I love it when a character does something so unexpected and then explains to me why it was done. Stone completely shocked me with his actions in the last sentence. Before this scene starts Ser the clone and Stone saved her from being kidnapped. She realized that Ser is the one from her dreams who saved her before. They are in a van taking her back to the apartment where she has been staying.
Stone turned my face as he surveyed the damage. I felt sore but fine. “Looks like you are fine. Now how do you know Ser?”
“Ser?” I asked. “Short for serpent?” Ser nodded.
“Fitting” I said. “When I was a child I was kidnapped, but you know this. What you don't know is that I was rescued out of that filthy cage by a beautiful man who reminded me of the snake I caught. All I remember is him telling me not to forget him and come back to him one day. He told me I would be strong and save them. I also remember how gentle he was with me. The experiments they conducted were pretty bad and it hurt to be touched but Ser was gentle.” I turned to Ser. “Thank you for that.”
“You are very welcome, Larch. We all have been waiting for you to return. Stone has some information for you to look at but he will not be able to do that until he is with you again so can you go back to the Compound?”
I didn’t know if I wanted to return to the compound. I had been free to do as I pleased the past week but after the debacle at the shopping mall, I could probably kiss that freedom good-bye. There was no way to keep this attack from Thomas.
“I am willing to do anything I need to but don’t understand any of this. Why do they want me so bad?” This was a puzzle I had been trying to figure out ever since the dreams started and I realized I was kidnapped for something more than to hurt Thomas, there was a purpose.
“Stone can explain all of that when you see the research. I’ll let the two of you talk in private for a few minutes.” Ser went to the front of the van and climbed into the passenger seat. He also replaced his mask.
I looked at Stone. He had not taken his eyes off of me since he pulled the mask off. I reached my hand up and touched his cheek. It was rough from the slight beard that needed shaving. I looked at his lips and couldn’t help but remember the kiss. I thought he would kiss me but he sat back. I was disappointed.
“So Stone, what have you been doing and what was Ser talking about?”
“I’ve been with my father. As far as the other, we don’t have time to discuss it right now but I will talk to you about it when the time is right. Ser thinks you can help him and his friends because you are smart. I want to help them too.” I wished he would stop looking at me the way that he was because it made my blood heat up.
“I guess it can wait.” I lowered my eyes too afraid of rejection to say what I was feeling to his face. “I missed you.”
For an interminable time nothing was said and my face heated up from embarrassment. Ser cleared his throat in the front. I raised my eyes to Stone’s as he cupped my face and made me look at him. It looked like a war was going on in his mind and it played out in his facial expressions. He leaned forward inch by inch and put his lips on mine. I wrapped my arms around his neck and gave in to the kiss. It was hot and heavy and I felt like I was flying. It was as good as our first kiss. Electrifying.
The van slowed down and stopped. Stone pulled away from me and I felt the connection between us break. “This isn’t right, Larch," he said as he shook his head. "We’re here at your stop.”
He opened the back doors and pushed me out.