62. House of Cards

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Song: House of Cards by BTS. While I'm fangirling, thought I'd continue in this line. When your delicate house of cards falls apart... ARMY, lemme hear you!!!

Okay, seriously NOT edited, but you'all have been begging, and I figured you'd rather have it now than wait until the weekend. And, oh my, my, my... I can't wait to hear what you have to say after this chapter...

Chapter dedicated to @PinkFrosting100. Thanks for reading, and you were exactly RIGHT, love!

Chapter 62—House of Cards

Lucky

"Nooo!" Sydney dropped to her knees in front of me.

I didn't need to explain.

She fully understood just from my reaction. Arms wrapping around my shoulders, she held tight. Her voice quivered, "I'm so sorry, Luca."

We sat on the floor for several minutes while I composed myself. Sydney was silent...just there with me.

Kneeling for so long caused my legs to feel numb. I shifted position so that I was sitting on my butt with my back against the couch, my elbow resting on my bent knee. My head felt heavy, and I struggled to keep it up, finally just dropping it back on the couch behind me with my eyes closed.

Sydney's voice came soft, "I want you to keep it."

Lifting my head to look at her, I found she was also still sitting on the floor across from me. Her eyes glistened with emotion.

I looked down at my still tightly clenched fist and opened it to reveal the tiny gold treasure. I was desperate to keep the little locket, but I didn't know Sydney's sentimental attachment to it. Forcing the words out of my mouth, "Are you sure? She was your sister."

With a sad nod, Sydney replied, "Yes. She was. But she was your mate, and I know she would want you to have it."

Exhaling slowly, I swallowed down another sob. "I know why."

One of Sydney's eyebrows rose. She tilted her head, not following my statement.

Fuck. I had no idea how to tell Sydney that her sister was dead because of me. I thought I'd rather have my heart jerked out of my chest then be the cause of my mate's death. I was beginning to understand Hycinth's guilt. I didn't kill Madison, but she most definitely lost her life because of me. My voice hitched, "I'm so...s-sorry."

Sydney's brows furrowed. "What are you sorry for?"

"It's my fault that Madison's gone." The words tasted vile on my tongue. The truth truly was an ugly thing.

Sydney inhaled sharply but didn't say anything, just waited for me to continue. I tried, but the words stuck in my throat. The silence lingered between us. Closing my eyes, I hissed under my breath, "I can't believe I ever called that bastard my father."

"Alpha Grant?"

I couldn't look Sydney in the eye and hung my head with my eyes closed. Rubbing the delicate trinket with my thumb, I worked to gather enough courage. "Yesterday, Oracle Memoree visited us. Apparently, according to Alpha Grant, Leander wasn't good enough for Hycinth, so they devised a plan to kill him. Your sister didn't just get caught in the middle. She was targeted...because of me.  Another Oracle revealed to them she was my mate. That bastard had it all planned out. He felt if both my and Hycinth's mates were out of the picture, that we would choose to be together."

"No!" Sydney whispered.

"But he was wrong. Hycinth and I grew up as siblings. We never had any other affection for each other than that. Madison is gone simply because she was fated to me." My shame was too heavy. Throat locked tight, I couldn't hold my head up. It dropped lower.

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