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Lamplight shone warm on her dark hair, long with the barest wave.
Nathaniel knew she was tall, but not willowy. Powerful shoulders squared to the outside world as she read. Her stillness broke only to turn a page.
The other girls thundered in the house. He heard them. On the stairs. Down the hallways. Sometimes their laughter twinkled under emerging stars.
But she drew the twilight around herself and commanded it. Nathaniel cared only for her. Every moment, her intensity burned in his mind. It pained him as it fed him. And when she gazed up and sliced the world with her eyes, he bled.
By sheer force of will, she rooted him beneath that tree. He loved the sweep of her hair, the curve of her cheek, her defiance. But most of all, he loved the eyes he could never quite see.
And her spell drained meaning from the rest of the world.
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