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The underworld, p.31
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       The Underworld, p.31

         Part #2 of Fallen Star series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 31

 

  “Well, good morning sleeping beauty,” he said, after I open the door and climbed out into the sunlight. “Sleep well?”

  “Surprisingly, yes. ” I stretched out my legs and arms. “How long was I out?”

  “For about eight hours. ”

  “Eight hours?” How the heck had I slept for eight hours with everything that was going on.

  “Yeah, you were really out, too. ” He flashed me a grin. “Snoring and all. ”

  “I don’t snore,” I protested. At least I think I don’t.

  He gave me another teasing smile, before sliding the debit card into the machine.

  “Wow, you seem like you’re in a good mood,” I remarked with a curious tone.

  He shrugged, glancing over at a tall woman with long black hair walking across the parking lot. “As good a mood as any, I guess. ”

  He was acting a little…off. “Are you feeling okay?”

  He shrugged again, rubbing his lips together, and then looked at me. “I’m fine. ”

  I stared at him, picking up on something. I couldn’t explain it, but after the whole first-time-biting thing, I had to worry a little. But before I could press him further, Alex strolled up, carrying a plastic bag.

  “If you need to go inside for anything, then you’d better do it,” Alex told me, tossing a bag of food and drinks onto to the front seat of the SUV.

  Seeing him made what he said last night replay in my head, along with the hurt feelings I felt. “Okay. ” I headed inside.

  “Make it quick,” Alex called after me. “We don’t want to be stopped for too long. ”

  I nodded, shocked he was even letting me go in by myself.

  ***

  The gas station was fairly packed, which made my senses go on high alert, especially because I stood out like a sore thumb. My clothes were filthy, I had no shoes on, and my hair was a tangled mess—well, at least more of a tangled mess than it usually is—so people couldn’t help but gawk at me as I walked by them. I made my way down the candy aisle, past the drink cooler, and stepped into the restroom. I splashed my face with cold water and washed my hands. Wherever we were, the air felt humid and hot, making my skin feel gross.

  I glanced up in the mirror and let out a groan at my reflection. My violet eyes. The one thing that was always going to make me stand out—deem me different. I was painfully realizing that no matter how much I wanted a normal life, it just might be impossible, and maybe I needed to start accepting that I was a star carrying, vision seeing, violet-eyed Gemma.

  And that my life might not be long lived.

  After my light vision, and my light dream, I had to wonder. They both might have been showing me a part of my future. The thought was scary, but I had to hold onto the fact that not everything I saw or dreamt had played out exactly as I had seen it. Things changed.

  For the moment, I really needed to focus on figuring out how to get a hold of the Ira so I could go into The Underworld and save my mom. The problem was I couldn’t just walk into a store and purchase an Ira. The only person that I knew of who had one was Nicholas, and now that he might be working with Stephan, getting one from him seemed more impossible than it did before.

  “Stupid faerie. ” I kicked the wall, frustrated. Of course, kicking a tile wall while wearing no shoes was not the grandest idea, and I ended stubbing my toes. “Ow. ”

  One of the bathroom stall doors opened up and an old lady, wearing a long green dress and tan shoes, and looking really alarmed, scurried out of the bathroom.

  “Whoops,” I mumbled to myself. I guess it was time to go back anyway. Standing in a bathroom wasn’t doing me any good. And I was supposed to be hurrying.

  I headed for the door, hearing one of the stall doors squeak open. Instinctively, I glanced behind me, and then stopped when I didn’t see anyone. The door was swinging, and I wondered if I scared someone else enough that they were afraid to come out.

  I sighed. It was definitely time to leave. I turned around, and then stumbled backward because standing right in front of me was a very obnoxious faerie with golden eyes and sandy hair.

  “Well, I have to say that this is not where I pictured us meeting up again,” Nicholas said, glancing around the Women’s Restroom. “Although it’ll do, I guess. ”

  I backed away from him, knowing full well that I was cornered. “Stay the heck away from me. ”

  He moved for me, a sneaky smirk spreading across his face. “You seem afraid of me Gemma. ”

  My back hit the tiled wall. “I know why you’re here. I know you’re working with Stephan. ”

  “You do, do you?”

  “You were at the City of Crystal with the Death Walkers,” I said heatedly. “And I heard you talking to them…how can you talk to them?”

  “I can’t,” he said and I shook my head. Let the running around in circles begin.

  “Yes you can,” I snapped. “I heard. And I heard you talking about capturing me for Stephan. Why would you do that? Don’t you know what he wants to do with me?”

  I was hoping he would say that he did, and then we would have one of those moments where the villain unleashes all his evil plans.

  “Why would you think I was helping Stephan? I can’t stand him as much as I can’t stand his son. ” He moved in front of me, leaning in close. “And honestly, if I captured you, I’d rather keep you for myself. There’s so much…” He sniffed me. Yes, actually sniffed me, like he was smelling a flower or something. “Power flowing off you. ”

  My mouth dropped. He could feel the electricity.

  “Your Foreseer gift…it’s absolutely breathtaking,” he said, moving back a little.

  Oh, he was talking about that power.

  “That’s great,” I said, looking for a way out of here. I could try to dodge around him, but I didn’t see myself making it that far. The only thing I could think of to do was use my “breathtaking” Foreseer ability to move myself from the bathroom to the SUV. But could I do it quickly enough?

  All I could do was try.

  “Tell me Gemma. ” Nicholas was so close to me that the flowery, rain smell that was always radiating off him was strong enough to make me almost pass out. “Why are you so afraid of me?”

  “Besides the fact that you’re working with the man who wants to hurt me?” I asked, trying to picture in my head the massive black Chevy Tahoe parked outside next to the gas pumps.

  “You’ve never liked me from the first time you met me,” he remarked, in a playful way, like this was all a game to him, which it probably was.

  I shrugged, still focusing on the SUV. Come on. Come on. Come on. “I don’t know…I guess you just rubbed me the wrong way. ”

  He said something else. But I didn’t hear him. I was going…fading…almost there. Then I was being shoved up against the hard tiled wall of the bathroom. The muscles on my back burned in protest, and I let out a whimper.

  “Don’t even think about it,” Nicholas snapped angrily. “You’re coming with me. ” Then he hit me over the head with something.

  My ears rang, and my eyes shifted out of focus. I saw spots. Then I was falling toward the floor.

  Chapter 27

  The next thing I was aware of was that I had a killer headache. My head was throbbing so badly I swear my skull had to be cracked. I also noticed my wrists were restrained by something cold and metal.

  My eyelids whipped open. I was in an unfamiliar room, and wrapped around each of my wrists was a metal cuff, connected to a chain that extended to hooks secured into a dark green wall behind me.

  Crap.

  This was bad.

  This was very, very bad.

  The first thing I did was try to Foresee my way out of this place. I closed my eyes and concentrated on the gas station, but I wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t feeling anything, except worry and fear, and that fact that I was in some serious trouble.

  What had that crazy faerie boy done to me
? Why couldn’t I use my Foreseer power? I tried again, concentrating harder, willing myself away from this place.

  “There’s no use trying. ” The taunting voice belonged to Nicholas.

  I opened my eyes again and found him standing right in front of me. I scooted back to the wall, dragging the chains with me, the metal clinking against the hardwood floor.

  “Where am I?” I asked, aiming to keep my voice steady, but failing miserably.

  “My house. ” He gestured around the room, which was basically bare except for a table that lined the far wall and a wooden stool perched in the corner.

  “Why did you bring me here?” I asked, yanking at the chains.

  “Why not?” He asked with a smile that could only be described as dangerous.

  This was not good. There were so many things about being here alone with him that could be bad. Not only because he could be handing me over to Stephan, but also because he was in control.

  He squatted down on the floor so that he was eye level with me. “Tug at those chains all you want; you’re not going to get away. ”

  I jerked my arms again, wanting desperately to prove him wrong. But the chains were secured tightly, and yanking them was making the metal cuffs cut into my wrists.

  He laughed at me, and I slid my leg out from underneath me and gave a try at kicking him. He hopped back, a flicker of fury flashing across his face, but he quickly collected himself and smiled again.

  “You’re so feisty,” he said, his golden eyes glinting dangerously.

  I glared at him. “Let me go. ”

  “Now, why would I do a stupid thing like that?” He stood up, gesturing at the floor around me. “I could keep you here forever you know—the room is surrounded by praesidium. ”

  As I glanced around room, I became aware that trimming the floor were lavender crystal balls about the size of marbles. Now I didn’t know what they were, but I knew they had to be bad.

  “What’s praesidium?” I asked, fearing the answer.

  He gave a long pause “Well, I guess since you asked…praesidium is another kind of crystal ball Foreseers use. Only instead of channeling energy, it takes it away. ”

  Oh God. That’s why I couldn’t use my Foreseer power. The bad situation seemed to be getting worse.

  “What are you going to do with me?” I asked, my voice cracking.

  He grinned deviously. “I think the question is what am I not going to do with you?”

  I tried my best to ignore my quivering nerves. “If you give me over to Stephan, you know what he’s going to do to me, right? He’s going to end the world—everyone will die. ”

  “I don’t need you to explain what Stephan is planning to do. I understand, even more than you do, what he’s planning to do with you. ”

  “So you’re just okay with letting him kill everyone,” I said, hoping he would let some of the details slip out. “Do you even feel anything at all?”

  “I think the real question is do you feel anything. ” He leaned over me, his eyes nearly glowing. “Which I think is what this whole thing is about. ”

  My stomach rolled. He knew more than I thought he did. “Why are you doing this? Is there a reason? Or are you just plain evil?”