He'd only been gone two seconds, but the room got brighter when they were together, as if they were two elements that became brilliant in proximity. At Sam's clumsy efforts to carry the vacuum, Grace smiled a new smile that I thought only he ever got, and he shot her a withering look full of the sort of subtext you could only get from a lot of conversations whispered after dark.It made me think of Isabel, back at her house. We didn't have what Sam and Grace had. We weren't even close to having it. I didn't think what we had could get to this, even if you gave it a thousand years.
I could still smell her on my fur. It clung to me, a memory of another world.I was drunk with it, with the scent of her. I'd got too close.The smell of summer on her skin, the half-recalled cadence of her voice, the sensation of her fingers on my fur. Every bit of me sang with the memory of her closeness.Too close.I couldn't stay away.
Grace stopped in the door, dimly silhouetted by the dull gray morning light, and looked back at me, at my eyes, my mouth, my hands, in a way that made something inside me knot and unknot unbearably.I didn't think I belonged here in her world, a boy stuck between two lives, dragging the dangers of the wolves with me, but when she said my name, waiting for me to follow, I knew I'd do anything to stay with her.
Being Adam Parrish was a complicated thing, a wonder of muscles and organs, synapses and nerves. He was a miracle of moving parts, a study in survival. The most important thing to Adam Parrish, though, had always been free will, the ability to be his own master.This was the important thing.It had always been the important thing. This was what it was to be Adam.