Seph’s a good foot taller than me, so it’s no
surprise his legs are longer, but still I have to walk faster than I’d like to
keep up with his pace. His gaze stays focused ahead of us, his lips moving
soundlessly as he counts each step he takes.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been this
close to any guy, let alone Seph. He smells like wood and citrus. I’d be lying
if I said I didn’t take an extra-long whiff. His scent overtakes the stale air
around us and makes me lightheaded. I wonder if he can tell that it’s been
three days since I’ve taken a shower, and even then, there was barely enough
soap to wash all of me and my hair. I lean my head down to sneak a whiff of my
pit as I press against a door to see if it’ll give—it doesn’t. It’s not too
bad—or I’m so used to my own stench I can’t notice it anymore. Please don’t let that be the case.
that this is something I should really be worrying about right now. Or that I’m
trying to impress him.
It’s just, I’m not good at this. People. Guys.
He might as well be an alien for all I know what to say to him. Clara was the
one who started our conversation before like it was the easiest thing in the
world. I don’t know how to do that, or what to say. Instead I notice how he has
a slight limp and how his left arm swings a little more than his right. His
shoulders slope forward, like he’s trying to carry the weight of the world on
them, and his stunning gray eyes are sad, pained. It’s a look I’ve seen in my
own eyes. Right after Dad vanished. And then when I moved. I’m sure they
haven’t gotten any better since I’ve been in here.
His head swivels my way. “What?” His voice is
“Nothing,” I say instead of admitting I was
He gazes back to what’s ahead of us, his lips
still moving, thirty-something—I think. When he gets to forty, he turns in my
direction. “Nice art.” He nods toward my arms, his brows drawn together. Either
he’s really checking them out, or he doesn’t think there’s anything nice about
them at all.
don’t know which way to take it, so I just
think birds are some of the coolest animals.”
His finger skims over a huge black raven, sending goosebumps up my arm. My
stomach turns over, reminding me it’s empty. I should’ve had a tortilla when I
had the chance. “It must feel so free to be able to fly.”
The smallest of smiles plays on his full lips,
and his eyes look distant—far away. If he hadn’t said he didn’t have his SOUL,
I’d think he used it to put that hint of red creeping into his cheeks. Maybe if
he wasn’t Seph and I wasn’t Lezah, I’d say he’s kind of cute. But the rosy
color along with the smile fades before my eyes, reminding me exactly who we