Four Days Later . . .

Beep. Beep. Beep.

“When’s he going to wake the fuck up?”

“Sir, please, you need to stay calm.”

“Fuck, calm.”

I know that voice. I would know it anywhere, but why is it penetrating the dark void that surrounds me.

“Sir, I’m sorry, but if you don’t calm down, we’ll have to have security remove . . .”

“You try to have me taken out of here, and I’ll make sure you all fuckin’ regret it,” he snarls.

“Félix,” the soft, gentle voice of Madelaine calls. “You’re not doing him any good fighting with the staff.”

“They’re doing the best they can.” I know the voice of this one too. It’s Sabine.

Shit. The sadness in her voice is telling. She’s not one for emotions and revealing anything. The woman is harder than some men. Sabine is known for shooting first and asking questions after. It’s what makes her different than my other sisters, who are softer and need protecting.

Now she and the rest of them are here. I know it. Félix wouldn’t be the only one with her, and there’s no way my twin sister wouldn’t be here. I can all but sense her nearness. Blame it on twin apathy.

They’re here. I’m alive, and they’re near me. I’m not dreaming of them as I’ve done in the past. I should be grateful . . . happy that they are, but all I feel is anger.


My head grows heavy again, and the bleak darkness envelopes me once more. Hopefully, when I wake up again, they’ll be gone. I’m not ready to face them or anyone else for that matter.

* * *

“Come on, little brother, wake up.” The pain-filled tone isn’t one I’ve ever heard from Félix, but hearing it pulls me from the dark and irritates me.

“I’m sorry Tris . . . fuck, Tristan . . . you have to wake up,” he murmurs softly.

I keep my breathing even, not wanting him to know I can hear him.

“I need you to wake up, Tristan,” he says more urgently. “I failed you more than I failed anyone else.”

My chest tightens, and his words hit the spot. Félix, my big brother, the oldest out of all of us, who has endured the most from Delano DeLancy, feels he’s failed me.

Rationally I know it’s not on him, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel he’s right all the same.

I’m not sure how much time has passed. However, Dimitri had me long enough to destroy my brother and me, and my family didn’t even look for me. They buried a body that wasn’t even mine.

Fuck, I don’t want to think about it. About them giving up on me and thinking I actually died. Did they even have a medical examiner check? Make sure it was my body in the accident? They’re all smarter than that. Why would they think I was dead without looking into it first? If they did maybe, they would’ve found me the way we found Désirée.

Anger takes over my surprise, and I slowly open my eyes and ignore the pain that attempts to slice through my heart. The grief on my big brother’s face is a look I’ve never seen before. I’ve seen him angered and happy. Never have I seen a tear spill down his cheek, not even at our mother’s funeral.

“Félix,” I croak out and wince at the pain speaking caused me. It’s like talking with glass stuck in my throat, and it burns.

Félix whips his gaze to mine with surprised eyes. Seeing that it was really me who spoke, he jumps out of the seat he is sitting in next to the bed and grabs a small white cup and fills it with water. Once it’s filled, he holds it out for me.

“Here, it’ll help,” he says, indicating for me to drink.

Tags: E.C. Land Crime