Unbroken, Page 4Jessica Sorensen
"I have a better idea," I tell her, loosely using the word better. Because my idea isn't better at all, but it's doable.
"And what's that?" she asks, confused.
I shrug, like what I'm about to say isn't a big deal. "An emotional exorcism."
She's already shaking her head. "No way in hell. It's too risky."
"Well, it's a good thing I like risks." I try to force a cocky smile, but I miss the mark. I can act tough all I want, but what I'm proposing that we do to handle the situation is sort of terrifying.
"It's not even the risk, though," she says. "The last time someone did it, they died."
"Well, death's a risk I'm willing to take to save her." As soon as I say it, I know it's the truth, and the truth is more terrifying than I ever could have imagined.
I care enough for Gemma that I'm willing to risk my own life to free hers.
"No. There's no way we're going to do that." Aislin paces the length of the room, shaking her head as she stares at the floor. She's been doing it since I divulged my plan of almost killing myself while Gemma's awake in the hopes that it'll bring her back.
"It can't hurt to try," I say, watching her from the bed, more stressed than I have ever been.
She stops in the middle of the room and puts her hands on her hips. "Can't hurt to try? You could freaking die, Alex. And besides," she starts pacing again, folding her arms, "she already tried to kill you and it didn't bring her back."
"It did something," I argue, drawing a line up and down Gemma's leg, missing her so much that it's driving me crazy. It's amazing how even when we're close, I want to be closer. All those years apart and I never stopped thinking about her. Then we ran into each other at her grandparent's house, and even though I thought it was forbidden, I also knew right then and then that I had to have her in my life again. "She's been unconscious ever since."
"Yeah, but--" she begins to protest again, but I interrupt her.
"Aislin, this isn't up for debate," I tell her, getting to my feet and cutting her off her pacing in the center of the room. "I'm doing this with or without your help."
She huffs in aggravation, yet I already know she'll help me. Aislin's just that way; when it all comes down to it, she gives in.
"Fine." She surrenders, throwing her hands in the air exasperatedly. "We'll try it, but I really hope you know what you're doing."
the her heart. "One shot of it right here and your dead."
Dead. As soon as she says it, reality crashes over me. I'm really going to do this, and if it all comes down to it--if it takes me actually jabbing a needle full of death into my heart to bring her back--I'll do it. I'll do whatever it takes, and it's startling how okay I am with it; sacrificing my life to save hers.
"I might be able to bring you back if you use it," Aislin says quietly, lowering her hand to her side. "As long as I don't wait too long, but I can't promise anything."
"Let's just hope I don't have to use it," I say. "That she'll come back to me before it gets that far."
She looks as doubtful as I feel but nods anyway and then leaves the room. And all I can do is wait with thoughts of death haunting my mind.
I wait with Gemma while Aislin goes to make her potion. My head is in a really fucked-up, weird place right now, swarming with emotions that I barely understand. She means so much to me--I don't get it. How can I go from not caring about anything to caring about one person so much?
I'm stroking Gemma's hair, lost in my thoughts, when her eyelids lift open. The sunlight from outside hits them, and for the briefest moment she looks like my Gemma, but as quickly as the look appears, it fades.
"What the hell?" She jerks back from my hand, swinging her free arm at me. "What are you doing?" She starts bucking her body up and down and I seriously about loose it,
Now is not the time to get a fucking hard on, I think to myself as I lean over and grab her arm, attempting to restrain her. She tries to bite me as I wrap the tie around her wrist and tie it securely.
"Alex, what are you doing?" she says, panic in her voice. I pause because she almost looks and sounds like her old self. "Please untie me. This hurts."
I search her eyes, trying to look for signs that maybe she's come back to me. Perhaps when she choked me it brought her back. "I don't care if it hurts," I say cautiously, my hand still on her arm.
She pouts out her lip which Gemma has unintentionally done on a couple of occasions, and I about lose it. She's too innocent for her own good. "But it hurts," she whines.
"It's supposed to hurt," I reply, leaning over her quivering body to touch the mark on her arm. The ink looks as defined as it did before, so she has to still be possessed, doesn't she?
"You want to hurt me?" She frowns. "But you've already hurt me so much in the past."
"I don't want to hurt you." I touch the triangular mark with my fingertip. "But I do want to hurt who's controlling you at the moment."
Her forehead creases with confusion. "Who's controlling me?"
I can't read her at all. She looks genuinely baffled, but at the same time the mark is still there. "My father." I trace the mark. "The one who put this on you."
She shakes her head, her eyes glossed over in perplexity. "I don't understand... Alex, I'm so confused..." She angles her chin up and looks at her tied wrist. "Why do you have me tied up?"
Her gaze lands back on me, her lavender eyes looking so full of life, lacking possession. It makes me want to untie her then claim her as my own, which is messed up on so many different levels.
"Alex, please untie me." She lifts her head up and leans into me, pressing her chest against mine. Her lips are just inches away from me and the compulsion of the sparks causes me to do something stupid. I lean closer to her--just within reach--wanting her so badly that I can't take it.
Need. Want. Need.
"Untie me," she entices, her warm breath touching my lips, smothering me, making any rational thoughts go hazy. "And I'll let you do whatever you want to me," she whispers before sealing her lips to mine. Sparks zap at my lips, hot and fiery, as her tongue slips deeply into my mouth, devouring me even as it begs me to take over and have my way with her. It's like she can read my mind, see my thoughts, and feel how much I want to take control of her.
A thousand thoughts flood my mind; leaving the ropes on her, ripping her clothes off, thrusting inside her over and over again until she screams out my name and bites at my flesh. I want it more than anything, but the sheer fact that she's saying she'll give it to me, lets me know this isn't Gemma. Gemma is always nervous. Cautious. Innocent. She doesn't trust me enough to own her like that.
So as much as it kills me, I pull back and break the kiss. As soon as my mouth leaves hers, she lets out a growl. "Did you really think I wouldn't know?" I stand up from the bed and walk around to the foot of the bed, gripping the bars. "That it's not her in there?"
"What do you mean?" she asks, still trying to play innocent, wiggling her arms and legs. "Alex, please let me go! You're starting to scare me!" she cries, thrusting her legs with so much force the ties start to unravel.
My eyes stay on her as I get up on the bed and crawl over her, sitting on her legs to immobilize them. "I know you're still possessed, so quit with the innocent act."
"Alex, I don't know what you're talking about." Hot tears spill down her cheeks. "Please, these ropes are hurting me."
I shake my head, even though the sight of tears in her eyes makes my heart ache. "That's not going to work on me, so you can keep crying, but it's just a waste of time."
She instantly stops crying, the emotion draining from her face. "Well, aren't you clever?"
"And there you are." I lean over her body, sweeping my fingers across her tear stained cheek. "Don't worry, I'm going to get that mark off of you."
She starts to laugh. "You can't win this one, Alex Avery. This mark has more power than you can even comprehend."
ant to ask her a thousand questions about the mark's power and what she knows about it. Right now she probably has an insight into my father's thoughts in a way and probably knows more than I do. The problem is, because of the mark, I'm certain she can't say anything.
The longer I remain silent, the bigger her smirk grows on her face as she stares up at me. "Not so cocky now," she says with irresistible arrogance in her demeanor.
I'm about to climb off of her... or kiss her... I'm not sure which, when the door creaks open. Aislin enters with a syringe in her hand, her cheeks flushed, and her hair burnt and two or three inches shorter than when she left about a half an hour ago.
"Jesus, that's a hard spell to pull off," she says, fanning her hand in front of her face as I climb off Gemma and get up.
"Why's she here?" Gemma growls, exposing her teeth like she's a savage vampire as she glares at Aislin. "And what the hell does she have in her hand.
"Ever heard of an emotional exorcism?" Aislin raises the syringe with a proud smile on her face.
Gemma snickers. "I'm not a demon or a spirit. You're going to have to do better than that." She lifts her hips and starts nipping her teeth in my direction.
Aislin's eyes widen as she looks at me in horror. "Wow. She's really mean."
"She's not Gemma," I remind her, and then stick out my hand, noting my palms are a little bit damp with sweat. I'm nervous, another emotion I'm not accustom to.
Aislin is reluctant to hand over the syringe, eyeballing it with hesitancy as she holds it in her hand. "Are you absolutely sure about this?" she asks.
"I have to do it," I say because it's all I can say. No, I don't want to do it, but sometimes that's how life works.
Tears fall from Aislin's eyes as she hands the syringe over. "I might not be able to bring you back... If you completely go through with it and if I can't... then you'll be... you'll be..."
"Dead," I finish for her, my fingers wrapping around the syringe. "I understand the consequences, let's just hope it doesn't go that far."
Still crying, Aislin backs into the corner, hugging her arms around herself as tears stream down her cheeks. Aislin has always been a little overly dramatic in my opinion; too weepy and emotionally attached to people. I've never really understood it until now; why some people can affect you more than others.
"Are you insane?" Gemma laughs maliciously as she takes in the sight of the syringe in my hand when I turn around and face her. "You think that will kill me?"
I shake my head, grasping the syringe tightly in my hand. "No. I know it won't kill you because I'm not going to use it on you." With a deep breath, I bite off the cap on the needle and spit it onto the floor. Then I aim the needle at his chest. "It's going to kill me."
Something sparks inside her eyes, like fire, blazing intensely. "You won't do it. Humans fear death more than anything."
I inch the needle closer to my chest until the tip is poking the fabric of my shirt. "Not this human, and I think the real Gemma knows me enough to know that's the truth."
"The real Gemma is dead," she snarls. "So this is just a wasted effort.
"Well, if that's true, then I guess I'm about to find out," I say, hating that my voice is a little unsteady.
"I'm calling your bluff." She arches her eyebrows challengingly, but I can see the anxiousness hidden beneath her confidence. "You don't have it in you to go through with it."
"You think so, huh?" My hand trembles as I summon another breath, then giving myself no time to back out, I sink the needle into his skin. Blood pools out and my heart hammers in my chest. Just one push of the end and death will be injected into my body. I'm more terrified than I thought I would be, but mainly because I fear I'll never see Gemma again; that she'll be left unprotected in the world and something will happen to her.
"Say you care for me," I demand, getting close to her, wanting to evoke emotion out of her. "Tell me not to do it."
She shakes her head swiftly. "Never."
I put my thumb on the end of the syringe, ready to push. "Then I guess this is good-bye." Shit. I can't believe I'm about to go through with this, and all I can do is hope that Aislin can bring me back.
"Then do it," she says as she presses her lips together and waits.
Sparks are going crazy between us, full force, either feeding off my emotions or hers. I'm hoping hers, for the sake of making this sacrifice worth it.
"Get ready, Aislin," I say with my eyes locked on Gemma. Then, summoning a shaky breath, I push the end of the syringe with my thumb.
Aislin lets out a hysterical weep. "Alex! Stop!"
But it's too late. The medicine is injected into my body and courses through my veins; potent, liquid fire that burns and boils my blood. I can't think. Hear. See anything. My breath is leaving me. I can no longer feel my heart beating. I'm about to die. Images flood my head, one's I'm familiar with, ones I've never seen before.
Gemma and I. Our hideout. Violet flowers she used to pick for me all the time. Dancing in a field with her. Kissing her, touching her. Love. Blood Promise. Blood-bonded eternally. Forever.
Someone screams at the top of their lungs. "Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop. It's me. It's Gemma. Alex, stop!"
"Gemma..." I wrench the needle out of my heart, blood drizzling through my shirt. I'm panting, skin pale, dying. I heard her voice--I heard Gemma--which means it worked. It had to have worked. And now I'm dying, leaving her. "Damn it..." My breath slips away, and as my heart takes its last beat, I collapse to the floor.
It happens so quickly that I don't have time to process it. One minute my brain is full of haziness where I can only see one single thought--kill Alex--and then suddenly I'm free, my heart flooding with emotions.
Pain. Longing. Need. Sadness. I see so many things. Alex and I. Our hide out. Violet flowers. Dancing in a field. Blood Promise. Forever.
Everything I've ever felt in my past, before my emotions were erased, surges through back to me and jumpstarts my emotions.
I scream at the top of my lungs. "Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop. It's me. It's me. Alex, stop!"
But it's too late. He gags as he pulls the needle out of his heart. Gasping for air, his skin pallid, eyes wide. Seconds later, he crumples to the floor.
A blood-curdling scream rips from my lips. "Aislin! Untie me! Please. He can't die now!" I did this. This is all my fault. No. Help. Stop. Please. God, it hurts so much.
Aislin buckles over Alex's body with her head tucked down as she utters a chant under her breath, over and over again. Her hand glows red as she presses it to his heart. I realize she's doing a spell, hopefully one that will bring him back. However, the longer it goes on, the more my hope crumbles. After a while, Aislin gets quiet, tears still falling from her eyes as she glances up at me.
"He's dead, Gemma. He's dead," she whispers softly as the glow from her hand fades.
"No, he's not!" I cry as I tug on the ties around my arms and legs. "Aislin, please untie me. I need to be with him."
She finally is able to get up, and then she moves over to me, her eyes swollen; tears streaming down her cheeks. She unfastens the ties around my wrists, her fingers shaking. As soon as she gets the last one, I spring upright and scramble over to where Alex is lying on the floor. His eyes are open, though distant and blank; his arms and legs are sprawled on the floor. He's not breathing. I check his pulse with my fingertips. Nothing. I try to feel the sparks. Nothing. I feel nothing.
I vaguely hear Aislin say something to me, but I can't make out her words. There's so much pain. Emptiness. I feel like I'm being pushed down from it. Sinking. Falling. Dying.
There's a frozen lake before me and icicles dangle from the leafless tree branches. The dark sky casts a shadow over the icy land and the air is as chilly as death. Alex's arms are wrapped tightly around me as we stand near the edge of the frozen water, holding onto one another as if our lives depend on it.
"We'll be all right, won't we?" I
ask him, but he doesn't respond.
A gentle breeze blows through my hair and the silence around us makes the world feel desolate, hollow, and empty. At the moment, though, I feel at whole; at peace, calm.
I tip my head back and look up at him to tell him my worries, but he shushes me as he brushes my hair away from my face. "It will be all right," he whispers, but his voice is unsteady.
My lips part to argue, but a crackle rises through the air and sucks the words from my lips. Moments later, tall, cloaked figures emerge from the trees surrounding us.
"Death Walkers." I look at Alex in terror. "What do we do?"
He sweeps my hair back again and pulls me closer to him. "It will be all right," he whispers again. "Just trust me."
I feel warmth and pain. Heat and agony. Then suddenly I'm suffocated by light. Yet for some reason, it feels like everything will be okay.