Home > The Dark Ones (The Dark Ones Saga #1)(11)

The Dark Ones (The Dark Ones Saga #1)(11)
Author: Rachel Van Dyken

It was red until it touched the ground, turning into the same green I saw in his eyes. The green liquid seeped into the ground, nourishing it, causing grass and flowers to take root.

I gasped, reaching again.

The pain was too much.

He closed his eyes and cut again.

No! I tried yelling, but my voice simply didn't exist.

He continued, letting his blood spill around his feet. Hours went by, or maybe it was minutes. Soon an entire forest grew around us. I sighed in relief as the shield of the trees shaded me from the sun. The heat dissipated.

Only to return when Ethan looked at me again.

He turned and, in an instant, was in front of me, his black shirt open midway to his muscled chest.

We were in our own forest.

It started to rain.

I turned my face up, welcoming the cold.

But the raindrops weren't cold.

They were hot — searing hot.

The trees weren't protecting me anymore. I reached for Ethan, but he moved back. My need for shelter outweighed my need for him.

The scene changed. And suddenly I was standing near a river; he was on the other side.

I wanted him — I wanted the water more.

I tried jumping in, but each time I made a movement toward the water instead of him, the pain was unbearable.

With a silent sob, I fell to my knees.

When I looked up, Ethan was standing over me; he'd somehow made it past the river.

"When it's me you cry for — the pain ends."

I shook my head, fighting his words.

Because they meant the end of me. I knew it in my soul. If I gave in to the heat, if I gave in to him, if I ignored my basic human needs — I wouldn't be human anymore.

I would be fully reliant on a strange being who didn't want me to begin with.

"Stop fighting it!" he roared.

I shook my head as heat consumed my body.

We were back in the throne room.

Cassius stood over me, his cold stare haunting. "And you still choose him? When I could give you relief?"

"Genesis, NO!" Ethan roared, but I couldn't see him.

All I could see, all I could feel was relief in Cassius's presence.

My body shook.

Cassius grinned, moving closer and closer to me.

The lesser of two evils.


I reared back; the heat got worse. I continued stepping backward until I was falling.

I landed in his arms.

His body was warm, not too hot, just warm enough to make me feel more comfortable.

"Genesis," Ethan whispered, his mouth near my ear. "Don't fight it."

"Don't…" I fought to get the words out. "Want. Me."

His eyes flashed green, and then his mouth was on mine.

It was like ice.

And all I saw was him.

All I wanted was him.

All I could think about was him.

As our heartbeats and breathing synced in perfect cadence with one another. I tugged his head harder toward mine — greedy for his lips, needing so desperately to taste him I thought I'd die.

With a cry I jolted awake from the dream.

To find myself not in Mason's arms — but Ethan's.





I IMMEDIATELY TRIED TO RECOIL, ASHAMED, embarrassed, and horrified that I was in his arms without any clothes on. As if sensing my thoughts, Ethan looked away, jaw clenched. "You were taking them off."

"I was hot!" I yelled, happy that my voice was back but still shaking from the pain. It was still there — the searing heat — but it was bearable.

"I had it under control," a voice said from the corner.

I pulled the blankets and covered myself as Mason stepped out of the shadows, now looking like his normal self.

"You didn't need to interfere, Ethan."

"She's. Not. Yours." Ethan hissed.

"Now you claim me," I mumbled.

His jaw popped, as if he'd been trying to clench his teeth but had overdone it and nearly dislocated his entire face. "If you would have given in right away, your clothing wouldn't have been an issue!"

"So it's my fault." My lower lip trembled. "Is that what you're saying?"

"Damn it, Ethan." Mason made his way to the bed and threw another blanket over my body. I'd completely forgotten I was still naked — and arguing — probably because I was still so hot. "Just leave."

"She's my mate." Ethan released me but didn't leave his position next to me on the bed.

Mason hung his head. Dark circles framed his eyes. "Then do what's best for her. Just leave her be."

"If I leave, the marking won't be complete."

"She's been through enough this evening. Let her rest before the final stage. I think it's the least you can do… considering."

Ethan hung his head and whispered, "For my sacrifice… I'm the bad one in this scenario?"

"You became the bad one in this scenario the minute you heard your mate's screams and didn't come running. Now get out." Mason growled the last part so loud my ears started to ring.

Ethan cursed and stomped toward the door, leaving me.

I learned something in that instant.

He was a jerk.

No, he was a selfish ass.

But I missed him.

And I hated both him and myself because he'd turned away, and I needed him to be close.

My body yearned for him.

And the heat returned full force; I threw off the blanket then panicked and grabbed it again.

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