I lay in Pagan's bed, staring blindly at the ceiling. The drive back had seemed unreal, like some horrible dream. The whole way back Darla had cried, sobbed, and moaned for her brother. Freddy had been silent, and I had stared out the window, unable and unwilling to process what happened.

I kept waiting to wake from this dream—I was desperate to wake and find Luke back at my side.

But Luke is dead.

The words rang through my head. They forced me off the bed onto my feet. I walked over to the window. Storm clouds gathered outside. I wondered when it would start raining. It was cold in the room, but I didn't care. I welcomed the chill—it matched the one surrounding my heart.

The gypsy had warned me. She'd said the awakening was dangerous, and she'd been right. The awakening had triggered something inside me. The rituals had changed me. I'd become darker, reckless—I'd given in to my anger and rushed to seek my revenge, not caring about the consequences.

Because of my actions, Luke was dead.

The demon had granted me my innermost wish—to see Macaven dead. But watching Macaven's body crumple to the floor hadn't given me any true pleasure.

Revenge hadn't brought my family back.

I'd tried to save my father and my brother but failed them both. Now their spirits were forever intertwined with a demon—an evil creature that was out in the world doing who knew what unspeakable things. It was my fault the demon was free. My reckless behavior had set that monster loose. And if the creature hadn't lied...if it told the truth...then my family was dead because of me.

I shook my head, trying to make sense of it all. Was I really just a puppet in the twisted creature's game? The demon had said our fates were intertwined and that it would see me again...that I wasn't yet ready to give it what it needed.

The memory of its words sent a chill down my spine. What does it all mean?

I threw myself down on the bed, closing my eyes and trying to clear my thoughts. Every time I tried, I saw the image of Luke's lifeless body crushed under the stone. I had fought against my feelings. I had been so scared to open my heart and let him in, but now I knew without a doubt...

Somewhere along the way, I'd fallen in love with Luke.

I hadn't truly realized it until I looked down at his broken body. In that moment, I knew how much I loved him. How much I needed him.

And now it was too late. He was gone. I'd lost him forever. No tears streamed down my face. I felt nothing now but a dark, deep void.

As I lay quietly, a cold breeze ran across my cheek, and I felt a pressure against my arm. I opened my eyes and sat up. Something was here in the room, something not of this world. A breeze rustled against my neck.

I'm here, Colina. The words slid across my mind.

"Luke?" It's him. His spirit was there with me in the room. I could feel it. I sobbed and reached out. His spirit was with me, but I couldn't touch him. I couldn't hold him. "Luke, I'm so sorry... I—" I hesitated and looked around the empty room.

I can do this. I can finally tell him how I feel. It's not too late to let him know how much I care.

"I love you." The words were finally out. My declaration was met with silence. The sadness, the heartache I'd forced back until now, came crashing down on me. I'd experienced every girl's fondest wish—I met the boy of my dreams—but my story was a little different.

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