The promise, p.8
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       The Promise, p.8

         Part #4 of Fallen Star series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 8

 

  You re skins turning blue.

  Her violet eyes widened as she looked at me.

  I m just a little cold,

  I said and when she reached for the zipper of the jacket, I trapped her hand.

  I m not going to take it back. I fine. I promise.

  She got this weird look on her face and then she enclosed her hands around my wrists, her pulse slamming against her fingertips. She bit her lip as she rubbed her hands up and down my arms, creating friction, electricity, warmth.

  Better?

  she asked after she d finished.

  Sure.

  My voice cracked and I rolled my eyes at myself for showing how weak her touch made me. My gaze skimmed her from head-to-toe.

  What about you?

  I raised my eyebrow at her, giving her a look that made her hide a blush.

  You need me to warm you up?

  She shook her head and I turned for the entrance door, smiling at myself.

  The front door ended up being locked too, even after I kicked it and shook the living daylights out of it.

  She let her head fall against the wall.

  Now what?

  I don t know.

  I glanced next door at the open restaurant behind us. I guess people had to eat.

  Think they d have a computer we can use?

  She shook her head.

  Doubtful. Maybe we should just break the window.

  The alarm would go off and draw too much attention.

  Across the street, there were only houses and many of them looked as dead as a graveyard. But a few streets back, I could see the pointed roof of the school.

  I think I have an idea.

  ***

  She was fidgeting anxiously with everything she could get her hands on.

  I can t believe it s still going you d think they d cancel it or something.

  I m pretty sure hell could freeze over and school would still be mandatory.

  I yanked the heavy glass door open, letting her walk in.

  Hey, this is where we first met.

  Yeah &

  She bit at her nails.

  You know, I didn t really feel the way I acted that day,

  I dared utter the dangerous words.

  She nodded, still preoccupied with the hall where people moved to and from class.

  They won t even notice we re here,

  I said, trying to calm her down, because her jittering was rubbing off on me a little.

  And if they do, they ll think we re new students or something.

  I know,

  she muttered and started down the hall, with her head down.

  I suddenly realized what the problem was. She wasn t scared of being caught. She was scared off being here, in the halls that had tormented her for almost four years.

  I wasn t sure what to say to her really I didn t think there weren t any words that could take her ach away. So I did the only think I could think to do. I took her hand, entwining our fingers together. Her pulse was racing, but not from my touch. She clutched on, not wanting to let go.

  But eventually, we d have to.

  So this is what Iceland looks like?

  She frowned at the computer screen.

  I thought you said it wasn t cold there.

  No, I said it wasn t as cold.

  I tapped my finger at the screen.

  There s still snow.

  She tilted her head to the side, examining the photo.

  What do you think that little roads for?

  I don t know, but this is the best picture I could find,

  I told her,

  Plus there s a lot of bare space around, so we don t have to worry about anyone seeing us appear out of thin air.

  And then what? We just roam around until we find the address? The place looks pretty big.

  We ll get a taxi or something.

  Seems kind of amateur.

  She pouted.

  Don t worry.

  I gave her hair a playful tug.

  I m sure they ll be plenty of times where we’ll need your wonderful Foreseer power.

  Yeah, I guess.

  She clicked the mouse on the print page button and then rolled back the chair to stand. As she waited impatiently for the printer to screen out the picture, I spotted the figure of a vaguely familiar blonde-haired girl walking toward me. Kelsey something or another. Really, I didn t get it. I didn t know if it was just a girl thing or what, but she really seemed determined to make Gemma s life a living hell.

  Oh my God,

  she exclaimed, springing up and down on her toes.

  I turned my back on her, taking Gemma s arm, and whispering,

  Code red.

  She stared at me like I was a lunatic.

  Shaking my head, I snatched the picture from the printer and dashed for the door, towing her along with me.

  What are you doing?

  She worked to keep up with me.

  We ve been spotted,

  I hissed, not wanting to draw attention.

  Her violet eyes skimmed the room and then her lip twitched. I heard Kelsey yammering something, but I was already swinging through the door. Gemma didn t follow. She froze in the doorway.

  What are you doing?

  I asked, but she only stared straight ahead at the wall. Kelsey jaunted up, an evil look on her face as she narrowed her eyes at Gemma.

  Well look who

  Gemma let the door swing shut right in her face, her nose smashing into the glass.

  Ready to go?

  she asked, grazing past me as if nothing had happened.

  Yeah,

  I said with surprise.

  Let s go to Iceland.

  Chapter 15

  (Gemma)

  It might have been a childish thing to do. Letting the glass door hit her in the face like that, but I just wanted one moment to cause her as much pain as she caused me, during my four years of High School hell.

  Of course hers ended up being physical pain, not emotional. But I was okay with that.

  I studied the photo of Iceland as we made our way around the back of the school where some of the stoners liked to hide out and smoke. But it wasn t break time, so I knew it would be vacant. Out of the view of the school yard and windows, I knew it would be safe.

  But when I ducked behind the garbage can, I was caught off guard by a vampire feeding &

  Mr. Sterling?

  Alex and I exchanged baffled looks and then Alex swiped a stick from the ground. The woman vampire with auburn hair, dark skin, and a triangle mark on her neck the Mark of Malefiscus kept draining the blood from my old astronomy teacher s neck. Alex prowled like a predator behind her and with one quick motion, rammed the stick through the vampire s chest. Her perfect body exploded into ashes, blackening the snow where she once stood.

  From behind his glasses, Mr. Sterling s large eyes blinked uncontrollably.

  What happened & I don t &

  He cupped his hand around his bleeding neck and Alex s guided him away from the garbage can.

  Go inside and tell the nurse you were cut,

  he instructed.

  Mr. Sterling nodded, bewildered as he staggered for the back door of the school.

  Ready?

  Alex asked, eager not to waste more time.

  I held the picture in one hand and Alex s hand in the other. I took in the snow lining the grass, the water, the shallow hills, feeling myself there. And when I opened my eyes, I was standing in the picture, only we were on a road.

  Son of a

  Alex cursed as the nose of an airplane dipped for us. We ran, tripping across the ice, and barely missed getting taken out by a plane. We didn t stop running until we reached the fence, the top trimmed with barbed wire.

  How do we get over?

  I asked, clutching onto the metal links

  Alex s eyes searched for an escape route, while my
gaze fixated on what was beyond the side of the fence. A parking lot, packed with cars. And there was one a bright red one that I focused on. I slid my hand onto his arm and felt the zap as I foresaw us over to the red car.

  Well, I guess that s one way to do it.

  He tried not to smile, but the corners of his mouth threatened upward.

  So what s next?

  A taxi.

  He weaved thru the parking lot, his shoes crunching in the snow. I scurried after him, struggling to keep up. You know, it was confusing how this Keeper s thing worked. When I was fighting, I could be graceful. Yet, here I was walking across the snow, and my feet didn t want to stay under me.

  The entrance doors glided open and we began our search for a payphone. But finally we gave up and Alex asked a security guard if there was a phone we could use. He must have thought we were a couple of homeless people, with the dirty look he gave us.

  Thankfully, he spoke English and directed us to a phone booth, where I watched people scurry back and forth for the terminals, wondering if any of them were faeries, witches, or vampires in disguise.

  He hung up the phone.

  Taxi s on its way.

  We found an empty seat and waited for the taxi to show up. Alex was jiggling his knee up and down, nervous energy effervescing through him. My skin grew hotter and I started to sweat underneath the jacket

  So are we going to ever split up again,

  I asked, throwing him off guard.

  He deliberated his answer gravely.

  Honestly, it d probably be better if we did.

  I nodded, agreeing, yet not agreeing.

  Okay. But when?

  Since we re here &

  His eyebrow arched.

  We could just wait it out and if things get too bad, then we ll promise to go our separate ways.

  I let out a soft laugh as I turned my hand over, tracing the scar of our forever promise.

  Is this just a verbal promise or do we have to cut our hands again?

  Hesitantly, he took my hand, dragging his thumb down the scar. He brought my palm to his lips and brushed it with a kiss. Then he returned it to my lap and said nothing more.

  I wondered how long we were going to survive each other.

  The taxi ride was a long one. The air smelled of old cheese and sweaty socks, and I had to hold my breath most of the way. But that was only part of the problem. Somehow I d forgotten how hot and intense it was when Alex and I were squished in a car together. It was like a lightning storm had erupted in a confined space, the air static charged. At least when we kissed it was a quick rush of energy, but this & it was going to be the death of us if we didn t arrive at our destination soon.

  Just when I was thinking I was going to pass out, the taxi pulled up to the curb. The slightly tilted street was outlined with two-story houses compacted together, the lamp posts illuminating the snow flurrying down from the sky. We hopped out, Alex paying the driver before he sped off.

  Which one is it?

  I asked.

  Alex slid the paper out of his pocket. Then he walked up the street, glancing at each house, finally coming to a stop in front of a white one with a green roof and snow-coated shrubbery trimming the yard.

  I think this is it.

  He returned the paper to his pocket and swung the gate open. We walked up to the front door, my eyes wandering up the quiet street.

  Are we safe?

  I asked.

  Are we ever safe?

  He knocked on the door.

  The only answer we got was an echo. After pounding on the door two more times, he went for the doorknob, but I swatted his hand away.

  His green eyes sparkled like emeralds as he stared at me with an amused look.

  Is something wrong?

  It just seems like every time this happens every time someone doesn t answer the door it ends badly. Like we get chased down by a crazy witch or something,

  I said, remembering Aislin and mine s little journey and how it ended with a witch and her store burning down.

  You want to wait out here, while I go in and check things out?

  he asked.

  No, I don t want anyone to go in. I want the door to open and your mother to be standing there, looking happy to see you.

  His mouth sunk to a frown.

  Yeah, I don t think that s going to happen.

  I know.

  I sighed.

  But it d be so nice, if just once, something was that easy.