"It's nothing." She watched him attempt a smile. "Wouldn't I tell you if anything was wrong?"

No, she thought, but didn't say. He didn't make a statement, hide his meaning in a question. She wanted to pin him to the wall, still wet with paint. She wanted to demand the truth and get it. She didn't because, she would have just gotten the lies again.

"That's not it, though." She told him. He looked confused, but it was a deliberate expression. "You know what I'm talking about."

"I don't." He turned away. He covered it by acting busy, got the paint roller and continued the work that seemed so pointless.

That wasn't a lie either. He didn't say what he was talking about. He just didn't.

"What was that call about?" She pressed.

"It was from work." It was a girl at work. She knew the truth, but she wanted him to tell her.


"They want me to work Monday next week." That wasn't a lie, but he'd known that long before the call.

She didn't correct him. He was a big boy, she couldn't make him tell her anything.

They lapsed into silence. Trying to pull an answer from him now would never work, so she continued to let the paint fumes get to her head as she toiled. The color-- a pale, off-white color-- mixed and whirled in her eyes. She wouldn't faint, hadn't in years, so she didn't mention it. Her lips pressed firmly shut as her muscles tensed to keep her from swaying.

He would have noticed, but he was deliberately not looking her way. He was hoping the lack of eye contact would keep her silent.

He was wrong.

"It's a nice shade of paint." A cover and they both know it.

She watched his back tense, but his words were calm enough, "I'm sure the buyers will like it."

"I liked the red better." It had been theirs once, but never would again. The bland shade on the walls echoed every thought she'd had in weeks. It matched the bland tone of his voice perfectly.

"We could paint the study in the new house red." He didn't sound excited and he carefully didn't make any promises.

That was fine, because she preferred the evasion to the lies.

He turned to her then and she searched his face for any hint of that boy she'd kissed under the cherry tree. She tried to find a hint of the red that had stained his cheeks almost permanently back then. A shade that was so deep it'd almost matched the walls-- well, the walls of this room as they'd been before. She felt like she was loosing that shade, covering it with a more neutral tone.

"We could." She agreed.

She wouldn't; it would only remind her of what she couldn't have.

He didn't look different, but he felt different. This man wasn't the one she had known. She wanted to see the diference. She wanted to see him lie to her. He wouldn't, though. He'd just twist the truth.

"I love you." She said.

"I love you, too."

It was the first lie he'd told her. It wouldn't be the last.


AN: Vague, I know.

For anyone reading Coward, new chapter will be out soon. I've actually finished writing it, just waiting for my beta to get it back to me.