Darkness breaks, p.7
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       Darkness Breaks, p.7

         Part #2 of Darkness Falls series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 7

  I shake my head. “I saw it when I blacked out in the street. ”

  “So you’re seeing memories on your own. ” He ponders. “And without mutilating yourself?”

  “Yeah…” I pluck a piece of hair out of my mouth. “So. ”

  Although I didn’t always follow the rules at The Colony, they tried to force me to never ask questions. But not asking questions out here could get me killed. Figuring out the answers, however, is complex process.

  Emmy gathers her hair and braids it on the side of her head. “She wouldn’t be immune to the minte, would she?”

  “Maybe. ” Sylas’ eyes are locked on me. “But that would mean she’s immune to your little gift too. ”

  “Not immune,” I point out. “It affects me, but in a negative way. . . ” My head wobbles to the side and smacks my shoulder.

  “If you’re going to save the world, Kayla, no one can be able to touch you,” Monarch says as he digs through his medicine drawers. “No one can know what you know. We have to keep your memories safe. We have to inhibit anything that can get into them. But in order to do so, I have to make you suffer. It’s the only way I know how to keep everything protected. ”

  “But what if I need them?” I ask, sliding onto a vacant bed. “How am I supposed to get my memories?”

  “We’ll keep them safe inside someone else’s head. ” He lowers his voice and walks quietly over to the hospital bed. “At least the important ones. The one’s that will help you save the world. ”

  I roll up my sleeve so he can give me an injection. “But whose head will we keep them in?”

  “I think you already know the answer to that question, Kayla,” he says softly. “He’s the only other one like you, only he’s broken. ”

  “Aiden,” I whisper as he pierces the needle into my forearm. “We’ll keep them with him. ”

  “Just make sure to get the memories before he dies. Otherwise, you’ll never be able to do it. ”

  “Do what?”

  “End the virus. ”

  ***

  “Kayla!” Sylas shouts. He’s waving his hand in my face. “Did you hit your head or something?

  I step back, my gaze flittering to the roaring city. “I think I know how to get all my memories back. But we need someone else’s help—we need Aiden’s help. ”

  A pause and Sylas drops his hand to his side. “I think you did hit your head. And pretty hard. ”

  “I didn’t hit my head,” I argue. “I’m actually thinking very clearly at the moment. ”

  “Then how do you know Aiden can help you get your memories?”

  “Because Monarch told me he could. ” I take the pocket watch out and flip it to the back. “But what does this have to do with it?”

  He brushes his hair from his eyes, which are filled with a dark, taunting look. “How do you know for sure that’s not all Monarch has told you? How do you know part of it’s not locked away in my head?”

  “Do you know something I don’t?” I step forward, clutching the watch in my hand. “Because if you do, you better fess up. ”

  “Oh no. ” Emmy laughs and backs away. “This is not going to end well. ”

  “I don’t know what’s worse?” With a rapid step from his long legs, he narrows the void between us, so we’re inches apart. His voice reduces to a grumble. “That you’re accusing me of being a liar, or the fact that you just ordered me to do something?”

  His gaze works its way under my skin as he tries to get to me, control me. I stare him down just like on the roof, forcing myself to get past the feelings of turning myself over to him.

  His breath is hot on my cheek. “I’m not a liar, Kayla. ”

  “So you keep telling me. ”

  We continue to stare each other down, even when Emmy clears her throat.

  “Guys,” she says. “I think we need to get out of here. Morning’s coming. ”

  Sylas shakes his head. “Not until we settle this. ” He spreads his hands to the side. “You want to know if I’m lying, then go ahead and see. ”

  I eye him over warily. “You’re just going to let me tap into you. ”

  He tilts his head to the side. “Consider this your one and only freebie. ”

  I look at Emmy, who shrugs, seeming just as astounded as I am.

  “I don’t know what to tell you,” she says. “He surprises me every day. ”

  Still uncertain, I reach for him, but he pulls back.

  “Oh, I’m not going to make it easy on you. ” He licks his lips.

  I remain immobile, hand suspend in midair. I don’t know what my problem is. It’s just a kiss and I’ve kissed him before, but something about it feels wrong. Or maybe it’s that deep down a part of me wants to kiss him.

  For a second, I consider kneeing him between the legs. But not wanting him to know he’s getting to me, I keep my head and shoulders held high, my gaze never faltering as I lean in.

  “Alright, Sylas, if that’s the way you want to play, then let’s play. ” Without indication, I press my lips to his, a dominating move as I clutch onto the upper hand.

  He’s not influencing my emotions, which is making the situation worse. All of it is raw—the way he feels, the way I feel, the way our lips connect. Kissing him is so much different than kissing Aiden. Aiden is open and his emotions pour out effortlessly. There’s something safe in Aiden’s touch. But when Sylas opens up, it’s like falling into an abyss.

  I let the kiss go on longer than I should. He tangles his fingers in my hair, slides his hand up my back, and draws me closer. As our bodies touch, I decide to end it and keep things on my terms. I draw back and his eyes open. There’s nothing there, no anger, no sadness, no concern. I’m sure my expression matches his, even though my heart’s slamming against my chest. That’s when I realize that Sylas and I share a trait.

  “Did you get what you needed?” Sylas arches an eyebrow.

  “I did. ” My voice is as smooth as honey.

  I got more than I needed. Sylas’ inner workings are twisted and intricate. Particularly the way he feels about me. He wants to devour me because he cares for me too much, yet at the same time, he wants to protect me. He’s a walking contradiction, and I should be frightened. But I’m not.

  Always a fearless soldier, just like I’m supposed to be.

  “Should we get going?” I slip on my boot, lace it up, and start across the desert, away from the city.

  He dashes in front of me and his shield’s back up, blocking what he’s feeling. “Where do you think you’re going?”

  “To find Aiden. ” I pause, refusing to look at him. “Because you don’t have the answers I need. You don’t know any more about my memories than I do. And Emmy can’t help me—not without dipping into Aiden’s mind. ”

  He lets go of my hand and I stumble forward. “You didn’t tell me how you discovered the Highers know you’re alive. ”

  I freeze, remembering the smell of the fires, the scent of death. “While we were in the city, the Highers came to the hillside looking for me. When they couldn’t find me, they killed everyone. ”

  The air grows as still as a deceased heart. Even the vampire cries have descended, morning is breaking through.

  “They killed everyone,” Emmy’s voices strangles out, her compassion revealing briefly. “Everyone’s dead. ”

  I slowly nod, staring at the desert. Daybreak is about to creep over the sky. “Everyone, except Aiden, Greyson, Cedrix, and Ryder. ”

  Emmy lets out a sigh. “Well, I’m glad they’re okay. ”

  “I’m sure you are,” Sylas remarks with humor in his tone.

  Emmy hisses at him and Sylas rolls his eyes. “You and your temper tantrums. I don’t know why Monarch put that in you. Or the crazy. ”

  “He didn’t put the temper in me. That is all me. ” She smiles, dancing in a circle, swishing her dress. “And I like the crazy. The world would be a boring place without it. ”

  “Can we
go now?” I interrupt. “It’s daybreak and that means you two are going to have to start staying in shade. ”

  His eyes roam to the sky. “Nah, I think we’re going to sit this one out. ”

  I stare at him blankly. “You’re not coming with me?”

  He shakes his head. “Like you said, morning’s coming. ” He turns his back on me. “Let’s go Emmy, before we get roasted. ”

  Emmy gives me a half-shrug. “Sorry, Kayla,” she singsongs. “But he’s right. ” She skips after Sylas.

  I proceed in the direction of the hillside, my mind entangling with confusion. He’s just going to let me walk away, after he spent so much time chasing after me? As much as my feet want to head back to him, I keep marching forward.

  A swoosh flows from behind me and then his lips are touching my ear. “You’re sad I’m not going with you. Admit it. ”

  “I said you can do whatever you want. ” My feet slip in the sand as I put one foot in front of the other. “And I meant it. ”

  He touches my shoulder and roughly reels me to face him. “Just answer this one question for me. Are you going for Aiden’s help or to help Aiden?”

  “Both,” I say honestly, swaying from the spin. “I want my memories. And I want to save him. ”

  “He’ll never do it,” he says. “He hates the idea too much. ”

  “Sylas,” Emmy calls out. “We have to go. Daybreak’s coming. ”

  “Whether you’re coming or not, I’m still going,” I tell him. “I can take care of myself. ” I shoo him away. “So you can go. ”

  “I know you can take care of yourself. ” His eyes travel to the shallow, sandy hills. “Emmy, go back and find the others. Tell them to find a good hiding spot until I get back. In fact, have them go to the Grates. ”

  “But I hate it there,” Emmy complains. “It smells like garbage. ”

  “It smells like garbage because that’s where they used to dump garbage. ”

  I internally cringe. “Emmy’s not going with us?”

  “What?” The corners of his mouth quirk up. “Are you afraid of being alone with me?”

  “No. ” I shake my head firmly. “I’m not afraid of anything. ”

  His lips curl into a grin. “Then go ahead, Kayla. Lead the way. ”

  “You have a weapon on you, right?” I stick out my hand. “Just in case. ”

  “Emmy, give me your knife. ” He holds his hand behind him, never taking his gaze off me.

  Emmy slams her knife into his hand. “But I want to come. ” She pouts out her lip. “The Grates suck. ”

  “Emmy, I need you to step up here,” Sylas says with a mildly tolerant tone. “No more messing around. ”

  She shakes her head and huffs away, red hair flapping in the wind. “Fine. ” She twirls her dress as she spins in circles. “Don’t have too much fun without me. ”