The promise, p.17
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       The Promise, p.17

         Part #4 of Fallen Star series by Jessica Sorensen
 
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Page 17

 

  I m coming to look for you.

  She thought this was funny for some reason.

  I ll be back sooner than that.

  Then she poofed away and it was just me and my empty house. For some reason I felt like I was back to square one, that I drifted back through time, to the old Gemma life. Only I had wings and was wearing a stupid leather dress and high-heeled boots.

  I got up, deciding to scrounge through Marco and Sophia s room, for no reason other than I was bored. I flipped open the trunk and took out the photo s Sophia kept, wishing that I belonged in them even just one. But every photo had the same similarity none of them included me.

  I pried out the bottom board and looked at my birth certificate. I thought of my father, trapped in his own mind, perhaps with the Death Walkers. Then my mother snuck into my thoughts; a life spent in The Underworld something she did to herself. And now she was dead. Another thing done by her own hand.

  Mom,

  I called out to the empty room, but only my heart answered me. I tore the certificate up into tiny pieces and watched them float to the carpet. If I survived this, I would no longer be this girl. If I survived this, I would finally start my life.

  I curled up in a ball, domed my wings around me, and cried in the silence of my own shell.

  Chapter 30

  (Alex)

  It felt like I d taken a giant step backward. I was back in the City of Crystal and honestly, I was hoping I d never have to come back here again. Being strapped to that enormous fire ball was more painful than getting stabbed in the arm with a knife.

  I d never been a fan of the City of Crystal. The crystal walls and ceiling made it feel like I was trapped in an ice cave. Then, of course there was Dyvinius. He creeped me out. I mean, the guy knew everything; what would happen with our lives, when we would die.

  I suddenly had this urge to make a right instead of a left and head over the bridge, through the silver doors, to Dyvinius and demand to know if we made it if Gemma and I would live. But instead I made a left, followed Nicholas up the crystal path, and to the door that sealed the crystal ball.

  So we re back here again,

  Laylen commented as Nicholas opened the door.

  I was actually hoping we d never have to come back.

  Me too, man.

  I stepped inside, glancing around, trying to disregard the energy flowing from the ball.

  Why s she even here?

  Who?

  Nicholas asked.

  Oh, you mean your mother.

  I rolled my eyes.

  Who else would I be talking about?

  Nicholas strolled up to the crystal and stared at the bodies, lifeless, chained, barely even human.

  It really is a fascinating thing,

  he observed.

  Drain the life of humans, to feed the crystal.

  It s a pointless sacrifice,

  I said, blinded by the blue glow.

  No one needs to see what happens in the future. If it hadn t been for a Foreseer, we wouldn t even be in this mess.

  He rattled the chains tied to one of the bodies.

  Oh your father would have found another way.

  No, he wouldn t,

  I said, my eyes hunting for my mother

  Because he d never found out about the star to begin with. It was a Foreseer that told him.

  Hmmm &

  Nicholas tapped his lip.

  It really does sound kind of pointless. Perhaps one day someone will free all of them and destroy it.

  So where s your mom?

  Laylen asked, staring at the bodies implanted with tubes. He leaned forward, getting a closer look.

  It s hard to tell who they are.

  I shrugged, heading to the left of the crystal.

  You wanna take the right?

  Laylen nodded and disappeared around the other side.

  What about me?

  Nicholas yelled.

  Do whatever the hell you want.

  I called over my shoulder. My eyes scanned each person, questioning if Nicholas was just full of it, or if this was just another one of his games.

  When we were kids he used to pull crap like this all the time. I d always hated when he d visit the Keepers castle. Everything was a joke to him and he d constantly tease Gemma. There was this one specific time where he almost convinced her to go swimming in the lake. That s when I lost it and made a plan to get rid of him. Gemma and I had stolen the Cruciatus diamond the Queen of The Underworld s diamond, and when my father went looking for it, I d blamed it on Nicholas. My father was so furious he never let Nicholas back into the castle.

  And he had been holding a grudge against me ever since. But it was a mutual feeling.

  I was about to give up on my searched and leave, when I thought I spotted her. It was hard to tell for sure because it had been so long since I d last seen her. Her skin was much paler, her dark hair thin, and her head hung lifelessly. I quickly yanked out the tubes and snapped the chains, supporting her weight as she slumped against me.

  Her eyes opened and I knew this time without a second guess that she was my mother.

  Is it time?

  I assumed she was delusional.

  I ll get you out of here. Just hang on.

  She clutched onto my arm, her hands bleeding from the tubes.

  But it s time right? Time to take Gemma to the Afterlife?

  I almost dropped her on the floor.

  You know about that? How?

  Of course I know about that,

  she said weakly.

  That s what I ve been waiting for.

  Laylen came running over and flopped her other arm around his neck. Then we lead her to the front of the crystal.

  Alana,

  Nicholas said, nodding his head.

  Are you ready to go?

  I glared at Nicholas.

  How long have you known she was here?

  Since I died.

  He answered with a shrugged.

  Because that s when you were supposed to know,

  my mother said wearily.

  Now can we go?

  I balanced my mom and we followed Nicholas. Her feet dragged across the crystal floor, like she was barely alive. Once we got far enough down the hallway, Nicholas took out his little traveling ball.

  He raised his eyebrows.

  Do I need to ask where we re going?

  You already know,

  my mother said.

  To Gemma. Take us to Gemma.

  I wasn t sure what she knew, but I wasn t going to pry until we were far away from faerie boy.

  Laylen went through the crystal first. Then my mother took her turn and I followed, wishing that was it.

  Finally,

  Nicholas said, dropping into the living room. He put the crystal away and dusted off his hands.

  My work is done.

  My mother lowered herself into the couch.

  Would anyone mind getting me a drink of water?

  I started for the kitchen, but Laylen cut me off.

  I got it. You should stay here.

  Thanks.

  I sat down on the couch, cracking my knuckles.

  Alex relax,

  she said, patting my hand.

  This is how it s supposed to be.

  Why were you down there?

  I asked.

  Because it s where I was supposed to be,

  she explained, cleaning some blood off her arm.

  Waiting for the day you came to find me, so I could take Gemma to the Afterlife.

  I hated being out of the loop, but with this I definitely was.

  But how did you know that s what you re supposed to do? It just doesn t & it doesn t make any sense to me.

  It doesn t have to make sense to you.

  She rested back and her eyes drifted shut.

  It just has to happen. It s the way it works, Alex.
Everything that s happening is because of the vision.

  I ran my hands through my hair and grinded my teeth.

  Why does it always come back to the visions?

  Because it has to.

  She sighed.

  Visions are our pathways through life. And there had to be one told where we all ended up here, at this very moment, otherwise we wouldn t be here.

  I have no idea what you re trying to say,

  I said.

  I mean first we re told that a vision was tampered with and Gemma needed to fix it. And now you re saying that a vision led us all here.

  Because it did,

  she said.

  There isn t just one soul vision. If there hadn t been another one, Gemma would have never changed Julian s mistake.

  So what? Some Foreseer just went and found a vision where it would all work out.

  Kind of.

  She yawned and opened her eyes.

  I scratched my head.

  It still doesn t really make sense.

  Not everything does.

  She sighed.

  Life is very confusing and sometimes things happen that don t make sense.

  I eyed her over, her cut skin, her worn-out eyes.

  Are you a Banshee?

  I have to be so I could take Gemma to the Afterlife when the time was right,

  she said.

  I think you ll agree with me that no Banshee is going to let anyone cross over without collecting something for themselves?

  But why the City of Crystal?

  I asked.

  I mean, what the heck did you do to end up down there?

  I didn t do anything. I was hiding, I knew your father would never come looking for me there and no Foreseer would see me there. It was my safe place, so I could still be here when the time was right.

  But how do you know all this?

  How does anyone know anything about the future?

  Foreseers. Always Foreseers.

  Okay, so answer this question.

  I leaned back against the arm rest.

  Why Gemma? Why does it always have to be her?

  I already told you why,

  she said impatiently.

  It was all part of the vision to save the world. She s the one whose soul was detached, the one with the Foreseer power, the one who changed the vision back, the one who will go to the Afterlife and free the souls that died during this massacre.

  She let out a breath.

  Then she ll go with you to the lake and kill the star. The portal won t open; Stephan, Demetrius, and all the Death Walkers will be killed. And life will go on.

  And what about me?

  My voice was sharp over her casual attitude.

  What s my purpose?

  To protect her, to carry the other half of the star, to be there for her to be her other half.

  But I wasn t there for her,

  I snapped.

  Not when she really needed me.

  I jumped to my feet, my temper fuming.

  And this is such bull. You sit there and say all this like it was her destiny. You knew, so why not just stop it.

  Her father knew, but he d already learned the hard way that you can t play with life,

  she said, her voice softening.

  You can shift the future however you want it.

  This isn t fair.

  I shook my head.

  There s got to be a way around it.

  There is no other way. The portal is opening, unless the star dies.

  I stopped breathing.

  What?

  She stood, her legs unsteady.

  Have you ever wondered why Stephan was so focused on you two, but not Aislin, Laylen and Aleesa? Because their part wasn t as important. Malefiscus has the power of the star in him too.

  I shook my head like a moron who didn t want to believe what was right in front of his eyes.

  Alex,

  she said.

  There are three ways this could go. Either Stephan can bleed you two out, mix you re blood with Laylen, Aislin, and Aleesa, and free everything inside that portal. Or you can run and hide, let the portal touch down, Malefiscus will be trapped, but every Death Walker that s ever existed will come out. Or you can destroy the star, destroy Malefiscus, and destroy the portal all at once.

  This is & this is.

  I was too frustrated for words.

  So what you re basically saying is no matter what, the portal s going to open.

  But if you destroy the star, just like Gemma saw you do, then with Malefiscus inside it there will be enough energy to end everything, including Stephan and Demetrius and every Death Walker.

  This isn t fair.

 
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