Marked By Pain (The Marked #2)

Marked By Pain (The Marked #2)

Cece Rose & G. Bailey


For Gem, thanks for stalking me into friendship.

For Cece, thanks for making my stalking easier by being my best friend.



My fingers scrape across the ledge, holding on as the portal behind me pulls me to it. I glance down, only regretting doing so as I see the swirling blue portal and my grip on the edge of the stone slips. I hold in a scream as I try to get a better grip, only the blood on my hands is making it impossible to hold on. The stupid white dress I’m wearing only makes it harder for me to use my feet to climb up.

“Kenzie!” I hear Enzo shouting my name. I try to look up, only to have to use my hand to push a piece of rock that flies at my head away from me. I know Enzo won’t stop looking for me, even in all the madness of the flying pieces of rocks that are being pulled into the portal, and the chance he could die before he finds me.

“Enzo, here!” I shout back, and I see him look over the edge of the cliff I fell down. Enzo jumps, landing right in front of me on the ledge and reaches down, pulling me up into his arms.

“I’ve got you, it’s okay,” he says and gently kisses my forehead.

“No, it’s too late,” I mumble, shaking my head and Enzo squeezes me tighter.

“You couldn’t have changed anything about what happened,” I hear Enzo say but I’m too distracted to tell him he is wrong as someone jumps down and lands next to us. Enzo turns us so he is slightly in front of me as we face my father. He stands there, with his long coat blowing in the wind and a happy expression. He won.

“It’s your fault,” I spit out and he laughs.

“Goodbye, Mackenzie. Thank you for everything you have done for this world, but I’m afraid we don’t need you anymore,” he says in a cruel, emotionless voice. I’m too late to stop him when he shoots a blast of air at me and Enzo, sending us flying off the edge of the ledge and down into the portal. The last thing I see is Enzo pulling me to his chest and his dark eyes as he looks down at me.

Chapter 1


Sitting with my knees to my chest, while staring down at the cold floor of the warehouse, I reject the man's offer again. I don't even respond, choosing to try and ignore his presence in the room. I don't want any part in this resistance or their plans. I've just got to be patient, and wait for the right moment to escape or for the guys to come for me. I know they won't just leave me here.

“We've been here for two weeks, Mackenzie. You need to give me an answer soon. The men are getting restless,” he says. I've given him an answer, plenty of times, just not the right one. Well, the one he is after anyway. The door opens, and I look up to see Ryan enter the room. He whispers something to the man and then leaves, casting a regretful look in my direction as he leaves. It’s a bit late for regrets now, big brother. The man—Alaric—stands closer. I think of him as Alaric, as I refuse to call him anything else. He is nothing else to me. As he towers over me, I advert my eyes back down, not wanting them to meet with the man whose eyes match my own. He sighs and turns back away from me.

“Mackenzie, my child, if you will not talk to me, perhaps you will listen to your lover?” he asks, as he continues walking to the door.

Lover? The confusion settles into my mind, and I look up, wondering what he could be talking about. Icy shock sets in, chilling me to my damn bones, as a familiar face looks down at mine. He’s got a tight-lipped expression on his face, and his hair is messy. His glasses are noticeably absent, and I’m convinced he only ever wore them for show at school. He's never had trouble seeing during our training sessions, and I never saw evidence of contact lenses in his cabin. It was just a front, something to hide who he really is. What else was he hiding? Running my eyes all over him, I’m feeling both happy to see him, but cautious about the way he has shown up. I bite my lip as I sink back against the wall, bringing my knees up in front of me again, more tightly this time. One question breaks through all the other thoughts that I feel rushing through my mind right now.

What the hell is Mr Daniels doing here?

“Kenzie,” he says gently, making me remember the last time he used my nickname, moments before we kissed. I wonder if he uses it on purpose, to convince me to trust him.

“What are you doing here?” I ask him, and he sighs.

“Can we have a minute, Alaric?” Mr Daniels turns and asks him.

“Fine, but I want her to cooperate, I’ve had enough of this game she’s playing,” Alaric says firmly and walks out, slamming the door behind him. The harshness of the slam makes the whole wall slightly shudder. I look up as Mr Daniels kneels in front of me.

“Kenzie…” he starts, reaching for me, but I knock his hand away.

“Tell me what the fuck you’re doing here, Mr Daniels? Why the hell would Alaric listen to you?” I question him, and he sighs, rubbing his hands over his tired looking face.

“Will you please listen to me? That means not trying to attack me before I can tell you the whole story?” he asks me gently.

“Depends what you’re going to say to me, and it wouldn’t be trying, Mr Daniels,” I respond, and for some reason it makes him smile a little.

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