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Darkness Falls (Darkness Falls, Book 1), Page 35

Jessica Sorensen

Chapter 34

  “Kayla, Kayla, wake up,” Monarch says.

  My eyelids jerk open, spots of light blinding my pupils and I can’t see.

  “Over here,” he says. “I need you to focus.”

  I blink my eyes again and again until his grey eyes come into view. “Where am I?”

  “You’re in the lab,” he says. “But I need you to pay attention because we don’t have much time.”

  I sit up from the metal bed, bumping my head on the light. The walls have glass cabinets covering them with rows and rows of bottles and vials. There’s a metal tray beside me, holding tiny tools, stained with blood.

  “Kayla,” he says. “Are you paying attention?”

  I nod, directing my focus to him.

  “Good.” He glances behind him, at the door. “Something’s going to happen to me—something that might seem bad, but it’s not. It’s good. But I need your help with it.”

  I nod. “You know I’ll always help you.”

  He gives a small, nervous smile. “The first thing that’s going to happen is going to be the hardest, but it’ll all work out.” He pauses. “I’m going to turn.”

  “Into a vampire?”

  He shakes his head. “Into a Higher.”

  I swallow hard. “Why would you do that?”

  “Because I have no choice,” he answers, his forehead creased with worry lines. “But it’s okay, because it’s all going to work out. You’re going to help me.”

  “Of course,” I say. “Just tell me what to do.”

  He smiles, pleased, like this is exactly how he wants me to be. “In a while, I’m going to give you my watch. Now, no matter what, never lose that watch—it’s the thing that’s going to save us all.” He pauses, running back to the door and peeking in the hall before returning. “The next thing I want you to do is just as important. You need to come back here, behind the red door. You need… you need to make—”

  Blood. Blood everywhere. Spilling from the ceiling. Someone’s screaming, echoes of murder in my head.

  “Wake up, Kayla, please wake up.”

  “Kayla, listen to me.”


  “Please … help me.”

  My eyelids twitch open. Blood drips from my forehead, down my face, in my hair. Aiden’s above me, his hands on his cheeks, his honey eyes wide, his breath and heart erratic.

  “Oh my God. You’re okay.” He stands, gently helping me to my feet, keeping a hand on my shoulder.

  “Where’s Emmy and Sylas?” But as soon as I ask, I spot them lying on the floor, their faces pressed in concrete and a swirl of smoke fills the air.

  “It’s laced with silver,” Aiden says, heading for the door. When I don’t follow, he comes back and grabs my hand. “We gotta go. It won’t last long.”

  I don’t budge. “I have to finish the memory—I have to know what I’m supposed to do.”

  He shakes his head. “No, not like this. You can do it the right way—you can do it as a human.”

  “And how do you know which way is right?”

  “The right way is without them,” he says and motions at my face. “Look what they did to you. And they would have let it go on, Kayla, until you woke up and told them what they want. Or until you died trying. I told you, they’re killers.”

  I glance at Sylas, lying on the floor, Emmy beside him. “They told me Monarch wanted us this way.”

  Aiden takes my face in my hands. “Out here, we get to make our own choices about what we want to be. No one can control us. And I promise you we’ll figure out what’s in your head, but the right way.” His eyes burn with the truth.

  The door bursts open and Ryder storms in, her eyes widening when she takes in the sight of me. There’s a cut across her nose and one of her knuckles is bleeding.

  “You look like shit,” she tells me.

  “Gee thanks,” I say sarcastically.

  She shrugs. “Sorry, but you do.”

  I wipe the blood from my face the best that I can, but it’s so thick on my skin and in my hair, it doesn’t do any good.

  “We need to get as far away from here as we can, before they wake up,” Ryder says, scared out of her mind that we won’t make it.

  We run, but I feel like I’m leaving something behind. An unfinished memory perhaps? Or maybe a piece of myself? We race down the stairwell, the air growing light with each step. At the bottom, I spot Greyson first, red hair like fire, the purple bruise marking where I hit him. Cedrix stands next to him, watching the doorway, his one hand clutching around a small silver ball.

  “Did you get the other three?” Aiden asks breathless and red faced.

  Cedrix shakes his head. “There are still two wandering around. The one asshole saw me coming and bailed before the grenade exploded.” He steps out the door, the silver ball gripped tightly in his hand, which trembles slightly with the fear that we won’t make it out of here alive.

  The building stays silent, our five heartbeats the only noise.

  “Maybe we should just go,” Ryder whispers, moving for the door.

  Aiden nods and they swarm for the door all at once, knocking into each other as they try to squeeze through. I trail behind, still feeling like I’m doing something wrong—like I need to go back to him. I hear a rustle behind me. I glance up and see two sets of boots, moving lightly down the stairs. Instinctively, like my hands are not my own, I rip the grenade from Cedrix’s hand, throw it, and wait for the silver smoke to fill and pollute the air. But the smoke never comes. The boots do, though, stampeding closer and closer.

  “You idiot,” Ryder hisses at me. “You didn’t pull the tab.”

  Aiden and Ryder exchange a glance and then they all start to run for their lives, but I’ve seen how fast the Day Takers are, at least Sylas, and I know that we’re in trouble. I slink under the stairway as they reach the bottom, holding my breath, waiting.

  “Nice try with the silver grenade and everything,” one says with a sharp snap of his fang. “But next time you might want to make sure it works.”

  I search for a weapon and spot a pipe by my foot. I pick it up, knowing I’m not as strong as I once was, but I have to try. I jump out from behind the stairwell and smack the pipe hard into the back of one’s head. He screams, but doesn’t fall. He turns around and my heart stutters.


  His moppy hair hangs in his eyes and he wears the same condescending smile as the last time I saw him. “Kayla, pleasure seeing you again.” Then he lunges for me.

  I smack him in the face with the pipe and his jaw cracks, but he pops it back in place. I try again, but he knocks the pipe away.

  “Sucks doesn’t it?” he says. “Bet you were wishing you’d taken the medicine.”

  I swing the pipe for his face again, but he hits it away and lunges for me, falling on top of me as we ram to the ground. My head cracks and smoke sputters the room. Five seconds later, his heavy, unconscious body is pinning me to the ground.

  Aiden throws him off with a grunt and helps me to my feet. “No more playing hero until you get used to being human, okay?”

  I nod and they all pile out the door. But I pause, looking at Bernard, wondering if this is the right choice. Aiden slips his hand into mine and nods his head. “We need to go.”

  I nod and we sprint after them, bursting out the front door of the building. I’m relieved to see that darkness hasn’t settled over the city yet. At least they have that going for them.

  The five of us take off down the ash-covered street, fires roaring beside us, and we never look back. But part of me wants to look and find out what’s behind me.