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Set up: After Emma and Gabriel almost kiss, he becomes really distant.
Feeling rejected, she agrees to go out with Patrick, even though he
gives her the creeps. Gabriel finds Emma at her job to explain why he's
been acting so strange and to warn her about Patrick.
pushed the creaking cart of book out of the elevator and braced herself
to hold it steady as it went over a bump under the threadbare carpet.
Alone in the oppressive silence of the third floor, she paused to slip
on her headphone.
The weak light from the overhead fixtures did
little to dispel the shadows haunting the library after dusk. Most of
the staff avoided the back stacks after nightfall, but Emma doggedly
pushed the cart toward the last rows. She squinted, trying to read the
spine of a thin volume.
She startled and knocked several books askew. “Gabe! I didn’t hear you.” She pulled off her headphones.
you alright?” he asked, reaching out to steady her. His fingers wrapped
around the same spot that stung from Patrick’s cold touch. Warmth
spread through her body, melting the ice in her veins. She shuddered as
the cold left her.
“Yeah, fine.” She stared at him.
“I’m sorry about,” he hesitated. “About everything.”
She turned away. “You don’t need to be sorry.” She moved a couple books on the cart.
catch in his voice made her look up. His eyes caught hers and she
leaned toward him. They stood alone in the darkened corner of the
library, hidden among towering shelves of ancient texts on Latin and
He touched her face, a tender, cautious gesture. “You look scared,” he said.
“I’m so sorry.” He leaned his head against hers.
placed her hand against his chest. The heat from his body radiated
through every inch of hers. The rest of the world faded until there was
nothing but the two of them, wrapped up together in an insulated,
isolated moment, and she felt a dizzying need for more.
She dropped her hand and pulled away.