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Cracked Open: book 3

By Madison DiMercurio All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Fantasy

Twenty-five

Kaia

Many nights later I couldn’t help but sigh heavily. The anxiety has been slowly growing. Ciro was at my back and he pulled me closer, waiting patiently for my thoughts. When I finally spoke, it was with a feeling of icy dread.

“I’m worried about Kallan.” My chest began to constrict with the knowledge. “She- there’s something off about all of this.”

“What’s off, Blossom?” Ciro coaxed me to speak my troubled mind.

“Well, I’m not sure. It’s just this feeling I have. Like none of us can save our sister from this looming evil inside herself.” I could feel my brows pull down and my forehead became stiff with my racing thoughts.

Ciro tucked his nose into the side of my neck and breathed in thoughtfully. I could feel his worry over a family he’s come very close to, and his worry over what the future of my sister could do to me. Ciro kissed the edge of my pulse, but I was too overcome with anxiety to react to such an intimate touch. The imposing emotion became so strong that Ciro’s fingers started to fidget around my stomach.

“Shhh, Kaia. Blossom, please.” He was trying to block out my intruding emotion, trying to calm my fried nerves. “Blossom, listen to me. Hear my voice. It’s going to be fine...shhh. Kaia, you will overwhelm us both. Please...shhh. It’s going to be okay.” Ciro’s calm tone lulled my rigid body back into a soft, lenient state. I respected him for his sudden strength. Most mates had difficulty calming their other half down over the howling emotion that overwhelmed them both.

My heart swelled with love and comfort then, and I turned to bury my nose into the curve of his neck, smelling richly of tree sap. My shoulders lifted powerfully. The thick emotion that had tried to choke us both moments ago released from my chest, and Ciro praised me. “Yes, good. That’s my blossom.”

Ciro continued to calmly whisper sweet nothings about the future, and between the heavy waves of lethargy that tried to pull me under, I thought I heard his heart spill out quietly into my ear.

“You are my life Kaia, my heart, my soul, my other half.” There was a pause. Then with profound emotion, ìI love you with everything I am. I will always be here for you. No matter what happens, I’ll be right here.”

I tried to stir but Ciro’s hushed, baritone voice was like a sleeping drug. “Go to sleep my pretty blossom. I’ll be here in the morning.”

I fell asleep with a warm feeling in my core, but I couldn’t help but think: where is Kallan’s mate when she needs him the most?


Ciro

I went in with her this time. I was worried about her after last night and, being mentally constrained, I needed to be there. I knew there was a possible earthquake quivering at her fingertips. I also knew deep down that she needed me there in case everything shifted and no one else could save her.

At the moment, I was leaning against the wall, across from Kallan’s still form on the bed. My eyes silently followed Kaia’s movements and studied every muscle twitch. She was very close, a possible danger to her family in this house. Kaia silently lay down next to her sister, their heads on the same pillow.

I watched Kaia sigh and Kallan’s hair rustle from the push of air. Kaia placed it back behind her ear, and continued to study her calm face quietly. It was something close to magic the way Kaia was just there for her sister ñ never giving up. She didn’t have to say anything. Kaia just had to be there for her suffering sister. I watched my blossom slowly take Kallan’s hand like she took mine, their fingers weaving together perfectly, like it had been practiced and perfected.

Kaia’s emotions began to swirl and awaken from her relaxed thoughtful position, and I was on guard. Then Kaia whispered so quietly even I could not hear all of her words.

“Kallan...waiting for you...I’m here...come back.” There were other emotional words in between, but I understood what she was trying to say.

Then she brought her comatose sister up to date, like Kenna moving to a warmer region and having Serena. I could feel her heart fill with hesitant hope while she talked with Kallan. Maybe something will stir her awake. But minutes went by and there was no sign of a change in Kallan’s form.

Kaia leaned over and kissed Kallan sweetly on the cheek before leaving her side once again. She walked slowly towards me where I leaned against the wall. I watched her with sharp eyes.

My blossom, hope gone once again, glanced down and announced, “I’m ready to go.”

Her emotions stirred like dried leaves in the breeze from the truth behind her announcement. Once again she had to leave a sister stuck in her visions alone because she could do nothing.

Her anxiety and helplessness intensified and they stabbed through my skull. I quickly took her hand and pressed it above my heart. I then pulled her closer and called out her name. My forehead pressed to hers and our breaths mingled.

“Kaia. Kaia, block it out.” Then I changed tactics quickly and pressed her ear gently to my chest. “Shhh. Ignore it, Kaia. Listen to my heart. Let it fill your mind instead.”

Thankfully it worked, and her breathing began to smooth into sleepy-like breaths.

“Ciro.” There was a hard tightness to my name as it was spoken.

I pulled her closer. “Yes, blossom?”

She pulled away with far more strength then I expected. I watched as her eyes hardened once again. Not like she was closing off, but like she was determined and ready get angry if something didn’t happen. I had a feeling what that something was too.

“He better get here or I swear to the Gods I will hunt him down and kill him myself for making her wait so damn long.”

I nodded my understanding completely, and directed her gently towards the door with my hand on the curve of her back.

“He will come,” I assured her. “It’s only a matter of time.”

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