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THE QUEEN OF THE UNDERWORLD

BONUS CHAPTER

 

Everett was relieved that they had succeeded in saving Lily and removing the possession of The Queen of the Underworld. She was vanquished now, leaving the faint taste of burning in the air. The cavern was still shaking from the battle, but the dust was beginning to settle. Everett’s ribs were still aching, but it had been a small price to pay.

 

The events that had transpired in the Underworld had shocked him—shaken him deeply—but it was surely worth it to see Lily happy and healthy again. The Queen’s shadow was gone, leaving the Lily that Everett remembered. Soft, warm Lily. 

He was overcome with gratitude. He nudged her away from the others, aware of Noah’s eyes following them; he needed to speak to her privately. He needed her to know that he had tried everything to save her. He needed her to know how important she was to them.

 The threat to her life—her soul—had frightened him deeply and he’d hated every moment of her absence.

 

“How do you feel?” he asked while giving her another brief scan. She looked whiter than normal, and blood was still wet on her temple, but she looked otherwise unharmed. 

“Strange,” Lily replied, with a faint smile. Her eyes were glittering in the Underworld cavern, so different to when she’d been possessed by the Queen, when they had been black, lifeless voids. “I feel so much lighter. Her presence was suffocating. It was like she was holding me by the throat.”

Everett shuddered. He could not imagine how horrible it must have been. How she had suffered watching the Queen hurt her family and friends. He had not realized that she was possessed, not until it was too late . . . and he knew that he had failed her. 

“I’m sorry that I didn’t realize about the possession. When I spoke to you, I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what.” 

“You don’t need to apologize. The Queen tricked you,” she said softly. 

Her forgiveness was almost worse. He felt like he deserved anger and disappointment. 

“It is me who should be apologizing to everyone,” she said.

Everett blinked. Of course, Lily would apologize. The Queen’s possession did not change her. She was still the same person. Even the darkness could not defeat her. 

“I’m sorry that I sent Seth after you,” she continued. She shook her head and her curls bounced. He jolted when he realized there were tears gathering in her eyes. “I hurt you. I hurt my mother. I killed the Vulcan.”

“It wasn’t you,” Everett exclaimed. “It was the Queen. We all know that.”

“What about Nate?” she asked, looking for quietly for reassurance. She was strangely timid and unsure. “He’s angry at me.”

Everett knew what had happened to the Vulcan, and while he was sad for Nate and Enya, it was not Lily’s doing. They were still emotional, acting out of grief at the loss of their father, and Everett knew how that felt. He could empathize, but he would not allow them to take it out on Lily . . . and neither would Prue.

“He’ll come around,” Everett said, with certainty. “Prue will make him.”

She smiled up at him. “I hope so.”

His heart lurched in relief. 

“I’ve missed you,” said Everett honestly.

“Me too,” replied Lily.

END

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