Jaded Jewels (The Coveted Saga #2)(2)By: C.M. Owens
"Arisianna?" Jaslene's angst-ridden voice was a crackly as mine. "Are you okay?"
"Get Tallis back!" I screamed, well, tried to. My voice was rasp and dry, and I coughed before I was able to continue in the same scratchy tone. "I have to talk to him. I have to tell him I'm okay. He has to know this wasn't his fault."
My sobbing made my words all the more difficult to understand, but I didn't care. They all knew what I was trying to say even if the words were distorted.
Mom stroked my hair compassionately. Pity and sympathy softened her touch. That wasn't a good sign.
"Arisianna, dear, he just needs some time. This scared him to death. We don't know what happened. Mortals have kissed immortals many times, and nothing like this has ever happened." She took a deep breath before hesitantly continuing, "I think… he may be right. The two of you do need some space—at least until we figure this out."
No. I was sick of it—sick of them.
My tears poured like hot lava flowing down my cheeks. "I can't be without him. He can't leave me. I don't care what anyone thinks—he is my soul mate."
Air was leaving me quicker than it was coming, making my breaths shallow and harsh. Mom was trying to calm me down, but it was pointless. I tried to shrug her off when she wrapped her arms around me, but I was too weak to fight an immortal.
"Don't say stuff like that, honey. You can't think that way. This is normal teenage stuff. You just have a little extra in yours because it's beyond the realm of the mortal world. It magnifies the intensity of your emotions. I should have stepped in sooner, but I felt so much better about your safety when you were guarded by him. I know you don't understand, but things have escalated too far. Now I'm worried about your safety with him."
Her tears dripped, an authentic flow of a mother's shared pain. But she had no idea how deep my feelings were for him. It was more than some teenage crush. This wasn't a melodramatic teenage heartbreak or a stupid overreaction. He wasn't some teenage boy that I spent a few hours with and thought I loved. He was the only person in the world for me.
I was so exhausted from constantly defending my feelings that only I believed were real. I was so tired of trying to convince them that it was true love. They all thought they knew so much more and treated me like some young naïve girl. In just a matter of months, I had gone through more than most people ever had to go through.
I had given them understanding—a lot, considering all the lies they had told to me my entire life. Was it so much to ask them to show me that understanding now? Trust that I knew my own feeling better than they did?
A bitterness grew inside me as resentment started to fester, and I turned my head away while murmuring in a quiet voice, "Just go away, please. I want to be alone."
My tears continued their hot trickles, but I refused to wipe them away. Everyone did as I bid.
"I just want what is best for you, Arisianna." Jaslene said quietly while shutting the door behind her.
With my privacy, the falling tears multiplied as my misery took me over without any distractions. My heart didn't feel like it was breaking—it felt as though it was being sliced apart piece by piece with a hot, searing knife.
I had just gotten him back, and I was so certain that we couldn't be pried apart again. The kiss I had longed for was our undoing. It wasn't acceptable. I refused to let it be the end.
I tried calling him, but he wouldn't answer. I tried calling Allaysia instead, knowing she wouldn't ignore me.
"Aria? Are you okay? Tallis told me what happened. Ayla is on her way." Unjustifiable guilt was apparently a family trait, because Allaysia's words were laced with apologies she didn't need to offer. "We don't know what happened. Nothing like this has ever happened. I swear that Tallis has no clue what he did."
"It's not his fault, Allaysia. He didn't do anything wrong. I have to talk to him. He has to know I'm okay. I have to tell him I'm sorry, and this is all my fault. I can't let him blame himself, or I could lose him forever."
My relentless tears forced my emotion to rattle my tone, revealing the pain I was in.
"Aria, I’m sorry, but he's not talking to anyone right now. He said he was leaving for a few days. I'm sorry, but he even left his phone behind. He said he needed to clear his head. Chris told him you were okay before he left, though."