The evanescence, p.8
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       The Evanescence, p.8

         Part #2 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 8

 

  “I was just having some tea before you showed up. Would you like some?” A smile creeps across her lips.

  The last time I had tea at her table she poisoned me so that Dyvinius could read my thoughts. He wanted to be able to get inside my mind to see if I was planning on saving my father from the Room of Forbidden, where he’s been trapped for ages. When he found out that I was, he ripped my Foreseer power from me.

  “No, thank you,” I decline, frowning as I shake my head. “I remember the last tea you served me. ”

  She tips her head, looking into her cup. “You have to remember that I had no choice over what I did. I was ordered by Divinius to help him, and I had to obey. ” Her fingers quiver along with her voice.

  I want to believe her, but I still don’t trust her. I could tell her that she’s my aunt and that she should have protected me, but I stay calm and keep my lips sealed because I need to gain her trust. “I know that you had no choice,” I say, clutching onto the edge of the table. “It wasn’t your fault. Besides, I have my Foreseer power back now, so no harm no foul. ” I bite my lip as soon as I say it. I probably should have kept that piece of information to myself.

  Her face fades of color as she clumsily sets the cup down on the table, spilling tea all over the place. “W-what do you mean you have your Foreseer power back? The only way you’d be able to get your power back is if Dyvinius gave it to you and I know my stepbrother well enough to know that he’d never willingly do that. He’s very, very strict about his rules. So unless you forced him to give it back, the only other option would be to sacrifice someone as a prisoner to the Crystal. ” She pauses, waiting for me to deny it.

  I stare at the cracks in the table, silently letting it sink in.

  “Gemma, please tell me you didn’t,” she says, stunned. “Please, please tell me I’m wrong. ”

  I glance down at my hands, which are trembling. Guilt creeps back inside of me as I’m bluntly reminded of what I’m capable of and what I did to Nicholas. The guilt spreads through me like venom and my stomach churns as I visualize him being chained to the ball. However, I can’t fall apart right now. I’m on a mission. An unknown mission at the moment, but I’ll figure it out once I get my answer.

  Taking a deep breath, I shove the guilt away. I’m here to find out about the Cornu Lepore, not to cry over something I did to the half-Faerie. I lift my gaze up from the table and meet Nalina’s horrified gaze.

  “I’m not proud of it or anything that I did while I was under the influence of Helena, but I still feel responsible. I can’t do anything about it right now, though. ” I lower my hands onto the table and splay my palms across the wood. “There are too many other things I have to do first and then I’ll fix what I did. ”

  Nalina studies me intently as she grasps the handle of the cup holding her tea. “You’re a real mystery to me. The last time I saw you, you were a terrified little girl and now you just seem cold, sad, and confused. ”

  I feel cold, sad, and confused. “I think that’s the case for most people who meet me. ” I decide it’s time to get down to business and get the answers I need. I reach into my pocket, retrieve out the Cornu Lepore, and drop it down on the table between us. Even in the dim lighting the gold chain shimmers like magic.

  Nalina sucks in a sharp breath as she stares at it with her jaw hanging open, then she quickly shoves her chair back and rises to her feet without saying a word. She picks up the cup of tea and carries it to the sink. She keeps her back to me as she pours the tea down the drain. “Why did you bring that here?” she asks, turning the faucet on, and then rinses out the cup.

  “I need to know what it’s for,” I tell her, getting to my feet. “Why did Helena take it from you? What does it do?”

  “What makes you think it does anything?” she asks nonchalantly as she sets the cup inside the sink, then she slowly turns around and leans against the counter. “The Cornu Lepore is the pendant for royalty of the Fey. That’s it. There’s nothing spectacular about it. ”

  “I know what it is,” I say, struggling to keep my cool as I wind around the table. “But why did you have it? And what does it do? Because most things like this,” I lean over and snatch the necklace off the table. “Do something. ” I thrust the necklace in her direction

  “I have—or had it anyway—because I have royal Fey blood in me,” she says easily as she pretends the necklace isn’t in my hand, avoiding looking at it. “Just like you have Royal Fey blood inside you. ”

  I look at her skeptically. It’s still hard for me to accept the fact that I’m part Fey. But Royal Fey? Really?

  “I don’t believe you,” I tell her, frowning as my arm falls to my side. “There’s no way. ”

  “Well you can believe it or not,” she retorts. “But it is true. ”

  “Okay, if it’s true, then explain to me how it is?” I cross my arms and narrow my gaze at her. “I mean, who was the royal Fey in our family?”

  Her gaze is locked on the pendant dangling from my fingers and her eyes glaze over, as if she is being hypnotized from it. Interesting. I toss the pendant back down onto the table and she blinks her eyes, clearing her throat as she elevates her gaze to mine.

  “Your grandmother—my mother—Nalini Lucas was Fey,” she answers with a sigh.

  “Crap!” I don’t mean to say it out loud, but it slips out.

  “What, you thought I was really lying?”

  “No, but hoping… being Fey is the last thing that I need right now. ”

  “No one ever needs to be Fey, but, unfortunately, some of us are. ”

  “Yeah… like Nicholas,” I mutter and then swallow hard.

  Silence builds between us as she stares at the teardrop pendant on the table. The Cornu Lepore. If it’s not important at all, then why can’t she take her eyes from it?

  “It was a secret,” she explains, adjusting her gaze back to me. “It isn’t often that the Fey develop relationships with others besides their own kind and a relationship with a Fey and a Keeper, that’s strictly forbidden. However, Nalini was very beautiful and your grandfather, Julius, was enthralled by her; from the sound of her voice to the shade of her violet eyes. ” Her eyes drift off over my shoulder as her forehead creases. She’s caught up in memories of her parents, making her smile. “Nalini kept the love between them a secret from her parents, who were part of the royal court, knowing that if they found out about her love for a Keeper, then they’d put an end to it. ”

  I’m engrossed in her tale, partially because it makes me think of something else besides Nicholas, Laylen and Alex… and partly because the part about Nalini’s violet eyes is striking a nerve. I wonder if my eyes are violet because of my Fey blood. All this time I’ve loathed the color, thinking it was because of the Star, and then I saw my dad and thought it was from him. But now… what if it’s because I’m Fey? Ew. Yuck. Ick. I shake my shoulders, trying to get rid of the dirty feeling plaguing my body.

  “Are you okay?” she inquires, her eyebrows dipping together.

  I nod. “Yeah, but what were you saying?”

  “That they loved each other very deeply and were never apart from one another,” she continues. “So naturally, Nalini’s parents were bound to find out about her forbidden love. When they did, they disowned her. Later, Julius and Nalini married, keeping her Royal Fey blood a secret, so they could live in peace. ”

  “So how did you get the pendant?” I ask, scooping it up from the table.

  She smiles again, her grey eyes lighting up. “Once, when I was a little girl, my mother decided that I should meet my grandmother. My mother didn’t talk about her family often… I think it brought back too many sad memories for her. I was very excited when she told me that we were going to visit her, though. She told me it had to be kept a secret and I promised her I wouldn’t tell a single person. She snuck me into the Faerie Realm…” She trails off for a moment, and then clears her throat, standing up straight. “The Fey
are really an interesting breed, aren’t they?” she mutters to herself in puzzlement. “I was captivated by the Faerie Realm, the beauty of the place. My mother had me wait by a cluster of flowers while she went to find my grandmother. When she came back, she was with a very tall woman who had purple hair and skin that glittered in the sunlight. You can imagine my surprise, when, as I looked up to see her, she suddenly shrunk down to my size. ”

  I’m stunned. Shocked. Beyond words. I stay silent, disbelieving what she’s telling me. Worried that if it is true, well. . .

  Clearing my throat several times, I finally find my voice. “So, you’re telling me that your grandmother—my great-great grandmother is the Empress to the Faerie Realm?”

  She nods her head smiling. “Yes, Gemma, not only are we Royal Fey, we’re also from the blood of Luna. ”

  “Luna…” My eyes enlarge as I shake my head in disbelief. There’s no way that it can be possible. I can’t be related to the crazy Empress of the Faerie Realm, can I? No matter how much I try to deny it, it seems like it’s possible. That also means that not only is Luna trying to destroy me and overtake the world, but she’s my great-grandmother? And if that’s true—Luna is my great-grandmother or whatever—that would make Nicholas… what… my cousin?

  “Holy shit!”

  Chapter 8

  Gemma

  I’m speechless. Struck dumb. I don’t even know what to say. I think of Nicholas and the countless times he came on to me. The time he bargained a kiss in exchange for his help. It had felt wrong. It was wrong, but there’s no way Nicholas could have known… or does he?

  “Yuck. ” I shudder, wanting to take a shower more than I have in my entire life. “B-But, how?” I’m flustered. “I mean who—who knows about this? Does anyone? I know you said it was a secret, but some people have to know because secrets are rarely secrets. ”

  She scans me over curiously as if she senses my concern is for another reason. “Nobody else knows about it, Gemma,” she assures me. “It’s been kept a secret very well. Your father and I know, though, and now you do. Well, and of course Luna knows, too. ”

  So Nicholas had… has no clue. “Thank God,” I say out loud and she pulls a confused face. “Never mind. ” It was all just an innocent mistake, at least I hope it was. On the bright side, maybe this will make pervy Faerie boy back off.

  “Well, Helena knew somehow,” I tell her. “And obviously she wanted the pendant for something. ” I eye her over with suspicion because she keeps avoiding eye contact with me. “You still haven’t explained to me how you got the Cornu Lepore pendant. ” I walk towards her as she stares at the floor.

  She flinches. “Luna offered me the pendant that day,” she reluctantly answers, lifting her eyes to mine. “She told me that although I wasn’t pure Royal Fey, I was still part of the most important line of the Fey blood and that the Cornu Lepore was rightfully mine. And even though it is just a trinket, I should always cherish it, and I have. ” Shaking her head, she pushes past me and sinks down into the kitchen chair. “But then Helena stole it from me. ” She eyes the pendant in my hand.