The evanescence, p.15
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       The Evanescence, p.15

         Part #2 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
 
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Page 15

 

  Evan rolls his eyes as he sets the fork down on the counter. “You do realize I went to go take my nap at like four in the morning. ” Tilting his wrist, he looks at his watch. “And it’s like six-thirty, so we’re only a little over an hour behind schedule, so don’t go getting your panties in a bunch. ”

  I roll my eyes. “We’re behind schedule and you’re in here cooking breakfast. ”

  Shaking his head, he rotates the knob on the stove, turning down the temperature. “You do realize we’re still human, right? And we have to eat or will starve to death. Besides, Gemma hasn’t eaten anything, really, since we were trying to torture Helena with hunger. ”

  I wince, feeling guilty. “Yeah, good point. ”

  “Are you hungry?” He collects a plate from the cupboard above the sink.

  “Yeah, I guess. ” Sighing, I walk over and get a plate, knowing I should wake up Gemma, but she was so worn out last night and I want to let her sleep. What I want to do is let her sleep for like a few days, so I can sneak off and make everything right with her here, safe.

  I pile on some bacon and pancakes and sit down at the table in the corner, tucked beside the island. I chew on the bacon, thinking about last night and how Gemma felt in my arms. God dammit, I just want to protect her and for everything to be simple for her. I’d give up anything to make it possible.

  “Dude, what’s up?” Evan asks, pulling out a chair. He sets a plate of bacon down in front of him and then takes a seat. “You look weird. ”

  I shake my head and start cutting the pancakes. “I’m just stuck in my own head. ”

  Evan shoves a piece of bacon in his mouth and then thrums his fingers on top of the table, watching me like a weirdo.

  “What’s up?” I ask, shoveling a forkful of pancakes into my mouth.

  “I just was thinking that I may have been a little over the top last night. ” He stops drumming his fingers and picks up a fork. “I kind of acted like a douche. ”

  “It’s not a big deal. ”

  “It is, though. Sometimes, I just don’t get what it’s like to have family. It has been too long since I’ve had one. ”

  I shrug, feeling about as awkward as he looks. “It’s not a big deal. Trust me. We all have douche bag moments. ”

  He clears his throat and then coughs, shaking his head. “Are we good then?”

  “Yeah, we’re good,” I reply and then chew my mouthful of pancakes.

  “Something smells good. ” Gemma walks in, dressed in a pair of jeans and a black tank top. Her hair is pulled out of her face and, when she turns for the counters, glancing at the food, I get a view of all her marks. “But I’m kind of confused. ” Her face is scrunched when she looks at me, walking around the island. “Shouldn’t we be heading to the Fey Realm already?” She stops in front of me with her arms folded.

  I reach over, grab her by the waist and pull her down onto my lap. “We are, but Evan thinks we need to have some breakfast. ”

  She pulls a confused face. “Don’t we usually just go, empty stomachs and all?”

  I shrug, then pick up a piece of bacon, and move it towards her mouth. “Yeah, but you’ve got to be hungry. We practically starved Helena when she possessed you. ”

  She opens her mouth and takes a bite, licking her lip. “I am starving. ”

  A piece falls from her mouth and I wipe it away, slowly dragging my finger along her bottom lip, pressing it between my thumb and my finger. She smiles and then blushes, probably thinking about last night.

  Evan rolls his eyes. “Please, not at the dinner table. ”

  “Yes, please. People are trying to eat,” Laylen says in a teasing tone, appearing in the doorway. He squirms uncomfortably when I look at him and I wonder why. “Although, I’m not eating, so I guess it doesn’t really matter. ”

  Gemma’s cheeks are turning redder, which is weird, because usually she can contain her embarrassment a little bit better, probably because of all those years not feeling anything. She begins to squirm on my lap, getting to her feet, but I tighten my grip on her, deciding to have some fun, just for a moment, hoping it might help her relax.

  I kiss her neck, sucking on the skin, and she turns as red as a cherry.

  “Alex,” she whispers, her shoulder rising as she shudders against my breath. “People are watching.

  “People as in Laylen and Evan?” I cup the back of her neck and guide her lips to mine, kissing her fervently. For all I know, this may be the last time I kiss her because, if anything happens to her, anything at all, I’ll lay my life down to save her, just like I have time and time again. One of these times, though, I might not be so lucky and I won’t wake up.

  When I pull away, she’s breathless, her eyes shut, her cheeks flushed, and she’s shivering uncontrollably.

  Evan drops his plate in the sink and it hits the stainless steel loudly. “Okay, enough. I’m seriously going to throw up right in this sink and then leave it in there for you two to clean up. ”

  Gemma’s eyelids flutter open and her face contorts with revulsion. “Ew. ”

  I nod my head at the food. “Eat up before we go. ”

  She reluctantly stands, piles some bacon and pancakes onto a plate, then sits down next to me. She starts munching on the bacon and I watch her, seriously considering locking her up again. I can’t do it. I can’t let her risk her life.

  She shifts uncomfortably in her chair, her eyes fastened on her plate. “Alex. ” She peeks up through her eyelashes. “I can’t eat with you staring at me like that so quit being a weirdo. ”

  I decide to let her eat in peace and pick up my plate, carrying it over to the sink. Evan is wiping the counters down, which seems pointless, but whatever, and Laylen is staring out the window, the sun hitting his eyes, but he’s not blinking.

  He looks at me as I set my plate down in the sink. “So, are we ready to get Aislin and Aleesa from the Faerie Realm?” he asks. “Because standing around, eating breakfast seems like a waste of time if you ask me. ”

  “Yeah…” I lean back against the counter, my gaze drifting to Gemma eating at the table. “I just wish it didn’t have to be her. ”

  “Yeah, I know,” Laylen agrees with a frown. “Do you ever get the feeling that things are always going to be this way?”

  I arch an eyebrow. “You mean, do I think we’re always going to be on the brink of death?” I ask and he nods. I move away from the counter, my eyes glued on Gemma. Last night was great and I wish that every night could be like that, but I just don’t see it happening because every time we think things have mellowed, something turns up. “Yeah, all the damn time. ”

  Chapter 18

  Gemma

  They’re trying to create a plan to get Aislin and Aleesa out of the Faerie Realm, even though we talked about it last night. It’s making me mad because, even though Alex said I could do it my way, he seems to be trying to find a way around it, like he changed his mind.

  “But it’s the easiest way,” I say. “I’ll put on the Cornu Lepore and foresee my way to the Faerie Realm. When I get there, the Fey have to obey me, then I’ll find Aislin and Aleesa and bail them out. It’s that simple. ”

  “You know there is probably a loophole somewhere. ” Alex says, slumping back in the kitchen chair. “There always is and what if there is this time. What if you get stuck there or something and have to be their ruler?”

  I think of my dream last night and how content I felt in the throne. “That’s not going to happen,” I say. “I won’t let it happen. ”

  He lets out a derisive laugh. “Yeah, like you can control it. You can’t control anything… none of us can. ”

  I stab my nails into my palm, clenching my fist. “You don’t have to be an ass about it. ”

  “And you don’t have to be so naïve,” he retorts.

  I glare at him, rising from my chair, fully prepared to run off and go there myself. He snags my wrist, though, and pulls me back down.
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  “I’m sorry,” he says, releasing my arm. “I just worry about you. ”

  “I know you do,” I tell him. “But you have to stop. You make things so difficult sometimes. ”

  He rakes his hands through his disheveled hair. “That’s because I love you and the idea of anything happening to you scares the shit out of me. ”

  My lips part and I’m about to tell him I love him, too, however, like I’ve said a million times, he needs to stop worrying, except I’m interrupted by a knock on the front door.

  The four of us glance around at each other with baffled expressions on our faces. Nobody ever comes to the castle—at least, not anyone good.

  “Who the hell could that be,” Laylen mutters under his breath as he pushes away from the table. Evan follows his lead and I start to get up when Alex grabs my arm.

  “Stay here,” he instructs, then surprises me when he stays with me.

  Laylen and Evan disappear into the hall and, moments later, we hear the sound of voices. I tap my fingers on top of the table, anxiously wondering who’s out there.

  Alex squeezes my leg gently. “Relax. I don’t think it’s anything bad. It’s too quiet. ”

  He’s right, but I’m still edgy. I hear the front door close and the shuffling of feet heading down the hallway towards us. There are no loud bangs, or screams, and I start to relax.

  I look at Alex. “I guess you were…” I trail off at the sight of him.

  He’s staring at the doorway, with his eye enlarged, and his skin has gone deathly pale. “Dammit. ”

  I track the line of his gaze to Laylen and Evan and some strange man is with them. His dark hair matches his black eyes and his skin is as white as a lily and equally as beautiful. His lips are a deep red, like they’re stained with blood. He’s wearing a black buttoned shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, black jeans, and black boots.

  “Is he a Vampire?” I whisper to Alex, leaning over the table towards him.

  He shakes his head, not taking his eyes off the man. “Nope, he’s something worse. ”

  Something worse? I gape at the man as he enters the room.

  His eyes are on us and, when he sees Alex, a malicious smile rises on his face. Using long and very deliberate strides, the man makes his way towards us. Tension fills the air, more and more, the closer he gets. Alex looks sick, but he keeps his head up, his chin raised high with confidence and his shoulders squared.

  “Alex, who is he?” I hiss, starting to panic when Laylen and Evan hover in the corner, like they’re afraid for their lives.

  Alex takes my hand from underneath the table and I can feel his erratic pulse through his fingertips. “Draven, Lord of the Afterlife. ”

  “Lord of the Afterlife? What?” I’m confused and fear rushes through me. “Why is he here? Is he working for Helena?”

  “Nope,” Alex says with a simple shake of his head. “He’s here for me. ”

  Chapter 19

 
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