When she came back Richie was still asleep, though he had stretched out a bit more on the couch now that he was alone on it. Kara was once again drawn to the piano. She ran her hand over the glossy finish before turning to look out the window.
She sighed as she thought about what had transpired earlier and what she knew in her heart she could never have. I'm not as good as Richie thinks. I know I'm not. It was all Greg ever told her. That's why there were only four songs on the CD. That's why he left and never came back. She just wasn't good enough. No matter how hard she tried, she just didn't have what it took.
She sighed and moved back across the room to the couch. Richie was lying on his stomach, one arm draped over the side, resting on the floor. Kara sat down, her back against the couch. She picked up Richie's arm and laid it across the front of her, kissing his shoulder before resting her head on the cushion, a tear escaping and sliding across and into her hair.
Richie woke at the movement, "princess? Why are you on the floor, are you all right?" He kissed the top of her head.
"I'm fine. I got up to find the bathroom and when I came back you had taken over the couch."
He slowly and deliberately slid his hand across the front of her as he moved to sit up "sorry about that. How about we move upstairs?" She wiped her face, the motion not going unnoticed by Richie, before she stood.
"Princess, what's wrong?" He stood, pulling her close, stroking her arms lightly.
Kara sighed, "I'm just trying to figure some stuff out Richie, I'm fine, really." I need to talk to Jen she thought. He took her hand, "you can talk to me you know."
As they headed out of the room, Kara turned and looked at the piano one last time, "I know Richie, but I just need a little time to sort it all out."
Kara was quiet for most of the ride back to Jack and Lucy's the next day. Richie kept stealing glances at her as he drove. She had been restless during the night but she wouldn't talk to him. He wanted to know what was bothering her, wanted to help her but he couldn't get her to open up, didn't know how to.
"Did I do something to piss you off?"
Kara turned to look at him, "not at all. Why would you think that?"
He stopped at the red light and looked at her, "other than 'good morning' you haven't said a thing to me today. I was just curious." He looked away as the light changed, "I meant what I said last night, you can talk to me Princess, really."
She rubbed her hand over her forehead, trying to soothe the tension there. "I know Richie and I will, but I can't just yet."
When he pulled up to Jack's he turned to her again, seeing her rubbing her forehead, "take some aspirin and go lay down. You didn't sleep much last night did you?" She shook her head, "no. I'm sorry if I kept you up."
He reached across and took her hand, kissing the back of it, "don't be sorry. I just wish you would tell me what's bothering you."
She looked up at him, wanting to change the subject, "will I see you tonight?"
He sighed; clearly he wasn't going to get any answers now. "I don't know yet. I'll call you, okay?"
Kara leaned across the console and kissed his cheek, "okay. I hope Ava is feeling better." She pulled back and reached for the door, purse and gift bag in hand "thanks again for my gift." She got out of the car and watched him drive away before pulling out her phone and dialing as she headed into the house.
"Jen" she said as the phone was answered on the other end, "I need to talk to you."