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Another Achlivan Cycle Kiss.

* * * * *


As I gazed at Talia sitting across from me, her hand tightly holding the lead singer of Roleling’s, I realized how drastically different she and Chevelle actually were. Sure, they had a few things in common. I guess I’d always had a type, and that was intelligent, independent, and decisive. Without intelligence, I get bored. Independence is a must have given that I can’t have anyone clinging to me twenty-four/seven in my line of work. Decisive, well, usually, I need at least an hour to choose a restaurant on the fly. Yeah, I can be that bad. Those were the three common factors of Chevelle and Talia.

Appearances, they were drastically different. Talia being tall, but petite. Chevelle being about as average as a girl can get. Height, weight, proportions, she resembled the everyday eighteen-year-old. For some reason, she thinks that makes her undesirable to me. We’re getting there.

The way she and Talia handle life’s curveballs was also different as well as telling. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit stung that Talia was already dating another guy. At the same time, I realize I’m a total hypocrite seeing as how I had my eyes on Chevelle. I think what bugged me the most was that she jumped into his arms three days after I was taken from earth. Regardless of if she thought I was alive or not, three days? Wow. I didn’t even start thinking of Chevelle in a new way until at least two months passed.

However, she and Jake had history. He was the one who got away a few years back. The one she swore she was over, and that’s why it was okay for them to collaborate on songs all the time. Perhaps he was simply convenient, or maybe she realized just how much she still loved him. Whatever the case, they were together.

“No, it’s cool,” I said for the third time. “Seriously, I mean that.”

“And it doesn’t mean—” Talia began.

I held up a hand. “Let’s stop. The whole point I’m still meeting with you is to tell you everything that’s happened and what could be coming next.”

So I told her. About the Achlivans, why they came, and the offer on the table for her and Jake to take if they so choose. As long as they aren’t on my ship, I couldn’t care less. Out of sight, out of mind, and all that. Though I was starting to think about taking Chevelle up on the offer to burn the CD liner of Talia’s album. The tabloids said she wrote a whole new one dedicated all to me and the love we shared. I got a good laugh from that.

When I was done with my story, she chewed on her lip, clearly mulling everything over.

“Wow, you still want me to have a chance? You’re not writing me off to die?” she asked.

I shook my head. “That would be awfully petty of me, don’t you think? You, Nate, my parents, are all getting a chance because you’re important to me, and I’m important to them.”

“What about you?” she asked. “If Jake and I are together, and everyone has to be paired up, who—”

“You must have missed the part where I mentioned I have a female roommate,” I said quietly. “Not that we’re together.” Yet. “But I’m good so long as she wants me around. We’ll figure it out. Nate too. There are a lot of single women on the ship. I’m sure one true love is just around the corner.”

Talia frowned. “Tim…”

“I gotta go and prepare for my press conference,” I said, standing and glad for my time crunch because it was the perfect excuse for a quick exit.

Hard part was done. Closure obtained. Now I no longer had to feel guilty for thinking about kissing Chevelle anymore. Seeing Talia again did show me that I needed a little more time on my own before I did kiss Chevelle next. I had insecurities of my own to fight through, and only some of them we could battle together.

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