The Evanescence, Page 1Jessica Sorensen
“You really think it’s that easy?” I ask with my head tipped back and the sunlight shimmering across my skin. I’m standing in a field filled with blooming, violet flowers. The air is stifling, but in a beautiful way because it’s real, which makes it perfect.
Alex struts up to the side of me with his arms crossed over his chest and an amused smirk playing at his lips. His muscles are flexed beneath his black t-shirt, his brown hair is tousled, and his green eyes glint with mischievousness. “Of course. Why wouldn’t it be?”
I start to spin in a circle, keeping my arms to my sides. My long, flowing, brown hair blows in the gentle breeze and the back of my purple tank top sticks to my damp skin. “Because…” I spin and spin and spin, so free and everything is so wonderful.
Alex chuckles under his breath, watching me with fascination. “Because why?”
I stop spinning, facing him, and blink through the dizziness. “Don’t you ever get the feeling that things are supposed to be harder than they are—that life is supposed to be harder?”
He cocks his head to the side with an amused expression. “You don’t think life’s hard?” He stretches his long legs, walking through the grass towards me, reducing the distance between us. “Because the other day you seemed pretty determined that everything was difficult. ”
I put my hands on my hips and narrow my eyes at him, causing him to laugh. “I was having a bad day, okay? I totally failed my math test and then some weird Faerie dude said I had funny looking eyes but a nice butt. Plus my mom said that she doesn’t want me hanging out with you anymore… that you’re a bad influence on me. ”
He stops in front of me, grinning from ear-to-ear as he eyes me over, reaching for my hips. “She was just upset because she caught us making out on the bed. ”
I scrunch my nose and swat the side of his arm. “It’s not funny. Do you know how embarrassing it is to have ‘the talk,’” I make air quotes as he spreads his fingers around my waist, “when you’re eighteen-years-old. Like I really didn’t know how everything works. ”
“Probably pretty embarrassing. ” His grin broadens. “Glad it was you and not me. ”
I pinch his chest and he winces, laughing. “Stop smiling. It’s not funny. ”
“Oh, it’s completely funny,” he says, his hands traveling to my back. “Besides, I think you should put into good use what your mother taught you. ”
I try to stay angry, but it’s tough. “No way, if I have to suffer, than you do, too. No more for you. Ever. ”
His palms slide up my back, searing hot through the thin fabric of my shirt. He pauses when he reaches my neck and begins combing his fingers through my hair. “That’s not what you said last night. In fact, you were very generous to me. ”
Biting my lip, I look out into the sunlight, trying to hide my blush. Alex says I’m the most emotional person he’s ever known, that he can tell what I’m thinking simply by my expression, and nine times out of ten, he’s right.
He places his hand on my cheek and turns my head back to him. “Hey, no hiding from me. I like looking at you when you’re embarrassed, especially when you bite your lip like that. ”
I bite my lip harder, just to tease him, and then raise my eyebrows.
He smiles and then leans forward, placing a kiss on the corner of my mouth. My eyes shut of their own accord and I let out a soft sigh, unable to hide what I’m feeling, which has pretty much how I’ve been since the day I was born.
“You’re beautiful,” he whispers with his lips hovering over mine as a light fog begins to surface out of nowhere. “And last night was amazing. ”
It really was amazing. And perfect. And everything I’ve ever wanted. However, deep down, it all feels too easy. It feels like my life should have been harder. I’m sinking deep into my thoughts, but then he kisses me, sliding my lips open with his tongue, and I willingly open my mouth, because it’s easy. It always is with him.
My mother used to call it the evanescence of the morning mist, the point where the vapor and haze begin to fade and the land clears. It’s the earliest memory I have of her. We were sitting out by the lake, watching the fog lift from the water, and just like that the land was clear and the world looked so much happier. I wished there was an evanescence of Sprites clearing the land.
Unfortunately, there’s not, so I’m stuck listening to them bang their heads against the window over and over again. It’d be the most annoying thing, except for the fact that I have thousands of other problems. Like my sister, Aislin, who’s trapped in the Faerie Realm, trying to save our half-sister Aleesa, who’s being held a prisoner by the Fey.
Then, there’s my biggest problem of all; Laylen and Gemma, and the fact that they’re both tied up upstairs because they’re possessed by a couple of lunatics; Queen Helena—ruler of the Lost Souls and the Afterlife—and Alexander—one of my dead relatives. It’s one of the strangest things I’ve ever come across, which is saying a lot because I’ve come across a lot of damn strange things.
The castle has been lonely and filled with hollowness over the last few days. I’ve been trying to keep my cool and my emotions under control, but it’s becoming more of a battle each day. The anger I’ve continually felt for most of my life is starting to creep in again and it’s making me worried. What if I turn into my father? He was always so angry all the time and so was I at one point. In fact, I was pretty much a clone of him.
I kick my feet up onto a small table in front of the red chair I’ve been sitting in for way too many flippin’ hours. Evan, an old childhood friend of mine, who happens to be an Omnia, is in the chair across from me, fiddling with a gold chain he always has on his jeans. A fire crackles from the stone fireplace and the sun shines through the window, along with the lull of the lake’s waves. I pretend that everything is natural, even though the damn Sprites outside keep singing and whistling, waiting for someone to open the door so they can come in.
“They aren’t the brightest creatures, are they?” Evan glances up at the skylight where a Sprite is ramming his head against the glass. They are beady, little creatures with nubby legs, colorful skin, and brittle wings.
I shrug and drag the blade of my sword down the sharpener. “Not really. We’re actually lucky that none of the Fey wanted to hang around. ”
“Yeah, we’re lucky,” he says, tracing one of the marks on his forearm with his fingertip as he turns the page of the book opened up on his lap. “But the rest of the world really isn’t, considering all the Fey and Luna have pretty much taken over every street in the world. ”
“Yeah. ” I sigh and drop the sword and sharpener onto the table next to my feet.
It grows silent. Evan moves his finger to his other arm and begins outlining a jagged, golden leaf mark on his skin. Omnias have many marks due to their many powers; telekinesis, telepathy, pyrokinesis, the list is endless. It’s part of the reason why I brought him here. I figured with his variety of powers, he could help me get Helena out of Gemma, but so far, we haven’t had much luck. We haven’t had much luck with anything lately.
A slow breath eases from my lips as I recollect my last visit with Gemma. I can still hear the evil laughter inside my head as Helena told us that if we tried to remove her from Gemma’s body that Gemma would die. That she was part of her now, and that technically, Gemma no longer exists and we should give up our rescue mission. But I won’t. I’ll never stop trying. I’ll never give up. Gemma is my soul mate, my other half, the only girl I’ve ever loved. We’ve been through hell together. Hell, we’ve died and then came back to life because of our love.
I stand up and start pa
cing the length of the floor, unable to sit still. “There’s got to be something we’re not thinking of. ”
Evan watches me walk back and forth between the sofa and the bookshelf, his eyes shaded by his black hair hanging over his forehead. “I’m sure there’s a lot of things we’re not thinking of and probably never will. The mind is a vast place, my friend, and we never do get a full insight to every single speck of knowledge we have. ”
“You sometimes speak in riddles,” I say, shooting him an annoyed look. “You know that?”
“Surprisingly, that’s not the first time I’ve been told that,” he jokes, feigning a light tone as he shuts the book. He’s been reading a lot of books lately, hoping there’s an answer hidden in one of them on how to get Helena out of Gemma. Maybe there is, but there’s also a whole damn library of books and we don’t have time to go through them all.
I stop in front of the table. “I’m not sure if I believe her. ”
Evan’s brows dip as he leans forward, resting his arms on his knees. “Who? Helena?”
I nod, scooping up the sword from the table. “Gemma’s too strong to give up without a fight. I know she’s still fighting. She has to be… I know it…” It sounds like I’m pathetically trying to convince myself.
Evan stares at me for an eternity and pity surfaces in his eyes as he presses his lips together. He probably has something to say and I probably won’t like it. It’s one of the things I like about him; his straightforwardness. There are no pretenses with him and he doesn’t sugarcoat things. He’s not uncaring; he just learned to deal with things in a direct manner to lighten up the complications that come from being an Omnia.
“Whatever you’re going to say, just say it. ” I walk over to the china cabinet in the corner of the room and open the cupboard door. There’s an array of swords inside, all sharpened due to my nervous energy. I add the one I’m holding to the collection, balancing it in the stand.
“Are you sure you want to hear it?” he asks as I shut the cupboard. “Because you’ve been really touchy lately. ”
I latch the cupboard and sit back down in the red chair. “You know I never want things sugarcoated. ”
“Even when it comes to her?” he asks, his eyes wandering to the hallway that leads to the stairway.
My heart knots inside my chest and I swallow the lump in my throat. “Even about her. ”
He returns his attention to me and sighs as he slumps back in the chair, coiling the gold chain on his jeans around his finger. “I can try to get inside of Helena’s mind and bend her thoughts… I can see if I can manipulate her to cooperate. ” He pushes up from the couch and walks to the window, drawing back the velvet curtain. He stares outside at the lake, shimmering in the sunlight, and the Sprites pirouetting in the grassy knoll. “But because she’s in Gemma’s body, Gemma’s mind can also react to my power, and probably not in a good way. ”
The knot in my chest winds tighter as I walk over to the window. “Are you saying that Gemma could end up getting hurt if you do it?”
Evan glances over his shoulder at me and his eyes convey a silent warning. “I’m not going to lie and try to make you feel better. I know how much you care for Gemma, but I can’t guarantee she won’t get hurt. I’ve never come across this kind of possession before… and I have no idea how it’s going to go. ” He releases the curtain and it blocks out the sunlight, the room dimming to a grey. “There are always risks when I try to manipulate anyone’s mind. You know that. There’s a chance of causing permanent damage if there’s too much resistance from either of them. This is the Queen of the Afterlife we’re dealing with and even though we hate her, we both know she’s powerful and she’s going to put up a fight. ” He pauses, his expression reflecting worry and doubt. “And if Gemma really is part of Helena now—”