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 Rachel didn t think it was wrong, did she? Jenks pressed.
 She said she was sorry for waiting so long, Ivy whispered as if she didn t believe it.  But she saw the
hunger, Jenks. She saw it raw, and I hurt her with it. She s not going to want anything to do with
me knowing that.
It was a very small voice, vulnerable and afraid, and Jenks watched me, not her.  Why are you trying to
hide what you are? he said softly, his words for both of us.  Do you think seeing your hunger shocked
her? Do you think she s so shallow that she d condemn you for it? That she didn t know it was in you
and loved you anyway?
Ivy shook with her head on her knees, and tears slipped from me. My head hurt and my neck throbbed,
but it was nothing compared to my heartache.
 She loves you, Ivy. God knows why. She made a mistake in asking you to separate the love from the
hunger, and you made a mistake thinking you could.
 I wanted what she could give me, Ivy said, curled up into herself.  Just that much would have been
enough. Never again, she said.  Never, never, Jenks. She s safe. You re right. I destroy everything I
touch.
I struggled to keep from passing out. She wasn t a monster.  Ivy?
Her head jerked up. Her face was white and tracked with tears.  I thought you were unconscious, she
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said, scrambling to her feet and wiping her face.
Blinking, I wavered where I sat. Guilt lay thick on me, and Jenks sat cross-legged by the open door in a
patch of sun, a faint, sad smile on him.
She stood in a frozen quandary.  Are you okay? she asked, clearly wanting to rush over but afraid to.
Between the blood loss and the absurdity of the question, I almost laughed.
 Uh-huh, I said, giving up on trying to have this make sense.  Can I have some water? I whispered,
then tipped over.
My neck sent a stab of pain to shock me and I couldn t breathe; my face was buried in the covers. I
tried to cry out but was helpless. Damn it, even my arms wouldn t work.
 Oh God, Ivy said, her hands cold as she pulled me up. I took a grateful breath, trying to focus through
the hurt. Jenks was at my feet, and he tugged them down until I was flat on my back and looking up at
them with wide eyes, teetering on unconsciousness again now that the adrenaline had played itself out.
The asinine relief that I had shaved my legs lifted through me and was gone.
 Here, Dad, Jax offered, that red straw in his two-fisted grip.
Jenks grabbed that absurdly small cup of water, never sloshing it as he retrieved it from the nightstand.
 She s bleeding again, he said, his voice and face grim.  Dust her.
 Don t give her the water yet. Ivy was a confusing blur as I tried to focus.  I ve got something to put in
it.
Struggling to keep from passing out, I watched her snatch up her purse and rummage through it. My
stomach clenched when she brought out a small vial.  Brimstone? I whimpered, waiting for Jenks s
protest.
But all I heard was his soft,  Not so much this time.
Ivy s oval face scrunched in anger as she unscrewed the top.  I know what I m doing.
Jenks glared at her.  She s too weak for what you usually give her. She can t eat enough to support that
high a metabolism with all the blood you took out of her.
 And you know all about that, don t you, pixy? she said sarcastically.
So much for playing nice.Tired, I let my eyes shut while they argued, hoping I didn t die in the interim
and make the problem moot. I wasn t ever going to get my water. Ever.
 Rachel?
It was close and direct. Startled, I opened my eyes. Jenks was kneeling beside the bed with that cup
and straw in his hand. Ivy was behind him, her arms crossed over her chest, cheeks spotted with red.
Anger and worry warred in her expression. I d missed something.  No Brimstone, I slurred, my hands
rising to push it away. My throat tightened as my emotions swung from one extreme to the next. They
were so worried about me.
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Jenks furrowed his brow, looking too severe for someone so young.  Don t be stupid, Rache, he said,
catching my arms and easily forcing them down.  You either take it with Brimstone or you ll be flat on
your ass for four weeks.
He was swearing. I knew I must be doing better. I could smell the water. I couldn t move my arms
under his soft restraint, and I felt sick.Why were they making me do this?
I looked at the straw, and taking that as a yes, Jenks slipped it between my lips. Breath held, I sucked it
down, thinking the rusty water tasted better than the last cold beer I d had. Tears started leaking out, my
emotions thoroughly out of control. I thought of Ivy doing the same to me, bleeding me dry with that
same metallic taste of me in her mouth.
I started to cry, choking on the water.Damn it, what in hell was wrong with me?
 That s enough, Ivy said softly. Through my watering eyes, I saw her reach out in concern, her hand
touching Jenks s shoulder. He jumped, and Ivy pulled away, her face full of an inner pain.
She thought she was a monster. She thought she couldn t touch anyone without ruining them, and I had
proved her right.
The enormity of her life s misery fell on me, and I started to shake.
 She s going into shock, Ivy said, oblivious to the real reason. I d hurt her. I thought I had been strong
enough to survive her, and by failing, I d hurt her.
Jenks set the cup aside and rose.  I ll get a blanket.
 I ve got it, she said, already gone.
My hands fluttered, and I realized I was getting sticky blood all over the bed. They were trying to help, [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]




 

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