Awakening you, p.1
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       Awakening You, p.1

         Part #3 of Unraveling You series by Jessica Sorensen
 
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Awakening You


  Awakening You (Unraveling You, #3)

  Jessica Sorensen

  All rights reserved.

  Copyright © 2015 by Jessica Sorensen

  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.

  No part of this book can be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without the permission in writing from author. The only exception is by a reviewer who may quote short excerpts in a review.

  For information: jessicasorensen.com

  Cover Design and Photo by Mae I Design

  http://www.maeidesign.com/

  Table of Contents

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  About the Author

  Chapter 1

  Ayden

  “I want you to close your eyes and relax,” my therapist instructs in an even, soothing voice I’ve heard at least a dozen times.

  I’m lying in a lounge chair in front of him with my arms overlapped on my stomach, and my heart is slamming against my chest as I prepare to be put under for my amnesia therapy. The soft flow of the ocean drifts from the stereo, and birds chirp just outside the window beside me.

  “Relax,” he repeats. “Clear your body and mind.”

  Clear my body and mind.

  Clear my . . .

  Body . . .

  And . . .

  Mind.

  I fall deep into my thoughts, a blanket of darkness wrapping around me.

  Around.

  Around.

  Around.

  “Ayden!” my sister cries from the recliner. “Stop spinning me so fast.”

  I continue to lap circles, pushing the chair she’s in. “You asked me to spin you, so I’m spinning you.”

  “Not this fast, though!” she cries through her laughter, gripping onto the torn armrests. “I’m going to throw up!”

  “Oh, fine.” I stop moving and hop back, watching the chair continue to twirl, gradually slowing to a stop.

  “That was fun.” She bounces from the chair, her arms spanning to the side as she staggers toward me. “Whoa, I’m so dizzy.” She braces her hand against the sheetrock wall to the side of her. “Everything looks all blurry.”

  I laugh, sitting down on the edge of the scuffed up coffee table. “Give it a minute, and it’ll stop.”

  She nods, sinking back into the chair. “So, I heard a rumor about you.”

  “Oh, yeah?” I ask, vaguely interested as I pick up the remote and turn on the television. The service has been turned off, though, probably because my mom forgot to pay the bill again, so I turn it off.

  “Yeah, I heard you kissed Laura Flemming on the lips.” She giggles.

  I set the remote down. “So what? It’s not that big of a deal.”

  “That’s not what I heard.” Her eyes sparkle mischievously. Sadie has always been the kind of sister who likes to tease me about everything. “I heard that she wants to be your girlfriend.”

  I roll my eyes. “Well, she can tell me that herself, then.”

  “That’s such a boy answer.”

  “If you haven’t noticed, he is a boy.” My older brother enters the living room from the hallway. He’s wearing plaid pajama bottoms, and his hair is messy, as if he just woke up, even though it’s six o’clock at night. “Where’s Mom?”

  I shrug. “Out.”

  He shakes his head, aggravated and exhausted from the late hours he’s been putting in at his job and school. “Probably doing drugs.”

  “She doesn’t do drugs,” Sadie spits. “Stop saying that she does.”

  “You’re just in denial,” my brother replies, winding around the chair and heading for the kitchen attached to the living room.

  “I am not.”

  “Am, too.”

  “Would you two knock it off,” I intervene, being the peacemaker as always. “Just let her be, okay? It’s not that big of a deal.”

  “Yeah, it is.” He motions around us at the shithole we’ve called home for about a year now. “Look around you. If you can’t see how bad things are, then you’re dumb as fuck.”

  “I’m not dumb.” Tears overflow from Sadie’s eyes. “Why do you always have to be such a jerk?”

  He sighs. “Look, I’m sorry, okay? I just want you to see how things really are so maybe you can have a chance at a better future.”

  “I know things are bad,” she mutters, “but it doesn’t mean I have to be all mopey about it all the time.”

  I hate when they fight. Life is bad enough already.

  “How about we go outside,” I suggest to Sadie, “and see what kind of trouble we can get into?”

  Sadie beams as she springs from the chair. “Can we go see Miss Tammy’s puppies?”

  “Sure. Why not?”

  She bounces off toward the door while I shoot my brother a look as I head for the front door.

  “Don’t ruin her happiness yet,” I mutter under my breath as I pass by him. “Let her be a kid for a little while longer.”

  “She’s thirteen-years-old.” He grabs a bowl from the cupboard then lowers his voice when he realizes Sadie is still lingering near the front door. “She needs to start growing up and realizing just how shitty our lives are. And how shitty our mother—”

  “My babies!” The door swings open violently, and my mother bursts into the narrow living room with her arms wide open. Her attention falls on Sadie, and she lazily grins. “Come give Mama a hug.”

  “Speak of the devil,” my brother mumbles under his breath.

  Sadie gives her a nervous, one-armed hug. “I missed you.”

  She trips in her heels as she staggers into the small living room. “Where have the three of you been?”

  “Right here.” My tone is clipped. “Waiting for you to show up and pay the damn bills.”

  She frowns as she slumps against the wall with her head tipped back, her droopy eyes on the stained ceiling above. “I’ve been busy . . .” Her eyelids lower as if she’s about to pass out. “How long was I gone?”

  I bite down on my tongue until the rusty taste of blood fills by mouth, hating myself for detesting her so much. “Four days.”

  “Four days,” she murmurs sleepily. Her head starts to angle to the side, and I think she’s about to pass out, but she suddenly gets a second wind. Her eyes pop open as she jumps away from the wall. “I need you guys to come with me.”

  “I have to go to work,” my brother snaps while pouring cereal into a bowl.

  “Work, shmirk.” She waves him off, staggering over her own feet as she jerks open the front door. “Come on. This is important.”

  I exchange a quizzical look with my brother, and he shakes his head and slams the box of cereal down onto the counter.

  “Fine, what do you want?” he asks, striding to the front door.

  “It’s outside,” she whispers, her gaze darting from left to right.

  My brother rolls his eyes, but steps outside, anyway. “I’m getting so tired of this shit.”

  My mom stumbles down the rickety porch to the gravel driveway, and we all follow her. The sky is clear, the sun gleaming brightly, but there’s a chill to the air.

  “What do you thin
k she’s on this time?” he asks me as we hike down the windy road, past trailer homes, and toward the field surrounding the area we live in.

  I shrug. “I really don’t care anymore.”

  Which is the truth. I may hold it together on the outside, but I was done with my mother and her drug and alcohol addiction a long time ago. I have four more years of this shit, and then I’m getting out. The moment I graduate, I’m packing my shit and leaving. And I’m going to take Sadie, too.

  My mother leads us on a wild goose chase up through the field and around the fence line before heading back toward the house.

  “I have a bad feeling about this, Ayden,” Sadie whispers to me. “In fact, I had one of my bad feelings this morning that something bad was going to happen today.”

  “It’s going to be okay.” I squeeze her hand, trying to comfort her, but I’m pretty fucking worried myself.

  By the time we’ve reached the road again, I figure my mother probably forgotten the purpose of why she brought us out here—if there was even a purpose to begin with—and is going to take us back to the house.

  But she makes a right at a smaller home just to the side of ours, and the three of us begrudgingly trail after her, exhausted and cranky and ready to go home. Even Sadie has grown quiet.

  “Just wait right here,” my mom instructs as we reach the bottom of the rotted, wooden steps that lead to a crooked front door. She climbs up the stairs and fixes her dress into place before knocking.

  The door swings open, but I can’t see who’s inside the house. For the most part, the three of us have tried to stay away from our neighbors, considering most of them deal and do drugs.

  I hear hushed whispering and sigh, knowing more than likely my mom’s buying drugs. My gaze travels around the area, across the road, along the front of the house. I notice a strange, jagged, circular pattern painted on the metal along with a sign that reads: Enter at your own risk. Those who dare step in never get out.

  Part of me thinks the warning is a joke, but a small part of me starts to get a little anxious about who lives in this house.

  “Okay, are you guys ready for this?” my mother asks, drawing my attention back to her.

  The door to the house is wide open, but the person who answered has stepped back so I can only make out their silhouette and what looks like a head of red hair. It seems so dark and smoky inside, as if there are no open windows or ventilation.

  “Go on.” She has something in her hand and a nervous look on her face as she flicks her wrist and motions at the door. “Get in there.”

  Sadie moves forward first, and I hear a cackle from inside. The sound triggers something deep inside me, a warning.

  Something’s wrong.

  Don’t go in. Don’t go in.

  I run for her with my hand extended, reaching to grab her and pull her back, but the house starts to fade away—everything does—and bleeds red.

  Bleeds red.

  Don’t go in there.

  Blood.

  Don’t go.

  Blood everywhere.

  Close your mind. Trust me, you don’t want to see what’s about to happen...

  My eyes shoot open as I gasp for air, but my lungs are constricting, and I can’t get any oxygen.

  “Help,” I gasp, rolling to my side, clutching at my chest.

  Dr. Gardingdale is above me, his eyes wide as he pats my back and tells me to, “Breathe. Just breathe. Air in. Air out. In. Out.”

  He repeats the mantra until I calm down, and then he moves back and gives me room.

  I sit in the chair with my feet planted on the floor and my head in my hands. “I was remembering the day my mother dropped us off at the house,” I finally say. “But the memory would only go up until the point where Sadie ran inside, and I went in after her. Then it shut down . . . All I could see was red.”

  I hate that, no matter what, my mind refuses to let me see what happened in that house. All I know is a female there had bright red hair and disgustingly long nails. They also didn’t—don’t—like it when people leave their group, even those who didn’t enter of their own freewill.

  He studies me closely as the music changes from the sound of ocean waves to the lull of a waterfall. “I think that’s going to be all for today.” He seems distracted as he stands up from his chair and walks over to his desk. “I’m starting to get concerned, though, that we might be putting too much pressure on your mind.” He collects a prescription pad from his drawer and a pen. “I’m going to write you a prescription just in case you have another panic attack like that.”

  “I won’t take the pills.” My legs are wobbly, and my stomach is woozy as I push up from the chair and work to get my footing.

  He leans over the desk, pressing the pen to the paper. “I’m not saying you have to take them, but you’ll have them on hand just in case.”

  “She was buying drugs the day she dropped us off. She was high and needed her next fix, so she sold her kids out to a fucking bunch of evil people.” I stuff my hands into the pockets of my jeans. “So, trust me when I say I won’t take the pills.”

  He sighs but drops the pen and turns to face me. “Well, just know that the option is there and that there’s no shame if you decide to take them.”

  “Okay.” I nod then start for the door.

  He scoops up his office keys from the desk. “Let me walk you to your car.”

  Ever since the incident in the parking lot where a chunk of my hair was stolen, he has been walking me to my car. He always locks his office up first, even though he goes back inside afterward.

  After he locks up, we exit the building and cross the parking lot toward my car parked out near the back row, even though the entire area is vacant.

  “It was more crowded when I came here,” I explain, glancing up at the sky now painted with stars.

  “You’re usually my last client of the day,” he replies, reading a message on his phone.

  When we near the car, I fish the keys from my pocket and push the key fob. The headlights flash across the dark parking lot as the doors unlock.

  “I’ll see you next Tuesday,” I say, pulling the driver’s side door open.

  He nods absentmindedly as he turns back toward the office building. “Take care, Ayden. And, if you need anything at all, call me.”

  “I will.” I lower my head to climb in but pause when I spot a blank piece of paper on the dashboard. I pick it up and flip it over. Invisible fingers wrap around my neck, and suddenly, I can’t breathe again.

  Those that step in, never get out. We’re going to torture you until you break. Just like we did to your sister.

  I drop the note to the ground and scramble back, scanning the parking lot. Even though the note wasn’t signed, I know who left it. The Soulless Mileas, a group of people who held my siblings and me captive in that house I saw in the memory just minutes ago.

  “Wait, something’s wrong,” I call out to Dr. Gardingdale. “There’s a note.”

  He reels around, nearly dropping his phone. “Where?”

  I point to the ground at the piece of paper, my eyes trained on the trees, the buildings, the bushes, every place someone could be hiding. “They must have put it in there while I was inside,” I say as he crouches down to examine it without picking it up. “I don’t know how, though. The car was locked.”

  He straightens his legs and stands up then slowly circles the back end of the car. He walks around the front and down the side, inspecting every inch while dialing a number on his phone. He halts near the passenger side and moves closer, lifting his head to look on the roof. “Your sun roof’s open.” He glances at me from over the car. “Did you leave it open?”

  “Maybe . . . I was honestly pretty distracted when I drove here.” Distracted by the heavy make out session I had with Lyric right before I drove here. My thoughts were lost in her and the way her lips felt against mine. How soft her skin was against my hand. The soft whimpers she kept making. “I’m sorry.”

/>   “You don’t need to be sorry. None of what’s happening is your fault.” He puts the phone up to his ear and starts chatting with the police to report the incident.

  It’s the second one he’s had to report in two months, and I’m starting to wonder exactly how many more incidents are in my future. If the note holds any truth to it, then probably a lot.

 
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