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Rising Darkness(Rylee Adamson #9)(6) by Shannon Mayer

“I’m surprised you came back,” I bit out, and she pulled back from me.

“I said I’d come back.” Her tri-colored eyes took me in and I squirmed, feeling like she could see through to my soul. Like she could see . . . everything. Like somehow she knew I’d killed Liam.

“You’ve grown up since I left,” she reached out and touched my cheek. Or at least tried to. I jerked my head away from her hand.

“Don’t touch me.”

Her eyebrows shot up and I really looked at her. She seemed . . . different. Harder and softer at the same time. I couldn’t put my finger on how or what was different. Or maybe, maybe it was just me. Maybe I was the one who changed. I turned my back on her. “I don’t need you anymore.” The words hurt my throat and I thought about Milly. Milly was my friend. She would be the one I leaned on now.

“Pamela, I still need you with me.”

I stopped and hunched my shoulders, as if she’d hit me. The careful shell of disdain I’d been building cracked and I breathed deeply. “What for? I’m just a kid, right? That’s why you left me behind, because you didn’t think you could trust me.” And she’d been right. I’d killed Liam, and then kept the truth from her. She was right not to trust me, and it galled me to the core. I wanted her to love me, even as I hated her for leaving me.

“Look, there isn’t time for this shit, kid.” Rylee grabbed my arm and spun me around. I shot a thread of power at her, to blast her backward, forgetting she was Immune to magic.

She grabbed my other arm so I was caught and then she shook me. “Pamela, you are a part of my family, and family means that no matter how angry, or stupid we are, we still fight for each other. No matter how fucking stupid we are, or how hurt our feelings are, we stand together. So whatever is going on, tell me or don’t, but I will be damned if you think I don’t trust you.”

My mouth dropped open and she let me go, but I just stood there, stunned. “Then why didn’t you take me?”

“Because Liam told me who to take and I had to trust he was right.” She put her hands on her hips. “I left Alex behind too, I left Eve behind. Doesn’t mean I don’t trust you three, just that where I was going wasn’t for you.”

“Where did you go?” I whispered, remembering that she’d taken Zane, that he was wherever she’d been. Zane was Milly’s. And Milly wanted me to help her find him.

Her eyes were sad. “I don’t know. My memories were taken from me, to keep those I left behind safe.”

It was as if Milly was right there with me, her presence real. Like I could reach out and touch her. I felt her push me toward the words I wouldn’t have otherwise said.

“You’re a liar. A dirty, rotten liar!”

Her eyes went wide and I saw her tense. I waited for the blow to come. Surely she’d slap me for that.

Nothing.

She shook her head. “Pam—” and then she stopped, her eyes going distant and I recognized she was listening to Blaz. Talking about me no doubt.

“That’s right, more secrets!” I yelled and stomped back to my tent. I threw myself onto my bed and screamed, the power in me erupting into a physical manifestation. The ground shook and bucked and then, when I expected it to crack open, Milly was in my mind.

“Easy, Pamela, you don’t want to tip your hand. You are going to need your strength. I need you to come to me.” Her voice soothed and helped me pull the power and anger in. She was right. I needed to conserve myself.

“When?” I whispered the word.

“Soon, I need you to listen in to what the others are planning. Maybe you will hear where they took my son. And then come to me.” Her voice sounded so sad. So lost.

I flopped on the bed, tears trickling down my cheeks. “I hate them all. They hurt us both.”

A gray and white cat pushed her way into the tent, ran to my bed and leapt onto it, purring. She butted her head against my chest. Warmth spread through me and I automatically stroked her silky fur. “Where did you come from?”

Rylee poked her head in the tent. “Peta?”

I frowned at the cat. She just purred louder and curled against my chest.

“Get out,” I growled, staring at Rylee.

“You may very well be the strongest witch this world has seen, but that doesn’t mean you have to prove it every time the thought crosses your tiny teenage brain.” She snorted. “Peta, stick close to her, please.”

I glanced down at the cat and she winked her green eyes at me. “Peta.” When I looked back up, Rylee was gone and I was alone.

Curling around the cat, I laid down on the bed. At least in my dreams I had a friend. A smile warmed my lips as I closed my eyes.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing with Pam, then again, I knew what she’d been asked to do. What Liam had asked of her. Damn him for not trusting me.

Alex tugged at my leg. “Pamie sad, darkness is around her all the time. I sees it.”

I put a hand to him, resting it on his head. “Darkness?”

He nodded and then tipped his head to one side. “Pamie hurt, angry, lonely. Too many things she feels.”

That was pretty spot on with what Blaz had said.

She is at a crossroads. She will either chose to fight with you or against you. There is not much you can do, nor if you stayed would things be different. She had to face this on her own. As we all must make a choice as to what path to take at some point in our lives.