who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница

who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница

stronger than he’d expected. My limbs all jerked and thrashed in

different directions, and his grip on my neck slipped. He tried to get

a better hold, and some instinct made me pull myself into him rather

than away, as he was expecting. I only pulled half a foot closer to

him, but that got my chin out of the stream, and enough of my mouth to

choke some of the water back out and drag in a breath.

He fought to push me back into the stream, but I wriggled and

wedged myself under him so that his own weight was working against who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница his

goal. I was still reacting to the water in my lungs, coughing and

spasming out of control.

“Enough!” Kyle growled.

He pulled himself off me, and I tried to drag myself away.

“Oh, no, you don’t! ” he spit through his teeth.

It was over, and I knew it.

There was something wrong with my injured leg. It felt numb, and I

couldn’t make it do what I wanted. I could only push myself along the

floor with my arms and my good leg. I was coughing too hard to do even

that well. Too hard to scream again.

Kyle grabbed my who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница wrist and yanked me up from the floor. The weight

of my body made my leg buckle, and I slumped into him.

He got both my wrists in one hand and wrapped the other arm around

my waist. He pulled me off the floor and into his side, like an

awkward bag of flour. I twisted, and my good leg kicked against the

empty air.

“Let’s get this over with.”

He jumped over the smaller stream with a bound and carried me

toward the closest sinkhole. The steam from the hot spring washed my

face.

He was going to throw me into the dark, hot hole who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница and let the

boiling water pull me into the ground as it burned me.

“No, no!” I shouted, my voice too hoarse and low to carry.

I writhed frantically. My knee knocked against one of the ropy

rock columns, and I hooked my foot around it, trying to yank myself

out of his grip. He jerked me free with an impatient grunt.

At least that loosened his hold enough that I could make one more

move. It had worked before, so I tried it again. Instead of trying to

free myself, I twisted in and wrapped my legs around his waist,

locking the who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница good ankle around the bad, trying to ignore the pain so

that I could get a good hold there.

“Get off me, you -” He fought to knock me loose, and I jerked one

of my wrists free. I wrapped that arm around his neck and grabbed his

thick hair. If I was going into the black river, so was he.

Kyle hissed and stopped prying at my leg long enough to punch my

side.

I gasped in pain but got my other hand into his hair.

He wrapped both arms around me, as if we were embracing rather

than locked in a killing struggle who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница. Then he grabbed my waist from both

sides and heaved with all his strength against my hold.

His hair started to come out in my hands, but he just grunted and

pulled harder.

I could hear the steaming water rushing close by, right below me,

it seemed. The steam billowed up in a thick cloud, and for a minute I

couldn’t see anything but Kyle’s face, twisted with rage into

something beastlike and merciless.

I felt my bad leg giving. I tried to pull myself closer to him,

but his brute strength was winning against my desperation. He would

have me free in who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница a moment, and I would fall into the hissing steam and

disappear.

Jared! Jamie! The thought, the agony, belonged to both Melanie and

me. They would never know what had happened to me. Ian. Jeb. Doc.

Walter. No goodbyes.

Kyle abruptly jumped into the air and came down with a thud. The

jarring impact had the effect he wanted: my legs came loose.

But before he could take advantage, there was another result.

The cracking sound was deafening. I thought the whole cave was

coming down. The floor shuddered beneath us.

Kyle gasped and jumped back, taking me-hands still locked in his

hair who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница-with him. The rock under his feet, with more cracking and

groaning, began to crumble away.

Our combined weight had broken the brittle lip of the hole. As

Kyle stumbled away, the crumbling followed his heavy steps. It was

faster than he was.

A piece of the floor disappeared from under his heel, and he went

down with a thud. My weight pushed him back hard, and his head smacked



sharply against a stone pillar. His arms fell away from me, limp.

The cracking of the floor settled into a sustained groan. I could

feel it shiver beneath Kyle’s body.

I was on his chest who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница. Our legs dangled above empty space, the steam

condensing into a million drops on our skin.

“Kyle?”

There was no answer.

I was afraid to move.

You’ve got to get off him. You’re too heavy together.

Carefully-use the pillar. Pull away from the hole.

Whimpering in fear, too terrified to think for myself, I did as

Melanie ordered. I freed my fingers from Kyle’s hair and climbed

gingerly over his unconscious form, using the pillar as an anchor to

pull myself forward. It felt steady enough, but the floor still moaned

under us.

I pulled myself past who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница the pillar and onto the ground beyond it.

This ground stayed firm under my hands and knees, but I scrambled

farther away, toward the safety of the exit tunnel.

There was another crack, and I glanced back. One of Kyle’s legs

drooped farther down as a rock fell from beneath it. I heard the

splash this time as the chunk of stone met the river below. The ground

shuddered under his weight.

He’s going to fall, I realized.

Good, Melanie snarled.

But…!

If he falls, he can’t kill us, Wanda. If he doesn’t fall, he will.

I can’t just who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница…

Yes, you can. Walk away. Don’t you want to live?

I did. I wanted to live.

Kyle could disappear. And if he did, there was a chance that no

one would ever hurt me again. At least not among the people here.

There was still the Seeker to consider, but maybe she would give up

someday, and then I could stay here indefinitely with the humans I

loved…

My leg throbbed, pain replacing some of the numbness. Warm fluid

trickled down my lips. I tasted the moisture without thinking and

realized it was my blood.

Walk away, Wanderer. I want to live. I want who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница a choice, too.

I could feel the tremors from where I stood. Another piece of

floor splashed into the river. Kyle’s weight shifted, and he slid an

inch toward the hole.

Let him go.

Melanie knew better than I what she was talking about. This was

her world. Her rules.

I stared at the face of the man who was about to die-the man who

wanted me dead. With him unconscious, Kyle’s face was no longer that

of an angry animal. It was relaxed, almost peaceful.

The resemblance to his brother was very apparent.

No! Melanie protested.

I crawled back to who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница him on my hands and knees-slowly, feeling the

ground with care before each inch I moved. I was too afraid to go

beyond the pillar, so I hooked my good leg around it, an anchor again,

and leaned around to wedge my hands under Kyle’s arms and over his

chest.

I heaved so hard I nearly pulled my arms from their sockets, but

he didn’t move. I heard a sound like the trickle of sand through an

hourglass as the floor continued to dissolve into tiny pieces.

I yanked again, but the only result was that the trickle sped up.

Shifting who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница his weight was breaking the floor faster.

Just as I thought that, a large chunk of rock plummeted into the

river, and Kyle’s precarious balance was overthrown. He began to fall.

“No!” I screamed, the siren bursting from my throat again. I

flattened myself against the column and managed to pin him to the

other side, locking my hands around his wide chest. My arms ached.

“Help me!” I shrieked. “Somebody! Help!”

CHAPTER 33. Doubted

Another splash. Kyle’s weight tortured my arms.

“Wanda? Wanda!”

“Help me! Kyle! The floor! Help!”

I had my face pressed against the stone, my eyes toward who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница the cave

entrance. The light was bright overhead as the day dawned. I held my

breath. My arms screamed.

“Wanda! Where are you?”

Ian leaped through the door, the rifle in his hands, held low and

ready. His face was the angry mask his brother had worn.

“Watch out!” I screamed at him. “The floor is breaking up! I can’t

hold him much longer!”

It took him two long seconds to process the scene that was so

different from the one he’d been expecting-Kyle, trying to kill me.

The scene that had been, just seconds ago.

Then he threw the gun who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница to the cave floor and started toward me with

a long stride.

“Get down-disperse your weight!”

He dropped to all fours and scuttled to me, his eyes burning in

the light of dawn.

“Don’t let go,” he cautioned.

I groaned in pain.

He assessed for another second, and then slid his body behind

mine, pushing me closer to the rock. His arms were longer than mine.

Even with me in the way, he was able to get his hands around his

brother.

“One, two, three,” he grunted.

He pulled Kyle up against the rock, much more securely than I’d

had him. The who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница movement smashed my face into the pillar. The bad side,

though-it couldn’t get much more scarred at this point.

“I’m going to pull him to this side. Can you squeeze out?”

“I’ll try.”

I loosened my hold on Kyle, feeling my shoulders ache in relief,

making sure Ian had him. Then I wriggled out from between Ian and the

rock, careful not to put myself on a dangerous section of the floor. I

crawled backward a few feet toward the door, ready to make a grab for

Ian if he started slipping.

Ian hauled his inert brother around who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница one side of the pillar,

dragging him in jerks, a foot at a time. More of the floor crumbled,

but the foundation of the pillar remained intact. A new shelf formed

about two feet out from the column of rock.

Ian crawled backward the way I had, dragging his brother along in

short surges of muscle and will. Within a minute, we were all three in

the mouth of the corridor, Ian and I breathing in gasps.

“What… the hell… happened?”

“Our weight… was too… much. Floor caved in.”

“What were you doing… by the edge? With Kyle?”

I put who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница my head down and concentrated on breathing.

Well, tell him.

What will happen then?

You know what will happen. Kyle broke the rules. Jeb will shoot

him, or they’ll kick him out. Maybe Ian will beat the snot out of him

first. That would be fun to watch.

Melanie didn’t really mean it-I didn’t think so, anyway. She was

just still mad at me for risking our lives to save our would-be

murderer.

Exactly, I told her. And if they kick Kyle out for me… or kill

him… I shuddered. Well, can’t you see how little sense that would

make who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница? He’s one of you.

We’ve got a life here, Wanda. You’re jeopardizing that.

It’s my life, too. And I’m… well, I’m me.

Melanie groaned in disgust.

“Wanda?” Ian demanded.

“Nothing,” I muttered.

“You’re a rotten liar. You know that, right?”

I kept my head down and breathed.

“What did he do?”

“Nothing,” I lied. Poorly.

Ian put his hand under my chin, pulled my face up. “Your nose is

bleeding.” He twisted my head to the side. “And there’s more blood in

your hair.”

“I-hit my head when the floor fell.”

“On who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница both sides?”

I shrugged.

Ian glared at me for a long moment. The darkness of the tunnel

muted the brilliance of his eyes.

“We should get Kyle to Doc-he really cracked his head when he went

down.”

“Why are you protecting him? He tried to kill you.” It was a

statement of fact, not a question. His expression slowly melted from

anger to horror. He was imagining what we had been doing on that

unstable shelf-I could see that in his eyes. When I did not answer, he

spoke again in a whisper. “He was going to throw you in the river…” A

strange tremor who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница shook his body.

Ian had one arm around Kyle-he’d collapsed that way and seemed too

tired to move. Now he shoved his unconscious brother away roughly,

sliding farther from him in disgust. He slid into me and wrapped his

arms around my shoulders. He pulled me close against his chest-I could

feel his breath go in and out, still more ragged than normal.

It felt very strange.

“I should roll him right back in there and kick him over the edge

myself.”

I shook my head frantically, making it throb in pain. “No.”

“Saves time. Jeb made the rules who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница clear. You try to hurt someone

here, there are penalties. There’ll be a tribunal.”

I tried to pull away from him, but he tightened his grip. It

wasn’t frightening, not like the way Kyle had grabbed me. But it was

upsetting-it threw me off balance. “No. You can’t do that, because no

one broke the rules. The floor collapsed, that’s all.”

“Wanda -”

“He’s your brother.”

“He knew what he was doing. He’s my brother, yes, but he did what

he did, and you are… you are… my friend.”

“He did nothing. He is human,” I whispered who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница. “This is his place,

not mine.”

“We’re not having this discussion again. Your definition of human

is not the same as mine. To you, it means something… negative. To me,

it’s a compliment-and by my definition, you are and he isn’t. Not

after this.”

“Human isn’t a negative to me. I know you now. But Ian, he’s your

brother .”

“A fact that shames me.”

I pushed away from him again. This time, he let me go. It might

have had something to do with the moan of pain that escaped my lips

when I moved my leg.

“Are you who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница okay?”

“I think so. We need to find Doc, but I don’t know if I can walk.

I-I hit my leg, when I fell.”

A growl strangled in his throat. “Which leg? Let me see.”

I tried to straighten out my hurt leg-it was the right one-and

groaned again. His hands started at my ankle, testing the bones, the

joints. He rotated my ankle carefully.

“Higher. Here.” I pulled his hand to the back of my thigh, just

above the knee. I moaned again when he pressed the sore place. “It’s

not broken or anything, I don’t who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница think. Just really sore.”

“Deep muscle bruise, at least,” he muttered. “And how did this

happen?”

“Must have… landed on a rock when I fell.”

He sighed. “Okay, let’s get you to Doc.”

“Kyle needs him more than I do.”

“I have to go find Doc anyway-or some help. I can’t carry Kyle

that far, but I can certainly carry you. Oops-hold on.”

He turned abruptly and ducked back into the river room. I decided

I wouldn’t argue with him. I wanted to see Walter before… Doc had

promised to wait for me. Would that first dose of who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница painkiller wear off

soon? My head swam. There was so much to worry about, and I was so

tired. The adrenaline had drained, leaving me empty.

Ian came back with the gun. I frowned because this reminded me

that I’d wished for it before. I didn’t like that.

“Let’s go.”

Without thinking, he handed the gun to me. I let it fall into my

open palms, but I couldn’t curl my hands around it. I decided it was a

suitable punishment, to have to carry the thing.

Ian chuckled. “How anyone could be afraid of you…” he mumbled to

himself.

He picked me who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница up easily and was moving before I was settled. I

tried to keep the tenderest parts-the back of my head, the back of my

leg-from resting on him too hard.

“How’d your clothes get so wet?” he asked. We were passing under

one of the fist-sized skylights, and I could see the hint of a grim

smile on his pale lips.

“I don’t know,” I muttered. “Steam?”

We passed into darkness again.

“You’re missing a shoe.”

“Oh.”

We passed through another beam of light, and his eyes flashed

sapphire. They were serious now, locked on my face who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница.

“I’m… very glad that you weren’t hurt, Wanda. Hurt worse, I should

say.”

I didn’t answer. I was afraid of giving him something to use

against Kyle.

Jeb found us just before we hit the big cave. There was enough

light for me to see the sharp glint of curiosity in his eyes when he

saw me in Ian’s arms, face bleeding, the gun resting gingerly on my

open hands.

“You were right, then,” Jeb guessed. The curiosity was strong, but

the steel in his tone was stronger. His jaw was tight beneath the fan

of his beard. “I didn’t hear who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница a shot. Kyle?”

“He’s unconscious,” I said in a rush. “You need to warn

everyone-part of the floor collapsed in the river room. I don’t know

how stable it is now. Kyle hit his head really hard trying to get out

of the way. He needs Doc.”

Jeb raised one eyebrow so high it almost touched the faded

bandanna at his hairline.

“That’s the story,” Ian said, making no effort to conceal his

doubt. “And she’s apparently sticking to it.”

Jeb laughed. “Let me take that off your hands,” he said to me.

I let him have the gun willingly who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница. He laughed again at my

expression.

“I’ll get Andy and Brandt to help me with Kyle. We’ll follow

behind you.”

“Keep a close eye on him when he wakes up,” Ian said in a hard

tone.

“Can do.”

Jeb slouched off, looking for more hands. Ian hurried me toward

the hospital cave.

“Kyle could be really hurt… Jeb should hurry.”

“Kyle’s head is harder than any rock in this place.”

The long tunnel felt longer than usual. Was Kyle dying, despite my

efforts? Was he conscious again and looking for me? What about Walter?

Was he sleeping… or who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница gone? Had the Seeker given up her hunt, or would

she be back now that it was light again?

Will Jared still be with Doc? Mel added her questions to mine.

Will he be angry when he sees you? Will he know me?

When we reached the sunlit southern cave, Jared and Doc didn’t

look like they’d moved much. They leaned, side by side, against Doc’s

makeshift desk. It was quiet as we approached. They weren’t talking,

just watching Walter sleep.

They started up with wide eyes as Ian carried me into the light

and laid me on the who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница cot next to Walter’s. He straightened my right leg

carefully.

Walter was snoring. That sound eased some of my tension.

“What now?” Doc demanded angrily. He was bending over me as soon

as the words were out, wiping at the blood on my cheek.

Jared’s face was frozen in surprise. He was being careful, not

letting the expression give way to anything else.

“Kyle,” Ian answered at the same time that I said, “The floor -”

Doc looked back and forth between us, confused.

Ian sighed and rolled his eyes. Absently, he laid one hand lightly

on my forehead. “The floor crumbled who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница by the first river hole. Kyle fell

back and cracked his head on a rock. Wanda saved his worthless life.

She says she fell, too, when the floor gave.” Ian gave Doc a

meaningful look. “Something,” he said the word sarcastically, “bashed

the back of her head pretty good.” He started listing. “Her nose is

bleeding but not broken, I don’t think. She’s got some damage to the

muscle here.” He touched my sore thigh. “Knees sliced up pretty good,

got her face again, but I think maybe I did that, trying to pull Kyle

out of the hole. Shouldn’t have bothered.” Ian who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница muttered the last part.

“Anything else?” Doc asked. At that moment, his fingers, probing

along my side, reached the place where Kyle had punched me. I gasped.

Doc tugged my shirt up, and I heard both Ian and Jared hiss at

what they saw.

“Let me guess,” Ian said in a voice like ice. “You fell on a

rock.”

“Good guess,” I agreed, breathless. Doc was still touching my

side, and I was trying to hold back whimpers.

“Might have broken a rib, not sure,” Doc murmured. “I wish I could

give you something for the pain -”

“Don’t worry about that, Doc,” I panted who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница. “I’m okay. How’s Walter?

Did he wake up at all?”

“No, it will take some time to sleep that dose off,” Doc said. He

took my hand and started bending my wrist, my elbow.

“I’m okay.”

His kind eyes were soft as he met my gaze. “You will be. You’ll

just have to rest for a while. I’ll keep an eye on you. Here, turn

your head.”

I did as he asked, and then winced while he examined my wound.

“Not here,” Ian muttered.

I couldn’t see Doc, but Jared threw Ian a sharp look.

“They’re who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница bringing Kyle. I’m not having them in the same room.”

Doc nodded. “Probably wise.”

“I’ll get a place ready for her. I’ll need you to keep Kyle here

until… until we decide what to do with him.”

I started to speak, but Ian put his fingers on my lips.

“All right,” Doc agreed. “I’ll tie him down, if you want.”

“If we have to. Is it okay to move her?” Ian glanced toward the

tunnel, his face anxious.

Doc hesitated.

“No,” I whispered, Ian’s fingers still touching my mouth. “Walter.

I want to be here for who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница Walter.”

“You’ve saved all the lives you can save today, Wanda,” Ian said,

his voice gentle and sad.

“I want to say… to say good-goodbye.”

Ian nodded. Then he looked at Jared. “Can I trust you?”

Jared’s face flushed with anger. Ian held up his hand.

“I don’t want to leave her here unprotected while I find her a

safe place,” Ian said. “I don’t know if Kyle will be conscious when he

arrives. If Jeb shoots him, it will upset her. But you and Doc should

be able to handle him. I don’t want Doc who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница to be on his own, and force

Jeb’s hand.”

Jared spoke through clenched teeth. “Doc won’t be on his own.”

Ian hesitated. “She’s been through hell in the past couple of

days. Remember that.”

Jared nodded once, teeth still clamped together.

“I’ll be here,” Doc reminded Ian.

Ian met his gaze. “Okay.” He leaned over me, and his luminous eyes

held mine. “I’ll be back soon. Don’t be afraid.”

“I’m not.”

He ducked in and touched his lips to my forehead.

No one was more surprised than I, though I heard Jared gasp

quietly. My mouth who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница hung open as Ian wheeled and nearly sprinted from

the room.

I heard Doc pull a breath in through his teeth, like a backward

whistle. “Well,” he said.

They both stared at me for a long moment. I was so tired and sore,

I barely cared what they were thinking.

“Doc -” Jared started to say something in an urgent tone, but a

clamor from the tunnel interrupted him.

Five men struggled through the opening. Jeb, in front, had Kyle’s

left leg in his arms. Wes had the right leg, and behind them, Andy and

Aaron worked to support his torso. Kyle’s head who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница lolled back over Andy’s

shoulder.

“Stars, but he’s heavy,” Jeb grunted.

Jared and Doc sprang forward to help. After a few minutes of

cursing and groaning, Kyle was lying on a cot a few feet away from

mine.

“How long has he been out, Wanda?” Doc asked me. He pulled Kyle’s

eyelids back, letting the sunlight shine into his pupils.

“Um…” I thought quickly. “As long as I’ve been here, the ten

minutes or so it took Ian to carry me here, and then maybe five more

minutes before that?”

“At least twenty minutes, would you say?”

“Yes. Close who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница to that.”

While we were consulting, Jeb had made his own diagnosis. No one

paid any attention as he came to stand at the head of Kyle’s cot. No

one paid any attention-until he turned an open bottle of water over

Kyle’s face.

“Jeb,” Doc complained, knocking his hand away.

But Kyle sputtered and blinked, and then moaned. “What happened?

Where did it go?” He started to shift his weight, trying to look

around. “The floor… is moving…”

Kyle’s voice had my fingers clenching the sides of my cot and

panic washing through me. My leg ached. Could I limp away? Slowly who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница,

perhaps…

“’S okay,” someone murmured. Not someone. I would always know that

voice.

Jared moved to stand between my cot and Kyle’s, his back to me,

his eyes on the big man. Kyle rolled his head back and forth,

groaning.

“You’re safe,” Jared said in a low voice. He didn’t look at me.

“Don’t be afraid.”

I took a deep breath.

Melanie wanted to touch him. His hand was close to mine, resting

on the edge of my cot.

Please, no, I told her. My face hurts quite enough as it is!

He won’t hit you who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница.

You think. I’m not willing to risk it.

Melanie sighed; she yearned to move toward him. It wouldn’t have

been so hard to bear if I weren’t yearning also.

Give him time, I pleaded. Let him get used to us. Wait till he

really believes.

She sighed again.

“Aw, hell!” Kyle grumbled. My gaze flickered toward him at the

sound of his voice. I could just see his bright eyes around Jared’s

elbow, focused on me. “It didn’t fall!” he complained.

CHAPTER 34. Buried

Jared lunged forward, away from me. With a loud smacking sound,

his fist hit Kyle’s who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница face.

Kyle’s eyes rolled back in his head, and his mouth fell slack.

The room was very quiet for a few seconds.

“Um,” Doc said in a mild voice, “medically speaking, I’m not sure

that was the most helpful thing for his condition.”

“But I feel better,” Jared answered, sullen.

Doc smiled the tiniest smile. “Well, maybe a few more minutes of

unconsciousness won’t kill him.”

Doc began looking under Kyle’s lids again, taking his pulse…

“What happened?” Wes was by my head, speaking in a murmur.

“Kyle tried to kill it,” Jared answered before who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница I could. “Are we

really surprised?”

“Did not,” I muttered.

Wes looked at Jared.

“Altruism seems to come more naturally to it than lies,” Jared

noted.

“Are you trying to be annoying?” I demanded. My patience was not

waning, but entirely gone. How long had it been since I’d slept? The

only thing that ached worse than my leg was my head. Every breath hurt

my side. I realized, with some surprise, that I was in a truly bad

mood. “Because if you are, then be assured, you have succeeded.”

Jared and Wes looked at me with shocked eyes. I was sure that if I

could see who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница the others, their expressions would match. Maybe not Jeb’s.

He was the master of the poker face.

“I am female,” I complained. “That ‘it’ business is really getting

on my nerves.”

Jared blinked in surprise. Then his face settled back into harder

lines. “Because of the body you wear?”

Wes glared at him.

“Because of me, ” I hissed.

“By whose definition?”

“How about by yours? In my species, I am the one that bears young.

Is that not female enough for you?”

That stopped him short. I felt almost smug.

As you should, Melanie approved. He’s wrong who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница, and he’s being a pig

about it.

Thank you.

We girls have to stick together.

“That’s a story you’ve never told us,” Wes murmured, while Jared

struggled for a rebuttal. “How does that work?”

Wes’s olive-toned face darkened, as if he’d just realized he had

spoken the words out loud. “I mean, I guess you don’t have to answer

that, if I’m being rude.”

I laughed. My mood was swinging around wildly, out of control.

Slaphappy, like Mel had said. “No, you’re not asking anything…

inappropriate. We don’t have such a complicated… elaborate setup as

your who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница species.” I laughed again, and then felt warmth in my face. I

remembered only too clearly how elaborate it could be.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

It’s your mind, I reminded her.

“Then…?” Wes asked.

I sighed. “There are only a few of us who are… Mothers. Not

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Документ who taught me that love is the best part of any story 24 страница