m sure I don’t wish to know. He’s… adventurous, where I am not. That doesn’t make me special, sir. That makes me incredibly safe.”
Safe. Being safe was almost on par with being boring. She’d been told by her boyfriends at uni how incredibly tiresome it was to play it safe with a girl who never deviated from the straight and narrow. She couldn’t be Edmure’s ideal woman, because he’d already sampled a variety of potential already. Being safe was not being special, and nothing Willas said could tell her different.