Storm Page 52

’’Becca,’’ Chris whispered. ’’You can\ ’’

’’No, I changed my mind.’’ She looked up at him through her lashes. ’’I will now. I kept wondering what good it would do for me to report them, for me to tell people what they\d done. Why put myself through it? But then I started thinking about your parents, about Tyler and Seth and all those other kon***heads. I thought of all the deals, and the secrets, and the lies people told in the name of protection.’’

He was staring at her, and she had to take a breath. ’’What if your parents had just stood up to Tyler and Seth\s folks from the start, and said, \Call the Guides, our kids have done nothing wrong. Can you say the same?\ ’’

He flinched a little, and she immediately regretted her words.

But then he nodded. ’’You\ e right.’’ He paused, and his voice was thick. ’’I wish they had.’’

She stared at him, remembering the potency of Gabriel\s emotion in the woods. She\d wanted to hug Gabriel then, but she wasn\ sure how he\d take it.

Now she threw her arms around Chris\s neck, pressing her face to his shoulder. ’’Chris. I\m sorry.’’

He held her, his arms secure around her back. She felt his breath against her hair, quick for a moment, then easing.

They were rocking gently now, and it felt nice. She didn\ let him go.

Chris stroked the hair away from her face again, lightly, gently, his fingers a bare touch on her cheekbone. ’’You turned the conversation away from yourself again.’’

’’I don\ want to talk about those guys. I\ve wasted enough time on them, and I\ll spend enough time talking about them tomorrow.’’

He nodded, and she relaxed into his shoulder.

Then she lifted her head, finding his face close, his eyes shadowed and intent.

’’What?’’ he said.

’’Will you still go with me?’’

’’Yes.’’ He placed a hand against her cheek. ’’I promise.’’

’’Thanks, Chris.’’ She paused. ’’You\ e a good friend.’’

They almost-rocked for a little while, and she enjoyed the late September wind tickling across her cheeks.

Then Chris shifted her a little. ’’What about you and Hunter?’’

She sighed. ’’I don\ know. He lied to me about so much he won\ even tell me what was real ’’

’’So you\ e not dating anymore?’’

’’No.’’ She lifted her head again, hearing disgust in her voice. ’’I don\ even know if we were dating to begin with. I mean, he ’’

But she couldn\ finish that sentence.

Because Chris had her face in his hands, and he\d brought his lips to hers.

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