The lost soul, p.32
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       The Lost Soul, p.32

         Part #1 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 32

 

  “Good point. ” Her worry multiplies. With uncertainty, she steps down the stairs.

  I let her go, rummaging the kitchen for a knife. I open a drawer and recover a sharp butcher knife. I touch my finger to the tip, pricking my skin. Blood pools out. “Yep, that’ll work just fine. ”

  A deafening scream erupts from the downstairs. Gripping the knife, I trot down the stairs. Alex has Nalina trapped in a corner. She’s curled up in a ball, trembling with fear. Filing cabinets are flung all over the floor and papers pile out. Laylen stands in the middle of the room, his arm wrapped protectively around Aislin, whose hands are still flaming.

  I skulk behind them with the knife pointed at the ground.

  “Tell us why you have a Cornu Lepore,” Alex demands, hovering over her with his fury raging.

  She covers her head with her arms, her grey eyes peeking up at him. “Leave me alone. I didn’t do anything. He attacked me. ” Her eyes find me and a hopeful look crosses her face. “Gemma, tell him. Tell him I’m not a bad person. ”

  I return her plea with a bored expression. “All I know is you poisoned me with the memory tea to help Dyvinius steal my power. ”

  “But he made me do it. ” Her voice quivers. “I didn’t want to, but I have no power to protect myself. ” She steadies her voice. “Please Gemma, I’m your Aunt. ”

  “No, you’re not,” I reply. “You’re fey. ”

  “And so are you. ” She lowers her hands and slowly rises to her feet, her back pressed against the wall. “You just don’t know you are. ”

  “You’re full of crap,” Alex says, raising a fist.

  I almost drop the knife. “I don’t have a mark. ”

  “Did you have your Foreseer mark when you first used that power?” She cautiously steps toward me. “Think about it. Why would Helena be so fixated on you?”

  You’re getting warmer.

  “Because you have fey blood. ” Another step, then another, until shes right in front of me. “She can connect to you because of your fey blood. ”

  “There’s a difference between Helena’s fey and other fey,” I deny. “And I’m not any fey. ”

  Yes, you are.

  “Yes, you are Gemma. ” She reaches for my hand but I recoil. “You’ve just been in the dark all your life. But you’ll get your mark. You’ll see. ” She pauses. “You need to be careful. There’s a rumor going around that a fey war is breaking out. Lucinda, Helena, Luna, they’re all after something, but I’m not sure what. ”

  I scratch my head with the handle of the knife. “Like world domination?”

  “I don’t know. ” She glances at the four of us. “Now please just let me go. I’ve told you everything I know. ”

  I consider her request thoughtfully. “Okay, that sounds fair. ” She smiles and I clock her in the side of the head.

  “Gemma!” Aislin exclaims in a high pitched squeal.

  Alex looks at Nalina then at me. “Okay, well that works. ”

  “Dude, you just hit an old lady,” Laylen comments from behind me.

  I shrug and toss the knife on the floor. “So, now what do we do?”

  Alex is stunned, but blinks it away. “We need to find a place to hide out. We can’t go back to the castle. ”

  “Why not?” I ask. “Do you really think Luna will be hanging around? I’m sure she has reasons for wanting to get in the Human Realm, besides chasing us. ”

  “Do you really want to find that out?” Alex asks.

  I shrug. “Maybe. ”

  “Can we just go?” Aislin complains. “I don’t feel safe here. ”

  We all agree and hurry up the stairs. While Alex and Aislin argue about where we should go, I quickly backtrack to Nalina. I squat down over her unconscious body and snap the necklace off her neck. I hide it in my pocket and head for the stairs.

  Alex waits for me at the bottom. “Are you okay?” He glances over at Nalina. “Did you forget something?”

  I shake my head. “I just wanted to make sure I didn’t hurt her too bad. I feel kind of guilty now. ”

  He twirls a strand of my hair around his finger and gives my lips a soft kiss. “She’ll be okay. I’ve hit many people a lot harder than that. ” He speaks to me like I’m innocent.

  I nod and we rush up the stairs. I almost laugh at his gullibility.

  He has no idea what’s coming for him.

  Chapter 30

  Luckily Laylen has enough money to buy us all a set of clothes, food, some toiletries, and a motel room. It’s the grungier side of town, where the doors have to be locked and no one can go wandering around by themselves. We take turns showering and brushing our teeth. We’re tired and bummed out and have absolutely no idea what to do next.

  “I can’t believe I screwed up so bad. ” Aislin sits cross-legged on the bed, coiling her damp hair around her finger. She’s dressed in shorts and a pink tee. Laylen and Alex are outside, searching for an ice machine to fill up the ice bucket. “Now there are sprites and a crazy Empress running around. ”

  “It’s not your fault. ” The room has two full size beds and I sit on the opposite one, brushing the tangles from my hair. “And we didn’t see any fey invading the streets, so we’re good for now. ”

  “But I didn’t even get Aleesa freed. ” She pouts.

  “You could go there,” I suggest wickedly.

  “To the Faerie Realm?”

  “Yeah, Luna’s not there, so I’m sure it’s safe. ”

  She smiles brightly. “You know what, that’s a good idea. I’ll get a portal opened up tomorrow. ”

  I grin to myself, flicking a piece of lint off my shorts. One down, two more to go.

  “I wonder if there will ever be a time when we’re not running from the end of the world,” she says.

  I bite my thumbnail off and spit it on the floor. “I think it’s safe to say that that might never happen. ”

  A car backfires from somewhere and Aislin tenses. “I hope they’re okay. ” She twists her hair up into a messy bun and secures it with an elastic band.

  “They’re fine. ” I set the brush on the nightstand. “They’re a Keeper and a vampire for Christ sake. ”

  “But Laylen…” She fluffs a pillow and lies down. “How bad was it?”

  I climb under the blanket, which stinks like cigarette smoke and mildew. “Huh? How bad was what?”

  “The biting incident?” she whispers. “How bad was it?”

  I internally cringe. “Not too bad,” I lie. “In fact, he bit another vampire. ”

  “He didn’t tell me that. ” She sounds relieved. “I’m glad. That way is better than him biting some girl, because…” she trails off.

  I know what she was going to say, though. There’s an intimate feeling shared between a human being bit and the vampire that’s doing the biting.

  The keycard slot makes a gurgling noise and the door opens. Laylen and Alex hurry in with the ice bucket and dead bolt the door behind them. They place some warm soda cans we bought from the front desk into the bucket to chill. Laylen kicks off his boots and climbs in bed with Aislin. She giggles and Laylen whispers something in her ear.

  I tune them out, my eyes locked on Alex as he slips his shoes and green t-shirt off and climbs into bed. Aislin giggles again, louder this time.

  Alex rolls his eyes. “If you two don’t knock it off, I’m going to lock you in the bathroom. ” Her giggles muffle. Alex winks at me and leans close. “You and I will just be quieter. ”

  Now I roll my eyes, but smile when he snakes his legs between mine. His jeans are rough against my bare legs, but I don’t move. As the room quiets down, he clicks off the lamp, and kisses my neck softly.

  “Goodnight,” he whispers, his breath soft against my cheek. “I love you. ”

  I tuck my head under his chin and lie motionless. Hours tick by. I don’t move. I wait until everyone’s fast asleep. Then I reach down my throat and pull out a black widow wedged i
n it. I place it on the floor and it runs under the bed. I sneak out of bed and tiptoe over to Laylen. His arm’s flopped over the edge and he takes up most of the bed. I inch my hand for his mouth, closer, closer. His eyes snap open and he twists my arm in an awkward position that tears at my muscles. I flip my arm around quickly, freeing myself, and coil his until it hurts. I grab his hair roughly with my other hand, yank him out of bed, and drag him into the small bathroom. I shut the door and he starts to laugh.

  “I knew you liked it rough,” he says impishly.

  I tap my fingers on the counter. “Well played. I’m pretty sure neither of them expected anything. ”

  “Of course they don’t. ” He places his hands on my hips and slowly guides me toward him. “I can’t believe they actually thought that would work. It takes a heck of lot more to bring someone like you down. ”

  “Only one person actually. Annabella. ” I peer in the mirror. “But she’s trapped inside me and I’ll never let her go. ” I smooth down my hair. “I’m out of her body for one minute and look what she does to herself. ”

  “We’ll get you some stuff to make you beautiful again,” Laylen promises.

  “Or maybe I’ll just get a new body. ”

  “You know you can’t do that. You know how hard it was to find a girl who’s fey, a Keeper, a Foreseer, and who’s connected with the soul of another. If she wasn’t bonded to the doofus out there, her soul would probably be too weak to carry your power—she’d probably die. ”

  “We need the doofus. ” I rub the pads of my fingers along the lines of my jaw, my narrow cheekbones, around my violet eyes. “And Gemma will die anyway. Once I’m out of her body. ”

  He swallows hard and his blue eyes simmer with hot tears.

  “Shut it down. You’re letting him seep through the cracks,” I demand, repulsed. He sucks back the tears. I pull a face at his weakness and then at my hideous reflection. “I need to get to the City of Crystal. ”

  “What for?” Laylen’s thumbs massage circles on my hips.

  “Because she’s not strong enough to get into the Room of Forbidden on her own. ” I motion at my leggy body.

  Laylen cocks his head to the side. “Why don’t we use a Foreseer who’s here in the Human World? I hate going to that creepy place. ”

  “Quit being a baby. ” I shake my head exasperatedly. “Besides, I don’t want just any Foreseer. I want Dyvinius. ”

  Laylen’s fingers try to sneak up the back of my shirt. “Why? What’s so special about the old man?”

  I shove him away, not wanting to get caught up in anything other than my plan. “Because at the moment, he’s the most powerful Foreseer I know. And because after this is all done, and the vision is altered that will change my past, I can kill Dyvinius and then all the Foreseers’ power will be gone. ” I make a poofing motion with my hand. “And then no one will be able to change the vision back. Ever. Besides, he can give me the Serpent mark. How fun would that be?”