The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies #3) Proving Paul's Promise (The Reed Brothers #5)

When I step into the small bedroom with Patience’s birth satchel, Thelma is lying on her side, crossways on the sagging iron bed, folding clean laundry, and singing to herself. Happy days are here again. The skies above are clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer. Happy days are here again.

God, that sounded insane. And in any event, it hadn’t worked, because she had found herself wanting what she was getting too much: Underneath that composure she’d locked herself down with, she’d been on the verge of an orgasm.Their bodies had been made to fit together like that.

Prowling around, she gave herself time to lose the scent of her arousal, and then finally reemerged into the gym proper with what she hoped was a suitable amount of nothing-special-going-on-here. Turned out, she didn’t need to worry about a peanut gallery. The place was empty.As she surveyed the vacant bleachers, the still nets, the empty court, her cell phone started to vibrate in her ass pocket—and when she took the thing out, she already knew who it was. Yup. Her mother. Ready to complain that she had been mean to Sophy, ruining what was supposed to be a joyous time for everyone.Off in the distance, an eerie scream vibrated through the silence like a premonition of death.

It was that patient, Assail. The one who was locked in that room. She didn’t know the details, but could guess by the sound he always made that he had gone insane.Maybe she was next on that list.

Left to contrast that very real possibility with everything her sister was looking forward to, she considered going to the weight room for a second workout—when the calendar date popped into her mind for no good reason.

Closing her eyes, she felt herself sag.And despite how uncertain I’d been at the time, I now found myself regretting not having slept with him. Jim cared about me. My first time should’ve been with someone who cared about me like Jim did.

Regret tasted bitter on my tongue and tears burned my eyes.Strangely, I found myself missing Roddy as well. He was quite belligerent for such a young person, but he was funny too. Plus, I wouldn’t soon forget him swatting Cory like he was a bug on a windshield. That made my whole summer.

Are ye seriously just going to walk by me?The Mustang was parked in the parking lot where I worked. Roddy was standing by the driver’s side door, wearing sunglasses so I couldn’t read his expression. And Jim was braced against the hood, his hands on his hips, grinning at me.