You’re too pretty, she’d told him.
Dark, velvety brown eyes.
Long-fingered hands . . . almost elegant.
Her heart skipped a beat as her imagination kicked into overdrive. He was touching her and she was helpless as he lifted a hand to cup her cheek, angling her head back.
Tears burned her eyes.
Just before he would have kissed her, she flung herself out of the chair, landing in a heap on the floor.
“No,” she whispered, shaking her head. She couldn’t do this. She’d refused to let herself dream of him in the past year, refused to let herself take comfort in his presence. In those dreams, she’d felt almost happy . . . and she couldn’t be happy. Would never truly be happy and having it in her dreams, only in her dreams was just too much.
“No,” she whispered again, shuddering.
The spell was shattered and Nessa found herself on her hands and knees, staring at the book. It lay just inches from her hands.
Swearing, she shoved upright and kicked it away. It ended up under the bed, but she didn’t bother retrieving it.
Nessa cast a look around the room.
Enough. She’d had enough.
“Damn it.” She shoved a hand through her hair, fisted it in the blond strands. She jerked at it, hoping the light tug would help clear her mind, but it did nothing.
Her head ached, her heart ached.
Confusion and chaos reigned inside her.
All from a bloody picture on a damned book.
And she was so fucking tired of it. So tired.
“I’m stronger than this,” she muttered. Slowly, she turned and stared into the mirror hanging over the fireplace.
She was stronger than this.
“By God, it’s time I started acting like it then, isn’t it?”