In that moment, with our bodies joined, our faces open, and our hearts exposed, I finally saw the clue that I’d been missing. What I saw was that Kage did want to hurt me. Desperately. He needed to take all of the pain in his heart and unload it on me.
Because he was damaged. I didn’t know exactly what that damage was or just how deep it ran, but it was a big part of who he was. And I had to be willing to accept his pain, and strong enough to take it.
Only then would I ever be able to love him.