The lost soul, p.3
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       The Lost Soul, p.3

         Part #1 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 3

 

  My muscles stiffen as I recollect last night’s dream.

  “What’s wrong?” A worry-line grooves between his brows.

  “It’s about the dream I had last night,” I say and divulge what happened.

  “You dreamt Annabella came and stole me away?” he asks when I’m finished.

  “Not Annabella. ” I sigh. “It was The Queen of the Afterlife disguised as Annabella. ”

  His thumbs knead my thighs. “Gemma, everything’s going to be okay. The connection of our souls is what keeps us free. They can’t just take one of us. ”

  “But what if there’s a loophole,” I breathe. “The Blood Promise that connected our souls… what if there was some kind of loophole and someone discovered it. I mean, we were just kids when we made it. A lot could have gone wrong. ”

  “There’s no loophole. ” He brushes my hair back, his eyes blazing with passion. “Not with this. I’ll love you forever and nothing will change that. ”

  My lips part in protest, but his mouth comes down on mine and steals my words away. “What about the Crystal of Limitation?” I pull back, breathless. “I know Nicholas knows where it is. ”

  His face sinks. “Even if he did know where the crystal was, Nicholas isn’t going to tell us. I think our best bet is to find another way to free your dad. ” He leans in again, and this time I let him kiss me. I let myself forget about the problems. I forget about everything for the moment. Because that’s what his kisses do to me—they take me away.

  ***

  “Hurry up and get changed, then we’ll go practice,” Alex says after an hour of making out.

  I lick my swollen lips, nod, and hustle upstairs. I pretend to go to my room, and then backtrack after Alex leaves the bottom of the stairway.

  I rap on Laylen’s door, crossing my fingers he’s alone. “Laylen, open up. It’s me. ”

  A shuffle of footsteps and the door creaks open. “You know she’s super pissed, right?” Laylen lets me in and shuts the door. He’s wearing black jeans and no shirt. Cupping his shoulder is a circle ringed by gold flames—his Keeper’s mark.

  “Why aren’t you dressed?” I ask.

  His eyes roam down my body and he grins. “I should be asking you the same question. ” He slips on a black button-down shirt. “There. Better?”

  I shrug and make myself at home on his bed. “Sorry Aislin’s pissed. You can tell her if you want. As long as she won’t tell Alex. Because if he finds out, this plan goes straight down the toilet. You know he won’t be on board with it. ”

  He tosses a pair of black boots on the floor and joins me on the bed, buttoning his shirt. “Nah. It’s better she doesn’t know. You know how nervous she gets when she’s trying to keep a secret. ”

  I nod, agreeing. “So what’d you find out?”

  He smiles, pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket, and hands it to me.

  I unfolded it. “Is this an address?”

  “To a very important place. ” He picks up a boot and puts it on. “Have you ever heard of a woman named Nalina?”

  I shake my head. “Should I have though?”

  “She’s Dyvinius’ sister. ” He laces up the boot. “Who just happens to be a very powerful Foreseer. ”

  “I see where you’re going with this,” I say. “But why would she help me free my dad? She’s Dyvinius sister. And Dyvinius is dead set on keeping my dad trapped in his own head. It’s like he has a grudge against him or something. ”

  “He does. ” He steals the paper from my fingers and wiggles his foot into the other boot. “Delmonte, the man who gave me this paper, says Dyvinius won’t let your dad out because he’s scared he’d try to take Dyvinius’ place as the leader of the City of Crystal. ”

  “Come again?” I sputter. “How could my dad become the leader of the City of Crystal? Isn’t it like an inherited position or something?”

  “It’s a power position,” Laylen clarifies, tying the shoelace in a knot. “And I guess before your dad was imprisoned in The Room of Forbidden, he was getting more powerful than Dyvinius. ”

  “So Dyvinius is glad my dad’s trapped there. Because if he’s there then he can’t be out here, trying to dethrone him or whatever,” I say. “But what’s this Nalina person going to do about it?”

  “Well, according to Delmonte, Nalina holds a big grudge against Dyvinius for banishing her from the City of Crystal and she might disclose the location of the Crystal of Limitation. ” Laylen takes a studded belt out of a dresser drawer. “Delmonte’s a real chatterbox. I think from now on we should go to him for info. ”

  “Isn’t he a vampire?” I ask uneasily.

  Laylen loops the studded belt through the top of his jeans. “Not all vampires are bad, Gemma. You know that. ”

  “I know, but I thought you had to be careful around them after you killed Vladislav. ” I watch him warily, wondering why he’s so relaxed. Laylen is basically on death row with most vampires after killing Vladislav—a very important vampire—to save me.

  He buckles his belt. “God, I’d almost forgotten about that. It seems like it has been forever. ”

  “But have other vampires forgotten about it?” I point out. “Because if you cross paths with one that knows what you did, you’re in some deep trouble. There are good vampires, Laylen, but there are some evil ones too. ”

  He flashes a grin, faking offense. “Are you saying that I can’t defend myself against a mob of angry vampires?”

  “I’m saying I don’t want to ever find out. ” I gently touch his arm, wanting him to understand. “I worry about you, you know. And besides, it’s my fault you’re in this mess in the first place. You killed Vladislav because of me—because I wanted to free my… mom from The Underworld. ”

  A glitch of quietness stills the room at the mention of my mom, who died to protect me from Stephan.

  He rubs my back. “I’ll be careful. I promise. You don’t need to worry about me. ”

  “I always worry about you. ” I twist my necklace—the one my mother gave me. It’s silver, heart-shaped, and encrusted with a purple stone. “Just to be safe, maybe I should go to Nalina’s on my own. ”

  “She’s a Foreseer, not a vampire,” Laylen says. “If anyone’s in danger there, it’d be you. ”

  “She doesn’t need to know I’m a Foreseer,” I tell him. “I haven’t used my power in a while. ”

  A smile threatens his lips and he tugs on a strand of my hair. “So the mark on the back of your neck won’t tip her off or anything. ”

  Rearranging my hair, I cover the black circle wrapping the S—the Foreseer mark—on the back of my neck. “Yeah, I guess it might. ” I huff out a breath. “You’re right. We should go together, but not now. Right now I have to go practice fighting. ”

  “Tonight then? After everyone dozes off?”

  “Sounds like a plan. Besides, I’ve been sleeping like crap anyway. ”

  “Are you having nightmares again?” he asks and I nod. “You want to talk about it?”

  I shake my head. “It’ll be okay. I just stress about dreams sometimes. ”

  He looks like he wants to press me for the details, but he doesn’t. That’s the good thing about Laylen. He knows when to back off.

  We head our separate ways. I go to my room and change into a pair of torn jeans and a black and red tee. Then I pull my hair back in a ponytail and meet Alex outside. The sun is shining against the clear sky. Birds chirp, the leaves crinkle, and the lake splashes against the shore. Ever since I died and came back to life, I notice the little sounds of life. Like my heart for instance; I’m always aware of it, beating in my chest, reminding me that I got a second chance at life.

  Alex is sitting on the hood of his Chevy Camaro, sharpening a silver sword with a black handle shaped like a serpents head. “That took a while,” he remarks, not looking up.

  I hop on the hood and let my legs dangle. “I talked to Laylen for a minute. ”

&nbs
p; He raises his eyebrows, eyes glued to the sword as he drags the sharpener up the blade. “Did you talk about anything interesting?”

  “Not really,” I say. He’s giving off a strange vibe. “I just wanted to pry and see if things between him and Aislin were okay. ”

  He sets the sword on the hood and stares down the dirt road. “You sure that’s all you talked about?”

  I shield my eyes from the sun. “Yeah… What’s up with you? You were fine just a few minutes ago. ”

  “That’s before I realized you’d rather ask Laylen for help than me. ” He finally looks at me. “I thought you trusted me now. ”

  “I do trust you. ” I fidget with my leather watch band. “But sometimes you’re a little too protective and you try to stop me from doing things that are important. ”

  “I stop you because they’re too dangerous,” he practically growls. “You always want to do things that could get you killed. And one of these times you might not get a get-out-of-jail-free card. ”

  “What’s your problem?” I slide off the hood, my shoes landing in a puddle. “And how do you even know I was asking Laylen for help?”

  “I overheard you. ” He jumps to his feet. “I went to ask Laylen a question—why he thinks this stupid thing,” he kicks the tire of the car, “keeps cutting out. ”

  I stare at his car. “How much did you hear?”

  “Everything. ” He places a hand on each of side of my face. “Going around asking strangers to help save your dad, isn’t a good idea. Nalina may have a grudge against Dyvinius, but it doesn’t mean you can trust her. You can’t trust most people—you should know that. ”

  “I dont trust her. ” My fingers graze his shoulder blades as I enfold my arms around his neck. “But it doesn’t hurt to see what she knows. She might not help me, but there’s a chance she might. And to me, that’s worth the risk. ” With my fingers, I trace a soft line down his spine, watching his jaw tighten. “Besides, I’m not the star anymore. I’m not important. ”

  “You’ll always be important. ” He voice is feral. He lifts me up and I enclose my legs around his waist. “Whether you’re carrying a stars energy or not. ”

  I lick my lips, waiting zealously for him to kiss me. Instead, he releases me to the ground and scoops up the sword.

  “We should get going. ” He opens the car door and tosses the sword onto the backseat. “We’ve got a lot to cover and it’s getting late. ”

  I climb in the car and we peel down the road. I notice the shift in the weather, the darkening of the clouds, the potential for a lightning storm. I wonder what’s waiting for us at the field.

  Chapter 4

  “To become a master fighter, you have to practice. A lot. ” Alex is back to his normal self, his arms encompassing my hips, a tease in his voice. He inclines his head down, caressing his warm lips against my ear. “You can’t cheat to get there. ”