Home > The Dark Ones (The Dark Ones Saga #1)(7)

The Dark Ones (The Dark Ones Saga #1)(7)
Author: Rachel Van Dyken

I am nothing.

I hung my head.

"Be easy on her," Stephanie said in a calm voice. "She's been brainwashed for quite a while."

"Will he be okay?" I asked in a small voice. "The wer—" I was about to say werewolf and had to stop myself. "Mason? Will he be okay?"

"After he runs." Ethan hung his head. "Maybe if he eats something other than berries and the damn pinecones I keep finding in the upstairs bedroom."

Stephanie's lips pressed together in a small smile. "He finds comfort in the outside."

"Yeah, well, he's ruining my wood floors," Ethan grumbled.

"You live together?" I blurted.

All eyes fell to me. "All immortals live together in one sense or another." It was Ethan who kept answering my questions. "And you didn't offend Mason as much as remind him of what should have been… what could have been."

"Oh." I swallowed against the dryness in my throat. Shock must have been wearing off as I could at least feel my body again, though what I felt was shaky and weak.

"Ethan…" Stephanie glanced between us. "I know you don't like the idea, but it's really the only way."

He chewed his lower lip; fangs descended from the top of his mouth. "I know."

"It's the only thing we haven't tried." Alex put his arm around Stephanie. "It won't be so bad, will it?"

What were they talking about?

And why was I suddenly feeling rejected all over again?

"It won't be so bad," Ethan repeated. "It will be absolute torture… hell rising to earth… and you ask me to do this still? Knowing what you know?"

The two of them hung their heads but said nothing.

It was on the tip of my tongue to ask when the entire temperature in the room dropped.

I saw my own breath.

"He's close." Alex cursed. "Do it now!"

Ethan's green eyes met mine; they flashed then went completely black before he said in a low gravelly voice, "I'm so sorry."

All I felt was pain.

As black overtook everything.

"I love you so much." The woman danced in the field, throwing her hands up into the air in excitement. "Say you love me."

"I love you." Ethan grinned. "Always, you know this."

"Say it again!" She laughed and threw herself into his arms.

I felt everything he felt, like it was me. He wasn't just elated, he was… perfect. Life was perfect. The universe was at one with him and his mate.

"The hour grows late," he whispered against her temple. "Shall we go back to the castle?"

She pulled away and pouted. Her dark hair fell in loose waves all the way down to her waist. "Catch me first."

"Too easy."

"Do it!" She laughed than took off ridiculously fast.

Laughing, Ethan chased her into the forest.

It was impossible not to laugh with them, not to experience the love firsthand. It was so beautiful I wanted to weep, but I couldn't feel my face or any part of my body. Maybe I was dead. But at least I'd seen true love once. It was something I'd never forget — the way he held her, the way their hearts beat the same rhythm.

The scene changed.

She was in a large bed. The curtains were pulled back from the window, letting in the moonlight.

"A daughter." She held the baby up in her arms and grinned. "Ethan, we have a daughter!"

Ethan's face was pure awe as he took the small bundle in his hands and whispered against the baby's head. "So perfect."

"She is."

"We did it," Ethan said with tears in his eyes. "I cannot believe after all these years—"

The temperature in the room dropped.

"Quickly…" Her eyes were fearful. "Take her away from here."

"He would never harm a child." Ethan shook his head. "We can trust him."

"We can't!" she cried. "You've seen what they are capable of."

"Leave it!" he roared. "I will protect us."

The door to the room burst open as Cassius casually walked in, his eyes scanning the room with a cold detachment that caused me to shiver.

"So…" Cassius tilted his head; it looked animalistic. "You defy me?"

"She's half human," Ethan said. "You know the rules."

"The rules…" Cassius grinned. "…and you've broken them."

"No." Ethan shook his head. "That's impossible."

The woman in the bed started to cry softly in her hands.

"Maybe you should ask your wife where her loyalty lies."

"Ethan…" she sobbed. "I'm so sorry! It was the only way! It was the only way!"

Realization dawned in Ethan's eyes as he fell to his knees. "Tell me you didn't do this, my love… tell me!"

No more words were spoken.

I felt like my heart was breaking right along with his.

Cold green eyes met mine as if he truly knew I was there, in that heaven or hell, in the dream.

"Awake!" he screamed.

I jolted up from the bed in a cold sweat and confused, who carried me there? Ethan hovered over me, Stephanie rocked in the corner, and Alex paced the floor.

"It worked." Alex paused his walking, still not looking at me. "Thank God, it worked."

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