فصل 14

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل



I had not let myself imagine it: the moment I’d again stand in the wood-paneled foyer of the town house. When I’d hear the song of the gulls soaring high above Velaris, smell the brine of the Sidra River that wended through the heart of the city, feel the warmth of the sunshine streaming through the windows upon my back.

Mor had winnowed us all, and now stood behind me, panting softly, as we watched Lucien survey our surroundings.

His metal eye whirred, while the other warily scanned the rooms flanking the foyer: the dining room and sitting room overlooking the little front yard and street; then the stairs to the second level; then the hallway beside it that led to the kitchen and courtyard garden.

Then finally to the shut front door. To the city waiting beyond.

Cassian took up a place against the banister, crossing his arms with an arrogance I knew meant trouble. Azriel remained beside me, shadows wreathing his knuckles. As if battling High Lords’ sons was how they usually spent their days.

I wondered if Lucien knew that his first words here would either damn or save him. I wondered what my role in it would be.

No—it was my call.

High Lady. I—outranked them, my friends. It was my call to make whether Lucien was allowed to keep his freedom.

But their watchful silence was indication enough: let him decide his own fate.

At last, Lucien looked at me. At us.

He said, “There are children laughing in the streets.”

I blinked. He said it with such … quiet surprise. As if he hadn’t heard the sound in a long, long time.

I opened my mouth to reply, but someone else spoke for me.

“That they do so at all after Hybern’s attack is testament to how hard the people of Velaris have worked to rebuild.”

I whirled, finding Amren emerging from wherever she’d been sitting in the other room, the plush furniture hiding her small body.

She appeared exactly as she had the last time I’d seen her: standing in this very foyer, warning us to be careful in Hybern. Her chin-length, jet-black hair gleamed in the sunlight, her silver, unearthly eyes unusually bright as they met mine.

The delicate female bowed her head. As much of a gesture of obedience as a fifteen-thousand-year-old creature would make to a newly minted High Lady. And friend. “I see you brought home a new pet,” she said, nose crinkling with distaste.

Something like fear had entered Lucien’s eye, as if he, too, beheld the monster that lurked beneath that beautiful face.

Indeed, it seemed he had heard of her already. Before I could introduce him, Lucien bowed at the waist. Deeply. Cassian let out an amused grunt, and I shot him a warning glare.

Amren smiled slightly. “Already trained, I see.”

Lucien slowly straightened, as if he were standing before the open maw of some great plains-cat he did not wish to startle with sudden movements.

“Amren, this is Lucien … Vanserra.”

Lucien stiffened. “I don’t use my family’s name.” He clarified to Amren with another incline of his head, “Lucien will do.”

I suspected he’d ceased using that name the moment his lover’s heart had stopped beating.

Amren was studying that metal eye. “Clever work,” she said, then surveyed me. “Looks like someone clawed you up, girl.”

The wound in my arm, at least, had healed, though a nasty red mark remained. I assumed my face wasn’t much better. Before I could answer her, Lucien asked, “What is this place?”

We all looked at him. “Home,” I said. “This is—my home.”

I could see the details now sinking in. The lack of darkness. The lack of screaming. The scent of the sea and citrus, not blood and decay. The laughter of children that indeed continued.

The greatest secret in Prythian’s history.

“This is Velaris,” I explained. “The City of Starlight.”

His throat bobbed. “And you are High Lady of the Night Court.”

“Indeed she is.”

My blood stopped at the voice that drawled from behind me.

At the scent that hit me, awoke me. My friends began smiling.

I turned.

Rhysand leaned against the archway into the sitting room, arms crossed, wings nowhere to be seen, dressed in his usual immaculate black jacket and pants.

And as those violet eyes met mine, as that familiar half smile faded …

My face crumpled. A small, broken noise cracked from me.

Rhys was instantly moving, but my legs had already given out. The foyer carpet cushioned the impact as I sank to my knees.

I covered my face with my hands while the past month crashed into me.

Rhys knelt before me, knee to knee.

Gently, he pulled my hands away from my face. Gently, he took my cheeks in his hands and brushed away my tears.

I didn’t care that we had an audience as I lifted my head and beheld the joy and concern and love shining in those remarkable eyes.

Neither did Rhys as he murmured, “My love,” and kissed me.

I’d no sooner slid my hands into his hair than he scooped me into his arms and stood in one smooth movement. I pulled my mouth from his, glancing toward a pallid Lucien, but Rhysand said to our companions without so much as looking at them, “Go find somewhere else to be for a while.”

He didn’t wait to see if they obeyed.

Rhys winnowed us up the stairs and launched into a steady, swift walk down the hallway. I peered down at the foyer in time to spy Mor grabbing Lucien’s arm and nodding to the others before they all vanished.

“Do you want to go over what happened at the Spring Court?” I asked, voice raw, as I studied my mate’s face.

No amusement, nothing but that predatory intensity, focused on my every breath. “There are other things I’d rather do first.”

He carried me into our bedroom—once his room, now full of our belongings. It was exactly as I’d last seen it: the enormous bed that he now strode for, the two armoires, the desk by the window that overlooked the courtyard garden now bursting with purple and pink and blue amid the lush greens.

I braced myself to be sprawled on the bed, but Rhys paused halfway across the room, the door snicking shut on a star-kissed wind.

Slowly, he set me on the plush carpet, blatantly sliding me down his body as he did so. As if he was as powerless to resist touching me, as reluctant to let go as I was with him.

And every place where our bodies met, all of him so warm and solid and real … I savored it, my throat tight as I placed a hand on his sculpted chest, the thunderous heartbeat beneath his black jacket echoing into my palm. The only sign of whatever torrent coursed through him as he skimmed his hands up my arms in a lingering caress and gripped my shoulders.

His thumbs stroked a gentle rhythm over my filthy clothes as he scanned my face.

Beautiful. He was even more beautiful than I had remembered, dreamed of during those weeks at the Spring Court.

For a long moment, we only breathed in each other’s air. For a long moment, all I could do was take the scent of him deep into my lungs, letting it settle inside me. My fingers tightened on his jacket.

Mate. My mate.

As if he’d heard it down the bond, Rhys finally murmured, “When the bond went dark, I thought …” Fear—genuine terror shadowed his eyes, even as his thumbs continued stroking my shoulders, gentle and steady. “By the time I got to the Spring Court, you’d vanished. Tamlin was raging through that forest, hunting for you. But you hid your scent. And even I couldn’t—couldn’t find you—”

The snag in his words was a knife to my gut. “We went to the Autumn Court through one of the doors,” I said, setting my other hand on his arm. The corded muscles beneath shifted at my touch. “You couldn’t find me because two Hybern commanders drugged my food and drink with faebane—enough to extinguish my powers. I—I still don’t have full use.”

Cold rage now flickered across that beautiful face as his thumbs halted on my shoulders. “You killed them.”

Not entirely a question, but I nodded.


I swallowed. “Has Hybern sacked the Spring Court?”

“Not yet. Whatever you did … it worked. Tamlin’s sentries abandoned him. Over half his people refused to appear for the Tithe two days ago. Some are leaving for other courts. Some are murmuring of rebellion. It seems you made yourself quite beloved. Holy, even.” Amusement at last warmed his features. “They were rather upset when they believed he’d allowed Hybern to terrorize you into fleeing.”

I traced the faint silver whorl of embroidery on the breast of his jacket, and I could have sworn he shuddered beneath the touch. “I suppose they’ll learn soon enough I’m well cared for.” Rhys’s hands tightened on my shoulders in agreement, as if he were about to show me just how well cared for I was, but I angled my head. “What about Ianthe—and Jurian?”

Rhysand’s powerful chest heaved beneath my hand as he blew out a breath. “Reports are murky on both. Jurian, it seems, has returned to the hand that feeds him. Ianthe …” Rhys lifted his brows. “I assume her hand is courtesy of you, and not the commanders.”

“She fell,” I said sweetly.

“Must have been some fall,” he mused, a dark smile dancing on those lips as he drifted even closer, the heat of his body seeping into me while his hands migrated from my shoulders to brush lazy lines down my back. I bit my lip, focusing on his words and not the urge to arch into the touch, to bury my face in his chest and do some exploring of my own. “She’s currently convalescing after her ordeal, apparently. Won’t leave her temple.”

It was my turn to murmur, “Good.” Perhaps one of those pretty acolytes of hers would get sick of her sanctimonious bullshit and smother Ianthe in her sleep.

I braced my hands on his hips, fully ready to slide beneath his jacket, needing to touch bare skin, but Rhys straightened, pulling back. Still close enough that one of his hands remained on my waist, but the other—

He reached for my arm, gently examining the angry welt where my skin had been torn by an arrow. Darkness rumbled in the corner of the room. “Cassian let me into his mind just now—to show me what happened on the ice.” He stroked a thumb over the hurt, the touch featherlight. “Eris was always a male of limited days. Now Lucien might find himself closer to inheriting his father’s throne than he ever expected to be.”

My spine locked. “Eris is precisely as horrible as you painted him to be.”

Rhys’s thumb glided over my forearm again, leaving gooseflesh in its wake. A promise—not of the retribution he was contemplating, but of what awaited us in this room. The bed a few feet away. Until he murmured, “You declared yourself High Lady.”

“Was I not supposed to?”

He released my arm to brush his knuckles across my cheek. “I’ve wanted to roar it from the rooftops of Velaris from the moment the priestess anointed you. How typical of you to upend my grand plans.”

A smile tugged on my lips. “It happened less than an hour ago. I’m sure you could go crow from the chimney right now and everyone would give you credit for breaking the news.”

His fingers threaded through my hair, tilting my face up. That wicked smile grew, and my toes curled in their boots. “There’s my darling Feyre.”

His head dipped, his gaze fixated on my mouth, hunger lighting those violet eyes—

“Where are my sisters?” The thought clanged through me, jarring as a pealing bell.

Rhys paused, hand slipping from my hair as his smile faded. “At the House of Wind.” He straightened, swallowing—as if it somehow checked him. “I can—take you to them.” Every word seemed to be an effort.

But he would, I realized. He’d shove down his need for me and take me to them, if that was what I wanted. My choice. It had always been my choice with him.

I shook my head. I wouldn’t see them—not yet. Not until I was steady enough to face them. “They’re well, though?”

His hesitation told me enough. “They’re safe.”

Not really an answer, but I wasn’t going to fool myself into thinking my sisters would be thriving. I leaned my brow against his chest. “Cassian and Azriel are healed,” I murmured against his jacket, breathing in the scent of him over and over as a tremor shuddered through me. “You told me that—and yet I didn’t … it didn’t sink in. Until now.”

Rhys ran a hand down my back, the other sliding to grip my hip. “Azriel healed within a few days. Cassian’s wings … it was complex. But he’s been training every day to regain his strength. The healer had to rebuild most of his wings—but he’ll be fine.”

I swallowed down the tightness in my throat and wrapped my arms around his waist, pressing my face wholly against his chest. His hand tightened on my hip in answer, the other resting at my nape, holding me to him as I breathed, “Mor said you were far away—that was why you weren’t there.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t.”

“No,” I said, lifting my head to scan his eyes, the guilt dampening them. “I didn’t mean it like that. I just …” I savored the feel of him beneath my palms. “Where were you?”

Rhys stilled, and I braced myself as he said casually, “I couldn’t very well let you do all the work to undermine our enemies, could I?”

I didn’t smile. “Where. Were. You.”

“With Az only recently back on his feet, I took it upon myself to do some of his work.”

I clenched my jaw. “Such as?”

He leaned down, nuzzling my throat. “Don’t you want to comfort your mate, who has missed you terribly these weeks?”

I planted a hand on his face and pushed him back, scowling. “I want my mate to tell me where the hell he was. Then he can get his comfort.”

Rhys nipped at my fingers, teeth snapping playfully. “Cruel, beautiful female.”

I watched him beneath lowered brows.

Rhys rolled his eyes, sighing. “I was on the continent. At the human queens’ palace.”

I choked. “You were where?”

“Technically, I was flying above it, but—”

“You went alone?”

He gaped at me. “Despite what our mistakes in Hybern might have suggested, I am capable of—”

“You went to the human world, to our enemies’ compound, alone?”

“I’d rather it be me than any of the others.”

That had been his problem from the start. Always him, always sacrificing—

“Why,” I demanded. “Why risk it? Is something happening?”

Rhys peered toward the window, as if he could see all the way to the mortal lands. His mouth tightened. “It’s the quiet on their side of the sea that bothers me. No whisper of armies gathered, no other human allies summoned. Since Hybern, we’ve heard nothing. So I thought to see for myself why that is.” He flicked my nose, tugging me closer again. “I’d just neared the edge of their territory when I felt the bond awaken again. I knew the others were closer, so I sent them.”

“You don’t need to explain.”

Rhys rested his chin atop my head. “I wanted to be there—to get you. Find you. Bring you home.”

“You do certainly enjoy a dramatic entrance.”

He chuckled, his breath warming my hair as I listened to the sound rumble through his body.

Of course he would have been working against Hybern while I was away. Had I expected them all to be sitting on their asses for over a month? And Rhys, constantly plotting, always a step ahead … He would have used this time to his advantage. I debated asking about it, but right now, breathing him in, feeling his warmth … Let it wait.

Rhys pressed a kiss to my hair. “You’re home.”

A shuddering, small sound came out of me as I nodded, squeezing him tighter. Home. Not just Velaris, but wherever he was, our family was.

Ebony claws stroked along the barrier in my mind—in affection and request.

I lowered my shields for him, just as his own dropped. His mind curled around mine, as surely as his body now held me.

“I missed you every moment,” Rhys said, leaning down to kiss the corner of my mouth. “Your smile.” His lips grazed over the shell of my ear and my back arched slightly. “Your laugh.” He pressed a kiss to my neck, right beneath my ear, and I tilted my head to give him access, biting down the urge to beg him to take more, to take faster as he murmured, “Your scent.”

My eyes fluttered closed, and his hands coasted around my hips to cup my rear, squeezing as he bent to kiss the center of my throat. “The sounds you make when I’m inside you.”

His tongue flicked over the spot where he’d kissed, and one of those sounds indeed escaped me. Rhys kissed the hollow of my collarbone, and my core went utterly molten. “My brave, bold, brilliant mate.”

He lifted his head, and it was an effort to open my eyes. To meet his stare as his hands roved in lazy lines down my back, over my rear, then up again. “I love you,” he said. And if I hadn’t already believed him, felt it in my very bones, the light in his face as he said the words …

Tears burned my eyes again, slipping free before I could control myself.

Rhys leaned in to lick them away. One after another. As he’d once done Under the Mountain.

“You have a choice,” he murmured against my cheekbone. “Either I lick every inch of you clean …” His hand grazed the tip of my breast, circling lazily. As if we had days and days to do this. “Or you can get into the bath that should be ready by now.”

I pulled away, lifting a brow. “Are you suggesting that I smell?”

Rhys smirked, and I could have sworn my core pounded in answer. “Never. But …” His eyes darkened, the desire and amusement fading as he took in my clothes. “There is blood on you. Yours, and others’. I thought I’d be a good mate and offer you a bath before I ravish you wholly.”

I huffed a laugh and brushed back his hair, savoring the silken, sable strands between my fingers. “So considerate. Though I can’t believe you kicked everyone out of the house so you could take me to bed.”

“One of the many benefits to being High Lord.”

“What a terrible abuse of power.”

That half smile danced on his mouth. “Well?”

“As much as I’d like to see you attempt to lick off a week’s worth of dirt, sweat, and blood …” His eyes gleamed with the challenge, and I laughed again. “Normal bath, please.”

He had the nerve to look vaguely disappointed. I poked him in the chest as I pushed away, aiming for the large bathing room attached to the bedroom. The massive porcelain tub was already filled with steaming water, and—


“Do you have a moral objection to them?”

I grinned, unbuttoning my jacket. My fingers were near-black with dirt and caked blood. I cringed. “I might need more than one bath to get clean.”

He snapped his fingers, and my skin was instantly pristine again. I blinked. “If you can do that, then what’s the point of the bath?” He’d done it Under the Mountain for me a few times—that magical cleaning. I’d somehow never asked.

He leaned against the doorway, watching me peel off my torn and stained jacket. As if it were the most important task he’d ever been given. “The essence of the dirt remains.” His voice roughened as he tracked each movement of my fingers while I unlaced my boots. “Like a layer of oil.”

Indeed, my skin, while it looked clean, felt … unwashed. I kicked off the boots, letting them land on my filthy jacket. “So it’s more for aesthetic purposes.”

“You’re taking too long,” he said, jerking his chin toward the bath.

My breasts tightened at the slight growl lacing his words. He watched that, too.

And I smiled to myself, arching my back a bit more than necessary as I removed my shirt and tossed it to the marble floor. Sunlight streamed in through the steam rising from the tub, casting the space between us in gold and white. Rhys made a low noise that sounded vaguely like a whimper as he took in my bare torso. As he took in my breasts, now heavy and aching, badly enough that I had to swallow my plea to forget this bath entirely.

But I pretended not to notice as I unbuttoned my pants and let them fall to the floor. Along with my undergarments.

Rhys’s eyes simmered.

I smirked, daring a look at his own pants. At the evidence of what, exactly, this was doing to him, pressing against the black material with impressive demand. I simply crooned, “Too bad there isn’t room in the tub for two.”

“A design flaw, and one I shall remedy tomorrow.” His voice was rough, quiet—and it slid invisible hands down my breasts, between my legs.

Mother save me. I somehow managed to walk, to climb into the tub. Somehow managed to remember how to bathe myself.

Rhys remained leaning against the doorway the entire time, silently watching with that unrelenting focus.

I might have taken longer washing certain areas. And might have made sure he saw it.

He only gripped the threshold hard enough that the wood groaned beneath his hand.

But Rhys made no move to pounce, even when I toweled off and brushed out my tangled hair. As if the restraint … it was part of the game, too.

My bare toes curled on the marble floor as I set down my brush on the sink vanity, every inch of my body aware of where he stood in the doorway, aware of his eyes upon me in the mirror’s reflection.

“All clean,” I declared, my voice hoarse as I met his stare in the mirror. I could have sworn only darkness and stars swirled beyond his shoulders. A blink, and they were gone. But the predatory hunger on his face …

I turned, my fingers trembling slightly as I clutched my towel around me.

Rhys only extended a hand, his own fingers shaking. Even the towel was abrasive against my too-sensitive skin as I laid my hand on his, his calluses scraping as they closed over my fingers. I wanted them scraping all over me.

But he simply led me into the bedroom, step after step, the muscles of his broad back shifting beneath his jacket. And lower, the sleek, powerful cut of thighs, his ass—

I was going to devour him. From head to toe. I was going to devour him—

But Rhys paused before the bed, releasing my hand and facing me from the safety of a step away. And it was the expression on his face as he traced a still-tender spot on my cheekbone that checked the heat threatening to raze my senses.

I swallowed, my hair dripping on the carpet. “Is the bruise bad?”

“It’s nearly gone.” Darkness flickered in the room once more.

I scanned that perfect face. Every line and angle. The fear and rage and love—the wisdom and cunning and strength.

I let my towel drop to the carpet.

Let him look me over as I put a hand on his chest, his heart raging beneath my palm.

“Ready for ravishing.” My words didn’t come out with the swagger I’d intended.

Not when Rhys’s answering smile was a dark, cruel thing. “I hardly know where to begin. So many possibilities.”

He lifted a finger, and my breath came hard and fast as he idly circled one of my breasts, then the other. In ever-tightening rings. “I could start here,” he murmured.

I clenched my thighs together. He noted the movement, that dark smile growing. And just before his finger reached the tip of my breast, just before he gave me what I was about to beg for, his finger slid upward—to my chest, my neck, my chin. Right to my mouth.

He traced the shape of my lips, a whisper of touch. “Or I could start here,” he breathed, slipping the tip of his finger into my mouth.

I couldn’t help myself from closing my lips around him, from flicking my tongue against the pad of his finger.

But Rhys withdrew his finger with a soft groan, making a downward path. Along my neck. Chest. Straight over a nipple. He paused there, flicking it once, then smoothed his thumb over the small hurt.

I was shaking now, barely able to keep standing as his finger continued past my breast.

He drew patterns on my stomach, scanning my face as he purred, “Or …”

I couldn’t think beyond that single finger, that one point of contact as it drifted lower and lower, to where I wanted him. “Or?” I managed to breathe.

His head dipped, hair sliding over his brow as he watched—we both watched—his broad finger venture down. “Or I could start here,” he said, the words guttural and raw.

I didn’t care—not as he dragged that finger down the center of me. Not as he circled that spot, light and taunting. “Here would be nice,” he observed, his breathing uneven. “Or maybe even here,” he finished, and plunged that finger inside me.

I groaned, gripping his arm, nails digging into the muscles beneath—muscles that shifted as he pumped his finger once, twice. Then slid it out and drawled, brows rising. “Well? Where shall I begin, Feyre darling?”

I could barely form words, thoughts. But—I’d had enough of playing.

So I took that infernal hand of his, guiding it to my heart, and placed it there, half over the curve of my breast. I met his hooded gaze as I spoke the words that I knew would be his undoing in this little game, the words that were rising up in me with every breath. “You’re mine.”

It snapped the tether he’d kept on himself.

His clothes vanished—all of them—and his mouth angled over my own.

It wasn’t a gentle kiss. Wasn’t soft or searching.

It was a claiming, wild and unchecked—it was an unleashing. And the taste of him … the heat of him, the demanding stroke of his tongue against my own … Home. I was home.

My hands shot into his hair, pulling him closer as I answered each of his searing kisses with my own, unable to get enough, unable to touch and feel enough of him.

Skin to skin, Rhys nudged me toward the bed, his hands kneading my rear as I ran my own over the velvet softness of him, over every hard plane and ripple. His beautiful, mighty wings tore from his back, splaying wide before neatly tucking in.

My thighs hit the bed behind us, and Rhys paused, trembling. Giving me time to reconsider, even now. My heart strained, but I pulled my mouth from his. Held his gaze as I lowered myself onto the white sheets and inched back.

Further and further onto the bed, until I was bare before him. Until I took in the considerable, proud length of him and my core tightened in answer. “Rhys,” I breathed, his name a plea on my tongue.

His wings flared, chest heaving as stars sparked in his eyes. And it was the longing there—beneath the desire, beneath the need—it was the longing in those beautiful eyes that made me glance to the mountains tattooed on his knees.

The insignia of this court—our court. The promise that he would kneel for no one and nothing but his crown.

And me.

Mine—he was mine. I sent the thought down the bond.

No playing, no delaying—I wanted him on me, in me. I needed to feel him, hold him, share breath with him. He heard the edge of desperation, felt it through the mating bond flowing between us.

His eyes did not leave mine as he prowled over me, every movement graceful as a stalking plains-cat. Interlacing our fingers, his breathing uneven, Rhys used a knee to nudge my legs apart and settle between them.

Carefully, lovingly, he laid our joined hands beside my head as he guided himself into me and whispered in my ear, “You’re mine, too.”

At the first nudge of him, I surged forward to claim his mouth.

I dragged my tongue over his teeth, swallowing his groan of pleasure as his hips rolled in gentle thrusts and he pushed in, and in, and in.

Home. This was home.

And when Rhys was seated to the hilt, when he paused to let me adjust to the fullness of him, I thought I might explode into moonlight and flame, thought I might die from the sheer force of what swept through me.

My pants were edged with sobs as I dug my fingers into his back, and Rhys withdrew slightly to study my face. To read what was there. “Never again,” he promised as he pulled out, then thrust back in with excruciating slowness. He kissed my brow, my temple. “My darling Feyre.”

Beyond words, I moved my hips, urging him deeper, harder. Rhys obliged me.

With every movement, every shared breath, every whispered endearment and moan, that mating bond I’d hidden so far inside myself grew brighter. Clearer.

And when it again shone as brilliantly as adamant, my release cascaded through me, leaving my skin glowing like a newborn star in its wake.

At the sight of it, right as I dragged a finger down the sensitive inside of his wing, Rhys shouted my name and found his pleasure.

I held him through every heaving breath, held him as he at last stilled, lingering inside me, and relished the feel of his skin on mine.

For long minutes, we remained there, tangled together, listening to our breathing even out, the sound of it finer than any music.

After a while, Rhys lifted his chest enough to take my right hand. To examine the tattoos inked there. He kissed one of the whorls of near-black blue ink.

His throat bobbed. “I missed you. Every second, every breath. Not just this,” he said, shifting his hips for emphasis and dragging a groan from deep in my throat, “but … talking to you. Laughing with you. I missed having you in my bed, but missed having you as my friend even more.”

My eyes burned. “I know,” I managed to say, stroking a hand down his wings, his back. “I know.” I kissed his bare shoulder, right over a whorl of Illyrian tattoo. “Never again,” I promised him, and whispered it over and over as the sunlight drifted across the floor.

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