Many of you have asked me to post the scene where Bones realizes that Cat almost jumped off a cliff upon hearing of his "death" (Chapter Twenty-One, At Grave's End). It's only a small scene and it ended up being cut because I thought it was more important to the plot to show Cat realizing that things were going to change in her life now that she knew Bones was alive (end of Chapter Twenty-Five). But, small or not, here it is. It takes place at the end of Chapter Twenty-Five, at the last scene segment.
As always, this is unedited, so please excuse grammar/spelling errors.
Bones and I faced each other alone in the room. All at once, I didn’t know what to say. Should we run through the list of possible suspects? Debate more over Tate’s innocence versus guilt, for Bones still didn’t look convinced. Argue about how he’d diverted my focus from Spade dragging my friend off to chain him up? Or forget all of the above and try to sleep as suggested?
“Has anyone called Don to tell him you caught up with me?”
That won the toss, apparently, and it hadn’t even been on my mental list.
“No, but he can wait a bit longer. Come lie down with me, I’ve longed for nothing as much as your arms these past days, even when I was barely cognizant.”
He pulled me with him to the bed, enfolding me under the blankets even though I still had my dress on. His limbs entwined with mine, preventing me from squirming out of it.
“Leave it on, much as I want to feel your bare skin. You look as awful as I’ve ever seen you, Kitten. You have circles around your eyes like you’ve been beaten. Ah, at last I can relax. Having you next to me is more beneficial than the gallons of blood your uncle pumped into me.”
“Your body aged almost to the point of truly dying. That’s why your hair’s white, isn’t it?”
“Yes. I expect so.”
It hit me then, staring at his unlined, beautiful face and that stark white hair framing it, that neither of us should still be alive. He’d almost been killed by a knife in his heart, and add one more step on a rocky ledge and Bones would have returned to find my body broken beyond revival.
His hands closed around my face and his whole body stiffened.
“What is this you’re thinking?”
I let the memory come, restricting none of it, hearing once again Vlad pitiless admonishment, “…have no choice but to climb down and commit yourself to a bloody retribution…” and the final question that led me to step away from the ledge. What are you?
Bones let out a cry and clutched me to him so tightly, my ribs creaked.
“If I would have come back to that, Kitten, it would have killed me more certainly than any silver twisting in my heart. Promise me, promise me, promise me you will never do such a thing. If I die, I will wait for you, do you understand? No matter how long. I will watch from beyond to make sure you live every year you have to its fullest, and then we’ll have so much to talk about when I see you again…promise me right now, Catherine!”
I held him back just as tightly even as I choked out a laugh.
“Did you miss that part? My name isn’t Catherine. It’s Cat.”