Free Armageddon by Jasper T. Scott

Book: Armageddon by Jasper T. Scott Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jasper T. Scott
Tags: Science-Fiction
of him, his pulse singing in his ears and his blood burning with desire. She had conveniently distracted him from the speech he’d planned to deliver. There would be a more appropriate time to tell her the truth.
    Ceyla pushed him onto the bed, assaulting him with kisses and crawling on top of him with eager haste to finish what she’d started.
    Later, as they lay naked and gasping beside one another, enough clarity returned to Atton’s mind for him to wonder at the wisdom of showing Ceyla the ring before he’d told her who she was really going to marry. Atton found the blue box on the night table and turned to Ceyla. She smiled, her cheeks flushed red from exertion, and her eyes bright with emotion. She held out her hand for him to put on the ring, and Atton didn’t have the heart to hold back. He opened the box and slid the ring onto her finger.
    “It’s beautiful,” she whispered. “Is it…”
    “Real?” Atton nodded.
    “How did you afford something like this?”
    Atton took a breath. “I—”
    Suddenly Ceyla gasped and sat up straighter. The sheets puddled in her lap, baring her breasts and distracting him once more.
    “What is it?” he asked.
    “I haven’t even met your parents yet!”
    “I haven’t met yours either.”
    Another lie. Atton had been there when Ceyla had first come to Avilon and been reunited with her parents. She’d been orphaned during the Sythian invasion, and it had been more than ten years since she’d seen them. Unfortunately, her joy had lasted only as long as it took for her to realize that Omnius was a human creation, and that he’d resurrected everyone via physical rather than spiritual means.
    “My parents are dead,” Ceyla replied. Atton frowned. They weren’t dead, but he supposed that to her, maybe they were. That didn’t bode well for what he had to tell her.
    “Well, my parents are also Etherians,” Atton said, hoping to broach the topic with that admission. He had deliberately not talked about his parents before, hoping to avoid awkward conversations that might reveal who he really was.
    “I guess that makes sense. Your last name is Thardris, after all.”
    Atton grimaced at the reminder of his lies. “Yeah.”
    “So who are they? You’re not the overseer’s son, but you must be related to him.”
    “He’s my grandfather.”
    “Do you still see him?”
    Atton shook his head.
    Ceyla blew out a breath. “That’s a relief.”
    “Why’s that?”
    “I don’t trust Omnius, and I don’t trust any of his puppets either. I wouldn’t even want to be in the same room as the grand overseer.”
    Atton nodded and Ceyla snuggled closer to him. She laid her head on his chest and held out her hand to admire her ring. “We’ve just got each other. We’re going to grow old together, Darin, and then one day, after a long and happy life, we’re going to die and live together in a real paradise—in the real Etheria.”
    Those words sliced through the slender hope that Atton still clung to, dropping him into an abyss of guilt and despair. He had hoped that he could escape the Null Zone and his involvement with the Resistance, that he could convince Ceyla to join him in Etheria. Then there’d be no more need for him to lie.
    “Don’t you think it would be safer for us to raise children in Etheria?” Atton asked.
    “Safer?” Ceyla snorted. “We’d die and wake up in the real Etheria, with Etherus asking us why we decided to kill ourselves.”
    Atton tried to wrap his head around Ceyla’s thinking. “What if you’re wrong? What if life goes on without a blip, and we’re still the same people that we were before?”
    “But we won’t be.”
    “What if I could prove to you that people don’t change after they’re resurrected? In the Uppers we won’t have to worry about the violence and crime. We’ll be living in luxury, not poverty, and we won’t even be allowed to make mistakes. It’s a real utopia. How is that any different from the paradise you

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