This short clip is inspired by this song by Daughtry. It’s been one that’s been rattling around in my head recently. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cvm2OYF2p7E&feature=kp
The characters are loosely based on my book series.
Jet turned his head, watching water sling from the ends of his dark hair. He frowned, trying to ignore the pounding rain. He pressed his back against the large tree behind him, sinking to sit on the roots at his feet.
Over and over again, his conversation with Nyx replayed in his head. Each time he remembered the angry words that had slipped from his lips, and it made him sigh in disgust. Of course, being angry wasn’t something that was unusual, but the way her eyes had filled with tears was.
Was he finally losing it? Why did he even care?
She wasn’t normally so emotional. When he was mad at her, she would just get mad right back. She had screamed at him before and neither of them ever thought twice about it. But something about seeing her emerald gaze hurt and watery like that had made him feel like he was the worst scum on the face of the planet.
He couldn’t understand why he had hurt her feelings. He hadn’t said anything he wouldn’t have normally said, starting with what an idiot he thought the Count was and how dumb he thought she was for spending time with him. But maybe he had gone too far this time.
He glanced around, seeing that the rain was starting to subside. He grimaced at the way his heart twisted in his chest. Jet knew he needed to go back. He needed to apologize.
He moved to his feet slowly, making his way back toward the castle. He hadn’t gone very far, and it was soon in sight. He was surprised when he stepped into the courtyard.
Nyx lowered her Soul Blade from her practice stance. Her brow was furrowed with bitterness, but when she caught sight of him, she drew up short. She let the Blade dissolve, brushing wet, blonde hair from her face.
“What the hell are you doing out here?” Jet demanded as he stepped toward her.
She rolled her eyes. “If I want to train by myself, I will.”
Jet arched a brow at her as he crossed his arms. “In the rain?” Despite feeling regret, he couldn’t bring himself to say he was sorry. Fighting with her was much easier than admitting he was wrong.
Nyx sighed, her emerald eyes narrowing. “Jet, the war has been over for months,” she quipped. “I’m free to do whatever I want, and you can’t stop me.”
Jet clenched his jaw. For some reason, her words struck him hard. Was that what this was really about?
Nyx glanced away suddenly, nervousness creasing her brow. “And if I want to see the Count, then that’s what I’m going to do.”
“Seriously?” Jet suddenly demanded. He could feel everything inside him protesting, bristling at the thought of her being with the Count. “The man is an idiot!”
“At least he pays attention,” Nyx quipped. “You couldn’t give a flip about what I do with myself.”
Jet scowled at her. “That’s not true.”
“It is!” Nyx suddenly yelled. Tears suddenly flooded her eyes again.
Jet felt his heart drop to his feet. He had to understand what it was he kept doing that was making her react this way. He felt the fight leave him in rush, and he looked away. “Why do you keep crying?” he asked softly.
“I’m not,” Nyx said defensively, turning away.
Jet rolled his eyes. Were they destined to always do this to one another? “I’m not blind, Nyx,” he said darkly.
She surprised him when she turned quickly to face him. “I’m pretty sure you are,” she said bitterly. “Or you’re just too stupid to see what’s right in front of you.”
Jet drew a ragged breath as lightning suddenly flashed across the sky. He wasn’t sure what she meant by that, but he didn’t want to dwell on it. If she was in love with the Count, he didn’t want to know. “We should go inside,” he said quietly. The scent of more rain was heavy on the wind as it blew through the courtyard around them.
“Don’t you care about how I feel?” Nyx suddenly demanded. Her emerald gaze was hurt and borderline desperate as she stared at him.
“If you love him, I don’t want to know,” Jet said angrily, moving to step around her. “I’m going inside.” He wasn’t going to do this with her. Not today. Just because he was willing to stand beside her and protect her, it didn’t mean he had to be privy to all her gossip, too.
He wasn’t like her cousins, and he damn sure wasn’t her best friend. He didn’t care to know what she did behind closed doors, and just because he’d always supported her, it didn’t mean he’d support her on this. He hadn’t spent the last few years trying to save her life just to watch her throw it away with some dumb Count who probably cared more about a crown than about her. If anything, she should be stuck up his butt about him saving her stupid life so many times. And he shouldn’t be feeling this way about her. He had better things to do with his time than entertain her.
“I don’t love him.” Her voice cut through his thoughts like a knife, and he scowled down at her when she stepped in front of him.
“I told you, I don’t want to know,” he ground out. Bitter anger was welling inside of him. Why was she putting him through all of this?
A flash of lightning crashed through the clouds, sending booming thunder scrambling across the palace grounds. Fat, cold rain drops began to leak from the sky. Being caught in the rain wasn’t going to make anything about this better. Jet could feel his face pulling into a dark scowl.
“Listen to me!”
Jet’s onyx eyes narrowed as he looked into her face. He hated the way her emerald gaze was blazing, indicating that she wouldn’t just let this go. The war had changed her. If she’d been an annoying handful before, this version of her was more brazen, and definitely more annoying. But Jet supposed that was the price of seeing men die; you either succumbed to the violence or you let it become part of you. He still hadn’t decided what she would let it do to her.
“You can’t keep shutting me out,” she said fiercely. “I didn’t fight for you just to let this happen to us.” Her emerald eyes were angry suddenly. “I thought you would be different, once the curse was broken.” Her voice suddenly lost its edge, and she looked away. “That you could admit that you actually care about me.”
Jet’s heart flip-flopped. His thoughts fled as he stared at her. Was that what all of this had been about? His mind supplied him with their trip to Austia, forcing him to remember the way her lips had felt against his. The memory made something inside him twist, filling him with the instinct to run away. It took every bit of self-control he possessed to stay rooted to where he was standing.
“I am different,” he managed finally. “And I’m not shutting you out.” He watched as she shook her head, a resigned look on her face.
“Keep telling yourself that,” she said softly.
Nyx turned away as the fat, far-between drops suddenly turned into fast-flowing rain. She made her way toward the castle as it drenched her. Somehow, being caught in a downpour was worse than the time she had fallen into the pond. She didn’t look back as she ran up the stairs to her suite.
She didn’t want to think about Jet anymore as she slammed the door behind her.