Nameless, Page 13Jessica Sorensen
I twist around and rest my hands on my lap. "It actually doesn't hurt that badly anymore."
She shines the light against the back of my head and brushes strands of hair out of the way. "That's odd," she murmurs. "There's blood everywhere, but I can't see a cut." She shuts off the light off and sets it down on the floor. "Are you sure you didn't cut it and just got someone else's blood on your head?"
"No." I delicately touch the back of my head with my fingertips. "Maxx got a bloody nose, but he was clear across the room when that happened."
"Your shoulder's out of the sling, too," she says, not as a question, but as an observation. "Blaise said you dislocated your shoulder."
"He thinks I did," I say, growing nervous over her observations. "But maybe he wasn't right."
She thrums her finger against her lip, considering something. "Would you mind if I ran a simple test. It'll only take me a second. And it won't hurt. I just need to swab your blood."
"I guess so." I chew on my thumbnail. "What are you looking for?"
She takes a cotton swab out of her bag. "It's just a simple test."
Her evasiveness makes anxiety nearly explode from my body. I start to stand up, ready to bolt for the door, but she quickly swipes the swab over the back of my head.
"Just stay put." She puts a hand on my shoulder and guides me back down to the crate. "I'm not going to hurt you."
I swallow hard. I've heard that before, way too much. I debate whether or not to run. Is it worth the risk of being out there by myself? I don't even know what Mable's doing. Maybe she's just doing a normal test.
But when she pulls out a chunk of grey moonstone from the bag and wipes the swab on top of it, I know this isn't a normal test.
"I can't believe it," she whispers as my blood pools in the center of the rock and begins to ripple.
"What is it?" I croak, fearing the answer.
Her gaze fastens on me, her eyes lit up with wonder. "You have Grim blood in you."
"What!" I exclaim, jumping up from the crate. "No, I can't."
She springs to her feet, positioning herself between me and the door. "Honey, calm down. I didn't say you're a Grim, just that you have Grim blood in you."
My gaze dances between her and the door. "How is that even possible? I'm not like them. I know I'm not."
"I know you're not, either, but you definitely have a similar kind of blood running through your veins." She lifts the rock in front of me. "Grim blood reacts this same way to moonstone."
I wonder if that's why my cell walls were moonstone. Did the wardens know I was different?
No! I'm not different! I can't be.
Her brows pull together. "Some of the Forsaken legends talk about Grim hybrids: half human, half Grim, the strongest beings on the planet. But those were only myths created to give humans hope that The Grim could be killed. I never thought they could be true."
"Forsaken legends?" I shuffle back. "Blaise said most people don't know about the Forsaken legends."
She hesitates. "Someone who was born a Forsaken does."
I back away until I bump into a crate. "You're a Forsaken?"
"Used to be. My mother ran away from their society after our leader killed my father over a crime he didn't commit. I was around six or seven but I still remember some of the legends they used to tell to each other." She frowns at the floor, dazing off for a moment. "Stories that used to give me nightmares. Still do sometimes." She shakes her head, looking up at me. "But I remember hybrids being mentioned because the Forsaken used to hunt for them."
"Did they... ever find any of them?"
"Not that I know of, but like I said, I left that society decades ago."
My mind travels back to what I saw in the mirror, the strange dream I had, how Reece said my life should have expired a long time ago yet here I am, completely alive.
"A-are t-there ...?" I swallow hard, trying to steady my voice. "Do you know of any other characteristics these hybrids have?"
She clutches the moonstone against her chest. "I know a few but none are based on facts. That's the problem with legends. While sometimes they hold a hint of truth, it's hard to sort through all of the nonsense."
I feel ill to my stomach. "But you think there's something different about me."
She nods, glancing at the moonstone. "But that's not necessarily a bad thing."
She may not think so, but I just experienced firsthand what can happen when someone is different. Lucille and Maxx were going to hurt me, and that was only because they knew I was a Nameless. Imagine what they'd do to me if they knew I had Grim blood running through my veins.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
"Mable, open up!" Blaise shouts from the other side of the door.
Mable hastily stuffs the moonstone into the pocket of her pants then tosses me a rag and some water. "Clean the blood out of your hair, okay?" She heads for the door as I douse the rag with water. "I don't think you should tell anyone about this until you find out more. Not even Blaise, Reece, or Ryder. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it could end up badly for you. Humans might try to kill you out of fear of the unknown and God knows what the watchers would do to you. But if it is true, if you are a hybrid, you could finally be the answer to destroying The Grim. You just need to be careful who you trust with the information. The less people that know, the better. That way, if anyone is questioned or tortured, they can't accidentally let it slip out."
The severity of her words weighs heavily on my chest. I stare down at my arms, my veins visible underneath my scarred, pale flesh. "Mable, do you know what The Grim are?"
She shakes her head. "I know they're not human, and that weren't created here in our world. There are a few people who have theories of where they came from and what they are, but those are about as reliable as legends. There's a library in the middle of the city that supposedly contains the history of our world, but the building's so heavily guarded no one has ever made it inside there alive."
My mind races with the overload of information. In a week's time, I've gone from being a prisoner to maybe being some weird, freaky hybrid. How can this be possible? And what about my dreams? Do they have anything to do with it? I want to ask Mable, but a voice inside my head hushes me.
Guard the dreams with your life. They're more valuable than you even know.
Blaise bangs on the door. "Come on, Mable. We need to go."
I focus on reality, quickly wiping the rag across the back of my head, cleaning up as much blood as I can.
"When you get to the station, go talk to Rae and tell her what we found out," Mable says in a rush. "Tell her to test your blood on moonstone. You can trust her, Allura. She's a good doctor, a lot better than me."
I nod, even though I don't like the idea of keeping secrets from Blaise, Ryder, and Reece. After they saved me, it seems wrong. But I'm also scared out of my mind that they'll be afraid of me. Or, like Mable said, they could let the information slip out if they were tortured. I can't risk it. Maybe after I talk to this Rae person, and she gives me more answers, I can tell Ryder, Reece, and Blaise what's going on. But I need to understand what's going on with me first.
Mable unlatches the deadbolt and throws open the door. "My word, you have no patience."
Blaise barges in, nudging Mable out of the way. "Took you long enough to answer." His eyes immediately find me. "Is everything okay?"
"She's fine," Mable answers for me. "She just nicked her head. The cuts so small it doesn't even require stitches."
Blaise relaxes a smidgen as he hands me my backpack. "Good. I don't want to have to worry about her getting an infection while we're out there. She won't make it if she does."
"I'll send a couple of antibiotics with you just in case." Mable gives me a pressing glance as she passes by me. "If she doesn't need them, give them to Rae when you get to the station. I'm sure they could use them." She retrieves a clear, square case from the leather bag and tosses it to Blaise. "Be safe out there, okay? An
d protect this girl with your life."
Blaise tucks the case into the pocket of his leather jacket. "Of course. Thanks for everything, Mable. We owe you."
"Yeah, yeah, you owe me a hundred." She lightly pushes him toward the door. "Now get out of here before anything else happens to her."
Blaise crooks his finger at me, and I hurry from the room and lace my fingers through his.
As we leave the room, I cast one look back at Mable, and she puts her finger to her lips, reminding me to keep the secret to myself. I nod once, silently promising to do just that.
I just hope nothing happens to me on the way to the station that outs the secret for me.
The Start of a Dangerous Journey
Blaise doesn't say anything as he weaves his way around the tables, heading for the wall that acts as the entrance door to East City Post. He tells me to put a jacket on while we walk, and I silently do so, wondering why.
"Where are we going?" I jog to keep up with his long, even strides, bumping into people and tables.
"We're leaving." He keeps his eyes trained ahead.
I note all the people staring at us, and nervousness bubbles inside me. "Did Maxx and Lucille tell anyone yet?"
"Lucille and Maxx have been taken care of," he says as he pounds on the steel entrance wall.
"Taken care of how?"
"Does it really matter? They can't hurt you anymore."
I want to ask him if he killed them. But I think I already know the answer. And while the idea bothers me, I also feel a sliver of relief. Whether that makes me sick and twisted, I'm not sure.
"Where are Ryder and Reece?" I hitch my finger around the strap of my backpack.
"Waiting for us outside," he replies as the wall rolls open.
An older guy stands on the other side, puffing on a rolled up paper that has smoke funneling out of the end. "Where are you going in such a hurry?"
"None of your damn business." Blaise tightens his hold on my hand as he shoves the guy aside then hurries toward the ladder.
He lets me climb up first, which I'm grateful for, especially when someone starts shouting from below.
When I reach the top, Ryder grabs my arm and drags me out into the dusty land.
Reece immediately slips a pair of sunglasses over my eyes. "Wear those until your eyes get used to the light."
I nod, clearing my throat a few times as my lungs adjust to the harsh, dry air.
Like Blaise and me, both of them are wearing backpacks. On top of a clean pair of cargo pants and a jacket, Ryder has on a knitted cap. Reece is wearing a similar outfit and has the hood of his jacket drawn over his head. I don't understand all the layers. With the sun blaring down on us, won't we get hot?
"You okay?" Ryder asks, inspecting me over from my boots to my head.
I run my fingers through my hair. "Yeah. I just cut my head. Mable said it was fine, though."
"Let me see." He grips my shoulder to turn me around.
I panic, racking my brain for an excuse to tell him when he realizes I don't have a cut. Thankfully, Blaise appears out of the hole and distracts Ryder from his task.
"We need to go. Now." Blaise slams the door shut and starts across the desert, taking long, determined strides.
Reece jogs after him. "What did you do?"
Ryder grabs my hand and hurries off after Blaise and Reece. "Oh, God, here we go." He rolls his eyes.
"What's wrong?" I ask, struggling to keep up.
"Blaise did something crazy, and now we're going to have to listen to Reece lecture him about it for the next hour or so." He reaches over with his free hand and draws the hood of my jacket over my head. "You need to protect your skin from the sun or you'll burn."
I tug down the rolled up sleeves of my shirt to cover up my arms. "What did Blaise do?"
"I think it's better if you don't know that," he says. "While Blaise always has his reasons, it doesn't always make sense to an outsider."
I smash my lips together, deliberating. "Did he ...? Did he kill Maxx and Lucille?"
Ryder gives me a sidelong glance. "I wouldn't necessarily call it killed."
I zip up my jacket. "I don't understand what that means."
"I know." He sighs and slips an arm around my shoulders. "Look, Blaise is a little different, but I don't think it's my right to explain it to you. When he feels like it, I'm sure he'll tell you his story."
Different how? I sneak a peek at Blaise marching across the desert, seeming completely unbothered as Reece chews him out. I think about his strength, his intensity, how he said he should kill Maxx and Lucille, how easily he lies, how it seemed like he was lying to me when he told me they found no sign of Lex.
"I promise you're safe with him," Ryder says. "Blaise is the kind of person who protects the people he cares about, no matter what."
I wonder if that would still be true if he knew I had Grim blood in me.
I hardly have time to dwell upon the thought, though, because seconds later, the four of us all come to a stop.
"Is that the fault line?" I stare down at the seemingly infinite crack splitting down the center of the land.
Blaise nods, inching toward the edge. "Yep. This is it."
I lean over to peer down then instantly regret it. I can't even see the bottom. "And we just, what? Walk around it?"
Blaise shakes his head, shucking off his backpack. "We go in it. There's a trail a couple of hundred feet down that runs all the way to the city. It'll keep us shielded from the watchers."
I press my hand to my racing heart. "But what if we fall?"
"We won't let you fall." Ryder hugs me against his side. "I know it looks dangerous--"
"Because it is," Blaise snaps. "She needs to understand that. One false move and you could fall over the edge. And we're close to Forsaken territory."
Ryder shakes his head then turns to me. "Allura, don't be scared, okay? If you stick with us, you'll be fine."
I glance at the three of them. They've done so much for me; how could I not trust them with this? I just hope that, when I tell them I have Grim blood in me, they'll be as kind and compassionate toward me as they are now.
Until then, I'll have to put my life in their hands and trust them to get me through the dangerous journey safely. Hopefully, if we make it to the station alive, this Rae person can tell me exactly what I am and why I'm still alive when I shouldn't be.
Forsaken (Broken City, #2)
About the Author
Jessica Sorensen is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.
Other books by Jessica Sorensen: Broken City Series:
Forsaken (Coming soon)
Entangled (coming soon)
Rebels & Misfits Series:
Confessions of a Kleptomaniac
The Illusion of Annabella
The Year I Became Isabella Anders The Year of Falling in Love The Year of Second Chances (coming soon)
The Coincidence Series:
The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden The Redemption of Callie and Kayden The Destiny of Violet and Luke The Probability of Violet and Luke The Certainty of Violet and Luke The Resolution of Callie and Kayden Seth & Greyson
The Secret Series:
The Prelude of Ella and Micha The Secret of Ella and Micha The Forever of Ella and Micha The Temptation of Lila and Ethan The Ever After of Ella and Micha Lila and Ethan: Forever and Always Ella and Micha: Infinitely and Always
The Shattered Promises Series:
Breaking Nova Series:
Delilah: The Making of Red Nova and Quinton: No Regrets Tristan: Finding Hope
The Fallen Star Series (YA):
The Fallen Star
The Fallen Souls Series (spin-off from The Fallen Star):
The Lost Soul
The Darkness Falls Series:
The Death Collectors Series (NA and YA):
Ember X and Ember
Cinder X and Cinder
Spark X and Cinder
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About the Author