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.He felt.as if he’d swallowed a mouthful of daylight and was about to float off the bed.Happy.That was how he felt.So happy his eyes burned.Wasn’t that ironic? That he could cry in joy just like in sadness, the tears cleansing.He must have dozed off, because the next thing he knew, voices were rambling around him.He panicked where he lay on his side, trying to remember where he was and what had happened — was he in Bone Tower? Artemisia? Teos? — then relaxed as the memories rolled back in.Hospital.You’re safe.“We thought he was dead,” Hera was saying somewhere on his left.She’d been there when he’d fallen asleep, hadn’t she? Who was she talking to? “When we saw the explosion at Bone Tower.I was certain I’d never see him again.”Yeah, he’d thought that, too.He rolled on his back, wincing as various old and new wounds pulled and protested — his side, his arm, his back, his leg — and forced his gummy lids apart.He blinked at the harsh light, his head throbbing.Blinded, he turned his head against the hard pillow and found himself gazing into Alendra’s golden eyes.She’d pulled her cot next to his, and had a hand resting on his hip.He stared, caught by surprise.She stroked a fingertip over his cheek and he couldn’t help a smile.“Hey.” Hera leaned over, smiling too.Her dark eyes twinkled, transparent somehow, touched with dark green and gold.“You look better.”Elei patted the bandage that wound around his head and snorted softly.Yeah, right.“Well, well.” Kalaes sounded amused and Elei glanced past Alendra’s head to see him with his arms folded under his head, a lazy grin on his face.“I see you found the time to map each other’s bodies in detail once more.”It took Elei a moment to realize Kalaes wasn’t talking to him.Dammit, Kalaes looked okay.Elei had seen him brush death so often lately he could hardly credit it.A knot came undone in his chest and he drew a shaky breath.“I have no idea what you mean,” Hera griped.“Ignore him,” Sacmis said, a hint of a smile in her voice.“I bet you did it in the guest room of the hospital.” Kalaes arched a brow.“Naughty of you, I must say.”“We did not!” Hera’s voice dripped indignation.“You just made that up like you—”“Uh uh.” Kalaes chuckled.“Yes, you did.You shouldn’t pretend in front of someone who can see where your hands have been.”That shocked a bark of laughter out of Elei.“You can see that?” Of course he could.Hells.“How can he see that?” Elei demanded, finally able to sate his curiosity.“How can he see where Gultur touch?”“It’s possible that, uh, he can see the residue,” Hera cleared her throat, her cheeks flushed, “of electric discharge left by Gultur hands.”Elei let the words roll in his mind, tried to connect them to Kalaes’ comment, and snorted.Oh gods, this was too precious.Hera caught red-handed with no way out.“So it’s true.You were doing it.”“Elei.I’m not.” Hera stammered.“Yes, we were,” Sacmis put in calmly and slung an arm over Hera’s shoulders.She wagged her pale brows.“That’s what lovers do.”Damn.It was Elei’s turn to blush, his mind suddenly bursting with images of Alendra’s body, the softness of her lips, the roundness of her breasts, and how it might feel to touch her and.“Earth to Elei.” Kalaes waved a hand.“Still with us?”“What did I miss, pooskers?” Zoe entered the room, a bottle of water in her hands.Her slender dark brows drew together and she pointed the bottle in Kalaes’ direction.“You’re laughing.Why are you laughing?”“Slander.I’m definitely not laughing,” Kalaes protested, snickering so badly he was barely able to talk.He wheezed, an arm wrapped around his middle.“And Hera and Sacmis definitely didn’t go at it like rabbits while we were all asleep, so don’t get any ideas in your pretty braided head.”“Kal!” Hera sounded horrified.Sacmis’s smirk was challenging and satisfied at once, like the cat who ate the songbird and used its feathers as toothpicks.“I see.” Zoe sat on Kalaes’ bed and prodded him lightly in the side with a finger.“Sounds like fun.Why don’t we do it, too?”Kalaes pretended to swoon with shock.“I’ll show you my scars if you show me yours,” he breathed, gripping Zoe’s wrist.“How about it?”“Sure.” Zoe’s smile was pretty, her teeth small and white.“What are these?” She trailed her finger on the side of Kalaes’ neck and down his side.“They’re palantin scars,” he said.“I’ve got some nifty ones under my pants, too, if you’d like to—”“Kal!” Alendra threw her pillow at him.“Ale, don’t.” Elei sat up and grabbed her arm, his pulse rising.“His.I mean, he’s still.” Gods, he couldn’t even speak the words.His heart, he nearly shouted.His broken rib, he almost died, be careful.She sobered instantly.“Are you okay, Kal?”Kalaes threw the pillow back and it hit Elei in the chest.He fell back on the cot, the air leaving his lungs.“Elei?” Alendra’s expression turned worried, but then he pulled her against him and her frown melted away.Her blond hair draped around his face, tickling his throat and chin.“I have some marks of my own, if you’d like to see them,” she teased and he swallowed hard.He wanted that.But didn’t want her to see his.He was covered in them and was too pissing scared she’d take a look and run.“So let me get this straight,” Kalaes said, breaking the moment, for which Elei was grateful [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]