Page 129 of What Grows Dies Here

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My eyes went to him as Stella continued talking. “But Karson would not believe it,” she babbled. “He just … told that nurse to go in and get the doctor to save you,” Stella chuckled. “He literally told her to turn around and come back with different news. Like, who does that?”

Stella was speaking rapidly, almost manically. I got it, she was high on adrenaline, on whatever it was that ran through people who thought they saw one of their best friend’s die.

She couldn’t see what her words were doing, couldn’t see Karson’s face distorting, the predator hiding in his eyes.

I saw, though. I understood how close I came to death. How close he came to losing everything.

Jay saw it too. “Baby, let’s give them some time,” he murmured, guiding her out of the room.

I mouthed a ‘thank you’ at him. It would be only a matter of time before everyone else descended. Though I suspected that Jay guarded the door to make sure no one could enter.

My arms tightened around the baby, Karson’s hand still there, steadying him.

“This is it,” I whispered. “Our family.”

Karson’s eyes shimmered. “This is our family,” he agreed.

And although he wasn’t the prince, although he was the villain, we did indeed live happily ever after.


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