Pleasure suffused her and she snuggled deeper into his arms, her heart clenching when he tightened his hold on her. After a while his breathing slowed and his hold relaxed. Convinced he slept, she whispered, "You should have been my first." A small ache pinched her heart. His chest vibrated beneath her hand, sending a thrilling shiver up her spine as his deep voice rumbled through the air, "I'll be your last.
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When I shoot, the ball bounces hard against the backboard, and flies wildly through the air, knocking the coach in the head. I slap a hand over my mouth. The coach barely catches herself from falling. Several students laugh. She glares at me and readjusts her cap. With a small wave of apology, I head back to the end of the line. Will's there fighting laughter. "Nice, " he says. "Glad I'm downcourt of you." I cross my arms and resist smiling, resist letting myself feel good around him. But he makes it hard. I want to smile. I want to like him, to be around him, to know him. "Happy to amuse you.
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Then again, there's nothing simple about Will. I think back to what he can do-bend earth, resist shading, his immense strength-and it's glaringly inaccurate to consider him a human. But then I can't think of him as a draki either. And this strikes me as sad. Will doesn't belong anywhere. Not among humans. Not among draki. But he belongs with me. The conviction is still there, as senseless and dangerous as always, seeping into my bones, my heart. A fact I wouldn't change even if I could.
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So what's the deal with you and my sister?" He laughs shortly and rubs the back of his neck like something is there, tickling, tapping. "Tamra." Clutching the dashboard, I turn and glare at her. "There is no deal." She snorts. "Well, we wouldn't be sitting here if that was the case now, would we?" I open my mouth to demand she end the interrogation when Will's voice stops me. "I like your sister. A lot." I look at him dumbly. He looks at me, lowers his voice to say, "I like you." I know that, I guess, but heat still crawls over my face. I swing forward in my seat, cross my arms over my chest and stare straight ahead. Can't stop shivering. Can't speak. My throat hurts too much. "Jacinda, " he says. "I think you've shocked her, " Tamra offers, then sighs.
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But you're worried I'll get in trouble?" I try not to show how much this pleases me. I've managed to ignore him for days now and here I sit. Lapping up his attention like a neglected puppy. My voice takes on an edge. "Why do you care? I've ignored you for days." His smile fades. He looks serious, mockingly so. "Yeah. You got to stop that.
My imprint is there for the world to see. I don't try to hide it with my hair or a high collar. When I got ready for school this morning, I kept thinking of Sean. How proud he appears. Unapologetic. And I want to be like that. I don't want to look cowed or ashamed. I may not want to be this, but I don't want to be that girl, either. I don't want to be afraid.