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Chapter 39

  • I heard his footsteps recede, and I counted to sixty. I lost count, thinking about how he’d called me “darling.” Eventually I assumed more than a minute had passed, so I went back to my room, clutching the edges of my shirt together. I sat on my bed, the shredded remains of my second-favorite sleep T-shirt on my lap. How easily he’d ripped it. I gripped the edges of the back of the shirt and pulled. I barely got the cloth to stretch. I had to exert all my strength to get the hem to tear; he’d done it as easily as ripping a sheet of paper. Yet for all his obvious strength, his touch had never been anything less than exquisitely gentle.
  • He’d given me a name. He’d stopped when he obviously hadn’t wanted to. Part of me wanted to say that it was enough — I could trust him, I could let whatever was going to happen, happen. But another part of me held back. He’d outright told me he was keeping a secret that would change everything. For me, for him, and for us.
  • How strange was it that there was already an “us.”
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