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“And anyway,” she says, “I’m only fourteen, and more anyway, I already have a–a suitor, if you must know.”

It would be different if he were threatening her somehow: she’d know how to deal with that. But instinct tells her that fists are not the proper tools for this situation. Proserpina, exasperated, wishes she knew how to counterpunch a grin that makes her back tingle.

“So which is it,” Elijah says, “you’re too young to pursue, or already caught?”

“Neither,” she finds herself whispering.

Her overall impression of kissing is that it is sort of wet, and rather defuses everything.