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The underworld, p.42
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       The Underworld, p.42

         Part #2 of Fallen Star series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 42

 

  I nodded, understanding how he felt completely.

  “Gemma,” his voice held such uncertainty. He watched me with his bright green eyes, which were filled with the same uncertainty his voice held. “I’m sorry…for everything. ”

  How was I supposed to respond to this because it no longer seemed like I should be putting the blame on Alex for what had happened to me?

  “It’s okay,” I told him. “It’s really not your fault. ”

  “It is, though,” he said, his voice cracking a little. “I didn’t have to do what my father told me to do. I had a choice…unlike you. ”

  “It’s okay,” I told him again, leaning back on my hands. “But, can I ask you something?”

  He hesitated, before nodding.

  “Why did you come to my house that day? The day my emotions were released? Was it because of the star? Or was it something else?”

  He sat there for what seemed like an eternity, just looking at me, and I could almost see the internal struggle he was having with whether or not he should tell me the truth. I now knew that this was because he had been taught to be this way, and I figured it was going to be a hard habit for him to break. So he startled me when he reached behind me and took my hand in his.

  “You remember how Nicholas told you about the Blood Promise the fey made to Malefiscus, right?” He asked, tracing his fingers across the top of my hand.

  I tried not to shiver. “Yeah…I remember. ”

  He turned my hand over, and moved his finger across the tiny scar on the palm of my hand. And, as crazy as this is going to sound, I swear the faint scar was becoming more noticeable as he touched it. “And you remember the vision you saw when you and me were kids, and I cut both of our hands. ”

  Forem. “Yeah…but what does that have to do. . . ” It clicked. “Did we make a Blood Promise?”

  He nodded. “We did. ”

  Forem. “What kind of promise?”

  “The forever kind. ”

  “The forever kind?” I asked. “What does that mean?”

  He cocked and eyebrow at me. “You remember the word we said when we pressed our hands together, right?”

  I nodded. “Forem. But what does it mean?”

  Forever,” he said, his breath shaky. “It means we’re bonded together forever. ”

  Chapter 42

  I wasn’t sure what to say. I felt strange and slightly lightheaded and a little bit breathless. I mean, he just told me that when we were little, we made an unbreakable promise to be together.

  Forever.

  It took a minute, but I finally found my voice again. “It seems like a really weird promise for two kids to make,” I told him, lightly tracing my finger across the scar on the palm of my hand.

  He pressed his lips together, holding back a smile. “That’s all you have to say after I just told you that we made an unbreakable promise to be together forever. ”

  I shrugged. “I don’t know…It just seems really strange to me. ”

  He closed his hand and then stretched it open again. “Well, we were strange kids. ” He paused, a small amount of bitterness creeping into his expression. “And now I know why. ”

  I chewed on my bottom lip thinking about my childhood, and how, thanks to Stephan and Sophia’s lovely gift of being able to detach souls from their emotions, I could barely remember anything about it.

  “Did we ever feel it?” I asked.

  He gave me a funny look. “Did we ever feel what?”

  “The electricity—when we were little did we ever feel it?”

  “I’m not sure…” He stared off at the quiet street in front of us, the sun shining brightly in his eyes. “I don’t really think that we felt what we do now, but there was always a connection there. ”

  I remembered the first time I ever laid eyes on him, and how my gaze had found him all on its own. There was definitely a connection—one deeper than even the electricity went.

  Alex looked at me and he had such intensity in his bright green eyes that it made me squirm around uncomfortably. A strange feeling passed through me then, and I waited for the prickle to show up and tell me what I was feeling, because whatever was going on right now had to be something new. But the prickle never came and as I continued to grow more uncomfortable, I changed the subject.

  “So, do you think we’ll be able to fix everything?” I asked, struggling to keep my voice even. “Do you think we’ll be able to stop the world from ending—stop what I saw in my vision from actually happening? My mom said there are always loop holes? But what loop holes would there be? I mean it doesn’t make any… ” I trailed off because of the astonished look Alex was giving me.

  “I think you might want to at least take a breath between your questions,” he said.

  I gave him an oh-shut-up look. “But there are too many unanswered ones. I mean, how can you be so…calm about everything you just heard?”

  He shook his head. “I’m not calm. ” He looked at me and I could see it in his eyes—the sadness, the pain, the hurt of being betrayed and lied to. I knew how it felt, but it was strange to see it in Alex’s eyes because he rarely showed much of anything, which now I knew why.

  “Are you sure you’re going to be o—” I started to say, but I was stopped by a set of lips pressing against mine. A set of warm and sparkling lips.

  Way, way in the back of my mind, right where the rational side of my brain was I had a thought that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea for the two of us to be kissing. It had never been made one hundred percent clear if it was a good thing or a bad thing for Alex and me to be this close to one another.

  But the irrational and emotional side of my brain took over, and I kissed him back, feeling effervescent and sparkly. The kiss was so much different from the other kisses we shared. There was so much more trust and foreverness to it. And as his hands wrapped around my back and pulled me closer to him, I temporarily forgot about all the problems we had and would be facing very soon. The key word here is temporarily. Because moments after the kiss began it was over as Aislin came running out the front door, the screen banging closed behind her.

  I quickly pulled away from Alex, but he didn’t seem to care as much as I did that we had been caught making out on the front porch. In fact, one of his hands was still residing on the base of my back. And I think Alex was planning on chewing Aislin out for interrupting us. I could see the annoyance in his expression. But then Aislin spoke, and all irritation disappeared from the both of us.

  “Laylen’s gone,” she said, her words rushed, her eyes wide.

  “Gone?” Alex’s hand fell from my back.

  “What do you mean gone?” I asked, jumping to my feet. “I thought he was in his room?”

  She shook her head. “No, he’s not. And I searched the house, and I can’t find him anywhere. ”

  This was bad. Very, very bad. Laylen had been in such a fragile state already, with the whole first-time biting thing, and now he has just found out that he was created on purpose, to help end the world.

  “What do we do?” Aislin cried to Alex.

  Alex ran his fingers through his hair, thinking. “No one saw where he went?” he asked, looking at Aislin and then me.

  I shook my head. “Like I said, I thought he was in his room. ”

  “And I haven’t seen him since we were on the deck. ” Aislin’s voice trembled. “And Jocelyn said she hasn’t seen him anywhere, but she’s out back checking if he’s out there. ” Right as she said it, the screen door swung open, and my mom stepped out, looking worried and worn out.

  “He wasn’t out back,” she said, heading down the stairs toward us.

  “Well, we have to find him. ” I was trying not to panic, but finding it very difficult. “He—he was already upset before he found out everything, and now…” What the hell was this? This massive…hole in my chest. And the hole seemed to be sucking all the air right out from me.

 
“Gemma, calm down,” Alex said, and I realized I was breathing rather loudly. “We’ll find him, but you need to quit freaking out. ”

  “Sorry. ” I took a deep breath. “So what are we going to do?”

  Alex gave me the strangest look as if something horrible had just occurred to him, but it vanished from his face before I got the chance to ask him what it meant.

  “Okay, we need to split up,” Alex said, switching into I’m In Charge mode. “Aislin, you go check that way,” he pointed to the left of the main road in front of us, “and I’ll go up the right side, towards where you and I found him the other night,” I nodded, and he told my mom, “You go check out to the right side of the beach and Gemma check the left. ”

  We all nodded, and headed off to our designated areas. Before I’d even been able to take two steps, though, Alex pulled me back.

  “Don’t go too far,” he told me. “After what we were just told—you need to be extremely careful. ”

  I nodded. “And so do you. ”

  He nodded too, gave me this weird look, and headed off down the sidewalk. I spun around, and ran up the stairs, feeling the same way I’d felt when I’d been at the top of the rollercoaster tracks waiting for it to fall. But I wasn’t sure if what would be awaiting me at the bottom was happiness.

  The beach was packed with a mob of people, but I figured that even with the abundance of bodies roaming around, the odds seemed fairly favorable in spotting a six-foot-four, blonde hair, blue-tipped bang, vampire wandering around. But what if he wasn’t just wandering around? What if he was doing something he would regret? What if he was drinking blood again?

  I started to walk faster, the sand making my footsteps heavy as I barreled across the shoreline. Every once in awhile the cold ocean would roll up and hit my ankles. I was trying to keep it together, but the further I went down the sandy beach, the more concerned I became that I wasn’t going to find him.

  I decided that it might be a good idea to ask someone if they had seen him. So, as a girl around my age with auburn hair and hazel eyes walked by me, I stopped her.

  “Have you seen a guy that’s about six foot four, with blond and blue hair and has a lip ring?” I asked her.

  She thought about this and then her expression lit up. “Is he like really good-looking with bright blue eyes, and has these symbols tattooed on his arms?”

  I nodded. “Do you know where he is?”

  She pointed up the beach, towards a group of rocks that framed the lip of the shore. “Yeah, he went that way. ”

  “Thanks,” I said, and I took off, sprinting like a mad man for the rocks.

  By the time I reached the rocks, I was panting for air. The mobs of people were so far away now that they looked like dots. There was a small narrow path that went between the rocks, and I stepped down it and the beach disappeared out of sight. I gradually made my way down the path, stepping over the sharp rocks as I braced my hand on the cliff’s wall. A few times I lost my balance and slipped, and by the time I made it to the end of the path, the palms of my hands were covered in cuts.