The evanescence, p.29
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       The Evanescence, p.29

         Part #2 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
 
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Page 29

 

  You’regoing to do great things, but it’ll be hard. You’ll be tested, more than you already have.

  I think of the moment in time when everything changed. A moment that caused so much evil. The moment the Star fell from the sky. Then, I picture it never falling, disappearing, vanishing into thin air. I concentrate on that moment as warmth spreads throughout my body and I feel time fading, like the morning mist.

  Evanescence.

  For a second, I feel myself fade with it. There’s bright light, followed by a shift.

  Then, it’s all gone.

  Epilogue

  Gemma

  I wake up to the sound of my alarm blaring, firing off like a siren. Covering my head with my pillow, I feel my way across the nightstand and slam my hand onto the off button. I lie in bed for a few extra minutes before I give up on going back to sleep and climb out of bed. My room is my favorite place in the house; my walls are covered with posters and pictures of all the places I’ve been. Some of them I’m alone. Others I’m with Aislin, Laylen, and Alex. There are even some where I’m with Evan and Aleesa, but that was before they decided to get engaged and move to Australia.

  I’ll admit my room’s a little cluttered. I probably have the biggest music collection that’s ever existed and I also collect guitar picks from all the band members I’ve managed to meet. It’s Aislin’s and my thing. We’ve been sneaking off to see concerts since we were sixteen and could drive; we make it our mission to come home with a guitar pick.

  I walk over to my dresser and pull out a pair of shorts and a tank top, but then I drop them to the floor, remembering where I’m supposed to go tonight. Instead, I go to my closet and throw open the doors. I grab the dress Aislin picked out for me. “It’s the perfect dress,” she said when we were out shopping.

  It was perfect, for a dress anyway; violet, like my eyes, with thin straps and fabric as soft as velvet. I put it on and glance at myself in the mirror. It’s a little short and I can see way more of my long legs than I want to, but that’s okay. I know someone who will be glad I showed up looking like this.

  I leave my hair down because he says he loves it that way, then trace my eyes with black liner, put some mascara on, and then lace up my combat boots (hey, I got to keep some part of me). Then, I head down to the kitchen, breathing in the scent of freshly baked bread.

  My dad’s leaning over the stove with his head bent as he mixes something in a pan. I sneak up behind him and give him a big hug, squeezing him tightly. “Good morning. ”

  He jumps, startled, and nearly spills what’s in the bowl. “Oh, Gemma, it’s you… Good God, you frightened me. ” Shaking his head, he turns back to the bowl. “And what do you mean, good morning. It’s already dinner time. ”

  “It’s morning for me. ” I grab an apple from a basket and take a bite.

  “Yeah, I don’t get you kids these days,” he says, checking the timer on the oven. “You stay up all night, so you can sleep all day. ”

  “More things happen at night,” I reply, rummaging through the fridge.

  He sighs, tiredly. He hates that I go out with the Keepers. I think, deep down, he hoped I’d turn out to be a Foreseer like him. “Well, just be careful. ”

  Grinning, I give him a joking salute as I bump the fridge door shut with my hip. “Yes, sir. ”

  He offers me a tolerant smile, and then eyes my dress warily. “Are you really wearing that tonight?”

  I can’t help smiling as I toss my half-eaten apple into the trash. Most kids would hate their parents being so over-protective, but I’ve never cared. In fact, I actually kind of love it. It means they love me and love is a fabulous thing. It makes life complete. “Dad, I’m almost nineteen. Besides, where I’m going tonight, I’ll stand out like a sore thumb if I didn’t dress like this. ” I do a little twirl.

  He covers his ears, shaking his head. “I don’t want to hear about it. I know you’re a Keeper, but to me, you’re still my little girl. ”

  I smile and give him a quick hug. “I love you. ”

  He pats my back and smiles. “I love you, too. ”

  Headlights light up the driveway as I pull back. “That’s Aislin,” I say, heading for the door as she honks the car horn. “I gotta go. ”

  “Be careful,” he says. “Please. ”

  “I always am. ” I grab my leather jacket off the coat rack.

  He looks like he wants to tell me to stay, but he doesn’t. When I swing the door open, my mom’s walking up the porch.

  “Hey, sweetie,” she says, struggling to carry the grocery bags. “Can you hold that open for a second. ”

  I hold a finger up at Aislin, indicating I’ll be a just a moment, and then step back to hold the door open for my mom.

  She stumbles over the threshold and then drops the bags to the floor. I think I hear a jar break, but my mom doesn’t seem to care. She’s pretty lenient and laid back like that.

  “God, it smells good in here. ” She breathes in the scent of bread as she kicks the bags out of the way. She gives my dad a quick kiss on the cheek and then places her hands on her hips as she turns to me. “You look nice. Are you going out tonight?”

  “Yeah, to kick some ass,” I joke, making some ninja moves.

  She laughs, but my dad scowls. “Be careful, please. ”

  My mom rolls her eyes at him and then mouths at me, have fun.

  Nodding, I start to head out when she catches my arm. “Oh yeah, and I forgot to tell you that, that little thing we were talking about is going to happen tonight. ”

  “The inauguration,” I whisper, leaning closer to her so my dad won’t hear us and get frustrated.

  She nods, looking excited. “Yeah, so be ready to really kick some ass. ”

  Smiling, I hug her and then head out. When I make it to the front of the car, blinded by the headlights of Laylen’s GTO, Aislin sticks her head out the driver’s side window.

  “Would you hurry your ass up?” she shouts with laughter in her tone. “I’m growing old here. ”

  I start walking slower just to tease her and then run over and hop into the passenger side. The radio is blasting, ‘The Hand that Feeds’ by Nine Inch Nails; totally Laylen’s music, not hers.

  “Damn, sexy mama, you look good,” she says as she shoves the shifter into reverse.

  “You do, too,” I tell her, holding onto the door handle for support because Aislin drives like a mad woman.

  She’s wearing a short, navy blue dress with black knee-high boots and her hair is pulled into a sleek ponytail. She usually doesn’t wear black, but where we’re going tonight, pink isn’t in the dress code.

  When we reach the end of the driveway, she fishtails onto the road and floors the gas, spinning the tires. It’s late, the sky is black and the stars are twinkling above us. I watch them as she flies down the streets, heading towards the club we’re meeting the guys at.

  “So, how did you talk him into letting you use his car?” I ask, changing the song on the iPod.

  She makes kissing faces and waggles her eyebrows at me. “I can be very persuasive. ”

  I snort a laugh, shaking my head, and I feel my nerves bubble inside me the closer we get to the building. It’ll be the first time I’ve seen him since it happened and, even though I don’t regret it, Im a little jittery, wondering how he’s going to act towards me. Will he be the same? Different?

  “So my mom called like an hour ago,” she says, craning the wheel to make a right turn.

  “Oh, how is she?” I keep my tone light, even though the subject is heavy.

  Aislin and Alex’s mom and dad are getting a divorce, basically because their dad’s a douche and cheats on her all the time. It’s a sensitive subject, one neither of them really bring up.

  “She actually sounded happy,” she says, glancing at me. “And she said we should go visit her in Paris and go shopping. ”

  “You and me?”

  “Yeah, why n
ot?”

  I shrug. “Yeah, we could do that. ”

  She smiles and then slams on the brakes as she makes a sharp veer down a side street, throwing me into the door. Seconds later, she’s pulling behind the warehouse. There are a few lampposts lighting up the parking lot and cars parked out, along with the large quantity of people; smoking, drinking and loitering as they wait to get inside.

  “Creeper alert,” she announces as she parks the GTO next to a truck that has a bunch of greasy looking guys standing around it. The tallest one, with jet-black hair and tattoos tracking every inch of his arms, eyes the car down.

  “All right, if he tries anything, I’ll hold him and you kick him in the groin,” Aislin says, checking her makeup in the rearview mirror.

  I laugh softly. “Okay, sounds like a plan. ”

  We’re about to climb out when something—or someone—jumps on the hood. “You got her back to me in one piece. ” He grins, his smile lighting up the night as he pats the window and climbs off the hood, stretching his long legs.

  Biting his lip ring, he rearranges his blond hair back into place as Aislin climbs out. The second she steps out of the car, he grabs her and they start making out like crazy. A few guys start making catcalls and I roll my eyes, winding around the back of the car. I wait for them to catch up and then the three of us make our way towards the back entrance. I’m getting more nervous the closer we get and I don’t know what my problem is. I’ve seen him a thousand times, pretty much every day since the day I was born, but things are different now. More complicated. More intense.

  Suddenly, Laylen wraps his arms around me and picks me up, lifting my feet away from the ground and spinning us around. “Where’s your head, Star Girl. ”

  “Are you ever going to stop calling me that?” I say, laughing as he continues to spin. “I like watching the stars. So what?”

  He sets me down and brushes my hair out of my face. “Which is why the names so fitting. ”

  “Yeah, but you’ve been calling me it since we were like five. Don’t you think you should give me like an older, more mature nickname or something?”

  He laughs, swinging his arm around me and the other around Aislin, so the three of us are huddled together. “Like Super Star. ”

  I roll my eyes and Aislin giggles. “You’re in a good mood,” she tells him.

  He kisses her forehead. “That’s because you got my car back to me in one piece. ”

  “I told you I would. ” She leans up and kisses him.

  We reach the entrance door and the bouncer immediately nods at Laylen. “What’s up, man?”

  Laylen gives him a chin nod. “Nothing much. Just trying to show these ladies a good time. ”

  The bouncer eyes us over, and I know he’s wondering what we are. If we’re Immortal. Vampires. Fey. Witches. None of the above, but he thinks Laylen is, due to the fact that he got the Immortal mark tattooed on his arm, so he has an easy ticket into places like these whenever the Keepers send us on a mission.

  “They’re good,” Laylen tells the bouncer, a large, bulky man with a lot of tattoos and a really thick neck.

 
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