The Janus Guard will also be out that night, he said, one hand reaching out to squeeze her shoulder. Just as we have been and will be for every night of the Nine.Good.Speaking of which—Kelley… Sonny seemed suddenly exhausted. He turned his face to the west and she could see the fatigue etched into the lines and planes of his face. It’s getting late. You need to leave the park. Please. Don’t argue with me this time. Just go. The sun will set soon and I have to go to work.He squared his shoulders as though he expected her to put up a fight. She did—a little—but only out of actual concern for him. Shouldn’t you be taking it easy? I mean, you try to hide it with the whole tough-guy-swagger thing and all, but I saw the bandages. You’re really hurt. Aren’t you?It’s not so bad.Wow. You are a terrible liar.He frowned fiercely at her.You also look like you haven’t slept in a week. She took a tentative step toward him and put a hand on his chest, looking up into his silver-gray eyes. He put his hand over the top of hers and she could feel the rhythm of his heart beating under her palm, through his shirt and the bandages.I’m fine.Are you sure?With his other hand, Sonny reached up and brushed a stray auburn curl out of her eyes.I’m sure.He smiled down at her and she felt her insides melt a little. His whole face changed when he smiled. It was like the sun coming out.But, he continued, I’ll be even better if you are safe at home and I don’t have to worry about you for tonight.I can take care of myself, Sonny Flannery, she bristled, halfheartedly.Please? He turned up the wattage on his smile.I…okay. She felt her own lips turn up in a shy, answering smile. I’ll be good. This once.That’s my girl.Kelley was silent. Those three words of Sonny’s had managed to render her utterly speechless.
Lesley Livingston