He was afraid that the secrets she'd kept would always be...

He was afraid that the secrets she'd kept would always be here, inside him, an ugly malignant thing lodged near enough to his heart to upset its rhythm, and though it could be removed, cut out, there would always be scars; bits and pieces of it would remain in his blood, making it wrong somehow, so that if he accidentally sliced his skin open, his blood would--for one heartbeat--flow as black as India ink before it remembered that it should be red.

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