And it was then, in that precise second, with the rain crashing down over her, the door in front of her, and her heart pounding harder than it ever had before, that she realised that she didn’t care: what he’d done, what he might do – it didn’t affect her, it didn’t bother her. She loved him. She could live with anything he’d said, anything people said about him – with her past, she was hardly an angel herself – and she could live happily. All she knew, even more so with every beat of her heart, every pulse of blood travelling at break-neck speed through her veins, was that she could not live without him. This was it – what people told of, what films portrayed, what the masses could only dream of: true, unrequited, unconditional…love. Yes, she’d said she loved him before, and at the time she thought she’d meant it, but it was now that she realised she couldn’t have meant it: how can you mean something if you don’t even fully understand it? And she hadn’t then – but she did now.
Her young age, lack of experience, these were not the reasons for the intensity of this feeling, and she knew it. This was not just lust. It had been lust, yes – that first day, when she had sat next to him, and her thoughts had been dominated by his looks: that was lust. When she’d first kissed him, it was lust-fuelled, but already it was turning into something more. And now…there was lust there, of course there was, physical attraction certainly figured in love. But this crashing, crushing wave of emotion, where she knew that that there was no way she could cope if she wasn’t with him, didn’t have his voice to look forward to, or his arms to comfort her – didn’t have his calming, soothing words when things went wrong, or his dark humour that brightened up her days – why, then it would all be pointless. Getting away with everything she’d gotten away with, putting up with the Kingsleys, spending all this time with Devon, all pointless if, after falling in love with him, she ended up breaking up with him…
“DEVON!” It was not the only sound that rattled through Wiltshire: her fist, raining down upon the door, accompanied it. “DEVON!” she screamed once more, her brain screaming it too, not able to think about what would happen if he didn’t answer…he had to, she needed him to. She hadn’t realised it before, but somewhere along the line she’d become totally dependent on him: his life and hers, she wasn’t sure they could be separate, that she could distinguish them any more. She needed him like she needed air to breath – and she wasn’t giving up without a fight. Whatever faced them in the future, she was fighting for it. And then the door wrenched open.
And here's the updated word count!