(Chapter 19)

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ϵ London ϶

In that second, I was complete. My heart was beating again, and I could breathe, for the first time in the long time. Suddenly, I blinked, and the world was bright. Everything had turned a hundred million degrees sharper, and I could see everything properly again.

Or whatever that poetic bullshit meant.

Suddenly my arms were grasped, and twisted painfully behind my back.

“Ow!” I cried, wincing, glaring at the security guard who’d grabbed me. “Let go!”

“I’m very sorry, sir,” the other guard said, addressing Josh – I mean, Jack. “This girl got in, and we didn’t have time to stop her –”

“I know him!” I yelled, trying to break free. “I know him, okay?”

The guard’s grip tightened, and my eyes watered. Crap. I’d forgotten that little inane fact – if you struggle, the person will apply more pressure. I immediately tried to stay as still as I could.

I looked at Josh, my eyes pleading to just tell the guards to go away. Even if he’d moved on, he owed me an explanation, at least, right?

He looked back, his brown eyes cold.

My heart squeezed. He’d definitely moved on, then.

Whatever. Nothing like that’s ever stopped me.

I gave him one more second to admit he knew me. Then I started counting.

Three. Two. One.

I shoved the guard away, kicking his chest hard. The other guard ran towards me but, when he was close enough, I stabbed a finger at the nerve cluster at his neck, and he fell, paralyzed. I smiled. Cam had thought me that one. It would only be temporary. He’d get up in about five to eight hours.

Not wasting another second, I grabbed Josh’s hard (ignoring the fluttering in my stomach as I did), and pulled him into his apartment, slamming his door closed, and locking it. I could hear a guard – the one that wasn’t paralyzed – pounding at the door. I’m guessing Josh’s door was reinforced, so it would be a while before they got in.

“Where’s the lift? The one in your apartment?”

Speechless, he just pointed.

I pulled him along, stabbing the open button. A second later, the doors were open, and I pushed Josh in. I pressed ground floor, and the lift doors closed again, just as Josh’s front door burst open. I caught a flash of a really annoyed-looking, haggard guard.

Now I was relatively safe, I could afford relax again. I leant against the side of the lift, breathing hard. I glanced at Josh, but looked away again when I saw him staring at me.


He shook his head, suddenly smiling a little. “Nothing.”

Suddenly, I was struck by how good he looked. He’d really grown up. All the traces childishness had gone – his high cheekbones were more prominent, and his jaw-line more square. The scar was still over his eyebrow – almost faded, but still there.

I couldn’t help noticing he took up a lot more room – not that he was fat, or anything. It was that he’d also gotten even more muscled since I’d last seen him, and had grown taller – so much so, that when I stood next to him, I felt small and girly and protected.

The lift doors opened again, breaking the tension. I blinked, and remembered what I was doing here. I wound my fingers into Josh’s again – his hands were bigger as well – and pulled him out of the lift, through the empty reception. He didn’t seem to be resisting, so I loosened my grip on his hand a little, but his hand just gripped mine harder. My heart was suddenly thudding, hard, and I blushed.

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