Redemption (The Alexa Montgomery Saga) (27 page)

BOOK: Redemption (The Alexa Montgomery Saga)
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Kayden was gone. Somewhere, in
some back corner of my mind, I knew this, and I knew that I should have died
with him. And the only part of me that was left now, was the part that could
kill an entire city of people without batting an eye, the part that did not
mourn death, or fear it or hate it. The part that touched it, knew it, ate it.

I felt as though my soul had
floated up to the heavens to watch the show. I saw myself moving like a
whirlwind, leaving nothing but broken things and red snow in my path. I heard
their screaming, heard the fear in their beating, pounding hearts, and I drank
it up and up and up. Up high.

And at last, there was only one
left. One living person left. And when I saw her there, standing in the middle
of her own impressive body count, the snowed city as silent as the shadows all
around us, only her heartbeat and my own filling my ears, I knew that this
would be it. I would kill her, too. Or she would kill me.

I looked into my sister’s obsidian,
demon eyes and saw the reflection of my own glowing gold ones there, and I knew
that this was it.

I was going to kill her, or she
was going to kill me.

Because that is what true
Monsters do–kill without mercy or discretion.

I charged forward with my sword,
and she charged forward with her mind, and a crooked smile found my lips that
matched hers, fang for fang.

Let the best man win.

 

 

Nelly

I collapsed to the hard, white
floor, stars bursting and swirling behind my eyes. My head spun and my stomach
heaved and I spewed a little bile out as I lay there retching. My eyes were so
blurred with tears that I could not see through them. My hands shook like a
junkie in withdraw.

One word was running through my
head on a constant loop. The only clean thought that my mind was able to
process.

No, no, no, noooo…

Anger flooded into me now, giving
me enough strength to push up on all fours. I rubbed the tears roughly from my
eyes and looked up at the Seer, who had turned back to the white wall and
resumed his endless, useless painting. I opened my mouth, knowing that I would
not break the silence of this place even if I tried to scream at the top of my
lungs. But even in my head the single word I said was dripping with hate and
poison.

“Liar,” I said.

The Seer’s hand, where it held
the paintbrush to the wall, stopped mid-stroke. His voice sounded in that same
uninterested monotone as it always had, as if he had not just shown me the most
terrible nightmare ever conceived of.

“What reason have I to lie to
you, Night Child? I warned you that the future you sought was nothing but death
and destruction. I told you to look only if you wanted, and you did. You just
couldn’t help yourself. Do not blame me, Child. I didn’t even show you the
worst of it.”

I pulled myself to my feet, my
knees knocking together like hammers underneath me. “The worst of it? Nearly
thirty-thousand people died in that vision you just showed me! How the hell
could that not be the worst of it? I don’t believe you. I fucking
re-fuse
to
believe you, you freak.”

“What do you think would
happen after King William’s messenger delivered his final order to the Queens
in the other five cities that your kind calls home? What would happen, Night
Child, if the rivers protecting them were dammed up?”

“I’m going to kill you.”

A laugh.
“With what, Night
Child? Your bare hands? Come now, you must know that you cannot harm me. Your
mind is your greatest power, and it has none of it in the White World. Besides,
what good would killing me do? I thought you had other places to be.”

My heart jumped up in my throat.
What was he saying? That there was still time to save Alexa? Still time to stop
the massacre of thousands? Still time to save both of our souls if I left now
and…did what?

 My voice was small and pitifully
hopeful as I spoke. “How much time has passed? Can I still make it to her on
time?”

“There is still time for you
to do some things, but for others, it is too late. If you still wish to go,
that is.”

I swallowed hard, willing myself
not to collapse to the floor again. “Fine,” I said. “But I want to make a deal
first.”

“I do love deals. Tell me,
Night Child, what is it that you want?”

“You own my sister’s soul,
right?”

“The power I worship owns it.
I only procured it for him.”

“So then take mine, too.”

Silence. Then,
“And what is it
you want in return?”

“Just your word,” I said. “Your
word that when both my sister and I have moved on from this world, we will be
together again in the same place. Whoever takes her soul, wherever she goes, I
want to go with her.”

“Done. Spill your blood for
me, Night Child, and you have my word.”

I brought my wrist up to my mouth
and sank my fangs into it, and then I let the red spill down my fingertips
until it fell down to the white floor and disappeared there. “Now let me out,”
I said.

“So you will go, then? Despite
what I have shown you, you will still go?”

“Yes.”

“So be it. A deal is a deal.
But may I ask you, Night Child, why is it that you are willing to let so many
die for her? You must know that a star as bright as she could not burn on much
longer.”

This hit me like a slap in the
face. I had never heard it put that way, and I refused to believe it, refused
to believe that it was too late. My answer was simple, and though it didn’t answer
his question, it was a decision that answered a bunch of other questions that
needed no asking.

“Let me out.”

 

 

I Did It For You!

Camillia sat in the sitting room
of her sister’s cottage in the Outlands, thinking of the look on Alexa’s face
before she left, taking a small army of fighters off to destroy an empire. She
had never been particularly fond of the girl, thought that she was rash in her
actions and harsh with her words, but she had grown to respect her nonetheless.

She was after all, just barely
not a child, and she had been given a task that was impossibly huge for such a
young soul. Alexa had not only taken on the burden of freeing her people, but
she had placed herself up for sacrifice to save her sister. Whether she was
rash and harsh or not, she was someone who deserved respect and admiration.

The day was finally beginning to
darken, and every passing minute had been agony for Camillia. She did nothing
but drink tea by the gallon and stare out the windows of the sitting room into
the gardens, and pray to the heavens that the Sun Warrior and her troops would
be successful. So much depended on it.

Silvia came into the room then,
holding a fresh cup of tea for her sister and a tray of pastries. “You should
eat,” she said.

“I’m not hungry.”

Silvia set the tray down on the
coffee table and sat down next to her sister. She placed a hand over
Camillia’s. “You don’t need to worry, Cam. Everything is going to be okay.”

This was the first thing Silvia
had said all day about the matter, and Camillia’s gaze jerked away from the
windows and fell on her sister. “What is that supposed to mean?”

Silvia looked down at her skirt
and pretended to pick something off of it. “Nothing,” she said. “Just that
everything is going to be okay.”

Panic bloomed in Camillia’s
stomach like a poisonous flower. She reached out and gripped Silvia’s hands so
hard that she cringed and tried to pull away. “What have you done, Sil?”

Silvia stood, her face taking on
that defensive look that she used to get when they were children. “Nothing. I
didn’t do anything. Just don’t worry about it.”

Camillia’s eyes narrowed down to
slits. “Don’t lie to me, Silvia. We both know that I can reach into that head
of yours and pull out the truth. Don’t make me do that. I don’t want to, but I
will. Tell me what you’ve done.”

Silvia began pacing the room.
“Fine,” she said, releasing a heavy breath. “You’re going to be upset at first,
but I think if you will just listen to me, you’ll see that I made the right
choice.”

Anger was beginning to rise in
Camillia, she clenched her hands into fists and waited.

“I made a deal with the King. He
agreed that if I told him where the Sun Warrior was going to attack, he would
forget about your misconduct and swear that no harm would come to any of us.”

Camillia was on her feet before
Silvia could blink, standing two inches from her face, her eyes shooting
daggers. “You did
what
?”

Silvia cringed back a little.
“See,” she said. “I knew you’d be mad, but Cam, I did it for you.”

Camillia’s hand came up on its
own accord and her palm met the side of her sister’s face with a neck-jerking
slap that sounded as loud as the pounding in Camillia’s ears. “How could you!”
she screamed. “How could you do that? What is wrong with you? You just sent
over two thousand people to their deaths!”

Silvia recoiled, her hand
covering the blooming red spot on her cheeks, her eyes wide and watery. “I told
you, I did it for you! For all of us! How many would die if this war were
allowed to keep going. And why do you care so much about those two girls
anyway? They killed Bethany!”

Now anger sparked behind Silvia’s
eyes too. “You’re the traitor! Not me!”

Before she could stop herself,
Camillia sent her mind out in a powerful push that slammed into Silvia hard
enough for her to stumble back and fall to the floor. She gripped the sides of
her head, no doubt feeling a throbbing there from her sister’s mental attack.

Camillia stood over her sister,
looking down with shame and disappointment written in every line of her face.
“For the rest of your days,” she said. “You will have to live with what you
have done.”

 

 

Alexa

There was no doubt now, none at
all, our attack had been anticipated, and we had been herded into the silver
gates to await this ambush. They had appeared from seemingly nowhere, thousands
of the King’s Warriors surrounding us and cutting their way to the center of
the crowd.

So I began cutting my way through
them.

It was as though I was at the
very center of a burning ball of chaos. People screaming and running and
fighting everyway I turned. Too much to take in. I settled my eyes instead on
the King who still stood atop the balcony, knowing that I would take down every
one of his Warriors if that’s what it took to reach him.

Around me, my comrades were
fighting off the Warriors nail and tooth. The Wolves had rushed in and stopped
the silver gates from closing, so at least some of the people may have a chance
of escape. I ran my blade through a Warrior who was rushing at me, and steam
rose from the silver as I pulled it free of his body only to shove it through
the throat of another.

Kayden was beside me, keeping the
enemy from being able to attack me from too many sides. I only stole glimpses
at him from the corners of my eyes, as that was all that time would allow for,
but it was enough to know that he was having no trouble holding his own. Others
were not so lucky. Even at the rate that I was killing, which was an impressive
rate indeed, we were outnumbered, and our numbers were dropping fast.

The King. It wouldn’t matter if I
could just get to him. And I would.

He seemed to be grinning down at
me from where he stood. Every glitter of his jewels and drop of blood spilled
from my comrades mocked me to the point of insanity. I danced through the crowd
with my weapon, the world taking on that slow pace that made the efforts of
those attacking me seem like child’s play. They were big and strong and
well-trained, undoubtedly, but I was small and fast and pissed-off. No, I was
livid.

Every single body that I cut down
in my path brought me closer to him, and I leapt around them and under them and
through
them, focusing only on that smug smirk he had on his face, and
how I was so close to being to wipe it off of his ugly old face forever.

This was not like all the other
times I had faced battle. There was no slow sensation of losing myself, of
slipping away from the true me with every passing moment. It was just gone,
replaced by the part of me that flourished in a situation such as this. And it
grew with every swing of my blade into something enormous and terrifying and
undeniable.

My Monster and I were at last,
one.

The only moment that I almost
swerved from my goal was when I heard Tommy’s cry. I spun around, my sword
passing cleanly through the midsection of two of the King’s Warriors, spilling
entrails out onto the snow where they lay steaming. When I saw what had yanked
the scream from my friend’s throat, I almost changed direction to move and help
him.

Two Warriors were dragging out
the body of Lord Thomas Caslon, and they threw Tommy’s father at his feet with
grins that were as wide as jackals. Tommy charged forward and spun, his sword
flinging drops of scarlet into the air, and removing the lives from the two
Warriors who had brought his father.

I wanted to help him. I really
did. I wanted to go to him, just for a moment, and hug him or kiss him and tell
him that it would be alright. But there was no time for that, and if I was
being honest, I had my own hunger to satisfy. If I wanted to help him, if I
wanted to help
all of them
, what I had to do was kill the King.

And eventually, I made it to the
base of the Council Building, where more Warriors were spilling out of the
front doors, charging straight for me as soon as they saw me. I met their
challenge head-on, chopping down one after another and knowing that Kayden was
at my back, doing the same thing. When I had the chance, I leapt up and gripped
the ledge two stories down from where my target waited. A moment later, Kayden
followed. And then we began to climb.

BOOK: Redemption (The Alexa Montgomery Saga)
9.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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