Sweet oblivion (sweet se.., p.77
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       Sweet Oblivion (Sweet Series #1), p.77

          

  Zaylie squeezed my hand gently to comfort me. I stared down at our clasped hands, and then moved my gaze out to the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. I fidgeted on the sharp, hard rock that we sat on.

  Could I do this? Could I tell her?

  I opened my mouth...and then quickly closed it again. I could feel heat creeping up my face. I was embarrassed. How did one go about telling one of their best friends that their other best friend and person they were in love with were...Night Elves, exactly? I couldn’t even think about telling her what Mycah claimed I was.

  “Umm...” I slowly exhaled.

  “...umm?” she repeated.

  “Yeah. Um.” I shot my eyes to hers for the briefest of seconds before looking back down at our hands again. Oh god. I couldn’t do this. She’d think I was crazy. Heck, she’d probably run away screaming. I knew that's what I felt like doing when Mycah was confessing the truth to me that day at the Weeping Willow before Rydan found us there. Oh yeah, and not to mention before Mycah was shot with an arrow by an evil hunter from their world. I mean...our world. What if by telling her I would put her in danger? I would just die if she got caught in the middle because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.

  “Nari, is this about Mycah? Or Rydan? I haven’t seen those blokes in a while and you haven’t mentioned a single word about them. Are they okay?” she tried pulling the truth out of me.

  “I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on. It’s driving me crazy,” I finally said.

  “Why don’t you start from the beginning,” she caressed my back slowly. “First, why don’t you try telling me what happened between you two. Do you love him?”

  “What? No, I don’t lov...love him,” I answered too quickly, suddenly feeling shy about actually saying my feelings out loud. I had never been in love before, so I’ve never had to confess those feelings out loud to anyone before either. I hadn’t even told Mycah how I felt about him yet. He left before I got the chance.

  “Ha! Please, girl. I see the way he looks at you. You’ve completely caught his fancy. And don’t pretend he hasn’t got yours. You're so obvious, ya know.” She laughed. My cheeks burned in response.

  “Ugh. Great. So the whole world knows?” I dropped my face into my hand and cringed. So. Embarrassing.

  “And Rydan?” she inquired.

  “I love Rydan, but like a brother. He’s my very best friend. And you’re right. I do...have feelings for Mycah. I don’t understand them. They're so strong, it seriously scares the heck out of me. Is it normal to feel so strongly about someone you barely know? And so soon? It’s like my soul feels less when he isn’t near me. Now...it is even worse. I feel completely empty with him so far away.” I decided I needed to grow up. I was eighteen now...I really needed to start acting like it. So I tried to explain these strange feelings to probably the only person in the world I’d actually want to, but part of me wondered if they had something to do with the whole elves thing. As much as I loved Zaylie and loved that I finally had a friend who was a girl to be able to share these deep parts of me with, was it possible that she’d even be able to understand?

  “What do you mean, with him so far away? Where is he?” she asked, her eyebrows pulled together.

  “He’s gone. Mycah and Rydan left. They left me.” I looked away and held my breath, trying desperately to hold back my tears. I didn’t want to cry. I was so over crying.

  “Mycah and Rydan did WHAT?!” Zaylie yelled, way too loudly, shooting straight up off the rock. I almost wanted to laugh at her reaction, but the overwhelming sadness from the situation was too much.

  “Yeah...” was all I could manage.

  “Tell me everything,” she said sternly as she claimed her side of the rock again.

  I looked over at the spot Mycah and I had stood just a week ago, discussing this very thing. I let the memory replay in my mind for the zillionth time.

  “How?” I echoed my thoughts in a whisper.

  “I don’t know the details. I was very young. But I do know you’re incredibly special, Nariella. And I don’t just mean to me. You have to be special in order to be born a Healer. They are so rare,” Mycah grew quiet, as if lost in thought.

  “Why didn’t you tell me? Why have you kept this from me until now if it's true?” I asked, not really sure I could endorse all the crazy just yet.

  “That is precisely why I didn’t tell you. If my uncle knew of your existence...if he found out you were a Healer...Nariella, I will do everything in my power to prevent that. Even if that meant keeping the truth about who you are...what you are...from you. I couldn’t have you trying to heal the whole world if you knew what you were capable of. I couldn’t risk your exposure. I only want to protect you, love. You don’t understand what he is capable of. He brutally murdered my father and then after trying to get to me, he killed my mentor and Guardian, Ender, who was more like a second father to me than anything. I would die if anything happened to you, too.” He stretched his fingers behind my ear and closed his eyes as he barely touched his forehead to mine. My stomach did a flip at the same time my heart skipped a beat.

  “I’m so deeply sorry you’ve lost people you love, Mycah.” I tried to keep my voice strong but the pain he showed in his eyes reached my heart and made it difficult to speak.

  When he didn’t respond, I sensed that I needed to change the subject. “So I’m a Night Elf too?” I bit out, trying to hold back my frustration at the unknown.

  “No. You’re not. You’re a Tavas’Elda. A Wood Elf,” he answered slowly; his accent made the words sound beautiful, despite their terrifying meaning. “My natural born enemy.” He pulled me closer to him, as if this new information would scare me. But it didn’t. It only confused me more.

  “What?” I asked, not hiding my confusion.

  “That danger you felt from me every time I was near...that was your natural instincts telling on me. I hated it. I couldn’t take you being afraid of me. It is an ancient rivalry that has run in our blood for so long; I knew it couldn’t be helped. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how you could be so close to Rydan. But it at least gave me hope that you could overcome it. I guess I’m lucky you didn’t understand it,” he chuckled toward the ground. Why did he have to look so sexy all the dang time?

  “I have to go. I have to get out of here.” This was too much. I felt like crumbling into a tiny pile of confusion. I shot up off the ground. I started to walk away, and then realized the one place I usually escaped to could no longer be my safe haven. The majestic Weeping Willow that Rydan and I spent so much time at was now off limits, according to Mycah. Apparently, as long as he stood on this side of it, there could always be an evil hunter going through it to come after him.

  “Nari. I’m the one who has to go. I have to go back, and it has to be now,” Mycah breathed out gruffly, pain evident in his voice. I spun around, shocked. There was no way he was leaving me too. Rydan was one thing, but I refused to be left behind while the two of them are off doing who knows what.

  “You’re joking, right?” I responded, knowing full well he wasn’t. My chest tightened.

  “I have to go after Rydan. I can’t let anything happen to him. He’s important, Nariella. He’s my brother. I’m responsible for him. I don’t know how far he’s gotten, or if he has been captured already-”

  “NO!” I covered my ears like a little kid. I couldn’t handle the thought of something bad happening to Rydan. I just couldn’t.

  Mycah wrapped me in his arms. His delicious woodsy scent washed over me. I tried not to cry. Please don’t cry...

  “I’m so sorry, love,” he whispered into my hair.

  “I’ll go with you. We can find him together,” I said hopeful, my voice full of cracks.

  “You can’t. You have to stay here. At least here, you’re safe. I cannot possibly let you anywhere near my uncle, lest you be discovered,” he responded fervently, strategically. He was born a king; I could sense the authority in him. And then I could feel him suck in a breath and hold it, waiting for my reaction. Or maybe he could feel the overwhelming emotions of disappointment and despair crashing down on me.

  “How can that be true? The Black Eagles...what if they come after me looking for the Sindora?” I reminded him of the human Austrian underground organization that had been hunting him for some strange but very important item that he wouldn’t tell me anything about.

  “They won’t. I’ll leave a trail away from here if by chance they do. They’re not interested in you, love. Only me. And if they think I’ve left, they’ll try to follow. Okay?” He tipped my chin up so that I’d look into his bright aqua eyes. And it killed me.

  His intense stare left me breathless, and I could not turn away from the multi-faceted blues, purples, and greens he had me mesmerized with.

  “I don’t even think I believe any of this. Is this just a nightmare I’m not waking up from?” I asked quietly. Should I be scared he wasn’t human? Scared that Rydan wasn’t, and had never been? Scared that...I wasn’t either? None of this made sense...If I didn’t feel so drawn to the both of them, if it didn’t feel so right to be near them, I would have run and hidden in a hole somewhere by now. But how could I run from myself?

  “You know it’s all true. I can feel that you know. You feel it in your heart and in your bones,” he said, matching my volume.

  “I don’t want you to go.” I sniffed, unable to stop the single tear that rolled down my face. It hurt to even say the thought out loud. He wiped it away with the back of his fingers.

  “I know you don’t. More than anything I can feel you don’t,” he pitched his voice low and drew closer to me. He bent to whisper in my ear, “And you must know, that no matter where I am, my every thought will be of you. Only you.”

  Then he pressed his lips to mine. Gently, slowly, he kissed me. It was a kiss full of longing and earnestness. Like he wanted me to remember him just by this kiss, and to memorize the way my lips felt tangled up with his. And I would. I raked my fingers through his hair and pulled him even closer to me, and memorized that too. The feel of his silky midnight blue hair laced through my fingers. The way his warm body felt pressed against mine - hard yet perfectly contoured to fit me.

  The taste of salt mixed with vanilla sat on my tongue as he pulled away. I touched my face, realizing I was crying, and wiped the tears that were running towards my lips.

  “I’ll come back as soon as I can. Wait for me,” was the last thing he said to me...

  “I don’t know if you’ll believe me,” I finally answered Zaylie and wiped the fresh tears away.

  About the Author

  Bailey Ardisone was born and raised outside of Chicago, Illinois. She married the love of her life and spends her days submerged in books, movies, music, or art, and loves traveling. Fantasy books and movies have been a huge part of her life, and one of her greatest passions is Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

  Her sister contributed some of the writing in Sweet Oblivion and Sweet Escape.

  Sweet Oblivion is the first installment of a series.

  Look for the second book, Sweet Escape, the third, Sweet Requiem, and the final book, Sweet Redemption, where you will continue the journey with Nari, Mycah, Rydan, and Naminé as they embark on an unexpected discovery of their true selves and purpose.

  Available everywhere now!

  Contact or follow Bailey Ardisone at:

  Website & Blog:

  www.BaileyArdisone.com

  Twitter:

  @BaileyArdisone | @MycahNightly | @RydanOMalley

  Facebook:

  facebook.com/TheSweetSeries

  facebook.com/AuthorBaileyArdisone

 
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