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Waterfall by Lauren Kate - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read This second novel in the Teardrop series is intensely romantic, with strong . LAUREN KATE is the internationally bestselling author of the Teardrop novels, the Fallen series—Fallen, Torment, Passion, Rapture, and Fallen in Love—and. "Torment " by Lauren Kate pdf, epub, fb2 Free Download. The book is Torment (Fallen, book by Lauren Kate Dilúvio – Teardrop Vol 02 – Lauren Kate.
Maybe Arriane just didnt like school in general. With her black nail polish, black eyeliner, and the black bag that only seemed big enough to hold her new Swiss Army knife, she didnt exactly look bookish. The classes here are soulless, Arriane said. Worse, theyll strip you of your soul. Of the eighty kids in this 24 place, Id say weve only got about three remaining souls.
She glanced up. Unspoken for, anyway. That didnt sound promising, but Luce was hung up on another part of Arrianes answer. Wait, there are only eighty kids in this whole school? The summer before she went to Dover, Luce had pored over the thick Prospective Students handbook, memorizing all the statistics. Arriane nodded, making Luce accidentally snip off a chunk of hair shed meant to leave.
Hopefully Arriane wouldnt noticeor maybe shed just think it was edgy. Eight classes, ten kids a pop. You get to know everybodys crap pret-ty quickly, Arriane said. And vice versa. I guess so, Luce agreed, biting her lip. Arriane was joking, but Luce wondered whether shed be sitting here with that cool smirk in her pastel blue eyes if she knew the exact nature of Luces backstory.
The longer Luce could keep her past under wraps, the better off shed be. And youll want to steer clear of the hard cases. Hard cases? The kids with the wristband tracking devices, Arriane said.
About a third of the student body. And theyre the ones who You dont want to mess with. Trust me. As much as Luce wanted to keep her own story a secret, she didnt like the way Arriane was treating her like some sort of ingnue.
Whatever those kids had done couldnt be much worse than what everyone told her she had done. Or could it? After all, she knew next to nothing about these people and this place. The possibilities stirred up a cold gray fear in the pit of her stomach. Oh, you know, Arriane drawled. Aided and abetted terrorist acts. Chopped up their parents and roasted them on a spit. She turned around to wink at Luce. Shut up, Luce said.
Teardrop by Lauren Kate
Those psychos are under much tighter restrictions than the rest of the screwups here. We call them the shackled. Luce laughed at Arrianes dramatic tone.
Your haircuts done, she said, running her hands through Arrianes hair to fluff it up a little. It actually looked really cool. Sweet, Arriane said. She turned to face Luce.
When she ran her fingers through her hair, the sleeves of her black sweater fell back on her forearms and Luce caught a glimpse of a black wristband, dotted with rows of silver studs, and, on the other wrist, another band that looked more. Arriane caught her looking and raised her eyebrows devilishly.
Told ya, she said. Total effing psychos. She grinned. Come on, Ill give you the rest of the tour. She scrambled down the bleachers after Arriane, ducking when one of the turkey vultures swooped dangerously low. Arriane, who didnt seem to notice, pointed at a lichen-swathed church at the far right of the commons. Over here, youll find our state-of-the-art gymnasium, she said, assuming a nasal tour guide tone of voice. Yes, yes, to the untrained eye it looks like a church.
It used to be. A few years ago, some calisthenic-crazed shrink showed up ranting about overmedicated teens ruining society. He donated a shit-ton of money so theyd convert it into a gym. Now the powers that be think we can work out our frustrations in a more natural and productive way.
Luce groaned. She had always loathed gym class. Girl after my very own heart, Arriane commiserated. Coach Diante is ee-vil. As Luce jogged to keep up, she took in the rest of the grounds. The Dover quad had been so well kept, all manicured and dotted with evenly spaced, carefully pruned trees. Weeping willows dangled to the ground, kudzu grew along the walls in sheets, and every third step they took squished.
And it wasnt just the way the place looked. Every humid breath Luce took stuck in her lungs. Apparently the architects got in a huge standoff over how to retrofit the style of the old military academy buildings. The upshot is we ended up with half penitentiary, half medieval torture zone. And no gardener, Arriane said, kicking some slime off her combat boots.
Oh, and theres the cemetery. Luce followed Arrianes pointing finger to the far left side of the quad, just past the dormitory. An even thicker cloak of mist hung over the walled-off portion of land. It was bordered on three sides by a thick forest of oaks. She couldnt see into the cemetery, which seemed almost to sink below the surface of the ground, but she could smell the rot and hear the chorus of cicadas buzzing in the trees.
For a second, she thought she saw the dark swish of the shadowsbut she blinked and they were gone. Thats a cemetery? This used to be a military academy, way back in the Civil War days.
So thats where they buried all their dead. Its creepy as all get-out. And lawd, Arriane said, piling on a fake southern accent, it stinks to high Heaven. Then she winked at Luce. We hang out there a lot. Luce looked at Arriane to see if she was kidding. Arriane just shrugged. Okay, it was only once.
And it was only after a really big pharmapalooza. Arriane laughed. I just saw a light go on up there. So somebody is home. Well, Luce, my dear, you may have gone to boarding school parties, but youve never seen a throw-down like reform school kids do it.
Whats the difference? Luce asked, trying to skirt the fact that shed never actually been to a big party at Dover. Youll see. Arriane paused and turned to Luce. Youll come over tonight and hang out, okay? She surprised Luce by taking her hand. But I thought you said I should stay away from the hard cases, Luce joked. Rule number twodont listen to me! Arriane laughed, shaking her head.
Im certifiably insane! She started jogging again and Luce trailed after her. Wait, what was rule number one? Keep up! As they came around the corner of the cinder-block classrooms, Arriane skidded to a halt. Affect cool, she said. Cool, Luce repeated. All the other students seemed to be clustered around the kudzu-strangled trees outside Augustine.
No one looked exactly happy to be hanging out, but no one looked ready to go inside yet, either. Then again, even though every kid here was wearing the same black jeans, black mock-turtleneck T-shirt, and black sweater tied over the shoulders or around the waist, there were still substantial differences in the way they pulled it off. A group of tattooed girls standing in a crossed-armed circle wore bangle bracelets up to their elbows.
The black bandanas in their hair reminded Luce of a film shed once seen about motorcycle-gang girls.
Shed rented it because shed thought: What could be cooler than an all-girls motorcycle gang? Now Luces eyes locked with those of one of the girls across the lawn. The sideways squint of the girls darkly lined cat-eyes made Luce quickly shift the direction of her gaze. A guy and a girl who were holding hands had sewn sequins in the shape of skulls and crossbones on the back of their black sweaters.
Every few seconds, one of them would pull the other in for a kiss on the temple, on the earlobe, on the eye. When they looped their arms around each other, Luce could see that each wore the blinking wristband tracking device.
They looked a little rough, but it was obvious how much in love they were. Every time she saw their tongue rings flashing, Luce felt a lonely pinch inside her chest. Behind the lovers, a cluster of blond boys stood pressed against the wall. Each of them wore his sweater, 30 despite the heat. And they all had on white oxford shirts underneath, the collars starched straight up. Their black pants hit the vamps of their polished dress shoes perfectly. Of all the students on the quad, these boys seemed to Luce to be the closest thing to Doverites.
But a closer look quickly set them apart from boys she used to know. Boys like Trevor. Just standing in a group, these guys radiated a specific kind of toughness. It was right there in the look in their eyes. It was hard to explain, but it suddenly struck Luce that just like her, everyone at this school had a past. Everyone here probably had secrets they wouldnt want to share. But she couldnt figure out whether this realization made her feel more or less isolated.
Arriane noticed Luces eyes running over the rest of the kids. We all do what we can to make it through the day, she said, shrugging. But in case you hadnt observed the low-hanging vultures, this place pretty much reeks of death. She took a seat on a bench under a weeping willow and patted the spot next to her for Luce.
Luce wiped away a mound of wet, decaying leaves, but just before she sat down, she noticed another dress code violation. A very attractive dress code violation.
He wore a bright red scarf around his neck. It was far from cold outside, but he had on a black leather motorcycle jacket over his black sweater, too. Maybe it was 31 because his was the only spot of color on the quad, but he was all that Luce could look at.
In fact, everything else so paled in comparison that, for one long moment, Luce forgot where she was. She took in his deep golden hair and matching tan. His high cheekbones, the dark sunglasses that covered his eyes, the soft shape of his lips. In all the movies Luce had seen, and in all the books shed read, the love interest was mind-blowingly good-lookingexcept for that one little flaw. The chipped tooth, the charming cowlick, the beauty mark on his left cheek.
She knew whyif the hero was too unblemished, hed risk being unapproachable. But approachable or not, Luce had always had a weakness for the sublimely gorgeous. Like this guy. He leaned up against the building with his arms crossed lightly over his chest.
And for a split second, Luce saw a flashing image of herself folded into those arms. She shook her head, but the vision stayed so clear that she almost took off toward him. That was crazy. Even at a school full of crazies, Luce was well aware that this instinct was insane.
She didnt even know him.
He was talking to a shorter kid with dreads and a toothy smile. Both of them were laughing hard and genuinelyin a way that made Luce strangely jealous. She tried to think back and remember how long it had been since shed laughed, really laughed, like that. I can tell hes attracted somebodys attention. Understatement, Luce agreed, embarrassed when she realized how she must have looked to Arriane.
Yeah, well, if you like that sort of thing. Whats not to like? Luce said, unable to stop the words from tumbling out. His friend there is Roland, Arriane said, nodding in the dreadlocked kids direction. Hes cool. The kind of guy who can get his hands on things, ya know? Not really, Luce thought, biting her lip. What kinds of things? Arriane shrugged, using her poached Swiss Army knife to saw off a fraying strand from a rip in her black jeans.
Just things. Ask-and-you-shall-receive kind of stuff. What about Daniel? Whats his story? Oh, she doesnt give up. Arriane laughed, then cleared her throat. No one really knows, she said.
He holds pretty tight to his mystery man persona. Could just be your typical reform school asshole. Im no stranger to assholes, Luce said, though as soon as the words came out, she wished she could take them back. You could find your way out of a foxhole in Siberia, girl. It was Eurekas favorite compliment.
She thought of it often when she was in a situation she needed to get out of. Im trying to connect with you, Eureka, Dr. Landry said. People closest to you are trying to connect with you. I asked your stepmother and your father to jot down some words to describe the change in you. She reached for a mar- bled notebook on the end table next to her chair. Would you like to hear them? Eureka shrugged. Pin the tail on the donkey. Your stepmother Rhoda. Rhoda called you chilly.
She said the rest of the family engages in eggshell walking around you, that youre reclu- sive and impatient with your half siblings. Eureka flinched. I am not. Reclusive who cared? But impatient with the twins?
Was that true? Or was it an- other one of Rhodas tricks? What about Dad? Let me guess distant, morose? Landry turned a notebook page. Your father describes you as, yes, distant, stoic, a tough nut to crack. Being stoic isnt a bad thing. Since shed learned about Greek Stoicism, Eureka had aspired to keep her emotions in check. She liked the idea of freedom gained through taking control of her feelings, holding them so that only she could see them, like a hand of cards.
Landrys, Dads calling her stoic might have been a compliment. He was stoic, too. But that tough- nut phrase bothered her. What kind of suicidal nut wants to be cracked? Landry lowered the book. Are you having further thoughts of suicide? I was referring to the nuts, Eureka said, exasperated. I was putting myself in opposition to a nut who. Never mind. But it was too late. Shed let the s- word slip, which was like saying bomb on a plane. Warning lights would be flashing inside Landry.
Of course Eureka still thought about suicide. And yeah, shed pondered other methods, knowing mostly that she couldnt try drowning not after Diana. Shed once seen a show about how the lungs fill with blood before drowning victims die. Sometimes she talked about suicide with her friend Brooks, who was the only person she could trust not to judge her, not to report back to Dad or worse.
Hed sat on muted conference call when shed called this hotline a few times. He made her promise she would talk to him whenever she thought about it, so they talked a lot. But she was still here, wasnt she? The urge to leave this world wasnt as crippling as it had been when Eureka swal- lowed those pills. Lethargy and apathy had replaced her drive to die. Did Dad happen to mention Ive always been that way?
Now Eureka looked away. Maybe not always. Of course not always. Things had been sunny for a while. But when she was ten, her parents split up.
You didnt just find the sun after that. Any chance you could dash out a Xanax prescription? Eurekas left eardrum was ringing again. Otherwise this seems to be a waste of time. You dont need drugs. You need to open up, not bury this tragedy. Your stepmother says you wont talk to her or your father. Youve shown no interest in conversing with me. What about your friends at school?
Cat, Eureka said automatically. And Brooks. She talked to them. If either of them had been sitting in Landrys seat, Eureka might even have been laughing right now. Landry meant: How would they describe you since the accident? Cats captain of the cross- country team, Eureka said, thinking of the wildly mixed emotions on her friends face when Eureka said she was quitting, leaving the captain posi- tion open.
Shed say Ive gotten slow. Cat would be on the field with the team right now. She was great at running them through their drills, but she wasnt bril- liant at pep talks and the team needed pep to face Manor.
Eureka glanced at her watch. If she dashed back as soon as this was over, she might make it to school in time. That was what she wanted, right? That would be a pretty harsh thing to say to a girl whos grieving the loss of a mother, dont you think? If Landry had a sense of humor, if she knew Cat, she would get it.
Her friend was joking, most of the time. It was fine. Theyd known each other forever. What about. Brooks, Eureka said. Shed known him forever, too. He was a better listener than any of the shrinks Rhoda and Dad wasted their money on. Is Brooks a he? The notebook returned and Landry scribbled something. Are the two of you just friends?
Why does that matter? Eureka snapped. Once upon an accident she and Brooks had dated fifth grade. But they were kids. And she was a wreck about her parents splitting up and Divorce often provokes behavior in children that makes it difficult for them to pursue their own romantic relation- ships.
We were ten. It didnt work out because I wanted to go swimming when he wanted to ride bikes. How did we even start talking about this? You tell me. Perhaps you can talk to Brooks about your loss. He seems to be someone you could care deeply about, if you would give yourself permission to feel. Eureka rolled her eyes. Put your shoes back on, Doc. Ive gotta run. Run from this session.
Run back to school. Run through the woods until she was so tired she didnt ache. Maybe even run back to the team she used to love. Coach had been right about one thing: Ill see you next Tuesday? Landry called. But by then the therapist was talking to a closing door. Yellow warblers harmonized in a beech tree overhead; Eureka knew their song by heart.
The day was warm and windy, but parking under the trees long arms had kept Magdas interior cool. Magda was a red Jeep Cherokee, a hand- me- down from Rhoda. It was too new and too red to suit Eureka.
With the windows rolled up, you couldnt hear anything outside, and this made Eureka imagine she was driving a tomb. Cat had insisted they name the car Magda, so at least the Jeep would be good for a laugh. It wasnt nearly as cool as Dads powder- blue Lincoln Continental, in which Eureka had learned to drive, but at least it had a killer stereo. They played the best songs by the best local and indie bands every weekday after school.
Theyd held the slot for her this year, but she hadnt wanted it anymore. The girl whod spun old zydeco jams and recent mash- ups was someone she could barely remember, let alone try to be again. Rolling down all four windows and the sunroof, Eureka peeled out of the lot to the tune of Its Not Fair by the Faith Healers, a band formed by some kids from school.
She had all the lyrics memorized. The loopy bass line propelled her legs faster through her sprints and had been the reason she dug up her grandfathers old guitar. Shed taught herself a few chords but hadnt touched the guitar since the spring. She couldnt imagine the music shed make now that Diana was dead. The guitar sat gathering dust in the corner of her bedroom under the small painting of Saint Catherine of Siena, which Eureka had lifted from her grandmother Sugars house after she died.
No one knew where Sugar got the icon. For as long as Eureka could remember, the painting of the patron saint of protec- tion from fire had hung over her grandmothers mantel. Her fingers rapped on the steering wheel. Landry didnt know what she was talking about. Eureka felt things, things like. There were other things: Debilitating sadness when she lay sleepless in bed. A heaviness in her bones whose source she had to trace anew each morning when her phones alarm sounded. Shame that shed survived and Diana hadnt.
Fury that something so absurd had taken her mother away. Futility at seeking vengeance on a wave. Inevitably, when she allowed herself to follow her sad minds wanderings, Eureka ended up at futility.
Futility an- noyed her. So she veered away, focused on things she could control like getting back to campus and the decision await- ing her. Even Cat didnt know Eureka might show up today.
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The 12K used to be Eurekas best event. Her teammates moaned about it, but to Eureka, sinking into the hypnotic zone of a long run was rejuvenating. A sliver of Eureka wanted to race the Manor kids, and a sliver was more of her than had wanted to do anything other than sleep for months.
She would never give Landry the satisfaction, but Eureka did feel utterly misunderstood. People didnt know what to do with a dead mother, much less her living, suicidal daugh- ter. Their robotic back pats and shoulder squeezes made Eu- reka squirrelly. She couldnt fathom the insensitivity required to say to someone, God must have missed your mother in Heaven or This might make you a better person.
At first, when Eureka ran into them in town bare-wristed, shed avoided their eyes. But after shed tried to kill herself, that wasnt a problem anymore. The girls looked away first. Pity had its limits.
Even Cat had only recently stopped tearing up when she saw Eureka. Shed blow her nose and laugh and say, I dont even like my mom, and Id lose it if I lost her. Eureka had lost it. But because she didnt fall apart and cry, didnt lunge into the arms of anyone who tried to hug her or cover herself with handmade bracelets, did people think she wasnt grieving? She grieved every day, all the time, with every atom of her body.
Dianas voice found her as she passed Heberts whitewashed Bait Shack and turned left onto the gravel road lined by tall stalks of sugarcane. The land on either side of this three- mile stretch of road between New Iberia and Lafayette was some of the prettiest in three parishes: Diana used to love this part of the drive to Lafayette. She called it the last gasp of country be- fore civilization.
Eureka hadnt been on this road since before Diana died. Every day some new pain found her, stabbed her, as if grief were the foxhole she would see no way out of until she died.
She almost stopped the car to get out and run. When she was running, she didnt think. Her mind cleared, oak trees arms embraced her with their fuzzy Spanish moss, and she was just feet pounding, legs burning, heart beating, arms pumping, blending into trails until she became something far away. She thought of the meet.
Maybe she could channel des- peration into something useful. If she could just make it back to school in time. The week before, the last of the heavy casts shed had to wear on her shattered wrists the right one had been broken so severely it had to be reset three times had finally been sawed off.
Shed hated wearing the thing and couldnt wait to see it shredded. But last week, when the orthopedist tossed the cast in the trash and pronounced her healed, it sounded like a joke.
As Eureka pulled up to a four- way stop sign on the empty road, bay branches bent in an arc over the sunroof. She pushed the green sleeve of her school cardigan up. She turned her right wrist over a few times, studying her forearm. The skin was as pale as the petal of a magnolia. It looked freakish. It made Eureka ashamed. Then she became ashamed of her shame.
She was alive; her mother wasnt Tires screeched behind her. A hard bump split her lips open in a yelp of shock as Magda lurched forward. Eurekas foot ground against the brake. The airbag bloomed like a jelly- fish. The force of the rough fabric stung her cheeks and nose. Her head snapped against the headrest.
She gasped, the wind knocked out of her, as every muscle in her body clenched. The din of crunching metal made the music on the stereo sound eerily new. Eureka listened to it for a moment, hearing the lyric always not fair before she realized shed been hit. Her eyes shot open and she jerked at the door handle, for- getting she had her seat belt on.
When she lifted her foot off the brake, the car rolled forward until she jerked it into park. She turned Magda off. Her hands flailed under the deflating airbag. She was desperate to free herself. A shadow fell across her body, giving her the strangest sense of dj vu. Someone was outside the car, looking in. She looked up You, she whispered involuntarily.
She had never seen the boy before. His skin was as pale as her uncasted arm, but his eyes were turquoise, like the ocean in Miami, and this made her think of Diana.
She sensed sad- ness in their depths, like shadows in the sea. His hair was blond, not too short, a little wavy at the top. Straight nose, square jaw, full lips the kid looked like Paul Newman from Dianas favorite movie, Hud, except he was so pale. You could help me! He was the hottest guy shed ever yelled at.
He might have been the hottest guy shed ever seen. Her exclamation made him jump, then reach around the open door just as her fingers finally found the seat belt. She tumbled gracelessly out of the car and landed in the middle of the dusty road on her hands and knees. She groaned. Her nose and cheeks stung from the airbag burn. Her right wrist throbbed.
The boy crouched down to help her. His eyes were star- tlingly blue. She stood up and dusted off her skirt. She rolled her neck, which hurt, though it was nothing compared to the shape shed been in after the other accident. She looked at the white truck that had hit her.
She looked at the boy. What is wrong with you? Stop sign! His voice was soft and mellow. She wasnt sure he sounded sorry. Did you even try to stop? I didnt see Didnt see the large red car directly in front of you?
She spun around to examine Magda. When she saw the damage, she cursed so the whole parish could hear. The back window was shattered; shards hung from its perimeter like ugly icicles. The back tires were twisted sideways. She took a breath, remembering that the car was Rhodas status symbol anyway, not something shed loved. Magda was screwed, no question about it.
But what did Eureka do now? Thirty minutes until the meet. Still ten miles from school. If she didnt show up, Coach would think Eureka was blow- ing her off. I need your insurance information, she called, finally remembering the line Dad had drilled into her months before she got her license.
The boy shook his head and shrugged. She kicked a tire on his truck. It was old, probably from the early eighties, and she might have thought it was cool if it hadnt just crushed her car. Its hood had sprung open, but the truck wasnt even scratched.
She glared at the guy. Your cars not wrecked at all. Whaddya expect? Its a Chevy, the boy said in an af- fected bayou accent, quoting a truly annoying commercial for the truck that had aired throughout Eurekas childhood. It was another thing people said that meant nothing. He forced a laugh, studied her face. Starling noted these unflattering aspects in Critias, saw him note the same in her. She reassured herself that Seed- bearers aged only when they felt affection.
She had coordinated what her taste buds told her with her charts. Most of Manhattan, all of the Gulf Wait for the others. Critias nodded into the darkness. They are here. Chora staggered toward them from the east, Albion from the west, the storm glancing off their cordons. They approached Starlings cordon and stiffened, girding them- selves for the unpleasant entry. When Starlings cordon had absorbed them, Chora looked away and Starling knew her cousin didnt want to risk feeling nostalgic or pathetic.
She didnt want to risk feeling.
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It was how she had lived for thou- sands of years, never looking or feeling older than mortal middle- aged. Starling is listing the fallen lands, Critias said. It doesnt matter. Albion sat down. His silver hair was soaked, his neat gray suit now mud- stained and torn. A million deaths dont matter? Critias asked. Didnt you see her tears destruction on your journey here? You have always said we were the protectors of the Waking World. What matters now is Atlas! Starling looked away, embarrassed by Albions outburst, though she shared his vexation.
For thousands of years the Seedbearers had struggled to prevent the rise of an enemy they had never met in the flesh. Long had they suffered the projections of his terrible mind.
If Atlantis rose, its residents would be restored to life exactly as they had been when their island sank. Atlas would be a strapping man of twenty years, at the zenith of his youthful power. The Rising would make time begin again for him. He would be free to pursue the Filling. But until Atlantis rose, the only things stirring in the Sleeping World were dreaming, scheming, sickened minds. Over time Atlass mind had made many dark voyages into the Waking World.
Whenever a girl met the conditions of the Tearline, Atlass mind worked to be near her, to draw tears from her eyes that would restore his reign. Right now he was inside the girls friend Brooks.
The Seedbearers were the only ones who recognized Atlas each time he possessed the body of a person close to the Tearline girl. Atlas had never succeeded partly because the Seedbearers had murdered thirty- six Tearline girls before Atlas could provoke them into weeping.
Still, each one of his visits brought his unique evil into the Waking World. We are all remembering the same dark things, Albion said. If Atlass mind has been this destructive inside other bodies, waging wars and murdering innocents, imagine his mind and body united, awake, and in our world. Imagine if he succeeds in the Filling. So then, Critias said, where is he? Whats he waiting for?
I dont know. We were all there. We saw her cry! Starling thought back to that morning. When Eurekas tears fell, her sorrow had seemed bottomless, as if it would never end. It had seemed that each tear shed would multiply the damage to the world tenfold Wait, she said.
Once the conditions of her prophecy were met, three tears needed to fall. The girl was a blubbering mess. Albion dismissed her. No one took Starling seriously. Obviously, the three required tears were shed.
And then some. Chora looked up at the rain. Critias scratched the silver stubble on his chin. Are we sure? There was a pause, and a burst of thunder. Rain spat through the cordons hole. One tear to shatter the Waking Worlds skin. Critias softly sang the line from the Chronicles, passed down by their fore- father Leander.
Thats the tear that would have started the flood. A second to seep through Earths roots within. Starling could taste the spreading of the seafloor. She knew the second tear had been shed. But what about the third, the most essential tear? A third to awaken the Sleeping World and let old kingdoms rebegin, four Seedbearers said in unison. That was the tear that mattered. That was the tear that would bring Atlas back.
Did the third tear fall to Earth or didnt it? Something must have caught it, Albion muttered. Her thunderstone, her hands Ander.
Critias cut him off. Albions voice was high with nerves. Even if he did think to catch it, he wouldnt know what to do with it. He is with her now, not us, Chora said. If the third tear was shed and captured, the boy controls its destiny. Ander doesnt know the Tearline is tied to a lunar cycle.
He wont be prepared for Atlas, who will stop at nothing to get the third tear before the next full moon Starling, Albion said sharply. Where has the wind taken Ander and Eureka? Starling drew in her tongue, chewed and swallowed, belched softly. She is shielded by the stone. I can barely taste her, but I believe Ander travels east. It is obvious where he has gone, Chora said, and whom he has gone looking for.
Outside of the four of us, only one knows the answers Ander and Eureka seek. Albion glowered into the fire. When he exhaled, the blaze doubled in size. Forgive me. He took a measured inhale to tame the fire. When I think of Solon. He bared his teeth, stifled some- thing nasty. I am fine.
Starling had not heard the name of the lost Seedbearer spoken in many years. Albion searched and could not find him Perhaps Ander will look harder, Critias said.
Albion grasped Critias by the neck, lifted him off his feet, and held him over the fire. Do you think I have not been looking for Solon since the moment he fled? I would age an- other century in exchange for finding him. Critias kicked air. Albion freed him. They straightened their clothes. Calm, Albion, Chora said. Do not succumb to old ri- valries. Ander and Eureka must come up for air sometime. Starling will discern their location. The question is, Critias said, will Atlas discern their location first?
In the body of Brooks, he will have ways to draw her out. Lightning flashed around the cordon. Water lapped the Seedbearers ankles. We must find some way to take advantage. Albion glared into the fire. Nothing is as powerful as her tears.
Ander can- not be the one in possession of such power.
He is not like us. We must focus on what we know, Chora said. We know Ander has told Eureka that if one Seedbearer dies, all Seed- bearers die. Starling nodded; this was the truth. Chora strummed her lips with her fingers. Eureka wont use the artemisia. She loves Ander too much to kill him. Today she loves him, Critias said. Name one thing more mercurial than a teenage girls emotions. She loves him. Starling puckered her lips. They are in love.
I taste it on the wind around this rain. Good, Chora said. How can love be good? Starling was surprised. One must love to have ones heart broken. Heartbreak causes tears. One more tear hits Earth and Atlantis rises, Starling said. But what if we gained possession of Eurekas tears before Atlas could reach her? Chora let the question seep into the others. A smile filtered onto Albions face. Atlas would need us to complete the rise. He would find us very valuable, Chora said.
Starling flicked a slug of mud from a pleat on her dress. You are suggesting we align ourselves with Atlas? I believe Chora is suggesting that we blackmail the Evil One.
Critias laughed. Call it what you like, Chora said. Its a plan. We track Ander, take possession of any tears; perhaps we generate more. Then we use them to seduce Atlas, who will have us to thank for the great gift of his freedom. Black smoke twisted up out of the cordons vent. Youre insane, Critias said. Shes a genius, Albion said. Im afraid, Starling said. Fear is for losers. Chora sat on her haunches and stoked the fire with a wet stick.
How much time until the full moon? Ten nights, Starling said. Time enough Albion smirked into the distance for everything to change in the last word.
Her legs fluttered toward it the urge to pass from water into air was irresistible but she stopped herself.
This wasnt the warm Vermilion Bay back home. Eureka was treading inside a transparent sphere in a dark, chaotic ocean on the other side of the world. The sphere and the voyage Eu- reka had made in it were possible because of the thunderstone pendant she wore around her neck.
Eureka had inherited the thunderstone when her mother, Diana, died, but shed only recently discovered its magic: The reason the thunderstone shield encased her now bewildered Eureka. She had done the one thing she was not supposed to do.
She had cried. Never, ever cry again. But Diana had never told her why. Then she died, sending Eureka on a quest for answers. She discovered that her unshed tears were connected to a world trapped beneath the ocean.
If that Sleeping World rose, it would destroy the Waking World, her world, which she was learning to love.
She couldnt help what happened next. She had stepped into her backyard to find her four- year- old twin siblings, Wil- liam and Claire, beaten and gagged by monsters that called themselves Seedbearers. She had watched Dads second wife, Rhoda, die trying to save the twins.
She had lost her oldest friend, Brooks, to a force too dark to fathom. The tears came. Eureka wept. It was a deluge. The storm clouds in the sky and the bayou behind her house joined with her sorrow and exploded. Every- thing and everyone had been swept up in a wild, new salty sea. Miraculously, the thunderstone shield had also saved the lives of the people she cared about most. Eureka looked at them now, pitching unsteadily beside her.
William and Claire in their matching Superman paja- mas. Eurekas friend Cat, whom shed never seen look so afraid. And the boy who with one magic kiss the night before had gone from crush to confidant Ander. Eurekas shield had saved them from drowning, but Ander was the one whod guided them across the ocean, toward what he promised was sanctuary. Ander was a Seedbearer, but he didnt want to be. He had turned away from his cruel fam- ily, toward Eureka, vowing to help her.
As a Seedbearer, his breath, called a Zephyr, was mightier than the strongest wind. It had carried them across the Atlantic at an impossible speed.Okay, orientations over, the attendant said. He had one chance. Alonso Zamora Corona. She would never give Landry the satisfaction, but Eureka did feel utterly misunderstood.
Perhaps you can talk to Brooks about your loss. The 12K used to be Eurekas best event.