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“No, I’m sorry. I know I should be,” Brooke agreed. If she thought she could sleep. “How late is it,
anyway?”
He clumped carefully to grab a chair and sit beside her. “After one. Aren’t you tired?” He breathed
deeply, rubbing his injured arm with an absent motion once he was comfortable.
She shook her head. “No, right now I’m extremely upset with Aunt Jerry.” She tugged on a corner
of the blanket to wrap herself tighter, then raised the edge. “Two would be warmer,” she offered with a
beckoning enticement.
She didn’t have to ask twice as he folded up against her and cradled her into his good shoulder.
When he had tucked the blanket around them he asked her, “All right, so what did she do now? Seems
she’s behind everything today.”
“Almost, but I think she owes me a few answers,” Brooke commented. Her hand fell to Mitch’s
thigh while her cheek rested against his chest. Her skin warmed immediately where they touched. “I
always thought she was depressed. That’s what I was led to believe anyway. Now, now I’m not so sure.
I am convinced she did give me the amulet for a reason. I just don’t know why.”
“Maybe Roman’s right. Maybe she wanted you to fight her battle. You did fight the demons and
win,” he said, nuzzling the top of her with his chin. Her eyes closed as his voice washed over her.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” she answered back. “She’s older, but I don’t get it. I’m not a witch. She
is. I’m like the other three. Nothing more.” If anyone was a witch—without it being an insult—in their
family, that would be Aunt Jerry.
Unmoving and silent for a long time at her back, she listened to his heart beat. She didn’t think he
had fallen asleep holding her.
“I’m not so sure about that,” he finally told her, dropping his chin to her shoulder to brush light
kisses to her temple. “I saw you appear out of nothing, something I’ve only seen done with special
effects in movies, or read about. As in fiction, and that’s not going into detail over the two who didn’t
stay for the fireworks between you and your brother, or the wolf thing.” He shifted, bringing her snug
into his embrace. “So, how much older is she? Seventy? Eighty?”
She told him in an unwavering voice, “She’s a hundred and forty-eight.”
His entire frame flinched. “I’d ask if you were kidding, but somehow I don’t think you are,” he
answered with a murmured, tense tone.
“No, I’m not, but that isn’t what is bothering me about all of this.”
“I know I’m going to regret this, but, all right. What is bothering you?”
“When I thought she was depressed and changing things on me, I think she had a purpose even
then. As though she needed to prepare me, but couldn’t put into words why.” She shook her head
trying to make the thoughts line up and give her an answer to this problem. Unfortunately, it was late,
and her brain seemed to have given up on cooperating.
He rocked her within his strong arms. “That’s enough for tonight. You are tired. I’m tired.” He let
out a shuddered breath. “And I just hit my limit for really weird in one day.”
Rising, she kissed the side of his neck. His hold tightened. “I know. We’re a handful.” When she
tried to sit up, he kept her right where she was.
“Wait. Do that again,” he said, panting against her hair.
“What? This?” Brooke kissed him again and he purred richly, rumbling beneath her lips. “Or
this?” She nibbled on the muscles under his skin and he arched, offering himself to her seeking
exploration. She stopped talking, rather stealing the moment to enjoy him shamelessly on her tongue.
* * * *
Three days later, Brooke stood alone in the clearing, listening to the coming morning with her [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]