Double Hearts-Part 3
“Elle. We need to talk.”
Words clogged the inside of my throat. They weren’t the important ones, not really. Those were buried deep inside my stomach, roiling about as I took in Evan’s appearance. He looked disheveled, shadowed. But then, I suppose he would. The ink on his arms shimmered in the light from the window, and the battle in my stomach kicked up. Evan caught me staring at the swirls of greens and golds, and he frowned, uncrossing his arms and tensing up.
“There’s more of them now.”
He let my words wash over him and his gaze sharpened. I watched him pull his bottom lip between his teeth as he considered his response. When he spoke, the words were careful, wary.
“Yes. There are.”
His eyes stayed on mine as I struggled to choke back the sorrow this caused me. His voice softened.
“Elle, it’s been nine years. You knew there would be more.”
He was right. I did. That didn’t make seeing them any easier though. After all, those marks were the reason the two of us had parted ways. Well, the marks and Jonah. Images of a past I never wanted to remember flashed inside my mind and, for a moment, I was lost to them. Pain, anger, regret, grief-all of them welled up in one giant wave and began piercing my heart with their blades. I lost my breath, closing in on myself like I used to do. Then Evan was there, just like he’d been when we were kids. Cool, crisp waves of calm descended upon my mind, and I drifted underneath them long enough to shut those memories back where they belonged.
I opened my eyes and met my brother’s glowing ones. And there it was, the reason the two of us could never be what we once were. It wasn’t about his power, not really. I didn’t care that the magick had chosen him and not me. What mattered was the price the power brought with it. The price he’d have to pay the rest of his life. A price I couldn’t bear to see him shoulder, and one he couldn’t stand to watch me grieve over. My brother was a druid, yes. That was a fate he never got to choose. But he was also a killer. And the marks? Those shimmering lines which painted themselves up and down every available inch of his arms? Those were his victims. Power has to be fed after all. And, judging by the lack of virgin skin, my brother was a very powerful druid.