Sasha Alexander has a powerful ability. The seven guardians that only she can see protect her from hurt, pain, fear and love – until a strange young man with scarred hands suddenly makes her feel again. But unless she can learn to control her own emotions, the biggest danger to them all may be Sasha herself.

Fear wore a dull gray trench coat that looked like it was perpetually in need of a wash. Frayed in places, the coat hung off his cadaverously thin frame like a dusty sheet over a piece of forgotten furniture. Pale skin, tinged a sickly yellow, seemed to bleed through the thin clothes he wore underneath his coat. He didn’t touch me when he slid up beside me, but then, he didn’t have to. Fear was that rare guardian who seemed to carry his own weather with him wherever he went. Just by standing next to me, it felt as if the temperature had dropped several degrees, and in spite of myself, I shivered. I tried to smile at Noah as Fear stood next to me, and failed. He took out a dull silver coin and let it slide and flip across his knuckles; he wore a necklace of razor blades even duller than the coin. Sometimes they were speckled with what could be rust or blood against his sallow skin.

I had seen Fear slash his own fingertips with them, when we were in the grip of a particularly fierce bout of his signature emotion.

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