Rising Darkness (Rylee Adamson #9) - Page 59

A tip of the head, the dark brown hair cascading over her bare shoulders. “You think to appeal to the witch? Her soul has been mine for far too long to truly fight me anymore.”

I lifted my hands. “I will die before I let you have my body.”

“Ah, but that’s the trick.” Orion smiled at me, Milly’s smile. “I want you to die. I want your spirit to flee and then I can have your body. How many humans will follow a child savior, one who can bring them out of the darkest hour they’ve ever faced? One who will show them how to save themselves? A beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl, with a sweet smile to hide the demon within. They will never suspect you. And then we will find the two children who escaped me, and I will have their bodies too. A trinity of power I can use.”

He spoke of Rylee’s child. Rylee’s and Milly’s. Tears welled in my eyes. “No, you can’t have any of us. Milly wouldn’t want that.”

“You don’t know what the witch would want, do you?”

She approached me, hips swaying, one hand sliding down to the juncture of . . . I averted my eyes as a soft moan slipped between her lips. I thought about the Milly I’d known. How she tried to protect me when we’d been on the other side of the veil. How she made sure I was as safe as I could be. At the cost of her own safety.

“Milly loved me,” I whispered.

“She didn’t.”

I opened my eyes, certainty growing in my heart. “She did. And she loved Rylee. It’s why she tried to stop you. She told me all the things, little things, she did to slow you down. To keep you from hurting Rylee.”

Somewhere in the distance, I heard Rylee call to me. Breathe, Pamela, damn it, BREATHE.

Orion grinned at me. “Your body is dying. Soon you will be mine to play with, too.”

I took a deep breath, filling my lungs. “No. I won’t let you. And

neither will Rylee.”

I turned my back on the darkness, on Orion and Milly. Somewhere, Rylee was waiting for me. “Rylee!”

Come on, Pam!

Without a glance back, I ran toward her voice. There was no light to see, no steps to avoid. I ran with all I had. “Rylee, I’m coming!”

And then I heard someone else. Let her go, she’s gone.

She’s not gone! Pamela, you fight, damn you, fight!

“I’m here, I’ve not gone!” I screamed the words as my legs sunk down to my knees. Slogging through what felt like mud, I flung myself forward, reaching. “I’m here, I’m here!”

But my words were fading and my strength flowed from me. I didn’t dare a look behind, dreading what I’d see.

Fear.

Love was the key. Love was the answer. And with love came trust. Which meant I had to stop fighting what was happening and let Rylee call me back. Uncertainty gripped my heart and I struggled to relax. But I knew this was the only way.

Slowly, ever so slowly I began to let my body sink. “I trust you, Rylee.” The mud flowed up over my body and behind me Orion laughed.

“Giving up already?”

Love was all I needed. I loved Rylee; she was the sister of my heart. The surrogate mother I’d always known would come for me. I closed my eyes and the mud sucked me down.

“I trust you, Rylee.”

Blaz was trying to get me to stop. Even Frank had given up, his broken hands unable to help with compressions anymore. An hour of pounding on her chest, of breathing for her. Keeping her heart going. But every time I stopped, her heart faltered.

I was sweating, my muscles screaming at me, my head light and dizzy from breathing for her. “Pamela, I won’t stop.”

And there, in the distance, I heard her.

I trust you, Rylee.

Blaz’s head snapped around, his eyes wide. I heard her, too. Keep going!

I

breathed into her mouth, three long puffs, her chest rising. “Come on, kid. I heard you.”

My palms against her chest, I was pretty sure I’d broken a rib or two, but that wouldn’t matter if she couldn’t pull herself out of this.

Alex lay, curled around her on one side, petting her head with one paw. “Pamie, come home, come home to us.”

Frank picked up her hand and clenched it between his. “Please, don’t die, Pam.”

Peta lay beside her, purring softly. We all were there, giving her what strength we could.

Three more puffs of air, the rhythm of the CPR stealing my thoughts, and I let it. Easier to not think. Breathing, compressions, pause. Breathing, compressions, check pulse. I was not giving up on her, not if it took me until the vampires could come up, and one of them could bite her, and use the connection to heal her.

You can’t go on that long, Blaz said.

I ignored him. Breathing, compressions, breathing, compressions, check pulse.

Her body gave a shudder, and hope flared. “We aren’t giving up, come on!” I screamed at her and she let out a soft moan. I grabbed her hand and squeezed it. “Pamela, talk to me.”

“My chest hurts,” she whispered, her blue eyes flickering open. “And Alex stinks.”

Laughing, crying, I helped her sit up, slowly. She wrapped a hand around her middle and leaned into me, and for the first time in a long time, I knew she was back all the way. Not just physically, but all of her. All of the girl I’d first met in a church on a dark stormy night, fighting for her life.

“You were right. Love is the answer,” she whispered into my neck.

I held her, gingerly, not wanting to hurt her ribs any more than I already had. Alex crept forward on his belly. “Love me, too?”