The lost soul, p.26
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       The Lost Soul, p.26

         Part #1 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
Page 26


  Because it makes him easier to control.

  Chapter 22

  We’re lying on Stasha’s front lawn, watching the stars disappear as the sun climbs above the mountains.

  “So you thought coming here would force the Lost Soul out of me?” I ask. “Why?”

  His finger draws along the star on my wrist. “You forced the Lost Soul out of me with intense emotion, so I thought the same thing would work on you. ”

  I roll on my hip, facing him. “You couldn’t think of a better way?”

  “It’s the first thing I thought of when I ran out of the house. ” He shrugs, snuggling his body into mine. “I got in my car and drove straight here. ”

  “But Aislin tracked your car to the field,” I say. “She said your blood was everywhere. ”

  His forehead creases with honest mystification. “That wasn’t me Gemma. ” He points over his shoulder. “My car’s in the driveway. ”

  I stare at the outline of the cherry red Camaro. “I still can’t believe you came here. ”

  “I thought it would make you jealous,” he says remorsefully. “Just like you are every time we’re around Stasha. ”

  I glower. “Jealousy is a horrible emotion. ”

  “I had Nicholas plant some ideas into your head too, hoping you’d freak out, just like you are now. ” He gives a contrite kiss on my cheek. “I’m really sorry. ”

  “How did you make him plant ideas in my head?” I ask. “The only things that led me to believe something was going on with you two is from my dreams and a particularly painful vision. ”

  He scratches anxiously at his neck. “That serpent mark on the back of Nicholas’ neck isn’t what you think it is. ”

  “The Foreseers didn’t give it to him?”

  “No, they did. But it’s not just for creating snakes on your skin. He can invade your mind and make you see and believe things that aren’t real. ”

  “I’m going to wring his neck,” I declare, remembering the intimate thoughts I had about Nicholas. “He made me think I was losing my mind. ”

  He cocks an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”

  “Nothing. ” I wave him off and push to my feet. I extend my hand and help him up. “How did you get him to cooperate?”

  He dusts the grass off his jeans. “I’ve told you Gemma, he has a thing for you. ”

  “That’s the only reason he helped you?” I inquire. “Because he has a thing for me? Why am I not buying it?”

  Nicholas materializes in the front door. “Because I’m a manipulative jerk, who you think very lowly of. ”

  He struts down the stairs with a big smirk on his face. He catches me eyeing the bright red lipstick smearing his neckline. “Death Girl’s lips aren’t toxic, in case you were wondering. ”

  “I wasn’t. ” I observe Alex’s reaction from the corner of my eye. He looks like he doesn’t care at all. In fact, he appears to be relieved. I love the look. It makes me feel like I have his heart in the palm of my hand.

  “Shall we go?” Nicholas sticks out his elbow.

  I sigh, link my arm through his, and grab Alex’s hand.

  Alex slips his hand from mine. “We gotta take my car. I’m not leaving it here. ”

  Nicholas rolls his eyes. “You want me to ride in a car? How ridiculous. ”

  “You can do whatever you want. I only care about Gemma. ” He directs his attention to me. “Hold on a second. I left my keys on the table. ” He jogs up the stairs and vanishes inside.

  I lean toward Nicholas’ ear and lower my voice. “If you ever invade my mind again, I’ll rip out your soul and feed it to the Banshees. ”

  He jerks his head back, flabbergasted. “What did you say?”

  I put my finger to my lips. “Shhh… it’s our little secret. Because if you tell Alex, I will kill you. ”

  “Alright,” Alex says, arriving by my side. He pats his pocket. “I got my keys. Now let’s get out of here. ”

  I watch Nicholas like a dog eyeing a cat, making him fidget.

  “Alright, let’s go,” Nicholas mutters, stomping for the car.

  My lips curve into a grin. I snatch Alex’s hand and practically skip to the car. We peel down Stasha’s narrow driveway and a strange calming sensation devours me. I feel free, like I could conquer the world if I wanted to.

  And maybe I will.


  “What the hell happened?” Alex asks, dumbfounded.

  We’re standing in the Foyer, which hasn’t been cleaned up since the sprite brawl went down. The front door’s window is shattered, glass scattering the floor. The table beside the door is tipped over, one leg snapped off. The chandelier flickers, and the spot where it hooks into the ceiling is cracked.

  “We had a bit of a faerie problem,” I tell him, feeling like myself again. I’m not sure if it was the jealousy or my lengthy death, but for a moment I’d felt like the evil villain.

  Nicholas waves at us. “Well, I’m going to go. I’ve had about all of the Keeper drama I can handle for the day. ”

  “What about Aislin?” I ask. “You’re the only one who can bring her back. ”

  “I’ll go pick her up and drop her off,” he assures me, still jittery from my threat. “I’m keeping my distance for a while. I’ve told you everything you need to know about how to get your Foreseer power back, now you’re on your own. ”

  We let him walk out the door without a second glance. By the time the door slams shut, Alex has me in his arms, kissing and touching me passionately, wanting me so bad he can’t stand it.

  “Where’s Aislin?” he asks between gasps. “Where’s Nicholas bringing her back from?”

  I kiss him deeply, my tongue caressing his. I taste his love and apprehension and it flames my skin. “From the Foreseer holding cell. ”

  He pulls back quickly, leaving my lips hanging. “Why the hell is she there?”

  “Don’t worry. ” I smooth his worry line away with my thumb. “She’s fine. I had Nicholas put her there until she can regain her mentality. ” When he arches an eyebrow, I add, “When we were in the Faerie Realm, she put a spell on herself so Luna couldn’t force her to do a spell. ”

  “What kind of a spell?”

  “One that makes her stupid. ”

  A thousand comebacks track his expression, but he blinks them away. “Okay, I’m going to just let that one go. It’s too easy. ” He pauses. “And where’s Laylen?”

  My shoes crush the pieces of glass on the floor as I inch toward the stairway, pulling him with me. “Getting the Crystal of Limitation fixed. ” He reacts like I expected; his face enflaming, his shoulders stiffening, his gaze fierce. I put a finger across his lips. “Don’t worry. I don’t have my power back, so I can’t even use it yet. ” I omit my knowledge that I know how to get my power back.

  His shoulders relax. “I don’t want you to use that thing. I read in that Foreseer book of yours that it’s killed a ton of Foreseers because of its intense power. ”

  “You’ve been reading my book?” I back up the stairs, guiding him by the hands.

  “I wanted to learn more about who you are, and your power. ” He matches my steps. “You’re so… careless sometimes. I just worry about you. ”

  I reach the top of the stairway, my skin humming with an emotion I’ve never felt before. Boldly, I pull him to me and enfold my arms around his neck. “I missed you. ”

  “I missed you too. ” He rubs his lips together. The color has returned to his skin and his eyes are vibrant. “A lot. ”

  “Oh yeah?” I dare with an arch of my eyebrows. “How much?”

  “A lot, a lot. ” He embraces me and it’s just what I crave.

  His lips beckon me near, which I do. We melt into each other. He picks me up and I hitch my legs around him. He carries me down the hall and kicks his bedroom door open, his lips never leaving mine. My body steams and my insides tingle as we collapse on the bed. I find the hem of his shirt, my fi
ngers drafting the lines of his muscles. His lips are untamed against mine. A choking feeling seeps through my body and emotions creep up that make me uncomfortable. But I stifle the feeling and let go. I want more. His hands feel every part of me and he moans as his hand slides up my spine, bare skin against bare skin. He finds my Keeper’s mark and caresses the flames bordering the circle. I gasp as his lips suck the skin on the hollow of my neck. He sweeps my locket to the side and his mouth travels lower.

  “Alex. ” I gasp, not in objection, but in bliss.

  He pulls away, panting heavy breaths, caught in the intoxicating moment. “We should get some rest… it’s been a long couple of days. ”

  Conquer. Conquer. Conquer. “Not yet,” I beg. “I don’t want to stop. ” I press my legs against his hips. “Please. ”

  He sweeps pieces of my hair back and gently kisses my forehead. “We have time, Gemma. For all of this. But I don’t think now’s the right time. You were just pissed off at me for being with Stasha. You’re not thinking clearly. ”

  “I’m thinking clearer than I ever have,” I mumble, but he still slides off me.

  I glare at the ceiling, annoyed.

  “I love you,” he says, snuggling his head against my neck. “I’m not going anywhere. ”

  I lie motionless as he drifts to sleep, exasperated and obsessing over power. The window swings ajar and a chilled wind rushes in. I slip out from under his arm and close it, but pause when I spot a bug on the branch. Carefully leaning over the windowsill, I scoop up the Black Widow, my phobia of spiders suddenly nonexistent. It’s tranquil in my palm, like it belongs there. Maybe it does. I set it back on the branch and leave the window open. Stealing the keys from Alex’s pocket, I slink out of the room and hurry outside. I hop in his car. The leather seats are cool against the back of my legs. Cranking up the radio, the lyrics of “Degausser” by Brand New pours through the cab of the car. I don’t know where I’m going, but I have a feeling I’ll know when I get there. Because at the moment, I don’t think my mind’s quite my own.

  Chapter 23

  It’s midday, a couple of hours since I left the castle and Alex. When I first pull up to the structure, I’m not sure where I am. I take in the dark ambience of the windows, the grunginess of the building and the ones that surround it. Flowing in and out of the entrance, are people dressed in gothic-styled clothes with Greek hieroglyphics on their skin. I realize why I’m here.

  “Laylen. ”

  I climb out of the car, stuff the keys in my pocket, and step up onto the curb. People are lined up in front of the door like it’s a fancy night club. There’s even a bouncer with arms the size of my body and tattoos covering his bald head. Knowing I probably won’t get in, I try anyway. Tipping my chin up, I stride with confidence for the velvet rope.

  The bouncer gives me a once over and then stares at my eyes. “You Gemma?”