Chapter Nine

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Hey, Wattpad! Welcome to the second-last day of the 10 Days of True Born! I hope you like these two final chapters. I really do love and welcome your reads, comments, votes, etc. And so - on with the show!  


I wake tangled in Jared's legs, heavy warm logs under my head. His arm curls around me, twists in my shirt. I peek up at him. His perfect lips pull up in sleep, making him look like a little boy with a secret. One blond lock hangs down and cradles one eye. As I stare at him, he stirs and stretches, cat-like, before cocking one eye open.

"You make a terrible guard," I grumble, frozen to the spot.

Jared just looks at me, curiously peaceful. "You say that now, but you actually slept through the night."

"And so did you," I accuse.

"I don't sleep. Not on duty." He rubs his eyes.

I snort and roll over, sitting up. "What am I, if not a duty?" He doesn't answer, but lets his hands fall onto his legs as we contemplate each other. This morning they are a miraculous blue. Up close they aren't blue exactly but ocean blue shot with green and gold, and I wonder how they look indigo sometimes. My fingers reach up as if to stroke his face. "Your eyes change," I murmur, unsure I've said it out loud until he answers.

"A lot of me changes," he says after a long beat but doesn't spin snark into his words.

We're still close, close enough for me to study a faint freckle near his left eye. He's so warm and alive as I breathe him in, out. For a moment I close my eyes, dizzy with sensations.

A ghost of regret maybe, maybe even a hint of panic, passes over his handsome features. He swallows and suddenly I'm nervous as a cat as he leans back and slowly, like he expects me to jump him, pulls himself off the bed. He looks around the dim room like he's never seen it before and announces, "Let's get breakfast."

It's barely seven when I slip into my sister's room. The room is bright, the drapes wrenched open at awkward angles like someone's clawed at them. Margot's curled up in one corner, snail-like. Her sleepy blood surges through my veins.

"Margot," I whisper. I take her hand. It's clammy and hot with sleep. For a brief moment I panic over fever, but then remember the doctor telling us that Margot's system might react to some of the shots she was given.

I run my fingers through her silky hair, feel it catch between my fingers. The troubled lines of her face, what little I can see, at any rate, smooth out at my touch. After a few minutes I kiss her cheek, cold under my lips like china, and creep out the door.

Jared is leaning against the wall, waiting for me, as I come out of the room.

The hallway is wide and well lit, but closed in with Jared, it feels small. He hides a small smile and claps a hand on my shoulder and points down another hallway. "Kitchen is that way, Princess."

"You're taking this stalking thing to whole new heights," I tell him.

"How is she?"

I shrug. "She's asleep."

"Trust me, that's a good thing."

"And what about when she wakes up?"

His eyes glitter. "Then you get on with the rest."

We arrive in the spacious dining room just as the dark-haired woman comes in carrying a tray of French toast. She barely glances at me, so I am able to catch the fine web of lines that pulls across her eyes as she smiles at Storm, sitting at the head of the table. I peg her at our mother's age, maybe a bit older. Sometimes it's hard to tell with the Lasters. Then again, I think, recalling where I am, she may not be a Laster.

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