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I had been so mad at him when I left, I’d given them back. All except for the one that stuck to the bottom of the jar. He smiled. "They’re at home, waiting." "For what?" His eyes glittered. "That, I cannot say.

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I know, I know. It’s hard to explain. All I can say is that I’ve been given a second chance. Maxon matters to me, and I’m going to fight for him.":)

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He let out a sigh. With my head there against his chest, I could faintly make out the sound of his heart beating through his suit coat. It seemed to be rushing. His hand, gentle as ever, reached to cup my cheek. As I looked into his eyes, I felt that unnameable feeling that was growing between us. With his eyes, Maxon asked for something we’d both agree to wait on. I was glad he didn’t want to wait anymore. I gave him a tiny nod, and he bridged the small gap between us, kissing me with unimaginable tenderness.

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Maxon, this is my gift to you. I promise I will make every effort to see these girls through your eyes. Not the eyes of a queen, or the eyes of your mother, but yours. Even if the girl you choose is of a very low caste, even if others think she has no value, I will always listen to your reasons for wanting her. And I will do my best to support your choice.

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I couldn’t joke about the person who’d saved me from facing absolute heartbreak at home, who fed my family boxes of sweets, who ran to me worried that i was hurt if I asked for him. A month ago, I had looked at the TV and seen a stiff, distant, boring person-someone I couldn’t imagine anyone loving. And while he wasn’t anything close to the person I did love, he was worthy of having someone to love in his life.

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What do you think my chances might be of finding a soul mate in the group of you? I’ll be lucky if I can just find someone who’ll be able to stand me for the rest of our lives. What if I’ve already sent her home because I was relying on some sort of spark I didn’t feel? What if she’s waiting to leave me at the first sign of adversity? What if I don’t find anyone at all? What do I do then, America?

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Do you think the ability to sleep in counts as a special skill?” I asked Dad, trying to sound torn over the decision. “Yes, list that. And don’t forget to write that you can eat an entire meal in under five minutes,” he replied. I laughed. It was true; I did tend to inhale my food. “Oh, the both of you! Why don’t you just write down that you’re an absolute heathen!” My mother went storming from the room.

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I was overwhelmed. He understood me so well, how nervous I was about making this commitment, how frightening it was for me to become a princess. He was going to give me every last second he could and, in the meantime, lavish me with everything possible. I had another one of those moments when I couldn’t believe this was all happening. "That’s not fair, Maxon," I mumbled. "What in the world am I supposed to be able to give you?" He smiled. "All I want is your promise to stay with me, to be mine. Sometimes it feels like you can’t possibly be real. Promise me you’ll stay." "Of course, I promise.

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I hope you find someone you can’t live without.I really do. And I hope you never have to know what it’s like to have to try and live without them.

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Do you think," Maxon asked, "that I could still call you ‘my dear’?" "Not a chance," I whispered. "I’ll keep trying. I don’t have it in me to give up." And I believed him. It was annoying to think he’d press that issue. "Did you call all of them that?" I nodded my head toward the rest of the room. "Yes, and they all seemed to like it." "That is the exact reason why I don’t.

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It wasn’t like I made his world better. It was like I was his world. It wasn’t some explosion; it wasn’t fireworks. It was a fire, burning slowly from the inside out.