Chapter Sixty One – Matt

Chapter 61 of Duskville: The Revenge

KayKen by KayKen

Matt

Even in unconsciousness, bruised and bloody, she was as beautiful as he remembered.

Her hair was a mess of dark curls, and her cheeks were flushed. If her hands hadn’t been bound behind her, she would have looked as if she were just napping, with her lips slightly parted and her chest moving with a gentle rise and fall of each breath. From the way her head had fallen against the pillows of the couch, her pale, arched neck was exposed.

Beautiful.

He could see the faint veins beneath the skin of her throat, and he moved a finger to trace them, but then paused.

No.

With great reluctance, he drew his hand back and curled it into a fist in his lap. She had left him to die. She had betrayed him. She didn’t love him.

It had been clever of her to take the underground trail, but Kendall was furious now that they’d lost both Elijah and Laurie. She’d smashed a vase to the floor, and had gone off muttering to herself. Anna had followed after her like a puppy.

That left Macon combing the forest for the Elves, and himself and Rowan guarding Shay and the other girls.

Matt glanced across the room at Rowan.

She was curled up in the corner with her knees drawn up to her chest, refusing to acknowledge him or anyone else in the room. Her brown hair obscured her face like a curtain.

She was a strange girl, sort of crazy, if he was being honest. He’d never seen someone so unhinged.

And there on the ground were the two Shapeshifters, side by side. He was there. The one Shay had chosen. But he had been protecting another girl. The cheetah. They’d had to tranquilize them both.

Matt wanted to kill him.

He wanted to kick him awake and force him to fight. Then they’d see who the real man was. The one who deserved Shay’s heart.

His eyes drifted back down to Shay.

He could still picture in his mind the way her face had looked when she’d seen he was alive. The way light had blossomed in her eyes and how she’d stumbled to her feet, looking as though she wanted to launch herself into his arms.

He thought that if she had, he would have crumbled then and there.

Every time he thought of her that way, something rose up like a wave in his mind and washed every one of those thoughts away. It had been drilled into him since Kendall had saved him.

She had left him to die. She had betrayed him. She didn’t love him.

His heart clenched and he gritted his teeth.

Another memory surfaced in his mind. The way the tears had trailed down her cheeks, the way her body had shaken. The accusing words she’d flung at him like daggers.

“No! You left me! You died! You said you loved me! You told me to remember that! And I did! I remembered that, and I loved you, too, and the guilt gnawed at me every day that passed that you weren’t with me! There was not one day that went by that I didn’t miss you!”

Guilt twisted inside of him.

He could remember a time when he said that he’d drive a stake through his own heart if he ever made her cry.

But she had left him to die. She had betrayed him. She didn’t love him.

There was a memory he wanted to see. One that he thought would sort out everything. If he could only just remember . . .

Something about a flower. A white and purple flower that he’d wanted to give to her.

The other memories he had were clear as crystal, as if he were watching them play out in front of him. Shay attacking him when he’d hunted her down for Seth. Shay claiming that she loved Jack, and then gathering the skirt of her dress as she ran up the marble stairs. Shay leaving him in that burning castle to die.

His fingers clenched tighter into a fist, nails digging into his palm.

He wasn’t supposed to feel this way about her anymore. She’d chosen someone else. She’d left him. She’d moved on. It had been so easy to think that way when he hadn’t seen her in over two months.

But then . . .

“I woke up from my nightmares screaming for the both of you, and you weren’t dead!”

The thought almost made Matt flinch.

He felt as if he were in a vicious tug-o-war between his memories and his feelings.

Every bone in his body screamed at him to bundle Shay up and carry her as far away as possible from the people who wanted to hurt her. But his mind said no. She deserved this.

She had left him to die. She had betrayed him. She didn’t love him.

Rowan’s eyes flashed over as Shay stirred beside him. Her cheek pressed into her shoulder, snuggling into it, and she murmured one word.

“Matt . . .”

© KayKen
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