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- Putain, je vous déteste.

Grattant Rhage derrière l'oreille, Brock tourna la tête vers moi.

- Ton langage écorche mes oreilles innocentes.

- Oh la ferme. Tu jures plus qu'un marin bourré qu'on aurait jeté aux requins-tigres.

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- Qu'est-ce que... tu as ressenti lorsque tu t'es réveillé à côté de moi ? demandai-je d'une voix rauque.

- Je me suis senti plus serein que je ne l'avais été depuis des années, répondit-il avec un regard tendre. Comme si j'étais enfin à ma place.

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Il n'avait pas fait ça.

Il ne m'avait pas suivi jusqu'à ma table.

Cam se leva avec une expression emplie d'admiration sur son beau visage.

- Bon sang, mec ! Ça fait une éternité que je ne t'ai pas vu !

Et si.

Il avait osé.

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- Prête ? me demanda Avery, me sortant de mes pensées.

Même si ce n'était pas le cas, je hochai la tête et je mentis, parce que des fois, mentir, c'est comme survivre. On le fait sans s'en rendre compte.

- Prête.

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Le feu intérieur est la chose la plus importante que l'humanité possède.

Edith SODERGRAN

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-Pitié,dis moi que je rêve.

-Si c'était un rêve,on serait beaucoup moins habillés j'espère!

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« Turning from the sink, I dried my hands and then readjusted my hair so it fell forward, over my left shoulder and cheek. I walked out of the bathroom and into the narrow hall, gaze trained on the floor as I took about two steps before I realized someone was standing right outside the door, leaning against the wall. Before I nearly plowed into him.

Gasping, I took a step back. All I could see were finely cut black trousers paired with . . . with old black and white Chucks? What an odd combination, but those shoes reminded me of . . .

I gave a little shake of my head and stepped to the side. “Sorry. Excuse—”

“Jillian.”

I stopped.

Time stopped.

Everything stopped except my heart, because it was suddenly pounding in my chest too hard, too fast. That deep, rough voice. I recognized it all the way to my very core. Slowly, I lifted my gaze, already knowing what I was going to see but refusing to believe it.

Brock Mitchell stood in front of me. »

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Même si ce n'était pas le cas, je hochai la tête et je mentis, parce que des fois, mentir, c'est comme survivre. On le fait sans s'en rendre compte.

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Cette version de moi, celle de ces six dernières années, se contentait de travailler, de rentrer chez elle, puis de se réfugier dans des mondes fictifs où la vie était beaucoup plus excitante que celle que je menais. Je vivais par procuration.

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[spoiler“What . . . what were you thinking when you first saw me in the restaurant?”

His lashes lifted. “I was thinking that I was glad I sought you out. I was thinking that you looked more beautiful than I could’ve possibly ever imagined. And I was thinking . . . I was thinking that even though it was risky approaching you and having you figure out why I was there, I just had to hear your voice.”

The next breath I took was shaky. “What were you thinking when I said I was going out with Grady again?”

Brock’s lip twitched. “I wanted to punch my fist through a wall.”

“How did . . . you feel when you woke up with me?” I asked, my voice hoarse.

“Calmer than I’ve felt in fucking years,” he said, his eyes warming. “Like I was waking up and I was home.”

Oh.

Oh God.

My eyes blurred. “When you kissed me? And when you were finally with me?”

“Felt like it was the first time and the best and the last time.” He took one more step, and with his long legs, he was right in front me. I tilted my head up, and he slowly lifted his hands, cupping my cheeks. “I think there is one more question you need to ask me.”

The lines of his face faded as tears filled my eyes. “Do you . . . do you love me?”

“I love you . . .” He lowered his forehead to mine, and a shudder rolled through me. “I love you like I wish I allowed myself to when we were younger. I love you because you’re not just sweet but you’re kind. I love you because you have this fire in you that you don’t even recognize, but I do. You’re strong and you’re a survivor.”

A tear slipped down my cheek, and he chased it with his thumb. I couldn’t speak. If I tried, I knew I’d start sobbing. Hearing him say these words, these beautiful words, weren’t even from my wildest dreams. My heart swelled like a levee about to break. I wanted to laugh and cry. I wanted to dance and I wanted to hold him.

He loves me.

“There is not a single part of how I love you that has anything to do with guilt.” He dragged his thumbs along my cheeks, catching another tear. “And I’m in love with you and I’ve never felt this way for anyone. You’re my first,” he said, pressing his lips to the deep scar in my left cheek. “You will be my only.”

Brock kissed the left corner of my lips and then he tipped his head, kissing the right side of my jaw. “I love you, Jillian.”

I was beyond words.][/spoiler]

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