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The Valentine’s Day Snippet

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my sweetest readers: I love you because you are the best!

And I have brought you a gift! HOWEVER, you are not to blame me for this gift, because Cindy Pon and Holly Black chose it. They felt it was absolutely the right one. So if you don’t like it… come after them…

Thus without further ado…

It took her a moment to realize there was someone else in that small dark corridor.

He was standing against the wall in the shadows. The only light was the stripe cast through the door Kami had not quite shut behind her; the iron doorknob was still pressed against her palm. His face was shadowed, but in that pale strip of light, she saw the gold glint of his hair and the line of his body, shoulders squared and arms folded.

“It doesn’t matter,” said Kami. She let go of the doorknob and reached for him. Miraculously, he did not flinch away. He let her fingertips rest against the worn leather of his sleeve.

“Listen,” Kami whispered, braver now. “I don’t care what Lillian says, or what anyone says. It doesn’t have to matter. You don’t have to hate yourself. I know you. Better than anyone. Don’t I?”

She felt sinking disappointment when he uncrossed his arms and her hand fell away, certain he was about to move farther away.

But he moved nearer. Surprise ran through Kami at that simple action, his warmth so close to her chilled body. His breath was a whisper of heat against her cheek. As she swallowed in the dark, she felt his fingers lightly touching the collar of her dress, trailing back to the nape of her neck.

Then his hand closed tight in her hair, and he pulled her in against him and kissed her. Kami arched up against him, sliding her hands up along his chest, feeling muscle move under thin cotton against her palms. She clenched her hands and held on tight to the fabric of his T-shirt, knuckles pressing into the lines of his collarbone.

She kissed him, pulling him down to her, as his fingers tugged at her tie and her body drew in closer to his with each tug. She felt the material give, the buttons pulling free so her collar drew open, and he slipped his hand just inside the warm space between her collar and her throat, his fingertips curling against her skin.

His other hand was stroking her hair, pulling at it a little too much but with a frantic attempt at gentleness. He was pressed against the wall and she was pressed against him. She was finally close again, inside a circle of warmth, his leather jacket around her and his body against hers. She was almost close enough.

The door to the pool room opened, and Kami tore herself away, throwing open the door of the parlor and hurling herself inside. She found herself blinking in the impossibly bright lights. When the dazzle cleared, she saw everyone looking at her curiously. Holly was leaning across to Angela, as if they had been talking at last, and Rusty looked as though he had just woken up from a nap.

Kami resumed her seat on the sofa in complete silence, and found out who had opened the door to the pool room as Lillian walked into the parlor. Lillian, naturally, had not a hair out of place and gave no indication that she had witnessed any torrid corridor encounters. Kami watched her walk calmly toward the mantelpiece, and jumped like a hare at a gunshot when the door opened again.

Ash walked in.

Kami had not noticed before that he was wearing a leather jacket. His was black, and looked a bit newer than Jared’s battered brown leather jacket, but she hadn’t been able to see colors in the shadows.

Oh no, Kami thought, surely not. Life could not be that ridiculous or that cruel. It could not be true.

Ash met her fixed stare and offered her a smile, shyer than Ash’s usual smiles. Kami forced herself to smile weakly back. It wasn’t one of her best efforts, but Ash looked pleased. He went back to his chair, glancing at her and smiling again.

Then Jared marched into the room and headed straight for the window seat. Once he was at the window, he leaned against the glass and looked out at the night.

So if Kami did the making-out mathematics, and weighed the chances of it being the guy sneaking looks and smiles at her, or the guy who was keeping up his perfect record of stonily ignoring her . . .

Kami sat stricken. She could not imagine what expression was on her face, but she saw Angela giving her an odd look out of the corner of her eye.

Rusty leaned in to her, settling his arm around her shoulders again. “Everything all right, Cambridge?” he murmured.

Kami said numbly, “Never better.”



( 67 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 14th, 2013 08:36 pm (UTC)
PURE EVIL but i don't hate it
Feb. 14th, 2013 08:37 pm (UTC)
Exactly how I wish people to think of me. ;)
Feb. 14th, 2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
You are a terrible person who should be writing dreadful rom-coms. I mean that in the best of ways.

Happy Valentines day, Sarah. ♥ And thanks for writing about how Kami's life is sometimes the worst.
Feb. 14th, 2013 08:41 pm (UTC)
I think my rom-coms would be awesome, but many are. ;)

*pats fictional character I'm torturing fondly* Happy Valentine's Day.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 14th, 2013 08:57 pm (UTC)
Mmm, muffins and pain. I thank you. ;)
Feb. 14th, 2013 08:55 pm (UTC)
You evil, evil woman! I love it. You are a master of leaving us all hanging here waiting for this book to come out!
Feb. 14th, 2013 08:58 pm (UTC)
*happyclaps* That's the hope. ;) That and... to cause pain... *socioprose*
Feb. 14th, 2013 09:08 pm (UTC)
This is the best snippet.
Feb. 14th, 2013 11:06 pm (UTC)
*bows* I feared nothing could top the first.
Feb. 14th, 2013 09:08 pm (UTC)
That is terribly, evilly awesome.
Feb. 14th, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
aaaaaaaaaaaargh. You are like some sort of clever virus. I not only have to suffer in pain but to share the pain with my friends! Like, "Here, have some chocolate covered PAIN." (Where sadly "pain" does not equal "some kind of french bread.")
Feb. 15th, 2013 05:36 am (UTC)
My pain street team grows!
Feb. 14th, 2013 09:42 pm (UTC)
Ahh, I think this is FREAKING HILARIOUS. Does this mean I am also evil at heart?
Feb. 14th, 2013 09:47 pm (UTC)
Ahahaha whilst reading this I was like, it's not Jared. And my heart started to sink slowly.

But then I realized just how much I love this snippet, because it really is freaking hilarious but poor poor Kami.
I am so glad I didn't die too much of the feels
Feb. 14th, 2013 09:50 pm (UTC)
Also, if it had been her and Jared it would have been way frenzied and passionate.
I'm just sayin'
(no subject) - sarahtales - Feb. 14th, 2013 11:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Feb. 14th, 2013 11:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Feb. 14th, 2013 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Feb. 15th, 2013 12:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Feb. 15th, 2013 01:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2013 10:05 pm (UTC)

My god, the book isn't out until fall? I am going to die of suspense and agonized Kami feels. Dead.
Feb. 14th, 2013 10:14 pm (UTC)
Feb. 14th, 2013 11:20 pm (UTC)
It is a sad fact that either Montgomery is going to find this situation hilarious. Heartless layabouts!
(no subject) - elucreh - Feb. 14th, 2013 11:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Feb. 14th, 2013 11:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2013 10:23 pm (UTC)
You lie like a rug. You are not sorry in the least.
Feb. 14th, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
I might be a little. ;)
Feb. 14th, 2013 10:32 pm (UTC)
I have no words.
But you did promise that Ash would be kissed... :)
Happy Valentines' day!

Feb. 14th, 2013 11:45 pm (UTC)
And to you!
Feb. 14th, 2013 11:06 pm (UTC)
i just... i just can't.

Feb. 14th, 2013 11:16 pm (UTC)
Hahahahahaha. I actually stopped reading halfway through -- like, oh -- what if it's Ash? Then I was like, oh leather jacket, no it HAS to be Jared. Sarah has just made me so paranoid! Then I get to the end and I'm like... OHHHH SHE GOT ME!!!
Feb. 14th, 2013 11:22 pm (UTC)
In retrospect, a bad day for Lillian to dress them like twins. ;)
(no subject) - eavanmoore - Feb. 15th, 2013 05:20 am (UTC) - Expand
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( 67 comments — Leave a comment )


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