Darkness breaks, p.14
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       Darkness Breaks, p.14

         Part #2 of Darkness Falls series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 14

 

  “No one said you did,” Monarch’s voice is harsh—this is not the Monarch I know. “But we all have to make sacrifices. Kayla, whenever you’re ready. ”

  I inch forward, my eyes targeted on the girl.

  “And whatever you do,” Monarch backs up to the wall, “don’t mess it up this time. Remember, this girl is not your friend. She is your enemy. You will not back down this time. ”

  I shake my head. “No, I won’t. ” I creep forward and stare down at the girl. Feelings of guilt and a heavy conscious rise in me, but I shove them away. I grab the girl by the hair and hesitate.

  “Turn it off,” Monarch commands. “Don’t let it get to you. ”

  I nod and attack. I’m aware of every detail in the horrible crime I commit. When I’m finished, I back away with the girl’s blood on my hands. Monarch proudly smiles, but sadness hues his eyes.

  “Very good. ” He nods and motions at the door at a group of people in white coats. There are ten maybe twelve of them—short, fat, bald, male, female—all kinds of varieties, but each one of them wants the same thing. They want to be like me. I recognize one in particular. Dominic. Only he has fewer wrinkles and more color to his hair.

  “You think the virus is ready then?” A taller one with a crew cut asks. “You think it’s finally perfected?”

  Monarch gestures his hand at me. “If she’s not proof enough, then I don’t know what is. ”

  A woman with glasses framing her narrow face nods excitedly. “Then it’s time. ” She pens a few notes on her clipboard.

  A shorter man with a bald head steps forward, his eyes disagreeable, “You said it was perfected the last time and it wasn’t. ”

  Monarch gestures at me. “Do you see her flesh decomposing? Her eyes bleeding? Do you see her feel anything but to obey?”

  “Well, we don’t want to obey,” he says and the rest of the white-coat group is suddenly paying full attention. “We want to control. ”

  “Oh, I can assure you she can control,” Monarch says. “But if you want, I can show you. ”

  The man eyes Monarch warily. “Fine, show me. ”

  Monarch steps aside and motions the man to step forward. “Whenever you’re ready. ”

  The man reverses, taken back. “You want her to try and kill me?”

  Monarch slips his coat off and drops it to the floor. “No, I want you to try and kill me. ”

  The man hesitates, glancing at his colleagues for assistance.

  “What’s the matter, Gabrielle?” Monarch asks. “Afraid I might get the best of you. ”

  Gabrielle shucks off his coat, balls it up, and throws it in the corner. “It’s not you I’m worried about. ”

  The men grin at each other and I step back robotically, giving them room to circle each other. They hunch over with their fists out—they are completely inexperienced fighters. Gabrielle takes the first jab and Monarch ducks.

  Gabrielle laughs. “Nice move. ”

  Monarch grins and Gabrielle slams his fist straight into Monarch’s cheekbone. His head knocks back and blood splashes from his mouth. Monarch spits out a tooth and raises his fists.

  “You’re not done?” Gabrielle questions with a smile.

  “I told you to try and kill me,” Monarch says. “Not knock me around a little. ”

  Gabrielle shrugs and then lunges, cupping his hands around Monarch’s neck. My foot inches forward, debating whether to help.

  Gabrielle’s knuckles whiten as he chokes the life from Monarch. Monarch clutches his arms, gasping, eyes bulging, his skin a pasty white. My other foot glides forward as I wonder if Monarch is hurt.

  Gabrielle tightens his grip. “Had enough yet?”

  “Never,” Monarch chokes, his heart murmuring. He reaches his last breath and that’s when I realize I can’t watch it. Dashing for him, I slam Gabrielle to the ground. He flips to his back, his green eyes glistened with panic.

  Fangs slip from my lips and I tip my head back, growling

  “Kayla,” he says. “I wasn’t going to hurt him. I swear. ”

  “You’re lying,” I say and sink my fangs violently into his neck, drinking his blood until Monarch pulls me off.

  “That’s enough, Kayla. ” His eyes are soft and he wipes a smudge of blood from my forehead.

  Gabrielle sits up, pressing his hand to the bleeding wound on his neck. “She bit me. Monarch, what did you do to me?”

  “You tell me?” Monarch asks. “Can you feel it?”

  He eyes over his skin as the creases erase. Then he touches his heart and his eyes lit up. “Monarch, you’re brilliant. ”

  Monarch gives Gabrielle his hand and helps him to his feet. “Then it’s ready. ”

  Monarch nods and the rest of the white-coats file out of the room. Gabrielle’s still shaking his head in disbelief. Monarch shuts the door and his expression twists in puzzlement as he touches his neck where Gabrielle’s handprints imprint his skin.

  I stand emotionless, blood dripping from my hands, trying not to think about everything I’ve done.

  “You can go back to your room, Kayla. ” Monarch meets my eyes. “You did very well today. ”

  I wait for the red door to open. A Watcher’s waiting for me on the other side, breathing heavily through his mask. He shuts the door and I follow him back to my cell, leaving a path of blood behind me. I step in and the door shuts. I stare straight ahead at the sobbing pale girl, only she’s no longer sobbing. Her chest rises and falls as she breathes rapidly. Her heart pumps hard until it stops pumping altogether. Her lips start to drool and she peels a chunk of her skin off. Her eyes bleed as she gazes at me. Then she rams into the glass over and over again, beating herself raw. She bangs her head, screams, rips out her hair until two Watchers appear with a Taser attached to a long metal pole. They crack the door open and shock the girl over and over again. She collapses to the floor and her eyes roll into the back of her head. They carry her out and I keep my gaze fixated on her all the way to the end, where they disappear behind the red door.

  I move to the corner of the cell, lie down, and cradle my knees to my chest. I stare at the wall as time drifts by, wishing I was the one being tasered and carried away.

  Chapter 13

  I’m lying in the exact same position as in the memory. My eyes are open, knees pulled close. I hear Ryder, Aiden, and Sylas talking, but I don’t budge. Perhaps if I stay motionless then I don’t have to accept reality.

  Aiden steps around and sees that I’m awake. He crouches down in front of me and smoothes my sweaty hair back. “Are you okay?”

  He knows what I did. He’s been carrying the memories in his head. He knows I once had fangs, once used them to bite Gabrielle. Once killed a girl with my bare hands.

  “Kayla,” he speaks my name again. “Can you hear me?”

  Our hearts beat thunder. Thump, thump, thump.

  “Kayla. ” The panic in his tone snaps me out of it.

  I sit up and lean away. “I’m fine. Quit worrying. ”

  He doesn’t believe me. “Which one did you see?”

  “One that wasn’t important. ” My eyes dry out as I refuse to blink.

  “Everything Monarch put in my head was important,” Aiden says. “And hard to watch. ”

  “Is there another way to get behind the red door?” I ask, changing the subject. “Or is there another red door somewhere. ”

  “It’s another entrance. ” There’s a shift in his expression when he realizes the memory I witnessed. “Kayla, I—”

  Cutting him off, I hop to my feet and direct my attention to Sylas, who doesn’t know what I did. “You got in The Colony somehow, right? Did you… did you walk through a room with glass cages?”

  Sylas has the flashlight shined in Ryder’s eyes. Her pupils have returned to specks again and the glow from her neck has dissipated.

  He turns, spotting the light in my eyes. “I already told you I don’t remember how I got in. ”
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  “Well, think about it really hard. ” I shield my eyes. “It’s important. ”

  He lowers the flashlight and flips the pocket watch in his hand. “Kayla, if I knew, I’d tell you. ”

  Aiden gives a clipped laugh. “Yeah, because you’re the most cooperative person there is. ”

  “I never said I was. ” Sylas puts the watch in his pocket. “But I do want to figure this out. Something you don’t want to do. ”

  “I think this room with the glass cages might be where the virus was created. I think it might be able to get us some answers,” I say, talking over them. “I think we need to figure out how to get there. ”

  “Kayla,” Aiden’s voice is sympathetic, “As much as I’d love to help, I haven’t been there before. ”

  I glance at Ryder and she shakes her head. “I was always kept in the chains, or in the back room with Aiden. ”

  My gaze lands on Sylas and he casually shakes his head. “Sorry, can’t help you,” he says, hiding something away inside him.

  I stare at him for almost an eternity. He stares back, unaffected by my attempt to weasel into his mind.

  “I think we should go back to the cave for a while,” Aiden announces. “I’m sure Greyson, Cedrix, and Maci are wondering where we are. ”

  “I doubt they are,” Sylas says, flicking the flashlight on and off. “Since you were headed to the city and it takes a while to get there. ”

  “We need to get to the glass room. ” I steal the flashlight from Sylas and beam it at the exit. “I wonder if it’s morning yet. ”

  Aiden steps into the light. “You don’t need to do anything. You’re free now and you can do whatever you want. ”

  I’m not free. My memories and actions will imprison me for the rest of my existence, especially if what I’m thinking is correct. “It’s where the virus started—I can feel it. And in order to fix everything, I have to go back to the beginning. ”

  Aiden shakes his head, disgusted. “You sound just like Monarch. ”

  I shrug and head for the boulder. “You guys can do whatever you want. I’m going back to the city. ”

  “I’m going back to the cave,” Ryder says. “And without me, you can’t get any more of your memories back. ”

  Slowly, I turn, spotting her with the light. “What are you talking about?”

  She dusts the dirt and twigs out of her matted hair. “I didn’t give you all your memories back. Just one of them. ” She crosses her arms and raises her chin defiantly. “You may think you control everything, but you don’t. I can choose which ones to give you and how many. ”

  “I can think of a few ways to make you,” I say.

  “Do whatever you want, hurt me, threaten me, but it’s not any worse than when I have to be that way. ” She stalks forward, getting in my face. “Do you have any idea what that’s like? To completely lose control over your mind and body. ”