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  • Writer's pictureE. Paige Burks

Deleted Scene Ahead!

So today I wanted to share a deleted scene from Return to Gexalatia, book two in the Gexalatian Tale Series! For more like this and sneak peeks at Return to War, follow me on Patreon!

To set the scene, this was the original ending to the battle with Lue. I decided to change it because I wanted to have a better way to segue into the meeting with Melinda and her father and their trip to Festra. Enjoy!

He gasped suddenly, feeling his knee buckle from under him. Bitter rage seeped through him when Nyx reached for him, panic in her voice. Her words were lost on him as he realized there was another arrow lodged in the back of his leg.

“Get back,” he commanded, pushing her away from him. He could have held the fax at bay if the battle was over, but not now. He’d never been able to control it when it really mattered.

Nyx gasped as he shoved her back, causing her to stumble, landing hard in the grass. Fear filled her when another arrow struck him square in the chest. Blood was covering his clothing suddenly, and his face was pained. Tears filled her eyes as she realized that this was it. Jet was going to die here. She glanced around quickly. There was no cover here, and she knew they wouldn’t make it to the trees.

“Jet,” she breathed. She moved to her knees, watching as he sank down to the ground, pressing his hands into the dirt. She reached for him, her heart breaking as he fell into the grass, gasping painfully. Blood was seeping from his lips. “Stay with me.” Her voice was a trembling whisper as she clutched the front of his shirt.

Jet clenched his jaw, wrapping a hand around the arrow. He could feel that it was lodged in his lungs, and it was difficult to breathe suddenly. “Get away from me,” he breathed, pushing Nyx’s hands away. “Get away from here.”

Nyx shook her head. “No,” she breathed. “I’m staying.” His blood was seeping into the fabric of his shirt, and it was still warm on her hands. Her eyes widened as dark symbols began to appear on his skin. What was happening?

Jet suddenly gasped, white-hot pain coursing through his body. He felt every muscle tense painfully, and he knew what was happening. He gasped, fighting for a breath as the fax twisted inside him, digging clawed fingers into his mind. A hot cloud of darkness began to fill his thoughts, and he knew he was losing control. His body was too injured for him to stop the beast.

“Go Nyx!” he gasped. The pain was suddenly unbearable as the monster dug through his chest, and he threw his head back in pain.

Nyx felt fear fill her as she watched him. She couldn’t understand what was happening as he seized, his body contorting unnaturally. She gasped, backing away from him when a low, hellish growl emanated from his chest. She fought to her feet when his eyes flashed open, glittering a dark, dangerous red.

A scream stuck in her throat when he suddenly vanished. She realized she was trembling violently as she looked around, seeing that she was alone. But that was only until a blood-curdling scream pierced the night air. It echoed dangerously around the trees, making it difficult for her to tell where it had come from. Frightened tears were in her eyes as she looked around, a figure finally catching her eyes.

She knew it was Jet instantly. His eyes were glowing red in the shadows, and she gasped when he stepped into the light. The symbols were across his face and his arms and long, sharp fangs protruded from his lips as he walked toward her. The arrows were still stuck in his flesh, but he seemed unbothered as his eyes focused on her.

Nyx gasped in fright, stepping away from him as he took a step toward her. “Jet?” she breathed. Her eyes widened when she realized there was blood splashed across his face and staining his lips.

He didn’t move, his eyes unseeing as he stood there.

“What’s happening?” she breathed, her voice trembling.

Jet was still silent. He surprised her when the glow suddenly began to diminish. The dark symbols were fading slowly.

Nyx realized that whatever had happened was being undone, and she ran to him, catching him in her arms when his eyes suddenly closed and he lurched forward heavily. His body was surprisingly heavy, his dead weight bringing her to the ground. She struggled to roll him onto his back, feeling tears in her eyes again. Was he dead?

“Jet?” she breathed. Her eyes shifted from his face to his chest, where the arrow was still. Slowly, she pressed her ear to his chest. His t-shirt was cold, soaked in his blood, and she grimaced, fighting down a wave of panic. Hope filled her when she heard a faint heartbeat and he drew a slow breath.

She drew back, searching his face. She pressed her hand to his face, his skin hot to the touch. She didn’t know what to do as she sat there with him. She couldn’t move him, he was too heavy.

“Wake up,” she whispered. She shook him lightly. “Wake up.” Her heart dropped to her feet when he didn’t respond. She gritted her teeth, shaking him harder. “Wake up.” Panic consumed her as she stared at him.

What was she going to do? She couldn’t just leave him here. He could be dying. But she might not have a choice. She would have to go find help. Guilt and worry made her chest feel tight as she moved to her feet. She could feel tears edging into her eyes.

“I’ll get help,” she whispered. “Everything will be okay.” She stared down at him, feeling terrible. “I’ll be back soon.”

She drew a hard breath as she turned away, wiping at tears that were rolling down her cheeks. Her emerald eyes shifted around the field, looking for his bag. She would cover him with the blanket and try to find a village. There had to be someone who could help.

The bag was easy enough to find, and she hefted it over her shoulder. She carried it back to where he lay, dropping it beside him. She was digging through it, trying to ease the worry from her chest, when a sudden gasp caught her ears.

Her heart leapt in her throat, and she turned her head. Relief dowsed her when she saw Jet turn his head, a soft groan leaving his lips. She threw herself onto the ground beside him, pressing her hand to his face.

“Jet?” she asked. “Jet, look at me.”

He turned his head, his brow furrowing. “Damn,” he breathed, blinking his eyes slowly. He gasped in pain when he tried to sit up, the pain from the arrow making him lay back. Annoyance flashed through him. This was great.

“You shouldn’t move,” Nyx said quickly, worry furrowing her brow.

Jet shook his head, pushing her hands away and sitting up.

Nyx felt her stomach flip when he wrapped a hand around the arrow, yanking it from his chest. She felt sick as blood oozed from his wound, and she looked at his face, seeing that he looked irritated, rather than as if he had just pulled an arrow from his chest. “How are you doing that?” she whispered.

Jet glanced at her, his dark eyes shaded. “My body will heal,” he said softly. He did the same with the arrow in his leg. The burning that he’d once felt was gone, leaving only the dull pain in his wounds. The monster that lived inside him had kept him alive.

Nyx didn’t move as she watched him move slowly to his feet. “What happened?” she asked softly.

Jet glanced at her over his shoulder. His heart caught in his chest. He didn’t want to discuss what had happened. He pressed a hand to his chest, feeling the toll that the fax had taken on his body. He licked his lips, tasting blood that wasn’t his. That was the only thing that had stopped him.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said quietly.

Nyx rose to her feet. “Well I do,” she snapped bitterly. “Is that an Acerbi thing too?”

Jet pressed his lips together, shaking his head. “No,” he said shortly. “It’s not.”

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