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401 pages, Hardcover
First published February 12, 2013
“I'm done with the pouting," he said. "Done with being moody—well, I mean, I'm always a little moody. That's what Adrian Ivashkov's all about. But I'm done with the excessive stuff. That didn't get me anywhere with Rose. It won't get me anywhere with you."
"Nothing will get you anywhere with me," I exclaimed.
"I don't know about that." He put on an introspective look that was both unexpected and intruiging. "You're not as much of a lost cause as she was. I mean, with her, I had to overcome her deep, epic love with a Russian warlord. You and I just have to overcome hundreds of years' worth of deeply ingrained prejudice and taboo between our two races. Easy.”
“But each time you use spirit, you're more likely to go crazy.”
“Already crazy about you, Sage.”
“I know. It’s certainly not to me. And that’s why I’m not going to give you a hard time.” He paused dramatically. “I’ll just love you whether you want me to or not.”
“Whether I want you to or not? What on earth does that mean?”
Adrian grimaced. “Sorry. That came off creepier than I intended."
"He was too perfect, despite being one of the most imperfect people I knew."
"And hey, if I keep loving you, maybe you'll eventually crack and love me too. Hell, I'm pretty sure you're already half in love with me."
"I am not! And everything you just said is ridiculous. That's terrible logic."
Adrian returned to his crossword puzzle. "Well, you can think what you want, so long as you remember-no matter how ordinary things seem between us-I'm still here, still in love with you, and care about you more than any other guy, evil or otherwise, ever will."
"I don't think you're evil."
"See? Things are already looking promising.”
“I sent a quick text to Adrian: "I have a hickey! You can’t ever kiss me again. I honestly hadn’t expected him to be awake this early, so I was surprised to get a response: "Okay. I won’t kiss you on your neck again."
So typical of him. "No! You can’t ever kiss me ANYWHERE. You said you were going to keep your distance."
"I’m trying", he wrote back. "But you won’t keep your distance from me."
I didn’t dignify that with a response.”
“Piece of Heaven?"
"No, that other place I'm going to go to for thinking what I'm thinking.”
"You can take him for now. I'll handle weekend visitations."
“You're my flame in the dark”
In my chest, my own heart was breaking. On my cheek, the lily reminded me who I was.
Conversation was irrelevant. Only pie mattered.
He was distracted by a lot of things. Fondue. T-shirts. Kittens.
I certainly hadn't expected to walk away from today's trip with joint custody of a miniature dragon.
The future of our relationship hinged on advice from a fifteen-year-old girl, a probably untrue story from a one-eyed Chihuahua trainer, and me unromantically kissing you on top of silverware and china?
"Just walking Miss Sage back. She had to get something from her room."
Pete looked dazed for a moment. Then he nodded in understanding.
"You compelled him," I whispered, once we were safely out of earshot.
I’ll just love you whether you want me to or not
To my horror he began painting a pirate skeleton riding a motorcycle.
“You might want to do something about your neck.”
I was totally lost. “My neck?”
A small, brownish purple bruise on the side of my neck.
“What on earth is that?” I exclaimed.
Ms. Terwilliger snorted. “Although it’s been a while for me, I believe the technical term is a hickey” She paused and arched an eyebrow. “You do know what that is, don’t you?”
“Of course I know!”