Should he lie? Gavril felt like he should lie. Then again, his whole relationship with Iokaste felt built on lies at this point.

Then again, if it was already built on lies...

The postal worker stared at his girlfriend. He ran his hand through his hair and thought on her question. He opened his mouth, closed it again, wrinkled his forehead, and tried to shake the mental image of the ring that his son had probably found, alongside the realization that Iokaste would probably never wear it. Had Malanda's comments gotten to him, or was it just his own misgivings that had finally eaten away?

"I guess, I thought... it...would... make things better...?"

There it was, the glass cracking. How long until it all shattered?
"Marriage won't make bad things good again," Iokaste replied with quickly, though she felt a sickening pang deep in her heart. Was this bad? Did she even love him anymore? Or did she love Dominik more than herself, to allow this relationship to keep going?

Iokaste mimicked Gavril's motions from just moments before. She opened her mouth, but then closed it again, unsure of how to continue from what she'd said. Eventually, she found her voice again. "Why did it get so bad, Gavril?"
Because my life is a mess and I have other priorities that sometimes involve murder or forging government documents and I somehow prioritized my son and my career and a woman I can never be with over my girlfriend but also I guess I was never really that invested in the first place since this whole thing happened kind of happenstance, really, and...

"Because of me," Gavril announced firmly, somewhat surprised by his own confidence.

"You deserve better, Iokaste. You need someone better. And I'm sorry I haven't been that person for you."
Was it just that? Or was there more? Iokaste wasn't sure but there was nothing else she could think of. Their introduction had been random but she did love him at one point. Iokaste didn't want it to end like this. They should work on their relationship and make it better. Fix it. She had not done that with her ex-husband.

But Iokaste didn't want to. She was tired and Gavril was right; she did deserve better. "Give me a few days so I can explain it to Dominik and spend some time with him. Then I'll go back to Greece." And that was the end of it.
"You could stay," Gavril blurted out, before thinking. It made sense though, right? They were living in a modern era, besides. Things were different now.

And now that he was faced with losing one of his closest friends, Gavril didn't know if he was ready.

"You don't... I won't make you. And we don't have to... but Dominick loves you. And I know you love him. And..."

Gavril sighed, running a hand through his hair again. This was a mess.

"You're family, Iokaste. Whatever happens between us... you always have a place here."
Was he asking her to keep living in this house? Living so isolated on an estate with sheep, her nearest confidant only accessible via horse? And even now her friend's family was growing and Iokaste wasn't sure if she was over the fact that she could not have her own children.

Was it right to let Dominik grow up in a household with a mother and father whom didn't love each other anymore? She wasn't sure, but the idea of leaving the boy behind was already causing her heart so much pain. Iokaste felt like she was going into cardiac arrest.

"I'll stay," she said. "Because I don't want to leave Dominik. I want to keep raising him with you."
Was this a good idea? It probably was not a good idea. What if he got a new girlfriend?

Well, no reason to be unrealistic about it.

"We could figure something out," Gavril offered. "You could have the upstairs, if you wanted."

He was an idiot. Right? Malanda was going to give him an earful later.