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’’Oh, no?’’ In one quick movement, he wrapped his arms around me and rolled me over, pinning me on my back.
I laughed. He kissed me. Once. Twice.
I reached down for the tie on his board shorts and tugged on one of the laces. This was how we spent most afternoons now, and it was absolutely, positively, the best way to waste a day.
The Branch was gone. With one little app, one little red button, we\d detonated the bombs Trev had planted, and the Branch headquarters had gone up in smoke. So had the warehouse in Port Cadia and the lab in Indiana. The media had covered the explosions for weeks afterward as they theorized how the locations were connected. It became even more of a lucrative story when any and all officials involved in the case refused to talk.
Although we were almost certain the Branch was completely wiped out, we had yet to confirm what had happened to Riley. Who knew where that weasel was hiding. Hopefully in some hole far, far away, never to bother us again.
Sam\s fingers edged beneath the hem of my tank top. My stomach filled with butterflies as his fingertips glided across my skin. He kissed me once and pulled back. ’’I have something for you.’’
I frowned. ’’What?’’
He rolled away from me and reached beneath the bed. He came back a second later with a book. Black hardcover. No writing on the front. I sucked in a breath.
’’Is it ’’
’’It\s not the same one,’’ he said quickly. ’’But I got one as close to it as I could.’’
I took the journal from him and opened it. The pages were thick hand-pressed paper, just like the one he had gotten me for my seventeenth birthday. And as before, he\d written something on the first page.
To Anna and a new beginning.
Tears burned in the depths of my eyes. I lunged at him, wrapping my arms around him. He hugged me back.
’’Thank you,’’ I said. ’’It\s perfect.’’
’’You\ e welcome.’’ He moved as if to kiss me but was cut off by Nick\s shouting from downstairs.
’’Sam! Get your ass down here! Cas seems to think he can fly.’’
Sam sank next to me and closed his eyes. ’’I\m sorry,’’ he muttered.
He kissed my forehead, traced a thumb across my lips. ’’I\ll be back.’’
I smiled. ’’I\ll be here.’’
He left the room, thudded down the stairs. I could hear him and Nick trying to convince Cas to get off the roof of the porch.
I lay on my back, closed my eyes. A warm summer breeze blew in through the open window. I arched my bare feet, the sun warming my legs.
’’Cas!’’ Sam yelled.
There was a thud a second later, then an umph. ’’Ohhh crap,’’ Cas groaned.
’’You\ e such a goddamn idiot,’’ Nick said.
’’At least I\m good-looking,’’ Cas countered.
Nick tsked. ’’Except no one likes a dumbass.’’
Cas laughed. ’’That would explain why you get zero action.’’
A scuffling noise followed. Cas laughed again, the sound fading into the background.
I hadn\ shot a gun in weeks. I hadn\ needed to run from agents. I hadn\ had to steal a car or fight anyone with my bare hands. This break was the best thing for all of us, and I didn\ ever want it to end.
Nothing was permanent. I knew that. The boys still had a lot of things they wanted to find out about their old lives. Cas had remembered a few details about his grandma that she\d raised him and we\d been taking the steps to find her. Nick wanted revenge on his father, though whether or not he was serious was unknown to all of us. I hoped he wasn\ .
Whatever our futures held, I was sure of one thing: We were family. The boys and me. And nothing we found out about our pasts would change that.
I clutched the new journal to my chest and looked up at the ceiling, as the paper cranes danced in the breeze.