The lost soul, p.7
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       The Lost Soul, p.7

         Part #1 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 7

 

  I sit on the bed, wanting to wake him, but he looks to peaceful at the moment. His eyes are shut, his lips parted, his dark hair sticking up all over the place. I trace the line of his jaw, part of me wishing I didn’t love him so much—wishing I could be angry with him. I lie down on the bed and stare at the ceiling.

  His arm snakes over my stomach and his fingers tickle the spot of skin just beneath my ribs.

  “You’re awake. ” I turn to my side. His eyes are open, glossed with fatigue. “I thought you were asleep. ”

  “I was, but I heard you come in. ” He switches to his side and faces me. “How’d your little visit with Nalina go?”

  “Did you know she was my Aunt?” I ask.

  His emerald eyes pop wide. “She isn’t Dyvinius’ sister?”

  “Nope, she’s his step-sister,” I explain. “Which means my dad is Dyvinius step-brother. ”

  “Which means Dyvinius is your step-uncle. ” His forehead creases. “He’s had to know all this time. Why has he never said anything?”

  “Maybe because he doesn’t care. ” I shrug, pretending not to care. “Every time I’ve met him, he’s seemed detached from… well, life. He’s really weird and he lets that God awful crystal ball feed off those people. ” I shudder at the mental picture of the enormous crystal ball in the center of the City of Crystal with humans strapped to it, their blood being drained to energize the ball and all the Foreseers’ power.

  Alex caresses his hand up and down my arm, silencing the goosebumps on my skin. “I’m sorry,” he says, his hand stopping at my wrist. Hesitantly, he interlinks our fingers. “You’ve had such crappy experiences with anyone related to you and now this. ”

  “Nalina didn’t seem that bad, I guess. She seemed nice enough. ”

  “Don’t do that. ” He sweeps my hair back and his hand settles on my cheek. “Don’t pretend you’re not bothered by the fact that she didn’t come looking for you. ”

  I swallow hard, forcing down the sob working up my throat. “Did you get yourself stitched up?” I examine his chest. “It looks like it healed quickly. I can barely even see it. ”

  “One benefit of being a Keeper. ” He lays a hand over mine and confines it against his chest. I feel his heart thudding, loud and rhythmic. “Are you going to tell me what happened with Nalina?” The corner of his mouth quirks. “Or are you going to leave me in the dark?”

  “Depends, I guess, on whether you’re going to help me. ” My skin heats against his, my heart complimenting the tune of his heart, making it difficult to stay mad at him.

  “Help you with what exactly?” His gaze skims to the bathroom, where the Crystal of Limitation sits on the counter, broken. “Not with that thing. ”

  “Yes, with that thing. Alex, I really want—need your help. If you’ll actually do it without trying to sabotage my plans. ”

  “I wasn’t trying to sabotage. I was trying to protect you. ”

  “You can protect me when we’re in danger, but not with this. This is something I’m going to do. ”

  He mutters incoherently under his breath. “Fine, give me the details. ”

  So I do, crossing my fingers he’ll help.

  “That’s all Nalina said?” he asks after I’m done. “It seems like a very loose plan with a lot of holes. ”

  “Well, the crystal ball wouldn’t have to be fixed if someone would have warned me it was hiding out next to the first aid kit. ” My voice falters between annoyance and desire. “If it weren’t for that, we’d just have to get a Foreseer who doesn’t mind breaking the laws. ”

  “I know what you’re thinking,” Alex says firmly. “And it’s not going to happen. We already made a pact that we’d stop going to him for help. ”

  “But Nicholas doesn’t mind doing things that are wrong. ” I roll over on my elbows so my head’s above his, my brown hair a curtain around our faces. “And this time it will actually come in handy. ”

  He coils a strand of my hair around his finger. “Let’s sleep on it. In the morning, if no one’s thought of anyone else, we use him. ” He cocks an eyebrow. “Deal?”

  I stick out my hand to shake on it, but he kisses me instead.

  “No more lying,” I utter between the movements of our lips.

  He sucks on my bottom lip, nearly driving every nerve in my body mad. “It’s a deal. ”

  “Alex,” I murmur against his lips. “Are you sure you’re okay? You’re cut. It’s weird. You don’t even know where it came from. And…” I pause, looking down at his muddy shoes. “Did you go somewhere?”

  Denying it, he shakes his head. “Nope. I’ve just been waiting around here for you. ” He flips us over and positions himself on top of me, our bodies synching. “And my cuts fine. We’ve got bigger things to worry about than a little cut. ”

  As my hand comes into contact with his chest, where a faint scratch lingers, panic swells inside me. Not just because I’m worried about him. But because he doesn’t seem to be concerned, like he knows something I don’t. And with him, that’s a big possibility.

  ***

  “You know you’re only kidding yourself,” Nicholas says from the foot of my bed. “You’re not as in love with him as you think. ”

  I crawl from the covers. “You can say whatever you want, Nicholas. I love Alex. I always will. ”

  His blonde hair glows against the moonlight. “Your soul connection renders your true feelings from showing though. ”

  “I know what I feel. ” But my heart whispers different thoughts; lies, I tell myself. “We belong together. ”

  “That kind of love makes you weak,” Nicholas replies sadly. “It will be the end of you if you don’t get control of it. ”

  I reach him, my face only inches away from his. “And who should I love, Nicholas. You?”

  He licks his lips, waiting for me to kiss him. So I do, crushing my lips against his and betraying my other half, and my heart, eternally.

  ***

  My eyes open to a room full of sunshine. The curtains are opened. Alex is snuggled against me, his head buried in my neck. He’s dressed in a pair of black cargo shorts and red t-shirt, both dried with mud. He’s been up already. I sit up and stretch, shaking off the creepy feeling of last night’s dream. Nicholas and I kissing—what’s wrong with me? I’m letting the faerie get into my head too much. I need to be stronger.

  “Go back to sleep,” Alex mumbles. “It’s still early. ”

  I carefully lift his arm off me and go over to the window. His car’s parked in the driveway. The windows are shattered and there’s a dent in the driver side door. Laylen’s head’s stuck under the hood. An array of tools is piled by his feet and jumper cables connect the GTO’s battery to the Camaro’s.

  “Did you know Laylen’s out there working on your car?” I ask, cracking the window open to let some fresh air in.

  Alex props up on his elbow. “Of course I do. We went and towed it home this morning. ”

  I cringe. “You went back to the field without me. I don’t think we should go there anymore. ”

  He pats the bed and I climb back in. “Stop worrying. ” He sits up and rubs his weary eyes. “I’m fine. Laylen’s fine. The car’s fine. Everything is absolutely, one-hundred percent great. ”

  I flop down on the pillow, noting his overly cheerful behavior. I’m still wearing my clothes from last night and I feel dirty. I need to take a shower. “Well, thank God the car’s okay. For a minute, I was beginning to really worry. ”

  “Always worrying over nothing. ” A grin plays at his lips and he smoothes his hair into place. “So what’s first on today’s agenda?”

  “First, fixing the Crystal of Limitation and then persuading a Foreseer,” I answer. “Did you happen to think of one other than Nicholas?”

  “Nope, so I guess he’s our best bet. ” He stretches his arms over his head and his shirt rides up, showing a sliver of his rock-hard stomach. Without even thinking, I trail my f
ingers along the space of his skin, feeling the grooves of his muscles. “You should probably go get him. He seems to like you. ”

  My hand freezes. “You think I should be the one to go get Nicholas?”

  He nods agreeably. “It’s probably the best way to get him to agree. ”

  My head buzzes with confusion and I pull my hand away. “I’m sorry, but is something wrong? You’re acting a little weird. ”

  He looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. “I’m not acting weird. ” He lures me on his lap and kisses the tender spot on my neck just below my ear. “I’m acting like myself. ”

  I tilt my head back and stare him in the eyes. “No, you’re not. You’re acting happy and… Did Aislin accidentally hit you with a mellow spell again?”

  He feigns to remember. “Not that I know of. ” He kisses my neck again, sliding his tongue along my skin, and my shoulders shudder in desire.

  It takes a lot, but I jerk from his arms. “How’s your cut doing?” My fingers seek the hem of his shirt, but he swats my hand away.

  “If you’re not into this,” he gestures back and forth between us, “then I can go. ” He shoves me off his lap and strides for the door. “I have better things to do than sit around, talking. ” He slams the door, leaving me with my jaw hanging to my knees.

  “What the heck is going on with him?” I jump off the bed and dash to Aislin’s room. “Aislin, are you in there? I need to talk to you. It’s important. ”

  A shuffle and then something clanks against the door. Seconds later, it opens. Aislin eyes are ample, her white shirt unevenly buttoned, her golden hair static charged. I’d worry I was walking in on her and Laylen, but Laylen’s outside.

  “Everything okay?” I ask, scanning her room. It’s a mess; clothes everywhere, the bed a heaping pile of sheets and blankets, and bottles litter the vanity.

  “Huh? What?” She peers over her shoulder. “Oh, yeah, everything’s fine. I just had a spell backfire. ”

  “Speaking of spells; you didn’t happen to accidentally hit Alex with one, did you?”

  “No, why?”

  I push my way in. “Because he’s acting weird. ” I draw the lacy curtains back and the sunlight pours in. Outside, Laylen and Alex are chatting in front of his car and smoke is huffing out of the exhaust. “Good. They got his car running. ”

  “Huh… oh, yeah, the car. ” She lets out a nervous laugh. “Guys and their cars. But what are you going to do?”

  She’s acting strange. I check around, my eyebrows furrowed together. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

  Aislin casually steps in front of the closet door. “I’m fine. But I’m really busy so if you could,” she waves her hand at the door, “you know, go. That would be great. ”