The boy—Henry—notices her, lingering nearby, and something crosses his face, too fast for even her to read, before his attention flicks back to the woman at the counter.

“Yes, Ms. Kline,” he’s saying. “No, that’s fine. And if it’s not what he wants, just bring it back.”

The woman toddles off, clutching her store bag, and Addie steps up. “Hi there,” she says brightly.

“Hello,” Henry says, an edge of caution in his voice. “Can I help you?”

“I hope so,” she says, all practiced charm. She sets The Odyssey on the counter between them. “My friend bought me this book, but I already have it. I was hoping I could exchange it for something else.”

He studies her. A dark brow lifts behind his glasses. “Are you serious?”

“I know,” she says with a laugh, “hard to believe I already own this one in Greek but—”

He rocks back on his heels. “You are serious.”

Addie falters, thrown off by the edge in his voice. “I just thought it was worth asking…”

“This isn’t a library,” he chides. “You can’t just trade one book for another.”

Addie straightens. “Obviously,” she says, a little indignant. “But like I said, I didn’t buy it. My friend did, and I just heard you tell Ms. Kline that—”

His face hardens, the flat regard of a door slammed shut. “Word of advice. Next time you try to return a book, don’t return it to the same person you stole it from the first time.”

A rock drops inside her chest. “What?”

He shakes his head. “You were just in here yesterday.”

“I wasn’t—”

“I remember you.”

Three words, large enough to tip the world.

I remember you.

Addie lurches as if struck, about to fall. She tries to right herself. “No you don’t,” she says firmly.

His green eyes narrow. “Yes. I do. You came in here yesterday, green sweater, black jeans. You stole this used copy of The Odyssey, which I gave back to you, because who steals a used copy of The Odyssey in Greek anyways, and then you have the nerve to come back in here and try to trade it out for something else? When you didn’t even buy the first one…”

Addie closes her eyes, vision swimming.

She doesn’t understand.

She can’t—

“Now look,” he says, “I think you better go.”

She opens her eyes, and sees him pointing to the door. Her feet won’t move. They refuse to carry her away from those three words.

I remember you.

Three hundred years.

Three hundred years, and no one has said those words, no one has ever, ever remembered. She wants to grab him by the sleeve, wants to pull him forward, wants to know why, how, what is so special about a boy in a bookstore—but the man with the military history is waiting to pay, the kid clinging to his leg, and the boy with the glasses is glaring at her, and this is all wrong. She grips the counter, feels like she might faint. His eyes soften, just a fraction.

“Please,” he says under his breath. “Just go.”

She tries.

She can’t.

Addie gets as far as the open door, the four short steps from the shop to the street, before something in her gives.

She slumps onto the lip at the top of the stairs, puts her head in her hands, feels like she might cry, or laugh, but instead, she stares back through the beveled glass insert of the shop door. She watches the boy every time he comes into the frame. She cannot tear her eyes away.

I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you. I remember—

“What are you doing?”

She blinks, and sees him standing in the open doorway, arms crossed. The sun has shifted lower in the sky, the light going thin.

“Waiting for you,” she says, cringing as soon as she says it. “I wanted to apologize,” she continues. “For the whole book thing.”

“It’s fine,” he says curtly.

“No, it’s not,” she says, rising to her feet. “Let me buy you a coffee.”

“You don’t have to do that.”

“I insist. As an apology.”

“I’m working.”


And it must be something in the way she says it, the sheer mix of hope and need, the obvious fact it means more than a book, more than a sorry, that makes the boy look her in the eyes, makes her realize that he hadn’t really, not until now. There’s something strange, searching in his gaze, but whatever he sees when he looks at her, it changes his mind.

“One coffee,” he says. “And you’re still banned from the shop.”

Addie feels the air rush back into her lungs. “Deal.”

New York City

March 13, 2014


Addie lingers on the bookstore steps for an hour until it closes.

Henry locks up, and turns to see her sitting there, and Addie braces again for the blankness in his gaze, the confirmation that their earlier encounter was only some strange glitch, a slipped stitch in the centuries of her curse.

But when he looks at her, he knows her. She is certain he knows her.

His brows go up beneath his tangled curls, as if he’s surprised that she’s still there. But his annoyance has given way to something else—something that confuses her even more. It’s less hostile than suspicion, more guarded than relief, and it is still wonderful, because of the knowing in it. Not a first meeting, but a second—or rather, a third—and for once she is not the only one who knows.

“Well?” he says, holding out his hand, not for her to take, but for her to lead the way, and she does. They walk a few blocks in awkward silence, Addie stealing glances that tell her nothing but the line of his nose, the angle of his jaw.

He has a starved look, wolfish and lean, and even though he’s not unnaturally tall, he hunches his shoulders as if to make himself shorter, smaller, less obtrusive. Perhaps, in the right clothes, perhaps, with the right air, perhaps, perhaps; but the longer she looks at him, the weaker the resemblance to that other stranger.

And yet.

There is something about him that keeps catching her attention, snagging it the way a nail snags a sweater.

Twice he catches her looking at him, and frowns.

Once she catches him stealing his own glance, and smiles.

At the coffee shop, she tells him to grab a table while she buys the drinks, and he hesitates, as if torn between the urge to pay and the fear of being poisoned, before retreating to a corner booth. She orders him a latte.

“Three eighty,” says the girl behind the counter.

Addie cringes at the cost. She pulls a few bills from her pocket, the last of what she took from James St. Clair. She doesn’t have the cash for two drinks, and she can’t just walk out with them, because there’s a boy waiting. And he remembers.

Addie glances toward the table, where he sits, arms folded, staring out the window.

“Eve!” calls the barista.