She almost went to touch his face, but she caught herself and refrained from doing so. Instead she let her hands rest down by her sides, and she canted her head to the side slightly. "Does it hurt a lot? He hit you pretty hard." And she knew what it was like to take a hit. Okay, so usually she just got backhanded instead of a full fist, but she'd taken a variety of blows that were pretty severe on occasion - usually after she got a little older and tried to fight back, even if it that only resulted in her smarting off and making things worse.
She knew they had a lot to talk about, but she didn't jump right into an explanation - not yet anyway. Right now she was worried about him. She wanted to make sure he was alright physically first. Then she wanted to give him the chance to say whatever was on his mind or ask anything he wanted to know. He was the one that had been kept in the dark, so right now it was her turn to just listen -- and take whatever came her way. Although she wasn't so good at doing just that, especially when he didn't immediately respond. She hated the quiet: the quiet always came before the storm.
So a minute or so into the heavy silence that had settled over them, she'd speak again. "This is all my fault. I shouldn't have dragged you into this. I knew before we spent the night together, but I didn't know if I was even going to tell him - if he'd want to know. I didn't know what I was going to do, and it put me in a vulnerable position. It required me to open up to someone, which isn't easy for me. It never has been. But being with you . . . it felt right." She paused briefly as she tried to read his expression before continuing. "You were someone that I could trust. Someone that liked me for just being me. I didn't have to impress you. I didn't have to prove my worth. But the only reason you liked what you saw is because you didn't see the flaws. You didn't see all of me - just the parts I let you see."
The irony in that statement was he had seen all of her in the physical sense, but he didn't really know her - not really. He didn't know where she came from or who she'd been. He didn't know her secrets, and he didn't know how brutal her past had been. She didn't want him to know. It wasn't something she was proud of, even if she hadn't really done anything wrong. In a twisted way, she figured she had to have done something to deserve what she'd been through. And yet she always wanted to believe that she could change that . . . she could change her roots and make a difference in the world. But the only difference she seemed to make was negative, and she still didn't understand why.
All she knew was that she should have left Derek alone for his own good, but she had been selfish - and now he was hurting. He was hurting because of her . . . and because of Mark who'd hit him, which was also because of her. "I really am sorry, Derek. I'm sorry that I lied to you - that I didn't tell you about Mark sooner." Before they had gone as far as they did. And with that said, she fell silent. Now it was his turn.