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.“Callie, you are okay!” He said as he dropped to his knees in front of me.“We have been searching everywhere for you! What are you doing out here?”“What do you want, Brokk?” I could not hide the ice in my voice.I began to brush the dirt and gravel from my palms and knees.I was trying to do all that I could to avoid having to look into his eyes.I feared that if I did, our crazy bond thing would cause me to get all loopy and I would end up back in his arms.“Callie, I am so sorry.Please, let me help you up.We have to get you back to the city.” He tried to pull me from the floor by my arm but I jerked it away.He looked at me in confusion.“Callie, please.I said that I was sorry.Just let me help you get back to the palace, we can talk about everything later.But right now we really need to go.” He insisted.“Hold on a minute Brokk!” I yelled as I jumped to my feet.“There is nothing to talk about and I am not going anywhere with you.You knew what Lilith had planned for me! You knew and you just left me there! You knew that she was going to kill my parents! That is why you went back!”I could no longer hold back my tears.Seeing Brokk was just more than I could take.“Okay, I knew that she only wanted to use you for her own benefit, but I also knew that she would never hurt you.I was afraid that she might try to harm your parents, and yes, that is why I went back.Nevertheless, I was too late Callie, and I am so sorry for that.Please, just come with me now and we can fix this.” He pleaded.“Fix this? How can you fix this?” I stammered.“You stole me away from the only home that I ever knew! You brought me to that awful place where I was locked away like some kind of animal! You say that she would never hurt me, but what was she going to do after she was through with me? Do you think that she was really going to let me go?”“Queen Lilith would never hurt you, Callie.” He said as his blue eyes started to get misty.“You have to know that.I am sorry that you were not happy with your arrangement there, but if we talk to her.If she knew how unhappy you were, I know that she would change things.”“She killed my family! Do you really think that she cares if I am unhappy with my arrangements?” I yelled.“And you, you did nothing to stop her! You just let her destroy everything that I have ever loved! You knew what she was going to do and you never said a word!” I had just about all that I could take of this.“There is no talking to her, you know that as well as I do.She brought me here to use me, and when she was through with me, she would have killed me too.Just like she killed my parents.”I sobbed so hard that tremors racked my body.I could barely stand.“Callie that is enough!” He growled as he moved for me.“Let’s go.Now.”He grabbed hold of my arm and started to yank me down the tunnel.I don’t know what came over me but I jerked him back.Shock registered on his face as he turned to look at me.He moved toward me again and this time I did not hesitate.I lifted my leg and kneed him in the groin with all of my might.He crumpled over clutching himself, and I followed up by delivering a massive blow to the left side of his face.His head flew back with the force of my fist, knocking him off balance.He landed onto the floor with a thud.I leapt on top of him, straddling his waist.He struggled to sit up but I would not let him.I raised my fist and landed blow after blow to his face.I could not stop myself.The rage and despair from the events that took place over the last week came boiling out of me with every strike of my hand.I could feel my tears burning my eyes but I ignored them.I wanted nothing more than to hurt Brokk, just as he had hurt me.I heard my name echoing through the depths of the tunnel, but I never relented.I continued my onslaught of punches until I felt warm hands grab onto my elbow just as I was about to land another blow.I snapped up with eyes blazing to see who was blocking my fury.I stared at Kailen with hate in my eyes for just a moment.Then the realization of my actions hit me like a ton of bricks and I slumped over against his chest and sobbed.My hand throbbed from the abuse that I had just put it through and it was starting to swell.The skin around some of my knuckles was cracked and bleeding.I clutched it to me to try an ease some of the pain.Kailen pulled me off of Brokk and rested his back against the tunnel wall as he held me to him.A deep sorrow filled me, and then remorse.My tears soaked his shirt as I cried for my parents, and for the life that I could no longer have.I cried for the pain that was still sharp in my heart from Brokk’s betrayal.I cried out of desperation for having no place to go.I had never felt so lost and alone.As my tears began to slow, I remembered where I was.I raised my head to see that Kailen was watching me.He still held me cradled in his arms as he wound his hand in my hair and stroked the back of my head.He had been whispering sweet encouragements in my ear, but I had never heard them.I was too lost in my own grief to hear anything.I looked over my shoulder to see that Brokk was still lying in the middle of the tunnel.His arms were splayed out at an awkward angle and his head was turned to the side, facing me.His left eye was swollen and a dark purple bruise was spreading across his left brow and cheek.“Is he alive?” I asked Kailen in a quiet tone.“Yes, he is alive.” He said with a chuckle.“But I think he will be out cold for a while.I don’t know about you, but I do not want to be around when he wakes up.”“I think you are right.” I said as I started to stand.I wiped the remaining tears from my face, and brushed myself off.Kailen picked up my backpack and helped me put it on, and then pulled on his own.“We better move fast, I doubt that the rest of the guards are going to be far behind him.” He said gesturing to Brokk.I looked at Brokk for a long moment.It was hard to believe that it had only been a little over a week since I was in the tunnel with him.I remembered how easy trusting him had been, even after all that he had done.I never would have considered myself that naive.There was just something about him that drew me to him, even when my entire being was screaming to me that I should be afraid.The way he penetrated me with those eyes.Just the thought of them filled me with a deep regret.I thought that I was falling in love with him.I looked at the ring on my finger as it held my swollen hand near my heart.I wished that things could have turned out different, that we could have had a life together.I guess it was just never really meant to be.I debated on whether or not I should return the ring to Brokk.When he first gave it to me, I had taken it as a promise of a future that would be full of love and wonder.I guess that I had been hoping for a fairytale.I just did not see how that would be possible anymore.“Callie?” Kailen called softly.“I’m coming.” I answered, and then I walked away.The ring remained on my finger.I made a promise never to take it off, and I intended to keep that promise.At least until Brokk decided that he no longer wanted for me to have it.“Kailen.” I called as we started walking [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]