Vanish, p.29
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       Vanish, p.29

         Part #2 of Firelight series by Sophie Jordan
 
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Page 29

  Author: Sophie Jordan

  “After everything that’s happened?” I wave a hand. “Why would I stay?”

  “Because there are things bigger and more important than what you want,” he returns, his gaze flicking meaningfully to Will.

  “You’re not one to talk about putting aside wants. ” Tamra’s voice is venom. “You wanted Jacinda and made certain that you got her. That wasn’t for the pride. That was for you and no one else. ”

  “What’s she talking about?” Will growls beside me, his hand tightening on mine.

  “Do we really want to do this now?” I glare at each of them and motion to Corbin. “He’s liable to wake up any moment and we’re too close to pride grounds. ”

  A muscle feathers across Will’s jaw. Still glaring at Cassian, he tugs me toward the truck. “You’re right. Let’s get out of here. ”

  Cassian’s voice follows me. “Run away, Jacinda. You’re good at that. ”

  Will stiffens at my side, but it’s Tamra who comes unglued. She spins around, all spitting fury. “Don’t be so self-righteous! You want to know where we’re going? And none of us want to go there, let me assure you of that. We’re going to rescue your brat of a sister who got only what she deserved because she was spying on Jacinda. ”

  “Miram?” His gaze shoots to me. “Is that true? You’re going to rescue Miram?” His gaze swings to Will. “She’s not dead?”

  Will holds silent for a long moment, and I hold my breath. Finally, he answers. “She lives. ”

  Something passes over Cassian’s eyes. A lightness that had not been there seconds ago. I sense his relief. “Then I’m going with you. ”

  “What?” Tamra demands, chasing after him as he stalks toward the vehicle. “I don’t think so!”

  “She’s my sister,” he returns, his voice tight, his lips barely moving.

  Tamra looks helplessly at me and Will, her eyes perfectly communicating her plea: Don’t let him come.

  “It’s going to be dangerous,” I warn.

  “Jacinda,” Tamra hisses.

  Cassian just looks at me, and I realize the threat of danger would hardly discourage him.

  I turn to study Will, wait for him to decide. He’s leading this mission. I move my thumb against the inside of his wrist in a small circle. He gives my hand a single squeeze and then walks ahead, guiding me to the passenger side. “We better get out of here. ”

  With a grim nod, Cassian gets in the back of the Land Rover.

  Tamra mutters, but climbs in, too, making certain to stay as far from him as possible.

  Will starts the car, slipping one hand over mine as he steers us from the clearing. I lace my fingers through his, see smudges of purple blood on his knuckles. His or Corbin’s, I don’t know, but my chest tightens at the sight.

  I tear my gaze from that blood and look up at Will’s face instead, into those eyes of flickering light and unfathomable depths. And I tell myself this is right. Will. Me. Us—on this journey together.

  In moments, we’re moving, the four most unlikely companions heading down the mountain, cutting through thinning mists . . . Nidia’s shield of protection evaporating as we descend.

  Away from the pride.

  Chapter 27

  The last time I fled the pride there was only despair. Desolation in the belief that I would never be whole again. That without the pride, I would be nothing. It wasn’t me fleeing, but Mom making me go.

  This time is different. Now I’m fleeing. Me. Willingly. As fast as I can. Without the pride, I’m free. Whole as I haven’t been in weeks. Hope overflows in my heart.

  Will holds my hand between us. Cassian and Tamra are silent in the backseat. Tension swirls around the four of us as thick as the mists we leave behind.

  I sense Cassian behind me. Angry-hard determination ripples off him. It mingles with my own lighter emotions. I focus on my feelings and fight to shove Cassian’s away.

  I look down at Will’s hand wrapped around my own. So strong. I remember Corbin’s bewilderment at his strength, and I let that settle in, sink deep. I’d seen evidence of it before. When he fought with Cassian on Big Rock he held his own. I chalked it up to his training but now I’m not so sure. Not after today. Not after what I saw him do with the ground.

  Is there some way Will gained multiple draki talents through the transfusion? The strength of an onyx draki and the power to manipulate ground and earth like an earth draki? Too incredible, maybe . . . but I know what I saw. He leveraged the earth. Just like an earth draki can do. I didn’t imagine it.

  Tamra witnessed it, too. It all goes back to the blood. It has to. What other explanation can there be? He’s immune to shading, he’s extraordinarily strong, he can manipulate the earth. . . . That’s more than any one single draki can do.

  And I begin to wonder . . . what else hides in him? In his blood?

  I want to talk to him about this, but only when we’re alone. Knowing how Cassian feels, I don’t want to bring up my suspicions that Will gained something more than a second lease on life through his transfusions.

  I mull this over in the prolonged silence.

  Conversation breaks out once, when Cassian asks, “How long will it take to get there?”

  “Depends if we drive straight through,” Will answers.

  “We’ll drive straight through,” Cassian returns flatly.

  I glance at Will, notice a muscle feathering the flesh of his taut cheek. I give his fingers a slight squeeze, urging patience. This adventure is going to be hard enough. We should all try to get along.

  Tamra snorts and mutters, “Always in command. ”

  I glance back at her. She sits with her arms crossed, pressed against the door to get as far from Cassian as possible in the confines of the vehicle. I turn back around and blow out a slow breath.

  It’s going to be a long journey.

  We drive for several hours, stopping only once for gas and food. I doze fitfully in the front seat, smoky, terror-soaked images flashing through my half-conscious mind.

  I’m in the van again. With Miram. It’s hot and airless and my pores scream for relief in the tight space. Moans choke Miram and I make my way to her on my hands and knees. Only when I touch her shoulder and roll her over, it’s not Miram at all.

  It’s Dad.

  His eyes are glassy, staring into nothing. No matter how I call him and shake him, he won’t wake. He just lies there like a slab of cold stone.

  I wrench myself fully awake, gasping.

  Will’s there, his hand closing over mine. “You okay?”

  I blink off the vestiges of sleep and nod, unable to hide how much the dream disturbed me. Glancing around, I notice we’ve stopped. He’s standing outside the car and leaning over me.

  “W-where are we? What are we doing?”

  “Stopping for the night,” Will says. I peer through the darkness and notice Cassian’s figure etched against the night. “C’mon. ”

  I climb out of the car. Will takes my hand. The door slams as Tamra steps out, pulling her jacket close. “It’s cold. ”

  “I’ve got blankets, and we can start a fire. ”

  I shiver in the chilly night. It’s colder here. I can already detect a drop in the temperature from when we last stopped several hundred miles south. In the distance, great jagged mountains, purple against the black night, break the sky.

  Tamra blows into her hands. “Can’t we stay somewhere with a roof and four walls?”

  “Until we’re farther from the pride, we should stay low. Keep away from public places. ”

  I turn at Cassian’s deep voice. His stare is liquid dark in the night. Unreadable as usual except I can read him. I can feel his anger. His sense of helplessness.

  “He’s right. ” Will nods and it strikes me as odd that they’re in accord over anything. “Let’s set up camp. ”

  “I’ll gather firewood.
Cassian disappears into the trees, and I know he wants this. Time to himself. Away from the sight of me and Will.

  Tamra and I help Will spread blankets on the ground and set up a ring of rocks for the fire. Will leaves and comes back with a bag of snacks we got from a gas station earlier. Tamra takes a bag of potato chips and drops down on a blanket.

  Cassian returns and I pick a blanket to sit on, watching as he and Will work on getting a fire started. Again, this is strange, seeing them work side by side without trying to kill each other. And yet it gives me hope. Hope that we’re going to band together and everything will be okay.

  They’re not having an easy time getting the fire to flourish—at least not quickly. I inch close and lean over the nest of sputtering flames and release enough steam so that the fire bursts to life. Will and Cassian jerk back.

  Tamra laughs and edges closer, holding out her hands. “Nice. Thought it was going to take them half the night. ”

  “Show-off,” Will murmurs, draping an arm around me. We settle back down onto the blanket and the chill melts away in his arms.

  Cassian rustles through the bag of snacks. I watch him from the corner of my eye, sensing his discomfort. He selects a bottle of juice and fades into the trees. Part of me feels guilty, that I should go after him and try to ease his discomfort. We’re bonded now. Fake or not, it can’t be easy for him to watch me with Will.

  But I’ve been gone too long from Will. I don’t want to move, don’t want to leave the comforting circle of his arms. Not yet. Not ever.

  “Let’s eat. ” He stretches an arm and pulls the bag over to us. “What’s it going to be? Twinkies? Or Cheetos?”

  I can’t remember the last time I ate junk food. Not since Chaparral. I snatch the pack of Twinkies from his hand.

  “I knew you’d pick that. ”

  “Why?”

  His lips move over mine. “Sweets for the sweet. ”

  Will takes care that I’m covered and pulls me close against his side. We share food and watch the gray clouds drift against the dark night. I drink strawberry soda until my nose tickles.

  “I guess this is the date we never got a chance to have,” he murmurs, his breath warm on my cheek.

  I smile, remembering that our first official date was interrupted by Xander and his cousins. “Well, it’s not that little Greek restaurant you promised me, but as far as dates go I’m having a pretty good time. ”

  “Strawberry soda, Twinkies, and Cheetos. You deserve better. ”

  Tamra groans and sits up, gathering her blanket and food. “I’m going to sleep in the car. I can’t survive a night of you two sweet talking. ” She sends me a wink as she moves toward the car and I know that she’s not really annoyed—that she’s just giving us a chance to be alone.

  We’re quiet for several moments, wrapped in each other’s arms, staring up at the night. “We’ll have that, Jacinda. Someday. ”

  I turn my face, almost bump my nose with his. “What?”

  “Normal dates. ”

  I smile. “I’m not holding my breath for normal, Will. I just want us to be together. Safe. Happy. ”

  He runs his hand through my hair. “We will be. ”

  We will be. After we reach the enkros stronghold and break out Miram. After we find Mom. I relax my thoughts, let them drift like the fast-moving clouds above. Will’s fingers play gently in my hair. His touch lulls me.

  “We’re going to be fine. I’ll get us in and out of there. I know how the enkros work. ”

  I know I should ask him to tell me more about them, to explain more about the enemy we face. I know I should tell him about Cassian and me bonding, but my eyes grow heavy even as I try to keep them open. My last sight is of Will, eyes wide-open, staring up at the night.

  I wake with a shiver—mine or Will’s, I can’t tell for certain. We’re tangled in each other’s arms; where one of us ends and the other begins is hard to determine. I wiggle free from the comfort of his body and rouse the fire back to life with one gust of breath. Crouching there, I sweep my eyes over our little campsite and notice that it’s still just Will and me.
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Comments 6

Sanamjmd 25 August 2018 17:06
0
Why isn't it the whole book
admin 25 August 2018 17:13
0
Quote: Sanamjmd
Why isn't it the whole book

the book is entirely here, to the very last word
Sanam
Sanam 25 August 2018 20:03
0
So you are telling me that the whole book consists of 31 pages? That is complete and utter rubbish it took me less than a day to finish that honestly why puthe it online if you won't put the whole thing and another thing I really don't believe that it ends like that so please stop lying to me
admin 25 August 2018 20:15
0
Quote: Sanam
So you are telling me that the whole book consists of 31 pages? That is complete and utter rubbish it took me less than a day to finish that honestly why puthe it online if you won't put the whole thing and another thing I really don't believe that it ends like that so please stop lying to me

send txt original file to you
this book is part of series - here it is - https://bookfrom.net/series.html?s=3026
Sanamjmd 26 August 2018 13:18
0
Quote: admin
Quote: Sanam
So you are telling me that the whole book consists of 31 pages? That is complete and utter rubbish it took me less than a day to finish that honestly why puthe it online if you won't put the whole thing and another thing I really don't believe that it ends like that so please stop lying to me

send txt original file to you
this book is part of series - here it is - https://bookfrom.net/series.html?s=3026

The book is supposed to have 294 pages
lilianna
lilianna 7 May 2019 04:03
0
people can't you just accept that the people shortened.... but I have read firelight and I loved it, but where is the romance in this book... *sigh* I will read this and wait for the romance...
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