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Darkness Falls (Darkness Falls, Book 1)

Jessica Sorensen

Chapter 13

  Circles of smoke fill my head, begging me to listen.

  “Listen to me,” someone whispers. I know the voice. It’s Monarch. “Listen before it’s too late.”

  “I can’t see you,” I say through the fog, reaching, trying to find my way to something I know isn’t reachable.

  “It’s okay.” His voice is like a blanket, warming me, comforting me. “But you need to know—need to understand this one thing. Are you listening to me, Kayla?”

  “I’m always listening to you, Monarch.”

  “Good, now hold on until I tell you to let go. And whatever you do, don’t let them find out what you know.”

  My eyelids are heavy and I’m lying in a puddle of my own drool. My hair is plastered to the side of my face, my skin damp with sweat. The thoughts that fill my head are disturbing. But I don’t know what they mean, yet at the same time, it feels like I should.

  “Rise and shine, sleepy head,” Someone says, gently patting me on the head.

  Honey colored eyes greet me as I lift my eyelids open. It’s Aiden, the guy from the desert. My heart flutters as he smiles down at me, his dark hair shadowing his eyes. He’s dressed in a grey jacket and dark blue pants, colors that are similar to the black uniforms The Colony members wear. Seeing someone not dressed head-to-toe in black feels unnatural.

  I start to stand, but realize I’m chained up. In the snap of a finger, I’m on my feet, tugging at the chains that bind my wrists. But they’re secured into the floor, forbidding me from going far.

  The room is lit by a trail of lanterns. The dirt walls and lack of windows make me suspect that we’re inside a hill. And the rotting floorboards that creak beneath my feet sound like they’re going to give out at any moment.

  “Easy,” Aiden says. “There’s no use trying to run. Those chains are secure. Even secure enough to restrain a Bellator.”

  I move for him until the chains are tugged tight. “Who are you? And what is this place? Is it … your Colony?”

  “No.” He shakes his head and I detect a falter in his heart. “This is a place of freedom.”

  His words feel forbidden, but I’m not in The Colony anymore. I wrinkle my forehead as I stare at the chains. “If it’s a place of freedom, then what are these?”

  “Don’t worry. It’s temporary,” he says. “We just have to make sure you're not dangerous.”

  “Dangerous?” I question. “I’m not the one who stabbed the other one with a needle.”

  He blinks at me. “What? No one stabbed you with a … oh.” He runs his hands through his hair. “That wasn’t a needle.”

  “Then what was it? A knife? A tranquilizer? What?”

  He presses his lips together, holding back a secret. “Look, I can’t let you go until we know for sure you’re not going to hurt anyone.”

  “You’re the ones hurting me.” I lift my wrists, jiggling the chains. “I’m the one who’s being hurt here.”

  He cocks an eyebrow. “So you didn’t try to hurt Ryder?”

  “She came after me first,” I protest. “I was trying to defend myself.”

  “And you’ve never tried to hurt anyone before that?”

  My mind flickers back to The Colony, the last thing I can remember. My knife is out, ready to take the life of Gabrielle with my bare hands. “No. Never.” I bat my eyelashes innocently.

  “You might want to try lying better than that, Kayla,” he says.

  My head jerks back. No one’s ever called me out like that. “How do you know my name?”

  “I know a lot about you.” He takes a strand of my hair and twirls it around his finger. “Am fost dor de tine ienupăr, mai mult decât veţi şti vreodată. Vă rugăm să reţineţi.”

  My lips part. “You speak the Higher’s language?”

  “Everyone should understand the language of their enemy.” He releases my hair and backs toward the door with a vague smile.

  “What does that mean? What you said?” I ask. “And when are you going to let me go?”

  “Soon.” He slides his hands inside the pockets of his jeans and turns his back on me.

  “But what about the other question?” I yell, but he’s already gone. “What did you say to me!”