“You’re strong,” he said. “It won’t happen again.”
“No,” I said. I could hear my voice cracking as I struggled to sit up. “It will happen again. I’m going to be like Anna. I’m going to get worse and worse. This time it was bloodlust and hate. I wanted to destroy them. I needed to destroy them. Next time? I don’t know. Maybe it’ll just be craziness, like Ms. Karp. Maybe I’m already crazy, and that’s why I’m seeing Mason. Maybe it’ll be depression like Lissa used to get. I’ll keep falling and falling into that pit, and then I’ll be like Anna and kill—”
“No,” Dimitri interrupted gently. He moved his face toward mine, our foreheads nearly touching. “It won’t happen to you. You’re too strong. You’ll fight it, just like you did this time.”
“I only did because you were here.” He wrapped his arms around me, and I buried my face in his chest. “I can’t do it by myself,” I whispered.
“You can,” he said. There was a tremulous note in his voice. “You’re strong—you’re so, so strong. It’s why I love you.”
I squeezed my eyes shut. “You shouldn’t. I’m going to become something terrible. I might already be something terrible.” I thought back to past behaviors, the way I’d been snapping at everyone. The way I’d tried to scare Ryan and Camille.
Dimitri pulled away so that he could look me in the eyes. He cupped my face in his hands. “You aren’t. You won’t,” he said. “I won’t let you. No matter what, I won’t let you.” Emotion filled my body again, but now it wasn’t hate or rage or anything like that. It was warm and wonderful and made my heart ache—in a good way. I wrapped my arms around his neck, and our lips met. The kiss was pure love, sweet and blissful, with no despair or darkness. Steadily, though, the intensity of our kissing increased. It was still filled with love but became much more—something hungry and powerful. The electricity that had crackled between us when I’d fought and held him down earlier returned, wrapping around us now.
It reminded me of the night we’d been under Victor’s lust spell, both of us driven by inner forces we couldn’t control. It was like we were starving or drowning, and only the other person could save us. I clung to him, one arm around his neck while my other hand gripped his back so hard that my nails practically dug in. He laid me back down on the bed. His hands wrapped around my waist, and then one of them slid down the back of my thigh and pulled it up so that it nearly wrapped around him.
At the same time, we both pulled back briefly, still oh so close. Everything in the world rested on that moment.
“We can’t…” he told me.
“I know,” I agreed.
Then his mouth was on mine again, and this time, I knew there would be no turning back. There were no walls this time. Our bodies wrapped together as he tried to get my coat off, then his shirt, then my shirt. … It really was a lot like when we’d fought out on the quad earlier—that same passion and heat. I think at the end of the day, the instincts that power fighting and sex aren’t so different. They all come from an animal side of us.
—Shadow Kiss, Chapter 24