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       The Vision, p.6

         Part #3 of Fallen Star series by Jessica Sorensen
Page 6


  Finally Alex sat down beside Nicholas, and I shared a sofa with Aislin.

  Alex jumped to the point immediately. “Alright, start talking. ”

  “About what?” Nicholas pressed back a grin. “What do you want me to tell you?”

  Afraid Alex might hit him again, I chimed in. “How about you tell us what happened on the beach. ”

  Nicholas stared at me with a twinkle in his golden eyes. “That would be an example of how extraordinary you are. ”

  “Okay…” Let the running around in circles begin. “Define why that makes me extraordinary. ”

  Nicholas flexed his hand and winced. “Well…that makes you extraordinary because you erased a vision. Which, might I add, is something that’s completely forbidden and could have severe consequences. ” His eyes darkened. “If I wanted to, I could turn you into the Foreseers…you know there’s punishment for erasing visions. ”

  “What kind of a punishment?” I asked curiously, thinking of my father and the strange place he was in.

  “I don’t know for sure. . . . ” Nicholas paused, tapping his finger on his lips. “I’ve only heard of one Foreseer being punished for erasing a vision. ”

  “Do you know who he is?” I leaned forward, anxious to hear his answer.

  He shook his head. “Our kind doesn’t like to talk about things like that because…well, I think because it reminds everyone of how much control and power Foreseer’s really have. ”

  I got up and grabbed the crystal ball from off the desk. “So can you explain to me what this is?” I asked, taking a seat back on the sofa.

  “Where did you get that?” Nicholas’ eyes sparkled in the glittering purple glow of the crystal ball.

  “That’s not important,” I told him and balanced the crystal ball on the coffee table. “What’s important is that you tell me what it is. ”

  Nicholas slowly reached for the crystal ball, hesitating, before picking it up. I saw Alex tense up and I tensed up too since I didn’t know what the crystal ball did. For all I knew, it held enough power to destroy us all; something that should probably not be held by a very tricky faerie/Foreseer.

  He stared at the crystal ball in awe for a moment, and then set it back on the coffee table. “That,” he pointed at the crystal ball, “is what we Foreseer’s refer to as a mapping ball. They’re very rare to come by—in fact, they’re almost nonexistent. ”

  “So what does a mapping ball do?” I asked.

  Nicholas furrowed his eyebrows at the mapping ball. “It holds a map of someone’s life. It shows all the decisions they’ve made…although, some mapping balls are used to keep a secret hidden in the midst of thousands of their memories. It really is the most amazing thing. . . ” He glanced up at me. “So whose is it?”

  I caught Alex’s eye, wondering if I should divulge this bit of information to Nicholas. Alex’s expression was serious, which meant he didn’t want me to say anything.

  “There’s no use trying to keep it from me,” Nicholas said. “Because I’m sure you’re going to want to know how to use it, and that means you and I are going to have to go inside it. ”

  Well, okay then. I tore my gaze off Alex. “It’s my father’s. ”

  Nicholas gaped at me. “I thought you told me you didn’t know who your father is. ”

  “I just recently discovered his identity,” I explained, purposely being vague.

  “What!” Aislin cried out, scaring the crap out of everyone, including me—I think we all had forgot she was there. “Why didn’t anyone tell me…. any of this?”

  I shook my head at Alex. “Didn’t you explain this to her while I was sleeping. ”

  “You were already all wound up about Laylen,” Alex explained to Aislin. “So I thought I would spare you the burden. ”

  Tears dripped from her eyes. “You could have told me. ”

  As much as I hated when people kept things from other people, I think Alex might have been on the right track with this one.

  “So,” I turned my attention back to Nicholas, figuring it was best to move on, “about the mapping ball. How do we get inside it?”

  “How did you manage to find out who your father was?” Nicholas asked, ignoring my question. “And how did you get a hold of his mapping ball?”

  “My mom gave it to me. ” I lied.

  He leaned back in the sofa and rested his arms behind his head. “You managed to save her then?”

  I was kind of surprised he didn’t know this already, since we created such an uproar during our escaped from The Underworld. “Yeah and without your help I might add. ”

  “Well, I wouldn’t say that. ” He grinned at me. “Seeing is how you got the Ira from me. ”

  “After you kidnapped me and chained me to the wall,” I snapped.

  “So what’s the purpose of the mapping ball,” Alex interrupted, picking up the mapping ball and examining it over.

  Nicholas rolled his eyes. “I already told you it’s to keep track of the things someone has done in their lifetime. ” He nodded at the mapping ball. “If that is your dads, then when we go inside it, we should be able to follow a map of his life. ”

  Alex’s forehead creased over. “Why would your dad give this to you?” he asked me.

  “I thought you said your mom gave it to you. ” Nicholas leaned forward, a look of intrigue rising on his face.

  I shot Alex a way-to-go look; it was not like Alex to be so careless. “My dad said it would tell me how to save the world from Stephan and his deathly minions. ” I paused, the wheels in my head turning. “If it holds a map of his life, then maybe I can see what vision he erased and recreated to make it so Stephan could end the world. ” I looked at Nicholas, curious to see how he reacted to what I said.

  He clapped his hands. “Bravo on figuring that one out. ”

  “You knew that already?” I asked, getting pissed off.

  He shrugged. “I know a lot of things I don’t choose to share. ”

  “But you didn’t say anything and you have to—you made a Blood Promise. ” I shot Alex a worried look, wondering what happened, but he looked just as lost as me.

  “They’re called loopholes, Gemma,” Nicholas informed me with a pleased grin. “You have to ask me the question in order for me to tell you what I know. ”

  There are always loopholes—my mother told me this once. “Okay, so do you know how to fix all of this then?” I asked. “Do you know what I need to do?”

  Nicholas smile was all trickery. “I do. Would you like me tell you?”

  Freaking Faeries. “Yes. I am asking you to please share everything that you know about mapping balls and Stephan’s evil plan. ”

  Aislin’s cell phone rang from inside the pocket of her khaki shorts. She took it out and glanced down at the screen. “Whose number is that?” She got to her feet. “Hello,” she said into her phone as she walked out of the room.

  I turned my attention back to Nicholas. “So what do you know?”

  “What do I know. . . Well, for starters that little buzzing connection you two have is going to kill you if you can’t tone it down, ” Nicholas said, clearly amused with himself. My face fell as he continued, “it’s not necessarily your closeness that will do it, though, so much as making that little connection of yours heat up. The more the electricity that flows between you two, the more energy the star loses and the more energy you two lose. And if you lose too much you both die. ”

  “How do you know all this?” I stammered. “How do you even know about the electricity?” Hardly anyone knew about that.

  “Stephan informed me when he marked me. ” He glared down at the black triangle tracing the red symbol tattooed on his arm.

  “But how does Stephan even know about our connection?” I glanced at Alex. “Did you tell him?”

  Alex shook his head. “I didn’t tell him…” His gaze wandered to the doorway of the kitchen. “Dammit, Aislin. ”

in peeked out, the phone still pressed to her ear. “What?”

  Alex scowled at her. “You told Stephan about the electricity?”

  Aislin pulled an oh-crap face. “I’m on the phone,” she hissed and ducked back into the kitchen.

  I took a deep breath, struggling to keep my freaking out contained. “So if we can control the electricity and keep it to a bare minimum, then we won’t die?”

  Nicholas raised an eyebrow skeptically. “Can you control it?”

  I met Alex’s eyes, and sparks instantly crackled like a wildfire. Could we control it? Maybe…if we could keep our emotions and intense looks contained.

  “I think we might be able to,” I said, my eyes locked on Alex, who seemed to be waiting for my answer.

  “Of course we can,” he said as if it were the easiest thing in the world. Lucky him, because I had a feeling it was going to be difficult. At least for me it was.

  “So we go inside the mapping ball, find out what vision my dad changed and then what?” I asked. “I mean, I still don’t get how I erased and recreated what happened to me on the beach…I mean there was two of me. ”

  “That’s where everything becomes tricky. ” Nicholas grabbed the mapping ball from Alex’s hands, got up, and walked toward me. Alex started to get to his feet, but I shook my head, telling him to stay put. “You see the thing about visions,” Nicholas sat down on the couch beside me. “Is that everything is connected to each other. ”

  I scooted away from him. “I’m not sure what you mean?”

  Nicholas stared down at the mapping ball. “In the Foreseer world, every vision is connected. ”

  “Okay…” Where was he going with this?

  Sensing my confusion, he explained further. “Say you make the decision to become a singer, so, you go down to the local talent show and try out, win, and go on to become a famous singer. ”

  “But I can’t sing,” I told him, even though I knew he was talking hypothetically.

  He flashed me an annoyed look as he went on, “Each one of those events that took place would be their own vision. The decision, the trying out, and the winning—all of them led to you becoming famous. ”

  “I still don’t get what you’re saying. ”

  “I’m saying they’re all connected to one another—each one had to happen in order for the other one to happen. ”

  Ding. The light bulb in my head finally turned on. “So if I never made the decision to become a singer, then none of the rest would have happened. ”

  “Exactly,” Nicholas said. “And if a Foreseer wanted to change your life, he could just alter the first event and it could change everything from that point on. Say he put the idea in your head to become a ballerina, and on your way to trying out, you left a minute later because you had to put on your tutu. And because you left one minute later you get in a car accident and die. ”