The Forsaken Rune - G. Bailey Page 0,1

her voice. “I’m guessing you’ve been here before and didn’t mention it to me?”

“Mentioning it would be admitting I grew up here until I was eight,” I honestly reply. “And I don’t like to think of that time or how it all ended, because it was the best and the worst time of my life. And I ended up losing everything and everyone. I ended up alone.”

Poppy’s eyes shine with pity as I look away, spotting a tiny stem of a plant growing up between the cracks of the rocks, the unnatural green glow of it making it certain in my mind where I am. The Otherworld. My first home and a place I have always wanted to come back to. The Otherworld always made me feel that way if I remember right, even if the memory of this place seems like a lost memory I’ve pushed to the back of my mind.

The air is cold and damp, much like the room we are in, and overall I feel miserable even without thinking about everything that has happened. Lifting my torn top a little, I flinch at the sight of the nasty stomach wound that is slowly closing but is no doubt going to leave a scar. The cut rips across my lower stomach, and even though it doesn’t look infected, it isn’t closing up like I would expect by now.

“Are you okay?” Poppy asks me, and I push my shirt down before looking her way as she crawls over to me, ignoring Laelia as she complains about being cold. Poppy sits by my side and looks down at the floor. Her black hair is braided on the one side, although as messy as my own hair, and dirt smothers her skin.

And for the first time in a long time, I feel guilty. Who I am got her dumped in this mess with me, and I should never have accepted the deal her father offered me. I should have run as fast as I could in the opposite direction. Even if I never would have met my best friend, a woman I see as a sister, or the men in my life that I’m utterly addicted to. Even if I am aware that at some point, it would have all gone wrong.

If not this, then it would have been the fact I’m falling for a demi-god who can’t date mortals like me. Or an alpha hellhound shifter who no doubt has a mate out there somewhere that he will leave me for when he goes to rule hell. All shifters have mates. I’m not even going to think about my demon overlord and how his demon might kill me if I were to mate with the hellhound, and then there is Sebastian.

The prince who stood and watched as I was captured.

The prince who didn’t step in when I needed him the most.

“Been better,” I finally answer. And even that is a sort of lie. I want to tell her I’m falling apart inside and there is nothing she can do to help me.

I want to tell her I’m so fucking sorry she is dragged into this mess with me.

But I bet she knows all this from one look at me. Poppy knows me, much like I know her.

“You haven’t spoken much since you woke up mostly because you’ve been in and out of it but also because you won’t talk. I don’t blame you, but we need to make a plan now. I need some hope. Or something. Anything. What exactly happened?” she softly asks me. “Where are we?”

“What do you remember?” I question, wanting to understand her side of the story. I almost feel bad for being a zombie in this cell for a while. I should have snapped out of it sooner.

She folds her arms and looks up at the cracks of light shining in through the stone ceiling. “Nothing important. I woke up hearing smashing in the living area and Mossy shouting.” She pauses as I feel like daggers cut into my chest. Mossy? “And some sort of magic hit me before I could get to the door, and knocked me out cold.”

Seelie magic no doubt.

If anyone, including this damn Seelie king has hurt Mossy, I’m going to kill them. Slowly.

“The queen found out what I am, and the Seelie Fae King was there...,” I drift off. “The Seelie king has been visiting my dreams, and in each one, he killed me. The dreams started when I

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