Broken Wings(Dark Legacy #1) - Jaymin Eve

1

Death. So fucking final. I’d never realized just how final until that fateful night.

“Riley, hold on, honey!” my dad yelled as our car screeched and he swerved across the icy road, but there was no way for him to stop the inevitable.

Black ice.

Ancient car.

No chance.

We hit the embankment and the car rolled over and over. Since I was the only one with a seatbelt on—my parents’ had both jammed the day before, due to either cold or age probably—it held me locked in place as we tumbled.

They screamed my name, but I was beyond words. I was just plain screaming in terror. My mom’s side of the car slammed into something, halting us abruptly, and then there was silence. My head and ears rang as I fought against the darkness. I’d definitely hit my head at some point, and sharp pains in my chest and hand threatened to pull me under further, but I had to help my family.

Through the haze, I could have sworn a shadow moved outside my window, but my focus was shot to shit and couldn’t hold onto anything solid. My mom made a noise then, a whimper which almost broke through the ringing in my head, but that pained, terrified sob was cut off swiftly, and I heard a thump.

I wanted to call out for her, but consciousness slipped my grasp, and an infinite amount of time passed while I hung heavily against my belt.

When hands touched me, they grabbed onto my arm first. The shot of intense pain to my system dragged me completely into the blissful darkness of unconsciousness.

I woke to the strong smell of antiseptic. Blinking through the heavy haze, I tried to focus, but an incessant rhythmic beeping kept trying to drag me under again. “Riley Jameson?”

My eyes caught a flash of dark blue. Cops.

“Riley, we need to tell you something,” he tried again, but I was already shutting down. The darkness once again taking hold.

The second time I emerged from the pressing veil in my mind, I found my best friend, Dante, sitting by my side. His head was down, cradled in his tattooed hands, as his elbows rested on the side of my hospital bed. There was less fuzziness in my mind now, and before I could stop it, a whimper crept up from my chest and escaped.

His head snapped up, and I met his light, seafoam green-eyed gaze. I’d seen this look on his face only one other time and that had been a really bad night for all involved.

“Riles!” He reached out and touched my right hand, scooping it up and squeezing tightly. I barely felt it over the pounding in my chest and the panic trying to gain traction in my cloudy mind. I lifted my left hand to rub at my face, but it felt heavy and lifeless. I was too out of it to pay attention to why, so I just dropped it to the bed again.

“Are you okay?” he asked, leaning further into me. “Should I call the doctor?”

I shook my head. “No,” I rasped, my throat dry.

A cough shook me then, and Dante turned away to grab a cup of water. He was dressed in his usual black, ink visible on any uncovered skin. His head was shaved short again, that thick dark hair barely a quarter of an inch long.

It seemed like years since I had seen him last, when it was…

“How long have I been here?” My words were clearer this time, and I sighed in relief when he placed the straw against my lips and I sucked in the cool