A Discovery of Secrets and Fate (Chronicles of the Stone Veil #2) - Sawyer Bennett



I’m numb, and I can feel myself sliding further into some sort of protective oblivion. Carrick and Zaid talk quietly across the room, but about what, I’m not sure. I’m too fragmented to use my hearing ability. Frankly, I’m not sure I want to know what they’re saying. Glancing down at the two fingers of bourbon Zaid pressed into my hand, I take a sip and note that I don’t even feel a burn as it slides down my throat.

I think I might be broken.

Because no more than half an hour ago, at my twenty-eighth birthday party, I watched my twin sister, Fallon, die right before my eyes.

If that sounds dramatic, it’s not. One moment, she was my occasionally frustrating, annoying, and overbearing sister whom I loved more than anything in the world, and the next moment, she was gone. In her place was a Dark Fae drenched in evil.

My sister was dead.

Of course, maybe not.

Perhaps Carrick and Zaid know what the hell is going on, and there’s some form of magic that can turn her back. The thought makes a tiny kernel of hope flare within my chest, but as I focus on their expressions—so grim and worried—it fizzles into nothing.

A lone tear falls from my eye, sliding down my cheek. I don’t bother to wipe it away. It’s too much effort.

I haven’t reached the point of breaking down into full-out sobbing—probably because I’m still too numb. Perhaps I’m in denial. I have a feeling when it finally comes, it’s not going to be pretty. If it happens while sitting here in Carrick’s condo, they have plenty of tissues ready, I’m sure.

After Fallon morphed before our eyes, Carrick ushered me out of the home my sister shares with her fiancé, Blain, and into a waiting car down the street. The entire ride, I curled into myself, bending at the waist with arms folded tightly around my stomach. I just rocked back and forth as we made a beeline for Carrick’s place.

Carrick was quiet and didn’t attempt to touch me. When we arrived at The Prestige, he put an arm around my waist as I stepped free of the car and kept it there the entire ride up to his penthouse. He didn’t do this out of affection, but rather because I’d almost fallen a few times on the way out of Fallon’s condo. I guess one’s legs turn to jelly when they watch their sister turn into a Dark Fae, but that’s only supposition on my part. Never had it happen to me before.

On the elevator ride up, Carrick even pulled me into his side so I’d lean against him and I couldn’t even be appreciative. I just wanted to sink to the floor in the froth of shimmery gold material that was my evening gown and be left alone.

Zaid was waiting for us as the elevators opened, and Carrick handed me off to him. It was the first time Zaid—a daemon who was neither obviously light nor dark—had ever actually touched me, but again, it was merely to hold me up. As he moved me toward a nearby couch, I glanced back to see Carrick doing something at the elevator doors. He was holding his arms up, palms out, and his lips were moving, but I couldn’t understand his mumblings.

Zaid deposited me rather gently on the couch where I merely slumped back into the cushions. I noticed that one of my strappy, sandaled heels was gone, and I have no clue where I lost it. To be honest, I didn’t even realize I was limping along without it. Moments later, Zaid thrust the bourbon in my hand with a harsh, “Drink this,” and went to join Carrick near the elevator doors.

There’s nothing to do but go over every horrid detail of the night. I recall that moment when I got hit with a bolt of dark malevolence, causing my intestines to feel like they were being jerked out. My twin, Fallon, doubled over as I had, clearly in the same pain. I knew it had to be related.

Watching her face flicker, disappear, and turn into a horrifying yet beautiful creature I inherently knew was filled to the brim with evil—my world splintered into a million pieces. I don’t see how it will ever be right again.

My gaze drops to the glass, and I raise it to my mouth. No delicate sip I can’t even feel. I toss it back, swallow hard around the large amount of liquor, and