From Lover Mine by J. R. Ward.
Reaching out, he picked up one of the pillows and held it gently. Bringing it to his nose, he inhaled… and caught a stronger version of what he dreamed of every night: Xhex’s scent.
His knees weakened and he went down like a stone through still water, collapsing by the side of the mattress. Burying his face into the softness, he drew her into him, her fragrance lingering like a memory, at once tangible and elusive.
She had been here. Recently.
He glanced at the bloodied sheets. The bloodied walls.
He was too late.
John’s face grew wet and he felt something drip off his chin, but he didn’t give a shit. He was consumed with the thought that he’d come so close to saving her… but just not arrived soon enough.
The sob that breached his throat actually made a sound.
– – –
For all of her life, Xhex’s heart had not been prone to breaking. She’d long suspected that it was a result of her symphath side, a kind of congenital condition that hardened her about things that most females lost it over.
Turned out that was wrong, however.
As she stood beside John Matthew, and watched his huge body crumple down by the bed, the organ that beat behind her sternum shattered like a mirror.
Nothing but shards.
She was utterly and completely ruined as he cradled that pillow like it was a newborn, and in this moment of his utter despair, she would have done anything to ease his pain: Even though she had no idea why he felt the way he so clearly did, the reasons were unimportant.
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