When I was a child, all problems had ended with a single word from my father. A smile from him was sunshine, his scowl a bolt of thunder. He was smart, and generous, and honorable without fail. He could exile a trespasser, check my math homework, and fix the leaky bathroom sink, all before dinner. For the longest time, I thought he was invincible. Above the petty problems that plagued normal people. And now he was gone.
I squeezed my eyes shut and took several deep breaths, trying not to smell Jace in front of me, not to taste him on my lips. But it was useless. In that moment, Jace was everywhere. He was in my mind, he was in my heart, and he was in my memory. He smelled good. He tasted good. And the blissful aftershock still throbbing in my most sensitive places felt wonderful, when everything else in my life was an obstacle to be overcome.