The evanescence, p.13
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       The Evanescence, p.13

         Part #2 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
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Page 13


  Saying it aloud makes it all real. I don’t want it to be real. I don’t want to be a Faerie. I don’t want to be royalty. When I really look at it, I don’t want to be a Foreseer with an extraordinary talent, or a Keeper.

  I just want to be normal.

  Chapter 13


  I’m getting pretty pissed off at Evan. I’m so used to doing things my way, but he’s making it a pain. I’m about to resort to violence when Gemma drops a bomb on us.

  “Nicholas is your cousin?” I repeat for the thousandth time, thinking about how many times he came onto her. “Cousin?”

  She nods, biting at her thumbnail. “Yeah, pretty much. ”

  “How is that even possible?” Laylen asks, letting go of the collar of Evan’s shirt.

  “Why are we just finding out?” I add, taking a step towards her. I can tell she’s uneasy and slightly freaked out, which is pretty understandable, considering some of the things that have happened between her and Nicholas. “And does Nicholas know?”

  She shakes her head quickly. “I don’t think so. At least, according to what Nalina told me. ”

  “And you believe her?” Evan asks, assessing Gemma over as he runs his hands down the front of his black shirt, smoothing out the wrinkles.

  “She had enough details that I don’t think she could have been making it up,” Gemma explains with a frown.

  “Why haven’t we heard anything about this before?” Laylen asks, his forehead creased as he walks up to Gemma. “You’d think someone would have let it slip out by now. ”

  Gemma glances at him, taking a deep breath, her chest rising and then falling as she sighs. “It was a secret. My grandmother, Nalini, was basically disowned from the Fey world. My grandfather was a Keeper. And we all know how the Keepers feel about the Fey; how they are supposed to protect people from them. I guess they just decided it was best for everyone to just pretend that part of Nalini’s life didn’t exist. ”

  “So what does this mean to Luna?” Evan asks, joining us in the middle of room.

  Gemma gets this funny look on her face, avoiding eye contact with me. “It means nothing, I don’t think—I mean nothing. ”

  “You always think you mean nothing,” I say, grabbing her hip and digging my fingertips into her soft skin, just above the top of where her jeans sit. “But you always do. ”

  “No you think I always do,” she responds, flustered.

  I pull her closer to me until I can feel the warmth of her breath touching my cheeks. “Well, the less Luna knows about this, the better. ”

  “I really doubt Luna doesn’t already know everything,” Evan says, rubbing his jawline. “And I find it hard to believe that Luna doesn’t care. Fey, Keepers, Foreseers—all of you don’t like mixing, especially with royalty blood. I wonder if that’s why Luna’s here… maybe she feels threatened by you… or by Nalina?”

  Gemma pulls back from me and rummages in her pocket, withdrawing something. “She might be threatened by this. ” She holds up the Cornu Lepore, letting it suspend from her fingertips.

  “Why would she find that threatening?” I ask, touching the pendant at the end. “I thought it was powerless?”

  “It is powerless unless someone with Fey blood is wearing it. ” She eyes it as it sways in the low light of the room.

  “And what happens if someone of Fey blood wears it?” I ask, hooking my finger under her chin and making her look up at me.

  “Well Royal Fey can control the Faerie Realm with it,” she smiles as if she finds it amusing. It’s kind of freaking me out a little. She’s acting crazy and possessed. “Are you okay?” I ask in a low voice.

  She nods, swallowing hard. “I’m fine. ”

  “So that means if you were to wear the pendant, you can control the Fey?” Laylen muses over the thought, like he’s brainstorming an idea.

  “Yeah, but only the Fey in the Faerie Realm,” she clarifies. “When they’re here, they can pretty much do whatever the hell they want. ”

  Laylen and Gemma exchange this weird look, it makes me wonder and it kind of pisses me off.

  “What are you two thinking?” I ask, inching over a little so I’m blocking her from Laylen’s view. “Are you possessed again, or something?” I lower my head and study her eyes, which are as captivating as ever, but look a little hollow.

  However, then she gives me a tentative smile and she looks like herself again, but I can feel that something’s off, like I could when I first woke up from my possession and knew what she was thinking.

  “I have Royal Fey blood, Alex,” she says, in a duh tone. “I can use the Cornu Lepore to control the Fey in the Fey Realm. We can free Aleesa and Aislin because I can make the Faeries let them go. ” She swings the chain around on her fingers with a proud smile on her face.

  “No,” I say, shaking my head and grabbing onto her hand. “No freaking way. Besides, I wasn’t even planning on you going to the Faerie Realm. You can stay here where I know you’re safe. ”

  Her expression falls and she slips her hand from mine. “You don’t get a say in this. ”

  “Like hell I don’t,” I argue, seizing her by the waist. “I watched you for the last few days, possessed by a freaking evil queen who has Fey blood in her. ” I tug her roughly towards me and she gasps as I lean in, breathing hotly on her neck. “And there’s no way I’m letting you go anywhere near the Fey. ”

  She huffs a frustrated breath, but she’s trembling in my arms. “Alex, this is the perfect plan—the easiest one to get Aislin and Aleesa back. Please, don’t make this hard. ” She wiggles her arm up between us and then places her hand on my cheek. “You can be right by me the whole time. You can…” She bites her lip nervously as she glances at Laylen and Evan, then leans in, dropping her voice low enough that only I can hear her. “You can even kiss me the entire time to make sure I’m still me. ”

  “You think you can bribe me?” I ask, trying to sound firm, but the idea of kissing her the entire time is so God damn appealing.

  She lets her lip pop free and stares into my eyes. “Just let me do it or I’ll… I’ll never be able to forgive myself for everything I did. ”

  “That was Helena,” I remind her. “You can’t feel guilty about the stuff she made you do. ”

  “It’s not that easy. ”

  Her eyes beg me to cooperate and even though I really don’t want to, I find myself saying, “Fine. ”

  Shutting her eyes, Gemma kisses my cheek. “Thank you,” she whispers in my ear and I shut my eyes, fighting the urge to pick her up and lock her in the dungeon until I can fix all this and know she’s safe.

  Evan lets out a yawn, stretching his arms above his head, and then blinks his eyes repeatedly. “I’m going to have to get a quick nap if you guys want me to be a part of this. ” He opens and closes his hand and a flame starts to burn, but then sizzles weakly. “I’m drained and my powers are pretty much useless right now. ”

  I let out a breath, glancing at the window and the blackness outside. “How long of a nap?”

  Evan shrugs. “Like an hour, tops. ”

  I hate waiting, yet I want to wait because I don’t want Gemma to do it alone. I’m extremely conflicted, but in the end the more power we have, the better. “An hour,” I say. “And then we’ll go. ”

  Laylen, who pretty much never sleeps, heads for the doorway. “I’m going to go get that book about the Lost Souls and see if I can find a way to send them back. After we get Aislin, we’re going to have to move onto that problem. ”

  Gemma lets out a breath and mutters, “I wish that we didn’t have to deal with so many damn problems. ”

  Laylen and Evan wander out of the room and Gemma watches them leave, staring at the doorway even after they disappear. Worry courses through her and I can almost feel it inside me.

  “You know you don’t have to do it?” I try to reassure her and calm her down. “I can go and fix it for you. As long as A
islin comes back, it’s really all the same. ”

  She shakes her head and slides her gaze to me. “Yes, I do. I need to do it or it’s going to haunt me forever. ” Her eyes squint as she considers something. “I do have a question, though. ” She walks towards the sofa, pulling me with her. “You said you could feel that I went to Nalina’s; how?” She sits down without releasing my hand and I sit next to her.

  I shake my head. “I have no idea. All I know is that when Helena and Annabella left your body and went into mine, something shifted in me and I could feel and almost see—or tell—what you were going to do. ”

  She pouts at her lip, disappointedly. “You don’t think we’re connected again somehow, do you?”

  “Would it be that bad if we were?” I joke, touching her bottom lip with the pad of my finger.

  She nods. “I want everything between us to be real. When we had the Star’s energy in us, I always had my doubts that I was the driver behind our feelings for each other; that it could be the reason for the feelings instead of me. ”

  “But it wasn’t. ”

  “But I didn’t know that until it was gone. ”

  I eye her over, feeling her concern flow through her and into me. I don’t want her to ever think that my feelings aren’t real. It took me forever to let myself feel like this towards someone.

  “You’re the most important person to me,” I say, grabbing her hand and pulling her to her feet as I stand up. “You need to understand that. I’ve never—ever—felt this way about someone else. ”

  “Not even Stasha?” she questions as I lead her towards the stairway.

  “I didn’t feel anything for Stasha,” I tell her with honesty as I step up the stairway, my body rotated so I can look at her. “Which was the appeal of dating her. ”

  She assesses my expression, like she’s hunting for cracks that will reveal that I’m lying, but I’m not. “Nothing at all?”

  I shake my head, holding her gaze as we reach the top of the stairway. “I’ve never felt anything, except with you. ”

  She’s quiet for a minute as we walk down the hall, towards the room at the end where I’ve been sleeping. I don’t even think she realizes where I’m taking her until I stop in front of the shut door, and then her cheeks start to turn a little red.

  “What are we going to do for an hour while Evan takes a nap?” she asks, nervously.

  “Whatever you want,” I say, turning the doorknob.

  I wait for her to say something, but she never does. Instead, she lets out a faltering exhale, stands on her tiptoes, and seals her lips to mine.

  It’s the best answer I’ve ever gotten.

  Chapter 14


  I’m glad Alex didn’t put up too much of a fight about my, “save Aleesa and Aislin rescue mission. ” When he agrees, I kiss him, relieved, yet scared because I actually have to do it now. Even though I’m a Foreseer, a Keeper, and apparently Royal Fey, it doesn’t make things less terrifying. I still have the same things to lose, which is where the fear stems from.

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