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The underworld, p.14
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       The Underworld, p.14

         Part #2 of Fallen Star series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 14

 

  His sandy blonde hair swept over his forehead, his golden eyes were locked on me, and his hand still rested on my arm. The navy blue t-shirt he was wearing made the Foreseers mark on his wrist visible.

  “What the—” Alex shouted, leaping to his feet as he took in the sight of Nicholas and I. He swatted Nicholas’s hand off of my arm. “Why did you…How…”

  “He showed up in the vision,” I explained quickly. “Instead of here. ”

  “But that’s not allowed,” Alex said, his bright green eyes burning with rage. “Foreseers are not allowed to go into another Foreseers vision without permission. ”

  “Maybe I did have permission,” Nicholas said with a sly smile. “How do you know for sure that I didn’t?” He looked at me, and I could feel trouble boiling. “Besides, I think it was a good thing I showed up there, so I could explain to Gemma what she was seeing. ”

  Alex gave me a so-what’s-going-on look, in which I responded with an eye roll and a don’t-worry-about-it shake of my head. I didn’t think this was the appropriate time to bring up that Nicholas had just told me my future was dead. Besides just because he said it, didn’t mean it was true.

  “So is there a reason why you let her use the crystal ball again,” Nicholas asked, dropping down on the sofa across from us and kicking his feet up on the apothecary table. “Or did she just decide to do it all on her own and let you suffer for it. ” He paused, his golden eyes glinting wickedly. “Personally, I’d love to think it was the latter. ”

  “Well, it wasn’t the latter,” Alex said, irritated. “It was for a good reason. ”

  “And what reason would that be?” Nicholas asked with a sparkle of amusement in his eyes.

  Alex hesitated and sat back down on the sofa beside me. “The reason she did it is because I needed to talk to you about…about a way to get into…The Underworld by using the Ira crystal ball. ”

  I looked at Nicholas, but his expression was blank, giving me no idea what he was thinking

  “You think an Ira will take you to The Underworld. ” He let out a laugh. “I’ve never heard of a more ridiculous thing. ”

  “I know it can be done. ” Alex’s face reddened with anger. “So cough it up—where can we get one. ”

  Nicholas pressed his lips together, holding back a grin. “Like I said, I have no idea what you’re talking about—I’ve never heard of such a thing before. ”

  Laylen and Alex exchanged this strange look that I couldn’t interpret. Then they both jumped to their feet and charged at Nicholas, Laylen taking out the apothecary table with him. They each grabbed one of Nicholas’s arms, tipping over the sofa as they dragged him over the back of it. Then they shoved him against the wall so violently that it made me wince.

  What in the world? Had they planned this while I was gone? What happened to their wanting to beat the crap out of each other thing?

  I got to my feet and made my way over to them.

  “Now like I said,” Alex practically growled at him. “We know an Ira can take us to The Underworld, so just tell us where we can get one and how to use it?”

  “I don’t kn—” Nicholas started to say, but Alex pushed on him harder. “Okay. Okay. I might know where to get one. ”

  “And you’ll tell us where. ” Alex’s tone was firm.

  Nicholas glanced at everyone and then this look passed over his face and all I could think was, great, what does he want.

  “I think if I do, I should at least get something out of it. ” His eyes landed on me, and I took a step back. “Something I want. ”

  I took another step back as the three guys all looked at me.

  Alex shook his head. “No. No way. You’re not having anything that comes from her. ”

  “Then I won’t help,” he said simply.

  Alex waited a second, and then shoved Nicholas against the wall again. “Think of something else. ”

  Neither one of them looked as if they were going to back down, and when Laylen glanced at me, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. I’ve already been bitten by a vampire, so why not see what faerie boy wanted to add to my Stipulation list.

  “What do you want?” I asked, walking toward him.

  Alex shook his head. “Don’t. ”

  I ignored him. “What do you want?”

  A devious smile rose on Nicholas’s face. “A kiss. ”

  Ugh. “Really? That’s all you want, and then you’ll just hand over the Ira and tell us how to use it so we can get into The Underworld. ” I was having a hard time believing that a kiss from me—Freaky Girl With Violet Eyes Who Couldn’t Feel—was going to seal the deal. But Nicholas was a weirdo so…

  He nodded, his smile so impish I wanted to slap it right off of his face. And then that’s when I felt it—the prickle, releasing a new kind of confidence I never felt before. In fact, I felt kind of strong.

  “Okay, then,” I said. “I’ll do it. ”

  Alex looked at me with anger blazing in his eyes. “No. ”

  “You’re paying your dues for this,” I said, taking a deep breath. “This is mine. ”

  “You act like it’s such a bad thing,” Nicholas said with a smirk. “But deep down I think you know it really isn’t. ”

  I shot him a glare and then, with a wave of my hand, told Alex to, “Let him go. ”

  Alex did not take his eyes off of me as he gave Nicholas one more hard shove against the wall before letting him go. Laylen let go of him as well and Nicholas rubbed his arm where Alex had been holding him.

  “God, you Keepers think violence is the key to everything,” Nicholas remarked.

  “And you faeries think tricking people into doing things is the key to everything,” Alex bit back.

  “You’re right,” Nicholas said, his golden eyes locking onto me. “We do. ”

  I scowled at him. “Let’s just get this over with. ”

  He stepped toward me, never taking his eyes off of me, and it took a lot of effort on my part not to back away from him. Laylen walked toward the doorway, looking really uncomfortable with the situation. And that was okay. The less people watching this painful scene, the better. Because kissing a half-faerie—the only other guy I’ve kissed besides Alex—in front of Laylen and Alex was absolutely mortifying. I wished they would just leave the room, but instead Laylen leaned back against the trim of the doorway, folded his arms across his chest, and stared out into the foyer. And Alex…well, he went over and punched a hole into the wall.

  I shook my head and took a deep breath as Nicholas leaned in.

  I wasn’t sure what to expect from the kiss. Honestly, I expected a little more than what happened. I mean, it wasn’t like Nicholas was hard on the eyes or anything, just a little weird and annoying. But as his lips brushed against mine, all I felt was…nothing. I felt absolutely nothing. In fact, it made me feel empty, like it was all wrong, and I needed to fix it somehow.

  Weird.

  I let Nicholas finish his one-sided kiss and then he pulled away, licking his lips.

  “Okay,” I said, jumping right down to business. “Now get us the crystal and show us how to use it. ”

  Nicholas considered this with a sly look on his face. “The thing is there’s a slight problem with your plan. Yeah, the Ira can take you into The Underworld, without having to go through the whole process of being dragged down into the lake by the Water Fey. However, it also takes a very strong Foreseer to channel enough energy to use the Ira crystal. And I’m not that powerful yet. ”

  “So where can we find a Foreseer who has enough power,” I asked, trying to stay calm, something which Alex wasn’t trying to do—I could tell by the look on his face.

  “You can’t,” Nicholas said. “At least probably not one that will actually help you do it. ” He paused. “See the thing with Foreseers is that not a whole lot of people like us because we can practically see anything—good or bad. We can go to places where most can’t go, li
ke The Underworld. And so when we do show up in The Underworld unannounced, it pisses the Queen off. And no one likes being around a pissed off Queen, especially a Queen who likes to torture people so her Water Faeries can feed off of the fear. So most Foreseers are unwilling to help another Foreseer go there. ”

  I felt like I was being choked. “Are you sure there’s absolutely no one that will. ”

  He shook his head. “Nope. There’s not. ”

  Okay, now I was pissed. He just tricked me into believing there was a way just so I would kiss him. Stupid faerie. “You know what? I think I’ll let Alex and Laylen take over from where they left off before the kiss. ”

  “Great,” Alex said, looking a little too happy about it. He along with Laylen started to corner Nicholas again.

  “Okay, Okay,” Nicholas said, surrendering with his hands out in front of him “There might be a way…but it will take some time. ”

  “How much time?” Alex asked, still moving for him.

  “A few weeks, maybe a few months,” Nicholas said with his back up against the wall. “It really all depends on Gemma. ”

  “On me. ” I pointed at myself. “Why would it depend on me?”

  “Well, I think if there were two Foreseers, then we might have enough power to use an Ira to go into The Underworld. ”

  Alex and I exchanged a look, and then Alex said to Nicholas, “How sure are you that it’ll work. ”

  “If she trains enough and builds up her power, then it should work,” Nicholas said looking—for once—like he was telling the truth.

  Alex glanced at Laylen and Laylen shrugged. “It’s your call. ”

  Alex looked back at Nicholas. “You’ll train her here. ” It wasn’t a question.

  He nodded. “I’ll bring the Ira ball back with me after I’ve dropped you off at the City of Crystal to make good on the promise you broke to Dyvinius—something I can’t get you out of, even if I wanted to. Which I don’t. ”

  “Fine,” Alex agreed. “Take me to the City of Crystal to pay my debt. And while I’m gone, you’ll get Gemma ready to use the Ira. ”

  “Alright,” Nicholas said and slipped from his pocket the ruby-filled crystal ball that would take Alex and him to the City of Crystal. “Let’s go then. ” He balanced the ball in the palm of his hand and held it out in front of Alex.

  “Just one second before we take off” Alex said to Nicholas. Then he turned to me, giving me this strangest look ever.

  “What?” I asked, confused.

  Still looking at me weirdly, he leaned in toward me.

  I wasn’t sure what he was going to do at first—kiss me? Yeah, that thought flashed through my head until I realized that he was heading for my ear not my lips.

  “Make sure and be careful around Nicholas. ” His breath was electric against my ear, and I had to try very hard not to gasp. “Faeries are tricky. He’ll twist things around and try to confuse you if you’re not careful. ”