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The Fallen Star (Fallen Star Series Book 1), Page 24

Jessica Sorensen
I stayed behind the divider for what felt like an eternity. I swear the world could have been ending and I wouldn’t have known; the room was too dark and quiet to get any kind of sense of what was going on.

  All I had were my thoughts to pass the time. They brought me no sense of comfort whatsoever. All I kept thinking about was how Alex had said to wait here until I knew it was safe, but he never mentioned anything about coming back. So what did that mean? That he wasn’t coming back?

  I was so going to throw up.

  Plus, I wasn’t exactly sure how I was supposed to know when it was safe enough for me to come out. So I did the only thing I could think of doing. I waited until I felt like I was going to burst—until I couldn’t take it any longer—and then I made up my mind that it was time to step out from behind that divider.

  I crept to the edge of it, my adrenaline pounding at such a rate that it just about knocked me to the ground. I paused, taking a deep breath, and…1…2…Bam! The lights flipped on. And before I even had time to react, fog was swirling all around me. I panicked. What was I supposed to do?

  Holding my breath, I backed away from the edge of the divider. Logically, the best thing to do would be to stay calm, analyze the situation, and make a plan. But how the heck was I supposed to stay calm when there was fog everywhere, clouding everything, including my brain? So instead I freaked and jumped out from behind the divider, preparing to run. I quickly realized just how big of a mistake I made. I couldn’t see anything but fog. It was like being in a haunted house on Halloween. The only thing missing was the strobe lights.

  Okay, okay, think. I searched the room for any sign of yellow eyes. When I didn’t see any sign of them, it opened up a tiny glimpse of hope, and I bolted in the direction of what I prayed was the door. Bumping my knee on the dresser and catching the tip of my shoe on the leg of the bed, I finally touched the wall with the palm of hand. I felt around for the door, the chill of the fog seeping into my bones.

  I found the bulge of the board trimming the doorway, and a rush of excitement charged through me. I reached for where the doorknob should be, but instead of touching metal, my fingers touched fabric. Ice-cold fabric. I looked up and found a pair of glowing, soulless eyes staring down at me.

  I was so dead.

  I gaped at the murderous monster, frozen with terror, unable to move. Its eyes burned into me like they were trying to burn into my soul. I needed to go. I needed to move away from it. I willed my legs to move and staggered backward until the backs of my legs pressed into the side of the bed. I skittered around it and inched back into farthest corner, putting as much distance as I could between me and the Death Walker.

  The fog opened up, creating a hollow tunnel between the Death Walker and me. I waited for it to charge, but it just towered in the doorway, its eyes blazing yellow from beneath its black hooded, ankle-length cloak. It was the first time I ever saw one up close, and I instantly wished I could erase the sight from my mind. Its long, bony fingers stuck out from the sleeves of its cloak. The corpse-like skin that covered its hands almost made me gag. The face looked like it was rotting, the flesh peeling away, revealing bits of raw muscles and jagged bones.

  I pressed my back against the wall, wanting to get as far away as I could from the hideous thing. I let out a shiver, longing to disappear, wishing to be anywhere else but here.

  The Death Walker’s eyes fired up to a bright gold, and it opened its mouth and let out a screech that sounded like a dying animal.

  Then it charged.

  I screamed as I realized I should’ve never trapped myself in a corner. I was such a goner. There was nothing I could do but wait for it to kill me.

  Trembling with fear, I sank to the floor, catching one last glimpse of those haunting yellow eyes before I closed my own. I hugged my knees to my chest and waited for the cold to suck the life out of me. This was the end of me.

  I wished I had been able to live a less lonely life.

  A loud bang, followed by a shriek, and then something fell, hitting the floor with a heavy thud.

  Buzzing filled my head as I cracked open my eyelids. I let out a gasp. Sprawled out on the floor, just in front of my feet, was the Death Walker, either unconscious or dead—I couldn’t tell since it looked dead even when it was alive.

  “Gemma, are you okay?”

  I raised my chin and met Alex’s bright green eyes. I nodded. My throat felt as dry as the desert air, and I swallowed hard, trying to hydrate it enough so I could form some sort of words. “Yeah.”

  Alex hopped over the body of the Death Walker and extended his hand out to me. I took it, catching my breath at the sight of the bluish-purple shade my skin had taken on.

  “Don’t panic.” Alex wrapped his hand around mine and pulled me to my feet. His skin was so warm it burned against my overly chilled skin. He kept a hold of my hand and began rubbing it in attempt to create friction and bring warmth. Then he took my other hand, pressed my palms together, and cupped his hands around mine.

  “It’ll be okay,” he said, and breathed on my hands, deluging my skin with warmth.

  “Why does it always happen to my hands?” I asked, my body shaking from the cold that still lingered in the air. Or maybe it was from my nerves.

  “It’s where you lose your circulation first,” Alex explained with another breath. “The Death Walker’s cold works the same way as normal cold air does. It starts at your fingers and toes, and works its way up. The only difference is theirs works much quicker.”

  “Toes?” I flitted a glance down at my DCs, frightened at the idea of what was in them. Purple and blue toes? Toes that would need to be amputated?

  I really wanted to keep my toes.

  “You’ll be fine,” Alex assured me. “Let’s just get you to the car.” He breathed one last breath on my hands, and then let them go. Then he yanked the Sword of Immortality out of the Death Walker’s back. The jagged blade was covered in sticky black goo—the Death Walker’s blood, I assumed.

  “Where did you get that?” I asked.

  “Laylen and Aislin. They’re pulling the car around right now so we can get out of here.” He wiped the blade on the cloak of the Death Walker, cleaning off the goo. Then he held out his hand to me. “Come on.”

  I took his hand, trying to ignore the flutter in my heart. “What about the other Death Walkers?”

  “They’re dead.”

  I tried my best not to look at the foul creature as I stepped over its body, but I still caught a hint of its rotting face and felt my stomach churn. “You killed all of them?”

  “There were only two.” He pulled me toward the door. “And this—” he lifted the sword into the air— “makes killing them easy.”

  I followed Alex down the hall, my legs shaking the whole time. I think I entered some kind of state of shock or something. My body felt numb and strange, and the way the world swayed in beautiful bright colors and shapes wasn’t normal. To be honest, I barely remember making it to the car. But somehow, a little while later, I was sitting in the back seat of Laylen’s GTO with the warmth of the heater blasting across my skin, and the sound of tires screeching as we peeled away from the Black Dungeon.

  Chapter 20