Cracked Open: book 3

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Sixteen

Kaia

Deep in the night, while we were both drifting in and out of sleep, barely alive at this point, I could feel this itching along my ribs. It wasn’t necessarily uncomfortable, but the feeling was annoying when it added to every other ache and pain zinging through my body.

Some instinct made me open my eyes – I didn’t know I still could honestly ñ and because I was facing Ciro I saw that his eyes were open just wide enough to watch his inner wrist. He was weaker than me. The sheets rustled and twisted around my legs like they tried to keep me within the warmth of them. I fought to sit up out of the blankets and reached for Ciro’s wrist.

“Oh my gods.” There were dark lines that swirled across his skin resembling tree roots.

Ciro still had enough energy to shift in bed and reach for me as well. His sweaty fingers grazed along my ribs and then traced a delicate line along the underside of one breast, stopping at the peak between my breasts, and then traced the other half circle of roots and leaves. Goosebumps lifted. I had markings as well that matched his.

“This means...Kaia this means -“

“We’re completely bonded.” We whispered as if it was a secret we had to keep away from the cavern walls.

Ciro sighed and leaned against the headboard. “I told you.”

I shoved at his bicep. “You jerk.”

Ciro groaned, but his dim eyes held a spark once again. If he could, he would be laughing at me.

“Oh, sorry.”

“Hmm-hmm,” Ciro mumbled as his eyes slide shut. “Come here.” He weakly held his arm to the side, and I shifted into place.

We rested there for long minutes.

Then Ciro broke the silence. “So this is what it feels like.”

“This is what it feels like.” I sighed in agreement, and I could feel Ciro watching me relax into his side with love that fought through the pain in his eyes.

We drifted off again into a weak sleep. Both of us didn’t know when we would wake up again, but at least we understood the deep connection of a bond. Even through the pain there was this soothing comfort deep in my soul. It was probably the feeling of Ciro’s soul intertwining with mine. My soul was no longer half. Ciro filled me to the brim.

What would happen when he was gone?

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