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“Where are you?”

“In Alaska.”

“Good enough.” She turns to my uncle. “See, I told you she was going to be okay. She lost some blood, but—”

“Jaxon!” The warm, floaty feeling melts away as I struggle to sit up. I don’t know how I could have forgotten. “Is he okay? He was…” I stop when I realize I don’t have a clue what to say next. Because I don’t have a clue what actually happened up in that tower.

I remember Jaxon kissing me…and probably will for the rest of my life.

I remember the earthquake.

I remember running, though I don’t know why.

And I remember blood. I know there was blood, but I can’t figure out why.

“Don’t push so hard,” the nurse tells me with a pat to the back of my hand. “It’ll come if you don’t try to force it.”

It doesn’t feel like it will come. It feels like everything’s a blur, like my synapses just aren’t connecting the way they should.

Exactly what kind of sedative did this nurse give me anyway?

“Macy?” I turn to my cousin. “I—”

“Jaxon’s fine,” she assures me.

“He saved you,” my uncle tells me. “He got you to the nurse, Marise, before you could bleed out.”

“Bleed out?”

Marise is the one who answers. “When the window shattered, flying glass nicked an artery in your neck. You lost a lot of blood.”

“My artery?” My hand flies to my neck as terror sets in for the first time. That’s how my mother died. An arterial bleed-out before the ambulance could arrive.

“You’re fine,” my uncle says, his voice low and soothing. He reaches for my hand, pats it a few times. “Thankfully Jaxon was there. He slowed the bleeding and got you to Marise’s office before…”

“Before I died.” I say what he won’t.

My uncle turns white. “Don’t think about that now, Grace. You’re fine.”

Because Jaxon saved me. Again. “I want to see him.”

“Of course,” Uncle Finn agrees. “Once you’re up and about.”

“No, I’d really like to see him now.” I start kicking at my covers, which feel like they weigh a thousand pounds. “I need to make sure he’s okay. I need…” I trail off. I don’t know what I need, except to see Jaxon. To see his face, to touch him, to feel him breathe and know that he’s really okay.

And also because I’ll go out of my mind if I don’t find out how he feels about the kiss we shared. Soon.

“Whoa, now.” Marise puts a firm hand on my shoulder and pushes me back down against the bed. “You can see Jaxon tomorrow. For now, you need to stay here and rest.”

“I don’t want to rest. I want—”

“I know what you want, but that’s not possible right now. You’re weak.” The stern look is back, and it has multiplied times ten. “I don’t think you realize how serious this injury is. You need to recuperate.”

“I know exactly how serious an arterial bleed is,” I insist, my mother’s face floating behind my eyes for a few seconds before I manage to blink it away. “I’m not planning on snowboarding down the side of Denali. I just want to see my…”

I break off because I was about to call Jaxon my boyfriend and no, just no. One kiss does not a boyfriend make, even if it was the best kiss of my life. Maybe even the best kiss in the history of the world. I mean, until the glass started flying.

I try to play it off by picking at my comforter, but Macy’s wide eyes tell me I’m not doing a very good job of it.

All of a sudden, Marise and Uncle Finn are studying me a lot more closely, too, though neither of them makes a comment about my slipup. Instead, Marise simply pulls my comforter back over me and says, “Behave or I’ll give you another sedative. And this time I’ll make sure it knocks you out for several hours.”

The threat is real—I can see it in her eyes—so I don’t push to see Jaxon any more. Instead, I settle back against my pillows and do my best impression of a good little patient.

“I’ll behave,” I promise. “You don’t need to give me a sedative.”

“We’ll see,” she harrumphs. “You need rest, and it’s my job to make sure you get it. How that happens is completely up to you.”

“He’s okay,” Macy reassures me when I don’t say anything else. “I promise, Grace. He’s just busy right now cleaning up the mess in the tower.”

Oh, right. Arterial bleeds aren’t exactly tidy. “Is it bad?” I know it’s ridiculous, but I’m embarrassed that I bled all over Jaxon’s tower, that I caused all this fuss for so many people. “Does he need help?”

“I’ve got it covered,” Uncle Finn assures me dryly. “Thankfully the earthquake only caused minimal damage throughout the rest of the castle, so all my people are up in Jaxon’s room.”

“You’re sure?” It’s a question for Macy, not Uncle Finn. I don’t know why I’m being so insistent, except there’s this feeling deep inside me that something isn’t quite right. That Jaxon is in trouble somehow. It’s probably just the medicine messing with my head, but I can’t seem to shake it. I need to know for sure that he’s all right.

“I swear, Grace.” She reaches over from her spot at the end of the bed and squeezes my hand. “Everything is under control with Jaxon. He’s fine, his rooms will be fine soon enough, and no one else was hurt in the earthquake. You can relax.”

It’s hard to imagine relaxing when fear is still a tight ball in the pit of my stomach. But it’s not like I have a choice with everyone hovering over me.

Though it’s the last thing I want to do right now, I relax back against my pillows. Maybe if I start being more compliant, Marise and Uncle Finn will leave me alone for a while.

“Are you thirsty, Grace?” Marise asks after a moment. “Do you want some juice?”

For the first time, I realize I am thirsty. Like, really, really thirsty. Like, can’t remember the last time I needed a drink this badly thirsty. “Yes, please. Or water. Anything would be good.”

“Let’s start with a little cranapple juice. The sugar will be good for you, and then we’ll go from there.”

“Why do I need sugar?” I ask, even as I accept the small bottle she hands me. I drink it down in one gulp and pretend I don’t see the look she exchanges with Uncle Finn.

“Can I have another?”

“Of course.” A second bottle appears in her hand, though I would swear she didn’t even turn around. I’m too thirsty to care, though, so I take it with a murmured thank-you. I try to drink it more slowly but end up chugging this one, too.

When I’m finished, Uncle Finn takes the bottle from me. Then he strokes a hand over my hair in that way that always makes me think of my dad and says, “I’m sorry, Grace.”

“For what?” I ask, confused by the words and the pained look on his face.

“First the altitude sickness, now an earthquake. I brought you to Alaska because I wanted you to feel safe, wanted to help you find a new home. Instead, you’ve been miserable since you got here.”

“I’m not miserable,” I tell him. When it looks like he doesn’t believe me, I reach for his hand. “I mean, Alaska is about as different from San Diego as it can get, but that doesn’t mean I hate it here. I thought I would, but I don’t.”

I start out meaning to reassure him, but the more I say, the more I realize I mean every word. Alaska does feel alien, but if I didn’t come here, I wouldn’t have met Jaxon. I wouldn’t have had that incredible kiss. And I wouldn’t be living with my cousin, working on a friendship that I’m pretty sure is going to last the rest of our lives.

“Besides, the altitude sickness is gone. And we have earthquakes back home, too, you know.” I grin. “It’s pretty much the one thing Southern California and Alaska have in common.”

“Yeah, but I should have given you more of an introduction to Katmere Academy. I guess I thought ignorance would keep you safe.”

“I don’t think a tour of the school would have stopped me from getting hurt in an earthquake, Uncle Finn.”

He smiles a little sadly. “That’s not what I mean.”

My radar, fuzzy as it is, goes off again. “What do you mean, then?”

“He means that, like any school, it takes a little time to learn the ropes here,” Marise interjects, and the look she gives my uncle tells him now is not the time to discuss those ropes. “I’m sure Macy will help you out with a lot of it. Plus, you’re a smart girl. I think you’ll be fitting in here in no time.”

I’m not so sure, but I’m not about to argue with her. Not when doing so will just keep her and my uncle here longer.

Instead, I change the subject, hoping covering the last of my medical stuff will move them along. “What about my other cuts?” My hand goes to my cheek and the bandage there. “Are they bad?”

“No, not at all. They’ll be healed in no time, and none of them was deep enough to leave a scar.”

“Except on my neck.”

“Yes.” She sounds reluctant to admit it. “You will have a small scar on your neck.”

“Better than the alternative, I guess.” I smile at her. “Thanks for taking care of me. I appreciate it.”

“Of course, Grace. You’re a model patient.”

We’ll see if she still thinks so after I sneak out of my room tonight to go to Jaxon’s. I want to see him, want to make sure he wasn’t hurt, too. And I want to know how he feels about our kiss, if he’s still thinking about it—or if he’s decided I’m just too much trouble.

I also want to know what happened between the glass breaking and me getting to the nurse’s office, and he’s the only one who can tell me. I hate that I can’t remember anything. It makes me feel completely out of control, and I can’t stand that feeling. It gets my anxiety up, so much so that I’m sure I’d be on the verge of a panic attack if it weren’t for the sedative.