Seth turned away and picked up a knife and an apple. It was silent for a moment before he spoke. “I’m sorry about earlier today. Maybe I went a little hard on you.”
Sashe raised her eyebrows at him. He surprised her everyday. She tried to fit him into a little box, but he was different. If he was Evan, he never would have apologized. If he was Dar, it never would have happened. He was somewhere between the two of them. She shrugged. “Maybe.”
“I just really want you to be safe.” His voice was soft as he brought apple slices to the table. He sat down across from her, and she picked one up. They’d eaten apples when they first met nearly six weeks ago. “I was telling Evan. . .my mother didn’t know how to defend herself. I always wonder. . .if we’d taught her, would she still be alive?”
Her eyes widened, and she slowly chewed up her apple slice, gazing at him. His gaze was fixed on the table. He truly cared about her safety, and it touched her. She reached out and touched his hand. “You told Evan that?”
His eyes met hers. “Yes. Why are you smiling like that?”
She shrugged. “It’s probably good I’m not the only one you talk to.”
His thumb ran over hers, sending chills up her arm. “I can’t believe you don’t treat me like a freak.”
She stood and moved in front of him. She put her hands on the sides of his face, running his black hair through her fingers. She leaned forward and kissed his forehead. His hands touched her waist, only a few layers from her skin.
“You’ve just been through more than us,” she said softly. “That doesn’t make you a freak.”
“What about a murderer?” he whispered.
His eyes searched her face, and she was struck by how young he was. Sixteen, and yet he’d already lost his parents. Already killed three men. And she was upset at a long lesson with the dagger. She couldn’t even think past her anxiety around him and how he made her feel when the Protectors were killing people. She shook her head, brushing some hair back from his forehead. “They’re the murderers. You saved Vin and Caleb’s lives.”
“But not my mother and father’s.” His arms pulled her closer, and she lost her balance, nearly falling into his lap. “Sorry.”
She sat on his legs and pulled his face toward hers. Their lips met.