Pure, p.49
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       Pure, p.49

         Part #2 of Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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Page 49

  “Why?” I lifted my head, swaying a little. My skin tingled, like, all over—tingled like electric shocks—like when Aiden used to touch me or when I’d kissed Seth last night. I’d liked that, too, but I’d liked Aiden’s kisses better. Seth’s touch evoked something different. Gods, my brain wouldn’t shut up. It just kept going and going.

  He pushed away from the window. “You look ridiculous, Alex. ”

  I stopped moving, having no clue exactly when I’d started swaying back and forth. “Yooooou look mooooore ridiculous,” I sang. “You’re brooding. Brooding doesn’t fit you. ”

  He rubbed his chin as his gaze followed me with the intensity of a hawk stalking its prey. “This is going to be a long night. ”

  “Maybe. ” I inched closer to him, because I wanted to be closer to something, someone. “Hey. You smiled. ”

  He dropped his hand. “Don’t. ”

  I giggled. “Don’t what?”

  “Don’t come any closer, Alex. ”

  “You had no problem being close to me last night. Why, are you scared of me?”

  “I’m not. ”

  “Then why can’t I?”

  Amusement flickered across his face for a second before vanishing. “Alex, you need to go lie down. ”

  I spun around, suddenly overcome by the urge to dance. When we’d waltzed in the field—that’d been fun. I wanted to do it again, and I wanted Seth to join me. Dancing alone was kind of lame.

  “Alex—”

  “Okay. I’m sitting down. ” Then I darted for him. I must’ve taken him off guard, because he didn’t move, and come on, Seth could’ve moved out of the way if he’d wanted to.

  But he didn’t.

  I wrapped my arms around his waist like an octopus, and I didn’t want to dance anymore. “This feels good,” I murmured, rubbing my cheek against the front of his shirt.

  Seth didn’t react at first, and I knew he thought it felt good, too. Then he grabbed my arms and untangled them from his waist. “Alex, please go sit down. ”

  “I don’t want to. ” I tried to reach for his neck, but he stepped back. I frowned. “Why do you keep moving away from me? Are you scared of me now?”

  “Yes. Right now, I am. ”

  I threw my head back, laughing. “The big bad Apollyon is afraid of me? I’m hot. Can’t you open up a window?”

  Seth spun around and went to the window. “Why did I suggest this?”

  “Because yooooou like me,” I sang, turning and turning until I felt dizzy. “You really, really like me. Gods, I need to drink this stuff more often. I feel awesome. ”

  Groaning, he looked for the window lock. “You won’t later. ”

  “Huh? You drank it before? You have! You dirty, dirty Apollyon. ” I threw myself on the bed. It was so comfortable. “I love your bed. ” I rolled onto my stomach, smiling. “I love it so much I’d marry it if I could. ”

  Seth laughed out loud. “You’d marry my bed?”

  “Mmm. ” I flopped onto my back. There was a painted mural on Seth’s ceiling. Angels and other winged creatures painted in pretty pastels. “I would if I could marry, but we can’t marry. Not even inanimate objects. Kind of takes the fun out of falling in love. ”

  “Does it?” murmured Seth.

  I pushed off the bed, unable to sit still. Seth was still at the window, but he’d forgotten about the lock. “Haven’t you ever been in love, Seth?”

  He blinked slowly. “I don’t think so. Does loving yourself count?”

  I laughed. “No. It doesn’t. But good try. Seth?”

  “Yes?”

  “It’s hot in here. ”

  Shaking his head, he turned back to the window. “Yeah, let me find the damn lock on this thing and I’ll fix that for you. ”

  It was too hot. Just too hot in here, and I couldn’t stand the itchy material against my skin anymore. Seth was taking too long. I tugged the hoodie over my head and dropped it on the floor. I immediately felt a thousand times better.

  Seth stiffened and let out a strangled sound. “Please tell me you did not take off your clothes. ”

  I giggled. “No. ”

  He ran his hands over his head. More silky strands sifted through his fingers. “I’m going to regret this. I’m so going to regret this. ”

  “I’m not naked, you idiot. ” I tugged my hair off my neck and started twisting it. “And you’ve been trying to see me naked since I met you. ”

  “That may be the case, but not like this. ”

  “Naked is naked,” I reasoned.

  Slowly, Seth turned around and froze. His chest rose and fell unsteadily. “Oh, for the love of the gods, Alex, where is your shirt?”

  I didn’t understand why he was making a big deal about this. I had a bra on. It wasn’t like… the thought evaporated. “I’m so hot. Just give me a shirt. Your shirt would work. ”

  “Yes… you’re hot. I can tell. ” His voice sounded thick and edgy.

  I laughed and let go of my hair, but I was still hot… and out of control. The last time I’d felt this way, I’d kissed Aiden. That is, after I’d punched him in the face. I stopped moving, not liking the nervous fluttering in my stomach. I looked down, expecting to see my skin move. I poked my tummy once, but it felt like I’d jabbed my finger into the skin a thousand times. My heart skipped a beat.

  “What are you doing?” Seth asked.

  “I don’t know. My stomach feels all light. ”

  “It’s the drink. You’ll feel better if you just sit down. I’ll get you a shirt. Just hold on a sec. ”

  I looked up then. Seth had moved to the dresser, rummaging through the drawers. His back was to me—a vulnerable position—and he seemed to be concentrating awful hard on finding a shirt.

  A new, although somewhat old, idea consumed me. I don’t think I’d ever moved so quietly in my life. I was ninja stealth. Seth didn’t realize until it was too late. He shot up and whipped around, eyes wide.

  “Alex, just let me get you a shirt. Stay put. ” He moved to the left.

  I followed him, shadowing his movements much like I did in training. Giving up on the shirt, he darted away from the dresser—away from me. But I was quicker. Once again, I had my arms around him. Then an even better idea took over.

  “Kiss me?” I asked.

  CHAPTER 24

  SETH TIPPED HIS HEAD BACK, SIGHING LOUDLY. “ALEX, YOU DON’T want this. It’s the drink. ”

  “That’s not true. Nothing’s wrong with me. Don’t you want to kiss me?”

  “It’s not about what I want. ” He clasped my arms. “I’m not doing this when you’re like this. ”

  “I’m not drunk,” I said indignantly.

  “You were just dancing like some wood nymph five minutes ago. You took off your shirt and now you’re latched onto me like a little monkey. So don’t tell me you’re in complete control of yourself. ”

  Damn. When he said it like that, I had to stop and think about what I was doing. Thinking lasted all of five seconds, maybe six. Thinking was overrated. “You want to kiss me and you liked kissing me last night. ”

  Seth made a low sound in his throat as he grabbed my shoulders, giving me a little shake. “Do you know why you feel this way right now? It has nothing to do with me or you,” he said roughly. “Someone wanted to ruin you, Alex. They wanted to get you on your back with some pure so you’d be removed from the Covenant and placed into servitude. Don’t you get it? This—this is not you. ”

  “No. This is me, really me. Or the connection thingy, but who cares? I want you to kiss me again. I like you, Seth. I really don’t know why. You’re arrogant and rude, but I like you. Don’t you like me?”

  “Alex. ” He said my name as if he was in some sort of exquisite pain. “I’m trying to be a good guy right now, and you’re not helping. ”

  “I don’t want you to be a good guy. ”

  He choked on his laugh. “You are making this really hard. ”

  I p
ressed against him. “You’re making this harder. ”

  His hands slid down my arms again, sending shivers over me. Could it be possible to be so hot and so cold all at once? “Alex. ”

  “Seth. ”

  “There are a lot of things I want to do to you right now, but it wouldn’t be right. ”

  I tipped my head back and looked him in the eye. Faint marks of the Apollyon started to creep across his face. “Don’t you want to kiss me?” I reached up, running my fingers over his parted lips. “I know you do. I can tell. ”

  Seth’s grip tightened and his eyes fell shut. I slipped a hand under the hem of his shirt. He inhaled and tried to step back, but I followed him… a bit too closely. My leg got snared with his. For someone normally so graceful, he wasn’t right then. He went down, half on his side and half on his back.

  And I, well, I was right where I wanted to be. Giggling, I pressed my mouth to his neck. “Yay me,” I murmured against his skin.

  Seth jerked his head back, but his hands dropped to my hips, fingers digging through the denim. “Alex! Get off—”

  I lowered my mouth to his. Seth pushed at me, but I had a really good hold on him and he didn’t push too hard. And then he stopped pushing me and was pulling me closer—so close that I melted into nothing. Restraint and good intentions vanished when my lips brushed over his. This kiss wasn’t soft or filled with tentative exploration. Seth’s hands got tangled in my hair, and for a while, I got lost in that kiss, lost in all the insane sensations. Then his hands were on my shoulders, my back, and then the clasp of my bra. Seth’s lips never left mine once, not even when he rolled me onto my back.

  Things kind of got beautifully out of control at that point. His shirt came off. My jeans ended up clear across the room. My fingers found the button on his jeans and so on. Crazy as it sounded, Seth held back when I tugged him closer, lifted off me when I tried to wrap myself around him. And even though my body burned for more—demanded it, really—a small nagging voice picked up in the back of my mind, asking questions I didn’t want to answer. Pointing out that this wasn’t real. Or was it? I didn’t know anymore. I knew I should care, but I didn’t. Everything became about feeling.

  Seth’s lips moved across my skin. His hands cupped my cheek before drifting down. My own hands followed his lead, mimicking everything he did until the tips of my fingers no longer felt tingly, but numb instead.

  Seth pulled away again, his breathing heavy and ragged as his fingers traced the curve of my neck. “I shouldn’t do this. Not when you’re like this, but I can’t help myself. What does that say about me?”

  His words confused my already jumbled thought process, but then he kissed me again. This was the powerful, deep kind—the kind I’d had little experience in handling. Only once had I been kissed like this.

 
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