Author's Note:

This story contains and will continue to contain ridiculous amounts of spoilers for Alyson Noel's latest book, Dark Flame. If you haven't finished it, come back to this after you have, because this fic is going to rely on those events pretty heavily. My reason for writing this is, primarily, Roman and the ending. Noel has set Roman up since his entrance to be a major antagonist and I feel that the ending of Dark Flame didn't really do him justice in that role. This will follow the book's events pretty closely, but will deviate in a few places.

This is also going to have more of a Roman/Ever slant, as a warning beforehand. I'm new to the Immortals fanfic scene, so if there's anything glaringly wrong or that needs to be fixed, please let me know. And, as always, enjoy the ride.

-cy.


Today has been, to say it as concisely as possible, one of the worst days of my life.

I mean, you'd think that things would just keep getting better after I found my soulmate (it only took a few lifetimes of searching and dying to get there), attained immortality, discovered and slowly mastered my new immortal powers, and landed a summer job with a cute guy for my boss, right? Life lately has clearly not been following the script. In fact, it's managed to turn out even worse than ever before.

Right now, I'm supposed to have the happily ever after, the forever in love ending, not this weird hey-I-love-you-but-if-we-touch-you-die-explosively thing going with Damen, or finding out that my new boss is actually the guy I've been falling for but never going out with during my previous lifetimes. Oh, and I'm pretty sure a happy ending wouldn't include my murderer of lifetimes past (the now deceased Drina) having an admirer, let alone an admirer hellbent on wrecking the life of the person who killed her.

Which would be me.

Sounding perfect yet?

It's not hard to see why I'm sulking in my room by myself. Haven's been...well, Haven, and our tete-a-tete about not abusing her new immortal powers didn't exactly go over well. Miles is in Italy having the time of his life, so even if he knew about my, um, condition, he's in no condition to help. Damen, despite being my soulmate and the person I genuinely do want to spend eternity with, definitely can't know.

So, that leaves me, trying to work my way out of the mess I've gotten myself into. Alone.

I flop over the bed, staring at the ceiling and steeling myself for this attempt. Which is going to work, no worries, because I made sure beforehand that the right goddess is in the moon this time- no ruler of the underworld twisting my spells, thanks.

The twins, Romy and Rayne of Salem witch fame, think that what I'm doing is stupid. But, hey, to be fair, they're not the ones with this malfunctioning spell hanging over their heads. They can just go chant their "will come back to you times three" stuff all they like; it's me that has to live with the repercussions, and I am not doing that very well at the moment.

Repercussions of what, you ask? Well...long story.

I ferret out my incense and other materials for the ritual, careful to make sure I have everything the last time I tried casting this spell on Roman. The goal was to bind him to me so that he'd be so wrapped around my finger he'd just hand over the antidote to the antidote that would let me and Damen touch again. You know, without the energy sheet hanging between us.

I've had to start hiding my spell-casting materials because of Sabine's newest crusade to aid troubled youth, namely me. My privacy, apparently, is only room deep. Shocking, but there you go. Manifesting new supplies each time probably wouldn't be too bad, but it just seems fitting to use the same stuff as I did last time, you know, for symmetry with the goddess of light and to show her that I can do this ritual right.

And besides, I just want to get this done with as quickly as possible. Being attracted to Roman all the time is so not working out.

Kicking off my sandals, I stroll around my room, my toes crimping into the plush carpet as I choose the rhymes I want to use for the spell. In the back of my mind, I feel Sabine's consciousness prickling into my own. She's nervous, but in a good, excited way. She's invited Munoz over for dinner (again) and is hastily finishing her preparations so I have another reason to want to do this fast. Apparently, this is for us to "bond." Ugh. I have had enough of bonding to last a lifetime.

Okay, okay, maybe not an immortal's lifetime. Definitely a few months, though.

I take a deep breath and begin. Everything's going smoothly, I whisk the asthame across my wrist deftly, and I can almost feel the spell binding me to Roman fading away. I close my eyes, smiling, and am about to speak the ending rhymes when I hear the door open.

"Ever, it's almost six o'clock! Dinner's at-"

She stops mid-sentence, mouth going wide open. My aunt looks at me, then down at the knife I'm holding, and then back to my dripping wrist.

I grimace inwardly, knowing this is only going to end in guidance counseling and a whole lot of therapy, but act fast.

"Listen, Sabine, I can explain-"

Her face is contorting into all kinds of shock and anger. I'm catching quick glimpses of what's going through her head and believe me, it's not the happy place it used to be. "What have you been doing?"

"It's really nothing like it seems!" I protest, noticing that my blood's dripping onto the rug in a rust-colored stain and hastily moving my arm subtly over the bowl. At least maybe it'll still make the offering. "I'm really not doing anything-"

"Oh, Ever!" She slumps against the door, and even when she's all made up and dressed her best for her date tonight, I can see how haggard she's become. She hasn't stopped her self-help book binge trying to find a cure for me, and I can see the weight of all those late nights in one glance. Stuff at the law firm is sagging with the bad economy and she's been pulling all kinds of strings to keep things afloat. She shakes her head in disbelief. "You know you can talk to me about this stuff, right? I know losing your parents and sister has been rough, but hurting yourself isn't the answer. You have so much to live for still."

I blink. What? Then, I look at the cut on my arm and then the hand still holding the asthame.

Crap.

"No way, you've really got it all wrong. This isn't me cutting, or anything like that. It's just..."I shake my head, trying to think of something fast, "cooking."

Sabine cocks an eyebrow, and I now the next question on her lips will be asking me exactly what I am cooking that involves incense, candles, and crystals. But, seeing as I have no idea how to explain away my ornamental knife, let alone my obviously self-inflicted wound, I opt for the only quick way out I can see: distraction tactics.

"Look, this isn't the right time to talk about this." I say, stashing the asthame behind my back. "We've got company and I need to get ready. I'm also pretty upset you didn't knock." I add, though my privacy hasn't exactly been held all that sacred for a while. "I promise we can talk about this later, but right now I think we both should take care of our guest."

She's not pleased, I can tell, but she's leaving. And when she finally shuts the door, I say the ending words to the spell, almost dance in relief. Okay, so no telling if the ritual's worked or not, but it's complete and it's in the hands of the goddess now.

I race to get dressed for dinner, take a quick glance in the mirror to make sure I look okay, and put a band-aid over the knife cut. It's healed already, but I haven't let Sabine know that I'm psychic, let alone that I'm going to live forever. On my way downstairs, I'm smiling.

My last living relative might just be convinced I'm trying to do myself in, I've got at least an hour more with a faculty member coming up, I still don't have the antidote for Damen, but if getting through all this means that I'll be rid of Roman invading my thoughts once and for all, I'll take it.

No question about it.