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The underworld, p.41
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       The Underworld, p.41

         Part #2 of Fallen Star series by Jessica Sorensen
Page 41


  “What unemotional,” I said furiously.

  “Okay, you two,” my mother interrupted, which was a good thing because I could feel the electricity on the rise, so things were about to get really heated. “Alex, Gemma’s right. You do have a star’s energy in you. Not a separate star, but the same one. ”

  Alex was shaking his head. “No. There’s no way. How could a star’s power accidently get transferred into Gemma and me?”

  “Because it wasn’t an accident,” my mother said and motioned her hand around at all of us. “None of it was. All of this—all of you happened for a reason. Gemma having the star in her—you having the star in you. Aislin being a witch, and Laylen being a vampire. None of this was an accident. ”

  My heart was beating a million miles a minute, like an insane humming bird was in my chest. I glanced at Laylen, remembering how Nicholas said Stephan had created him, and how Laylen had told me he couldn’t recollect how he had been changed. Memory loss, just like me.

  “So what you’re saying,” Laylen said, speaking slowly as if he’d forgotten how to form words. “Is that I was bitten on purpose—that Stephan had a vampire bite me?”

  My mother nodded and then looked at all of us gravely. “Stephan has been planning this out for years—ever since he found out the portal could be opened. ” She sighed, looking drowsy. “Stephan’s been looking for a way to free Malefiscus since the mark first appeared on his face. No one knew about his mark, though, because his parents cut it off and tried to keep it hidden. I didn’t even know he had it until it was too late. ” She swallowed hard. “Stephan is a descendent of Malefiscus, but I’m not sure how. I don’t think either of his parents bore the mark. ”

  “I still don’t get it, though. ” Alex said. “You say all of us play a part. But play a part in what?”

  “Well, for starters, in freeing Malefiscus” my mom explained. “Stephan’s been trying to free him even before he was told he could by a Foreseer. It was through visions that he finally figured out the exact details of what he had to do to pull it off—a sort of step-by-step guide. ”

  “But I thought Malefiscus being immortal was just a myth?” Laylen asked, putting his feet up on the bottom railing.

  My mother shook her head. “He could create marks, just like Stephan can. Although, I’m pretty sure Stephan himself hasn’t been able to create the Mark of Immortality…yet. ”

  “Yet?” I asked. “Does that mean he will?”

  “It’s only a matter of time,” my mom said, nodding. “He’ll find a way eventually. ”

  I thought about the Death Walkers and how difficult they were to kill and how the Sword of Immortality was one of the few things that could kill them. And how, in the end of the world vision I saw, Stephan had had the sword. As of now, we still had the sword, but did this mean we would end up losing it?

  Aislin, who had been sitting silently in her chair, looking very much freaked out, suddenly sputtered out, “But why does he need a witch…and a vampire. And why did he have to create them?”

  My mother took a shaking breath, grasping her hands together. “Not a lot of people know this, but during Malefiscus’s reign of time, it wasn’t just the Death Walkers who were terrorizing people. There were some witches, vampires, fey, and even a couple of Foreseers who had joined him. ” My mom took another sip of her water and when she placed it back on the railing it tipped over and tumbled off the side of the deck. She shook her head. “When Hektor finally captured Malefiscus, the Keepers had to come up with a way to make his followers surrender. So they put Malefiscus in a portal and sealed it with the blood of three individuals; a Keeper who also was a vampire, a Keeper who was also a witch, and a Keeper who was also a faerie. That way the fey, witches, and vampires who followed Malefiscus would be bound to the portal as well, without the Keepers having to track them all down. “

  I glanced at Aislin, who was a witch and a Keeper, and Laylen who was a vampire and a Keeper. There was one piece missing here—a half-faerie, half-Keeper. So who was the missing link?

  My mother stared out at the ocean. “The final step was to seal the portal with the energy of a fallen star. ”

  “So there was another fallen star once that two Keepers had to carry around in them?” I asked, glancing over at Alex. He met my eyes and the electricity ignited. “There were two people just like Alex and me?”

  My mother tore her eyes off the ocean and shook her head. “No. The stars energy you and Alex carry is the same stars energy the Keepers used those hundreds of years ago. After they sealed the portal, they hid it away because no one knew how to destroy it. The star was also never put in any Keepers. That’s one of the things that I’ve never been able to figure out. I don’t understand why Stephan split the star and put it’s energy in you two. ” She let out a heavy sigh. “But I do know that in order for Stephan to be able to open the portal, he needs his vampire, his witch, and his faerie that also have Keeper’s blood in them, so he created them. Then, he got his hands on the star, and for some reason he put it in you and Alex. ”

  I felt like I had been hit by a truck. “So if he opens the portal, then, what happens? Malefiscus is freed. ”

  My mother nodded. “He’ll be able to enter our world again. Every Death Walker will come out of hiding and even more will come out of the portal. He controls them because of his mark and because of his blood, which is the same reason why Stephan has control over them. ” She paused. “Anyone who has the Mark of Malefiscus can communicate with the Death Walkers. ”

  I thought of when Nicholas had been talking to them in the forest, and how it had sounded like a one-sided conversation. But it had been because he was talking to a Death Walker, and since Alex and I didn’t have the Mark of Malefiscus we couldn’t hear anything the Death Walker was saying.

  “And along with the Death Walkers, every witch, faerie, and vampire who are the descendents of those who followed Malefiscus, during his first reign of terror, will be under his control if he gets out of the portal,” my mom added in a heavy tone. “So what you saw in the vision, Gemma, was probably the end of what’s going to happen to the world. What you saw is probably what came after the massacre. ”

  “Massacre,” I said aloud and then we all just sat there. This was so much worse than what we originally thought. Yes, the world would end in ice, but people would be slaughtered first, and by witches, vampires, and faeries.

  “But I don’t get it?” I said loudly, startling everyone. “How does Stephan know how to do all of this? And why on December 21, 2012?”

  “Because that’s when he was told it would be possible to open the portal—a Foreseer told him. The same Foreseer who told him he needed to create all of you. ”

  “Is my father the Foreseer?” I asked, shocking both her and everyone else.

  My mother jumped up from her chair. “No, it’s not your father!” she screamed and I hovered back in my chair.

  She stood there for a moment, her bright blue eyes wild with rage. Then she composed herself and sunk back down in the chair. “I’m so sorry Gemma. ”

  “It—it’s okay. ” I said, sucking back the tears threatening to leak out of my eyes.

  She shook her head. “No it’s not. ”

  Aislin slowly stood up from her chair, her golden blonde hair blowing in the wind. “I think I need to go lie down. This is a lot to take in. ”

  My mother nodded, and Aislin scurried out. Laylen hopped off the railing and followed after her.

  My mother glanced between Alex and I. “And you two. I have no idea why he needed to separate the star. Or why he detached Gemma’s soul and raised you to be emotionally shut off. It’s the one thing we really need to find out because I have a feeling it might be the key to stopping it all. ”

  “But why did he create Aislin and Laylen?” I asked. “I mean, I understand why he needs them, but why did he create them? Why not just find a vampire and witch who are also Keepers?”

sp; “Because their kind are not easy to find,” my mother answered. “And I think it was also so he could keep an eye on them and make sure everything turned out the way that he wanted. ”

  Suddenly, the electricity started to surge even more than it had, almost to the point that it was suffocating me.

  “Alex, are you…okay?” I asked.

  He looked at me; there was a fire in his bright green eyes. Then he stood to his feet, threw the chair over the deck, and stormed inside. I almost followed, but then thought better of it.

  I turned my attention back to my mother. “So, that’s it, then? Stephan will open up the portal and the world will end, just like I saw it?”

  My mom leaned toward me and placed her hand on top of mine. “There are always loopholes, Gemma. You just have to find them. ”

  I took her words in. There were always loopholes; you just have to find them. But what if we couldn’t find them?

  Then what?








  Chapter 41

  After my mom had dropped the bombshell on us, everyone scattered around the house. Aislin and Laylen were in their rooms and Alex had gone outside. My mom said she needed to lie down and rest—she was still recovering from being in The Underworld for so long—but had made a request first. She asked me to go check on Alex.

  Yeah, I’m not sure she understood how terrible of an idea that was, and I tried to explain to her that he and I tended to argue a lot and with as upset as he was, I would probably just make him mad. But my mom was very insistent that I do so.

  So I did, but with zero confidence that I would be able to make him feel better.

  I found Alex sitting out on the front steps, the sun shining down on his messy brown hair. He didn’t look up at me when I walked out, but I knew that he knew I was there, thanks to the electricity. The electric connection felt so different now that I knew why it was there. In fact, it was kind of like a painful reminder of what Stephan had done to us, and what he was planning to do to the world.

  The salty air kissed my skin as I sat down on the cement steps beside Alex. I told myself that I could do this—I could make him feel a little better. I had done it for Laylen after all, when he bit the woman. But, with Alex, it was different.

  “How are you?” I asked him, which seemed like a really stupid question once it left my mouth. How are you? I shook my head at myself.

  Alex looked at me with the same look I would have given myself if that were possible.

  I kicked a rock with my toes. “Sorry, dumb question. ”

  He took a few deep breathes and the expression on his face softened. “No, it’s not a dumb question…I just…I don’t know how I am. ” He ran his fingers through his hair so hard he yanked at the roots. “I feel like I don’t know anything anymore. I mean, my whole life has been a lie. ”