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Chapter 1

Three weeks and two days. It had been that long since I'd told Nash I wanted him to get better, so that I could have him. I'd left right after that. Nash had been addicted to Demon's Breath-a deadly toxin from the Netherworld, or, in other words, a secondhand breath from a demon-for a month before he confessed to me. It was pretty much my fault it had happened in the first place.

Almost two months ago, Nash and I agreed to help Tod-Nash's grim-reaper of a brother-retrieve his ex-girlfriend's soul-which she'd sold to a demon of greed, named Avari, not knowing the consequences behind it. Nash had been unwilling at first, but eventually gave in because he knew that when I wanted to do something, my mind was set on doing so until the task was completed. Well, unfortunately, she died without her soul. Her soul was now to be eternally punished in the Netherworld.

We'd tried out hardest to save her soul, we really did. But with me being weak and dying from Crimson Creeper venom, and Nash already feeling the itch of the Demon's Breath, we were practically nothing. My brilliant idea was to use some of the Demon's Breath that was replaced as Addison's-Tod's ex-girlfriend- soul to blow up a few balloons. We were taunting a Netherworld creature with the balloons because he was going into withdrawal from not having any Demon's Breath. We'd threatened to pop a balloon if he didn't give us answers. Nash had pulled out a pocket knife and held it up to the balloon, and when the creature tried to attack him, the balloon popped in Nash's face.

I sighed as all of these memories came rushing back. It seemed like all of this had happened in another life. I wanted to just push them all away, but it wasn't that simple. I squeezed my eyes closed in an attempt to shut out the images flashing across my vision. It wasn't fair. None of this was.

"Kaylee," my father's voice said as he opened the front door.

I opened my eyes and looked up him from my spot on the couch in our living room. I'd barely said anything since I'd left Nash's house that night three weeks ago, let alone eat as much as I should have. "Hey, Dad," I replied quietly.

He hung his jacket up and the room smelled of metal and sweat from his job at the factory. "How was your day?"

I almost didn't even want to think about my day. The memories were worse today. I felt even guiltier than I ever had before. The thought of what had happened in my life these past few months just got me sick to my stomach, and today I was almost throwing up. "It was okay, I guess."

He sat down in his recliner and looked at me. I knew he could tell I was lying by the swirling of my irises, and the thought of my swirling irises sent a twinge of pain through me. In order for Nash to get another dose of Demon's Breath, he had traveled to the Netherworld and got some from the demon himself, which involved kissing Avari to get it. He sacrificed the emotions in his memories to make the pain of withdrawal fade. It worked, but he got more pain by me leaving him. But in the process, he'd hurt me too. He didn't even remember what it had felt like when his dad had died. He could see the memory clearly, just couldn't remember what anyone had felt. He couldn't remember what it had felt like to kiss me for the first time. And that resulted in his irises not churning in emotion.

"Kaylee, I need you to talk to me," my father told me.

I looked away as the usual stinging in my eyes started. "Dad, I can't do it," I whispered.

I heard him let out a breath. "Kaylee, it's been almost a month. I need you to be able to sit down and tell me what exactly is wrong." His words were broken up into single syllables in the last few words.

I blinked away the tears and finally made eye contact with him. The first time in three weeks that I had done this. "What do you want me to say? That I'm fine?" I snapped. "'Cause I'm not. I'm clearly upset about the fact that I broke up with the only boy I've ever loved, Dad." I immediately felt guilty because he had experienced the same feeling when my mother died when I was three.

My dad flinched. "I know, Kaylee"

I sighed and stood up. "I just need some fresh air. I'll be back in thirty minutes. I have my phone if you need me. You can make something for dinner and I'll eat later, okay?"

His gaze lowered. "Okay, Kaylee. I love you."

"I love you too, Dad." I grabbed my jacket and pulled on a pair of sneakers before slipping out of the front door.

There was a bite in the wind, and I lowered my head to keep warm. I didn't pay attention to wherever I was walking. I was just letting my gut take me to where I needed to go. And soon my mind had wandered to school. School was hell for me, especially when I had a premonition and I didn't have Nash there to help me. Instinctively, I glanced down at my phone. It was 7:46 p.m. I groaned and continued walking. I hadn't eaten since seven that morning. Whenever I lost weight, I was always determined to gain it back. And then I lost it again.

I heard a door slam. I looked up and stopped dead in my tracks. I was on the corner by Nash's house. I gasped. I hadn't actually gotten a look at him in nearly a month, let alone actually talk to him. I never answered or returned his phone calls. But I did, however, visit his brother often. Nash turned his head and saw me. His eyes widened and he grinned at me.

I closed my eyes and tried to tell myself that this was all a dream. That this wasn't actually happening. I'd tried so hard to not to do this to myself, but it was finally happening again.

"Kaylee!" he called as I turned to walk away.

I spun on my heel and looked at him without saying a thing.

He took a few steps toward me, which put him a good ten feet away. "How have you been?" he asked.

He seems awfully cheery. Has he been on Demon's Breath again? I thought. I cleared my throat. "I've been okay," I said and kept my eyes lowered. "And you?"

Nash's grin widened. "I've been great!"

I nodded slowly a couple of times. "That's good." I started to leave again.

"Wait, Kaylee, you don't have to go."

My mouth was as dry as cotton. "I, um… yeah, I do. Sorry. My dad's making dinner and I said I was only taking a walk," I choked.

His face fell. "Kaylee-"

"I'll see you later," I said quickly and walked away at a fast pace.

And suddenly, he stepped in front of me. "Look, Kaylee, I know you're still upset-" he started.

I shook my head. "I'm not upset, okay?" I remarked. I ran my fingers through my stick straight brown hair. "I just… I don't know."

He didn't say anything for a moment, just looked me over. "I just want to say I'm sorry."

"You've told me that before, Nash," I whispered.

"I know."

My eyes welled up with tears and everything came back once again. I hated this. I hated every thought, every word that haunted my mind. It was like my own personal rain cloud. Always there to cloud my thoughts, to remind me that my life isn't portrayed as perfect. Not that it ever was to begin with. I squeezed my eyes shut to make it all go away, but, once again, they didn't. I don't know how many times this had happened today, but it had. But I was with Nash now, so why wouldn't it all just leave me the hell alone?

Nash's phone rang and he pulled it out of his back pocket. "Hello?" he answered. "Yeah, I'll be there in twenty minutes. Bye." He flipped it closed, and then flashed me a smile. "I gotta go meet Sophie. See you later?"

My heart rose to my throat. Sophie? What the hell was he doing with Sophie? All I could do was nod, and then step around him. My breathing became ragged, but I didn't pay any attention to it. All I could focus on was getting out of there. Fast.

"Kaylee?" I heard Nash say from behind me.

Something in his voice sounded sad. Desperate, even, and it made me turn around. "Hm?"

"Is there anyway you could forgive me? For… for everything?" he asked quietly.

I swallowed the lump in my throat. "I don't know Nash. So much damage has been done already, it's… it's hard to figure things out for me. My life is just really screwed up right now."

He opened his mouth to say something, but I held up a hand. I spun on my heel and ran. Away from Nash, his house, everything. I didn't want anything to do with it, or with him. Especially if he was getting involved with my cousin, Sophie. What could he be doing with her? I thought he said he didn't like her. I made myself slow down after a moment and I sat down on the curb and let the tears fall. I definitely wasn't over Nash, and I wasn't planning on getting over him any time soon. I guess I would always have Emma-my best friend-to lean on.