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Let me die. Please. I don’t want to wake up hollow and numb, a ghost of myself. I want to remember what it felt like to be touched all over by someone, be kissed like I meant something; if only for a moment. I want to remember what I went through, both the good and the bad. If I can’t, then I want to die. Please, please, let me die.

“Gemma Lucas,” a welcoming voice graces my ears. “Can you hear me?”

I blink my eyes open to wispy clouds lazily floating across a crystal blue sky. The sight is breathtaking and makes me feel calm and serene. Yet something about it is off. The clouds look almost too wispy, like a smeared watercolor painting, and the sky has jagged edges that slope in distinct directions as if it’s one gigantic, glistening crystal.

I roll to my side and through the gemstone grass, Where am I? “The City of Crystal,” I murmur. “What the hell?”

I quickly push to my feet. The land is paved with a winding path of shattered teal porcelain that leads to a silver throne perched on a podium. To my right is a crystal wall that fences through the grass, flashing vibrant images of people and landscapes like a television screen.

“Why am I here?” I turn in a circle, searching for life, a Foreseer, even Dyvinius.

“Gemma.” Suddenly a figure of a woman flickers across the screen then rapidly fades, lines covering the glass. “Gemma, can your hear me?” Her voice is glitched, but it’s still clear enough that I recognize the sound and pitch of it.

I race through the grass and up to the screen, panting as I tip my head back. “Mom, can you hear me?”

A woman with flowing brown hair and bright blue irises appears clearly on the screen. In the background, a circular light forms, glowing brighter and brighter until a lake forms, I’ve seen it before. The entrance to The Underworld.

“I need you,” my mom whispers, pressing her hand to the glass. Drops of water drip from her hand and down the screen. “Gemma, please help me… save me… I can help… I know about the star, you just need to save me. Please.”

I press my hand to the glass, lining our fingers up. “Mom, I don’t think I can… I think I might be gone… I think my body’s somewhere and my mind’s dying.”

She shakes her head, her hair blowing in the wind as the water starts to vibrate and ripple. “You’ll be okay… now please come help me.”

Tears burn at the corners of my eyes as I push my hand harder to the glass, as if I can go into it, however there’s resistance as the screen begins to splinter and crack. “How can I?”

“Look around you. Gemma,” she says as the water rolls closer to her, the cracks spreading and spider-webbing the glass. “You have so much power. The possibilities of what you can do are endless.”

“Is that how?” I panic as she falls back with the waves, her hand leaving the glass. “Mom, can my power save you!”

She reaches out as she’s hauled back into the lake. Seconds later, thousands of boney arms emerge from the water and pull her down beneath it. I scream, backing away as the image fades and the glass wall bursts. Sharp fragments sail through the air and claw at my skin as water rushes through the ruined screen and into the land around me. The force knocks my feet out from under me and I fall to the ground on my back. The rapids nearly slice me in half as they roll over me and I’m pulled away with the violent movement. I sink and then submerge, fighting against the water, flailing my arms and kicking my legs while trying to figure out how to swim. It’s a powerful force, though, one that I have no control over. And finally, I lose the willpower to fight and just let myself drown.

Chapter 1




It’s an echo in my head.

How could this happen? How could Alex do what he did? How could he hurt me… there’s so much pain inside. I hate it. Hate him. Hate myself for being so stupid and trusting him. There’s so much loathing and anger inside me that I feel like I’m rotting, spoiled, decaying on the inside and turning into something morbid that no one wants. The vile feeling spreads and the weight of it crushes me. I open my mouth to scream, but my lungs burst and bleed out; at least that’s what it feels like. At least I want them to because it will take away the agonizing pain inside my heart.

Never again.


I'll never trust anyone in this world again. I'll never get crushed. I'll protect myself at all costs; that is, if I ever get out of this darkness.

Then suddenly my head starts to buzz like a Goddamn bug trapped in a light, over and over again. It just about drives me crazy; it’s to the point where I feel like I’m going to gouge my ears out. I seriously consider it, too, but I can’t see past the darkness—I can’t see light.

My skin swelters with invigorating warmth, my body peacefully relaxing as the ground below me becomes soft and inviting. I feel content, blissfully and almost alarmingly content. Feel? What the hell… I’m supposed to be dead, or at least locked in a coffin within my own head.

My eyes shoot open as I bolt upright, but as the blood rushes from my head, I collapse back onto the mattress. I swiftly glance around and my jaw drops. After the dream I was having, I had expected to be buried in water, however I’m dry and breathing. Alive. Unlike my mom.

I try not to choke on the image of her drowning in the water, the Water Fey dragging her down, and I take in where I am. I’m lying in a bed in a room with pale purple walls and

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