CHAPTER 47

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The cool chain chilled my cheek as I leaned against it and swayed. I looked up at the setting sun as it descended behind the tall trees that backed up against Joshua Park. Tom's image flashed before my eyes again. I woke up on Judy's couch this morning to his face in my memory, and the sound of his voice in my ears. I'd slept, or tossed and turned, most of the day away, ruminating.

Even the park, my favorite place to think, didn't help me sift through the fog of confusion. Me married? I extended my arm in front of me and flicked my hand up to see the ink again. The intricate weaving of the vine-like lines up my arm. How did it appear? Briana's pictures show my plain arm in one photo and a tattooed arm in the next. Almost like it happened in an instant.

I straightened in the swing. I'd stopped moving at some point but didn't notice. I scanned the deserted park and drew in a deep breath. I flipped my palm open and called my electricity to my fingertips.

What I didn't expect was a ball of flickering electricity to appear. I shot up out of the swing, and it batted against the back of my knees. The crisp smell of the revolving ball of energy tickled my nostrils. Little sparks ignited around the neon blue bundle of electricity. It crackled with energy, and my palm tingled as it hovered less than a half inch above my flesh. I'd never been able to do this before. Only fry things I touched.

Was this related to my new ink as well? I folded my fingers around the ball, and it poofed into oblivion.

The park wasn't doing it for me. So far it'd brought me more doubt and more questions. Time to go to my other spot. The pictures from Briana's phone showed that my wedding had taken place next to the boulder at The Hill. So, obviously I must have shared my love of that spot with Tom to have brought everyone up there for a wedding.

"Yeah." Maybe going there would jar some memories loose.

I didn't know Tom, but I felt him. Every time I thought of him, or pictured him in my mind my heart slammed against my chest. Then, before, when I was near him, my skin prickled. And why did I get fiercely protective and mad when Sean had hit him? How could we have bonded so much in less than a few months?

And enough to marry? That didn't make sense.

I made my way through the vacant neighborhood and up the little hill. As I broke through the cover of trees surrounding my spot, I slowed to a walk and stared at my marks.

My heart thumped, and my breathing hitched. I held my glowing hand out, and another ball of electricity appeared when I called for it. It hovered just above my palm, flashing and rotating like a little version of earth, only ignited with blue-tinted light.

I curled my fingers around it, but not all the way to snuff it out. Warmth spread through my fingertips. I stopped moving and turned toward the trees and found one to use as target practice. I whipped the ball at a tree trunk, and it splintered, then toppled over. I jumped back, shocked.

The energy hummed in my ears. The strength I felt flowing through me was intoxicating.

It's our bond that strengthens you.

I whirled around and Tom stood beside my rock. Fifty-feet separated us, but I still leaned toward him. My heart throbbed, and I put my hand over my heart.

"Our bond," I said. "How? And in such a short time?" I stepped toward him, unable to, or too tired to, resist the pull to him.

"It's a bond five-hundred years in the making."

That should have scared me, him saying five hundred years, but for some reason it didn't. I continued moving to him. "You can read my mind and talk to me with yours?"

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