The evanescence, p.6
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       The Evanescence, p.6

         Part #2 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 6

 

  A tear falls down my cheek as Evan removes his hand from me, taking the sense of comfort with him. My shoulders heave as I start to sob. Evan tries to console me, but it doesn’t do any good. Alex and I have endured so much before we could finally be together, all so it could be fleeting, like a breath of air leaving my lungs.

  I continue to cry, heart-wrenching sobs that rip the air out of my lungs and splinter my rib cage.

  “I’m so sorry, Gemma. Really, I am. ” Evan says in an unsteady voice and I open my eyes, seeing the sincerity and genuine remorse in his own.

  I whisper in a hoarse voice, “It’s not your fault. ”

  He looks away, trying to hide the guilt on his face. “Yes, it is. ”

  Twisting my head, I look over at Alex’s body. He doesn’t look the same as in the coffin—he looks worse. I roll onto my side and, clawing at the floor, I drag myself over to him. His eyes are open, but sunken, and his lips are parted. His skin is mapped with veins and his chest isn’t moving. He’s dead. No, he can’t be. I’m conflicted and confused. Overwhelmed and enraged.

  I rest my head on his cold chest and tears start to spill out of my eyes again. Evan watches me, but doesn’t try to comfort me or pull me away. He lets me grieve. Eventually, he leaves the room and this time he doesn’t return.

  “Alex,” I whisper as tears soak my eyes, cheeks, and his shirt. “Why did you do it? Why couldn’t you just let me, for once, be the one to go… I don’t want to be alone. ”

  There’s no response and my will to live dissipates, evaporating into the air. I cry until I’m so exhausted that nothing is left except anger.

  I’m angry.

  Angry at him.

  Angry at myself.

  Angry at Helena.

  She got her revenge just as she wanted—she killed Alex. But it’s not over. I’ll get my revenge on her just like she taught me.

  Chapter 5

  Gemma

  I swear love is the most powerful emotion that’s ever existed. It owns people, devours them, tears them open and bleeds them out from the inside, making them defenseless to everything. Hate is the same way. Hate takes your levelheadedness and even your sanity away from you.

  I hate Helena. I completely, utterly despise her with so much passion it has stolen my heart. I’m hollow. Numb. Just like I used to be back when all this started, back when I didn’t know what kind of a world really existed. Back when I was the unemotional Gemma. I run my finger across the black star outlining my wrist over and over again. Forem. My forever with Alex is gone. But when I really think about it, my forever never really started. Alex and I never got a peaceful moment together and we never had time to really look into our future.

  I reach over and touch his inner wrist. His skin is cold, but the star is still there; however, the black is fading and almost looks blue. Pressing down on it, I lean over and gently place my lips to his. They’re like ice, but I kiss him anyway.

  “I love you… love you… I love you. I love you. ” I keep saying it until my throat runs dry, then I whisper, “I’ll make her pay for this. ” I promise this and then lift my lips from his. “Forever,” I say, and then I wipe the tears from my face with the back of my hand, gather my strength and stand up. I exit the room, refusing to look back, one foot in front of the other, with my head facing forward. I don’t want to remember Alex dead and lying on the floor. I want to remember him when he was alive, breathing, his heart beating.

  Swinging the door open, I exit into the hall. I need to find Laylen and see if he’s okay—see if he’s himself again. I hurry to my left, toward his room and throw the door open and it bangs against the wall.

  I pause, glancing from left to right to the empty bed and sofa in the corner. “Where is he?” I mumble, closing the door as I back out of the room. I deliberate for a moment and decide to head to the dungeon on the second floor.

  When I step inside that room, dust immediately surrounds me and I notice that the air smells stale and kind of rusty, like blood has been spilled somewhere.

  “Laylen. ” I take a tentative step inside the room and as soon as my foot crosses the threshold, I stop dead in my tracks.

  Across from me, on the farthest wall, Laylen is chained to the wall. He’s lying on his back, with the chains pulled tight as his arms rest to his side, along with his head.

  “No. ” I rush quickly towards him. “Laylen… Laylen, are you okay?”

  He doesn’t move. His eyes are open, blue like the sea, but he’s not blinking or moving. There’s nothing going on inside him. Nothing. He’s dead. Like really dead, not just Vampire dead.

  Everyone’s dead.

  My dad’s trapped in his mind, maybe forever, and my mom’s dead. Not to mention I haven’t seen Sophia in forever. I have no one left in my life.

  Oh my God.

  I’m alone.

  “No,” I whisper, shaking my head. “This can’t be… You can’t be dead. ” I start to hyperventilate, lungs shrinking, and my knees buckle from underneath me as I collapse onto the floor next to him. Clutching onto his lips, I lean down and kiss his cold lips. “I love you,” I say, knowing that it’s a different kind of love, but it’s still love. In a different world, we would have been perfect together, made each other whole. Because he makes me smile, laugh, be happy. He’s my best friend and always will be, even in death.

  My entire world dissolves. Everyone I know is either dead or gone. “I really am alone. ”

  Alone.

  Alone.

  Alone.

  The word echoes for miles.

  ***

  I’m not sure how long I lay soundlessly beside him. I’d cry, but my eyes are too raw to summon any more tears. Finally, I pull myself together the best that I can and trudge down the stairway, uncertain where I am going. I need to get away from this place and the memories it’s carrying, along with their bodies. Bodies. I need to find a place where I can focus. I need a plan.

  I hear the soft sound of a fire burning as I walk down the hall and when I pass Evan’s room, he’s standing with his back turned to me, staring at the fire with his head hung low. I don’t make a noise as I turn away and head for the stairs.

  As I step from the stairway and into the foyer, I catch sight of something silver and heart-shaped on a curio table just across from the stairs. It’s shimmering from the sunlight streaming through the stain-glass window above the door. My locket. With my hand placed on the hollow of my neck, I walk over and pick it up. Running my finger along the violet stone pendant in the center, I remember when Alex gave it to me and how he kissed me right afterwards. Clasping it in my hand, I turn to leave, but notice another object on the curio. It’s the teardrop-shaped Cornu Lepore that Helena stole from Nalina, my Aunt who I just found out I had not too long ago. I pick it up also, and dangle the golden chain from my fingers as I hold it up in front of my face to examine it. The light reflects off the pendant as the chain spins. I wonder what kind of power it holds and why Helena wanted it. It has to be important to her, but how?

  I unfasten the clamp on the chain of my locket and secure it around my neck, the icy metal hitting my neck and causing me to gasp. I take the Cornu Lepore and tuck it away into the pocket of my jeans, just in case I end up needing it for some reason or another.

  I turn for the door, preparing to leave, when I catch sight of my reflection in the mirror above the curio. I look like crap; tearstained cheeks, bags under my violet eyes, and my hairs a tangled mess. My skin looks even paler than it normally does and my wrists are encrusted with blood. My eyes are also really wide, massive in fact, like I’m still possessed. And maybe I am. Possessed by hate.

  Turning around, I pull a face at the serpent mark on my shoulder as I trace my fingers along its curving patter. Thanks to Helena, I’m now branded with the damn thing after she made Dyvinius put it on her—or her in my body. I’m remembering something about it though. . . something that might be important. Wi
th the Serpent’s mark, I can control thoughts, which gives me a lot of power. And I have the Cornu Lepore, which has a lot of power also. I have a lot of power. I just don’t know what for, but I need to find out.

  What I need to do is talk to someone who can help me… someone like Nalina. The necklace was hers after all, so she would have to know something. Whether she’ll tell me or not is a whole other story.

  I give one last glance at my reflection, noting the numbness sedating my limbs, expression, and veins, but not in my eyes; there’s rage there. Nalina will answer me because I’ll make her. Ripping my gaze from the mirror, I swing the front door open and step outside into the cool air. I disregard the Sprites frolicking in the grass and the haunting way the lake moves like it’s made of pieces of glass. None of that matters at the moment. I only need to focus on one thing.

  Hate is a compelling emotion and it’s taken over most of my body and mind. I’m not even sure if I’m Gemma anymore. I’m not sure who I am. I really don’t care. All I care about is destroying Helena. Once that’s done, then maybe there will still be a piece of me left to find love.

  Maybe not.

  Chapter 6

  Alex

  There’s a battle going on inside of me. Helena and Annabella are pissed off at one another. Each of them is trying to win the battle over who owns me, who gets my soul—who gets to keep me. Helena wants it for sheer greedy reasons and Annabella wants it so she can gain back her freedom from Helena. I think the two of them will rip me apart if they don’t stop it, then neither one of them will have me.

  “You need to go back to the Afterlife, Helena,” Annabella says. “You must obey, Helena. You were never supposed to be here to begin with. ”

  Helena fumes. “No, I don’t. The loophole is not complete—I’m still here and so are you. You are still my prisoner. Mine!” She hisses at Annabella. “You can’t make me go back!”

  Their battle is freaking exhausting, even if I’m technically dead, well on the outside. On the inside, I’m still thriving; however, I’m growing weaker. I’m trying to fight the compulsion to surrender to one of them, but their bickering is smothering me. I feel like I’m dead on the inside, especially watching Gemma lying helplessly on the floor. I’m worried that she’s lost the desire to fight and survive. Then Evan puts his hand on Gemma’s head and tries to help her recover. Relief and happiness overpower me, knowing that she’ll be okay.

  Then suddenly, Gemma is crawling towards me with tears pouring from her beautiful violet eyes. My heart breaks and I desperately wish there were a way I could tell her everything will be okay—that I’m still here.

  When she reaches me, she rests her head on my chest and sobs hysterically for what seems like hours. I lie powerlessly, knowing there’s nothing I can do for her; that I am trapped on the brink of death.

  After her tears stop, she leans over and kisses me through the remaining tears staining her face. Life sparks inside me, as if the electricity has returned, even though I know that’s not possible. We got rid of that when we stopped the portal and destroyed the power of the fallen star, but it feels like it’s back, pulling me to her, radiating through me. In fact, there was even a spark when Helena and Annabella transferred into me, and for a second, I’d thought Gemma had been placed inside me.