Darkness breaks, p.4
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       Darkness Breaks, p.4

         Part #2 of Darkness Falls series by Jessica Sorensen
Page 4


  Sylas moves back and wipes his blood-stained lips with the sleeve of his shirt. “Is he a friend of yours?”

  “He’s from The Colony. ” I lean over Tristan. “You didn’t kill him, did you?”

  He gets a devious look and walks behind me. “Would it upset you if I did?” He sweeps my hair to the side and my head rolls back as a blanket of warmth caresses my skin. “Tell me Kayla, is he one of your admirers?”

  “No…” I scoot forward, distancing us. “And would you stop messing around with my emotions. ” I bend over Tristan and study his state. “He shouldn’t be here. He’s just a Colony member. ”

  Sylas crouches beside me. “He’s not a Bellator then?”

  I shake my head slowly and pat Tristan pockets, checking for weapons. “At least not when I left The Colony he wasn’t. But he’s different now—stronger and angrier. ”

  “Sounds like an improvement if you ask me. ”

  I glare at him and he returns it with a grin.

  He scratches his head. “What are the Highers up to?”

  I hear a rustle and spin with my fists out. “Are there others here?”

  Shaking his head, Sylas stands. “Not that I know of. The only reason I came up here was to check on you. ”

  I stare at the dark, empty hall. “So it’s only him… that doesn’t make any sense. ”

  Sylas glances over his shoulder to the hallway. “He seemed to be looking for you. ”

  “Yeah, but again, why? I mean, after I left The Gathering, he should have forgotten about me. And he didn’t act like he knew who I was. ” I pause. “And how did he even get in here?”

  Sylas’ thinking face forms, his eyebrows dipping as he nibbles at his bottom lip. “He must have followed us in here. ”

  “But I would have noticed—I would have heard his heart. ” But I can’t hear his heart now. “Did you really kill him? Or is he just missing a heartbeat. ”

  Sylas folds his arms and taps his lips. “I don’t think I killed him. In fact, I’m about ninety percent sure I didn’t. ” He takes note of Tristan’s pale state and the blood streaming down his neck. “Well, maybe eighty percent. ”

  I rub my temples. “How do we know for sure if he’s alive or not?”

  Sylas looms over him and inhales. “He’s good. ”

  “Are you one-hundred percent sure this time?”

  He presses back a smirk. “Maybe ninety-nine. ”

  “What do we do with him?” I search the dark room for a solution and come to a stop by the window. The streets are smothered with night and the fires flame in front of the buildings. The Highers were out tonight and then Tristan shows up—it can’t be just a coincidence.

  “We could chain him to a wall,” Sylas suggests, resting his arms on the windowsill and peering down at the sparkling city. “That always seems to work. ”

  I frown, remembering the multiple times I’ve been chained to the wall. “I don’t know. . . ”

  “What’s a matter, Kayla?” Sylas teases and nudges me with his shoulder. “Do you feel sorry for him?”

  I take in Tristan’s features, his cropped blonde hair, and the blue eyes that are hidden below his eyelids. “I’m not sure what I feel for him—I never have. ”

  “Then I’ll make the decision for you. ” Sylas picks up Tristan and throws him over his shoulder with intentional roughness. Tristan’s head thumps heavily against Sylas’ shoulder.

  “Are you sure you don’t remember him from The Colony?” I ask suspiciously.

  Sylas’ dark eyes linger on me. “I left The Colony a few years ago, and can barely remember anyone. Why does it matter anyway?”

  “Because, if you knew him, you’d know he’s not a bad person,” I explain and Sylas raises his eyebrows, his gaze settling on my cheek. My fingers trace the tender spot where Tristan slapped me. “Well, he used to be a nice person… a little brainwashed, but nice enough. ”

  “And you used to be inhumanly strong, but now look at you. ”

  I tip my head at Tristan’s upside down face. “Yeah, but Tristan was so… ”

  “So what?” Sylas shifts Tristan’s weight. “Perfect, right? Just like every other Colony member. So here’s a thought to sit on. What defines perfect? If everyone’s the same then how can someone be considered perfect when theres no imperfection to compare them to?"

  “That’s deep,” I say. “Did you come up with on your own? Or are you basing it on a memory you won’t share with me?”

  “You already knew the Highers seek perfection. You’ve lived in The Colony. But that little knowledge I came up with all on my own. ”

  I sweep my bangs out of my face. “Sylas, I think Tristan was going to bite me. Does that mean he’s a Day Taker?”

  Sylas shakes his head and glances at Tristan. “He doesn’t feel the same as a Day Taker, but I don’t think he’s human either, so we better get him chained up. ”

  We leave the room. Unexpectedly, Sylas heads for the roof. He weaves up the staircase and pushes out the steel door.

  Ash rains down from the sky and I shield my eyes. “You’re locking him up on the roof?”

  “It’s as good as place as any. ” He drops Tristan on the ground and disappears around a domed skylight where he drags out a set of heavy chains. “Besides, it’s harder for anyone to hear him screaming from all the way up here. ”

  “You’re not going to torture him, Sylas. ” I stand between the two of them. “I won’t let you. ”

  “I’m not going to torture him. ” He pushes me aside and winds the chains around Tristan’s wrists. “As long as he cooperates. But I don’t want the others knowing he’s here. ” He clips the chains together with a solid lock and the chains draw together, pinning Tristan’s arms tight. “You should know better than anyone that they don’t welcome strangers. ”

  I stare him down, desperate to feel if he’s lying. Sylas is the exception to my gift; he’s a rock hard barrier that’s difficult to penetrate.

  “I don’t know how many times I have to tell you, Kayla,” Sylas dusts the dirt from his hands. “I don’t lie. That’s my brother’s thing. ”

  My heart races as I think of Aiden and his death. “How long do you think Tristan will be out?”

  “Depends on if he’s human or not, I guess,” Sylas says with a half-hearted shrug. “If he’s not human, he should be up soon. ” A shadow masks his face. “Seeing how he’d be stronger. ”

  “Stronger than what?” Tristan’s weary voice startles us.

  Instinctively, we reel. Sylas steps in front of me, blocking me from Tristan’s reach. It’s an overly protective gesture that perplexes me to no end. Just when I think I’ve gotten him figured out, he does something that completely contradicts his normal character. But being me, I sidestep him to fully see Tristan. I’m not afraid of him, but I don’t think I’ll be running up and giving him a hug either.

  Sylas’ eyes flash with annoyance and the desire to devour. “You tell us. ” He crouches down in Tristan’s face. “Why are you here? And what are you?”

  Tristan glances at me helplessly. “I don’t know. I-I can’t remember. ”

  “Nice try. ” Sylas snaps out his teeth, which are sharp enough to kill a human if used the right way. “Now, I’m only going to ask you one more time. Why are you here? And what are you?”

  Tristan’s blue eyes bulge wide and he clumsily scoots back, lagging the chains, and presses his back against the skylight. “What are you? Some kind of vampire?”

  Sylas crawls on his hands and knees toward Tristan, his teeth pointing out and beaming in the glow the fires cast across the night sky. It’s his predator state and I know from experience that if pushed hard enough, he will lose control.

  “You’re not in any state to ask questions,” Sylas growls. “Only answer them. ”

  Tears flood Tristan’s cheeks. “I don’t know what to do. ”

  Deciding to intervene, I move between them and bend down to Tristan’
s eyelevel. “You don’t remember me at all?” I ask. “You used to know me—I used to live at The Colony. My name’s Kayla. ”

  “Kayla… from The Colony. ” He tries to recollect, but his eyes are uncomprehending. “What’s your last name?”

  “I don’t have one,” I say. “But some people call me Juniper. ”

  He shakes his head and sobs. “I don’t know you. Please, just let me go. ”

  I sigh and tug Sylas toward the door. “I think we might need Emmy’s help with this. ”

  He grins wickedly and rubs his hands together. “I love it when you’re ruthless. ”

  “I’m not ruthless,” I protest. “I just want answers, especially if he came here looking for me. ”

  “Yeah, but why not suggest the minte?” His grin broadens. He moves his lips to my ear, his broad chest pushing against my shoulder. “Face it Kayla, you’re just as cold-hearted as the rest of us. ”

  I don’t deny it. “Just go get Emmy. ”

  Sylas shrugs and ducks through the door. Once he’s gone, I turn to Tristan. He looks the same on the outside, but on the inside there’s emptiness. Was this what I looked like right after The Gathering? Is this what I look like now?

  “You’re not one of them,” he says, eyeing me over. “You’re different. ”

  “I’m not one of who?” I try to break through whatever it is he’s hiding.

  “Those things in there. ” He nods his head at the roof door. “Those half-breeds. ”

  “You know about the half-breeds?” In a few strides, I close the gap between us. But I still keep enough space that the chains won’t allow him to reach me.

  His heart is as still as a statue. “They’re abominations, you know. They’re not supposed to exist. ” He pauses, his dark gaze making me squirm. “Like you. You were supposed to be dead. ”

  “And what are you?” I challenge. “What did the Highers do to you when I left? Did they… Did Monarch turn you into something?”

  His blue eyes darken and blend in with the night. He skulks, lazy movements, towing the chains with him. “I’m what they need me to be for the time being. I’m the one they sent to kill you. After they found out you were alive, they had to find a way for you to die. ” His voice lowers. “You shouldn’t have been out in the streets. Monarch taught you to be better than that. ”

  My jaw falls and everything moves quickly, rushes of images that are barely comprehendible. Tristan lunges for me, a loud snap, and then his hands are around my neck.

  “Tristan,” I choke, shoving my hands against his chest. “Stop it!”

  He only squeezes tighter. “You have to die, Kayla. You just have to. ”