Teaser: WIP - Worthless & Wasted #DinoDeLuca
Hey, all!


*waves*


I promised over on FB to share a teaser of Dino today, and so, here he is.


More to come soon.


Hugs.


Kris.



***


“I’m here,” he told her again.

Karen frowned. “You already said that.”

“With you.”

“I’m aware, Dino.”

“Then maybe you should start figuring out what that really means, huh?”

Karen looked less than impressed by his statement. “Maybe if you talked a little more about things, I could—”

“I’m not a talker. I don’t talk.”

“No, you stew. You live in silence—in your head. You don’t let me in there, either. I don’t know what you want me to think, Dino.”

He propped his chin in his hand, contemplating her anger and how she verbalized it.

“I want you to think that I’m here, Karen.”

“You keep saying that!”

“Because it matters. It’s important,” he murmured.

Karen rolled her eyes.

“And,” Dino added quieter, “this is the only place where I am here.”

She softened … a bit.

It wasn’t quite enough for Dino, though.

“There’s no one else,” he said. “Hasn’t been for a long time.”

“How long?” Karen asked after a long stretch of silence.

“For something like this? A decade.”

“What about something not like this?”

Dino had to think about that one. “A while—long before you.”

Karen’s anger slowly began to dissipate, and eventually her tight, crossed arms relaxed to lay out at her sides. She still wasn’t looking at him, but it was something.

He would take it.

“I worry about you,” Karen said, her brow knitting together while her fingers traced the veins in his arm. “I sometimes think you could be happy if—”

“I’m happy.”

He’d interrupted her statement only because he knew his words were the truth. With Karen, he was happy. Or as happy as he was going to get. It was not something he took for granted, regardless of what Karen might think, because he knew how fleeting and easily taken happiness really was. There were monsters in his life that made it a game to make sure he was perpetually unhappy.

“Happier,” she corrected, “if you’d let me in a little more.”

“You don’t get it,” Dino said in a harsh exhale.

Karen looked up at him, sadness coloring her brown eyes. “I do.”

“You don’t, because if you did, you would know you’re already in. You’ve been let in for a while. It’s why I keep telling you I’m here. If you understood that, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now at all.”

“Oh.”

“Is that all you’re going to say?”

“I’m not sure what else I should say,” Karen admitted. “Maybe I keep thinking this should be normal, or something. That if I ever want to get somewhere with you, I need to expect other things.”

“Things like making me talk or making me happier?”

Karen tipped her head to the side. “It sounds stupid when you say it.”

“I bet.”

“You know, it’s not lost on me that being here is what makes you happy, Dino.”

“Good,” he said, finding that smile he rarely wore but always gave to her if he could. “That’s the only thing that matters.”
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