On the way home from hospital, where Freddie lay half-dead, in a cab, while clutching Lix’s hand for the second time that day-- that was when Randall knew. The inflection point of his life was here, and if he could command some fraction of the resources he had at a calm moment, he might yet twist it where he wished it to point.
“Lix,” he said. Her fingers tightened in his. Palm to palm, fingers intertwined, close against each other on the broad back seat of the cab. The lights of London going past, poor battered London. Bombed nearly to destruction, shabby now, but somehow still breathing. As he was. He had survived learning what had been truth undiscovered for fifteen years. Survived it with Lix’s hand on him.
Death might yet take this boy, this brilliant brave boy.
“Lix,” again, and this time she turned to him.
“The ring,” he said, and further words could not come to him.
“Yes, Randall?” she said, gently.
“The one around your neck.”
Lix, so clever, understanding what he meant to ask. “Yes, it’s the one you bought. Back then.”
“Would you let me put it on your finger?”
She pulled back from him and studied him. He did his best to hold her gaze, though he wished to duck away, to find something to realign. Her brows together, puzzled, though he suspected she knew exactly what he meant.
“We made a start,” he said. “Let’s make a finish.”
Silence, but she didn’t let go of his hand. Lights going past, the studio building looming before them. The cab came to a halt.
“All right,” she said.