No One (Element Preservers, #3.5)

BOOK: No One (Element Preservers, #3.5)
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Element Preservers Series

A Novella (Book 3.5)

 

NO ONE

 

Alycia Linwood

 

Copyright © 2013 Alycia Linwood

 

Kindle Edition

 

Cover Stock Images Copyright: ©Depositphotos/master2

 

 

All rights reserved. No part of this novel may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior permission in writing from the author. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental
.

 

alycialinwood.weebly.com

1st edition

 

Dedication

This book is dedicated to my awesome betas and readers. Thank you so much for your support!

 

Chapter 01

Now

I stormed into the room where Lily and Paula were discussing something about magic disease. They both went silent when they saw me, their eyes full of worry and pity. "Don't give me that look." I'd always hated to see pity in people's eyes more than anything.

"Adrian..." Paula took a step in my direction, but then stopped herself, unsure what to do.

"I won't give up on Ria no matter what you say." I glared at Lily, who ran her hand through her long black hair, her brown eyes regarding mine.

"If you love her, you'll realize that the best thing you can do is let her go," Lily said quietly.

"What do you mean let her go?" I stopped only inches away from her, the room getting colder around me.

"You can't stay with her. She has a lot of things to worry about and she can't afford to have any weaknesses."

"Yeah, and that's why she needs me." I crossed my arms in front of me, locking my element deep inside so Lily couldn't tell how upset I was. We couldn't feel each other's elements, but she could definitely feel the room going cold.

"Look, you were around too much. You were there to get her back in control and that's why she got addicted to you. When you are away from her for too long, she goes through withdrawal. Sometimes it isn't that bad, but if you stay with her... She could snap. You don't want her to get hurt because of you, do you?" Lily gave me what was supposed to be a reassuring smile.

"I won't give up on her. I'll find a way for us to be together." There was no way I'd leave the only person who was willing to risk her life for me; the only person who might really love me.

Lily simply shook her head at me. "Fine. Do as you wish, but remember to do what's best for her, not what's best for you."

"If you don't have any smart advice, you can fuck off." Anger spread through me like a wave, and I ran out of the room before ice decided to come out and turn the room into an igloo.

As I got outside the building and breathed in the fresh air, I couldn't stop thinking about Ria and what I could do for her. How the fuck was I supposed to know that she shouldn't have touched me so much? I'd thought I was helping her, not making her more unstable. It was all my fault, but there was no going back now.

A damp newspaper lay on the ground, a huge picture of my parents on the front. I kicked it away so I wouldn't have to see what the press had to say about them and me. Ever since I demonstrated my sub-element in front of the entire world, the press wouldn't leave the whole thing about my parents alone. And every time I saw my parents' faces, the images from my past wouldn't leave
me
alone.

 

 

Chapter 02

14 years ago

My mom burst through the door of my room, her light blue eyes wide with panic, her long dark brown hair flying around her beautiful face. "Adrian, you have to go! Now!"

"Mom? What...?" I sat up on my bed, looking up at her in surprise. She wiped off the tears with the sleeve of her red shirt, and pulled me in a hug so tight that I could barely breathe. Realization dawned on me, and I buried my face into her hair, pushing back my own tears.

"They found us. You have to go!" Her lips spread into a smile, her hand gently caressing my cheek. A loud bang came from the downstairs, as if someone had crashed the front door, and we both jumped. "There is no time! Go! It will be all right. I promise. I love you, Adrian. Don't you ever forget that." With another smile that didn't quite reach her eyes, my mom rushed through the door, no doubt to stop whoever broke into our house from finding me.

I slipped into my sneakers, and ran out into the hall, my heart beating like crazy in my chest, my vision blurry with unshed tears. As I reached the stairs, a scream ripped through the house, followed by gunfire. Before I could think what I was doing, I hurried to the kitchen from where the sounds were coming.

The scene in front of me stopped me dead in my tracks. Our kitchen was full of armed men, and my mother was sitting on the floor, her face streaked with tears, her hands covered in blood. My dad was lying next to her, his white shirt soaked with blood, his eyes open and staring into nothingness. A man stepped forward, his gun aimed at my mom's head as she begged him not to shoot her. I wanted to run to her, but my legs were rooted to the spot.

A broad smile appeared on the man's lips as he pressed the gun against my mom's forehead. He was laughing as he pulled the trigger, and she crumpled down, her empty eyes staring straight through me. The time seemed to stop, my heartbeat ringing like shots in my ears and filling my head. My mom's eyes were still looking at me, and I knew she wanted me to do something, but I was too numb to remember what it was.

"Get him!" Someone yelled, and the men's faces turned toward me. It was then that I realized the tears were streaming down my face. A man dressed in black roughly grabbed my arm, the cold barrel of his gun digging into my temple.

The man who had shot my mom kicked her body with his boot, and started toward me. "Do we kill him too?"

"We have a situation," another man said. "People are pissed off and they are coming here. We should get out before they break inside."

The man who was holding me dragged me out of the room and into the cold winter air. People with torches stood around the house, shouting something that I couldn't understand. A group of men in suits gathered in a circle and started discussing something, glancing or pointing at me from time to time. Suddenly, the crowd broke through the police's barriers and threw their torches at my home. A couple of seconds later, the whole house was burning, reddish flames enveloping it completely. Someone must have had a fire element and helped the fire to spread. The crowd cheered as my house started to crumble. No one made an attempt to get my parents out.

After what seemed as an eternity, a man with short dark brown hair and brown eyes came over and towered over me. "I'm Alan, and I'm your guardian from now on. If you do exactly what I tell you to, maybe you'll get to live a couple of years."

I didn't know what Alan meant, but I didn't really care either. My parents were dead. I failed them because I hadn't done what they wanted me to. I should have run, but I hadn't. Alan nodded at the man who was holding me, and the man let go. I stumbled forward, and Alan caught me, cuffing my hands in front of me. "Stop crying. Now."

I had no idea I was still crying, and I made no attempt to stop either. The world around me seemed to have taken on a dreamlike quality, and I stood there as if I was no longer part of it. My cheek stung as Alan struck me, and I looked up at him, my lips slightly parted.

"I told you to stop crying," Alan said, his fingers closing around my arm as he dragged me toward a black car. "Come on. We have to go before someone sees you."

The enraged crowd was still shouting insults and fighting the police. I couldn't imagine why all those people would want to kill me. What had I ever done to them? I choked back a sob as Alan pushed me into the backseat of his car, my eyes glued to the fire devouring the rests of my home and my parents. I had no one in this world. No one. Sometime along the way, my tears had dried, and even though I was too young to fully understand it then, a part of me died that night.

 

Chapter 03

Now

"Hey, I was looking for you." Ria appeared from around the corner, a smile stretching her lips. She stopped at a safe distance from me, looking uncertain.

"How are you feeling?" I leaned on the wall. It was ridiculous how much I wanted to touch her now that I knew I couldn't. Or had touching her become so natural that it was hard to break from the habit?

"I think I'm fine. Lily is overreacting. She doesn't have a clue about us." Ria scoffed.

"We need to talk to someone who knows more about what is happening to you." I lowered my eyes, agonizing whether to tell her what I planned to do or keep it a secret.

"You know someone." The certainty in her voice made me look up.

"Maybe, but I can't simply walk over there and ask." Even if Ria was the president of the Element Preservers now, I couldn't pay a visit to one of the labs that I'd been in and force the scientists to tell me things. "I'd need Alan's help..."

"And Alan will only help us if he becomes the vice president." She rolled her eyes.

"Yeah, but now I know he won't kill me." I wasn't looking forward to meeting with Alan again, but if it was the only way to help Ria, I'd do it.

She gave me an are-you-insane look. "Don't do this, please. He'll play you or capture you, and then I'll have to give him whatever he wants to get you back. He might not kill you, but that doesn't mean he won't change his mind or imprison you in some lab. Besides, how could he possibly know anything? He knew about sub-elements before any of us, but that doesn't mean a thing. Didn't you tell me once that when you were in the lab, you were the first carrier they had? How could any of them know anything? It's unlikely they found out something in the last year or two without Lily's scientists' knowledge."

I sighed. "I lied to you."

Her mouth formed a little O, then she raised an eyebrow at me. "What do you mean?"

"I didn't want to scare you further. You were too upset about having the disease already. I couldn't tell you I wasn't the only carrier they had."

"Why not?" She frowned.

"You'd be out of your mind if you thought they could capture you." I didn't want to discuss my past with anyone.

"Ok, I suppose one of those carriers who was in the lab with you is Ryan." She chewed on her lip, glancing up and down the hall and trying to look subtle about it. Elements must be bothering her again. I couldn't watch her fall apart in front of me. I couldn't.

"Yeah, but he wasn't in the lab I was telling you about." Ryan was a completely another story, but I intended to ask him a couple of questions too. It had been a surprise for me to see him still alive. "And they didn't exactly let any of us hang out together. We only saw each other from afar." I'd overheard one of the scientists once when he said staying with another carrier and touching him could help with the disease, so they must have allowed some carriers to touch one another, but not me.

"What happened to the other carriers? Have you seen them?" she asked, her brown eyes full of curiosity.

"Most of them are dead." I pushed myself off the wall, feeling a water element approaching. It wasn't anyone Ria or I knew personally, but I was sure Lily had sent someone to spy on us so we wouldn't disregard her orders.

"I'm sorry." Ria's face paled, and she audibly swallowed, looking in the direction from where the water element was coming.

"I'll talk to Ryan. He somehow survived on his own, so he might know something."

She nodded and licked her lips. God, I wanted to kiss her, crush her to my chest and never let her go. Before I could do any of that, I stormed down the hall.

 

Chapter 04

Now

"Hey, Adrian, haven't seen you in a while," Ryan said, a forced smile stretching his lips.

"I didn't come here to have pleasant conversations with you." Even during our rare encounters, Ryan and I hadn't gotten along. He had an uncanny ability to ask all the wrong questions.

"Ooh, why are you so on edge? Did Ria kick you out of her room or something?" His wide grin was infuriating.

"How did you survive without an element for so long?" I stepped closer, invading his personal space. Ryan would never volunteer any information, but maybe I could convince him to tell me something.

"Umm, I have awesome control of myself."

"How? And don't tell me it's because you're awesome." I let a little bit of the coldness seep through me and around him. He hadn't enjoyed it when I used ice on him last time. Maybe, just maybe, there was a working brain somewhere in that big head of his.

BOOK: No One (Element Preservers, #3.5)
7.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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