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Rev Bitter Sweet Love Excerpt

Rev Bitter Sweet Love Excerpt

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Published by Jen Armentrout
Bitter Sweet Love teaser
Bitter Sweet Love teaser

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Published by: Jen Armentrout on Nov 21, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/04/2013

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Bitter Sweet Love
, Chapter Two
I was not happy. I was knee deep in freak-out mode. Dez was back after leaving for three years, without so much as saying a “Hey, I’m skipping out and leaving you,” or a goodbye or
anything
 He’d  just up and left after… I tried to swallow, but there was something huge in my throat. I hadn’t heard from him in
three
 
years
. Not a single phone call, email or letter. Nothing. I hadn’t even known if he was dead or alive. No one in our clan had known. He’d vanished, his sudden departure as horrifyingly abrupt as the death of my mother. There one second and gone the next. Home hadn’t even been
home
 since he left. “Are you breathing?” my sister asked, her voice floating from somewhere behind me. “Jasmine?” Consumed with not hurling all over the place, I wasn’t sure if I was breathing or not. I stared at my reflection in the vanity. Light blue eyes stared back at me, set in a face way too pale against the darkness of my hair. Even my lips looked leeched of blood. My cheekbones appeared too sharp, too angular. The last hour had blurred. Somehow, the entire clan knew that Dez was back and they’d swooped in on me within a nanosecond of my entering the house. I’d been shoved into a shower,
 
 because apparently, I needed one. Danika had dried my hair, letting it fall loose in long waves down my back because I was beyond the ability to do it myself. Then Claudia, who either didn’t know I’d sneaked out or had chosen to ignore it in light of what was happening, had brought in a blue gown that I’d never seen before. It was tight around my chest and I knew if I bent too low, my breasts would be coming out and saying hello. It was tradition to look your best when a male claimed you. The whole ritual was barbaric, absolutely wrong on so many levels. Part of me understood the necessity of having to mate and produce some babies. Our kind was dying off and what the Wardens did was a necessity to maintain the balance of good and evil and blah, blah. The other part wondered why in the world I would sign up for something that would most likely result in my death at some point. We were given seven days after the male made his claim to say yes or no, to ensure that both parties understood that mating was a lifelong commitment. There was no such thing as divorcing or separating among our kind. We weren’t forced to say yes, and the male, even if he was embarrassed before the whole clan, had to accept our refusal. We could keep saying no until we wanted to say yes and there were female Wardens who did say no, like Claudia. She hadn’t yet found a male she wanted, but…
 
 But my father had announced his intentions of mating Dez and me three years ago. The night before Dez had disappeared. I dragged in a gulp of air, but the dress was cinched too tight, constricting my waist. “He came back,” I whispered, not sure why I felt the need to say that. Maybe because it didn’t feel real. Danika’s reflection appeared above my shoulder. We shared the same features, except she was a younger version of me. “He did.” I squeezed my eyes shut and counted to ten. “Have you seen him?” “No.” Why had I even asked that question? I didn’t care. Danika placed a hand on my shoulder. “Everyone is waiting downstairs. The whole clan.” The whole clan could go jump off Algonquin Peak. Opening my eyes, I didn’t see my reflection or my sister’s. Images of Dez and me flashed together in a walk down memory lane that I didn’t want to take, but once I saw him in my mind, I couldn’t stop them. Dez, short for a name I couldn’t even begin to pronounce, had been a member of a West Coast clan and should’ve never crossed paths with mine. But when he was ten years old, his entire clan had been wiped out in a brutal demon attack. He’d ended up in New York due to the ties that his mother had had with our clan. The first night he

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