The lost soul, p.20
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       The Lost Soul, p.20

         Part #1 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
Page 20


  I fix my gaze on him. “Do you have multiple identities? Or just multiple personalities?”

  “There’s that twisted sense of humor again. ” He pauses, but only to taunt me. “I’m only half-fey, remember? I barely possess any of their power. ”

  I roll my eyes. “Yet, supposedly your grandmother’s the Empress. ”

  He slams to a halt, snagging the sleeve of my shirt. “Out of everyone in your little ‘click’,” he uses air quotes, “I’d think you’d be the most sympathetic to my situation. The outcast that no one wants—or wanted in your case because you were lucky. ”

  “I—I’m…” I don’t know what to say. I huff out a breath, blowing my hair from my face. “Look, I’m sorry, okay. But you do things sometimes that,” I motion my hand between us, deliberating the right words, “drive me absolutely crazy. ”

  He tugs at my hair and I flinch back. “What fun would it be if I didn’t?”

  I start through the trees again. “Can you please tell me what you know? Please?”

  He moves like the wind, catching up with me. “You know Helena is related to Annabella? That they are sisters?”

  “And that Lucinda is their sister as well,” I say, nodding.

  He bends a branch out of the path and I hurry through. “Yes, but do you know about their rivalry?”

  I waver my hand. “Vaguely. I recently… paid a little visit to The Underworld where Lucinda revealed this little bit of info. ”

  He creases his eyebrows. “You paid a visit?”

  “Paid a visit—was forced against my will. It’s all the same. ” I swivel around a blooming row of crimson tulips. “I don’t know why you’re surprised. Stuff like that and I go hand-in-hand. ”

  “But they stole you,” he says, watching me like a hawk. “Without the ash?”

  “I never said there wasn’t ash,” I tell him, evading the truth because… well, because he’s himself.

  He clasps the hem of my shirt, guiding me closer to him. I start to pull away when a gigantic faerie with diamond wings and sapphire eyes bursts through the trees.

  “Keep walking and look straight ahead,” Nicholas directs.

  I hold my breath and pick up the pace. The Fey’s massive feet smash the dirt, flattening the leaves and flowers into the ground like pancakes. The movement vibrates on my skin and I run. Finally we push through the end of the forest, into an open area bordered by tall shrubbery. In the center, a stone water fountain dances water down into a pool. It’s shaped like an angelic faerie, her head tipped down, thin wings ranging from her back.

  “What was that thing?” I breathe as I stare back into the forest.

  “It’s a faerie. ” Nicholas shrugs. “I already told you we come in all different shapes and sizes. ”

  I catch my breath and sit at the edge of the fountain. “So what was—is the three Queens rivalry about?”

  He joins me at the fountain and swirls the water with his fingertips. “Love. ”

  My jaw drops as I stutter for words. “H-huh?”

  “What? You thought it was going to be something petty like power or world domination. ” He laughs half-heartedly. “Not this time, Gemma. Nope, this time it’s about something deeper. ”

  I scratch at the star on my wrist, thinking of Alex. “So how do I play a part in their love rivalry?”

  “Because you are love,” he says simply. “You and that Keeper with the stupid hair…” He taps his finger on his lips. “I forget his name. ”

  I elbow him. “Alex and I don’t represent love. We’re just in love. That’s all. ”

  His eyes grow cold. “Yes, but your little soul thing makes you a powerful representation of love. ”

  “But you just said it wasn’t about power. ” I frown.

  He shakes his head. “No, I said their rival with each other wasn’t about power, but now they’re all just pissed and want to take over the Human World. Or at least Helena does. ”

  “Why the Human World? What did the humans ever do to them?”

  “We stole their love,” he says. “Or rather Alexander Avery did. ”

  “Alex had nothing to do with this!” I shout. “He—he would have told me. ”

  Nicholas rolls his eyes. “Not that Alex. God, do you really think someone like him could charm three very powerful faeries?”

  I pull a disgusted face. “I sure hope not, especially Helena. ”

  He stifles a smile. “It was his great, great, great—well, I don’t know how many greats there are since it happened a heck of a long time ago. Nonetheless, it was his grandfather from a ridiculously long time ago. ”

  “So Alex’s grandfather stole their love?” I think of the story Alex told to Lucinda and wonder if he knew already. “From all three of the queens? How is that possible? He was a mortal man going up against immortal queens. "

  “Love is very powerful. You should know that. ” He jabs me playfully in the ribs with his elbow. “Besides, who says they didn’t punish him?”

  “Are you saying they did?”

  “No one knows for sure. After he broke all their hearts, he vanished into thin air. But if I had to guess, one of them probably did something to him. ”

  “Well, judging by Lucinda’s reaction when Alex mentioned this story, I’m guessing it was her. ”

  “It’s funny Alex has the balls to bring up the story, since he’s so much like his distant grandfather,” Nicholas muses. “I mean to bind your love with three different faeries. . . it must really take a lot. ”

  “Alex didn’t bind his love to anyone but me,” I say. “So they’re nothing alike. ”

  “You’re right. ” He presses a smirk. “He only manipulated two people; a star and death girl. Well, manipulate might be a bit of an understatement. ”

  I choke on the emotions bursting through my veins and slicing at my heart. “You’re full of shit. ” I shove to my feet and march for the forest, not wanting to hear any more of his lies.

  He darts in front of me. “You might want to hear me out before you go storming off. ”

  I cross my arms and back away. “No. I don’t want to hear any more lies. Alex didn’t promise anything to Stasha. I know he didn’t—wouldn’t. ” But my dream echoes through my head: Our promise. I broke it.

  He gives me a sympathetic pat. “It’s really cute that you believe that, but you might want to see something, before you go all defensive for someone who doesn’t deserve it. ”

  I suck back the tears, refusing to show weakness. “You’re lying and whatever you’re going to show me, I know it’s just more lies. ” I spin on my heels and stomp away.

  “I can give you your Foreseer power back,” he calls out. “And you can see it for yourself—Alex making the promise. ”

  I freeze, not turning around. “How?”

  “You’re going to have to trust me,” he says.

  I laugh sharply. “Fat chance that’ll happen. ”

  “Then go. Go free your lover and live happily ever after in your delusional world built on lies. ”

  I deliberate my options. Leave or go with him. I’m uncertain which one pulls me back; getting my Foreseer power back or the need to know that Alex is mine.

  “Fine. ” Lowering my arms, I face him. “How do I get my power back?”

  He smiles and offers his hand. “If you want your power back, you’re going to have to come with me. ”

  I sigh, knowing the decision will come back and bite me in the ass. I take his hand. He retrieves a small crystal ball from his pocket. Through the glass, water bubbles and lavender ribbons pirouette.

  “They’re bite-size now?” I touch the smooth glass of the crystal.

  “Yep, the Foreseers are upgrading in the world. ” He clutches the crystal. “Hold on tight. ”

  In a heartbeat, I’m gone, blowing in the wind like a helpless leaf heading to the unknown.

  Chapter 17

  We disembark in the middle of a field. Immediate
ly, I jump away from him.

  “A new trick of yours?” My shoes crunch the dry grass as I spin. Leafless trees soar to the clear blue sky and the lake waves the line of the sandy shore. “You brought me to the Keepers’ castle?”

  He holds up a finger and takes my hand. “We’re not in current time, if that’s what you’re thinking. ” He steers me past the lake and into the forest. “We’re in the past. A few years in the past actually. ”

  I stumble over rocks and sticks. “Does this have to do with my Foreseer’s mark or…”

  “Or Alex cheating on you?” He swats low branches out of the way.

  “He didn’t cheat on me,” I retort. “I knew he dated Stasha. And besides, it’s was a long time ago. ”

  “Yeah, but you didn’t know he made a promise that connected his soul to hers. ”

  I pin my lips together, inhaling through my nose. “He didn’t do that—he wouldn’t do that. ”

  “I can tell you don’t completely believe that,” he says. “There’s something in your voice, maybe sadness. ” He swerves us to the right of a pebbly hill, concealing us behind it. “Tell me Gemma. What have you seen?”

  “Nothing. ” I look away at the trees, the wind blowing through my hair. I can’t focus on anything else, besides my latest dream. Alex said he broke our promise. He went with Stasha. What if he was trying to tell me something? “Is it possible I still might be seeing visions even though my power’s gone?” I meet his eyes.

  “I would say no,” he says. “But with you everything works differently, or so it seems. ” He traces his finger over the circle encompassing “S” on his wrist. “Why? Do you think you’ve been seeing visions?”

  “I’m not sure what I’m seeing. ” I attempt to slip my hand from his. “It doesn’t feel like a vision, almost like it’s really happening to me. ”

  “It’s a dream with Alex,” he assumes, clutching my hand.

  Reluctantly, I nod. “I had it once, right after he was taken away by an unknown person. Although, I think it’s Helena who took him. ”

  His gaze darts around and he shakes his head once. “Not quite, but close. ”

  “You know who it is?” My eyes roam the trees, the sunlight spilling through the gaps in the leaves. “And what are you looking for?”

  He stops near the hill and frees my hand. He points a finger at a violet bush, sheltering a small hole burrowing into the hillside.

  I shake my head incredulity. “How did you know this was here?”

  “That’s beside the point,” he answers, giving me a rough shove toward the hill. “Now go look. Your special secret hideout isn’t as special as you think. ”

  My feet stick to the muddy ground as I stare at Alex and mine’s childhood hideout. “You’re lying. He wouldn’t. I know he wouldn’t. ”