Chapter Twenty-Nine

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I woke up in the most perfect place I could imagine - cocooned in Luke's arms. During the night he'd drawn the covers up over our heads; we were back in the little world where it was only us and nothing could touch us. 

It was a bliss that didn't last. 

"Rise and shine, lovebirds," Riley sang, yanking the covers off us. A split-second later she flung open the curtains and sunlight poured into the room. 

Poured onto Luke. 

He let out a terrible cry and rolled off the bed, trying to press himself into the darkest corner of the room. Pulling the covers off the bed, I started towards him but Ethan knocked me out of the way. I stumbled against the bed. 

Grabbing Luke by the shirtfront, Ethan dragged him into the sunlight. Luke flung up a hand to protect his face as the sun scorched his skin.  

"He's a monster, Kiara, can't you see that?" Ethan cried. 

Riley fell back against the door, her face white. 

Luke screamed again. 

I leapt onto the bed and pulled the curtains shut, cutting out the deadly light. Luke sagged in Ethan's hands. His skin was already reddened and blistered.  

Scrambling off the bed, I slammed my fist into Ethan's face. I loved him like a brother but I'd never felt such intense anger towards him before. Ethan dropped Luke, falling back a pace. His hand came up to cup his bleeding nose. 

Sparing not a glance for Ethan, I snatched up the bundles of blankets from the floor and flung them over Luke. He'd been in the sun for less than a minute; I could only pray he wasn't badly hurt. If Ethan was still this vehemently opposed to vampires, he wouldn't react well if I offered to open a vein for my boyfriend.  

"Kiara," Ethan started to say then stopped. Hesitancy was written across his face. Blood from his nose dripped onto his lips. I choked back a savage laugh. If he could see himself - he looked almost as much vampire as Luke did. 

"You -" My voice shook so hard with rage that I broke off after one word. I fought to control myself. Yes, I was angry with Ethan but he was still my friend. If I didn't get a hold of myself I was going to do something I'd regret.  

"You dare call Luke a monster while you stand there torturing him?" I snarled. 

"I wanted to show you..." 

"What? That he isn't human? I knew that from the moment I met him. If it's a monster you wanted to show me then you have. He's standing right in front of me." 

Ethan blanched. "I'm sorry," he said, his voice barely above a whisper.  

"I'm not the one you should be apologising to." 

Ethan looked at the bundle of blankets shielding Luke. "You really care about him, don't you?" 

"I love him, Ethan." 

My words were like blades cutting through the thick tension. Emotions flashed across Ethan's face, too fast for me to read.  

"You what?" 

"You heard me. I. Love. Him." 

Luke struggled to his feet, sliding his hand into mine. His skin was hot but not feverish like it had been after Caleb threw him into the sun. He might have been in pain but he was making a stand with me. I loved him even more. 

" someone going to tell me what the hell is going on?" Riley said.

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