Cut for lengthiness and some form of spoiler for Crown of Fire.
Hova shook her head, pulling away from Kailas’s mouth, and reached out in turn to clasp her shirt. She pulled her down and kissed her, holding to her shirt so tightly that her hands trembled. Her voice was weak, was scared when she broke the kiss and said, “Then stay with me tonight.”
Gently, Kailas took her hands from her shirt. She pressed her lips to Hova’s knuckles and murmured, “You know why that’s a bad idea.”
“I don’t. If you’re going to leave and never come back, why is spending one night together a bad thing?”
“Because you’ll regret it. You’ll regret it more than if we don’t.”
Hova slipped her hands from Kailas’s grasp, a frown coming to her face. “How would I regret it more? You’re telling me that you’re going to go off and run away from your problems—how could I possibly regret sleeping with you when you’re going to get yourself killed?”
“Because,” said Kailas quietly, “you’d be sleeping with someone who doesn’t love you with all her heart. I can’t do that to you.”
It felt as though she had been kicked in the stomach; it was painfully hard to breathe. “You don’t love me?”
“No,” she said simply. When Hova began to take a step back, she caught her face in her hands once again. “Hova, we’ve known each other for three months. You may have fallen in love, but you’re still so young and I—”
“So this couldn’t have worked even if you stayed?” Hova cut in.
Kailas sighed. “I care about you, I do, but even if I could take a lover, three months isn’t enough time for me.”
“Do you think you could fall in love with me?”
She managed a tiny smile. “I’m certain I could.”
I think Kailas picked up on my subconscious desire to make the relationship take time in developing. Also the desire to make there be actual conflict in the relationship. I love her.