"So what else happened to me while I was gone?"
I was quizzing Damien about everything that had happened so I could catch up. Zoey and everybody else had left, giving us time alone. "Well, the Twins un – twinned," he said.
"I noticed they weren't so...together," I agreed.
"This weird...thing, Aurox, came," he added. "Neferet made him."
"Out of Darkness?" I said in a quiet voice.
"Yeah," Damien said. "We think so."
"Okay," I said. "Seems like you had an eventful time."
"Not really," he argued, "You weren't there, for instance."
"I missed you, Damien," I said. He leaned down and kissed me again. For a moment, everything was perfect.
Neferet stepped cautiously into the room, looking back and forth. "Darkness," she said loudly, "You've had your offer. Do my bidding." As soon as the words left her mouth, Damien was lifted into the air and flung across the room. He hit the wall, hard, and didn't get up.
"NO!" I cried. I tried to get up and get him, but I couldn't move for some reason. It was like some force was holding me down. Neferet was conjuring Darkness to keep me down.
The fear I had felt before disappeared, replaced with anger at Neferet. "Stop it!" I yelled. I hoped to attract attention to somebody.
I felt a cold feeling around my legs and arms. Darkness was wrapping around me. Slowly I was lifted up, just like before, by the eastern wall. But this time, I wasn't going to sing. I was going to scream.
"By coming back to life," Neferet said darkly, "you limited Darkness's power, and therefore my power."
"Sorry?" I offered weakly.
"Darkness! Kill him...slowly," she said.
"ZOEY!" I cried. "ZOEY!"
I felt the tendrils close tighter around me, sending chills up my spine. I fought the feel of fear creeping up me. The tendrils began to squeeze. Everything hurt. I screamed, in pain and in fear.
All of a sudden the doors flew open. Zoey and her circle were standing there. Zoey looked alive with power. "Spirit!" she cried, "Help me!"
The tendrils began squeezing tighter, hurting me worse. I groaned in pain. My whole body was alive with pain. The room felt so cold.
And then, suddenly, I was free. I fell back onto the bed with a groan. The springs of the bed moaned under my sudden weight. I heard Damien groan, as well. He was alive!
"Neferet," Zoey said. Her eyes were so full of anger. "Get out of here."
Neferet went without complaint.
"Jack!" Zoey said.
"I'm fine," I said, sitting up. Where the tendrils had me were now huge bruises.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't think she'd try to kill you again."
"I'm really okay, Z," I said.
Damien threw his arms around me. One tear escaped my eye.
It wasn't a tear of sadness.
It was a tear of joy.
For I knew nothing could ever go wrong again.
"I'm perfect," I said.
In my lovers arms, things became clear. Death wasn't the end. There never was an end, when it came to love. There was only the beginning.
And I wasn't even there yet.
So we're at the end! Thanks to all you guys who stuck with the story! You have no idea just how much this means to me!