HARVEST OF SIGHS (Thornchapel #3) by Sierra Simone
Release Date: May 1st
Designer: Hang Le | Image: Vania Stoyanova | Models: Shacori Valentine & Keira Leilani
The genius and the sunshine girl. As children, we fought bitterly and often, bickering every chance we got.
But then we grew up.
Then we came back.
Delphine Dansey carries her heart on the outside of her body; she’s looking for love and chasing dreams. She’s spoiled and selfish, the kind of beautiful that’s made for money and fame. But somehow she’s ended up in my keeping: a pretty submissive I can’t seem to resist, a lover who obsesses and tempts me.
I thought I’d locked my heart away a long time ago, along with all my other weaknesses. But some doors won’t stay closed, no matter how hard I fight to keep them shut. She unravels me, just like our friends are unraveling, just like Thornchapel itself is unraveling.
All year long, we’ve been sowing lust and jealousy and pain, heedless of the consequences. But a harvest is inevitable, and so now we must reap our sorrows.
And our sighs.
*Harvest of Sighs is Book Three in the Thornchapel series.
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“Dammit, Auden, let me the fuck go.”
“Use your safeword, and I will.”
I open my mouth.
I can’t make the words come out.
May I, I think. May I, May I, May I. But still my tongue won’t move; the sounds won’t push past my lips.
Auden’s mouth curls up at the corner. “That’s what I thought.”
“Fuck you,” I retort.
“No,” Auden says heatedly, his hands tightening on my wrists, “fuck you. Just yesterday you promised—you promised me that you were mine, you promised me forever together. You swore. And now you’re running away again? You couldn’t even keep your promise for twenty-four hours?”
I sputter, tripping over the words as they tumble out of my mouth. “There is no promise, Auden! Things have fucking changed! And you lied about it! Jesus fucking Christ, Auden, you lied about it.”
“I didn’t lie.”
“You didn’t tell me.”
He sniffs. “That’s not lying.”
I glare at him. He glares right back at me. “That’s a juvenile justification and you know it,” I say.
“I was going to tell you.”
“When? After you’d fucked me again? Or after Lammas? Or maybe ten years from now when I finally worked up the courage to ask you to marry me?”
Auden’s glare softens into something boyish and vulnerable. He blinks long-lashed eyes at me. “You want to marry me?”
“Oh my God, Auden, that’s not the point,” I groan. “The point is we can never get married, and we can’t be together, and we can never be together again, and you knew and you didn’t tell me. You let me—you let us—yesterday, we—”
I can barely get the words out. He and I have done something unthinkably bad, something so wrong that even the word wrong isn’t heavy enough. We were more wrong than wrong—we were corrupt and unholy. Immoral and depraved.
“I know what we did yesterday,” Auden says, his voice as gentle as the grip on my wrists is firm. “I don’t see the problem, and I don’t see why you can’t keep your promise to me.”
I stare at him a moment, totally confounded. “Auden…am I talking at thin air right now? Am I not making sense? Is it my accent? Should I switch to yours?” I say the last part in my best I wear a regatta blazer to actual regattas voice, and he makes a face.
“Don’t do that, you’re terrible at it,” he says. “Listen, it’s not like—this isn’t like you’re thinking. I didn’t wait to tell you because I was trying to trick you, I waited because I wanted to find the right way to explain it all. Say it the right way so that you wouldn’t run away from me when I told you, so that you wouldn’t sever your heart from mine. I didn’t want this to be the end of us. And why should it be? Why shouldn’t you belong to me?” he finishes with a wild urgency.
I search his face. His stupid, handsome face, where even now I see glimmers of yesterday’s revels. A small bruise in the shape of Rebecca’s bite on his jaw, visible even under the shadow of his day-old beard, a small scratch disappearing into his cinnamon-colored hair from his run through the trees. The vibrant flicker of those hazel eyes—the eyes of the forest.
Never in a thousand years did I think God would be this sadistic or this pitiless, to put me in a position where I have to refuse this man.
“You know why I can’t,” I say finally. “We can’t. We just—it can’t be, Auden. You know this.”
His eyes stay stark and raw on mine as he says, “But I want you.”
“But I want it,” he says, and with his eyes like that and his voice so low, there’s no mistaking what it is.
“You can’t want it,” I whisper, and his grip tightens on my wrists as he pushes them out to the sides until my arms are spread on either side of me and my wrists are pinned to the wall. It’s like I’m about to be crucified, like I’m already on the cross, but without the nails and the thorns, because Auden himself is all the nails and thorns I’ll ever need.
“Oh, can’t I?” he says. “Because I do, St. Sebastian, I do want it. I need it. I don’t care what that makes me, I don’t care what that means for my immortal soul. I’ve known you were mine since I kissed you in the thorn chapel, and I’ve known that you wanted to be mine since you let me bite your lip until it bled.” His eyes drop to my lip piercing now, and I can feel how much he wants to pull on it and kiss it. I can feel how much he wants that labret running along his shaft, how much he’d love to see it gleaming in the dark while he fucks me. “You can run away all you want, but it’s too late. You already swore to me. I’ve already known what it was like to have your heart in my hands, and it’s simply too late.”
He ducks his head enough to move his lips over mine—something both more and less than a kiss—something like a promise made with touch instead of words.
And fuck me if I don’t want to promise something right back.
“It can’t be too late,” I whisper. “Even if you did wait to tell me until you got what you wanted.”
Auden doesn’t lift his mouth from mine, and I feel his words as much as I hear them.
“And what did I get, my little martyr? What do you think I wanted?”
I wish so much I weren’t still hard as I answer him. “You wanted to fuck me.”
“No,” he says, tugging on my lip piercing with his teeth. “I wanted what I still want.” He kisses me again. “I want forever, stubborn boy. Only that.”
About the Author:
Sierra Simone is a USA Today Bestselling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk.) She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.
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