Excerpt from Mortal Failings

“You’ve already made your choice,” he murmured, his breath tickling my neck. “You know that. We belong to each other. There’s no going back.”

“Don’t say it that way.” I shivered. “It sounds like a death sentence.”

He drew back to meet my eyes. I had never seen him so somber, so intense. His eyes were glittering black stones, burrowing into my soul. “It’s worse than death, Cami. If you turned your back on me, you would rend me in two. I would be shadowed. Forever mired in darkness.”

I could hardly breathe. “Don’t say that,” I said, my voice below a whisper. “I would never – I just need time –”

“Every moment you waver is a dagger in my chest.” He put a hand to my face, and it was all I could do not to flinch at his touch. “But I will wait. I will endure. When you are ready, come to me.”

I squeezed my eyes shut, drawing upon every last drop of my resolve not to open my mouth and say, Yes, Erik. I’ll do whatever you say. Just stop scaring me.

When I dared to look up again, he was gone.

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