Rachel," came a raspy voice from the upper level, and both Trent and I turned. It was Quen, wrapped in a blanket as if it was a death shroud, the black-haired intern at his side, supporting him. His hair was plastered to his skull with sweat, and I could see him wavering as he stood there. "Don't touch Trenton," he said, his gravelly voice clear in the hush, "or I'm going to have to come down there... and smack you around.
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Edden called the church first," she said by way of greeting, her thin eyebrows high as she spotted Ford's arm linked in mine. "Hi, Ford." The man reddened at the lilt she'd put in her last words, but I wouldn't let him take his arm back. I liked being needed. "He's having trouble with the background emotion," I said. "And he'd rather be abused by yours?" Nice. (Ivy, Rachel and Ford)
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Jenks enthusiastically leaned against the counter and opened the box. Bypassing the plastic knife, he broke off about a third of it and took a huge bite. Ivy watched, appalled, and I shrugged. His mouth moving as he hummed, Jenks finished unpacking the sacks. I was half dead, Ivy was whoring herself to keep me safe, but Jenks was okay as long as he had chocolate.
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I gestured my frustration. "I don't know. She's much better already. She wasn't talking half an hour ago. Look at her now." We all turned, finding Ceri sobbing quietly and drinking her tea in small reverent sips as the pixy girls hovered over her. Three were plating her long, fair hair and another was singing to her. Okay," I said as we turned back. "Bad example.
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I tried to breathe, failing. I clutched her to me, tears slipping from under my closed eyes. It was as if her soul was liquid fire and I could feel her aura, swirling about mine. She was taking my aura. But I wanted to give it to her, to cat her in a small part of me and protect her. Her needs made her so fragile.
My God", he whispered. What have I done to her? He thought, humbled. The spell was broken, but it wasn't sealed, and her soul was bare to him, the scars of her tragic past and her triumphs over pain and her aching need to find her place. He just wanted to hold her to him and tell her it would be okay, that she had survived and was beautiful.
Kisten, please don't leave me," I begged, and his eyes opened. "I'm cold," he said, fear rising in his blue eyes. I held him tighter. "I'm holding you. It's going to be okay." "Tell Ivy," he said with a gasp, clenching in on himself. "Tell Ivy that it wasn't her fault. And tell her that at the end... you remember love. I don't think... we lose our souls... at all. I think God keeps them for us until we... come home. I love you, Rachel." "I love you, too, Kisten," I sobbed, and as I watched, his eyes, memorizing my face, silvered, and he died.
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And what's important to you?" I asked. Marshal thought while we maneuvered around Darth Vader, who was struggling to keep from hitting the wall with his helmet blocking his vision. "Success at work. Having fun doing it. Caring for someone and supporting their interests because you like to see them happy. Having them care about and support yours simply because they want to see you happy.
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You've never been the safe, nice girl next door, despite everything you do to be that person. That's why you joined the I.S., and even there you didn't fit in, because, knowing it or not, you were a possible threat to everyone around you. People sense it on some level. I see it all the time. The dangerous are attracted by the lure of an equal, and the weak are afraid. Then they avoid you, or go out of their way to make your life miserable so you'll leave and they can continue deluding themselves that they're safe. (...) You got off on the risk.
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I'm not talking about the blood ecstasy. I'm talking about my being able to fill that emotion void she has. You know her as well as I do, maybe better. She aches with it. She needs to be accepted for who she is so badly. And I was able to do that. Do you know good that felt? To be able to show someone that, yes, you are someone worth sacrificing for? That you like them for their faults and that you respect them for their ability to rise above them?
But a slow, deeply satisfied smile came over him, and his breath quickened. 'So softly it starts, ' he whispered. 'Foolishly clever and with an unsurvivable trust. It just saved your miserable life, that questionable show of thought, my itchy-witch.' Al's smile shifted, becoming lighter. 'And now you will live to possibly regret it.
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Now you're going to get it, ' I said, guessing Al was coming when the ones in the back scattered. 'You should have been nice.' With a weird cry, the closest surface demon fell back, but it was too late. A flash of red light exploded overhead, smashing the buildings away as if I were at the center of an atomic explosion. The surface demons scattered like brown leaves, the remnants of their clothes and auras fluttering. It was Al, and he burst into existence in a grand mood, an old-fashioned lantern in his hand and a walking cane at his side. 'Rachel Mariana Morgan!' he shouted enthusiastically, raising the lantern high, and I painfully rose from my crouch, breaking my bubble with a small thought. 'I've come to save you, love!
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From the back came an unearthly, satisfied chuckle. All I could see in the rearview mirror was a dark shadow with red goat-slitted eyes. Fear slithered through me. Shit, I have a demon in my backseat. What in hell am I playing with? 'Good witch, ' Al said, his voice coming from nothing, and I stifled a shudder. 'You're starting to understand.
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