The Touch of Death

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Summary

"Excuse me?" I hissed. "You heard me," he snapped. "I'm gonna hear a lot of things when I shove my foot up your ass." "Kitten has spunk." Dick. Celeste isn’t your average 17-year-old girl. In fact, Celeste isn’t even human. Taken in by a family friend after her mother’s murder, she moves across the country to restart her life. When Celeste learns the truth of who and what she is, she’s determined to keep it a secret. Even from her ever-persistent next-door neighbors, who also happen to be the town’s notorious playboys. As time goes on and the boys grow closer to her heart, Celeste worries she will lose them forever one way or another. She fears they will learn the truth and leave, or that they will be her very demise. But what happens when Celeste finds out the boys aren’t who they say they are either? Her secret could destroy them all.

Genre:
Fantasy / Romance
Author:
Emily Harvey
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
37
Rating:
4.9 63 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter One

Two Years Ago

VIBRATIONS FROM HER SCREAMS shook the empty household. Her cries of terror echoing with the fall wind. No single soul would have guessed such sounds of agony could spew from a girl as little as herself.

Her voice cracks as her sobs shake her young body. The heartstrings attached to her innocent heart snap in half.

Her weak bones nearly shatter upon impact as she collapses to the hardwood floor. The fifteen-year-old’s boney fingers clutch at her chocolate brown strands of hair, nearly ripping them from her scalp. The neverending pool of tears falls from her deep brown eyes.

Her one wish is to rip them out, praying the world in front of her would disappear. What she had just witnessed would stay with her forever, and that’s what Celeste was afraid of.

Murder.

Celeste has never been witness to such a traumatic event. She has always hoped she’d never have to, but that’s no longer the case.

The body nearly five feet from Celeste’s crumpled form lay mangled and torn to shreds. The face would no longer be recognizable to anyone. Regardless, she knew who it was and Celeste wished she couldn’t.

Blood continuously oozed from multiple wounds, including the slit in the woman’s neck. It became obvious there was no life left in the body as the lips were chill blue and the skin pale as a sheet of paper.

The once beautiful thin strands of brown hair, similar to Celeste’s own, lay knotted and matted with blood around the scalp. A leg was twisted awkwardly, the face turned away from Celeste’s weeping form.

Other than her own mother’s crumpled body at their doorstep, there was one other image Celeste couldn’t seem to erase from her mind. When her mother’s screams had woken Celeste, she scrambled out of bed and gazed out her window.

Besides a dead body, no one had been outside. Except Celeste swore she had seen a few pairs of red eyes. They seemed to be staring up at her from the next of the woods about fifty yards from her front lawn. Whoever, or whatever they were, she knew they had been watching her.

From that point forward, Celeste’s sobs and screams of horror filled their once peaceful home. She isn’t aware of how long she has been crying out for her mother to wake up; the only thought coursing through her brain is “why”.

The paramedics couldn’t arrive fast enough, though Celeste could barely recall if she had actually dialed 911. Her mind is frazzled, jumbled with sorrow, regret, guilt, anger, and confusion. It took everything within her not to collapse as her mother had some time ago: utterly lifeless.

“Momma, p-please,” Celeste begged. “Wake up.” Her whimpering drew the attention of a concerned family friend. The screams coming from this home was unbearably loud and he came as soon as he could.

His strong arms silently wrapped around Celeste, bending down behind her and whispering soft and soothing words. They didn’t help, not by a long shot, but at least she knew she wasn’t alone. Celeste knew she still had him, the only family figure she had left on this planet.

As the sirens sounded from a distance, Michael gently wraps an arm around Celeste’s back and under her legs, lifting her off the floor with ease. He turns and walks out the back slider door, careful with the precious cargo he held in his arms.

Now that Christy Allen, Celeste’s mother, lay dead, Michael knew he is the only thing standing between Celeste and her mother’s same fate. Christy had made many mistakes in her lifetime, but all she’s done with her daughter at heart.

Throughout her years, Celeste had shown signs of her powers early on as well as a temper. Christy knew her daughter wouldn’t be fully human, though she refused to acknowledge the entire truth. Celeste wasn’t human at all.

In result, Christy had brushed little incidents off, saying Celeste was going through an attitude faze. However, Michael knew better. During Celeste’s freshman year of high school, she had thrown a lamp at a kid for being depressed, telling him to “lighten the fuck up”. Whatever that meant.

Although Christy refused to accept it, she still kept Celeste hidden throughout the years. It pissed him off, though Christy found that it was definitely worth it.

One day Celeste would have to face her father as it is written in blood, but that day is not today. Michael now has to step up as her guardian, protect her, and train her. Michael is an Archangel, and he is very powerful so he should have no problem looking after her.

But soon Celeste will be even more so.

Rounding the backside of the house, howling in the distance caught Michael’s attention, his body stiffening.

Hellhounds.

His bright blue eyes glance down at the now sleeping Celeste. The trauma and the crying had exhausted her to the point of unconsciousness. Celeste would soon come into her full powers and with that came a risk: Her fall to the demon.

As the police officers and paramedics stormed into Celeste’s former home in the suburbs, Michael took off. He couldn’t jump off into the skies without being seen, so his speed would have to do.

Traveling over two-thousand miles across the country would exhaust him, but he had no choice. Not until Celeste was safe.

A war is brewing and the blood-bound script, a prophecy, states Celeste is at the center of it. She’s only fifteen; her birthday only a week away.

All hell will break loose and those she meets along the way will either make or break her. But in the end, she will have to decide on her own.

Soon, everything changes and hell on earth will begin.



PART ONE

August 24th, 2018

AN OBNOXIOUS VIBRATION from within my hands startled me. I jumped in my seat, my finger slipping over the phone screen and dying in my game. I scowled at the device as it read, “You have failed. Try again?”

Way to rub it in my face, you piece of shit.

Sighing, I looked through my notifications to see I had a text message from Michael.

Michael: Meet me at the station before you head home.

Having a cop for an adoptive parent definitely has some perks, don’t get me wrong, but it was the moments like these where I dreaded it.

Me: Okay, picking up my schedule now. I’ll lyk when I’m on my way.

I clicked off my phone and placed it on my lap, readjusting my position as I grew uncomfortable. I’ve probably sat outside this damn office for a good twenty minutes. Another screech sounded through the not-so-sound-proof office walls. It was clear someone was not having a good day.

My body nearly jumped again when the thick wooden office door slammed open. A slim teenage girl around my age walked out, her chin held high. Bleach blonde hair, high cheekbones, slim waist, tight pink mini skirt, and a matching crop top.

Yay me, I get to meet the real-life Barbie Doll.

She seemed to have felt my stare as she suddenly notices my presence. At first, she seemed surprised, but once she took me in - chocolate brown hair, matching eyes, while wearing a white sweater with skinny jeans and converse - she did not seem impressed.

She also had bright blue eyes. How cliche.

Her perfectly trimmed eyebrow raised. “Are you knew?”

Her voice reminded me of rose thorns. Don’t ask why, because I don’t know either.

“Yeah, I just moved here this morning.”

“Oh?” She suddenly seemed pleased and it frightened me slightly.

“Well, let me be the first to welcome you to Allegan High.”

She wasn’t technically the first but taking another look at her clothing choice, I decided to keep that tidbit of information to myself.

“Thanks,” I smiled.

And with that, she nodded and walked away. The clicking of her five-inch heels tapping against the tiled floor is going to haunt me in my dreams. I could never imagine wearing such a monstrosity of a shoe. Though her being here piqued my curiosity about this town.

Allegan, Michigan is nothing but long roads, wheat fields, corn fields, smelly farm animals, barns, and lack of any good signal.

With a population of 3,572 - correction, 3,574 unfortunately, it was certainly nothing above average. In other words, boring as hell. I’m just glad Michael had installed the WiFi last night. After the long road trip from California, I was having Xbox withdrawals.

A man dressed in a gray suit stepped out from the doorway, waving me in. He looked to be in his late forties with his pepper stubble dotting his chin. Although, with what I think had just gone down in here a few minutes prior, I could be completely off and this guy could be in his late twenties.

Who knew?

“Welcome, Celeste.” He greeted.

“Thank you,” I smiled as I followed him into his office.

It was an average size room. The wooden desk planted in the middle took up most of the space, while the three bookshelves lining the back wall took up any room left behind it.

There lay two brown leather chairs angled towards his desk. I decided to sit in the one to my right. Once comfortable, the principal, Mr. Parker, handed me a slip of paper. I took it, my eyes scanning over its content.

Ah, my schedule.

Let’s see here... AP English, World History, Personal Finance, AP Biology - I’m so going to regret that one - and Trigonometry.

I’m already regretting this.

“I’m sure your father has gone over most of this with you already, so I’ll just keep this short.” Mr. Parker said.

Wait, what? What was Michael supposed to go over with me? I don’t remember this. Fuck.

“You have five periods, each class lasts seventy-two minutes with a six-minute passing time in between. Your lunch, either A or B is based on your grade. Since you’re a senior, you have B lunch.”

“Okay,” I nodded. Somewhat following along. I think I was still stuck on the part where Michael was supposed to debrief me on this but hasn’t yet. Fucker.

“School starts on Monday, the twenty-seventh, and orientation tomorrow is completely optional. Your locker number and combination is listed above your classes as well as your new school email and password.”

Oh, that’s cool. “Sweet, thank you.”

“You’re welcome, Celeste. I hope you enjoy your senior year here at Allegan High.”

I sure fucking hope so. “I’m sure I will,” I smiled.

Mr. Parker stood and reached his hand out. I took it and shook his hand, thanking him once again and left.

As I exited the double doors, I sent Michael a text.

Me: On my way.

Just outside the front entrance were the student and staff parking lot. The entire lot was huge and I made a mental note to get here early for a good parking spot. Unlocking my car, I placed my phone in my back pocket as I reached the driver’s side door.

Not going to lie, every time I walk up to this car, I drool and fall in love with it all over again. It’s a brand new Audi R8 with a V10 engine and painted in red. She’s a fucking dream.

I had begged Michael for over a year for this car, even tried to bribe him, but nothing had worked. Or so I thought. Two years and a perfect driving record later, I finally got her.

A pleasant sigh escaped my lips as I sat comfortably in the khaki leather seat and buckled up. Pulling up Google Maps, I typed in the address of Allegan Police Station and started on my way.

Michael had just got the job two days ago before we had even arrived. Don’t ask me how he managed that, because I have no idea.

Although, it might have something to do with the fact that he’s an Angel. Well, an Archangel more specifically. However, his proper title is “Saint Michael the Archangel.”

Michael had lead God’s armies against Satan, was a healer and protector of mankind, and loved by all. Now? Well, he just protects me. He left mankind in the hands of his brother, Raphael.

Of all the stories Michael would tell me of his six brothers, the Raphael ones were my favorite.

It took no longer than a few minutes to arrive at the station and find a parking spot. The town was smaller than a rat’s ass. I hopped out of my car, locking it behind me as I strolled up to the double doors of the one-story brick building. “Allegan County Police Station” was plastered above the front entrance, a few lights dangled above to keep the sign visible at night.

The sun was already starting to set and it was only five-thirty. This place is weird.

A sigh escaped my lips as I headed inside. Today was Friday and that meant school started in a couple of days. New school, new car, new house, new neighborhood, new people, and yet I’m still the same “freak.” And by a freak, I mean that I’m an actual freak. I’m not even human.

I’m a hybrid... with slight anger issues.

I wasn’t ashamed of who I was, but there were quite a few times where I wished I was a normal human being. Especially since that night two years ago. My mother’s blood-curdling scream echoed in my ears and I visibly winced. Tears started to pool in my eyes and I bit my lip. I pushed the memories away, unable to face them today.

Happy death-day, momma.

Pushing the emotions away, I focused on the task at hand. My eyes caught on the front desk to my left. The rounded wooden structure sat against the far wall, directly next to the hallway on the right that led the deputy offices.

I had been there earlier this morning helping Michael carry in his things. You could never imagine the number of things he would need at his desk alone. And let me tell you, It was a really tight space back there.

The man seated behind the desk wasn’t who I had met yesterday. He had been a kind guy in his late twenties with beautiful green eyes and blonde hair.

The man that sat there now was tall and round. The scruff on his chin revealed that he hasn’t shaved in a few days. His bushy gray eyebrows were pinched together in concentration.

What on earth was on that monitor that could be so interesting?

I glanced at his tag, his last name read “Willis.”

“Officer Willis?”

The gruffly looking man glanced up from his computer and frowned, then returned his gaze to the screen. I had the urge to snap my fingers in front of his face but kept my calm. Was it wrong for me to feel insulted by an over-weight police officer who was probably in his late forties?

“What do you need?” He grumbled.

I mentally rolled my eyes. Wow, I’m a bitch.

“I’m here to see my father, Deputy Michael Allen.”

Officer Willis sighed and glanced back up at me. “Take a seat in one of the chairs behind you and he’ll be out in a moment.”

“Okay.”

Annnd he’s back to the computer screen.

My initial reaction was growl at the man, but that would only raise eyebrows and freak the poor guy out. So, for the sake of his sanity and Michael’s job, I refrained.

I think I’m bitchy because I’m horny and single. Shit. I need to get laid.

The waiting room itself was pretty small with only one row of chairs. The row consisted of eight or nine chairs and they were the doctors-office kind. Hard and uncomfortable. I winced.

Besides myself, there was only one other person in the waiting room. He sat in the corner to the left, a dark gray hoodie pulled up over his head and a tattered magazine shoved in his face. His black combat boots would have looked brand new if it weren’t for the insanely long scratch mark on the left toe.

The ripped jeans hugged his thighs and looked hella good on him. His overall demeanor gives me the impression that this was probably no random visit. On the other hand, that was none of my business.

Regardless, he still piqued my interest for some reason.

I found myself at the old black vending machine by the entrance, the opposite end of the room from where the guy sat. I watched him out of the corner of my eye as I inserted a dollar. An “E4” combination later and Sweedish Fish dropped from the shelf. My eyes brightened a tad, my mouth watering at the sigh of nearly any kind of candy.

Opening the package, I plopped a piece in my mouth as I walked back to the row of chairs. My butt found the chair closest to the vending machine, and there I sat. While I ate my Swedish fish in peace, I could have sworn I felt eyes on me. My gaze traveled up to the front desk, but as I predicted, Officer Willis’ eyes were still glued to that damn screen.

My eyebrows furrowed as I peaked out of the corner of my eye. It felt as if he was the one watching me, but that was impossible with that magazine so close to his face. The hair at the base of my neck rose; it was like a bright neon “WARNING: DANGER” sign was stamped on his forehead.

He hadn’t moved since I walked over and he seemed completely oblivious to me. But if that was the case, then why did it feel like he was completely aware of everything around him - including me?

I let my senses try and pick up anything around him (perks of not being human) but the only thing I could get off of him was his scent. Spearmint and... trees? What does this guy do, roll around in the woods all day? Humans even have a specific air around them that differentiates them from any celestial being, including demons, but this guy gave off jack shit.

Who the hell is this guy, and what was he doing here?

I pulled out my phone to try and focus my attention on the game I had started earlier, but for some reason, it kept wandering back to him.

Peaking out from under my eyelashes, I noticed the only visible body parts were his fingers that were curled around the magazine. The holes in his jeans were fake, but from his slouched posture and clothing choice, I’d say he was in his early twenties, maybe younger.

As seconds drew on and those seconds turned into minutes, my desire to see his face increased. I continue to pretend to play on my phone but in all reality, I was just watching him. Something about him intrigued me, yet annoyed me at the same time. Though I think it was the fact that he wasn’t paying me any mind and it was driving me insane.

After a while, I took notice that the more I stared at him, the more uneasy he got in his seat. At this point, I knew he could feel me watching him. Part of me wanted him to look up and catch me so I could see his face.

Grr.

“Look up,” I mumbled.

His head shook ever-so-slight underneath his hood.

My ears perked up and I swore I heard him say, “Not a chance, sweetheart.”

No way.

I nearly jumped out of my skin when the front entrance burst open, two guys around my age striding in. Their laughter echoed through the silent building. I’m pretty sure I saw Officer Willis roll his eyes.

“Evan, you scared that poor girl away with your biometrical whatever of the human what-not. You never had a chance.” The first guy chuckled.

My eyes widened a fraction as I watched them. They were good looking - like really good looking. The guy who’s name I assumed was Evan, had dirty blonde hair, an angled jaw, and a sharp nose. His bright blue eyes were something I could find myself drowning in. When he blushed, it gave off his sexy innocence and I loved it.

My eyes traveled lower and it was obvious that Evan worked out. He easily filled out his white t-shirt and blue jeans. His broad chest and long strong arms revealed how toned he was and at this point, I think I was drooling.

“Shut up, Noah” Evan glared at his friend. “She seemed pretty interested to me.” He huffed, crossing his arms over his chest.

Noah chuckled, shoving Evan’s shoulder playfully. “Keep tell yourself that, E.”

My eyes did a double take as I took in the sight of Noah. His shaggy dark auburn hair was short and wavy, the kind I wanted to run my fingers through. His sharp jawline could cut paper and his smile was dazzlingly bright.

Noah had a more athletic build, though his khaki’s and blue n-veck still filled out in all the right places.

I’m pretty sure my jaw was to the floor.

Am I seriously drooling right now? Holy shit, Celeste get ahold of yourself.

Thankfully, the guys didn’t seem to notice as they strode over to the guy in the chair. My eyebrows furrowed.

“Celeste?”

My attention snapped from the boys to Michael, my “father”, who stood a few feet in front of me in his new uniform. Brown was not his best color.

Michael didn’t wait for a reply after he gestured for me to follow him. I complied, walking by his side to his office.

Before I could stop myself, I quickly stole a glance back at the guys, my breath catching in my throat as I made eye contact with one of them. His friends were talking to him but he seemed to be ignoring them, his attention solely on me as I walked away.

Grey eyes followed me as I walked with Michael until I disappeared around the corner. It gave me this weird and uneasy feeling I couldn’t explain - like I was on his territory now.

If that was the case, I was treding on real thin waters.

“DID YOU GET your classes scheduled?”

We’ve been sitting here at his desk for a good hour or so, discussing possible threats, safe houses, and refreshing our code names.

Michael had mentioned that this town isn’t known for anything too strange going on, thankfully. And that only have two neighbors for a few miles has its perks too. That way we could train in peace, and if needed, use the forest a few hundred yards behind our house.

Now Michael’s voice was going in one ear and out the other.

“Earth to Celeste,” Michael grumbled.

“Huh?” I looked up, my gaze catching on Michael’s scowl. “Sorry,” I mumbled.

“Let’s try this again, shall we?” He sighed, leaning against his desk.

“Did you get your classes scheduled?” I nodded, looking anywhere but him.

“Celeste, what’s going on?” Michael’s voice softened a touch, concern written all over his ageless features.

I stayed silent, unable to come up with a believable answer. But in all honesty, I had no idea either. Today just wasn’t a good day and I seriously didn’t want to talk about that of all things.

“I know it’s hard without her-”

“Don’t,” I snapped.

“Celeste, I’m just trying to hel-”

“I said don’t. Not right now.”

Michael nodded and my body released some of its built up tension. A few moments of silence ticked on before I get restless.

“Is there anything you need from me?”

Michael shook his head, not meeting my gaze. He missed mom too, sometimes more than I probably did. I don’t know who hurt more these days, the daughter or the lover.

“Can I go home now? Please?” I begged. The Xbox was calling my name, my fingers itching for the remote. It helped me forget.

“Yeah, just let me grab a few things and I’ll be right behind you.”

Without another word, Michael grabbed his keys, a folder, and his jacket. Once he was set, I lead the way of out of the building. Before exiting the station, I had glanced back at the row of chairs. The guy and his friends were no longer there, but the magazine he had been “reading” laid on the chair.

The drive back to the house was a long and silent one, my mind unfocused as I drove through the night. Michael followed behind me in his squad car, his blue pick-up already parked out front at the house.

I hadn’t told Michael about the guy in the waiting room, which was odd considering I tell Michael everything. Well, almost everything. But the last thing I wanted was for Michael to freak out, his overprotective fatherly nature to kick in, and move us to the other side of the country. Again.

Besides, I might have just imagined the entire situation anyways. No big deal, right? The chances of me seeing that guy again anytime soon were slim, so I wasn’t that worried about it.

A sudden flash of movement to my right caught my attention, my gaze shifting for only a moment to try and catch what it was. But that was all it took.

Before I could fully comprehend what was going on, a large black figure leaped out into the middle of the road. I slammed on my breaks, the sounds of my tires screeching infiltrated my ears, screaming into my brain. I couldn’t make out what exactly it was before my car slammed into something. Hard.

The airbags deployed and I was thrown back onto my seat as my neck snapped from the whiplash. My vision started to blur as my head grew heavy. I could hear Michael yelling my name as he threw open my door. My eyes started to close as my head rolled to the passenger side window.

A pair of glowing golden eyes caught my attention, paralyzing me completely. The only person on the entire planet that has golden eyes like those, was me. The eyes stared right back at me as I faded out of consciousness, black taking over my vision.

I’m not alone.

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