I stood in the hallway, staring at Bryn through the half closed door, fighting with whether or not to follow her inside. I pressed my back to the wall instead, hanging my head as I absorbed Andre’s pacing footsteps.
I could practically hear Olivia’s heartbeat through the walls, her body wrapped in Andre’s coat in one of the guest rooms. I knew he was haunted by it, the sound like a ticking time bomb now that he had proof his Dreamer was really out there somewhere. He was lucky.
Lathan’s wife didn’t lie with the living. I stared down the hall at the closed door where Lathan had been all night. He’d carried Cora to the darkest corner of the house; curled up in a coffin for two. But his silence was nothing compared to the moment he’d found her among the fiery debris in Anso’s prison.
The Rogues had spent a lifetime searching for their soul mates, agonizing over every false lead, driven to destruction, hopeless. Lathan had been the one to drag so many of them out of their madness, giving them not just a home, but a reason to live. Then he’d vanished, Michael taking over their mission to find the Dreamers. And then they’d found them, flushed beneath the glow of Michael’s rage as he’d tried to set their sleeping bodies on fire. He’d been possessed by Anso’s shadows the whole time, the darkness feeding off his most desperate desire—to find his Dreamer, Darina.
I remembered the gasoline glistening against the Dreamers’ skin, any hope of saving them all, snuffed out the moment Michael ignited. It was too dangerous for me and the other Rogues to do the same, the gasoline ready to turn our flames into winding rivers. But then Bryn’s tears had turned to rain. Her thoughts turned to chains and she strung them around Michael’s throat. She stopped him. She…destroyed him while I watched a piece of her being destroyed too.
Once the ashes had settled and the rain had retreated, we carried the Dreamers out, one by one, to the beat of Lathan’s breaths. He’d screamed, whatever nightmares Anso had left behind skittering into every empty crevice, afraid of something even more powerful. Love. The sound…the look in Lathan’s eyes as he’d held Cora’s corpse in his arms—he’d made me afraid of it too.
But nothing made that fear more real than when I looked at Bryn. Because no matter how close I was, no matter how deeply I stared into her eyes, she wasn’t staring back. I love you. Please. I love you.
I wanted to say it. I wanted to scream it. Every time she stared right through me I wanted to scream.
*This excerpt is from a WIP and is subject to change*