Countdown to Stillness: Kieran excerpt

Hating Kieran? Curious about Kieran? Here’s a little excerpt showcasing the third angle of the love triangle:

It was a warm, spring day, but as the sun set, the air grew colder. I shivered in my t-shirt and shorts for a bit, but then I went back in to get some warmer clothing from my duffel.

As I was emerging from my little sleeping area, now in jeans and a sweatshirt, Kieran met me at the door. Scant light filtered in through the windows of the room, turning the guns into long, black shadows. I could barely see the features of Kieran’s face.

“Hey,” he said. “I just came to check on you.”

I gestured to my new outfit. “I was cold.”


I started to push past him, but he stopped me.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“I’m fine.” I didn’t need Kieran to comfort me. I was glad he’d had my back when we were talking to Hallam and Marlena, but that didn’t mean we were best friends or something.

I started for the hallway.

“Look,” said Kieran, “I didn’t ask for them to assign me to come with you.”

I stopped and turned to him. His hair was catching the last bit of light from outside. It glowed, surrounding his head like a halo. “I know.”

“When we talked right before we left, you said we were cool.”

“We are cool.”

“Okay, so why the silent treatment? Why are you treating me like some asshole?”

I rolled my eyes in the darkness. I didn’t have time for this. “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”

“That’s not what I mean. I just don’t see why we can’t be adults about this.”

“I don’t see how being adults means we have to be best friends.”

“You know, I was drunk too.”

“Oh thanks,” I said. “This has been real comforting, Kieran, but seriously.” I stepped into the hallway.

“Come on,” he said. “I didn’t mean it like that. I mean, you’re gorgeous and smart and awesome. I would have done it if I wasn’t drunk, but–”

I closed my eyes. “I just want to pretend it didn’t happen.” Which would be a lot easier, if I wasn’t still waiting for my–

“I don’t,” he said. “We were lonely. Both of us. The world exploded. It’s okay that we needed some comfort, some human contact. It can just be that. We can still be friends.”

“We have never been friends. And I’m sorry, but just because I got wasted and let you play hide the salami with me does not mean we’re a couple or buddies or that I have to tell you how I’m feeling.”


“Let’s just find the Key of Asher and get the hell out of here. Please?”

I started down the hallway.

“Fine,” he muttered. “Sure.” He paused, and then called after me, “Was it really bad or something?”

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