Chapter Twenty-Eight: Ghosts Of the Past

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"Madison what happened to Lydia wasn't your fault. We both failed her that day." The pressure of Miles' hands on my shoulders was too much to take and I tried to wrestle away from him but he refused to let go.

"She fell, that's all that happened that day. There was nothing either of us could have done." He argued but I kept trying to pull away from his comfort.

"Maybe not you, but I could have helped her. I should have held on. She screamed for me to help her up, but I just let go. I killed her. How do I forgive myself for that? How could you?" I shoved at him but his grip only got stronger. My thrashing hands did nothing to help me and it wasn't long before he managed to pin them both behind me.

"You were just a kid, there was no way your little arms could have held her weight. The same thing would have happened even if it were me holding her. It was what fate wanted and you know better than anyone that fate always gets its way." His hands were long enough to keep some distance between us even as he held my arms behind me, but just one more step and I knew I wouldn't be able to control myself around him.

"Stop trying to justify what I did! I deserve to burn in hell."

He took that last step left between us and all I could do was hold my breath.

"You do deserve to burn in hell, but not because of what happened to Lydia. You deserve to burn in hell because of what you're doing to me and I deserve to burn in hell because I don't even care."

His lips finally connected with mine. I could taste his hunger and his anger in the way he held me to him. He wasn't afraid of breaking me and for the first time I didn't think it was possible for me to break any further. I returned the pressure of his lips as my hands, that were finally free, pulled at his hair. It wasn't the kind of kiss I had always wanted with Miles, there was no gentleness or the feeling of flying. This felt like drowning and I wanted to dive in deeper still. Everything about his body against mine was electric. My heart was in overdrive and even as we clung to each other, I only wanted more of him.

He was the first one to finally pull away. I still felt the heat of his body as he held me close. Both of us were trying to catch up on our breathing but I didn't think it was possible for me to breath evenly with him in such proximity.

"I am to blame just as much as you are for Lydia's death. We can't start hating ourselves for living through something she didn't. I know she wouldn't want us to."

"I just miss her." I breathed. The earlier passion and emotion had all drained out of me. I just felt numb. I laid my head against his chest and he just held me.

"Me too."

******

Caroline paced in her room which at the moment ran to suffocate her. How had she not thought of this before? How could she have let it slip?

She had underestimated Arthur, again. She should have known that someone as old as him had probably learned every lesson there was to learn from this mortal life. There was no outsmarting or hiding things from him. He knew every secret there was to know about the Gifted. Even the deepest and darkest secrets.

Her phone buzzed in its place on her night drawer but she didn't move to pick it up. Everyone and everything related to them could wait, because there would be nothing left if Arthur managed to go through with his plans.

She had a duty to fulfill, as a mother, as a grandmother and most importantly, as a leader. She would not let her people down. Not this time.

A soft knock on the door made her turn towards it.

"Come in."

She had expected to see Julia who she thought would be fussing over her lack of resting. Julia wasn't who she wanted to see and fortunately it wasn't her, but the man she had been waiting for.

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