As she tried to make her way through the press of people back to the door that led outside, the last voice she wanted to hear called out, “Sarya! Sarya dyr-Rusac!”
Panic drove her to push her way faster through the crowd, but Adan caught up to her and grabbed her arm. “Where have you been?” he asked. “Have you come back to stay?” There was an urgency in his voice as though his questions were a matter of life and death.
She tried jerk her arm away from him, but his fingers dug harder into her arm. “It’s none of your concern. I just need to speak to the Council of Masters about a bit of research I need to do, and then I’ll leave again.”
“You left without a word to me or anyone–”
“I didn’t realize I needed your permission to leave.” Around them, people were stopping to stare. Sarya tried again to pull herself free from Adan, but he refused to let her go.
“I didn’t know where you were or what had become of you. I didn’t even know if you were alive or dead!”
“What does it matter to you? You said yourself I don’t belong–”
“Damn it, Sarya!” He pulled her close to him and pressed his mouth to hers.
Sarya’s legs nearly went out from under her. His mouth was warm and hungry against hers; his upper lip and chin were scratchy with late-afternoon whiskers. She told herself she should push him away or something, anything but melting against him like she was doing while he kissed her as though he were starving and she was his banquet.