The room was spinning around me. There were purple lights above my head. They were moving. The sense of falling sickened me.
I’ll admit it: an undignified whimper escaped.
I know where I am right now. I’m in the middle of the nightmare. I hate the nightmare.
It’s dark. Terrifying here where I am.
He’s here. I can feel him.
I whimpered again. Why do I keep having these dreams?
He stepped closer to me. I wanted to run, but there was a strange lethargy coating my body. Especially my left arm. It felt like lead. And fire.
Always the fires.
Every night I have the nightmare, I wake up smelling sulfur. Hellfire, some of Alaun’s books call it.
But why would I dream of demons?
Fire increased in my arm. And that’s when I remembered.
Demon. I was attacked by a demon.
I bit back a scream as I forced my eyes open. I must have died.
My soul must have moved on. To the first of the three hells. Where the nonwarriors and the nonroyalty go. The common people of our Kind.
For my soul to stay in eternal waiting.
I want to cry. I can’t cry. I can’t.
What would Kellis say if she caught me crying now?
Thought of my big sister had that urge just doubling. I’ll never see Kellis again…now.
I did cry out then. I called my sister’s name.
At least, I thought I cried out.
It must have come out with a whimper.
“Jumena Kyrenna. You open those eyes and look at me. Right this minute,” a bossy female voice said right next to me. Someone squeezed my hand. Right next to me, but I couldn’t see her.
My eyes did fly open then.
To see the bright lights of the Healers’ Hall above me. And Kellis right there next to me. Kellis, with her hair just like mine and the same freckles she shared with Alaun. She was so beautiful. The most beautiful thing I have ever seen in that moment. I was seeing Kellis again. For real.
I didn’t die.
“Kellis! I’m alive!”