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I was led into another room. This one had a bed, with no headboard, covered in black and red blankets. The walls were painted white, red and black, with red on two walls and black and white on the others. There were few furnishings. The objects did include a bookcase, a plain white chair, and a dresser. There was only one door, which I assumed to be a closet.

“Welcome home,” Jace said. I spun around, suddenly nose to nose with him. I backed away slowly, bumping into the bed and falling back onto it. A blush rose to my cheeks.

He laughed. “You’re so cute when you blush,” he said, shaking his head. This only caused my cheeks to redden more.

“Oh, come on, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about around me.” I nodded. I’d told him some of my best-kept secrets, after all. I sighed and let my head fall back onto the pillows.

He plopped down next to me. The covers radiated a warm feeling to my back and through my body. “C’mon, Ava, I want to know everything about you.”

I met his gaze, sitting up. “Why? What’s so interesting about me?” I asked, finally speaking my mind. He sighed, running his hands through his hair.

“I need- want- I want to know what Roman- what we’re- taking you away from,” he said.

I sighed. “I’m obviously not as interesting as I’ve led you to believe. Maybe I should’ve started by saying my favorite color’s green, and I love to read.”

“Fine,” he said, “we can start all over, if that’s what you’d like. Why do you read?” Such a simple question, yet the answer was so difficult to put into words.

“Well, I guess, for starters, reading is discovering. I once saw that on a poster in a classroom when I was younger. Not only do you make discoveries on the topic of the book. You also learn about yourself from reading. And… I don’t know.

It’s like… You can learn about the way other characters from other stories are developed, then reflect and think about your own personality. You get what I mean?”

Jace considered for a moment. “I guess so. That’s really deep,” he said.

I burst into laughter. “Sorry, but don’t, like, ever say that again.”

“And why not?” he asked with a crooked smile and a bemused expression.

“So, I had this one English teacher. There was this total *** hole in my cl***, and she was always like, ‘That’s so deep,’ when he related things to football. Sure, I’m all for metaphors, but that sport is all the kid understood. Anyway, the kid could’ve said, ‘My dog has a bow,’ and she’d be like, ‘Wow, Tyler, that’s so deep.”

He raised his eyebrows, smiling. “Sorry,” I said, wiping my eyes. “I guess it’s just something that Ale- Never mind,” I whispered.

“What were you going to say?” he asked.

I sighed and shrugged. What could it hurt, to tell him? “My friend… Alex. He was really my only friend- at all.”

He took my hands in his. “I’m sorry.”

I glanced into his eyes, which were staring back into mine apologetically. “Hey,” I said, trying to lighten the mood, “I’m a vegetarian.”

He smiled, the moment prior forgotten. He accused, “You’re joking.”

I shook my head, smiling. “No, no I am not.”

“I’m a werewolf.”

I nodded. “Still trying to get that through my head, but I don’t eat meat.”

“Ever?” he whispered. I shook my head. “I thought you grew up on a farm?” I smiled.

“Yep, plenty of eggs to get protein from,” I joked.

“What’s your favorite movie?” I asked him.

He glanced over at me and asked, “Why would you want to know that?” I shrugged, my gaze unwavering.

“Things like this tell a lot about a person,” I replied simply.

“I don’t know if I have one.”


“Really. Why, what’s yours?”

I blushed. “Trust me, you do not want to know,” I said, giggling.

“Seriously, c’mon. What is it?”

I smiled and asked, “You really, really wanna know?” He nodded. “The Lion King.”

He laughed. “God, that’s nerdy.”

“Shut up! I love Disney movies! They’re totally my soft spot.” I pulled at my Old Navy t-shirt.


We went back and forth all evening, talking and quizzing each other on our favorites. My love for music arose, as did his love for playing the piano. We laughed and talked until we fell asleep- or at least I did. Last I knew, he was awake…

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