Authors: Jessica Sorensen
Tags: #vampires, #fantasy, #young adult, #teen vampires, #science fiction, #dystopian, #jessica sorensen, #darkness fades darkness falls
Darkness Fades (Darkness Falls Series, Book
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2013 by Jessica Sorensen
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of
characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely
coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work.
Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
No part of this book can be reproduced in any
form or by electronic or mechanical means including information
storage and retrieval systems, without the permission in writing
from author. The only exception is by a reviewer who may quote
short excerpts in a review.
Cover Photo and Design: Mae I Design
I feel like I’m dying. Over and over again.
Maybe that is what I’m doing. Being beaten to the point where I die
so I can heal and start the process all over again. Over and over
Life then death. Life then death. Life.
I’ve been staring at the same ceiling for so
long that I’ve memorized every small crack and divot. The smell of
the air is forever branded in my nostrils and what happened here
will linger in my heart. The day Gabrielle captured me and Monarch
stepped out as a higher; the man who I once thought of a father
gone. I’ve been beaten repeatedly by since by Gabrielle and his
Watchers, who work for the Highers and guard The Colony I used to
live in, like they’re testing me for weaknesses. I’ve actually
learned a few things about the Watchers since I’ve been here. 1) Is
that they’re almost as disgusting as the vampires underneath the
masks, something that I discovered during a fight I had with one
and I managed to rip off the mask. They have no skin. At all. Which
makes them sensitive to light and air and any sort of touch, which
is probably why they wear the mask.
And 2) Monarch helped create them. But I
wasn’t surprised by that, since he help created almost everything
except for humans.
Every bone in my body throbs as my muscles
battle to heal. The silver the Highers injected through my veins
has slowed my healing process, making the injuries and wounds
harder to bare. I can take it, though. I can take much more, if I
I lift my head off the cold, concrete floor
and examine my wounds. My arms are dotted with blues and purples;
bruised and scratched. There’s dried blood in my long, black hair
and it also coats my clothes. My face is covered with gashes at the
same time that it feels like my nose and jaw are either broken or
I want to keep fighting, yet it’s becoming
harder to endure the pain. I’m exhausted, beaten to the core, no
energy left in me. Finally, I let myself fall back down to the
floor and my eyes drift shut.
Tell me why Aiden’s going to die,” I
demand to Monarch as I stand in a small room with concrete
Monarch stands near the doorway in his white
coat, his voice trembling as he answers, “Because I messed up when
I created him. I really did. And unless he changes his mind about
his existence, he won’t survive… I’m so sorry.”
When does he die?” My voice sounds
surprisingly choked. I ball my hands into fists and step forward.
“Tell me,” I demand.
He swallows hard, shifting his weight.
“Soon, unless you can change his mind about life and death.”
Blinding pain radiates in my jaw and nose,
and my eyes fly open. I sit up, slapping my hands over my mouth as
the bones in my face realign themselves into position, the muscles
and tissues around them healing. The pain is blindingly intense,
more than any other pain I’ve felt during my existence. I almost
want to scream bloody murder, but I won’t give Gabrielle or anyone
else the satisfaction.
After what seems like forever, the pain
subsides and I remove my hand, letting out a breath of relief. I
trace my fingers along my newly healed legs and arms, my cheeks,
jaw and my nose. I’m as good as new. Not even a scratch.
I’m about to relax back, try to rest before
it starts all over again, but then the lights suddenly flash off.
Darkness suffocates me, surrounds me, traps me even more than I
already am. Yet I can sense someone is nearby, watching me.
I push to my feet and walk over to the glass
wall of my cell. I press my hand to the glass then stare into the
darkness, searching for whoever’s out there. My night vision is an
excellent asset and I can see a lot, including the glass cages
around me. Each one appears empty, but I know they’re not.
“Gabrielle,” I call out. “I know you’re out
He doesn’t respond and I’m not surprised. He
enjoys messing with my head. Thrives off it. He’s been after me
since he discovered that I have strength that only Highers are
supposed to have and now that I’ve become a Day Taker, he only
wants to torture me more.
As I turn around to sit back down on the
floor, allow the darkness to blind me, cold fingers wind around my
neck, choking the oxygen right of my lungs. I open my mouth to
scream, but the fingers delve deeper into my skin, pushing against
my throat so forcefully that I know that the bones are on the verge
Then a hand winds tightly around my arm and
I’m pulled back. The fingers leave my throat to be replaced roughly
over my mouth. I throw my head back against their face, but they
dodge to the side. I miss. I jab my elbow backward, grazing their
rock solid chest. The stranger hops back, still holding onto me,
their hand then clamps down on my mouth tighter. I raise my foot to
kick them in the shin, but they maneuver us around in a small
circle, throwing me off balance, and I almost fall to the
Infuriation and frustration cause me to
bring my fangs out. The pointed teeth slip sharply from my gum
lines, unhinging my jaw before they snap, digging into the
The person tenses, but quickly relaxes.
“Shh…” a familiar voice whispers in my ear.
“Aiden.” With one swift throw of my weight,
I shove him off and spin around. His arms fall from me and I tuck
my fangs back into my mouth. “What are you doing here?”
He squints at me through the darkness then
dares a step towards me, brushing his dark hair out of his eyes. He
studies me momentarily with caution then grabs my hands and cups
them in his, his skin notably warm.
“Tristan came back,” he says. “He told us
the Highers came after you...” His eyes sweep me over as if he’s
checking for wounds. “That they had Watchers with them and that you
and Sylas were captured then taken prisoner.”
I nod warily. “Yeah, but how did you get in
here?” I turn around to look at the cage door behind me, noticing
it’s open. I also notice that it’s really quiet. Deadly quiet
Where are the guards?
I turn back to Aiden and cross my arms,
stepping back, putting a little distance between us because I’m not
sure if I trust him. He’s not the strongest person and the fact
that he got in here… it doesn’t make any sense. “Weren’t there
Watchers guarding the cages?”
He nods, his honey eyes relentlessly locked
on me as a cocky smile spreads across his face. “Yeah, there were
quite a few Watchers, but I convinced them that they should go take
I take another step back as more suspicion
arises. “That doesn’t even sound possible… they wouldn’t simply go
take a break because you told them to.”
“You don’t think?” he questions with a cock
of his eyebrow. “Actually, I can be really persuasive when I
Something’s wrong. This isn’t right. This
isn’t the Aiden I know. Something’s different about him. But what?
I assess him through the dark and notice that he does look a little
bit different. His eyes are a hue darker and almost matching his
hair. His skin looks paler, but in a strange, healthy way. It has a
bluish tint to it, as though his veins have become more
“Oh my God.” It hits me, like a kick to the
gut, and the wind gets slammed out of me. “Why did you… how did
you…? You’re a Day Taker now?”
His smile is my only answer.
“Why?” I whisper, inching farther away from
him. It’s not like I’m worried that I won’t be able to handle my
own if I need to fight him. I’m just not sure what the Day Taker
version of Aiden is going to be like. He could be a lot different
from the guy I first met—maybe even dangerous.
“You told me you didn’t want to be one. That
being a Day Taker was the wrong choice—that being human was right
and now…” I pause at the lack of life in his eyes.
He’s really one of them. Why am I reacting so strangely over
? “Why did you do it?”
“That’s not important right now.” His
fingers enfold around my arm and then he jerks me towards the open
door. “We need to get out of here before the guards or one of the
Highers comes out and finds us.” He then releases my arm and shoves
at my back, pushing me out the door.
I slam to halt in the hallway just outside
the cell. “I’m not going anywhere until I find Sylas. When we got
separated… and… something happened to him, Aiden. He’s been
infected by something and he… he needs our help.”
Aiden shakes his head. “No way. We have to
I shake my head and stand firm, ready to
fight. “I refuse to go without him.”
He rakes his fingers roughly through his
hair, glancing behind him and then behind me. “We’re running out of
time, Kayla. We need to go. Now.”
Deep down, I know he’s probably right. The
logical thing would be to get the hell out of here before Gabrielle
shows up, or a Watcher, but I stand firm, keeping my boots planted
to the floor, refusing to budge. “I’m. Not. Going. Without.
I can’t leave Sylas here, especially if he’s
changing into some kind of mutated, hybrid beast. I need to find
him and see if he is still... well, Sylas. If he’s not… I’ll keep
my promise and end his life. No matter how difficult it is. I’m
tough. Strong. Plus, letting him become a beast is worse than
Aiden rakes his fingers through his hair
again and then lets out a frustrated sigh. “All right, hurry up and
search the other cages, but if he’s not in them, we have to go...
we’ll come back and look for him later, when things cool off.”
He’s lying. I can feel it flowing off him,
vile and foul. However, it doesn’t really matter. He may want to
pretend like he’s in charge, but when it all comes down to it, I’m
not leaving without Sylas. I’ll even kick his ass if I have to.
I nod, pretending I’m agreeing, and then run
down the hall lined with cells, relishing in my freedom, which will
only taste better when Sylas has freedom, too. God knows what
they’ve done to him, if he’s still alive, or what he even looks
like. Is there even a Sylas left to save? Sylas was once a Day
Taker, things between a vampire and a human. But I haven’t seen him
since he revealed that he’d been bitten by what I call an
abomination; a disgusting creature that makes vampires look good.
They’re strong though, big, and foul, and like to feed off the
flesh and blood of humans. And Sylas could be one of them… he
probably is and it hurts my heart in a way that I’m not used.
I check in each cell as I pass by. There’s
fresh blood on the floors and splatters across the walls, but each
cell is empty. As I reach the final cell, my quiet, dead heart
drops in my chest because Sylas isn’t there.
“Kayla, come on,” Aiden says. “We have to
“No, I’m not going.” I jerk my arm away from
him as he grabs a hold of it. “I’m not giving up yet.”
“Juniper.” His voice is sharp as he jerks on
my arm. “I’m not going to let you stay here longer.”
It takes all my energy not to knock him to
the floor. I dig my feet into the ground, ready to kick his ass; my
fist clenching, my muscles winding into knots. Then I hear the soft
thud of approaching footsteps and my anger turns to tension. As my
head snaps in the direction the noise is coming from, I spot the
dark outline of a tall figure moving in our direction.
“If you don’t go,” Aiden tries one more time
as he tugs on my arm, “then hope for humanity is lost. You’re the
one who has to save everyone, Kayla. Now please, come on. We’ll
come back for Sylas. I promise.” This time I don’t feel the lie
flowing off him.
I hesitate as the figure moves closer. I
know he’s right, yet I’m so conflicted it feels as though my body
is being ripped in half. I want to stay, yet I need to go. Go.
Stay. Go. Spinning around in the opposite direction, I grab Aiden
by the hand. ”Come on, let’s go.” It hurts to say it, and I feel
like I’m going to throw up with each stride I take, yet I fight it,