I knew they would kill me when they found out, but…” He struggled for words, releasing a sharp breath. “I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.
But you're the only one, Scarlet. You'll always be the only one.
We met less than a week ago and in that time I've done nothing but lie and cheat and betray you. I know. But if you give me a chance...all I want is to protect you. To be near you. For as long as I'm able.
But her grandmother had never suggested she could think the same of Scarlet. You'll be fine, she always said, after a skinned knee, after a broken arm, after her first youthfull heartbreak. You'll be fine, because you're strong, like me.
Apes are apes, though clothed in scarlet.
A tiny radish of passionate scarlet, tipped modestly in white.