The promise, p.12
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       The Promise, p.12

         Part #4 of Fallen Star series by Jessica Sorensen
 
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Page 12

 

  It was always about power

  What the Banshee didn t realize was that my soul belonged to someone else. It was something Gemma still didn t understand that no one understood. My soul belonged to her. And I wasn t speaking in an I love you kind of way. I d actually given her some of my soul. When we d made the forever blood promise, cutting our hands and uttering the forever words, it had been sealed by more than our blood. It had been sealed by our souls.

  The night I d wandered over to her house, the day when her emotions revived, I d had a hunch that something might happen. I was still brainwashed by my father, but all that time away from her finally took me over. And I knew I had to see her. I d made sure to keep my distance, staying in the shadows, watching her through her bedroom window. She seemed lost, like she didn t know what to do with herself, and my heart ached to go save her.

  But my mind told me to leave.

  As I d started to go, I felt the strangest thing, like I was leaving my body, yet I still stayed on the ground. I clutched onto the fence, gripping so tight it cut into my hands. I couldn t breathe. I couldn t move. And then I saw Gemma at the window, staring at me as my soul reconnected with hers.

  It wasn t the electricity that had done it. It was my soul breathing back life into its other half. Which might be why we had to die together.

  I ran home after that and never said a word to my father. He d have killed me if I did. But I heard about it. Sophia had kept this list and she would keep track of every time she performed the Unus quisnam aufero animus soul detachment on Gemma. I guess her soul had been a tough one and kept trying to revive itself. But the last and final time it was preformed was right after I d showed up.

  February 8th. The very day our souls rejoined.

  My father came in raging, saying Sophia had tried to detach it again, but this time it was sticking. Then he forced me, like a puppet, to go to school and poke my nose around and find out what I could. But I was warned not to get close to her.

  The sucky thing was I didn t even put up a fight.

  That s why I couldn t make the deal with the Banshee woman. But it didn t mean I was going to give up.

  I rounded the corner of the house, heading back to check if Laylen had run off. I wasn t sure how I was going to get out of Iceland. I couldn t fly since I didn t have my passport. If all else failed, I would just have to track down a witch. I ducked behind the house and peeked underneath the tarp. He was still there, drooling all over himself.

  What am I supposed to do with you?

  I said to myself.

  I d just leave you here, but I m pretty sure Gemma would kill me.

  I can fix him.

  I whirled, my knife out of my pocket before she could even work up a flinch.

  Where is she?

  My sister threw her hands in the air.

  She s fine. I m fine.

  She rolled up her sleeves and the mark was no longer on her arm.

  So Gemma kicked your ass.

  I grinned.

  She glared, but then shook her head.

  We need to go.

  I nodded my head at the wood pile.

  You want to take care of him first.

  Oh, yeah.

  She seemed a little out of it, even for her, blinking confusedly. She rushed over to Laylen, giving a sad sigh as she worked her magic on him. Moments later, there was this strange snake thing moving toward me.

  Step on it!

  she cried.

  I stomped on it hard.

  What was that thing?

  That was the mark.

  She stood, dusting her hands.

  And apparently, it doesn t die when it s removed.

  I lifted the bottom of my shoe, pulling a face at the black goo.

  So that s how you guys went craz & how you got the mark.

  She scowled.

  Yeah, from now on, they need to be stomped on.

  Laylen woke up, confused and grabbing his head.

  What happened? And why does it feel like someone punched me.

  No one punched you.

  I helped him to his feet.

  I hit you in the head with a shovel.

  He blinked, dazed, and I decided not to mention he d bit Gemma because his own guilt would be more than enough.

  So where are we going?

  I asked Aislin.

  Back to the house?

  She glanced around nervously.

  We re going to Adessa s.

  That s where you ended up?

  I cocked an eyebrow.

  Why?

  It was Gemma,

  she replied, brushing the snow off Laylen s back.

  And it s a good thing she did because it was Adessa who got the mark off me.

  We huddled together, preparing to go to Vegas.

  But I have to warn you,

  she said.

  You might want to prepare yourself.

  I didn t have time to ask her why as she transported us away.

  Chapter 22

  (Gemma)

  When I saw them, I took cover behind one of the purple velvet sofas.

  What the hell is that?

  Alex asked in disgust and I wanted to cry, but at the same time kick him for being so judgmental.

  Gemma.

  Aislin s voice was gentle.

  You can come out. I promise you re okay.

  Yeah, easy for her to say. She wasn t the one with wings very heavy wings sprouting out of her back.

  I d rather not,

  I called over the sofa, wishing I could curl up in a tiny ball.

  I don t understand,

  Laylen said.

  What is that thing?

  Well, at least he was back to his old self.

  They can see your wings,

  Aislin called out.

  They re sticking up behind the couch.

  Wings!

  Wings?

  I sighed, rising to my feet. I felt like an animal in a zoo, their wide eyes on me, making me feel ashamed. It was bad enough I had wings coming out of my back, but somehow, I also ended up in the Black Angel s clothes. I had a dress on that barely covered the top part of my legs, and shoes which added more height to my already ridiculous tall frame. Laylen s blue eyes met mine, and I wanted to run up and give him a big hug because I could see he was himself again. But I didn t, fearing I d freak him out.

  I avoided Alex s eyes all together, because, let s face it, he was definitely prejudice when it came to things that weren t human.

  There was an accident,

  I said to the wall.

  What kind of accident?

  Laylen asked, astonishment in his voice.

  I did it.

  Aislin started to cry.

  It was my fault. I brought the Black Angel here.

  I turned to her.

  It s not your fault. You weren t yourself.

  Tears flowed down her cheeks.

  Yes it is.

  It s not your fault,

  I repeated.

  If it wouldn t have been for me, the mark would have never gotten so out of control.

  But she continued to sob and I felt him move toward me, my senses drawn sharply to him, even with the wings. He didn t say anything, only turned me to face him. I tuck my head down, mortified. But he put a finger under my chin and elevated it up, so I had to meet his eyes, which were all over me, warming my skin with embarrassment.

  You ll be fine,

  he said with a relieved sigh

  We still have time. We can still change you back.

  But I don t want anyone to have to take my place.

  I frowned.

  Don t worry,

  he said.

  We re not going to do that. We ll find another way to get those wings off you. But we have to hurry, before you completely transform.

  I let out a breath of relief.

  I thought
I was going to be stuck like this forever.

  He shook his head.

  But we have to hurry. You re still you right now, but you won t be for long if we don t move quickly.

  He paused, his eyes doing a quick sweep up my body, and a dark look crossed his face.

  You can keep the dress, though, if you want to.

  I stared at him blankly, but on the inside my heart was about to explode.

  Keep looking at me like that,

  I said, my voice surprisingly steady.

  And you re going to kill us both right where we stand.

  He shrugged.

  I m just saying.

  He checked me over again and then turned to Aislin and Laylen.

  So where s Adessa?

  he asked.

  We re going to need her help.

  She left,

  Aislin said.

  With her & friend. They said they were going into hiding until all this crap was over.

  Which it will be soon,

  I said.

  Alex and I found a way.

  Alex shook his head.

  Not yet. I still haven t found out where my mom is.

  Aislin s eyes popped wide.

  Our mom.

  I elbowed Alex in the side.

  You didn t tell her?

  He winced, clutching his side.

  Ow & you re like freakishly strong now.

  And immortal.

  I stuck out my arm.

  Alex snatched it, tugging me to him. He blinked at the Mark of Immortality, then let me go and headed for the front door.

  Wait. Where are you going?

  I chased after him, wings slamming into the walls.

  To find a witch,

  he explained.

  So we can get those things off you.

  Wait,

  Aislin said, racing after him.

  I m going with you.

  Alex paused, looking at me.

  Are you going to be okay?

  His eyes wandered to Laylen.

  By yourself.

  I shooed him away.

  Go, I ll be fine.

  But then I pulled him back, looking at the Mark of Immortality on my arm.

  Are you sure we want to change it.

  I almost gagged on my words.

  Because this could maybe help us if I don t die, neither can you.

  It s not worth it,

  he said.

  Besides, you wouldn t last long. You d become one of them.

  I leaned in, lowering my voice.

  I thought you said I was supposed to get stuck in a cage.

  He gave me a soft pat on the wings, ticking the black feathers.

  Give it time and you will. You re in transition.

  I glanced at Aislin.

  How did you free her?

  Aislin s face twisted with confusion.

  I used magic. A spell I didn t even realize I knew. It was weird, but I seemed to know a lot of spells I d never heard of darker spells.

  Then she sighed, reached in her pocket, and retrieved my locket.

  Sorry I took it.

  It s okay.

  I put my locket back on and then gave Alex a heavy stare.

  Are you absolutely sure you don t want to keep me like this.

  He pressed back a smile.

  I m not going to let you turn into an Angel of Hell.

  Fine.

  I sighed.

  I just wanted to make sure this wasn t our way out of dying.

  We ll find a way.

  He touched the feathers on my wings and this time I shivered.

  I promised I d save you and I will. Just not this way.

  They left, slamming the door behind them and Laylen and I were left alone. An awkward silence built between us. Even worse, we both knew it wasn t because of my wings or the weird leather getup I was wearing.

  So,

  he began, staring at the black and white checkerboard floor.

  How bad was I?

  You don t remember?

  I gasped.

  No, I remember, well at least enough to know that I &

  he trailed off awkwardly.

  I was just asking you & I mean, you were the one that was hurt.

  I touched my neck. The bite marks were gone, but I swear I could still feel them.

  It wasn t that bad.

  It was like he d relapsed or something, his bright blue eyes a deep sea of shame.

  Don t sugarcoat it for me.

  I sighed.

  You know what, you re right. It was bad. You scared the crap out of me.

  I walked across the room, tucking the hideous wings against my back. I stopped in front of him, throwing my arms around his neck.

  But we ve all done things we re not proud of. And we just have to live with it and move on. Our mistakes don t define us, it s what we do afterward how we grow that makes us who we are.

  Wow. I wasn t sure if I was saying that more for him or myself.

 
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