“Connor, it’s Sam. I need to talk to you about Todd, and I need some help with some research. Can you meet me at the public library at 47 Wabash Street?”
Sam wasn’t pacing. But she was rocking on her heels and toes as she stood at the bottom of the staircase to the door of the public library. She had called Connor that morning, given him instructions on how to get to the Elliot Carniage library, and told him to meet her there around two. She couldn’t have made it any earlier, as she had to wait for Kyle to show up to take over the front desk.
And it’s breaking me, morphing me, and forcing me to strive,
Yeah, I’m endlessly, hopelessly, dreaming I’m alive.
Although she probably should have said what she had discovered about Todd to Connor before he came, she was nervous. The things Connor had said the first time they had talked, the things he had implied about Todd, hopefully meant he knew about him. Hopefully. She had no idea if he knew, but something in her gut told her he did.
She had her headphones in, The music was the only reason she wasn’t pacing. The new remaster of the Absolution album by Muse had come out, and she was anxiously listening to Hysteria on repeat. The song had always been one of her favorites by them, but the demo version that had been included in the anniversary remaster had really done something to her brain chemistry.
And I want you now, I want you now,
Give me your heart and your soul
‘Cause I want you now, I want you now,
Give me complete control.
She ran her hands through her hair, pushing the choppy curls back from her face. She dragged her fingers through them and brought them up into a ponytail, then fished through her pocket for an elastic. She tied her hair back and swallowed as the song began to repeat, the electronically distorted began to buzz in her ears, at full volume. She moved her head and her shoulders to the music, letting the nervous energy flow into a partial dance.
Everything was going to be fine. She was going to figure this out. Whatever Todd was, she was going to figure it out and she was going to be there for him. She was more determined about this than she had been about anything else in her life. More so than when she was fourteen, taking three martial arts courses a week and kickboxing lessons to prove to her parents how serious she was about becoming a “superhero”. She had done everything they had asked, excelled at everything, and they had given in and presented her with a suit when she was fifteen.
Now, she was turning that determination onto Todd. She was going to research him, she was going to study him, she was going to learn what she could about him, and she was going to use all of that to help her struggling cannibal. Because even with this knowledge, every fiber of her being still said Mine. He was hers no matter what. Even if he killed her and ate her, she would never regret choosing to make him her whole world. Not ever. He had already given her so much more happiness and warmth than she could remember ever having in her life. He deserved her best efforts.
Sam looked down at her phone. It was almost two p.m.. Connor should be arriving any moment. Any moment they would go inside this library and go straight to the mythology section. She was likely going to save the digging into Todd’s life before foster care until the end of their trip. Her laptop had died a few weeks ago, and she hadn’t had a chance to take it in for repairs, so she was going to have to use the library’s computer.
Connor's Range Rover was still with Todd, so he had to walk, he'd left all his weapons at his cabin along with Mac and Brian, and he walked all the way across the city to meet up with Sam outside the library. Between seeing Lapis and Todd he's been persuaded that maybe consistent bathing should be something he looked into, so when he arrived he for once in his life didn't smell heavily of wet dog but of pine, ginseng, and rosemary. His hair was less wind and in his face but slicked back in something that could be considered a style and his beard and actually been trimmed and groomed.
Sam looked the same as always, but she was nervous, or anxious. Either way something was bothering her, and that something was certainly Todd. She was shuffling her feet and clearly agitated, but also had set her arms and shoulders in a way that Connor had come to learn meant she was determined. Or at least she was about to dig her heels in and stubbornly face the problem.
Whatever it was, she'd asked Connor for help, and he wanted to help her. So he walked up to here, he stood there for a moment, a tad awkwardly as he forgotten what people said when they greeted their friends.
Sam immediately removed her earbuds and tucked them back into their pod, which was shoved into her pocket as she moved from where she was over to Connor. She stopped when got to him, suddenly hesitant. This could be an incredibly bad idea. After all, she didn’t know with absolute certainty that Connor knew. She looked him up and down, a wariness in her eyes. Then she sighed and crossed her arms.
She thought back to the first time they had ever met. “And what of your mate? Todd, he hunts much the same, are these circumstances different?” The words floated through her mind. It was so little for her to be working off, but she had a gut feeling. The Vibe Checker was telling her that this was safe. So she sighed and unfolded her arms, taking a deep breath.
She placed her hands at her waist and then, in a very soft voice, she said, “I needed to know– do you know what Todd actually is? You told me– you told me before that he was a predator, but I assumed you meant he was like you. Is that what you meant, Connor? I need you to be very clear about what you know.”
That was good enough, without directly asking “do you know my mate is a cannibal”. Hopefully, he would know what she meant. She flicked her eyes around, making sure they were as alone as possible. Given it was two p.m. on a Thursday afternoon, there was barely anyone around. It was quiet enough, alone enough, that she felt comfortable discussing this outside, in soft voices. She looked at Connor again and took him in… and found herself surprised.
Connor looked more civilized than any of the last times they had gotten together over the last two weeks. His hair was brushed, his beard trimmed, and for the first time ever, Sam realized she didn’t smell wet dog. She raised an eyebrow, took a step back, and looked him up and down again. He was clean. “Did you… clean up?”
Mark Twain once wrote 'An honest man never has to remember what he said.' Connor wondered if Sam and Todd had ever read Twain.
He suspected he knew what Sam was getting at, had she figured it out? Did she only suspect? Why of why did she have to come to him of all people? What if she did know, and was thinking Connor was complicit in Todd's web of lies? What did he say? What did not say? His heart quickened like he was in danger, assessing the risks of every option, his gut screamed at him to run away and hide and never talk to anyone ever again. Only the promise he had made to Todd kept him there, to not tell Sam, but more so to be there for Sam.
Connor's days of running away into the woods were long gone. Cowardice was no longer an option.
"Yes... I did... I have been, cleaning," Connor said, his cheeks were red. Sam noticing his change in appearance was also plain embarrassing on top of it all, Connor used that as a lifeline to grasp onto. "You know, people complained and Lap- la, long time since I cleaned myself properly for people, new for me, woods doesn't have soap or a shower."
Sam narrowed her eyes. “Lap”? Women’s names that started with “Lap” was a very short list. And it really came down to just one name that could be. Her brow furrowed, and she opened her mouth, an accusation on her lips, but she stopped before she could breathe a word of it. She snapped her lips shut and sighed. That wasn’t important right now. She could circle back to that. She tipped her head back and then straightened out, looking back up at Connor.
He had deliberately ignored her questions. She knew him well enough by now to know when he was deliberately not speaking about something, given that was nowhere close to their normal conversations. She bit her bottom lip, then she tried again. “Connor, please. I need you to focus. Do you know what Todd is? This is really important.”
Her eyes were wide and pleading, her brow knit together over them. She pushed a stray curl back from her face and swallowed, the motion noticeable in the way her head was tilted. She was bouncing on her heels again, her arms crossing in front of her chest again. She looked desperate. No longer nervous, but pleading, begging for Connor to confirm what she now knew.
Connor could physically feel his heart cracking, those big eyes looking up at him. It was like all his strength left him, he actually exhaled like the wind had been knocked out of him. How could he say no? He couldn't, but he also couldn't break his word. Oh No, oh no, this was bad. Normally very still, Connor shifted from foot to foot, he seemed agitated, nervous. Despite getting better at it these last weeks, Connor gave into the habit to look away from Sam's gaze. But he still felt it, and his cheeks burned red.
"I know he is a... predator, like me.... but not like me! Different, in some ways! Uh, you know, uhhh," Connor was panicking, he grasped for a direction to go. In his turmoil, his brain defaulted and spoke bluntly. "Todd told me not to tell you!"
Connor clamped his hand over his mouth, stupid stupid stupid, what was that? That wasn't a solution, oh that would only make her more suspicious. She'd assume the worst, and she'd be right! Oh, Sam would probably hate him for lying, be hurt, she might leave Todd, they's both die somehow. Connor desperately tried to think of a way out, why oh why did he ever leave his woods.
"What I mean is uhhh he wanted to... he wanted to talk about... nothing! I mean, no he wanted to talk about something, I think uhhh, but wanted to do it himself? So that's why I can say anything, because I'm not! And haven't!"
Sam’s face slowly changed into an adoring but sad smile as Connor spoke. Not only did Connor know, but he wasn’t allowed to tell her. Todd had asked Connor not to tell her, her, his mat– could she even call herself that, if he so desperately didn’t want her to know what he was? For a moment, a wave of self-loathing washed over her. He didn’t trust her to know.
She had thought about it. There were only two reasons that Todd wouldn’t tell her, as far as she was concerned. The first was he was afraid of scaring her off. That one was an obvious thought, an obvious reaction. But she had a deeper feeling that she knew why he wasn’t telling her. And that reason made her hate everything about what she was, what she could do, and what kind of a person he perceived her to be.
Todd was worried she’d kill him.
It made sense. He already knew how she felt about predators. He already knew she had killed forty people before. He knew that she had a streak of violence that she struggled with. It was logical to assume that he was worried she’d turn it against him. And the part that hurt the most, was that if it wasn’t him, if it wasn’t her Todd, hers, then she might have. If they had just been in love like normal people, she might have killed him, broken heart be damned. She couldn’t say. She didn’t want to say.
She reached out and caught Connor’s hand in hers. “Connor, listen to me very carefully. You are not breaking any promise to Todd if I tell you he’s a cannibal and you say ‘yes’. “
He had given her enough of an answer through his stammering to tell her he knew the truth. Enough to reassure her. She continued, her rasping voice low and soft, “So answer me, do you know that Todd is a cannibal?”
She knew, of course she knew, Connor has assumed she'd known in the first place. But then Todd has said she didn't know! But she knew! And she knew that Connor knew, but Todd had told him not to tell her what he knew, but she already knew it! Connor felt like he was going to go cross-eyed.
Connor felt her hand on his own, she was warm, like a sun-baked rock during the summer. It radiated heat like she contained fire itself. Which Connor pondered she very well might. The head radiated up his arm, easing his tension, Connor met her eyes.
"Yes... I knew the moment I met him, smelt it on him... smelt it on you too, I thought... I assumed, you knew."
Sam sighed with relief. She hadn’t just fucked up and exposed Todd. That was more of a weight off her shoulders than anything else. “I only just figured it out, Connor. About a week ago. He doesn’t know I know. I want to do some research before, before I tell him. I know he doesn’t want to tell me, so I need to make sure that I can, well. I need to make sure that I don’t give him any reason to run from me once he knows I know.”
Her sad smile stayed in place and she moved in closer to Connor, jumped up with a boost from her heat, and kissed his cheek. “Thank you for telling me the truth. I needed to know I had come to the right conclusion. Now I need your help. You read a lot, and two sets of eyes are better than one. We’re going to do some research. I booked us a private study room.”
She pulled on his hand, pulling him toward the stairs, but then paused. She turned and looked back at him with those same sad eyes, like her heart was slowly falling to pieces. “I won’t ask you to lie for me. I won’t ask you to lie to Todd. But I would appreciate you not telling him unless he asks that I know. I’m worried about… what he’ll do. I love him too much to lose him, Connor.”
Her amber eyes turned shiny as she spoke, as she barely held back the tears that threatened to spill from her eyes. She swallowed around the rock in her throat that formed at the idea of losing Todd, of him leaving her. She would go to the ends of the Earth to find him if he ran and she knew, she knew, he would do everything in his power to stay away from her if it came to that.
But she wanted him to know. His being a monster changed nothing for her. She still loved him, loved his soul, knew his soul. She had known him all her life without even knowing it. And every part of her loved every part of him, and always would. Monster and all.
Connor turned almost as red as his hair when he felt her peck his cheek, he was still getting used to this affection thing. The sensation almost distracted him from what Sam was asking hm to do, which while she said wasn't lying; sounded a whole lot like lying. Connor's head spinned, so now Sam knew, but Todd didn't know that she knew and Todd can't know that Connor knew that she knew, or that she knows at all. Todd certainly can't know that Connor confirmed what Sam already knew, despite Todd not knowing that. Connor wondered how people lived like this.
The only thing that settled his mind and his resolve to help her was the look in Sam's eyes. The sheen of tears that were threatening to spill, the emotions bubbling up inside of her. Something clicked in Connor's chest, a shifting, a twisting of the gut, e felt a somewhat familiar sensation, one that he'd now only felt once or twice before. His idea of Sam shifted, a friend still yes, but something he was obligated to now protect, care for. Funnily enough, at least to Connor, it felt like how he thought of Todd now.
So Connor squeezed her hand gently and slowly pulled her closer until he could wrap his arms around Sam in what was likely the biggest hug she'd ever gotten, he held her gently but steadily. Attempting to communicate everything, eh didn't have the skill to say through the action.
"I... care about him too... and you, and I want you two to be... happy..." Connor didn't mention the other though, a selfish thought. Which he believed may have been part of his motivation, he wanted Todd to be better, and for him to be happy with Sam. Because if there was hope for Todd, there was hope for Connor. He pushed these thoughts aside, and chose to care only for them now, dismissing his own case as a lost cause.
Sam wasn’t quite ready for when Connor hugged her gently like she was fragile and might break if he held her too tight. She felt her lip tremble as she realized how much she had actually needed a hug. Her arms went up around Connor’s back and she shivered, hugging him back. She stayed in the hug for what felt like forever, but must have only been a few moments, before pulling away. She smiled up at the man, a stray tear shimmering as it trailed down her face. She wiped it off her lightly freckled cheek and chuckled.
“Thank you, Connor. For caring. I just– I just want Todd to be happy and to feel safe around me. So I need to figure out what he really is. Because I’ve never heard of a meta who had to… well, you know.”
She took Connor’s hand again and pulled him up the stairs and into the library. The building was big, two stories, with a few scattered study rooms. She sighed as they walked in, then dragged them right up to the receptionist’s desk. After a brief discussion, they were shown to their room, and after another brief discussion, they were given directions toward the mythology section.
Sam dragged Connor through the library, speaking in a hushed voice. “Okay, what do we know? We know that he has to eat… what he has to eat. We know he’s strong, fast, and heals incredibly well. He’s always cold, and that might have something to do with it too. He can see in the dark, and hear and smell better than anyone else. What do you think, Connor?”
Connor allowed himself to be tugged into the library, and then into the mythology section. Already he was going over what he did know, which wasn't much all things considered; he had a decent idea of what Todd was but it was in a more vague esoteric sense than something he could put into words.
"Well he can smell like me, hear like me, probably see's just as good as me too, we both instinctually recognized each other as predators and threats when we first met; which is not something that happened with other metas even... though this doesn't help us much, we know he isn't what I am, he hunts... differently, and besides I'm not even sure what I am either..." Connor paused, clearly thinking, he twisted the ends of his beard between his forefinger and thumb. "Though he does share similarities to certain versions of vampires... we could start there?"
“Vampires! That sounds good. We can start there, and then in your case, maybe we should look at werewolves? I think you guys both have some connections there too.”
Sam started to grab every book she could find on vampires. Some of them were older looking, like The Vampire Book by J. Gordon Melton, and some were newer looking, like The Element Encyclopedia of Vampires by Theresa Cheung. And then some were battered and worn and as old as could be, like Treatise on Vampires & Revenants: The Phantom World by Dom Augustine Calmet. There were many other titles, but she grabbed as many of the ones that seemed to be geared toward the different kinds of vampires throughout world mythology.
When she had as many books as she could stack on top of each other, she gestured with her head back toward the room they had been shown to. “Grab what you can and meet me back at the room.”
Sam started back, her tower of books swaying slightly as she balanced it. Several of the other library-goers stared at her in awe as she walked past, a tower of easily three feet in her arms. She gave them small smiles and head nos as she backed into the study room. She dropped the stack on the table and began to sort through them, making new piles.
Connor hadn't really been to a library before, but he quickly decided he loved it here. It was quiet, calming, filled with many different smells telling different stories of their own under a heavy blanket of that old paper smell. Connor found himself distracted exploring the many different books they had here too, at a wonder, there was so much he hadn't had a chance to read yet. If they populated this place with deer, Connor figured he could live here forever.
Connor gathered his own books, many different than from what Sam had gathered. He'd always found that stories could hold as much truth as history books. So along with The Book of Were-Wolves by Sabine Baring-Gould and The Werewolf: Past and Future: Lycanthropy's Lost History and Modern Devolution by Maegan A. Stebbins, there was also Bram Stoker's Dracula, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.
Connor frowned to himself as he carried the books after Sam into the study room. Werewolves, he was fairly certain he wasn't a werewolf, and didn't quite care for the idea. From what hew knew, werewolves were cursed, afflicted, their change was put on them against their will. Connor wasn't that, this was wholly who he was, not some disease. He was fairly certain Todd was the same in that regard.
He made it to the study room, where Sam was already organizing things. Connor places his books on the table and chose the first one on the pile, which just so happened to be Twilight. Using other books to support it, Connor propped it up so it lay open and then put it as far away from him as he could by leaning forward in a chair and then leaning back, so his eyes were far away. Despite the reading position, he made quick progress through the book.
"You know, I don't think I'm a werewolf," Connor said, he had a notepad and a pencil which he had written in cursive handwriting Cold skin, strong, smell, human flesh, sparkles in sunlight?
Sam had already discarded the first three books upon discovering they were watered-down versions of the books she was actually interested in– covering only one type of vampire, and not many. Although she set aside the ones that discussed vampires and souls tentatively.
She felt something in her chest twist into knots as she looked at that small stack of books. She made a noncommittal noise to Connor’s comment about werewolves. She’d heard him, and she was sure they would reach those thoughts very soon. But while they were on the topic of vampires, something else ran through her head. Something that had running through her mind for the last week.
“Connor… a lot of these monsters we’re going to look at, these creatures tend not to have… souls.” She swallowed hard and stopped moving, staring down at the page about Vrykolakas. She looked up at Connor as her heart did another painful twist. She could feel it spreading to her stomach and up her throat, tying her insides into knots. “But you and Todd have souls. Right? Like you guys feel love and happiness and you have humanity. You guys aren’t soulless, right?”
She didn’t want to say what it was that was troubling her. She didn’t want to say that she didn’t know what she would do if Todd didn’t have a soul and couldn’t love her. She didn’t want to admit that that would break her heart so thoroughly that she wasn’t sure she’d ever recover. She didn’t want to admit that even if he was just using her, or toying with her, she would still love him so much that she would fall to pieces for him. That she would give him pieces of her if he asked for them.
She closed her eyes at that thought. At that horribly intrusive thought that had appeared in her head during the last week. Seeing him, burn scars faded but still very much present, and then with that limp– something dark had entered her mind when she saw him like that. He clearly hadn’t eaten. And it was while they were talking in the hall, while he had that limp, but still looking at her in that way that made everything inside her melt, that she thought it for the first time. “If I offered pieces of me, would he accept it?”
Even now, she couldn’t quite shake the thought. She knew he wouldn’t. Or, well, she thought he wouldn’t. Because in Sam’s mind, Todd had a soul, and that soul had humanity, and that humanity would balk at the idea of taking part of her like that. If he had wanted that enough, he would have taken all of her already. But he hadn’t, and she felt like that meant something. He had to have a soul. She saw that soul in his eyes, saw it in his smile, felt it in his touch.
But if Connor said no, if he said neither of them had souls, Sam would– Sam would– she didn’t know what she would do. She just didn’t know. If he didn’t have a soul, then how could she possibly–
She opened her eyes and smiled sadly. “Please be honest. What do you think?”
Connor looked up at Sam - he was over halfway through Twilight, and despising every moment of it - studying her face, and catching her gaze. Without thinking on it, Connor reached up and touched the rosary beads that hung around his collar, he tugged on them and pulled them out, holding the crucifix in his palm and running his finger over it. His eyes drifted, to another place, another time, a distant memory.
"I told you I was raised by nuns... well one, Sister Sophia... she was the closest thing I ever had to a mother, I think I asked her a very similar question... I can't remember why, but I also knew I was different, I heard the sisters talking about it; but Sister Sophia would always dismiss their arguments... one day we were playing, I was laughing, laughing so much I ran out of breath... Sister Sophia picked me up and said, 'could a soulless thing laugh so joyfully?' and that, well, I guess that settles it."
Connor's eyes refocused on Sam as he returned to the present "I'm not really... the one to talk to about such things, but I know how Todd feels about you, and how you feel about him... it's an animal thing we can pretty much smell it. It's love. He does love you. You make him happy... Connor looked away, he was sure of what he said about Todd, but not so sure about himself. His feelings were so confused of late, he didn't know what to make of them. And not for the first time, he questioned if he was as human as Sister Sophia said he was. "Folk like Todd and me... I think we just need people believing in us... so there's hope for him at least."
The intense wave of relief that washed over Sam drowned out everything else. Her eyes closed as she sighed. She had never been a religious person. Her grandmother was Catholic but had never pushed the religion onto her mother or herself. Because of this, Sam didn’t have any knowledge of what religions said about the soul. She liked this Sister Sophia, though. She sounded like she had been a wonderful person.
Following the relief as Sam opened her eyes was a sad concern. Connor looked lost. He looked like he was struggling with his emotions. She cleared her throat and then she gave a real smile to Connor, even if it was twinged with that same sadness. “I believe in you too, you know. At least, I hope you know. Just because I’m Todd’s ma– Todd’s, doesn’t mean I don’t believe in you too. I know it’s not the same. And I’m sorry about that. But I hope what I have to give you is enough.”
Her smile turned soft, friendly, and adoring. Sam did care for Connor, in the inexplicable way she cared for people who fit into her life like puzzle pieces. It was like there had always been a Connor-sized space, right between Nat and Todd, right below Adelyn, all wrapped up in a box and perfectly filling the space meant for them. She loved all four of them in unique ways. Adelyn was like her sister, Nat, a student and kid brother, Connor, a best friend that she hadn’t ever expected. And Todd. Todd who fit into her soul like he was meant to be there, like he had always been there.
Connor thought they had souls. He also thought Todd loved her, despite the fact he had never said the words to her. That filled her with a sense of comfort, but also raised a question in her. “Why are you so sure he loves me? I mean, I thought– well, I thought he might love me. But he didn’t say it to me when I said it to him. In fact he– never mind.”
Connor couldn't help the small smile and blush that cam onto his face, the churning in his chest told him to take Sam's words to heart. He found himself grateful for her, in a way he could not express, but in a way that made so much sense. She had entered into his heart in a way that a part of Connor still doubted was even possible. And yet there she was. Still, angry and malicious thoughts stalked the corners of his mind, whispering that it would not last, she would hate him in the end, and Connor would find a way to hurt her like he did everyone else. Connor allowed himself to ignore these notions, and enjoy what he had if even for the moment.
"It's enough," he said, bashfully trying to hide his smile. It was Sam's second question that gave him more pause, he had been sure that Todd loved her, but it felt like a self evident conclusion to him. Evidentially it was not to her.
"Well he said he did... not in so many words but he did say it, and I can always tell when someone's lying, he was not lying. He's willing to put himself through a lot for you..." Connor considered how much to reveal exactly. "I think he's afraid, of loving you, because that would mean... he's afraid to hurt you, and he thinks that if he loves you it'll only hurt more when he does... and he does think it's only a matter of time... I know because... because it's the same for me.
Miriam, her memory passed through his mind again, when he looked at Sam he didn't see her he saw Miriam until he squeezed his eyes shut. All those years, running away from her, trying to forget her, she always was stubborn as all hell. There was no running this time.
Connor’s answer only gave her more questions. She stopped mid-way through the entry on aswang, pausing just as the book began to explain the different subsects of the term, and how the ghoul version had teeth that were sharp and strong, and how they ate fresh corpses. She made a quick note in her notebook she had brought with her.
Aswang ghouls- further information needed.
Then she looked up and she hesitated for a moment. She was pretty sure she knew what Connor was avoiding saying. But she was really hoping she was wrong. “Connor… Does Todd think I’m going to kill him?”
She swallowed hard against the feelings that bubbled up inside her at the statement. The fact that her soulmate thought she was going to kill him was hard to understand. Did this mean he didn’t feel that they were soulmates? Did this mean that he was her soulmate… but she wasn’t his? Could it even work that way? She and Alice had both known from almost the moment they had met eyes that they were meant to be together, no matter what.
It had taken just a single day for Sam to be comfortable enough with Todd, and for him to be comfortable enough with her, for their click to happen. But now that she reflected on it, she hadn’t seen it reflected in his eyes. It hadn’t been until the night on the roof that she had seen in his eyes that mine. But then, Sam had started to think that this was something more powerful than even the word “soulmate” covered. There wasn’t any word, not even mate, that covered the intensity and desperation of mine.
But with that in mind, knowing he hadn’t seemed to feel it by the end of that first day, the way she had, that was what had first made her begin to question things. Connor saying Todd loved her helped to assuage her fears, but the idea that he thought she could and would kill him, that it was only a matter of time before it happened, that worried her.
Connor looked at Sam for a long while, and oh how old songs never really stopped echoing. He realized how familiar all this was, and that terrified him, but more so than that he felt guilt; for his part in all this. Sam deserved the truth, and the cat was already out of the bag, the straining of his heart could no longer suffer any more lies or half-truths.
"You two should speak about this... he's afraid of himself, that he'll hurt you or try to, and... not that you will want to hurt him, or cast him out for what he is, no he's afraid that you'll be forced to kill him to save yourself..." Connor hesitated, the memories were stalking the edges of his mind, Miriam's golden eyes replaced Sam's. He dashed these thoughts away. This wasn't about him. "But he's more afraid that... you might not be able to kill him, because you do love him.... and that he'll kill... or that you'll love the monst-"
Connor stumbled over his words, he couldn't find his voice. He was afraid, for them both, that Todd was right, that the only way this would end was in blood. Just like how it did for him, just like it always ended for monsters like them. The twinkle of tears shined in his eyes before Connor blinked them away and looked away from Sam, saying quietly but loud enough to hear.