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Playing with Fire

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She isn’t really his sister, Briar keeps telling himself, but there’s still something very odd—not wrong, but odd—about touching this girl he has known for so long, this girl he calls family. And it’s a touch far less brotherly and far more intimate than it has ever been, with his fingers tracing these soft lady-curves and his mouth hungrily chasing hers. It makes him feel better when she clings to him encouragingly, her nails scoring his back.

What are you doing? Tris barked in his head the first time he kissed Sandry, on pure impulse. We’re already confused as it is—we don’t need you romancing Sandry to muck it up further.

That had shamed Briar, like nothing else could; he tumbled girls aplenty, and loved them in his own way, too, but none of them ever meant half so much to him as these three girls. He doesn’t want to ruin the purest thing he has.

Yet he finds himself drawn to her, over and over again, even when Daja is warning him that he is playing with fire, that he will hurt them all with his nonsense. Sandry gives him the sweetness his life lacks, and she stitches herself ever tighter into his existence.

It is so easy to fall in love with her.