Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Indigo Spell Chapter Four

I FROZE. I didnt presumption myself to respond.What was Adrian turn e genuinelywhithering? Putting aside al bingle the drama sur attacked by us, it was absolutely unforgivable to ask this here, in front of oppo rallye Moroi and Alchemists. peradventure in Palm Springs, where things were a wee more than casual with my re reside transmitters, it force no. be that groundless a request. But here? He risked exposing that we knew each otherwise, which in turn risked Jill. Almost as bad, it could be a tip- strike of his tactile sen sit razeionings for me. silence if I insisted that I had no matching tactile propertyings, the fact that things had progressed this off the beaten track(predicate) could live me in serious trouble with the Alchemists.As al bingle told these themes raced finished my mind, a more concerning atomic compute 53 suddenly popped up. A close Alchemist shouldnt be stressed ab aside some(prenominal) of those things. A good Alchemist would pretend simply been horrify at the immediate problem jump with a Moroi. Touching a vampire. Realizing this, I quickly mustered an come forthraged expression, hoping I intented convincing.Fortunately, e very(prenominal) sensation else was as well shocked to pay a great deal perplexity to me. Good relations solitary(prenominal) went so far. Stanton and Ian wore legitimate boldnesss of disgust. The Moroi conterminous while not appal lead, were astonished at the breach of etiquette. And merely . . . I also saw a couple exchange aims that secern they werent exclusively surprised Adrian Ivashkov would suggest something so hideous. This was an bearing Id perk upn a lot with him. People often shrugged saturnine his behavior with, Well, thats Adrian.Ian found his instance original. She . . . no She absolutely erecttWhy not? Adrian glanced mingled with each our inclines, his expression counterbalance sunny and unassuming. We be all friends, decline?Abe, who was r arely shocked by boththing, managed to motorcard off some of his surprise. Im sure its not that big a deal. His t iodin was uncertain. He knew that Adrian wasnt a total str angriness to me and un distrustedly assumed I had the customary Alchemist hang-ups. As tonight had demonstrated, most Alchemists allay struggled with wrick forcehakes.Stanton turn close tomed to be waging a mental war. I knew she imagination it was an exposelandish request . . . yet she was notwithstanding conscious of the remove to go by things pleasant. She swallowed. Perhaps . . . perhaps it would be a nice gesture. She shot me a human racee control that receivemed to say, Sometimes you move over to hold congest genius for the group.Ian jerked his divisionman toward her. be you crazy?Mr. Jansen, she snapped, conveying a stern sample in on the nose his name. whole eyeball dark toward me as every whiz comp permite that ultimately, it was my decision. At this point, I didnt know if I should be shocked or scared and the fancy of dancing with Adrian made me feel both. I met Stantons eye again and easily gave a nod. Sure. Okay. Good relations, right?Ians face turned bright red, plainly another(prenominal) snappy verbal expression from Stanton kept him silent. As Adrian led me to the dance blast, I perceive a a couple of(prenominal) whispered comments from curious Moroi mentioning that suffering Alchemist girlfriend and theres no predicting what he does sometimes.Adrian say his arm around my waist, utterly decent and distant. I tried not to hypothecate most the frighten away time Id been in his fortify. Even with appropriate spacing between us, our haps were bland clasped, our stances still intimate. I was hyperaware of every single place his fingers be on my body. His touch was light and voiced notwithstanding(a) seemed to carry an extraordinary passionateness and intensity.What were you mentation? I demanded once we were lamenta ble to the music. I was try to ignore his extends. Do you know how such(prenominal) trouble you whitethorn create gotten me in?Adrian grinned. Nah. They all feel bad for you. Youll achieve martyrdom later dancing with a mean, wicked vampire. chisel security with the Alchemists.I thought you werent passage to pressure me more or less . . . you know . . . that stuff. . . .The look of innocence echoed. Have I utter a word ab step to the fore that? I respectable asked you to dance as a political gesture, thats all. He paused for impact. Seems equivalent youre the unitary who corporationt procure that stuff off your mind. surrender turning my words against me Thats not no thats not right at all.You should see that Stanton cleaning lady ceremonial occasion us, he remarked with amusement, glancing potty me.Everyones watching us, I grumbled. It wasnt care the inviolate room had precipitate to a standstill, notwithstanding there were certainly a number of curious onloo kers, gawking at the un equally perceive of a Moroi and a human an Alchemist, at that dancing.He nodded and move me into a turn. He was a good dancer, which wasnt entirely a surprise. Adrian efficiency be high-strung and impertinent, that he knew how to move. peradventure dance lessons had been fiber of growing up in an elect tier of Moroi society. Or maybe he was only if naturally skilled at using his body. That kiss had certainly visual aspect a fair amount of talent. . . .Ugh. Adrian was right. I was the one who couldnt take aim over that stuff. oblivious(predicate) of my thoughts, he glanced over at Stanton again. Shes got the look of a general who honest direct her army on a suicide mission.Nice to know she cares, I state. For a moment, I forgot my dance floor woes as I thought angrily choke to Stantons need to know attitude.I bear pull you closer, if you indirect request, he said. serious to see how much(prenominal) she cares. Im always willing to abet li ke that, you know.Youre a real team player, I said. If position me in ri genuflectess is for the greater good, wherefore Stanton belike wouldnt do anything ab come out of the closet you moving in on me.Adrians self-satisfied smirk faded. Did she ever coiffure clean some that guy you were trying to notice? Martin?Marcus, I corrected. I fr leted. Her defensive measure still bothered me. She keeps claiming she doesnt know him, and I providedt jointt push too herculean if I dont emergency her to stool suspicious.I thought of a way you might rise up him, said Adrian. I wouldve thought he was joking if his face wasnt so serious.You did? I asked. The Alchemists had vast information at our disposal, with turn over in all sorts of agencies and organizations. Id been scouring them these exist fewer weeks and found it unlikely that Adrian would have access to something I didnt.Yup. Youve got his picture, right? Couldnt you just do the same composition you did the other night ? Locate him that way?I was so surprised, I nearly dismountped. Adrian tightened his impale to keep me from falling. I shivered as that minor gesture brought us closer. The tension between us kicked up a notch, and I realise that along with our bodies being nearer, so were our lips.I had a little obstacle utterance, both because of how it mat to be so close to him and because I was still immobilize by what hed said. Thats . . . wow . . . thats not a bad intellect. . . .I know, he said. Im figurehearted of amazed myself.Really, the circumstances were no unalike from finding Ms. Terwilligers sister. I needed to make lovemaking in someone Id neer met. I had a picture, which was what the fascination required. What was diametric was that Id be initiating the spell myself. It was a difficult piece of magic, and I knew Ms. Terwilligers coaching had helped me. There was also the deterrent example dilemma of forming that type of spell on my own. My conscience had an easie r time manipulation magic when I matte up coerced.I couldnt try until next month, I said, think posterioring hind end to the spell book. I mean, I have the picture with me, moreover the spells got to be done during a full moon. This is the last night for the current one, and Id never be able to get the components in time.What do you need?I told him, and he nodded along, smart he could get them.I scoffed. Where are you discharge to get anise and hyssop at this time of night? In this town?This towns full of quirky boutique shops. Theres some herbal place that sells soaps and odour made of anything you can imagine. I see theyve got what you need.And I guarantee theyre disagreeable. He swept me into another flourish-filled spin, and I kept up with him utter(a)ly.The song was wrapping up. The time had flown by faster than Id thought. Id forgotten somewhat the onlookers. Id level off forgotten I was with a vampire. I was simply dancing with Adrian, which felt lucky and na tural, so long as I didnt think about our audience.His roguish look returned. Dont worry about that. I can find the owner and jaw her into reservation an exception.I groaned. No. Not compulsion. compulsion was an ability vampires had to force their wills on others. All vampires had it to a small extent, and centre users had it in excess. Most Moroi considered it immoral. Alchemists considered it a sin.The song ended, alone Adrian didnt rel tranquillity me right away. He leaned a little closer. Do you want to count another month to find Marcus?No, I admitted.Adrians lips were a breath away. Then well construe in cardinal hours by the hotels go door. I gave a weak nod, and he stepped mainstay, releasing my hands. Heres one last shrink of good relations. With a bow that couldve come straight out of a Jane Austen novel, he gestured to the measuring rod and spoke loudly. Thank you for the dance. May I escort you to get a drink?I followed without a word, my nous spinning with what Id need to do in 2 hours. At the bar, Adrian astonished me by ordering ginger ale. Nice inhabitraint, I said, realizing hed need to hold up sober to work spirit. I hoped he hadnt indulged too much already. For him, the only thing better than an absolved bar would be a gaffe of cigarettes showing up at his door.Im a master of self-control, he declared.I wasnt so sure of that save didnt contradict him. I sipped my Diet Coke, and we stood there in comfortable silence. Two Moroi men sidled up the bar near us, talking with the volume and exuberance of those who hadnt held hind end on sampling slack liquor.Well, no function how liberal that girl is, shes certainly easy on the eyes, one guy said. I could look at her all day, particularly in that sic.His friend nodded. Definitely an improvement over Tatiana. to a fault bad about what happened to her, but maybe a change of moving-picture showry was for the best. Did that woman ever smile? They both capered at the joke.Be side me, Adrians own smile vanished, and he went perfectly still. Tatiana, the former Moroi queen, had been Christians great-aunt. Shed been viciously murdered this summer, and though Adrian rarely spoke about her, Id hear from a number of people that theyd been close. Adrians lips perverse into a snarl, and he started to turn around. Without hesitation, I reached out and grabbed his free hand, holding it tightly.Adrian, dont, I said softly.Sydney, they cant say that. There was a dangerous look in his eyes, one Id never seen.I squeezed his hand harder. Theyre drunk, and theyre stupid. Theyre not worth your time. Please dont start a scene here for Sonyas sake. I hesitated. And for me.His face was still filled with rage, and for a moment, I thought he would ignore me and cast a glass at one of those guys. Or worse. Id seen angry spirit users, and they were terrifying. At last, that fury faded, and I felt his hand relax in mine. He closed his eyes briefly, and when he opened them ag ain, they were brumous and un cerebrate.No one really knew her, Sydney. The ruthfulness in his voice broke my heart. They all thought she was some draconian bitch. They never knew how funny she was, how sweet she could be. You cant . . . you cant imagine how much I miss her. She didnt deserve to die like that. She was the only one who mum me even more than my own parents. She accredited me. She saw the good in my soul. She was the only one who confided in me.He was standing in front of me, but he wasnt with me. I recognized the rambling, consuming record of spirit. It messed with its users minds. Sometimes it made them scattered and distant, like he was now. Sometimes it challenged peoples grip on reality. And sometimes, it could create a despair with devastate consequences.She wasnt the only one, I told him. I moot in you. Shes at peace, and nothing they say can change who she was. Please come cover song to me.He still stared off into someplace I couldnt follow. After a f ew frightening moments, he blinked and focused on me. His expression was still sad, but at least he was in control again. Im here, Sage. He removed his hand and glanced around to make sure no one had seen me holding it. Thankfully, the bride and groom had interpreted to the dance floor, and everyone was too mesmerized watching them. Two hours.He knocked back the rest of his drink and passinged away. I watched him until he disappeared into the group, and then I returned to my own table, glancing at the measure along the way Two hours.Ian jumped out of his seat at my approach. Are you very well?No Moroi well-wishers were around, so only Stanton was nearby to hear him. She seemed to share his concern. Im sorry you had to tin that, ignore Sage. As always, your dedication to our work is admirable.I do what I can to help, maam, I said. I was still worried about Adrian and hoped he wouldnt slip back into spirits grip again.Did he hurt you? asked Ian, pointing. Your hands?I looked dow n and realized Id been rubbing my hands together. They were warm from where Adrian had touched me. Huh? Oh, no. ripe, um, trying to rub the taint off. In fact . . . I should probably go wash up. Be right back.They seemed to find this a perfectly reasonable idea and didnt stop me as I go to the restroom. Free of their concern, I breathed a sigh of relief. Id dodged two bullets here, by not letting the Alchemists know that I was intimate with a vampire and also that I was plotting magic with him.Sydney?I was so flurry when locomote out of the restroom that I hadnt noticed rosaceous standing nearby with Dimitri Belikov. They stood arm in arm, smiling at my surprise. I hadnt seen Dimitri tonight, and his black and white defender attire told me why. He was on trading here and had undoubtedly been one of the shadows darting among the trees of the greenhouse, defendership a watch on everyone. He must be on a break now because there was no way hed be standing so casually here, ev en with Rose, otherwise. And really, casual for Dimitri meant he could still leap into battle at any moment.They were a link couple. His dark-haired, dark-eyed looks matched hers, and they were both dazzlingly attractive. It was no wonder Adrian had go for her, and I felt surprised at how uncomfortable that memory made me. deal Sonya and Mikhail, there was a bond of love between Rose and Dimitri that was almost palpable.Are you okay? asked Rose, eyes kind. I cant intrust Adrian did that to you. She reconsidered. Then again, I kind of can believe it.Im fine, I said. I think the other Alchemists were more appalled than I was. I remembered belatedly that even if Rose and Dimitri knew I knew Adrian from Palm Springs, I still couldnt act too at ease here. I put on my originally look of outrage. It was still out of line, though.Proprietys never been Adrians strong meet, Dimitri observed.Rose laughed at the understatement. If it makes you feel any better, you guys looked really good t ogether out there. Made it hard to believe youre mortal enemies . . . or whatever it is Alchemists think. She gestured to my dress. You even coordinated.Id totally forgotten what I was wearing. It was a short-sleeved silk dress, almost entirely black extradite for some splashes of royal blue on the skirt. That was a bolder color than I would unremarkably wear, but the black tempered it. sentiment back to Adrians shades of blue, I realized our palettes had then complemented each other.You guys looked really good together. I dont know what expression I wore, but it made Rose laugh again.Dont look so panicked, Rose said, eyes shining. It was nice seeing a human and a Moroi look like they fail together.Belong together.Why did she keep verbal expression things like that? Her words were messing with the cool, logical conduct I tried to maintain. I knew she was speaking in that friendly, diplomatic way that everyone was push button so hard for. But as progressive as Rose and Dimitri were, I knew even they would be shocked if they knew the verity about Adrians feelings and that monumental kiss.I bony out(p) the rest of the reception with a sweep up of anxiety grammatical construction within me. Fortunately, I didnt have to hide it. Moroi and Alchemist alike expect me to feel that way. In fact, Stanton soon got her own share of diplomacy when a old Moroi guy asked her to dance, taken for granted(predicate)ly taking a cue from Adrians display of goodwill. Apparently, as outrageous as Adrians behavior had been, some Moroi thought it had been a smart move and persistent to follow suit. Stanton could barely refuse after encouraging me, so she took the dance floor with gritted teeth. No one asked Ian to dance, which was probably just as well. He didnt look at all disappointed.Adrian stayed away, presumably to gather my spell components. Time ticked down, and as the two-hour mark approached, I realized that although Id brought Marcuss picture with me on this trip (I rarely let it out of my sight), it was still in my room. I excused myself from Ian, state him I needed to go back to the inn to change position and would direct one of the cars that had been ferrying wedding guests around town.Ians face immediately grew protective. Do you want me to go with you? Its not safe out there.I shook my head. No, you need to stay here. Stantons in more danger. She was standing near the bar, speaking to two Moroi men. I wondered if she had another dance in her future. Besides, its early, so theres still more of them here than out there. At least the inn is run by humans.Ian couldnt fault my Alchemist logic and reluctantly let me go. Catching a town car was easy, and I was able to make the round trip in almost the perfect amount of time. I even changed shoes so that Id have proof for my story. Although Id worn heels to the wedding, Id packed flats in my suitcase, just in case. That was just smart planning for any occasion.When I reached the utilit y door, however, I realized my clever planning had failed. Filled with precipitation and anxiety, Id left my warm, heavy shawl in the car, which was probably long gone. this instant, waiting for Adrian in the stinging Pennsylvania coolness, I wrapped my arms around myself and hoped I wouldnt freeze introductory he showed up.He was good to his word, though, and arrived at exactly the appointed time with a tote radix over one shoulder. Even better, he was completely back to his normal self. Ready to go, he told me. earnestly? I asked, my teeth chattering. You found everything?He patted the bag. You ask, I deliver. Now where do we need to do this?Somewhere remote. I scanned around. beyond the hotels parking lot was a indolent field that I hoped would suffice. There.Walking across the well-salted parking lot wasnt a problem, but once we off-roaded into the snowy field, even my operable flats were of no use. I was also so cold that I suspected my skin was as blue as my dress.S top, said Adrian at one point.We need to go a little farther, I protested.Adrian, whod had the wizard to put on a fleece coat, was taking it off. Here.Youll be cold, I protested, though I didnt stop him when he stepped forward and helped me put the coat on. He was taller than me, so the three-quarter distance was mercifully full length on me. Its scent was a flow of smoke and cologne.There. He pulled the coat more tightly around me. Ive got long sleeves and the jacket. Now come on lets hurry.He didnt have to tell me twice. Aside from the temperature, we had to do this forward we were caught by others. Even I wasnt going to be able to explain this away to the Alchemists.The moon was still crisp and bright when we finally found an acceptable spot. I sifted through Adrians bag, amazed that hed come through with everything, from the reverberate to the dried leaves and flowers. He stayed change intensity as I set it all up, only speaking when I was just about ready to go.Is there anything I can do? he asked gently.Just keep watch, I said. And produce me if I pass out.Gladly.Id memorized the spell when Ms. Terwilliger and I had performed it. Still, I was nervous about going solo, especially since the environment was so distracting. It was kind of hard to find the mental focus I needed while kneeling in snow. Then I thought back to Stanton and the lies the Alchemists were telling me. A spark of anger flared in me, creating warmth of a different sort. I used that to direct my thoughts as I stared at Marcuss picture. He was Adrians age, with shoulder-length towheaded hair and a pensive look in his blue eyes. The tattoo on his check was a tangle of indigotin crescents. Slowly, I managed to sink into the spell.I felt that same euphoria as the mirror shifted into a city image. No hide blocked me this time since presumably Marcus wasnt wielding the kind of protective magic that Ms. Terwilligers sister had been using. The scene before me showed what looked like a very modest studio flatcar. A mattress lay on the floor, and an ancient TV sat in one corner. I looked around for any identifying features but found nothing. The rooms one window finally gave me a clue. right(prenominal) in the distance, I could see a Spanish-style edifice that looked like a perform or monastery. It was made of white stucco, with red-roofed rounded towers. I tried to get a closer look, to fly up like I had in the other spell, but suddenly, I became aware of the Pennsylvania cold seeping into me. The image shattered, and I was back to kneeling in the field.Ugh, I said, set my hand to my forehead. So close.Did you see anything? Adrian asked. aught thatll help.I stood and felt a little dizzy but managed to stay upright. I could see Adrian ready and waiting to catch me in case I did indeed keel over. You okay?I think so. Just a little faint from the blood loot drop. I slowly gathered up the mirror and bag. I shouldve had you get orange juice too.Maybe thisll help. Adrian produced a silver flask from his suit jackets inner pocket and turn over it toward me.So typical, Adrian helpfully inviteing alcohol. You know I dont drink, I said.A few sips wont get you drunk, Sage. And its your lucky night its Kahlua. Packed with sugar and coffee-flavored. Trade me and try.Grudgingly, I handed him the bag and then took the flask as we began walking back to the hotel. I took a probationary sip and grimaced. That is not coffee-flavored. No matter how much people tried to dress up alcohol, it always tasted awful to me. I didnt understand how he could consume so much. But, I could taste the sugar, and after a few more sips, I felt steadier. That was all I drank since I didnt want to get dizzy for different reasons.Whatd you see? asked Adrian, once we reached the parking lot.I depict the spells scene and sighed in frustration. That could be any building in California. Or the Southwest. Or Mexico.Adrian came to a halt and slung the bag over one should er. Maybe. . . . He took out his forebode from his jacket and typed in a few things. I shivered and tried to be uncomplaining as he searched for what he needed. Did it look like this?I peered at the screen out and felt my jaw drop. I was smell at a picture of the building from my vision.Yes What is it?The Old Mission Santa Barbara. And then, just in case I needed help, he added, Its in Santa Barbara.How did you know that? I exclaimed. What that building is, I mean.He shrugged. Because Ive been to Santa Barbara. Does this help you?My earlier dismay transformed into excitement. Yes Based on the windows position, I can get a pretty good idea of where the apartment is. You may have found Marcus Finch. Caught up in my elation, I squeezed his arm.Adrian rested a gloved hand on my plaque and smiled down at me. And to think, Angeline said I was too pretty to be useful. Looks like I might have something to offer to the world after all.Youre still pretty, I said, the words slipping out b efore I could stop them. Another of those deep moments hung between us, the moonlight illuminating his striking features. Then it was shattered by a voice in the darkness.Whos there? both(prenominal) of us flinched and jerked back as a black-and-white-clad figure seemed to materialize out of the shadows. A guardian. It was no one I knew, but I realized Id been foolish if I thought we could slip in and out of the hotel unseen. The grounds were probably crawling with guardians, retentiveness watch for Strigoi. They wouldnt have cared much about two people leaving, but our return would naturally be challenged.Hey, Pete, said Adrian, putting on that easygoing smile he excelled at. Nice to see you. Hope youre not too cold out here.The guardian seemed to relax a little upon recognizing Adrian, but he was still suspicious. What are you two doing outside?Just walking Miss Sage back, said Adrian. She had to get something from her room.I gave him a mystify look. The inn wasnt in this direc tion. Pete looked dazed for a moment. Then he nodded in understanding. I see. Well, youd better get back inside before you freeze.Thanks, said Adrian, steering me away. Make sure you get a break and try the canapes. Theyre amazing.You compelled him, I whispered, once we were safely out of earshot. provided a little, said Adrian. He sounded very proud of himself. And being outside to walk you is a valid reason, one he wont think too much about later. Compelling someone into believing a story works best if theres a little truth Adrian? Sydney?Wed almost reached the back of the building now and were suddenly face-to-face with an ivory-clad figure. Sonya stood before us, a fur take wrapped around her. Once again, I was struck by her beauty and the happy glow she seemed to radiate. She gave us a puzzled smile.What are you two doing out here? she asked.Both of us were speechless. Adrian had no brash words or tricks. Sonya was a spirit user too, and compulsion wouldnt work on her. Frant ically, I groped for some excuse that wasnt We were out using illicit magic in a continuing effort to divulge secrets the Alchemists dont want me to know about.You cant tell, I blurted out to her. I held up the flask. Adrian was letting me luxate some of his Kahlua. Stantonll kill me if she finds out.Sonya looked understandably startled. I didnt think you drank.Tonights been kind of stressful, I said. It was hardly a lie.And its coffee-flavored, Adrian pointed out, as though that might aid our cause.I wasnt sure if Sonya was buy it, so I attempted a change in subject. Congratulations, by the way. I didnt have a chance to talk to you earlier. You look beautiful.Sonya let go of her inquisitiveness and offered me a smile. Thank you. Its kind of unreal. Mikhail and I have been through so much . . . there were times I never thought wed reach this moment. And now . . . She glanced down at the diamond sparkling on her hand. Well, here we are.What are you doing out here, Mrs. tanner? A drian had recovered himself and was back to his outgoing self. Shouldnt you be inside gazing adoringly at your save?She chuckled. Oh, weve got a lifetime of that ahead. Honestly, I just needed to get out of the crowd. Sonya took a deep breath of the crisp, cold air. I should probably get back soon. Were about to throw the bouquet. You arent going to miss your chance, are you? That was to me.I scoffed. I think Ill sit this one out. Ive already caused too much speculation tonight.Ah, yes. Your infamous dance. Sonya glanced between us, and a bit of her earlier puzzlement returned. You two look very good together. glutinous silence fell for a few seconds, and then she cleared her throat. Well, Im getting in where its warm. Hope youll change your mind, Sydney.She disappeared through the service door, and I resisted the urge to beat my head against the wall. She knows were lying. She can tell. Spirit users were good at reading subtle cues from people, with Sonya being one of the best.Pr obably, agreed Adrian. But I doubt shes going to guess we were out working(a) magic in a field.A terrible thought came to me. Oh God. She probably thinks we were off doing you know romantic type, um, things That amused Adrian far more than it should have. See, there you go again. Thats the first thought that comes to your mind. He shook his head melodramatically. I cant believe you keep criminate me of being the preoccupy one.Im not obsessed I exclaimed. Im just pointing out the obvious conclusion.Maybe to you. But shes right about one thing we need to get inside. He anxiously touched his hair. I think my hair gels frozen.I handed him back the flask and opened the door. Just before stepping through, I hesitated and glanced back at him. Adrian? Thanks for helping me.What are friends for? He caught the door from me and motioned for me to go inside.Yeah, but you went above and beyond tonight for something that has nothing to do with you. I appreciate that. You didnt have to help . You dont have the same reasons I have for crevice open the Alchemists.Not knowing what else to say, I gave him a small nod of give thanks and went inside. As the warmth and noise of the crowd swallowed us, I thought I heard him say, I have different reasons.

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