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Ghosts flock to her like she’s got a homing beacon attached to her forehead. I don’t get hit with the mojo quite as bad. I see the residual spirits. We’ve been practicing blocking them when we train with Ferdinand. Hopefully our shielding will withstand the oncoming barrage or we’ll be ready to punch someone in the face before we find Pepper.
“Let’s get this over with.” I release her hand and open the door. She waits until I come around to help her out rather than making the long jump to the ground. Her arms wrap around my neck, and I hold her close, inhaling. Her scent wraps around my body. She presses her nose into the side of my neck. Her warm breath blows across my skin, and my gut tightens when she presses a kiss to the underside of my jaw.
“Hold on to me, Landry,” she whispers. “Don’t let them get me.”
“I’ve got you. Always.”
Her lips press against mine. The taste of her mouth with each pulse of her tongue is like honey and melted butter. The tension in my muscles relax as the kiss deepens. My worries fade, leaving a golden brown haze in their place.
Finally, she pulls back with a slow inhale and whispers, “No matter how bad things feel, one kiss from you puts everything back into perspective.”
“Too bad about our audience. If we were alone, I’d really rock your perspective.” I give her a quick dip with a neck nuzzle that leaves her giggling, then set her on her feet. Sophia sticks her head out the open door. “I’m beat. I’m going to take a nap while you take care of business.”
“Carl? You staying in the truck too?” I ask.
“Nope!” He slams the door and races for the entrance as if afraid we’ll call him back.
Mala threads her fingers though mine, walking on my blind side. She’s my other half. With her next to me, I don’t worry about crashing into unseen obstacles. My presence becomes important to her once we enter the emergency room lobby. Her sweaty hand clenches mine. I glance over to see her glazed eyes shut as she inhales. When the breath releases, her eyes open.
“I’m okay,” she says with a grin. “The shield’s holding, and Caspar is not invited to this party.”
“Good, I didn’t want to kick not-so-friendly-ghost ass.”
Her laugh cuts off in a snort. “Whoops.”
She pinches my cheek. “So are you, sweetie.”
“Ugh,” Carl yelps. “Stop with the lovey-dovey talk before you totally turn me off relationships.”
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