She spent the night reading the book, every spell, until she found the most important one, the one they needed. Flesh tingling with excitement, she couldn’t wait to show Nick. There were so many things she wanted to share with him. She was beginning to piece the mystery together. He still had no idea she was trying to solve the school’s murder problem.
Nick was working out in the meditation room, performing yoga moves by himself. Balanced on one foot, he stretched the other leg behind him and his arms reached for an invisible prize. She hesitated, her mind going blank. She wished she’d memorized a speech before looking for him.
She took a step backwards.
Nick asked, “Are you going to stand there all day or what?”
Gathering her courage, she approached him with a confidence she didn’t feel. “I found a spell for releasing a wraith.”
“Seriously?” He dropped the yoga pose. “And what happens when you release the thing?”
“It goes after its master.”
“The wraith might kill them before we can stop it.”
She shrugged, not caring if a murderer died in place of someone innocent. “You don’t trust me.”
“How am I supposed to trust you when I keep finding you with Gavin?”
“I’m not talking about Gavin. You don’t trust me with your secrets, and you don’t trust me in battle. You just don’t trust me period, and we can’t have a relationship without it.”
He swallowed, and his gaze drifted from her face to the far off wall. “You’re right, but I don’t know what to do about it.”
“I do. Are you willing to give something a try?”
Smiling, she steepled her fingers and placed them beneath her chin as she explained. “There’s an exercise I heard about that we can do that might help us. Closing your eyes when you’re with another person takes a certain amount of trust, don’t you think? It’s not going to magically change everything, but it’s a start. Are you willing to do it with me?”
In answer, he closed his eyes.
She took his hands and placed them on her ears as her eyes also drifted shut. “Here.”
“What am I supposed to be doing?”
“Explore, ask questions, get to know me.”
He chuckled low and sexy. “You have small, delicate ears,” he said, and she heard the smile in his voice. “Why aren’t they pierced?”
“My mom died when I was five, and my single uncle raised me. I suppose I could have gotten my ears pierced on my own. Connor would have let me, but I was never a girlie-girl.”
He reached down, took her hands, and lifted them to his face. He placed them on his nose. Her fingers glided down both sides, feeling a bump. “It’s been broken. When? How?”
He told her the story, their eyes still closed. It seemed easier to be honest when not looking at each other. Maybe he would even let something significant slip. “My brother... Alec, he broke my nose when I was eight. We were both daredevils, and he dared me to jump off the second floor balcony. It was winter and there was a mound of snow below. He convinced me it would be fun.”
She lowered her hands and took a guess. “Was there a rock or tree stump or something beneath the snow?”
“No. I landed okay and even remembered to bend my knees and roll when I hit the ground. Alec was so excited he ran over to congratulate me, tripped, and fell right on top of me. His elbow cracked me hard, broke my nose.”
This time she led his hands to small dimpled scars on the small of her back. “Since I was about nine, I’ve spent every summer in the castle with Van, and during one of those visits I got carried away. I wanted him to show me how to use the cool looking weapons on his den wall and—”
Nick interrupted. “Did you hurt yourself on the mace?”
It was a spike-covered metal ball on a chain, and she’d taken it from the wall without permission. The thing was too heavy for her little hands. “I think I managed to swing it around once before it hit me in the back.”
“I screamed and cried, and Van was there in seconds.” She remembered how he’d scooped her up in his arms and held her on his lap while the tears streamed down her face, a rare moment of safety in her dangerous life. “He didn’t know whether to scold me or comfort me.”
“Touch the back of my neck,” Nick said. “But keep your eyes closed.”
Bay-Lee used her hands to find her way around him. Her palms slid up his back to the nape of his neck. She stroked the soft skin, searching for a scar and massaged the flesh slightly. It felt smooth and warm. “I don’t get it,” she finally said. “What am I looking for?”
“Nothing.” His voice came out raspy. “I just wanted to feel your hands there.”
“What about my lips? Do you want to feel them?” She placed short kisses where her fingers had been moments before.
Nick turned and cupped her face. Then his mouth was on hers. The kiss started out tender, soft, and sweet. The tip of his tongue touched her lips. It sent shockwaves through her. Her lips parted and the kiss turned passionate. Her arms went up around his neck while his slid around her waist. Not even a breath of air could squeeze between them.A sound of outrage split them apart.