Demon Gates (Helena Hawthorn Series #2)

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Epilogue pt. 2

While Alexander finalised the travel arrangements over the phone, Helena studied the night view of the city out of the suite’s window.

He stopped next to her and ended the call. “Your family got on a flight a couple of minutes ago. You did well.”

“Thank you.” She diverted her attention back to the flickering lights in the distance.

“Are you certain you wish to return to your family at the end of July? What will you tell Lucious when he comes back?”

Helena’s heart constricted at the mention of his name. She wanted to see him. Every cell in her body wished to be enveloped in his arms, so her soul could find some peace. With the way things were heading, it was an impossible task. Even though they were soul-bound, they were two different people with separate lives. Perhaps they were not meant to be together since everything they did forced them further apart.

“He doesn’t have to know about it.”

“I do believe—”

Helena faced him, her raw emotions bare. She was too weak to fight Alexander on the matter. He had been right all along. They were not meant to be, and it would be best to realise that sooner rather than later. And, because of that, she was going to go as far away as she possibly could. She would forget him and, maybe, the link would no longer bother her.

“I see,” he said. “I won’t say a word.”


Fourth of July came quicker than she had anticipated. Taking care of Andrew with his degrading sense of humour was the only thing that helped her pass the lengthy hours in the day.

Helena tucked spare T-shirts into an overnight bag and studied the black dress Alexander suggested she should wear to the funeral. Her fingers ran over the chiffon material, and she felt numb inside. There was no true happiness or joy behind her smiles. Although Andrew didn’t point it out, he visibly struggled to keep her spirits up for which she was thankful. He remained a true friend, and she would do everything in her power to return the favour.

“Helena, are you ready?” Andrew asked, peering around the door. He wore a black suit that framed his toned body.

Helena’s lips formed into a smile at the sight of his undone tie. “Need help with that?”

With sure strides, he entered her room. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?”

His hand grasped hers. With the other, he lifted her face to meet his scrutinising gaze.

She returned his penetrating stare, and he released her.

“Tell me if something bothers you. You know I’m always here.”

“I know,” she mumbled, capturing the two ends of his tie. Her fingers moved fast as she expertly fixed it for him. The years she spent tying Richard’s ties while her mother was out shopping came in handy.

“Are you going like that?” Andrew inquired.

Helena scowled at him. She assessed her torn at the knees pair of skinny jeans and a white blouse. “Once I’m done with the packing, I’ll hit the shower, and I’ll be ready to go.”

“Well…” He peeled back the sleeve of his jacket. “You’ve got thirty minutes.”

Helena cursed and shoved the dress into the bag. She turned on the spot, checking to see if she had packed everything she needed.

With a chuckle, he nudged her side. “Go shower. I’ll make sure you have everything.”

Helena narrowed her eyes. “Don’t go snooping in my underwear drawer.”

“No promises, Thorn. Now get going.”

Helena grumbled another curse and ran into the bathroom where she sped through taking her clothes off and climbed into the bathtub. Ice cold spray of water hit her, and she let out a high-pitched scream. From the bedroom, she could hear Andrew’s laughter as she tried to rub the goosebumps on her arms away.

After the shower, Helena shrugged on the clothes and cleared the steam off the mirror. She ran the hairbrush through her shoulder-length hair and forced a smile that didn’t reach her eyes.

“You’re fine. He’s fine…” she said, as she did every morning and night to assure herself Lucious was well and alive somewhere.

“Helena…” Maya’s voice filled the room, and Helena gasped when her reflection turned into darkness.

Maya’s pale face reappeared with red eyes. “I finally found you!”

Helena stumbled backwards and hit the wall with her back. “Maya? You’re…alive?”

A grin stretched the demon’s lips, revealing a perfectly normal pair of white teeth. “I wish I wasn’t a demon, but yeah. I’m alive and trapped on the other side.”

“Oh God…” Helena pushed away from the wall and rushed towards the mirror. “And Lazarus? What about him?”

Maya’s smile faded and was replaced with annoyance. “He’s sleeping within me. Once I was found by the demons from the Dome, they told me that I am now one of them. Apparently, no one liked Lazarus—no surprise there.”

“Is he a danger to you?”

Maya shrugged. “I don’t know. I am at the bottom of the totem pole because I don’t possess his knowledge. Some have been kind enough to explain why the Arcanae Mortum didn’t work.”

“Why?”

Maya let out a condescending laugh. “I bet Reaver and the saint conveniently forgot to mention that the white blade kills angels and the black twin blade kills demons. If you kill a demon with a white blade, you become like me—a freak. And it’s vice versa for the other dagger.”

“You’re not—”

Maya sighed. “I can’t talk for long. I was only able to track you because of your mark. Helena, I can reabsorb the darkness residing in your soul and change you back to normal.”

Helena remained silent. She didn’t want to become a witch and follow in her grandmother’s footsteps. Removing the demon’s darkness from her soul would undo everything Lazarus had planned. “Please do.”

The lightbulb in the bathroom flickered when Helena’s string stirred in her gut. She massaged the aching spot. Black wisps crawled out of her skin, and she moved her hand back. Unblinking, she watched as they broke away from her body and swayed towards the mirror.

Maya’s eyes narrowed in concentration and the darkness wrapped around the mirror’s frame and seeped into it. When the last of it was gone, Helena rubbed her gut better, checking to see if her body was intact. She felt no different.

“There, you are a full-blown human. I can even see your white souls shining,” Maya said triumphantly.

Helena frowned. “Souls?”

“Yeah, one is brighter than the other, but I can see two…”

“The other has to be Lucious…”

“No. It is bright like a star and seems dormant.”

Maya’s image faded, and Helena grasped the mirror around the edges. “Maya, wait! What did you mean?”

A split second later, she was staring back at her panicked reflection, and she fought the urge to slam her fist into the glass. “Damn it!”

To her right, a bright light flashed, and Helena blinked at the spot where Michael had appeared. His long golden hair framed his sharp features and his azure eyes reflected a million secrets she was going to rip out of him.

“You…” she growled through gritted teeth.

He raised his hands in defence. “Helena, let me explain.”

“Yes. That’s exactly what I want.”

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