“Surely I knew this boy … Surely I’d done this before.”

Others have been posting romantic scenes from their books today, which seemed like fun to me. So here’s a bit from Thief Eyes.

No major spoilers–this is from pretty early in the book–but some minor ones. Including that Haley has lost her memories at this point, and quite literarly doesn’t know anything about Ari beyond what has happened in the last hour or so.


Ari tried to get up. His legs wobbled and he crumpled to the ground. I knelt to take him in my arms, my own body trembling with relief. Holding him felt familiar and right. Surely I knew this boy. “You’re all right.” I held him tighter, until his shivering eased.

He looked up at me. “Thank you, Haley.” He had an incredibly sweet smile. Our faces were just a few inches apart.

I felt like I was still being pulled. I did what felt right, even if I couldn’t remember why. I pulled my hood back, leaned down, and brushed my lips against his. Surely–yes–I’d done this before.

Ari drew away a moment, as if still frightened. Then he drew closer. We pressed our lips together, while the damp air raised more shivers from us both. I reached beneath his hat and ran my fingers through his hair. It felt coarse and soft at once. I shrugged off the backpack and let the flashlight drop from my other hand. That hand brushed my pocket. The coin felt warm through the denim.

A fragment of memory: A dark-haired boy–the boy in my wallet photo. We kissed beneath the bright desert moon, while hot wind blew all around and we promised we’d email each other, every single day. The boy was shorter than me, and my hands cradled his head. I drew back to look down at his quiet brown eyes–

I jerked abruptly away from Ari and groped for the flashlight. I shone it toward him. He smiled, but then his green eyes grew uncertain.

“How long have I known you?” I hoped he’d be hurt that I could possibly forget him.

But Ari looked down as if embarrassed, and my stomach knotted up. “Time passes so strangely in this place. Sometimes it feels like we’ve been here a few hours, sometimes like years–” He shut his eyes. “That is not what you are asking.”

“Before we came here.” More than anything, I wanted to draw him closer again.

“Yes, of course. That would be–perhaps a day.”

“One day?”

“To give me some credit, I did not start that kiss.”

My cheeks burned hot. “You could have stopped it!”

A sheepish smile crossed his face. “Yes, but I am not stupid.”

“And you think I am?” I scrambled to my feet. Freki looked up and cocked one ear quizzically.

“No, of course I don’t think that …”

My lips still tingled. I feared if I spoke at all, I’d begin kissing him again, and that wouldn’t be fair to either of us. Or maybe it would be fair. Maybe I’d broken up with the desert boy months ago.

I had to get my memories back. I couldn’t spend the rest of my life like this.

“I did not stop because I did not want to stop,” Ari said slowly, “but also because I thought you did not want to stop. I am sorry.”

Great. He had to go ahead and be nice about it. I grabbed his handkerchief from the floor, wiped my stinging eyes, and handed it to him. He shoved it into his pocket. I stuck the spellbook in my backpack and pulled the pack over my shoulders. “You said you know a way out of here?”

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