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The Struggle

The Struggle

Page 39

“Just speaking the truth,” I replied. “You getting hungry?”

She nodded. “I’m always hungry.”

“Glad to see your appetite is back.”

“I don’t think anything could permanently affect my appetite.”

“We can head back. Seems like Alex and Aiden are making breakfast.” The wind was stronger here, tossing her hair across her face. I caught the strands, smoothing them back. “If we make it in time, we can steal their food.”

Josie’s laugh was hoarse, but it was the most amazing sound to hear. I stared at her a moment and then started to head back but stopped. “Can I . . . can I ask you something?”

Her hand was still in my other one. “Yeah.”

My heart started thundering in my chest, and I knew this question could wait. It should wait, but the idea of going another minute or hour not knowing was going to drive me crazy.

So I took a deep breath and opened myself up in a way I’d never done before. “Do you still love me?”

Chapter 21

Josie

Stark vulnerability churned in Seth’s amber eyes. I couldn’t believe he was asking that kind of question—that he even thought he needed to. A tiny part of me wanted to punch him—punch him with love, of course.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t wary. Seth had whispered his love to me before and told me everything would be okay, but then he had left. He’d shut me out more than once. None of that had changed the way I felt for him, and maybe that made me a little crazy, but the world I now lived in was insane.

But I felt so . . . so raw, inside and out.

“I know what you’re thinking,” he said, his gaze searching mine. “And not because I can read your thoughts.”

“Thank God for that,” I muttered.

A brief grin appeared and then disappeared. “I’ve let you down.” When I opened my mouth, he raised his hand. “I have, Josie. More than once I’ve . . . I’ve pushed you away. I’ve made the wrong choices. I know I haven’t come even close to being the kind of man you deserve, but I’m going to change that.”

Oh.

Oh.

“You’ll never have to doubt me again,” he said, voice low and determined. “I’d die before that happened again.”

There was a swelling sensation in my chest like I was an untethered balloon that could lift off the ground and float away. Tears blurred my vision as I drew in a shaky breath. “I wouldn’t be standing here if I didn’t love you, Seth. I wouldn’t have let you sleep in the same bed with me last night if I didn’t,” I said, my breath catching. “There’s a lot I don’t really understand right now, like, for example, the whole ‘you’re a god’ thing. I mean, I get it. You’re a god.” Slipping my hands free, I wiggled my fingers. “Yay! You seem the same—well, you’re more mellow, but I like that, and I love you whether you’re a god or a normal human being. And yeah, there’s a lot we need to still figure out. Like that whole feeding thing, because I am so not okay with you getting all super close with a woman who looks like she could double for Angelina Jolie, and—”

Seth moved so fast I didn’t even register what he was up to until I felt his lips on mine. I sucked in a startled gasp. It felt like an eternity had passed since the last time he’d kissed me.

Just the tips of his fingers cradled my cheeks as his mouth gently moved over mine. He appeared fully aware of the split in my bottom lip, and was careful to not injure it further. His kiss was tender and so sweet, bringing a wave of fresh tears to my eyes. My hands went to his chest, and I could feel his heart pounding under my palm. My lips parted, and the kiss deepened, sending my pulse racing as the tip of his tongue touched mine.

I was immediately lost to him—to the feel of his lips, to the touch of his hands, and to his taste. I was lost and a part of me never wanted to be found.

He made a raw, hungry sound as his fingers glided down my throat and over my shoulders. “Say it again,” he ordered huskily.

Dazed with desire, I opened my eyes. I knew what he meant without any further explanation. “I love you, Seth.”

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