Fractured souls, p.21
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       Fractured Souls, p.21

         Part #2 of Shattered Promises series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 21

  “Well, that was smooth,” I say, staring down at him with my hands on my hips.

  He glares at me, opening his mouth as he gets to his feet, but I hold my finger up as someone walks into the cave.

  Her head is hung low, her brown hair tied in a bun on the top of her head, and she’s wearing ratty pants with a t-shirt. She walks up to the throne and starts dusting it off with a white cloth. As she glances up, I catch the sight of her bright blue eyes. It’s my mother.

  I gasp. “Oh my God. ”

  Nicholas brushes the dirt form his jeans as he steps up beside me. “What is it?”

  “My mom,” I whisper, inching forward.

  Moments later another woman enters the cave. She’s wearing a long, elegant, white dress and her eyes are two sunken holes. Her frosty hair veils down her back and she holds her head high as she crosses the cave floor

  My mom bows as she walks by her, and then backs away as the woman sinks into her throne. She has to be the Queen of The Underworld.

  “Where are they?” The Queen’s voice echoes out.

  “I think Sarabella is bringing them in,” my mom answers quietly with her head still bowed as she stands in front of the throne.

  The Queen stares at the arched entryway of the cave. “Does anyone know why they’re here?”

  My mother shakes her head. “They haven’t said anything yet. ”

  Nicholas taps me on the shoulder, and demands for me to take us away, but I disregard him, my eyes are glued to the vision unfolding in front of me. When does this vision take place?

  Another scream rings out and then a tall, thin-framed woman with the same frosted hair and pale skin as the Queen, strides into the cave accompanied by a tall, lean guy with messy brown hair and green eyes. On the other side of her is a brown haired, violet eyed me.

  “Alex and me…” I gape. “What the hell?”

  Alex remains close to me as we follow the woman across the cave and to the throne.

  “Thank you, Sarabella,” the Queen says.

  Sarabella smiles, her mouth a toothless hole. “You’re welcome my Queen,” she breathes, and then sweeps the tail of her white dress across the floor before she turns around, exiting the cave.

  The Queen taps her fingers together, her eyes secured on Alex and me, her mouth set firmly in a line. “So, you two are the humans who dared to enter my world without my permission. ” Alex starts to speak, but the Queen holds up her hand. “Silence. I do not want to hear your excuses. All that’s important is that there are going to be consequences for what you’ve done. ” She glances us over. “You look familiar,” the Queen remarks to Alex. “Have you been here before?”

  Alex shakes his head and intertwines his fingers through mine. “I haven’t. ”

  “Are you sure?” The Queen’s empty gaze bores into Alex. “There’s something about you that’s so…familiar. ”

  Alex shakes his head again. “I swear, I’ve never been here before. ”

  “Tell me then, why you’ve entered my world?” she asks.

  My mother steps out from behind the throne and the vision version of me smiles, my violet eyes lighting up with excitement.

  “For her,” Alex tells the Queen, giving a nod at my mother.

  My mother stares robotically at us. “I have no idea who they are, my Queen. ”

  “She doesn’t know who you are,” the Queen says with a grin.

  “That doesn’t matter. ” Alex steps forward, pulling me with him. “We need to take her. ”

  “That’s impossible,” the Queen roars, hammering her fist on the armrest of the throne. The ceiling shakes from the bellowing sound and pieces of loose rock fall to the ground. “No one ever leaves The Underworld. Ever! Something you probably should have considered before you entered here. ”

  “We entered here in a way that you have no control over whether we get to leave or not,” Alex says with an arrogant grin.

  “You better watch your tone, boy,” the Queen warns, leaning forward in the throne. “I’ve cut off the tongues of those who dared show such disrespect to me. ” But then her grin fades. “Which one of you is the Foreseer?”

  “What do you mean?” Alex asks, discretely inching himself in front of me to block me out of the Queens restless gaze.

  “Don’t play stupid with me, boy. The only way you could enter my world and still get out is by entering with the Ira, something that can only be used by a Foreseer. So, is it you? Or is it her?” The Queen’s gaze lands on the vision version of me. “Tell me, girl, what is your name?”

  “Gemma,” I tell her in a surprisingly confident tone as I step forward.

  “Gemma, would you please explain to me what your interest in this woman is?” She gestures her hand at my mother who’s knelt down on the ground.

  “She’s…” she trails off. “We just know her,”

  She glances at my mother. “Why would I let you take my best slave? Are you really that stupid? Did you really think you could simply walk in here and persuade me to hand over someone because you know her?”

  Alex reaches in the pocket of his jeans and retrieves a sparkly blue object. I shuffle forward into the cave, squinting to see what it is. I need to find out so that Alex and I can come do this exact same thing and free my mother, which is hopefully the end to this vision.

  It’s sparkling blue and I’ve seen it before… somewhere. Oh my God. I saw it in the mysterious hideout. I was holding a large, sapphire gem and Alex took it from me and tossed in into a trunk. Is that what I need? When I come here to save her?

  I’m waiting to find out when Nicholas lurches up behind me and shoves me against the wall, his fingers wrapping around my throat. I’d almost forgotten he was there and he takes me completely off guard.

  “Take me back,” he demands, leaning into my face as his nails cut through my neck. “Or I’ll kill you where you stand. ”

  “Let me go,” I choke as I shove my hands against Nicholas’s chest, but it barely fazes him. I try to glance into the cave, but he tightens his grip and my air supply is nearly cut off.

  “Take. Us. Back. ” He demands. “I swear to God, Gemma, if you don’t, I’ll kill you. ”

  Determined to win, I hold on for as long as I can, trying to watch what’s going on in the cave, knowing that I’m missing something important. As my vision starts to spot and I can feel myself verging to the point of blacking out and probably dying, I give up and blink us away, knowing there’s a good chance I’ll never find out how it ends until I have to go through it in reality.

  Whether we’re able to free my mother or not will have to remain a mystery till then.

  Chapter 15

  As soon as we land in Adessa’s living room, I take off in a mad sprint toward the doorway, but Nicholas grabs onto the back of my shirt and jerks me back. The force gives me whiplash and I trip backwards, landing on the floor hard.

  “Don’t even think about it,” Nicholas breathes hotly as he lowers himself down on top of me, trapping me on the floor beneath his body. “You aren’t going anywhere until we get something straight. ”

  I open my mouth to scream as I buck my body beneath his weight, but he slaps his hand down on my mouth and places his arm over my neck so my airflow is limited. I raise my arm up and elbow him in the ribs, yet he only laughs.

  “Nice try,” he says, bending down to bring his face closer to mine “But it’s going to take a lot more effort than that. ”

  “I hate you! You’re a liar and the cruelest person I know!” I attempt to scream against his hand as I lift my leg managing to kick him pretty hard in the shin.

  “I’ll take that as a compliment. ” He releases his arm from my neck, infuriated, and slaps a hand across my cheek. My skin stings and my ears ring while he grins wickedly. “I don’t know about you, but I could do this all day,” he says. “In fact, I think I might take you back home with me and tie you to the bed for a while. ” He presses his nose to my cheek and smil
es at me. “God, the things I could do to you. ”

  Panicking, I bite down on his hand, sinking my teeth into his clammy skin. He lets out a high-pitched shriek and his grip loosens enough to allow me to get my leg up a little and I quickly knee him between the legs as hard as I can. He cries out in pain, his face reddening as he falls to the side, grabbing his manly parts.

  I slip out from under him and run for the doorway. “Laylen!” I shout.

  Nicholas staggers to his feet and chases after me. I feel his fingers graze my back right as I step up the stairs and then suddenly he’s wrenching me back toward him again by the back of my shirt. I fall on my knees on the first stair and slam my head against the wooden step.

  “Help!” I scream, clawing my way away from him as my head throbs. “Goddammit let me go!”

  Laylen appears at the bottom step as if out of thin air. He takes one quick look at Nicholas lying on top of me as I try to crawl my way up the stairs and grabs Nicholas by the back of the neck, prying him off me. I skitter to the side of the banister as Laylen shoves Nicholas down to the floor on his back.

  “If you ever touch her again,” Laylen stands over him, “I’ll fucking break your legs off. ”

  I could hug Laylen right now and maybe in a few minutes I will. I work to catch my breath as I cup the bottom of my neck that I’m sure is going to have fingertip sized bruises on it when morning rolls around.

  “Are you okay?” Laylen glances over my body, shaking his head at the wounds on my neck.

  I nod, rubbing my cheek that Nicolas slapped. “Yeah, I think so. ”

  “I’m going to fucking kill him,” Laylen says when he sees my swollen cheek, and then he turns back to Nicholas.

  As Laylen reaches for Nicholas he rolls to the side and hops to his feet before running into the living room. He stands in the corner, putting the crystal ball into his pocket.

  “Don’t you even think about it!" Laylen runs for him, knocking over the sofa as he leaps over it.

  Laylen lands only feet away from him, Nicholas winks at me, and then evaporates from the living room, taking the Ira and my ticket to The Underworld—and my mother—with him.

  Chapter 16

  After Nicholas leaves with the Ira, Laylen makes us some coffee and we sit down in the kitchen while I explain to him in detail what happened, not just with the vision, but how Nicholas isn’t even supposed to be in The Underworld and he was pretty much playing us all along for God knows what reason.

  “I still can’t believe it,” Laylen mumbles, shaking his head. “Why would he go through all that trouble to hang around here if he was never planning on taking you there? It’s such a waste of time. ”

  “Well, he did get that invisibility powder stuff out of it, but still… he got that in the beginning so why stick around?” I shake my head, feeling so Goddamn frustrated and powerless. My head and cheek are swollen, and I’m so damn jittery it’s ridiculous. “And I never got the Ira… yet I know we get in there somehow…. I saw Alex and myself in The Underworld trying to save my mom, so there’s got to be a way to do it. ”