His eyes shift left, right, left again before settling on his feet. There’s a terse silence in the air, and he knows the secret is out. It’s quiet in the hotel room before his companion opens his mouth.
The word stings more than any bruise and scrape he’s gotten in his entire lifetime.
His bags are heavy on his back, the weight a constant reminder that he needed to run. Flee and never return to that hellhole. Breathless he stops to catch it, and a hand falls on his shoulder, another weight—this time comforting, easy-going and safe. He grips the other’s hand and smiles, soft and easy.