Fractured souls, p.4
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       Fractured Souls, p.4

         Part #2 of Shattered Promises series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 4

 

  “How is that possible, though?” I eye over the black ink tattooing his skin, the Mark of Immortality. “I mean, I know you are because you’re a Vampire, but what does that make Stephan?”

  Laylen scratches at the Greek-like marks on his arm. “He could be a lot of things. There are a lot of different breeds that get the mark… Alex says he doesn’t know why his father has it, though. Only that Stephan told him once that he couldn’t be killed by anything. ” Laylen rolls his eyes as I cringe. “Alex didn’t even question him, and I’m not surprised. He always did what his father said… until in the cabin… supposedly. ” He pauses. “But still, wouldn’t it seem normal to be suspicious? Especially when he told Alex that he can’t even be killed with the Sword of Immortality, which is supposed to be able to kill all Immortals. ”

  “I’m not sure if Alex fully understands the word suspicious,” I point out. “He doesn’t even understand why I’m suspicious over everything he does… but how can I not be after everything that’s happened?” I pause, taking an unsteady breath. “I’m not sure who I can trust. ”

  Laylen offers me a sympathetic look and then places a hand on my leg. His touch causes a very mystifying feeling inside me that coils all the way up to my thighs. “You can trust me. ”

  “I know that. ” I actually mean it, too. Something about Laylen makes him seem like a very trustworthy person, which is what I need at the moment. “What else did Alex tell you?”

  Amusement develops on his face. “He told me that you guys took a little trip to the City of Crystal where you discovered that you’re a Foreseer. ”

  I rub my hand tensely on the mark on the back of my neck—the inky black circle wrapping the ‘S’—the one that brands me a Foreseer. “Did he tell you about the vision I went into while I was down there?”

  “He did,” Laylen hesitantly answers. “Do you want to talk about it? I know it has to be hard for you to deal with, seeing that happen to your mother. ”

  Images stab at my mind like shards of glass; Stephan forcing my mom to go into the lake, the entrance to The Underworld where she’s been tortured by Faeries. “Do you think there’s any way she can still be alive? My mom, I mean… while I was blacked out I had a dream or something and I saw her… she was begging me to help her. ”

  “Really?” he asks and I nod. He stares at me contemplatively. Part of me grows eager, the stupid side probably, thinking he might say yes, there is a possibility that my mother, who I haven’t seen since I was four years-old, and can barely remember—thanks to the detachment of my soul from my emotions and the erasing of my memories—might still be alive.

  “I don’t know, Gemma,” he utters quietly, giving my knee a squeeze. “She’s been down there for a really long time…. But maybe. I mean, there’s been some people that I’ve heard of who’ve survived the Water Faerie’s torture for a really long time without going too insane… God, there’s even been a few people who’ve escaped. ”

  “Are you being serious?” I ask. “Alex made it sound like there wasn’t a way to escape. ”

  “Don’t get mad at him for that. ” Laylen slips his arm around my back and draws me closer to him. He puts his lips right beside my ear and whispers in a deep voice, “He doesn’t hang out with the same crowd as I do, does he?”

  I turn my head to the side and our lips nearly touch. “And what kind of crowd is that? A Vampire crowd? Witch crowd? Black Angel crowd? There are so many crowds in this crazy ass world I’ve been thrown into. ”

  He grins mischievously. “The everything kind of crowd. ”

  We’re so close that I can’t help thinking about how amazing it’d feel if he just took me over, owned my emotions; got my thoughts of dying, the end of the world and, ultimately, Alex out of my head for a while. “Is there any way we can find out if she’s still alive and where she is?"

  “It depends on how brave you are,” he says with a wink.

  I force a small smile, but thoughts of my mom drowning in a lake of Fey haunt my mind. If she’s alive, I need to save her, like she asked me to in the dream, if that’s what it was. “Are you trying to get me all riled up for some reason?”

  He shakes his head and a grin slips through. “I’m just trying to tell you the truth, so you know what you’re walking into. ”

  “I’m not scared,” I assure him, which doesn’t seem like a lie. “I want answers—real answers—and I’ll do whatever I have to in order to get them. ”

  He mulls over what I said, nibbling on his bottom lip, making sucking noises as he draws the lip ring in between his teeth. “Then I say we do it. ”

  “Do what exactly?” I’m practically bouncing with excitement. “I need to know what I’m getting into. ”

  He inclines back a little and his gaze fleetingly glides to the bed. It scares me for some reason, the idea that he might be thinking something that requires me being on the bed. Again I try to sift through my emotions to figure out how I feel about him, but I can’t quite understand it and the prickle seems to be stuck in the REM cycle.

  “You remember that club we got the Sword of Immortality from?” he checks.

  I nod. “Yeah, and I really remember how the bartender spiked my drink with a rufi. ”

  “Well, where we’re going is similar, but worse. ” Worry laces his tone.

  I consider what he said, recollecting the Black Dungeon and how I pretty much attacked Alex after drinking that drink. Alex was there to help me, but he won’t be this time. I’m not sure I want him to be, either. “You think it’s worth it to go check it out? That there might be answers there?”

  He nods with confidence. “I think your mom may know more about what’s going on than anyone does. I think that might be why Stephan sent her there. That and to keep her away from you. ”

  “I think so, too,” I agree. “In the vision I saw—the one where Stephan forced her into the lake—she said she knew things about Stephan that eventually everyone else would figure out. ”

  Plus, I really just want to see my mom. I miss her, even though I really don’t know her, and the idea of seeing her again is enough to make me risk anything. The only family I ever had was Marco and Sophia, my supposed grandparents and two of the most cold-hearted people I know.

  “Laylen, what happened to Marco and Sophia?” I ask.

  Laylen shrugs. “I’m not sure, but I feel like we need to find out. They were part of removing your soul and they might know something as well… but no one can seem to find them at the moment. ”

  “So they just vanished?”

  “Pretty much,” he says. “At least that’s what Alex told me. He tried to get a hold of them when we got here. ”

  I frown. “Why would he do that?”

  He shakes his head with disdain. “Despite everything, Alex seems to think that Keepers are still trustworthy and the only kind he can seek help from. ”

  “When are we going to—”

  “Gemma. ” Alex’s voice floats through the door. “Are you in there?”

  “Uh…yeah,” I call out, shifting away from Laylen, as though I’m doing something wrong. “I’m in here with—”

  Laylen covers my mouth with his hand and puts a finger up to his lips, shushing me. “If he knows I’m in here, then he’ll know something’s up. ”

  “So what,” I whisper back, my voice muffled against his palm. “What’s he going to do?”

  Laylen aims me a “really” look. “Get pissed off. Not let you go with me. Lock you in a cellar and never let you out just so no one else can touch you. ” At the end his lips tug upward. “You know how he is with you. ” He removes his hand from my mouth.

  I frown. He’s right. If Alex finds out about this, he won’t let me go. Besides, I’m not even sure I can trust him. “Yeah, I know. ”

  Alex bangs on the door again. “Gemma, can you open the door?”

  I feel the prickle emerge on the back of my neck, begging me to open the door and let him in; allow
him to see me with Laylen and think something’s going on. I might have to, but Laylen abruptly gets up from the bed, drops down to his hands and knees and crawls underneath the bed.

  I watch him with wide eyes as I scramble to my feet. “Seriously? You’re going to hide under the bed?”

  “Just pretend I’m not here,” he whispers as the last of his legs vanish.

  I stand there, stunned, feeling like I’m a teenager hiding my boyfriend from my parents, only I never really had that experience since I’d never had a boyfriend or parents.

  Alex knocks on the door again and a breath eases out of my mouth before I walk over to open it up. The second I see him, my emotions entwine together into a very perplexing knot, even though it’s only been like an hour since I last saw him. I don’t understand why it happens, why I’m so turned onto him when he infuriates me to no end. I’m seriously starting to wonder if because of all those years trapped in an unemotional state, my body and head are now broken, unable to deal with the newfound emotions recently piled onto me.

  He looks very uncomfortable for some reason, however the black mark looks like its fading. “Took you long enough. ”

  “I thought you were leaving,” I retaliate, leaning against the open door, aiming for nonchalant, but it comes off a little twitchier than I planned.

  His eyes narrow, patronizing me. “Now why would I do that?”

  “Because you said you would,” I reply simply.

  He braces his hands on the doorway, invading my comfort zone and my gaze zeros in on his solid stomach muscles as his shirt rides up. “Well, you’re the one who kept insisting I was a liar. I’m just living up to my reputation, something I’m really good at. ”

  I try not to stare at his muscles, but thoughts of how they moved as he thrust inside me haunt my mind. I’m still not sure how I feel about having sex, or if I feel anything other than confusion. I wonder if that’s normal.

  “Did you need something?” I shake my head at the unevenness of my voice.

  He elevates his brows with suspicion. “You’ve been up here forever. What have you been doing?”

  I gesture at my new outfit. “Changing. ”

  His eyes scan down my body, warming every single inch of my skin. His eyes linger a little too long on my chest area then finally land on my eyes and I can’t tell what he’s thinking at all.

  “You look good,” is all he says.

  “Um… thanks, I guess,” I mutter, folding my arms over my chest.

  His lips smash together as he deliberates something. Then he steps toward me, taking me by surprise as he lines his body with mine and I have no choice except to back up against the door. Fireworks of heat erupt as he pins my shoulders between his arms, his hands resting beside my head.