Between Worlds (Pendant Series Book 3) (4 page)

BOOK: Between Worlds (Pendant Series Book 3)
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Adrian’s words were being brought to the forefront of my memory now. He had told me over and over that hell was
earth
. And now I was reading those exact words in this mysterious book.

How did Adrian know?

The doors to the library flung open and I jumped up, startled by the intrusion. Adrian stood in the door way rubbing the sleep from his eyes. “You had me worried for a minute. I thought maybe you’d left.”

I gripped the red book and waved it dramatically as if I’d just discovered some sort of incriminating evidence against him. “Why do you have this book?”

He glanced around the room and flashed me that famous half-smile of his as he took a step toward me. “We are standing in the middle of a library, Sidney. There are thousands of books in here.”

I stepped back, keeping the distance between us.

Adrian noticed this and raised his eyebrows.

I challenged him again. “I watched you take this book out of that safe. This book is special to you, Adrian. I want to know why.”

For the first time since I’d known him, Adrian’s mask of serenity slightly faded as he tried to take another step toward me and watched as I again retreated. “Why are you so worried about that book, Sidney?”

Again, he moved closer, so I danced around the desk, keeping the stationary object between us.

“What’s your real name?” I demanded.

“What do you remember?” he asked; his voice eager as he continued to chase after me.

I shouted, “I know who you are. You’re Samael.”

He froze.

Finally giving up the chase, or silently calculating his next move, we stood in the library, facing off.

And then the doorbell rang.

Adrian put his finger in the air while his eyes lingered on my face. “Don’t move,” he instructed as he spun around and headed toward the front door.

For some unknown reason, I decided to follow him. I did so possibly to defy his order or to simply run out of the house once the door opened. But when the door did open, I stood there in utter shock with my mouth gaping in horror.

The instant Adrian greeted the visitor my heart plummeted into my stomach. I couldn’t believe who I was seeing. She stood on the porch, tall and beautiful in her sheer floral print kimono top and white undershirt. Her long, milky legs were sensually revealing in her tiny denim cutoff shorts. She removed her big sunglasses, unleashing those distinctive catlike green eyes as her red lips curled up in a satisfied smile as she gleefully watched me unravel from the inside out.

What the hell was she doing here?

She ran her long pale hand through her deep red hair as she smiled at my lover.

“Lil,” Adrian growled.

I gasped inwardly.
They know each other?

“Oh my god.” I threw my hands up to cover my mouth but the words had already escaped. Adrian’s head shot in my direction. He gave me a look of grave concern as he detected the trembling in my voice.

“Sidney, this is…” He began the introduction before the bitch so rudely cut him off.

“Sidney Sinclair,” she said, waving her hand, dismissing Adrian’s attempt at civility. “We’ve met. Turns out we have a lot in common, a certain man in particular.”

She flashed me her vicious smile and winked.

This cannot be happening,
I thought as the walls of the old house began to close in on me.

“I have to go,” I exclaimed.

“Where are your manners?” Lilly asked Adrian, completely ignoring my outburst. “Aren’t you going to invite me in?”

“Come in, Lil,” Adrian responded like a puppet.

She stepped over the threshold and onto the wooden floor. Her black stilettos crushed the ground below her, making a hollow sound ring in my ears. Adrian scurried to the porch, collecting her bags as if he was now the butler and the woman of the house had just arrived home. I had never seen him so compliant in my life. It disgusted me and I couldn’t bear to watch anymore. I had seen enough. I pushed past Adrian and hustled down the steps of the porch, passing the ancient flagpole.

“Sidney!” Adrian yelled.

I didn’t turn around, instead I just ran faster.

I had always known Adrian had someone in his past so it should have come as no surprise to finally meet her. What I wasn’t prepared for was that it was the same woman who had ruined my life by using her black magic on my beloved Ray.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Adrian was now just as spellbound as Ray.

The Father was right. She was
evil.

 

***

 

Taking my heels off and clutching them in my arms, I padded up the wooden steps of Granny’s Craftsman home and burst through the front door. Chrissy was lying on the couch watching television. She sat up as soon as I entered and sounded like an angry parent as she demanded to know where I had been all night.

“I can’t talk about it right now,” I mumbled as I shuffled through my purse in search of my pills. I did need to speak to someone who could help me understand why my life seemed to be falling apart but as much as I loved my best friend, I knew she couldn’t help me.

In moments like this, Chrissy could be as dense as the forest.

I barely looked at her. Instead, I raced into the bathroom and swallowed several pills before heading straight into Granny’s room.

Entering, I gripped the door frame to steady my balance. Once again it felt as if a giant vortex were opening up before my feet and threatening to swallow me whole. My brain was all over the place as if I were walking a tightrope which was threatening to break and send me spiraling down into a black hole. I shuffled over to the old Stickley chair I had sat in so many times before and stared at my sleeping grandmother. She seemed to be the only person left on this earth who still grounded me.

After a few moments of collecting my thoughts, I spoke to her. “Granny, if there was ever a time that I needed you, it’s now.”

I longingly gazed at the frail woman as I waited for her to respond, but no words came out of her mouth, just shallow breaths of oxygen. I refused to give up and stared at her, willing her to wake up. I scooted my chair closer to her bed and took her soft hand in mine. Strangely, it was warmer than usual, as if all of a sudden her circulation began working as it did when she were still a young woman, not a frail old shell. Resting my forehead on her hand, I whispered to her, “Should I stay and fight for Adrian?”

Again I waited for an answer.

No response.

And so it seemed that with her
silence
she had given me the answer that I needed. The answer I knew to be true all along.

Go back to Ray and be happy.

I decided at that moment I would do just that.

I leaned over and softly kissed her cheek, just in time for something inexplicable to happen. Granny squeezed my hand and inhaled deeply. I was so startled that I jumped back, sending the Stickley chair to the floor. I collected myself and our eyes met.

For the past several months, my ailing Granny’s eyes had been normally aged and covered with thick cataracts, causing them to appear dull with a cloudy, blackish blue color. Those same eyes were now open as they stared intently at me. Clear as crystals. No fog impairing them today. She didn’t speak to me, she just continued to stare.

“Granny?” I asked. I silently hoped that Doctor Kyle had been wrong all along and that my beloved relative could hear me. I reasoned that all the reading I had been doing with her had brought her back to me. I let out a cry of joy as I wrapped my arms around her neck and sobbed into her chest, but my moment of happiness was short lived when suddenly, Granny’s hand reached up and twisted my necklace, squeezing it so tightly it felt like a superhuman skeleton was attacking me. I couldn’t breathe as I felt a powerful pull on my
neck
.

The pendant!

I tried to pull away from her grip but my airway had become constricted. I fought back but I could feel the chain searing into my flesh and I began choking.

I couldn’t breathe.

The necklace chain was digging deep into my skin and the pendant was in Granny’s hand. She kept the pressure on as I continued to struggle for air.

“Let go,” I begged through gasps of breath. “Please!”

I could see black dots now clouding my vision as the world around me grew darker. I looked down at Granny’s eyes, which were now wide open and filled with a manic intensity. She seethed emotionally, “He’s gotten to you, just like he got to your mother.” She growled as her hand continued to tighten around the necklace.

With my last ounce of strength, I yanked myself away from her and collapsed onto the wooden floor, clutching my neck and desperately sucking in air. I coughed and tried to regain my composure.

I glanced up to see Chrissy hovering over Granny’s bed. Looking at me curiously, she chastised, “What in the hell did you do to her?”

Granny was now trying to sit up in bed and screamed at me to take off the necklace. “It’s evil. Evil! He will come for you. You have to destroy the necklace!”

Chrissy continued to struggle with my grandmother as I sat on the floor, watching my granny battling my best friend. I was completely useless. Chrissy grabbed a needle from a nightstand drawer and whispered to me apologetically, “I’m going to have to sedate her.”

As I watched the sedative slowly take its toll on my relative, I remembered Granny’s words of warning.

Just like he got to your mother.

What did she mean?

Why was everybody speaking in riddles?

My mind cleared for a moment and I remembered my mother’s journals I had discovered the day Chrissy and I had cleaned out Granny’s closet. I scurried out of the white room and retreated to my bedroom in search of any clue my mother’s journals held.

I rushed to my dresser and snatched the journal from the drawer. Tossing it on the bed, I ran to my closet and pulled out my running shoes and backpack. I decided there was no way I could stay inside of this house at that moment. Not with a crazy grandmother and Chrissy’s prying eyes. I grabbed a fresh change of clothes, stripped off my fancy dress, and put on my sweats.

“Where the hell are you going, Sidney? What is your deal?” Chrissy wailed.

She had followed me up to my room and apparently wasn’t about to let me leave without some kind of explanation. Slipping my shoes on, I verbally jolted her. I told her what my grandmother had said before she entered the bedroom.

“Granny tried to rip off my necklace and told me that whoever had gotten to my mom was now getting to me.” I nodded at the old journal sitting on my bed. “I have to go through my mom’s diary and see what Granny was talking about.”

Chrissy’s eyes got wide. “Holy shit!”

I reacted back, “Well, I wouldn’t call this crap holy by any means.”

Holy or not, shit was definitely hitting the fan.

I grabbed my cell phone and the orange bottle of pills and tossed them into my pack. As I slung it over my shoulder and headed for the door, Chrissy placed her body in my path.

“So why don’t you just take the necklace off and whatever crazy thing you think is happening to you will stop,” she said, as she stood there with her chin raised, arms folded as if she was Einstein’s clone with her ingenious solution.

I looked at her like she was an idiot.

Whatever crazy things that may have been summoned by some cursed piece of jewelry were not going to simply go away because I removed the chain from around my neck. Chrissy had watched enough horror movies to know that once you’ve opened Pandora’s Box, you can’t just close the lid and expect everything to go back to normal.

I closed my eyes and sought for the words to deal with Chrissy’s ignorance. “It’s not that easy, Chrissy. I just need some time on my own to study the journal and figure this out.”

“No, Sidney, what you need is sleep. Look at yourself. No one knows where you’ve been all night and now you’re running around like a crazy person. Are you on drugs?”

I rolled my eyes and pushed my way past her. Now she really was sounding like an overbearing parent.

“If Ray calls, can you tell him I’ll call him when I get back?” I shouted over my shoulder as I galloped down the stairs.

“Oh, I’ll tell Ray, all right. Tell him you went off the deep end!”

My instructions to her were moot. As soon as I opened the door, I slammed into Ray, who was standing on my porch about to knock on the door.

I moaned inwardly,
“Oh no, not Ray…not now.”

His backpack was strapped to his shoulders, which told me he had planned on staying for a while. I was instantly hit with so many emotions; happy to see the love of my life standing in front of me, yet annoyed with his timing and completely freaked out about my grandmother’s actions.

I don’t have the strength to deal with all this right now.

At that moment, my mother was all I cared about. I needed to decode what Granny was trying to say to me. As Ray stood there waiting for me to respond, I was frantically searching through my backpack looking for the journal. With Chrissy’s intrusion, I had completely forgotten to grab it.

BOOK: Between Worlds (Pendant Series Book 3)
2.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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