Blog tour | When It All Goes Still by Allison Mullinax
Excerpt from CHAPTER 7:
I force my gaze to peel away from her as I walk closer to her side, our shoulders brushing against one another. Before us, seemingly miles below, is the lake, swimming with glitter. The water conforming around the town in protection.
“You said you hadn’t seen enough of the town. And now you can see it all.” She smiles at me with her arms outstretched toward the view, showing me her offering. “I love it here. My hideaway,” she whispers.
“It’s beautiful, Johanna.”
She points out the landmarks from a place she so clearly loves. “There is the high school, and if you look just to the right, you can see downtown with Poncho’s in the middle, and if you follow that road to the left a little ways… that speck of light, that’s my house. The darkness that stretches beyond it is my backyard,” she says with amusement.
She turns to look at me. “My dad proposed to my mom here. Right over there.” She points to a large boulder sitting over the small clearing. “And Andrew proposed to Mary-Beth here. He had me up here for hours, lighting candles and fussing over every weed or twig on this very patch of grass.” She points down to the exact spot where we are standing. “As far as I know, we are the only ones that know this little spot even exists. Sometimes it’s good to just come here and… disappear,” she says with a happy sigh.
She is staring at the sky. The light pollution is nearly nonexistent at this height. “Don’t you sense it sometimes? Something’s out there, Traveler. I can feel it. You can’t look up at the night, with the stars speckled across so perfectly, as if they were placed there one by one, and not feel it. When I’m here, I feel so connected. There’s more. Somewhere.” Her voice is hypnotic.
Any control I had on my ability to restrain myself from her has vanished. I reach my hand out from my side and wrap my fingers around hers. I ignore the voltage. I ignore the familiar feeling of energy winding up in my body. I slide my hand around her waist, turning her to face me. My hand reaches up, and I satisfy my craving to run my thumb along her bottom lip. She tilts her head up to me just as I lean down and press my lips against hers, my fingers twisting in her hair. My eyes are completely closed off to my surroundings as I taste the hint of lime and sugar along her tongue.
And then, behind my closed lids, the faintest tint of blue stains my vision, growing brighter before I can snap back into consciousness and be aware of what is taking place. I can feel the full capacity of my body dematerializing. It’s too late, and I can’t stop it.
And like a snap of a finger, I’m in my shifting chamber with Johanna Martin lying in my arms. Her lips are still molded into mine, and her eyes are unaware of what she will see once she opens them.
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