She’s so beautiful it hurts. Golden blond hair flows past her shoulders. Those gorgeous violet eyes shouldn’t be so wide with fear. I’ve dreamed of being this close to her again. I ache to gather her in my arms and keep her safe from the world...to be her protector, but I can’t be that man.
I've hated Snowflake for so long," she says. "But then I met you. And you're the person entire town has trashed, a person belonging to the group I've been raised to believe is evil, and you're the only person who is able to make me feel as if every part of me is beautiful."
She is beautiful. Inside and out. My fingers tunnel into her hair again, but this time, I gently knot them in. My heart beats hard, and I open my mouth, hoping that doing so will force the right words. That I can explain being near her makes everything that's impossible about me seem possible.
But the words become lodged in my throat and silence paralyzes my tongue. Breanna blinks and the hope that had been on her face disappears as she misreads my hesitation.
Her hold on me loosens and she ducks her head. "Don't listen to me. I say too much around you. I was being stupid I..."
More words meant to wipe away her admission spill from her mouth, but I'm not listening. My grip on her hair tightens, I lower my lips to hers and I kiss Breanna Miller.
My patience finally snapped. “This is ridiculous.” I swept her up and swung her over my shoulder, her bare feet dangling in front of me.
Tinkling laughter filled the room. “What are you doing?” I tossed her onto the bed. Her fire-red hair sprawled over the pillow. My siren smiled up at me.
“Getting comfortable,” I said.
Echo blinked and raw hunger replaced the laughter that danced in her eyes moments before. Her delicate fingers glided up my arm, exciting every cell. “You don’t look very comfortable.” The sultry tone caused something deep within me to stir.
I swallowed, attempting to push away the unexpected flutter of nerves in my stomach. “Echo …”
My heart swelled, causing my chest to ache and breathing to become nearly impossible. Paralyzed by her beauty, I hovered over her. She was no nymph, but a goddess.
Her hands continued their burning climb up my arm and onto my chest. Bold moves for her. Echo’s breasts rose and fell at a faster rate. “I want to stay with you tonight.”
I sucked in a breath as her fingers trailed down the indentations of my chest muscles and willed her to continue as they made their slow descent. Caressing the warm redness forming on her cheek, I sank onto the bed beside her. “Are you sure?”
The worst type of crying wasn't the kind everyone could see--the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.