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Leafless trees and mountains were all Sable could see out the window of the Grand Cherokee. She consciously stilled herself from fidgeting in his car. Such a pretty, fancy car. Wouldn't want her dirtying it up.
She snuck a glance at him to find he was already looking at her. They stared at each other as the car sat waiting for the light to change. She felt her heart swell and body begin to heat under his gaze. She could still feel the soreness between her thighs. He broke the stare first. Of course.
Sable blinked before turning her attention back to the trees. It was beautiful this time of year in Sunbury. Most people enjoyed the vibrancy and bold colors of fall. Not Sable. She preferred the naked trees kissed by Jack Frost with icicles and leftover snow. It was a better reflection of her reality, she thought to herself.
"You know I care about you, right?" he finally spoke.
Sable scoffed, trying to keep from laughing. She knew it wasn't a joke, but it must have been. This whole thing was one big game to him. He would come over and make her feel special. Like she was his favorite. It made her stomach clench, remembering their time together. She was just that, his favorite toy. His plaything, nothing else.
"Sable," he uttered. Composing herself, Sable sniffed and relaxed again, fixing the mask she always wore. If she didn't, her true self might show.
"What, Mark? What! I said I was fine. It's fine. It's all fine," Sable spoke quickly.
Mark shook his head releasing a breath into the warm car.
"I know you said it was fine, but you don't seem fine. I want you to be fine," Mark spoke, concern peeking through his words.
"You always want me to be what you want. What if I am not fine? What if I don't want to be fine. I am not yours to play with, Mark. You can't play house, dress up, and have secret tea parties with me anymore. You don't have a say anymore. You cannot force me to feel how you want me to feel. I won't give you what you want Mark. We are past that. You don't deserve that," Sable spat, curling her fingers before releasing them, calming herself.
She doesn't owe this man anything. If she wanted to be upset, she would be. He wasn't going to take that away from her, too. But she wasn't going to give him that, either. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction of knowing he broke her.
As the car rolled past the trees approaching the town and train station, Sable noticed the clouds. They looked fat and full of snow. She prayed they hadn't canceled the train. She simply couldn't be in this small town anymore. Not the one he owned half of. Everywhere she turned, she saw him.
His coffee shop, his Inn, his quaint small town steak restaurant, his vineyard.
She glanced down at her lap... His plaything.
It was overwhelming. It threatened to drown her in its poison if she stayed in this small town. She was originally from Scranton but fell in love with Sunbury. She thought she had, at least. It has occurred to her that it wasn't the town she was in love with.
Sable felt the car come to a stop in front of the train station. When she saw the small crowd still gathered on the platform, she exhaled in relief. She could get out of here. As she went to unbuckle her seat belt, she felt his hand on hers.
"You sure you wanna leave tonight? Looks like the blizzard is going to hit early. I could get a room at the Inn in the blink of an eye," Mark spoke, flashing that smile that makes her stomach churn and steals her breath away.
Sable looked him in the eye, letting the sound of the engine and warm air from the heater fill the time. To say she didn't think about it would be a lie. Just one more time, she thought. But then she adjusted, feeling the familiar soreness from earlier.
"Say hi to Liz and the kids for me." Sable flashed a smile, as his faded.
She grabbed her bag, opened the door, and walked toward the station without looking back. She shivered at the wind chill that picked up right when she stepped out of the warmth. Once inside, she saw her train was not canceled, but rather the time had been moved forward to avoid the oncoming storm.
Holding tightly to her carry on, she glanced over her shoulder but stopped herself before stepping onto the platform.
Dark blue clouds stretched from the mountains to the heavens. The blizzard was coming fast and the conductor was urgently pleading for everyone to get on board so they could depart before the storm arrived. As she placed her foot on the first step, anxiety prickled the back of her neck. She couldn't shake the feeling that she'd forgotten something. As Sable took her seat and looked out the window, she saw he was no longer in the parking lot. Letting out a sigh, Sable sunk into her seat. She hadn't forgotten anything. She was just experiencing, for the first time, the beginning of her self-recovery. She would focus on herself now. She would be her best company. She would eat, gain five pounds, drink wine, and read to her heart's content. She could now begin to experience her own self-love.