Cracked Open: book 3

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“Baby, what’s wrong? Camira? Hey, talk to me.” Dagon’s voice cut through the slight discomfort of the grey morning. I could hear the drumbeat of rain on our roof combined with the trickle of heavy drops as they fell away. Kallan still hasn’t woken up, and she was still creating atrocious storm clouds. Dagon’s hands were warm as they brushed along my momentarily sticky-with-sweat skin.

I had rolled over and leaned my forehead onto Dagon’s chest for some sort of comfort, but nothing was working. I couldn’t figure out where the sudden discomfort was coming from. I sat up in bed, hunching over, while he continued to rub my back. I shook off his touch, which was never something I’ve done before. I breathed out through a dry mouth, “Just give me a second babe. Something’s not right.”

“I can see that, Camira. It feels like you’re about to be sick.” He reached for me again.

“Please, don’t.” I responded flatly, before his fingers could graze my skin. “Your touch makes my skin crawl right now.”

I shivered as my stomach twisted and squeezed again. Crap, I think I was going to be sick.

Before I could vault out of my bed, I felt a light breeze across my cheek and was then looking into a toilet. I cracked my lips and looked up with a watery smile at a worried Dagon. But then I had to turn into the toilet to dry-heave. Dagon helped me hold my long blond hair back, and I felt a cold washcloth drape across my neck. Droplets of water that were never squeezed out ran down my shoulders, dripping over my collarbones, and between my breasts.

I moaned in distress that was not my own. “Damnit.”

“Camira! What the hell.” Kenna’s heavy breathing was right around the corner as she barged into the bathroom. I think I could hear Calder mumbling about his woman not letting him take care of her, behind her, and Kenna in all her pregnant glory gave him a look that could kill.

I moaned again, and Dagon’s deep voice tried to explain. “Something isn’t right with your sister. She isn’t in the right mind to talk right now.” Dagon’s body language was stiff ñ ready to protect and defend me.

I turned my head to see Kenna slumped against the doorframe and Calder was behind ready to catch her.

“No shit! I’m almost ready to puke my brains out too.”

I had enough energy to glare up at my sister. “Don’t talk to my mate that way or I’ll kick you out of this house,” I growled, and then moaned in unison with my sister when my stomach twisted again.

“Why are we both feeling like this?” I moaned, and Dagon was brave enough to try and comfort me with his touch again.

It was quiet as we all bunched together in one not-so-large bathroom. The rumble of thunder and the buzzing sound of the rain numbed my already tired brain. I flinched when Kenna spoke.

“Oh! Calder, remember when we were in town and I -” Kenna glanced my way, “I set a building on fire?”

“Yeah, I got you out on a stallion before you could burn down the whole village.”

I was confused and I could feel my mate’s misunderstanding as well. “Why did you burn a building?”

Kenna looked at me with a flash of anger, like it had been my entire fault. “Because you had disappeared and we went looking for you. I was so emotionally wrecked, Camira. You were gone. And...and well the point is we raced towards the woods, and before we took the long way home, around Paxton, it was like I felt your presence.”

I nodded and we both winced when our stomachs did another nosedive. Lightning lit up the bathroom window, and Kenna gagged over the sink. My mouth watered like I needed to puke.

Kenna took a few deep breaths. “What I’m saying is that Kaia is having the same thing happen. Because we’re sisters, we can all feel each other’s pain in some way.”

I shifted to stand off the hard tile floor, and Dagon moved to help me. I quickly smiled at him in thanks, and I felt his love rush warmly through my veins. It was like when drinking a hot beverage, and you feel it warm your chest.

“Okay, so this means we need to go see what the heck is going on.” I headed down the hall with everyone else close behind.

“I’m thinking her pain is because Ciro is dying,” Calder pointed out.

We all stopped at his revelation, and we all seemed to swallow and look to our mates, understanding the circumstance. None of us would want to be in Kaia’s position, but on top of that I understood exactly what she was going through.

Only a year ago, I had to go through the torture of killing my own mate, all because an evil asshole Satyr had persuaded me. For months on end afterwards, I had panic attacks and nightmares. They still came back to visit every once in a while.

I shivered and glanced at Dagon, knowing he could feel that gross, slimy feeling of the past through me. In response, Dagon discreetly rubbed his fingers across my markings that signified our bond.

Feeling more confident about the situation, I nodded firmly and turned to the front door saying, “Well, we need to get over there then, and figure out how to comfort both of them. Better yet, fix it.”

I opened the door to a gray morning deluge, the blurry lines of rain coming down sideways. Well, great.

“Oh my gods, it’s freezing on this mountain.”

“You’re the one with all the baby weight. Shouldn’t you be having hot flashes?” I responded to Kenna’s voice in the dark cave.

“Uh, no. That ended months ago.”

I sighed out in frustration at my sister’s complaints, and felt Dagon’s warm hand encircle mine.

“C’mon, this way,” Calder directed, and I felt more than saw two bodies brush passed us.

As we all peered into her room, we could see them curled up together in bed. At first I was uncomfortable about this, because I felt like we were disturbing their privacy. But then I pushed that aside and glanced at everyone else who stared in too.

There was worry, shock, and fear written all over their faces. And for some reason I felt none of that. I’ve gone through something like this before. I’ve seen and felt it all.

“Okay, I think not all of us should go in.” I whispered and tried to read everybody’s body language and emotions.

Because I could see auras, I could read that Kenna was shocked that she was so worried about Kaia (they’re not in the best relationship, never were), and Calder was just worried (maybe for Kenna as well). Dagon I could feel as well as see his emotions. Dagon was worried just like everyone else ñ that emotion overwhelmed the room ñ but he also understood all of what we saw. What it meant. He was the one who had gotten killed after all. I shuddered again remembering those woods and the sword in Dagon’s chest ñ because of my doing. No, the satyr’s doing – I won’t repeat his name again.

Kenna had nodded, not saying a word as she tried to swallow down her fear. I was glad she agreed to let me because we all knew it was smarter for one of us sisters to go in.

Walking through the deformed arched doorway, I almost crumpled to the ground, my knees shook so hard. Both Kaia and Ciro’s auras were a thick sickly color. Like they had been in pain far longer than we had thought.

I fell on my knees against the bed; my kneecaps were jolted and would probably be bruised. I felt Kaia shift only the slightest away from Ciro. Ciro was very still. He may be unconscious.

“Kaia. Sis.”

Her voice was hardly a whisper. “Kallan? You’re awake?”

My eyes burned; Kallan called her ‘sis’ all the time. “No, it’s Camira.” I heard Kenna gasp in dismay from the doorway.

Kaia swallowed and it seemed difficult. Then she opened her eyes gazing at me through glazed eyes; Kaia twisted her neck as she turned her body. Kaia’s eyes seemed to glow, and it was like she was another creature ñ not a nymph of the earth. Maybe because Ciro’s veins glowed, his energy was transferring to her. Or it was all just a reflection of dim light. It was just a guess.

Her voice was scratchy with misuse and pain. “What are you all doing here?” Her eyes pulled her attention towards the doorway.

I grabbed onto her curled fingers, and they were sticky with sweat.

“We felt your pain,” I gestured toward Kenna who was now leaning against Calder for support. “Both of us.”

Her chin twitched downwards once, and then Kaia moved to curl back into her dying mate’s chest. I could barely see his aura pulse. That was never a good sign.

He may die by midday.

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