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The Casual Vacancy Blood and Fire (Guardian Witch #4)

Every time I open my mouth to speak, I feel like I’m going to cry. So, I’m keeping it shut.

But with the wooden shutters behind the window, the reflection—the similarities—grew more pronounced. Over the entire right side of Merik’s face, and over his right ear too, was a large patch of shiny red skin with the faintest line of black to circle around. Dirt, he assumed, since it had been days since he’d had a real bath.The explosion had hit Merik on that side, so his right shoulder, his right arm, his right leg—they had taken all the flames, all the force.

Small Favor (The Dresden Files #10)

Merik bent a cautious glance to the front door, but it remained locked. Cam couldn’t barge in when she returned, not without Merik to tap out the lock-spell. So with methodical care, he eased off his shirt. For eleven days, he’d examined these wounds, yet he’d witnessed only a fraction of the full picture. A sliver of the true monster that now stood before the window.Eyes hooded, Merik scrutinized his body in the glassy glare. Dirt, if that was indeed what marked him, laced across the new pink flesh coating his right side. Down the black moved, gathering most densely at his chest. At his heart.A bath was in order, he decided, once he had the time. Once the streets weren’t crawling with Royal Forces. Once he’d gotten what he needed from Pin’s Keep.

On Every Street (The Artists Trilogy #0)

He stepped left, twisting to inspect his back. The dirt continued down his shoulder blades. The burns too, though far fewer.Destined for greatness? he murmured as he slipped on his shirt. I know you always said that, Kull, but look at me now. I should be dead, and you should still be alive.

As the words fell from Merik’s mouth, a memory percolated to the surface. You should be dead, and Mother should still be alive.

Merik snorted humorlessly. Aunt Evrane always used to say that Vivia hadn’t meant what she’d muttered at the funeral. That the sight of their mother’s body, smashed from the force of her jump off the water-bridge, had simply driven Vivia to thoughtless cruelties.Cut moved around the back of the couch, and ran his hands through Nila’s hair. She bit her lip as he kept her still, hemming her inside the barricade of his fingers. Time to choose, my dear. Where do you want to wear the mark?

Ever since I’d crawled out of bed after seeing my ancestors’ graves, I’d been different. Remote, cold. To be honest, I didn’t recognise myself.I’d tried to work, to drown my thoughts with patterns and sewing, but I couldn’t stop thinking of the past. How did the other Weaver women cope? How did they justify their captivity and pay the debts in full?

Saving Raphael Santiago (The Bane Chronicles #6)

In one month, I’d made more progress with Jethro than I’d hoped, yet now, I wanted nothing to do with him. I’d lied when I told him I’d only slept with him to prove he had a soul. I’d lied to myself, hoping I would believe it. But nothing could sway the truth or hide the tingling connection that stitched us together—for better or for worse.As much as I needed him on my side, I couldn’t come to terms with what his family had done.

His text kept repeating inside my head; the words making no sense but somehow holding a promise of understanding if I only gave it time to unriddle.Somehow, I had to do the impossible by pretending to care all while hating his guts. It was easier said than done when face-to-face with the evidence of his family’s crimes.

Seeing the tombstones of my ancestors hurt me deep, terrified me of my future, but worse than that—it showed me just who I’d become.I was a deserter. A betrayer to the Weaver name.

How could I wield my heart in a battle that I wouldn’t win? And how could I ignore the fact that by letting Jethro into my bed, I’d let him turn me into a Hawk?Cut tugged hard on my hair, snapping my attention back to my current predicament. His alcohol-laced breath sent fumes into my lungs as my scalp burned from his hold. The marks of the debts must be done. Chose a place. Quickly, my dear.

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