It wasn’t a question Olivia Brennan ever thought to ask. After all, once you've been to Hell and back, how much worse can things get? Her harrowing descent has already cost her everything - her home, her career, the man she loves. But when an enemy resurfaces looking to settle a score, she learns there’s more to lose than she ever imagined.
Purgatory harbors more secrets than the depths of Hell, and Olivia has landed smack dab in the middle of their tangled web. Faced with an impossible choice, she must reach into the darkest parts of her soul for the strength she needs to save everyone she loves. But even if she succeeds, will she ever be the same again?
Maybe some questions are better left unanswered. If there’s one thing experience has taught her, it’s that the universe loves to kick her ass.
Zane hit the floor hard, landing on his shoulder, and that's about the time I freaked out. I dropped to my knees next to him. I shook him, patted his cheeks, and screamed his name, but received no response. I didn't know anything about his "gift," as he called it. Had he just overloaded? Had I put him in some sort of weird, undead coma? Had he simply fallen asleep because the "show" bored him?
I grabbed a glass of water from my nightstand and splashed it in his face, but still got nothing. Tossing the glass aside, I looked around the room for other options, but saw none. Deciding to go get help, I jumped to my feet. Devon was right next door, after all.
I stopped halfway down the stairs, realizing if I woke Devon then I'd have to tell him what had happened. What Zane had seen. Nope, that wasn't an option. I juked back and forth on the step, having trouble deciding if I should run back up or down. I finally decided on down. My phone was downstairs. I could call someone. I ran into the kitchen and swiped it off the counter where I'd left it when I'd come in to make tea.
I tore back through the house and ran back upstairs. Who could I call? Portia and Tore were out of the question for the same reasons as Devon. Not to mention they weren't in the know about Zane's gift. My heart pounded harder as it dawned on me. There was one other option, but the question was, should I call him?
I made it back into my room to find Zane still heaped on the floor. The situation constituted an emergency. Drake would know what to do. They had been friends long enough that he'd have to know how to fix this. Even if he didn't want to speak to me, surely he'd want to help Zane. At the very least he'd probably want to know that I'd "broken" his best friend.
As we lay together listening to the clock tick and the deliverymen going in and out of my new place, something inside me started to hurt, too. I tried to wipe away an unexpected tear as it danced down my cheek. I'd always known I needed Devon, but until that very moment, I'd never fully understood how much he needed me in return. My heart ached thinking about the pain he must have suffered in my absence. Just imagining losing him made me want to hold on and never let go again.
Even though I was still very much in love with Drake, as I lay there with Devon, I realized there would always be a part of my heart that was his and his alone. No man would ever be able to touch it or steal it away. That part of my heart wished we were more than friends. The little part knew we were perfect for each other and hated any woman he was with because she wasn't me. That part of me knew — with one hundred percent certainty — that in another life, there would be more to us than just a platonic love.
I believe sometimes it's possible to have a relationship with someone that transcends being friends or lovers. It's something more tangible, and only the two people in that relationship understand it, yet neither could ever explain it to an outsider. It's the very definition of beauty and peace.
It was him.
It was me.
It was us.
He was my Devon and I was his Olivia. He was my butt munch. I was his dork face. He was the love of my other life, and I, the love of his.
With Mourning Inamorata in my hands, I sat on the edge of my bed. My fingers traced over the bumpy, raised surface of the paint. I imagined Drake in his studio working on it and his hand resting where mine was. Another piece of my heart broke. It was the closest contact I'd probably ever have with him again, and we were separated by unmerciful time. Drake longing in the past, me longing in the present. The connection felt just as strong and somehow just as distant as it always had.
I wiped away my tears and set the painting down on the bed. I'd only had a couple hours of shuteye, but I couldn't go back to sleep now. Everything was too painful. I didn't need a reminder that all I had left of Drake was a painting and a haunting version of what once had been.
A pale moon hung in the crimson-stained sky, surrounded by ominous storm clouds. I stood on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Below me was nothing but slate and darkness. A fierce, warm wind blew, yet the black water barely rippled. A gust blew the skirt of my long black gown. The material blew in waves behind me. The long bell-sleeves caught in the breeze as I raised my hand. The air felt thick, like wet sand slipping through my fingers. I closed my eyes to allow the wind invitation to my touch, but something about it felt wrong… very wrong.