Cracked Open: book 3

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I had connections. I had connections.

This was what I kept telling myself as I went to first talk with my sisters. I was trying not to freak yet. Ciro has hope – and I have connections. Yeah.

I rushed first to Kallan’s house, because I figured no one would want to leave her in such a vulnerable state. And of course as I pushed through the door every single person I was supposed to love in some way sat and stared at me in shock. The sudden heat hit me like a smothering blanket, and I almost choked. The heat was from Kenna now that she had to come back for Kallan, because she was a nymph of fire Kenna couldn’t do without heat or else she would become weak. She had Calder but there was only so much a mate could do.

“What are you doing here?” That was Kenna. She sat on Calder’s lap as relaxed as ever.

“Um, well, I...” Damn just spit it out, Kaia. I lifted my chin and looked into my sisters eyes. “I’ve realized I’ve been a cold, heartless bitch.”

“No kidding,” Kenna muttered through her teeth.

Camira repositioned herself next to Dagon and hit Kenna with the back of her hand on the arm, giving my pregnant sister a look.

“I wanted to say I’m sorry, about everything. All these years I couldn’t really let anyone in, because of my past. After Seraphina -” I swallowed an invisible rock that had formed in my throat.

“It’s okay, Kaia,” Camira replied with understanding reflecting through her kind eyes.

I looked towards Kenna and saw that she was struggling to accept my apology. She could hardly look at me. I saw the deep frown and the comfort Calder tried to give her. I heard Calder try to whisper to her. “Baby, try to understand -” it was hard to miss his baritone voice.

“Don’t ‘baby’ me, Calder.”

“Kenna, please, for your sister. She’s trying to open up,” Calder whispered.

“Well its kind of late for that don’t you think?” Kenna snapped back, whispering too.

Calder had his arm around Kenna’s bulging stomach and rubbed the center with his thumb. “It’s never to late for anything. For you and your sister, understand what she’s been going through.”

They continued to whisper back and forth, I could see the other couple trying to give them room, but Camira specifically was very interested.

“Calder, who’s side are you on?”

For the first time ever, that I’ve seen, Calder’s face darkened. “Kenna, I’m always on your side. Never underestimate that. We are partners here, and I’m here to help you see through the crap that is blocking your judgment of things. I’m protecting your future with your sister. Your relationship with her was just getting better you can’t ruin that now. You get me?” Calder grabbed onto Kenna’s chin firmly. “I’m protecting what is mine, always.”

Kenna’s strong composer crumpled and she relaxed into Calder’s hands with watery eyes. She was pregnant; of course she couldn’t hold back the tears. They kissed and made up.

I looked away.

Finally Kenna looked at me again, and then Camira who was smiling like a nut. Yeah, she was such a romantic ñ sometimes it got gross. As I looked back at Kenna, I could tell she was trying not to picture herself in my own place with her own unborn child. She thankfully chose to say nothing, and instead brought her attention back to her mate. Calder sweetly kissed her on the cheekbone and I looked away, again. Ciro crossed my mind and a look must have shadowed across my face because Camira frowned as well.

“Kaia, what’s wrong?”

I shook my head. “Nothing.”

Camira gave me a look. “Okay, look, part of being a sister ñ a family ñ is that you’re supposed to tell us what’s wrong. We can help if you’d only tell us.” She paused and I knew she had more to say. “You’ve never opened up and we all gave up on trying to get things you needed to say out of you. We’re all sorry about that. But now that you’ve decided to open up, you need to tell us.”

I huffed and got ready to say what I knew, would make them go wide-eyed. “Ciro’s dying.”



“Oh gods.”

“What are you going to do?”

I couldn’t tell who said what, but I was overwhelmed with a hot room of emotions. Maybe it overwhelmed me that these four people actually cared. And that was the question. What was I going to do? Who was I going to talk to?

“Well, I have some connections in Paxton.” I paused looking at my family for some sort of response. They said nothing, expecting me to continue. “Ciro keeps saying there is no cure. He’s worried it runs in the family, because his sister died after her tree did.” My voice trailed off. I really wasn’t sure how to talk in front of these four people. I guess because I never really have. I’ve always cut myself off from them.

Camira was nodding her head. At least that was some kind of response. “How long does he think he has?”

My eyes burned and I hated to admit that I wanted to cry. “Not long.” I didn’t want to say the whole truth because then they would all finally see how I felt about my mate. I was still uncomfortable about them seeing my true emotions. It was all too soon.

“Oh damn, Kaia.” That was Camira, and I looked at her to see a sea of tears ready to fall. Dagon wrapped his arms around her stomach from behind and whispered in her ear.

Kenna was oddly silent. She was tense while she held onto Calder’s hand and rubbed her growing belly.

I huffed, trying to release some of my emotion that was so unnatural to me, and stood. “Anyways. I came intending to apologize as well as head in to the village and find a cure.”

“But Ciro said there was no cure.”

I turned to glare at the soon to be mother. “There is going to be a cure, Kenna, so help me gods.” My voice began to shake as well as the earth beneath us. There has to be a cure. Otherwise – no there is no ‘otherwise.’

As I left, the room looked at me in shock. But I had no time to worry about them, about what they thought. Ciro and his tree were going to live.

Now that I know what I haven’t had, what I’ve been without, for so long I was going to fight for it. I was going to fight to keep my mate. He’s saved me from my cold heartedness, from the darkness that I’ve lived in for so long. From all the lies I’ve been telling myself; from the walls that I’ve built around my heart ñ frozen for so long. Ciro brought those walls down. This time it’s my turn to save him.

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