He took me completely by surprise. It all happened in a sudden moment, but I recalled it over and over again as our lips touched. The sting of my cheek, the sting of my hand as I slapped him in return and then his fist around my wrist as he dragged me to him. Or had I pulled him to me? It was so blurry in the heat that was spreading across my skin that I had no choice but to ignore it and concentrate on his lips. It was warm, pleasant even, and I found my lips warming to his, moving in response. Then I jerked away from him, giving him another resounding slap.
"What the-?" He cried. There was such a look of shock on his face that I giggled quite ridiculously, still unsteady from the kiss. He stared at me. "Kate..."
"Corin?" I giggled, twisting around, quite lost. I was hysterical. On the one hand, this man had hurt me more than anyone else in the world and on the other that kiss was...
"Kate, what's the matter with you?" He grabbed me by the shoulders and looked at me with those eyes. I gave a giggle that sounded a bit like a hiccup and then stroked his cheekbones.
"What did you do?" I asked, staring at him. "What did you do to me?"
"Christ Kate," he asked pulling away, "it was a kiss." He ran his hands through his hair in exasperation. "I'm sorry. Truly I am, but I... I never wanted to hurt you. And it haunts me every day-"
"-Kiss me again."
Corin stared again.
"Kiss me again." I reached out and took his shirt in my fingers, pulling on it gently. He came closer and reached his hand up to my face, stroking his fingertips along my cheekbones.
I reached forward for our lips to touch and ran my fingers tentatively through his hair.
"For the record, I have no idea why I am doing this." I muttered.
"Must be my good looks." He chuckled.
"Maybe I'm drunk." I retorted.
"Ouch." He grinned before finally kissing me again. I smiled against his lips and wrapped my arms around his neck. Then pain shot through my feet and I jerked away. He looked at me again, warily this time, and I put my hand to my mouth, tears forming in my eyes.
"Oh my god..."
"Are you ok?"
"No Corin, I am not ok."
"What's wrong?" He asked, stepping towards me.
"It's you." A tear escaped and rolled hot and wet down my cheek. "You. Why... why did you do that? Why did I do that? You hurt me..."
"Kate I didn't want to-"
"-But you did!"
"Kate the Sheriff would have done worse to you! Your feet can heal but what he would have done you would never have been able to change. And I hated every second of doing that to you! But I will make it up to you. I promise!"
"How?!" I cried. "How are you ever going to do that? And have you ever stopped to think that maybe I don't want you to make it up to me? Have you ever thought that I never wanted to see you again after what you did?"
"Well I guess that's changed now."
"What makes you think that?" I snapped.
"Because you wanted me to kiss you. The secret's out Kate."
I gritted my teeth and pulled a face.
"No?" He stared at me. "It just happened."
"I... I'll deny it if you tell anyone."
"I wasn't going to." He looked outraged that I would suggest it. "You don't think I want Jem trying to kill me for laying a hand on you do you? Or Griever. Any of the Hawks really." He half smiled, trying to lighten the mood. I only glared at him.
"Trust me, they know that I'm the only one who is allowed to kill you. They wouldn't deny me the pleasure." I was taken aback by the pain that tried to prevent me from saying what I had just said. Corin's face had dropped and was filled with so much hurt... "I... I'm sorry. I didn't mean..."
"I think you did!" He snarled.
"I'm sorry." I bit my lip. "I'm just confused... a week ago I hated you and now..."
"What? Now you hate me just a little less?" He glared.
"Now I can't stop thinking about you kissing me."
He looked at me incredulously.
"Your mood changes are... difficult to keep up with."
"I know. It's all your fault." I teased ruefully.
"Well maybe I should let you have some time..."
I bit my lip. He was right. I was behaving like... an insane person.
"Sleep well my little hawk."
"Not with the battle tomorrow."
"You'll survive. We have to now right? Good and love always wins." He winked, and then headed off.
"Wait... what? Did you just say you love me?" I called after him.
He turned around, shrugged and grinned, before blowing a kiss and disappearing in to the dark. I chuckled at the irony. Now he was the one blowing kisses to me.