zoeys pov

Where am I? zoey thought. She looked around her, but there was only an eerie darkness it wasn't a sinister gloom just strange

for she felt no fear only empty like she was missing something, but she couldn't remember what that something was in fact she couldn't remember anything only her name she looked around for some clue of what she had lost but the darkness was filled only with others like herself, lost spirits . Suddenly the blackness started to stretch out like a rubber band getting longer and longer. she found herself alone in a long jet-black tunnel and at the other end was a tiny pin prick of light.

Zoey stood up and started towards it. but as she tried to reach it. The light seemed to edge backwards, away from her. She started to run but try as she might she could get no closer. She fell to her knees in defeat.

Then, the light started hurtling towards her. Scrambling to her feet again in alarm zoey started to back away but the light kept coming, it engulfed her in a single motion. As the light made contact the voice of Nyx sounded in her mind

' you must return now, but remember my daughter, love is the key' and

As darkness enveloped her again, she remembered.

starks pov

'I must find Erce. There's still a chance -though unlikely- that Zoey might still awake' Darius said.

But Stark knew the truth there was no chance she…Zoey, was gone. her soul had shattered when Heath was killed. She was not coming back, not ever.

The others slipped out of the room behind him, all trying to muffle their sobs.

Stark felt a hand on his shoulder but didn't lift his head. 'Stark?' it was Aphrodite but it didn't sound like her, her voice had lost its egotistic tone and was filled with emotions that he didn't think she could feel for anyone, even her self. It was desperate and despairing so much so that he hardly recognised it. 'is she really… I mean there's still a chance isn't there, that Zoey might …?' she implored pleadingly.

'no' Stark said softly his voice torn with anguish and laced with tears.

Her hand on his shoulder moved away then there was a dull thump

behind him, followed by a muffled cry.

Stark turned to see Aphrodite hunched over sobbing uncontrollably.

'No I don't believe it. She can't be gone, she can't be.'

Her tears were no consolation to Starks broken heart, if anything it just made it worse, but mostly it just infuriated him. Why should anyone else be allowed to be more upset than him, it was his loss, his heart that had been torn apart not anyone else's, so what right had they to weep more than him?

Aphrodite seemed to sense the change in Stark's emotions and raised her head. The empty expression on her tear stained face, cut his sour thoughts off abruptly. What was he thinking? Of course they should be sad, Zoey had been their friend, they had known her longer than he had, if anything they should be annoyed with him for thinking that somehow he owned her, that she belonged to him and him only. Zoey had been loved by many people; Damien, Shaunee, Erin, Stevie Rae, Aphrodite, grandma redbird, Darius, not to mention people like sister Mary Angela, Lenobia, Dragon Langford, Heath, Erick Night(even if he was a dick most of the time) and though he hated to admit it, Kalona too.

He could have continued his mental list but at that moment the others walked back in closely tailed by Erce, who at the sight if Zoey lying motionless in Starks arms and Heath's body which still lay crumpled on the floor where he had fallen, drew in a sharp breath.

'Who did this?' she demanded. It was Darius who answered considering as no one else could answer coherently for crying- though his eyes were slightly red around the edges and when he spoke his voice wavered slightly. 'it was Kalona. He killed the human boy, Zoey threw spirit at Kalona to try and stop him but was too late, and her soul shattered, Stark said he felt it, he says that she wont come back, that she can't. Is it true? surely there must be something you can do to help?'

Erce didn't reply to Darius, she instead addressed Stark ' you are the young priestess's warrior' it was more of a statement than a question but Stark replied anyway though with obvious difficulty 'yes, or I was but not anymore'

'And why is that?' she asked calmly.

Stark stopped crying and looked up at Erce his red-rimmed eyes filled with fury. 'you know bloody well why!' he yelled so loudly that Damien and the twins took an involuntary step backwards, Aphrodite didn't move she just stared wide-eyed with shock and Darius moved in front of her in case Stark attacked them for they had seen him angry, but never like this this was beyond mad he was livid! Erce was the only one who didn't react to his outburst.

Stark, too furious to notice their reactions, continued in a voice that was more of a snarl, his eyes shone red. 'you know exactly why you bitch, zoey's soul shattered you know what that means don't you? she's dead!' He turned to the rest of them now 'she's dead! that's what it means so every fucking one of you get it inside your thick heads, Zoey is gone and she's not coming back, not ever, understand? Good, cause I'm not saying it again so now you can all go away and cry and hug each other and tell each other that everything will be fine, just go away and stop torturing me! His voice broke at the end he dropped to the ground without warning -he had risen during his rupture - and buried his face into zoey's dark hair.

Then there was silence broken only by Starks heartbroken sobs everyone just stared at each other in astonishment. Even Erce's cool expression had softened into something that looked like pity. 'I'm sorry' she said after a while 'if you wish I will try to help her, but I think you are right.'

Stark didn't move. Aphrodite moved away from the group of friends in the corner and walked cautiously towards him. 'Stark, I think we should let her try, if we don't then there's no chance for Zoey, but if we let Erce help she might have a chance we wont know until we've tried' Stark didn't look up but she could tell he had heard her, so she continued. 'please Stark, I know this is hard for you but its hard for us too, you have to think of Zoey now, of what's best for her that's what you want isn't it? But think about it first. Well stick by your decision whatever you choose because we trust you to do what's best for Zoey. if you say no then we will do nothing but think about the fact that if by some miracle we could have saved her and you said no and she would dies because of it, but if you say yes then we might not be able to help her and she would die anyway, but at least we'd have tried'

Slowly Stark nodded 'thank you' whispered Aphrodite and gently hugged him, Damien Shaunee and Erin came and hugged him too and that's how they stayed until Erce spoke 'I will take you to the infirmary, follow me.