Renata sits at her lonely table and watches the sea like she does every winter. In her deepest heart, she knows that this will be the year he comes back to her. And it won't be like before, because she has changed. She is taller inside now, stronger, and able to handle his eccentricities: the nights of disappearances, the cold lavender scent of his skin after he fed, and the worms.
Oh, yes, the worms. They had been the worst. The creepy, crawly sensation of them crawling over her skin as she lay next to him, tasting her with a thousand tongues and trying to burrow into her flesh, to get to the warm inside of her where they could lay eggs and feed off of the desire that burned like a flame.
It was the thing that had broken in her, the thing that had made him leave, the thing that made her ugly in his eyes. She hated the worms, hated how they felt as they crawled inside her like a lover, even though that was the only way he could touch her.
He said nothing when he left, but it was clear enough: she hated the worms, she hated him. She could see it in his ice-blue eyes, and it tore her heart.