He stared at her, incredulous. “How long ago?”

“Six months.”

Fury swelled in him. She had been living next to him for half a year and nobody told him about it. Marcus had to have known.

“Why are you here?” he ground out.

“Because I love you,” she said. “I did my best to shame myself into denying it, but I can’t. I ran half across the planet and then came back so I could live for glimpses of you at the marketplace. I’m so utterly pathetic.”

“So why come back now?”

“Because I know how excision feels,” she said softly. “I didn’t want you to go through it alone.”

She moved to rise. He covered the distance between them in a fraction of a blink and swept her off her feet, crushing her to him. The scent of citrus swirled about them, the heat of her body ignited his, and he sealed her mouth with his, hungry for a taste. She threw her arms around him.

“I’m no longer Celino Carvanna,” he said, kissing her. All that he was, all the power, respect, prestige that came with being the head of a kinsman family, he had left it all behind.

“And I’m no longer Imelda Galdes,” she whispered, her voice a breath in his ear.

“I fly to New Delphi every month to that damn eatery, hoping to see you there. I bought your house and I sit in your garden, like some sort of imbecile, hoping you’ll come through the door.”

Celino tasted salt and realized she was crying. He swallowed, pressing her tighter to him. A curious feeling claimed him, a powerful lightness. He felt strong, capable, and yet impossibly content. “I love you,” he said, his voice a raspy growl. “Promise me you won’t vanish this time.”

“I promise,” she said and kissed him back.


Tags: Ilona Andrews Kinsmen Science Fiction
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
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