part two (read p1 first!)

“I didn’t kill your father, Tessa.” His voice is low, dark, and strung with fury. “You killed him. You let him die, just like how you let your cousin, Marley, die.”

I smile and crane my neck. “Is that right?” I can feel my hand heating up, and I look down to see it ablaze with red flaming fire. My smile grows as I lock eye contact with Nolan. “Last time I checked,” mocking him from earlier, “that little trick doesn’t work on me anymore.” I wind my hand back and throw the ball of fire right at his feet, and he winces.

“Tess.” His eyes are now hastily searching for something in mine, and I shrink in discomfort. “You could rule with me. You could be at my side when I take over the Jakah Court, just as I did the Court of Hilem. You could be the queen of a kingdom like no other— one that is ruled by only the superior beings.”

Nolan looks at me with those big, brown eyes, and I know he means it. He wants me to rule with him. He wants me to make him a king. Just so he can destroy the lives of all the people in Armavia. A deep pit arises in my stomach. “Because of you,” I spit, “I am already the queen of this kingdom. You took the queen and locked her-“

“You’ve brought this all upon yourself, Tess.”

“Stop calling me Tess!”

“Then stop calling me Nolan!”

“But that’s your-“ I stop myself, since it’s pointless to bicker with an idiot. “The point is: You’re going to let me get inside of that room, because the future of my people depends on it.” I let a spark of flames arise from my fingers as I hold my hand up for him to see. “Move.”

“Make me, you-“

“You heard the girl. Beat it, you roach.” Helena. That’s the only thought that pops into my mind as my mouth drops and I turn around to see Helena, Ash, June, and Reed standing in the middle of the hallway. My heart jumps as I give them a huge grin, trying to say “You just saved my life.” As I spin back around to face Nolan, my entire hand ignites into a flaming orb.

Even through the smoky haze, I can see Nolan’s face turn a pale shade of white. “You’ll get what you deserve; I’ll make sure of it.” And just like that, he dissolves into thin air, into the shadow realm, and out of our hair— for the time being, at least.

I turn around, letting the fire orb dissipate, and run into the arms of my friends. They all wrap their arms around me as I sink into their comforting embrace. “We were so worried,” whispers Reed into my hair. We all break apart, forming a small circle.

“You guys got my call?” That’s all I can think of saying; I’m still so shocked that they actually showed.

June grins. “Of course we did.”

Ash starts saying something about how I should be more careful and not take so many risks, but I quickly shush him. A new noise, apart from the wailing sirens above us, has made its way into the hallway— no, it’s coming from the room.

June looks at me, then slowly makes her way forward, towards the door. She stops. “Uh, guys? Do you hear that?” The bickers of excitement are gone now, replaced by the silence of the ear-piercing sirens and the odd, low pitched hum coming from the room.

I start to move forwards, towards the door, but Ash puts a hand on my shoulder to stop me. “Don’t… I’ll go. Just stay here.”

I start to protest, but Reed demands, “You don’t go anywhere. Let us handle it. You’ve been through enough as is.” He must see the concerned look in my eyes, because he adds, “We’ll be fine. It’s just a quick peek, yeah?”

“Right.” I try to keep my voice from breaking— the weight of all that’s just happened is finally settling in. “Be careful.”

Reed and Ash step forward and make their way towards the door. It only takes them a few steps to reach its entrance, thought they stay at the side of it.

Ash looks inside first, then Reed.

I can immediately see the change in their expression; fear, utter horror.

“Uh, guys? You may want to take a look at this…”

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