I told Grayson what had happened to his father. I didn’t tell him about Eve.
The entire time, his face was like stone. “You look like you want to hit something,” I told him.
He shook his head.
I made him look at me. “How about swinging a sword?”
Grayson corrected my stance. “Let the blade do the work for you,” he reminded me, and in that moment, I was reminded of more.
Of the first day I’d met him. How arrogant he’d been, how sure of himself and his place in the world. I thought about the first time I’d caught him really looking at me, and the way he’d told me that I had an expressive face. I thought about bargains struck and promises made and stolen moments and words spoken in Latin.
But mostly I thought about the ways that the two of us were alike. “I had a dream,” I told him. “When I was in the coma. You and Jameson were fighting. About me.”
“Avery…” Grayson lowered his sword.
“In my dream,” I continued, “Jameson was angry that you didn’t run toward me. That I was lying there at death’s door, and you couldn’t move.
But, Grayson?” I waited for him to look at me, with silver eyes and the weight of the world on his shoulders. “I’m not angry. I’ve spent my entire life not running toward anyone. I know what’s it like to just stand there—to not be able to do anything else. I know what it’s like to lose someone.”
I thought about my mom, then Emily.
“I am an expert at not wanting to want things.” I held my sword up for a moment longer, then lowered it, the way he’d lowered his. “But I’m starting to realize that the person I need to be, the person I’m becoming—she’s not that girl anymore.”
I’d been given the world. It was time to stop living scared, time to take the reins.
It was time to take risks.
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