Carnelian centers around Seth and Mari. They are meant to be together according got Seth, but Mari is not exactly falling for the cute guy just because he says that. Instead she overheads that she is to be number twenty-four on his list of conquests and decides to pass on his attempts to woo her, but that is easier said than done as Seth doesn’t plan to make it easy for her.
Meeting Seth for the first time:
I closed my book and looked up from under the maple canopy to the blue sky above. I had a normal life, but girls in books always went on adventures. I guess that was what going far off to college was to me, an adventure. My future was already planned, but I’d give anything to be one of those heroines. I wanted to live the life I found in these books. I was still lost in thought over the ending when there was a thump on my lap. College students were walking all around and a few tossing a football between them. I looked down expecting to see a football.
It wasn’t a football. The head of a perfectly cute guy was lying across my lap. He had tipped over from sleeping next to me and stayed fast asleep, even after his fall. I looked at him and waited for him to wake. I mean, his fall startled me out of my daydreaming. He didn’t wake. He kept sleeping peacefully.
After turning him down, Seth doesn’t give up pursing Mari:
I waited in my room for another twenty minutes and scavenged silently through all our snacks, nothing good enough to be a meal. I checked several times, and he was still sitting outside my door. The last time I checked, he even looked up at the peephole and smiled. I was beginning to feel like Seth knew I was in my room. When my stomach growled for the tenth time, I just had to walk out the door and ignore him. It was the only plan I had. Grabbing my keys and ID, I hurried out the door. It was nice that the doors were self-locking, and I could just walk away. Seth jumped up and followed me like a puppy, as Sim had called him.
“Not even going to say hello?” Seth asked. “Do you treat all your friends that way?” Seth teased and followed close behind me.
“I wasn’t under the impression that we were friends,” I replied. My plan was to ignore him, but I failed at that.
“Ouch,” Seth answered. “Why can’t I be your friend?”
“You really want to be my friend?” I asked, and he nodded. “Then stop asking me out.”
“Fair enough,” Seth replied. I eyed him suspiciously. “New friend, would you mind joining me for supper?” he asked. I shook my head in disbelief. No way he was giving up that easily after waiting for over an hour for me to leave my room, but my growling stomach told me I had no choice but to play his game, whatever it turned out to be.
“Fine,” I replied and kept looking forward rather than at the cute brown eyes.
“You don’t have to sound excited,” he added with a chuckle.
After Mari and Seth decide to be friends, Seth still hints at wanting more:
“I know for some reason you won’t believe me, but I’m completely serious about you, Mari,” Seth began. “If my only way into your life at this point is as your friend, then that’s what I’ll be, but just know that what I really want is more than that. I’ve been searching for years for you.”
“You don’t even know me,” I retorted, trying my best to move the conversation to something else.
“I know all I need to know about you. You are the girl I’ve been searching for. Now I just need to convince you that maybe, just maybe, I’m the guy for you.” Seth grinned like he was accepting the challenge. “Just know that I’m not giving up on you.” And before I could reply, he leaned down and kissed my forehead before turning and strolling away, leaving me speechless before the open doorway.
I marched into my room and slammed the door. Seth Sangre was good. I could still feel the tingles from where he had kissed me. Heck, I could still feel his hands around my waist as he caught me from falling. He was such a puzzle to me now. He’d been nothing but a gentleman all night. In fact, he only kissed me on the forehead when I was standing there shocked, even though he could have kissed me on the lips. I probably wouldn’t have even pushed him away if he had tried. He was a riddle to me, filled with secrets, yet when he said he would protect me, I knew he was telling the truth. Most players I’d known in high school would never go that far for a girl, even just to impress them. Seth was turning out to not be the person I thought he was, but even so, there was no way to be sure. If I said yes and went out with him, and he turned out to just be the normal, player jerk, I’d be the one with a broken heart.
And as the story progress Seth makes it harder for Mari to refuse:
“I don’t need luck. I know you feel it, too. There’s something between us, whether you want to admit it or not, and I intend to make you mine. Don’t forget that when you go hugging other guys.” My mouth dropped open, and he pushed it shut with one feather light finger. Seth Sangre had more confidence than every guy I had ever met combined. He leaned even closer with his face only a breath away from mine. I glanced at his lips. He was too close. He was close enough to kiss, and yes, I did want to find out what it would be like to kiss him.
“You’ll be mine soon,” he said with a sparkle in his dark eyes.
I spun around him, past his arm that had just been touching my face, quickly before he could kiss me as I wouldn’t be able to refuse him with the tingles growing throughout my body.
“We’ll have to wait and see about that,” I called back to him as I hurried away and back to my table with Ty and Sim. I couldn’t help but glance back to the shadow. He stood in the dark, but I could still see him. He almost glowed slightly. His smile was brilliant as he chuckled at me making my way away from him. Something was really different with Seth Sangre, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what it was.