The evanescence, p.4
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       The Evanescence, p.4

         Part #2 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 4

 

  Chapter 3

  Gemma

  I’ve been tied to the bed for a few days now, staring at the same cathedral ceiling, the same four walls, the same door—the same everything. The ropes are starting to rub my skin raw and blood is dried up on my wrists, arms, and around my ankles. However, there’s very little connection to the pain because even though it’s my body and I’m still inside it, I have no control over what I do. I’m just a voice inside my head. Helena has all the power.

  She’s chattering on and on—she’s always rambling about something. From thoughts of escaping, to being furious with herself for letting this happen, to winning over her sisters, and most importantly, her plot to kill Alex. I want to wring her neck, kill her, and make her pay for even thinking it, but I’m a useless sack of potatoes right now, trapped inside my own body, unable to control it. I’m so afraid of losing myself in her thoughts because, sometimes, in the midst of the rambling, our thoughts collide and connect and for a moment I actually feel what she’s thinking.

  But I’m stronger than that—I need to be stronger.

  “Revenge on Alex? Don’t we have more important things to worry about?” I ask her through my thoughts because I know she can hear me. “Such as overtaking the world with your Lost Souls?”

  Her laughter echoes in my mind. “My, my, Gemma. You’re starting to think like a queen. ”

  “Well, I figure if I can’t beat them, join them,” I lie only to distract her and keep her from thinking terrible things about Alex.

  “If I didn’t know better,” she says. “I’d guess you are kind of enjoying this. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to be evil. ”

  “Perhaps,” I say. “But perhaps not. ”

  “You know I can see all your thoughts. I can tell when you’re lying. ”

  “No, you can’t. ” I know for a fact she can’t because I’ve thought things before—evil things about her—that she would definitely comment on if she heard. The problem is I have no idea how to close her off completely. I wish I did, though. I wish I could shut the madness off.

  “Oh, and you’re idea of eating spiders because you’re hungry is disgusting,” I add.

  “Well, I’m hungry,” she retorts. “They haven’t fed me anything for almost a day, which usually is fine, but this human starvation feeling is annoying. ”

  I laugh at her, even though I’m starving, too. “Good, I’m glad it annoys you. ”

  She lets out a snicker. “You think you can get to me—work your way under my skin. You think it’s that easy?”

  “It is pretty easy,” I smart off.

  “Smile and laugh all you want,” she snaps. “You’re the one who has to suffer. You’re the one who’s human, who will experience pain over and over again. It’ll never end, no matter what you do. Death, endings, heartbreak—they’ll always be there. They’re part of the mortal life. ”

  “You say mortal life like it’s a bad thing,” I say. “But I’d rather be mortal than like you. ”

  “You say it like you know me—understand me—Gemma,” she replies. “But you don’t. ”

  “But I do,” I tell her. “You’re Helena, Queen of the Lost Souls, who likes to throw temper tantrums, spit up black widows, possess bodies, and you’d do anything for more power. ”

  “Power makes the world go round,” she sings. “Without it, everyone would be held on the same level and no one would seek to be greater—we’d never evolve. ”

  “That’s the stupidest logic ever. ”

  “You say that now, but if you ever come across power, feel it, taste it, if only briefly, you’ll find out why I crave it and you’ll want it more than anything. ”

  I open my mouth to argue with her that she’s wrong, but I’m cut off by the squeak of a door.

  Evan walks into the room with Alex trailing behind him. They look terrible, shaken up and torn over something. My body aches to comfort him, run my fingers through his messy, brown hair, the lines of his firm jaw, along his soft lips. I wish I could make his pain go away, but Helena takes over, smothering the feeling out with her own gratification.

  “Back so soon, boys?” she singsongs in my voice as she bats her eyelashes at them It’s infuriating because I’d never, ever bat my eyelashes at a guy. “I knew you couldn’t get enough of me. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of me to go around if you don’t mind sharing. ” She laughs haughtily, and looks at them both with hungry eyes.

  “Hello, Helena,” Evan says as he reaches the edge of the bed.

  I barely know him, but every time I look at his black hair that hangs in his dark eyes a faint memory clicks inside my head; one of when we were children, running around playing. I was fascinated by the marks on his skin and I remember one time sitting in a field with him and he explained what each one meant. Sometime in my life, I knew him.

  “We just finished having a little discussion with Laylen. ” Evan leans over me. “He told us some very useful information about you and your ability to possess Gemma’s body. ”

  She smirks at him, shaking her head, and laughing. “You really expect me to believe that Laylen broke down and told you everything? He’s my puppet—all mine. I control him. Without me, he has nothing to tell. ”

  “You’re right; Laylen was like a puppet for you. Was being the key word,” he says calmly and then a condescending look rises across his face. “But with a little persuasion from my mind-blowing gifts, he became a little more willing to cooperate. As a matter of fact, you could probably say he’s now a puppet for me. ” Evan’s eyes light up as he makes movements with his fingers, like he’s controlling the strings of a marionette.

  I try not to panic, but it’s hard, especially when Alex’s face twists in agony. Something’s wrong. I can feel it.

  “So what?” She snickers. “Like I said, he doesn’t know anything so I have nothing to worry about. ”

  “I have to admit,” Evan continues, sinking down on the edge of the bed, the mattress concaving beneath his weight, “getting a Lost Soul to cooperate was kind of complicated and pretty painful for him, but he did cooperate and told us your little secrets. ” He taps his finger against his chin with a mocking expression as he pretends to consider something deeply. “Like that one secret. ” He glances over his shoulder at Alex. “What was it again?”

  Alexs flourishing green eyes have been fixed on me since he entered the room. His skin has gone sheet white, which makes me wonder what I look like. “Huh?” He rips his gaze from me. “Oh, the secret. ” He’s suddenly as serene and composed as he was when we first met. “The one on how to get you back to the Afterlife?”

  Evan snaps his fingers and slams his hand down on the bed beside my hip. “That’s the one. ”

  A rushing wave crashes through my body and slams into my heart, speeding up my pulse. “You’re lying!” Helena shouts. “He would never dare!”

  “Oh, we would dare,” Alex responds, his eyes searching every inch of my body. I want to shout that I’m in here, alive, but I’m bound to the darkness of my own mind and Helena’s power. “He told us that you have a loophole. ”

  Loopholes? God dammit. Why is it always about loopholes? They’re so unpredictable.

  “We know about Annabella,” Evan adds, placing a hand on each side of my head as he leans over me.

  A gasp escapes from Helena. “How… no…” Adrenaline soars through my body, fueled by her fear. She struggles to stay collected, fighting the urge to shout and divulge what she knows. “Annabella is the weaker of my sisters. Just because she saved you and Gemma once, doesn’t mean she’ll save you again. ” Rage consumes her, though, and she’s losing her composure. Her voice rumbles louder, thudding against the walls and the window. “Besides, Annabella doesn’t even exist anymore. I haven’t seen her since I ate her for dinner. ”

  Evan pulls a disgusted face as Alex arches his eyebrow. “Okay, way too much information,” Evan says.

  Helena’s grin magnifies and th
e fear inside her diminishes. “So tell me then, what did Laylen say the loophole is?” She’s enjoying herself now, thinking she’s won.

  Evan moves so swiftly it startles Helena and myself. He grabs my face between his hands and his skin is scorching as he presses hard. Angling my neck back, Helena tries to jerk away, but he only constricts his grip.

  “Please be careful,” Alex warns, inching forward, his arms twitching to touch me. “Don’t hurt her. ”

  A pale yellow orb radiates from Evan’s pupils that entrances Helena and she can’t seem to look away from him, as if she’s now possessed, which would make me double possessed.

  “Evan, don’t!” Alex yells, lunging towards Evan, his boots scuffing the floor as he dives for the bed.

  Evan tilts his head to the side, the orbs glowing brighter, and Alex is flung across the room and pinned back against the wall. His arms are bent up to the side of his head and his legs hang lifelessly beneath him.

  “Alex, I told you I wouldn’t let Helena exist if it all came down to it and I meant it. ” His grip on my cheeks tightens. My skull feels like it’s been wedged into a vice-grip and is about to splinter.

  Helena screams inside my head, “I won’t let go of you, Gemma! I refuse to! I refuse!”

  “If I go, Gemma goes with me!” she manages to speak, her voice thick and off-pitched as we both fight the unbearable pain. “You know I can take her and this time, without Annabella around, she won’t be able to come back. She’ll be mine! All mine!”

  The pain becomes more than I can bear; wrenching, bones cracking, the blood in my body ceases to flow. I’m falling, slipping away from my body when I hear Alex’s voice.

  “Evan, stop,” he pleads, wiggling his arms, battling to break free from Evan’s power. “Please, just listen to me. I want you to use your power to push Helena out of Gemma’s body. Put her into me. You can do that, can’t you… you can do transferentem. ” His voice is filled with desperation. He’s not thinking rationally. He can’t do it. I have to stop him.

  Please, please, please. I try to reconnect with my arms, but the insides of my muscles wind tightly in protest.

  “No way,” Evan tells Alex, his grip on my face loosening as he gapes at him. “If I do that… it’ll… it’ll kill you. ”

  “I don’t give a shit,” Alex responds, jerking his shoulder forward. “Haven’t you…” He grunts as he tries to move his leg. “Haven’t you ever loved someone more than anything and would do anything for them?”

  There’s a pause that seems to drag out for an eternity and even Helena holds her breath. Then suddenly, Alex’s arms spring free from the wall and he collapses to the floor, landing on his hands and knees.