Home > Torn (Demon Kissed #3)(3)

Torn (Demon Kissed #3)(3)
Author: H.M. Ward

He stared at me until I finally nodded. Part of me was curious to see what he was going to do. The other part was tired of feeling the pain. And if I was going to finish what I started and impale myself with a Guardian fang again, I needed to know what he knew about the prophecy.

And me.

He slid off his perch and took long strides toward me. His green eyes locked with mine for a moment as he stood above me. It was intimidating.

He was intimidating. I just couldn't understand why. He was tall, but he was lanky. It wasn't his size or his appearance that put the fear of God into me. It was something else, but I had no idea what. 

His emerald eyes finally broke away from mine before gazing down towards my chest. Flinching at his touch, he slid his fingers under my neckline slightly as he pulled it down and revealed a long scar. The scar formed a gash that marred my skin from the center of my breastbone up to my shoulder. The gentle scoop of the tank top I was wearing covered the entire scar.

His hand drifted to the beginning of the scar just below my neckline - to the place where the fang first pierced my skin at the top of my breast. That was the only part of the wound that still contained sapphire serum. I could see it. A faint blue line was buried deep inside of my skin.

The black-haired boy didn't glance up at me as he carefully placed a silver petal against my skin. His rough hands handled the flower delicately. His attention was solely fixated on the rose and the wound. As he touched the flower's stem to the only part of my wound that still contained sapphire serum, I could see the silver petals slowly soak up the blue. Streaks appeared in the silver, veining it in tiny intricate spider-webs through the metal petals. His fingers worked deftly, twirling the rose while touching it to my chest lightly.

Petal after petal veined and then turned blue. As the poison was drawn out of my body and into the rose, the pain that ravaged me subsided. My nails had bitten into my palms because I had my fists balled so hard. As the pain eased, I noticed the ache in my cramped fingers and the nail marks in my flesh.

It was uncomfortable to have this guy hovering over my exposed chest drawing out poison like that, but it seemed to be working. And he didn't try to feel me up. He didn't ask me about my missing bra, tattered clothing, or the blood stains that covered my outfit. Instead, he focused on his fingers and the flower, saying nothing while he worked. The flower twirled and slowly I felt better.

But, before the serum was completely gone, the process stopped. The blue veins drawing the poison out dried up before the rose was filled, leaving it with a single silver petal. The boy stopped twirling the rose. He lifted it from me and maneuvered it to try again.

I waited to see what would happen. But as I watched, nothing changed. It was like the stem broke and the silver rose had reached its poison threshold. He shook his head and lifted the flower away from my skin, flipping over the rose to look at the tip of the stem. He bit the side of his mouth, pulling his lips into an odd expression. Flipping the flower over again, he glared at me with those haunting eyes.

He blurted out what he was thinking without sugar-coating it, "What's wrong with you? What's wrong with your soul?"


Out of all the questions that I expected him to ask, that wasn't one of them. I visibly flinched. "What? Nothing." He was looking at me oddly. Not quite judgmental like the Martis, but still not a good look.

His brow creased, as he examined the rose between his fingers. "No, there is something definitely wrong with your soul." His gaze shifted from the rose to my horrified face. His voice was stern and certain. "This rose is made from Celestial Silver. I used it to draw out the sapphire serum. The rose holds the venom in its petals. The silver rose is the only thing that can hold the serum. Sapphire serum is poison and destroys everything it touches, except this." He spun the rose in his fingers. "It would have killed you. Once that stuff gets into your blood, the poison multiples and gets very difficult to draw out.

"When I found you, you were a lost cause. The venom had spread throughout your entire body and was messing with your brain. You were barely breathing. So I grabbed you and brought you back here. I knew that the poison likes silver - it's drawn to it the way an iron filing is drawn to a magnet. So when I touched the silver to your wound, it pulled out the sapphire serum, little by little, until there was only this small amount left. But, it's like I can't draw out this last bit of poison. It's as if your soul has been taken - like part of it is missing." He shook his head as if he didn't believe his own words.

I looked away embarrassed and asked, "Why would that matter?"

His eyebrow shot up into his hair line as he regarded me for a moment. "Because. It's not natural for a being to have part of her soul missing. Sure, souls can be ripped from the body, but when that happens, the part of the soul that was taken dies. It's just gone."

I stiffened, "A Valefar took most of my soul." That was true. Jake took almost all of it, but I had a feeling that wasn't what he was talking about. The entire conversation, and the look on his face, made me squirm.

Shaking his head he said, "No, that's different. A soul devoured by a Valefar dies. It goes to the Pool of Lost Souls for a reason - it's lost. A dead soul cannot be revived. It's dead. But that's not the case with you. The rose just can't do it. It's like part of your living soul is somewhere else, but that's impossible..." he arched an eyebrow staring at me, waiting for an explanation.

I squirmed under his gaze, and tried to sit up again. I managed to pull myself up slowly without falling over. The boy didn't help me. He just stared with a hard look on his face. I didn't like this guy interrogating me. Who was he anyway? He totally screwed up my plan and I sure as hell didn't want to stab myself again. It took more courage than I had the first time. 

"Why isn't that possible?" I asked. "And who are you anyway? And stop looking at me like that!" His jaw was slack, and his mouth was hanging open slightly. He was shocked.

By me.

He pushed his hair behind his ear and shut his mouth. "It's not possible, because a soul can't be torn in pieces and remain alive. That's just it. Damage like that is deadly. There is no natural separation of part of the soul from the body. It's not like we can just tear it in two and put part of it somewhere else!"

Um, that was news to me, because that was exactly what I did. I had given a piece of my soul to Collin. This kid was going to flip out if I told him. Instead I demanded, "Answer me. Who are you? Why'd you save me?"

The boy folded his arms and stared at me, equally stubborn. He didn't like my tone, but I really didn't care. I wasn't apologizing for it.

His expression hardened. "I saved you because I could. I assumed you wanted to avoid propelling the prophecy into motion, so I saved you. You can't die, not like this. Don't you see? Can't you tell what would have happened?" His voice became louder and louder as he spoke, yelling at me like I was an idiot. "Part of your soul is somewhere else. If you had died, your body would have died, and the remnant of your soul - wherever it is - would receive your powers. You have powers, right? The prophecy one is supposed to have great powers, and that's you. Killing yourself would have shifted all of your bad-ass power straight into that piece of soul that isn't inside of you anymore." He was quite for a moment. Thoughts were flying through his mind, and he began to speak them, putting the pieces together in front of me. "But, that piece of your soul is still alive... And for it to be alive, it has to be inside a living being - someone else. Ivy, did you give a piece of your soul away?" He looked horrified, as if there was no way I would ever do such a thing. His hard gaze and shocked expression didn't make me question my decision to give a piece of my soul to Collin, but it did make me feel ashamed.

I looked away sharply. "I had to." My voice was faint. "I did it to save someone. He would have died without it."

The black-haired boy studied me. "Who? Who has your soul inside of them? Who will inherit your powers when the poison spreads through your body?"

Coldness filled the pit of my stomach, as I realized the magnitude of what he was saying. If my body died and my soul ceased to exist in this body, a piece of me was left elsewhere. That person would absorb all my powers. They would naturally flow into the only remaining piece of soul. And the person who had it was possessed by a demon.


The boy arched his eyebrow at me and shook his head. "You're a hot mess, aren't you? Good God! No wonder why you're the one who causes this whole disaster. You have no idea what the hell you're doing!"

"Like you do?" I wanted to leave the Lorren, but I wasn't sure if I could stand, never mind find my way out again. Shit. I had to undo this. I had to get the sapphire serum out of my chest.

He looked incredulous; like I shouldn't dare challenge him. He was obviously a Valefar who'd made a hideout inside the Lorren. At first I thought he was an idiot, and then I realized that was something I would do and lost all of the bluster that I was ready to spew at him. Instead I asked again, "Who are you?"

He stared at me, with his emerald eyes locked on my face. He bit his bottom lip for a moment before answering. It seemed to be a nervous tic, a gesture that he didn't realize he had that surfaced when he was tense...or afraid.

Silence surrounded us until he finally told me. "I'm Lorren."

Annoyed, I felt my eyebrow pinch as my mouth opened. Did he really think I was that stupid? He wasn't the Lorren. The Lorren is a maze. The Lorren's made of gold. The Lorren kills people. What an ass. I folded my arms and cocked my head, allowing my annoyance to become visible. "You're not the Lorren. Nice try Valefar-boy, but I met the Lorren and he doesn't play this way. So who the hell are you?" I stared up at him with my arms folded over my chest.

"You're insane." He folded his arms and stared back down at me. I waited for more, but he didn't say anything else.

My face scrunched up as I'd had all I could take of him. "The hell with you, Lorren-boy. I seem to be totally screwed because of you. Not only did you not let me die, but you only half healed me, so I'm gonna die anyway - just slower. Thanks for the agony. Not to mention getting us totally lost inside the maze." I shook my head and started to walk away from him.

How could I get out of here? Effonating in and out was not possible. The only reason it worked before was because I appeared at the mouth of the tunnel. Once inside of it, the Lorren screwed with magic and bent it to its will. His laughter made me stop. I paused to look at him. His stance loosened. It was like he didn't know what to think of me, which was fine because I didn't care.

"You don't listen," he said exasperated. "My name is Lorren. I didn't say I was thee Lorren. And we aren't lost. I live here. I can take you back to where I found you and let you die alone, even though that's a dumbass idea."

I arched an eyebrow and walked towards him. He was taller than me. Everyone was taller than me. "I seem to be a dumbass girl. So tell me, Mr. Lorren, what would you do, if you were me?"

I regarded him suspiciously. If he was a Valefar, why didn't he drain me when he had the chance? It's what any creature down here would have done. Half of the demons where out trying to find me, so they could take my power for themselves. The other half wanted to capture me so they could hand me over to Kreturus. And one crazy-ass Valefar, named Eric, wanted to kill me so he could have fun watching me die. I shivered.

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