The evanescence, p.11
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       The Evanescence, p.11

         Part #2 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
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Page 11


  Reaching into my pocket, I take out the Cornu Lepore. I thread it through my fingers and hold it up in front of my face, letting it spin. Nalina watches it spin, her eyes hungry and full of lust. She wants it. Badly. And it makes me wonder if she wants to control the Fey.

  “But, why do you want it back?” I ask, letting it spin from my fingers.

  She’s mesmerized by it. “I already told you why… because I’m not supposed to have it. ”

  I shake my head and enclose my hand around the necklace. “No, I don’t think that’s the only reason. ” I lean forward, getting close to her, and her eyes darken as they shift to my hand and then back to my face. “I think that you want to have it for the same reason Helena does. I think that you both want to rule the Fey and their realm. Because if you do, you’ll have more power than any other Fey—maybe even more than anyone else in the world. ” I tip my head to the side, thoughtfully. “When you told me, during my first visit, that there was a battle breaking out in the Fey Realm and that Lucinda, Helena, and Annabella all wanted something…” I unfold my fingers and let the chain hang around them, dangling the pendant down at eye level, “you meant this, didn’t you?”

  It makes sense. Helena already rules the Lost Souls, but if she has the ability to rule the Fairie Realm, too, she’d have a lot of control and power, which is her favorite thing. Also, if there really is a war about to break out amongst the Fey, her chances of winning would be even greater with the ability to control both sides.

  I slip the pendant off my fingers and tuck it back inside my pocket. “I think I might have just gotten what I came here for. ”

  “You know that belongs to me,” she snaps, sticking out her hand. “Give it back. ”

  “Right now, it belongs in my pocket. ” I get up from the sofa, feeling liberated—feeling powerful—but also very tired.

  I walk towards the door. “Well, Nalina, it’s been a real pleasure, but it’s time for me to—” Her arms wrap around me, and she tackles me to the floor with a surprising force for someone her age. My head bangs against the floor and she lands on my back, grabbing my hair as I try to flip over. I elbow her in the side, trying to shove her off me. I manage to get on my back, twisting my body, but she shifts her weight and sits down on top of me, pinning me down by the shoulders with her weight. She reaches into her pocket and whips out a knife, flipping it open, she places it against my throat as she smiles down at me.

  “The necklace is mine, give it back!” She yanks back my head and tips the blade of the knife so it grazes my skin.

  I gradually reach inside my pocket, inching my hand in as I glance around, looking for something that can help me. What I need is to get out from underneath her. What I need is the knife.

  Suddenly, someone pounds on the front door and it distracts Nalina long enough that I kick her in the gut. She huffs as she slumps forward, dropping the knife to clutch her stomach. I shove at her and she loses her balance and falls to the side, then I quickly leap to my feet and make a mad dash towards the door.

  “You’re not going anywhere!” Nalina cries, running towards me with the knife in her hand.

  The door swings open and hits the wall with a lot of force and I whirl around ready for anything because, at this point, anything could walk through that door. What I see, though, is nothing I could have prepared myself for. I stumble back, tripping over my own feet and fall to my ass.

  My body bounces back and my head hits the hardwood floor, hard. I blink up at the ceiling, watching it spin insanely.

  “Gemma,” I hear his voice, but I tell myself it’s a hallucination because he’s dead. I saw that he was dead, touched his cold skin, saw his funeral and the missing mark. Alex is dead.

  Except he can’t be since he’s leaning over me, his bright green eyes fierce, and his jawline is taut like it almost always is.

  “Are you okay?” He bends down and touches the side of my head, right at my temple where my pulse is racing. Or maybe it’s his.

  I nod my head up and down, afraid to blink, afraid to breath. “Are you?”

  His lips quirk and then he’s reaching for my arms, lifting me to my feet like I’m air. Steadying me by the shoulders, he smoothes down my hair, and traces a line down my cheek as he pulls away. I watch him, unable to take my eyes off him because he’s here, alive, when I thought he was dead. Suddenly I feel alive again. The numbness is gone. My heart has stopped bleeding.

  He smiles softly, shifting his weight, and looking a little uncomfortable. “Gemma, if you don’t stop staring at me like that, I’m going to lose it and have to take you back to the castle. ” He sucks in a deep breath, his chest expanding as he lets it out and his eyes scroll down my body. “And as much as I want to, we have a bunch of other stuff to fix at the moment. ”

  “I don’t care,” I say with honesty, still staring at him. “I don’t care about any of that. I want you to take me back to the castle. I want you. ”

  I’m not even sure what compels me to say it. I’ve always been afraid of intimacy and how it makes me feel, but right now, standing here with him when I thought he was dead—it’s scarier if I don’t say it. I almost missed my chance.

  Alex’s neck muscles work as he swallows hard, then he wraps his lean arms around me and warm air flows freely though my lungs again as I bury my face into his strong chest. “I’ve missed you,” he whispers in my hair, his heart beating against my cheek and the sound is the most amazing, beautiful noise that’s ever touched my ears. “I hated seeing you like that… seeing her inside you. ”

  “I missed you, too. ” Encircling my arms around his waist, I breathe him in, his earthy scent. I feel safe. Then I hear a grunt and a loud bang and I quickly pull away, looking over my shoulder.

  “I think we should go back to the castle,” Laylen says rather awkwardly, removing his fingers from Nalina’s neck. She’s passed out on the floor with her eyes shut, her body is motionless, and her arms are sprawled out. “Don’t worry,” Laylen quickly says, climbing off her. “She’s not dead. ”

  Nodding, I take him in, his pale skin, bright blue eyes that match the tips of his blond bangs, the silver lip ring that loops his bottom lip, and his tall body. “You’re alive,” I declare stupidly, but I don’t care. It’s a moment where acting stupid is fitting.

  I release Alex and run over to Laylen, wrapping my arms around him. “I thought you were dead. ” I hug him tightly, trying to stifle the feelings rising up in me, the ones that belong to Helena; the ones she felt for Alexander when he was in Laylen’s body.

  He pats my back and kisses the top of my head. “So did I. ”

  We hug forever and eventually I start to cry, but I don’t hold back, and no one says anything. Finally, Evan breaks the moment up.

  He clears his throat as he picks up a broken lamp and puts it back on a stand next to the sofa. “I hate to break up this lovely, heart-warming moment and everything, but we’ve still got a few things to take care of—like the Fey roaming the streets and the Lost Souls—and I can’t use my Foreseer power in here. ”

  Nodding, I wipe the tears from my eyes. “He’s right…” I glance at Nalina, and then place my hand on the pocket where the pendant rests. “We should go. ”

  I turn towards Alex, who’s leaning against the doorframe with his arms crossed and his muscles flexing. He looks unhappy, which makes me sad because he’s alive and he should be smiling. I walk over to him and pull on his arm, lacing my fingers through his.

  “Are you okay?” I ask. “You look sad. ”

  He fakes a smile, which hurts my heart. “Yeah, I’m fine. ” He squeezes my hand, and then glances at Evan and Laylen before returning his gaze to me. “But Evan’s right. We should get going. We also need to get Aislin out of the Fey Realm. ”

  My eyes widen. “Oh my God. I forgot… oh…” I forgot I’d talked her into it. Culpability pierces through me like shards of jagged porcelain. “I can’t believe I did that. ”
  “It wasn’t you,” Alex insists, giving me a comforting smile. “It was Helena. ”

  Helena or not, I still feel guilty and I need to make it right. Somehow.

  The four of us walk outside and into the street, away from the house. Alex holds my hand, guiding me across the dark yard towards the curb. I can barely make out the Crystal Ball in Evan’s hand, but when the glow of the full moon hits the glass, it shimmers like fireflies.

  As Evan prepares to foresee us away—even though I could without a Crystal—I glance over my shoulder at the house. It’s dark and the street is silent, but, on the inside, I feel a storm stirring and I have a feeling that more and more bad things lie ahead of us.

  Chapter 11


  We arrive back to the outskirts of the castle in the blink of an eye, but, to me, it seems like forever. Gemma’s still holding onto my hand and I have to wonder if deep down she wishes she was holding someone else’s hand. I don’t want to be jealous, I just can’t help it. The way she ran to him and hugged him for a way longer time than what seemed necessary is driving me crazy and eating away at my insides.

  At first everything had been great; she’d hugged me and then agreed when I said I wanted to take her back to the castle; pretty much so I can kiss her and touch her all over. She’d never been so forward before and it threw me off a little, but I want it—her. So freaking bad. Then came Laylen and our perfect reunion turned into a disaster.

  The four of us hike up the hill towards the castle, my mind drifting as I stare at the outlines of the tree beside us. What if she loves Laylen like she says she loves me? What if this whole time she’s loved both of us? Can I live with that?

  Suddenly, she jerks on my arm as she slows to a stop.

  “What’s wrong?” I ask, turning to her, but she silences me by crushing her lips to mine.

  She’s never kissed me like this before—made the first move—and an intense hunger consumes me. I wind my arm around her waist and press her body against mine, kind of roughly. I explore her mouth with my tongue, tasting her, pretty much devouring her as my hands travel down her backside and I scoop her up.

  Her breath falters as she fastens her legs around my waist while she continues to kiss me, making little moans that drive my body crazy.

  “Gemma…” I say between breaths. “Is everything… okay…”

  She answers me with her tongue, tangling it with mine and pushing her body closer. I decide to stop talking and knot my fingers through her hair, pulling gently at the roots so I can tip her head back and delve my tongue into her mouth deeper. I start to walk blindly forward, into the dark, towards a tree near the lake and, when I reach it, I press her up against it.

  She moans as our bodies weld together so tightly that we pretty much become one person. The longer we kiss, the more desperate our movements become. Her legs are secured around my waist and my fingers are digging into her hips, feeling the sliver of skin below the bottom of her shirt, feeling her warmth. We’ve never gotten this heavy and all I want to do is hold onto her and never let her go.

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