I squeezed my eyes shut and took several deep breaths, trying not to smell Jace in front of me, not to taste him on my lips. But it was useless. In that moment, Jace was everywhere. He was in my mind, he was in my heart, and he was in my memory. He smelled good. He tasted good. And the blissful aftershock still throbbing in my most sensitive places felt wonderful, when everything else in my life was an obstacle to be overcome.
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His name's Nash." Aunt Val took a butter knife from the silverware drawer. "What year is he?" I groaned inwardly. "Senior." ...here we go ... Her smile was a little too enthusiastic. "Well that's wonderful!" Of course, what she really meant was "Rise from the shadows, social leper, and walk in the bright light of acceptance!
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Alec licked his spoon, then set it on the table and popped his drink open. "Okay, I may be breaking some kind of girl bonding rule or something, but can I offer you a guy's perspective on this?" I frowned, my spoon halfway to my mouth. "Is this gonna make me want to hit you?" He shrugged. "Maybe. But it's the truth. Here goes: kissing back is an instinct. Unless the girl smells like a sewer or has tentacles feeling you up independently, a guy's first instinct is to kiss back. That's how it works. What's important is how long that kissing back lasted. So...how long?
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He sank into that kiss, and fed from me like a starving man holding off famine. I drank from his soul in preparation for the drought to come. And when he finally pulled away, my throat was thick with unspoken words, my heart heavy with every apology I'd ever denied him. But it was too late for promises. The time had come for goodbye.
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There's a good kind of crazy, Kaylee," he insisted softly, reaching out to wrap his warm hand around mine. "It's the kind that makes you think about things that make your head hurt, because not thinking about them is the coward's way out. The kind that makes you touch people who bruise your soul, just because they need to be touched. This is the kind of crazy that lets you stare out into the darkness and rage at eternity, while it stares back at you, ready to swallow you whole.
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And you still love Marc?" "More than I can even explain. He's my rock""strong and steady, and ready for anything. He knows what I need before I know it, and he pushes me to work harder, and look deeper, and be better. He challenges me, and infuriates me, and he lights me on fire, deep in my soul. And he has never, ever let me down. Sometimes it feels like he's the only thing keeping my heart beating. I love him so much that it feels like I'm dying a little bit every day that he won't smile at me. Or touch me.
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I nodded, chewing my own syrup-soaked bite. "But surely that's not all there is to it. I mean, really? A big picnic? That's Avari's master plan? That makes him sound about as dangerous as Yogi Bear." Tod shrugged. "Yeah. If Yogi were a soul-sucking, body-stealing, boyfriend-snatching, damned-soul-torturing evil demon from another world. Besides, what else could he be planning?
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I don't want to love him""this would be so much simpler if I didn't. But I do. He's funny, and passionate, and strong, and he believes in me more than I even believe in myself. When he looks at me, I feel like I could take on the whole world and come out standing tall. I like myself better when I'm with him, because of how he sees me. He makes me feel beautiful and powerful, like I'm the most important thing in the world, and I don't know how to walk away from that. I don't know how to walk away from him.
Did he show himself?' Nash asked, and I glanced to my right to see him staring at my father, as fascinated as I was. My dad nodded. 'He was an arrogant little demon.' 'So what happened?' I asked. 'I punched him.' For a moment, we stared at him in silence. 'You punched the reaper?' I asked, and my hand fell from the strainer onto the edge of the sink. 'Yeah.' He chuckled at the memory, and his grin brought out one of my own. I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen my father smile. 'Broke his nose.
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I want to kiss you.' Jace's whisper pulled me from my thoughts and I glanced up to find his eyes blazing with raw need. 'Just because Marc won't touch you doesn't mean I shouldn't. Right? I don't have that kind of self-control, and honestly, I don't see the point in it. Are you supposed to be impressed by how long we can go without touching you? 'Cause if that's the game we're playing, I think I'd rather lose.
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When I was a child, all problems had ended with a single word from my father. A smile from him was sunshine, his scowl a bolt of thunder. He was smart, and generous, and honorable without fail. He could exile a trespasser, check my math homework, and fix the leaky bathroom sink, all before dinner. For the longest time, I thought he was invincible. Above the petty problems that plagued normal people. And now he was gone.
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Or has your dad changed his mind about that?" Alex sneered. "My father never changes his mind." "Oh, that's right. Your dad's the sort who'll bang his head into a brick wall over and over, convinced the wall will eventually collapse. But it isn't the bricks that are going to cave in, Alex. Fortunately you seem to have avoided that particular character flaw - you're messed up in an entirely different way.
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We're days away from going full scale against Malone, and in the meantime, we're under fire from above. And I'm about as useful as a three-legged dog.' 'You're much more useful than any kind of dog, mi vida.' Marc purred and pressed me into the counter, his hands on my hips. I couldn't resist a smile. I was a real sucker for Spanish.