He didn’t understand. The dreams were the only place it was safe to use her power now, and she longed for them.
The only thing I’d ever been good at was being a Grisha. I missed summoning light, and each day I didn’t use my power, I grew more weak and sickly. Just walking beside Mal left me winded, and I struggled beneath the weight of my satchel. I was so frail and clumsy that I’d barely managed to keep my job packing jurda at one of the fieldhouses. It brought in mere pennies, but I’d insisted on working, on trying to help. I felt like I had when we were kids: capable Mal and useless Alina.
“Back to pretending to be less than you are, I see. The sham doesn’t suit you.” A twinge of unease passed through me. Hadn’t I had a similar thought just minutes ago?
“You’ve become quite the killer, Alina.” That cool voice. My eyes flew open. The Darkling stood before me, his black kefta rippling over the Hummingbird’s deck. I gasped and stepped back, staring wildly around me, but no one was watching. They were whooping and shouting, gazing down at the flames. “Don’t worry,” the Darkling said gently. “It gets easier with time. Here, I’ll show you.”
“What did you think was going to happen? Did you think you could just carry off one of the most powerful Grisha in the world like some peasant girl you tumbled in a barn? Is that how you think this story ends? I’m trying to keep a country from falling apart, not steal your best girl.”
Is the world so very fine that you think it worth saving?”
“We are alike,” he said, “as no one else is, as no one else will ever be.” The truth of it rang through me. Like calls to like. He held out his hand, and I stepped into his arms.
I tilted my face up to the Darkling’s. “My power is yours,” I whispered. I saw the elation and triumph in his eyes as he lowered his mouth to mine. Our lips met, and the connection between us opened. This was not the way he’d touched me in my visions, when he’d come to me as shadow. This was real, and I could drown in it.