The Vision, Page 4Jessica Sorensen
“Just give me a second. ” Alright, Gemma, one foot in front of the other…Yeah, okay, that wasn’t happening.
I collapsed to the ground, barely able to keep my eyes in focus. “Alright, you go get Aislin, and I’ll stay here. ”
“Are you crazy?” Alex said.
“I’ll be fine. ” I shooed him away with my hand. “Now hurry up and go get her. ”
“You won’t be fine. ” He frowned at me. “And if he does wake up, he’ll just take you. ”
He had a point, but. . .
“At least take the crystal ball he uses to travel with. ” I rested my heavy head against the cliff. “That way if he does wake up, he won’t get very far. ”
“Do you know where he keeps it?”
“I think he keeps it in the pocket of his pants. ”
Alex gave me a blank stare. “”You want me to reach into the pocket of another guys pants. ”
Oh my word. Guys were such babies sometimes.
Still not feeling up to standing, I crawled over to Nicholas, reach in his pocket, and took out his ruby-filled traveling crystal ball that shimmered red when it caught in the light of the sun.
Alex took the crystal ball from me and chucked it over the cliff. “Alright, let’s go. ”
I gave a slow nod, not wanting to stand up and walk. Every part of my body was weak, like all the energy had been sucked out of me.
Alex held his hand out and helped me to my feet. I felt like I was standing on an out-of-control merry-go-round.
I clutched onto his arm. “I think something’s wrong with me. ”
“You’re just figuring that out?” he teased, but there was concern in his tone.
“Ha. Ha,” I said sarcastically.
I saw spots and my ears popped. “I think…there’s something…” I trailed off as I fell toward the ground.
Alex caught me. “Careful,” he said, steadying me. Then he lifted me up into his arms.
The electricity flowing from him was like a peaceful lullaby, singing me to sleep. But even through my dazed-out brain, I knew it was wrong. Alex was not supposed to be carrying me.
“You can’t…be…near…me,” I murmured, drifting in and out of consciousness.
He shushed me, and I was overcome by sleepiness. I rested my head against his chest and a second later, I was out.
I woke up lying in a bed in a room with sky-blue walls. My vision was back to normal and my head was much clearer. I gradually sat up, just in case I was hit with another spout of dizziness. But my equilibrium seemed to be fixed. Thank God. I actually thought I was broken or something; that whatever took place back on the beach had permanently blinded me or something.
The door cracked open and Alex peered in. He looked shocked to see me awake.
“Feeling better?” he asked, pushing the door open the rest of the way.
I stretched my arms out above my head and yawned. “Yeah. ”
He sat down on the bed and nervous energy was radiating off him. “You freaked the heck out of me back there, you know that?”
“Sorry,” I said. “I don’t know what happened. . . it was like all my energy was sucked away from me or something. ”
He was looking at me in a way that made my skin glow with heat. He placed a hand on my cheek. “You really freaked me out. ”
My heart pounded inside my chest. Why was he looking at me like that—it was making me feel like I was suffocating.
I flinched away from him.
He frowned, his hand still hovering in the air. “What’s wrong?”
Not looking at him, I took a deep breath. “I need to tell you something. ”
He tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear. “Okay, what is it?”
I shivered from his touch. I wished he would have acted like this when I first met him. “It’s about you and me,” I said, meeting his eyes.
He pressed his lips together, looking amused. “Oh, yeah?”
He still had his fingers in my hair and it took all my energy not to lean my head into his hand and shut my eyes. “Your father told me something about you and me when I was up at the cabin,” I told him, my voice trembling.
He looked worried. “Was it something bad?”
I nodded. “It is. ”
“But you were never up at the cabin, so that means it doesn’t matter, right?”
I choked back the strangling feeling rising up inside me, knowing that once I said it out loud, it would become very real. “I know, but I’m sure it still applies. ” I paused. “He told me that if you and I were close to each other for too long then the star’s power would eventually fade away and you and I would fade along with it. ”
I held my breath, waiting for him to get riled up, but all he did was sit there, staring at me. I was just starting to wonder if I had shocked the words right out of him, when he shut down. The scary part was that I swear I actually could see it; the emotion slipping out of his eyes and leaving nothing in its place.
“Well, okay then. ” He stood up and headed for the door.
“That’s all you have to say?” I sprung to my feet, kind of pissed off that he wasn’t as upset as I was.
“What do you want me to say?” he asked with an uncaring shrug. “We can’t be near each other, so we won’t. ”
I glared at him. “Well, we could at least make sure it’s true before we do. ”
He opened the door. “Why would we do that?”
I was filled with the urge to shove him. “Why are you being such a jerk?”
He let out a frustrated breath and turned to face me. “What do you want from me, Gemma? We can try to find out if there’s some truth to it, but it’s probably true—it’s probably why he never wanted us to be near each other in the first place. ”
Whoa. I never thought of that, and I think, up until this point, I was grasping onto the hope that Stephan had been feeding me a line.
“I…um…” I was at a loss for words.
We stared at one another, unsure of what to do or say, while the electricity danced around us, laughing at us, taunting us, torturing us with its existence.
Aislin appeared in the doorway. “He’s awake. ”
I tore my eyes away from Alex. “Who is? Nicholas?”
She nodded and Alex pushed past her.
Aislin gave me a funny look, but I didn’t feel like explaining what was going on.
“Is my mom back, yet?” I asked.
She had changed out of her dirty clothes and her hair was back to its normal perfect state. “No, I haven’t heard from her since we all split up to go find Laylen,” she said. “But maybe it’s a good sign she’s not back—maybe she found him and is trying to get him to come back. ”
Maybe, but it worried me that she wasn’t back yet. It just didn’t seem like a great idea for my mom—who had just been freed from The Underworld a day ago—to be out by herself looking for a vampire with blood thirst issues.
“I know it’s not the best situation,” Aislin told me like she read my mind. “But I’m sure she’s okay. ”
“I hope they’re both okay,” I said, but something in my gut told me this was not the case.
“Is this really necessary?” I asked Alex for about the millionth time.
He shrugged and popped his knuckles. “Maybe. ”
He wasn’t being rude or anything, he was just acting all “whatever. ” This was the attitude he had gave me for the last half an hour as Aislin and I stood out in the hot, humidgarage and watched Alex try to beat the information out of Nicholas.
Nicholas seemed to be finding Alex’s beatings amusing. He kept laughing every time Alex punched him. I swear I was really starting to wonder if faeries were a little bit crazy.
Nicholas’ hands were tied to a pipe that ran along the ceiling. His lip was bleeding, and the rope was cutting into his wrists, causing blood to drip down his arms an
d soak the green t-shirt he was wearing. Plus, I was pretty sure Alex had broken a couple of his ribs.
“Tell me what you know about what happened back there on the beach,” Alex demanded. Like clockwork, Nicholas laughed at him and then Alex punched him in the stomach.
Nicholas laughed again, but I could see he was in a lot of pain by the way his expression twisted and his skin coated with sweat. “You know, it actually kind of tickles. ”
Alex clocked him in the stomach again, and I cringed at the cracking noise that had to be a rib breaking. “I could do this all day. ” Alex paced in front of him and then rammed his fist into Nicholas’ side. Alex continued doing this over and over, his face reddening with anger the more Nicholas laughed.
“We should do something,” I said to Aislin in a low voice.
She blinked at me helplessly. “Like what?”
“I don’t know…” I pushed my shoulders back, trying to look confident as I marched over to Alex. “Stop it. I don’t think he’s going to tell you anything, even if he does know something. ”
Alex ignored me and raised his hand, preparing to swing.
I grabbed his arm, which I know was a very stupid thing to do for many different reasons. “Look, I know he’s annoying and everything, but still…”
Alex was breathing erratically and the anger burning in his bright green eyes made me shrink back.
“Are you okay?” I asked in a calming voice.
He blinked a few times as if he was coming out of a raging state. Then he tore his arm away from me. “What are you doing? You can’t touch me. ” So much anger burned from his eyes, and the sparks nipped madly at my skin.
“Is this really about getting information from Nicholas?” I whispered. “Or is it about what I told you. ”
“Why would it be about that?” His voice cut through the air like a knife about to injure me. “It doesn’t matter to me whether you and I can be together. ”
Okay, that stung. But I was pretty sure he was putting on a front—or at least I hoped he was. After learning about myself and about him, I knew that both of our emotions were a little bit…what would be a nice word for it…erratic. We don’t show our true feelings sometimes, and I think it’s because we’re still learning how to.
“You don’t mean that. ” My voice was barely a whisper
He opened his mouth, and then shut it again. Then he just looked at me with this confused, panicked expression. The electricity heated up. I heard Aislin say. . . something, but all I could focus on was his eyes and the buzzing and the—
Nicholas busted up laughing. “Oh my God, look at you two. You both want to be together so bad, yet, if you do, you’ll kill each other. It’s hilarious. ”
Alex and I blinked and then Alex was moving for Nicholas.
“What did you just say?” Alex growled, clenching his hands into fists.
Nicholas pressed back a smirk, his golden eyes twinkling wickedly. “I didn’t say anything. ”
Alex took a few threatening steps toward him, the soles of his black DC’s scuffing against the cement floor. “What do you know about Gemma and I killing one another. ”