I placed a hand on his chest and could feel his heart pounding in time with mine. He suddenly seemed aware of how desperate I was and wordlessly cupped my cheek in his palm and leaned down to kiss me.
Every moment we’d ever had together danced through my head. His awkward stance the day we first met, and how I scolded him before the parade for biting his nails. The way he protected me when the fight broke out in the kitchen, and how my eyes flitted to him over and over when the boys were deep in prayer outside the hospital wing. And, most astonishingly, the moment in the Women’s Room when Camille asked who filled my head, and how hard I fought to stop myself from saying his name out loud then and there.
All of it, every magical, forbidden second burned through me as we continued our dangerously treasonous kiss. When we finally broke apart, I was in tears, positive that Ahren leaving and the fear of losing my mother had been painless in comparison to this.