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pupils dilate until I could see my reflection in their bottomless depth.
 Lil? he warned.
I closed my eyes tight, face burning.
Seconds passed. Nothing happened. No whoosh of air. No feeling of weightlessness or a tingle indicating my body had disintegrated into tiny
atoms. Cold air hit my skin, and my ears picked up outdoor sounds. I opened my eyes and blinked. We were on a flat shoulder on the mountain
ridge hugging Cache Valley.
 How? I didn t feel anything, I said.
 Teleporting is so fast your normal senses can t detect any changes in or around you.
I realized I still had my arms around Bran and stepped back. Studying our surroundings gave me a chance to cool my burning cheeks and steady
my thundering heart. The sun hovered above the western ridges of the Wasatch Mountains, the golden rays bathing us and the buildings scattered
below. We were somewhere north of Hsia s house.  It s breathtaking.
 The air is crisper than down there, Bran said from behind me.
I turned to find he had spread a thick blanket on the ground. He dropped down to recline sideways with one leg straight and the other bent, an elbow
propping his upper body. The face, the attire, the setting, he could be posing for the Outdoor Living magazine. For a moment, he held me
spellbound with his piercing emerald eyes.
I dragged my eyes away from his to the two boxes of pizza, two salad containers, bottled water and a six-pack of Sprite spread before him.  How
did you find this place? I asked.
 Not by accident. I love high places. He patted the area on the blanket beside him.
Heart thumping, I kicked off my shoes, sat with my legs straight and my hands on my lap. We weren t even that close, yet his warmth reached out
and enveloped me. My eyes sought his.  Because of the air?
 Not really. The isolation appeals to me more. I think better when alone.
 I read that Hermonite demons move in packs.
He shrugged.  They do. But being alone doesn t bother me. In fact, I prefer it. Or rather I did before. He glanced at me from under his lashes and
So he liked hanging out with me, but wasn t too thrilled about it. I didn t know how to feel about that. I looked around for something else to talk about.
My gaze fell on our picnic.  What toppings did you pick?
He sat up and opened the pizza boxes. One had half pineapple and half mixed vegetables, the second one had pepperoni.  I wasn t sure what you
like but thought I couldn t go wrong with fruit and vegetables. And the salads.
I opened the salad containers. Pasta and Caesar. Nice. I added the dressing and croutons to the veggies. As I reached for the plastic bag with
disposable utensils, I looked up and found Bran watching me. He wasn t eating though he held a slice of pepperoni pizza. Our last meal flashed
through my head. He was waiting for me this time.
As soon as I forked some lettuce, he took a bite of his pizza. For the next fifteen minutes, we ate and drank pop, and just enjoyed the view. I thought
it would be cooler up the mountain, but it wasn t. I felt warm& comfortable& happy. After the salad, I had two slices from the pineapple and veggie
box while Bran demolished most of the other pizza.
Done, I leaned back on the heel of one hand and played with my soda can using my other hand. I tried hard not to look Bran s way. The battle was
lost before it even began. He d gone back to a reclining position but now propped his upper body with his elbows, his head only a few inches from
my arm.
My eyes traveled from his long masculine legs, past a narrow waist and wide chest to smiling lips and sculptured face. Rays from the setting sun
danced on his midnight black, shoulder length hair. When my eyes connected with his, I found he d been studying me with unsmiling, brooding eyes.
My cheeks warmed, but I didn t look away.
He butted me with his head.  Tell me what happened this evening to make you so angry?
 I thought you were supposed to show me something first. I made a play of pushing his head away and let my fingers sink into his hair. It was dry
now and so soft. No fizzled tips. I wish I had hair like his. When he didn t answer me right away, I tugged at his locks.
 I m waiting for it to get dark.
What did daylight have to do with it? Was he going to turn into some light-sensitive demonic fiend? Even as the thought crossed my mind, I realized
I didn t care. Whatever Bran was, I d accept him just like he accepted me.
 Lil? He encouraged me with a nod to start talking.
I let go of his hair, my restless hand moving to the blanket. I plucked the threads.  I overheard Kim and the others talking. Kim was doing most of the
talking while Izzy more or less agreed with her. Remy and Sykes tried to make her stop.
Bran s eyes sharpened as though he were bracing himself.  What did she say? He sounded angry.
 That it was weird I could stop omnis and start dry storms, something no Guardian has ever done. She accused me of using air powers on her
when I know I didn t. She questioned the origin of my powers. [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]


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