• “Are you free to be anything more than a friend to me? If,” and she stressed the if heavily, “I ever decided to live in Avalon and wanted to be with you, would you be free enough to do that?”
    He looked away, and Laurel could tell he’d been avoiding a conversation like this.
    “Well?” she insisted.
    “If you wanted it,” he finally said.
    “If I wanted it?”
    He nodded. “I’m not allowed to ask. You would have to ask me.”
    Her breath caught in her chest, and Tamani looked at her.
    “Why do you think David bothers me so much?”
    Laurel looked down at her lap.
    “I can’t just storm in and proclaim my intentions. I can’t ‘steal’ you away. I just have to wait and hope that, someday, you’ll ask.”
    “And if I don’t?” Laurel said, her voice barley above a whisper.
    “Then I guess I’ll wait forever.”
  • “Tell me,” he said, his voice sharp and demanding. “Tell me David is all you need or want out of life.” Ηis face was close to her, his soft breath caressing her face. “Τhat you never think of me when you are kissing him, that you don’t dream of me the way I dream of you. Tell me you don’t love me.”
  • “It’s going to be gone soon, isn’t it?” he said, more than a tinge of regret in his voice as he studied the large flower.

    She nodded, craning her neck to look back at the blue blossom. “It should be gone in another week or two,” she said. There was a distinct lack of regret in her voice. “Maybe less, after last night.”

    Is it really such a bother?”


    David’s hands stroked one of the longer petals on the blossom from base to tip, then brought it briefly to his nose and inhaled. “It’s just so . . . I don’t know . . . sexy.”

    Really? But it’s so . . . plantish.”

  • “Laurel rolled her eyes. “Now there‟s something I really wanted to know ” she said sarcastically. “Ah come on—everyone wonders.” “Do not ” “Sure. I‟ve always wondered what kind of a kisser David is.” “Um that‟s one of those questions you‟re not supposed to ask.” Chelsea laughed. “I didn‟t ask. I just said I‟ve always wondered.” “That‟s asking.” “Is not.” She leaned back against her headboard. “‟Course you could tell me anyway.” “Chelsea ” “What I told you.” “I didn‟t ask.” “Technicality.” “I‟m not telling.” “That‟s code for he sucks.” “He does not suck.” “Aha ” Laurel sighed. “You are so weird.” “Yeah ” Chelsea said with a grin tossing her springy curls. “But you love me.” Laurel laughed. “Yes I do.” She leaned over and tipped her head onto Chelsea‟s shoulder. “And I‟m glad you‟re happy
  • “His face was tense, his jaw flexed as he stared at her. She could hardly stand to meet his eyes. They were an ocean of betrayal. They probed her, searching for the smallest sign that she didn’t mean it. That spark of hope that never seemed to go out.”
  • “And if you care about me half as much as you claim, then it should matter way more to you what I think than what they think.
  • “You ready for this?” Shar asked.
    “Yeah,” Tamani said, a grin spreading across his face, “Oh, yeah.”
  • “Tamani smiled softly and lifted a hand to her face, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear and letting his thumb rest on her cheek. ‘Trust me, it’s no picnic missing you. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”
  • “If the time comes and your dream doesn’t seem worth it, then maybe it was the wrong dream.”
  • “Her two worlds, two lives that she tried so hard to keep separate, were crashing together. And she felt helpless to stop it.”


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