The Darwin Chronicles, Book Three: The Blackfire Meadows

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Chapter 7

Emmett woke up at the crack of dawn the next morning. He silently stepped into the kitchen, careful not to wake her mother or sister. Amy was still out cold, but she'd been moved to the couch. The night had been hot, so she had no blanket, only her brassiere and panties covering her. Emmett sat down on a stool next to her and took her hand, something stirring deep inside of him. He looked at her sleeping face, how peaceful it looked, so unlike her waking face. He thought of when he'd first seen her, a wounded scout, a messenger, asking for help to save her home. But now her home was gone. The buildings were there, but the people belonging to them were not. He stroked her lips, her forehead, her chin. He traced the skin along her graceful neck, her stomach, the places around her naval. He gently drew his fingers along her hurting, cut legs, careful not to hurt her. He didn't touch her in any place forbidden, but he almost wanted to. He wanted her to forgive him and hug him and kiss him and lead his hands as they caressed her broken body, and he broke down, crying, not fully letting it all out, but still crying, because he knew that it could never be. She might not ever forgive him for something that wasn't totally his fault, and that made him ache.

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