She’s like her brother.
Her brother hurt you.
Cail hurt me.
You should hurt her.
I twitched as the voice continued gaining in volume while I slammed into the wall. What little calm and clarity I had found vanished with the flash of white light that filled the abbey.
“Want to … need to…” I wasn’t sure if I was speaking to Wyn, Sain, or my father. I wasn’t sure who I wanted to kill anymore or if it was all of them. The result was the same. “Kill. Kill. Kill.”
“No.” Wyn’s voice was a little more forceful than it should have been, given how weak she appeared. The strength behind it moved through me with a jump that pulled my wavering focus back to her. “You don’t. Edmund does. The demon that Edmund has placed inside of you does. You need to stop listening to him, Ryland. Don’t listen to your father’s voice.” Her words were calm, full of more knowledge and experience than I would have given her credit for.
I stared at her while every part of my body began to shake as the sound of my father echoed in my head. The words that had plagued me so much for the past few months sounded like little more than a broken speaker in my mind.
Kill … now…
Kill them all.
You are strong enough.
You can do it.
How did she know? How could she know? Did she hear him, too? Did she hear him yell and scream? Did she have the same memories of pain as I did?
I could tell by looking in her eyes that, even though she knew, it wasn’t the same. Regardless, there was still something else there, some other pain I couldn’t quite place.
You saw her … Don’t listen…
“How?” I asked, the word broken as I forced it past the madness, past the voice that only grew louder.
“How did I know?”
I could only nod, the sagging curls of my hair falling over my face and obstructing my vision. I didn’t bother to move them. I only kept moving, my back slamming into the wall, though my focus didn’t deviate so much as a hair from the girl in front of me.
“Because he’s done it before, Ryland,” she whispered. The gravelly depth of her voice was so different from what I had heard before that it caught me off guard.
“No.” Her voice caught on that one word, the sounds choking in her throat as the emotion pulled at them. It was an emotion so raw and honest it yanked at my soul, bringing some long forgotten memory to life. For whatever reason, the plank became a bridge, one cemented in the knowledge that I wasn’t alone. Someone understood.
I only barely registered that I wasn’t rocking anymore. Despite the voice being a scream, for some reason, I was strong in this moment. It was like before, when Cail had pushed the soul’s blade into us, and we had moved into the waiting place, the only place where my mind was my own.
Though I could still hear the voice, though my body was still tensed and ready to attack, to scream, to yell, to fight, I still felt control. I felt a whisper of who I was now.
Who I used to be had been killed many months ago by the man who gave me life. To give life, only to then take it away seemed to be the sole thing he was good at.
“He did it to Cail before he became what he was. He did it to Mym, your sister. He did it to Rosaline, my...” Her voice caught again.
Thom’s hand wrap tighter around her, bringing her closer, wrapping himself around her in comfort and support.
You know you need to find her.
Find her before it’s too late.
But Wyn knows something…
Don’t trust her.
But I do…
Don’t be a fool!
Make her pay.
Make them pay.
Make Ilyan pay for what he has done.
What he has taken from you.
I cringed as the voice came again, strong and powerful, and my muscles twitched in fear and anger. My hands moved up to my ears in another desperate attempt to lock him out, but I knew it would only keep him in.
“Don’t listen to him, Ryland.”
“Can’t,” I gasped,
Gilbert Morris, Lynn Morris