Each ding of rain against the roof was a knife driving into Aris’s chest, pinning her, sleepless and shaking, to the bed. How it could be time already? The faint milky glow of the village pathways seeped along the rim of her room’s shades, shedding just enough light to make the dark shapes of furniture frightening. She stared blindly at the ceiling, listening to the rain.
Usually the sound soothed her, helped her slide into soft-focus dreams.
But tonight, all she could think about was how different things would be, if it rained like this in Safara. If the desert didn’t suck its people dry.
Tears skated hot down her cheeks as the pounding of the rain hammered against her bones.
When Calix tapped a fingernail on the window, she slipped silently into the waterlogged night. The time for casual greetings, for words, had passed. She threw herself against him, her hands snaking into his hair. He grabbed her right back, his mouth finding hers in the rain and the dark, as he pressed her against the side of the house.
As the water ran down them, she ran her hands along his cheeks, his ears, his closed eyes, touching, memorizing. The slickness of his wet hair beneath her fingers, the sensation of his strong arms around her, the warmth that pooled in her belly when he pulled her closer, running his hands down her back. She found the hem of his military-issue jacket and slid her hands underneath, paying attention to the smooth heat of his skin, vowing she’d remember the way his flat stomach felt against her fingers.
“Mosquito,” he whispered against her mouth. She shook her head and kissed him harder.
She wasn’t ready for this moment to be over. Not when they had so few moments left.
~*~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~*~
Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.
By Blood series
What the Sea Wants
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