Chapter Eight

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"Shade can you hear me? Shade? Braelynn! She's rousing, not quite awake yet though. It's ok, Shade. You're going to be ok. You're safe now. No one will hurt you. Can you hear me, Shade?"

The voice sounded familiar, safe, and gentle. Shade wondered if her mother had come. Maybe this was the hospital. Maybe she was dreaming, or worse, dead. She couldn't open her eyes yet, but she could hear the commotion all around her. She tried to move, but her body did not respond.

"It's all right. You're still hurt, so don't try to move too much. We've healed most of your wounds, but you should still move slowly. Your head is still healing."

Shade opened her eyes a sliver. The room's light was blinding, and it stung her eyes. Blinking, she quickly reached up to cover them. A thousand prickling, sharp pains shot through her arm and down her side. She flinched and stopped moving, groaning as she sank back down onto the bed. Every movement resulted in pain screaming down her body. She felt like she'd been hit by a freight train.

"Shade, are you still feeling some pain?"

She managed a slight nod as she gasped for air.

"Take this liquid. It will make you feel better," Braelynn's soft voice echoed in her head. She felt the warm liquid touch her lips and slide into her mouth. It tasted sweet across her dry, parched tongue, like honey-sweetened tea. Letting it coat her mouth, she sighed with relief. A moment later, the sharp aches faded even more, making it easier to open her eyes to the dimly lit room. Somehow, it didn't seem so bright anymore. They must have dimmed the lights when they realized she couldn't see.

"What happened?" Her voice was a harsh whisper, for her throat felt rough and dry like sandpaper. The room came into focus, and she noticed not only Braelynn but also Sary standing near her. She slowly sat up as Braelynn slipped a few pillows behind her, propping her up. She glanced down at her arms, studying a scatter of healing, scabby slash wounds. Her left hand also had stitches across the palm and was in an excellent state of healing. Holding it up to her face, she studied it more closely. Most of the wounds were in the mid-stage of healing as if she'd been hurt days ago and not hours.

"How long was I out of it?" Shade dreaded to hear the answer.

"You were attacked in your room about five days ago, Shade. You've been unconscious since then. You'll be fine. Your wounds are healing well. Braelynn was able to stop the bleeding inside your head, but it drained her so much, she was unable to heal all of your cuts completely. She was unable to wake you up, too, even though your head is fine now. It's almost like you were under some sort of spell."

Sary sat on the bed next to her. A sweet, concerned smile lit her face, crinkling her sparkling eyes as she patted Shade's arm. Her hair lay draped around her neck in soft waves of crimson fire.

"It was Darren. He attacked me. He came out of the mirror in the room!" Shade swallowed back her panic, feeling the events of that night rushing back. "Where is he? He was really going to hurt me. He wants me dead!" Tears stung her eyes, and for a moment, she wished to be back home with her mother. Her room seemed like a distant sanctuary in a forgotten dream. Sary hugged Shade tightly as her sobs overcame her.

"It's all right, Shade. I don't know how you did it, but somehow you trapped him in the mirror when you smashed it. He was incredibly angry and rendered entirely harmless. He was released from the mirror prison by the Teleen warlock and placed into one of the cavern's confinement cells, where he has been ever since. We've waited for you to awaken. The Queen is most upset and anxious to seal his fate," Sary said with her eyes shining. They were lovely and burned like jewels on fire. She stood up, retrieved a cup from beside the bed, and handed it to Shade, encouraging her to drink it. "Drink, Shade. You must be very thirsty. We gave you fluids similar to those in an IV in the human world, but nothing refreshes like a real liquid drunk into your body."

Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale #1) by Alexia Purdy (complete)Where stories live. Discover now