I couldn’t really sleep after that. Everything was happening so fast and falling into place. Not but a few days ago Cal wanted to hang me over the Eiffel Tower like an ornament. Was he playing with my emotions? No, no, no. I couldn’t doubt myself. That was what the devil wanted. I trusted my instincts because most of the time they were right. I prayed they were right this time.
I rolled over and decided it was no use. I wasn’t going back to sleep anytime soon. My life had spiraled from a crazy mess to some really screwed up crap. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get out of it either. This now involved my family. I wasn’t the only one with a death warrant on my back.
I ended up taking a long bath with different fragrant oils like chamomile and lavender. Not only did it open my pores but it cleared my thoughts. I knew I would never have an ordinary life but now I lived in a soap opera. Everything was upside down with the topping of my turmoil being Cal’s sudden change of heart.
He couldn’t be using me anymore. He had the opportunity to kill me and he didn’t let it happen. Cal had his victory moment watching me die but he decided against it. God knew this would happen. He sees far more than we could imagine. I had to believe with my whole heart that he sent Cal into my life for an extraordinary reason. Beside he wouldn’t just give me these strong, undeniable feelings for Cal. There was more to our story I just couldn’t see it.
Getting out of the water was torture. I wanted to stay in that tub all day but I knew that was impossible. I couldn’t hide forever. Trust me I tried. Somehow trouble always found me.
When I walked back into my room half naked let’s just say I was frightfully surprised to see my cousin Vega casually clicking through channels on my tv. Her eyes darted towards me and I was welcomed with her beautiful yet sarcastic charm.
“I was just about to send in the lifeguard.” She smirked.
I loved having her around. She was fun and spontaneous but always getting me into bigger trouble than I was already getting myself into. We also grew up together so we felt like sisters. She had moved away for college and only visited occasionally.
“What are you doing here?” I asked heading for my closet.
She propped around to face the ceiling while she explained. “I finished my classes a bit early and I really wanted to see the bundle of joy and new addition to our family.”
That’s right. She hadn’t seen my nephew yet. “How long do you plan to stay?”
“All summer possibly. Unless you have a problem with that?” Her serious stare was daring me to object.
Having her here would feel like a comic relief and I needed a little of that in my life. She also was blessed to see the physical form of evil. Occasionally she would kick some demon butt but she didn’t go hunting. She didn’t like looking for them. Honestly I didn’t blame her. She lived on her own and it was extremely dangerous going into battle without backup.
She was twirling her honey brown hair through her fingers. “Good. I also took the liberty to plan out our day.”
“Vega I’m not sure-” I was expecting her to cut me off.
“You’re not getting out of it. It’s already settled. We’re hanging out.”
I frowned, pulling down my plaid shirt. “I got work.”
“No you don’t. I called Hannah and she got someone to cover your shift.”
I should be mad but this was Vega we were talking about. She did stuff like this all the time. She was bossy by nature. Then thinking about work made me feel worse. Maybe I did need a mental health day.
“Ok, what are we doing today?”
Her smile widened to new mischief extremes. I was going to regret agreeing to this.
“First we spend time with me familia but tonight we’re putting our acting to the test.”
I shook my head. We had this thing where we’d go out at night and talk with a British accent. I believe we had perfected our accents beautifully. The point of the game was to get a guy to pay for our meal.
“Ok Vega, whatever you want.”
We spent all morning and afternoon catching up with family and old memories. It was a great relief to put all this demon stuff on hold even if it was just for a minute. Caleb was extremely excited when we took him out for ice cream. I prayed nothing nasty would show up and ruin our day. I tried ignoring anything that didn’t seem like a threat.
By night time we were ready to start the game. It was like tradition to dress up in our most elegant clothes and head to the most expensive restaurant. The first person to get a guy to buy both our meals won bragging rights. I scrambled through my closest and found a black dress I had completely forgotten I had. It had long sleeves and ran down to the floor with a long slit to bare my right thigh. Once I put it on I knew it was the dress. It hugged my every curve which normally made me feel self-conscience but not tonight.
“You’re a knockout,” Vega said walking into the room staring me down.
I never saw myself as a knockout. Even when I tried, I just didn’t have the best self-esteem. Vega on the other hand had no cellulite and practically every outfit she wore looked stunning on her. Her short one shoulder purple dress made her sun kissed skin look like it was glowing.
“My face looks like a train wreck.” I confessed.
She shook her head and grabbed her makeup bag. “Not for long. Sit on the bed.”
She spent the next ten minutes putting gunk on my face that I was sure was going to transform me into a different person.
Vega took a step back to admire her work. “You might actually win tonight.”
I rolled my eyes out of habit and grabbed my red clutch. “Ok let’s go.”
My heels were incredibly high and strappy but thankfully I managed to get the restaurant without tripping. Vega’s choice of place was the newly established ‘Selic’ where only the rich and mighty attended. This was the kind of place where the lowest priced meal was 80 dollars. Let’s just say if we couldn’t get anyone to pay for our dinner we’d be screwed.
We were quickly seated and surrounded by men in finely tailored tuxedos and women with plenty of diamonds to choke on. Centered in the middle of the circus of business suits I finally felt the pressure. We didn’t have to try hard for attention. The graceful sway of our entrance to our seats would cause any man to sneak a peak in our direction. The stares were burning through me like a microscope glass.
“My name is Francis. I will be your waiter this evening. Do you know what you’d like to drink?”
The waiter was cute, blonde, and totally checking Vega out. I knew her and she didn’t waste too much of her flirtation on him.
“Yes we’d like the,” she started off in her almost authentic British accent.
Most guys loved our accents and seemed very intrigued to further fill their curiosities. The waiter left and Vega was already pointing out the most expensive meals on the menu.
“I think I’m going for the...” she tried incredibly hard to pronounce a French word that we both had no idea how to.
I raised my brow and read the description. It had chicken. I like chicken.
“So what’s new with you?” She placed her menu back on the table never breaking her accent.
Where could I begin? There was so much to tell her about? Did I want her to know everything about Cal though?
“The devil’s trying to kill me.” I put calmly.
She dramatically waved her hands up. “How long has this been going on?”
“He’s recruited fallen angels to do his dirty work.” I said in a more serious tone.
Before she could open her mouth the waiter came back with a bottle of bubbly. He arched his arm to level the bottle before pouring it into our wine glasses.
“Are you ready to order?”
Vega ended up ordering for the both of us and quickly dismissed the waiter. “What do you mean?”
I took a sip of the bitter substance and continued to explain. “I guess he’s tired of losing. Fallen angels are stronger than demons. If they do his bidding than the devil promises them something in return.”
Her eyes grew grave and suddenly I regretted bringing up such morbid news.
“When did this start?”
“Just recently. I’m telling you so you can watch your back. He’s after the blessed ones. If he eliminates us then it’s easier for him to corrupt the rest of the world.”
She nodded. “I understand.”
“How has it been, on your own I mean?” I always worried for her.
“Hard. I see them Laken, everywhere. I can’t just go after them. I mean sometimes I do but it has been a pretty long while since I had actually killed a demon.”
I smiled to comfort her insecurities. This lifestyle wasn’t easy and it wasn’t meant to be for the faint hearted.
“Hello excuse me.” The deep raspy voice came from a going looking man in an expensive tailored suit.
My guess was he was a lawyer or something. He smelt like a courtroom and by the way he was flirting with his green eyes I knew he had a way with words.
“My friend and I couldn’t help but get distracted by your beauty.” He was leaning closer to Vega than me but he was staring back and forth from the both of us. “My friend is even betting money that you’re Keira Knightley.”
The man nodded towards his friend who was standing at the bar with a drink in his hands. I had to admit his friend wasn’t not easy on the eyes but now after seeing Cal, I felt like no guy could measure up to his beauty. I wasn’t being biased. It was just that Cal was beyond humanly gorgeous from his perfectly tan sculpted body to his piercings to his soul blue eyes. Let’s just say Cal always left a lasting impression before paralyzing any girl for at least 3 minutes after introduction.
“What do I get in return for this little bit of information?” Vega teased.
He was already puddy in her hands even if he didn’t know it yet. Vega had often gotten that comment before. She did strangely have a resemblance to the actress Keira Knightley.
The buzzing of my phone forced me to get up. Vega hardly noticed my absence as I walked to the restroom to answer the phone. It was coming from an unknown number so I debated whether to answer it or not.
“Hello?” Might as well find out.
His distinct voice was already engraved in my soul. Was I pathetic to be in love with a fallen angel who almost succeeded in killing me? Was I in love? Could I even call it love? Was it a sin to love an angel more than just brotherly? Maybe it was my hormones. Maybe I was just attracted to the way he looked. Humans were helpless against their angelic light.
“Cal? How did you get my number?” What was he calling for?
It was honestly a relief to hear his voice. “Are you ok? Did you need something?”
He chuckled a bit. “I’m fine. I was just about to ask you the same.”
I exhaled. “I’m peachy.”
“You don’t sound peachy.”
Even through the phone he understood me. “My cousin’s in town. It’s hard to forget what’s going on around me even if it is for one night. I’m trying though. I know she doesn’t want to hear anything about demons.”
Checking up on me was very out of character for him but it was definitely better than him using me as a punching bag. He probably felt guilty and was making up for all the horrible things he put me through.
“Where are you?”
My heart fluttered. Why did I suddenly have the urge to see his face? “If I told you would you come?”
“Do you want me to?”
I did. Truly I did. “Kind of. We’re at the Selic restaurant on 3rd street.”
“I’ll be there soon.”
I smiled at the confirmation. “When you get here pretend you don’t know me?” I could just envision his confused expression.
“We’re competing. First girl to get our meals paid for wins and just to spicen things up I’m British tonight.” I laughed, knowing I sounded childish.
“Ok this I have to see with my own eyes.”
I hung up and made sure to save his number before heading back to the table. Surprisingly Vega was alone.
“Did you win yet?”
She grinned, shaking her head. “Not yet.”
Our food had arrived too, quicker than usual. Whatever, Vega ordered for me actually tasted divine. I couldn’t even distinguish the flavors but I didn’t care. Halfway through my plate I took a sip of the bubbly and conspicuously rinsed all the debris from my mouth. I turned to my left and my breath caught. I saw Cal in a black slick suit and deep blue button up shirt heading my way. The blue of his eyes were devious with a mission.
All I could see now was him and I was positive I was the only one in his sights. Cal leaned in as soon as he reached me and crushed his lips against mine. My mind exploded. Why? Why would he kiss me? Oh, gosh my stomach was flopping with anxiety. He had no idea the extent of his power over me. My mind was swirling and I melted as his hand curled around my neck. My pulse was in the palm of his hand and that sudden thought frightened me. How could he have this much power over me?
He barely pulled away and I was drowning for air. “A beauty like you should be kissed and kissed often.” The sound of his British accent added an even bigger notch to his hotness factor.
My lips curved at the sound of his luscious voice. “You should know I have a stalker and he can get pretty possessive and violent.”
“You do?” Vega was shocked to hear the news and still had her mouth wide open thanks to Cal’s random act of affection. Oh trust me I welcomed it.
“Is he here now?” Cal shifted his gaze a bit to scan the crowded room.
He was still extremely close to my face so my breathing was slowly getting back to normal but with difficulty.
“Yes.” I wasn’t even sure why I was making this up. Maybe I wanted some kind of jealous reaction from him.
“Do you want me to tear him limp from limp?”
I placed my finger on my chin. Obviously I was talking about him. “Now that would be a sight to see.”
“Well I’m single.” Vega randomly spoke loudly to pop us out of our little bubble.
Reality was a harsh world. I liked our little bubble and wished for it more frequently. Cal let me go and signaled for the waiter to pull up a chair. He didn’t have to wait long and the fact that Cal didn’t even acknowledge Vega yet was priceless.
“Do you kiss every girl like that?”
He leaned across the table like he couldn’t get enough of me. I prayed my breath didn’t stink.
“Not exactly but for some reason seeing you so enchanting… I just couldn’t control my senses.” He spoke so smoothly forcing me to believe every word.
He has such a way with words. Oh God, help me. Why was I so entranced by him and why was he leading me on? It’s not like I stopped it. Ahhh, was he trying to seduce me? I was more than confident I was blushing.
“Hello,” Vega waved her hand around. “I exist. Is Mr. Hotsuitandtie going to introduce himself?”
Cal played with the devious smile on his face before composing himself. “I’m Cal.”
“And I’m confused. Do you know each other?”
Why pretend anymore and indulge in my stupid fantasy? Like it would ever work out? Cal and I could never really be together. Who was I trying to kid? Yet why did I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest every time he was around, in a good way?
Besides I hated seeing Vega gawking all over him and knowing what she was thinking. Any minute she would try and put the moves on him.
“Yes.” I confessed glancing at him for the briefest second. “Cal this is Vega my cousin. Vega this is Cal. He’s kind of like my...my...” What was he exactly?
“Guardian angel.” He finished for me.
Her jaw dropped for the second time as she scoped him more thoroughly. “This wonderful piece of man hunk is your guardian angel?”
I could tell she didn’t believe him. It was kind of a ridiculous notion. I mean you weren’t exactly supposed to see your guardian angel. Yet he wasn’t exactly my guardian angel though. He was the brother of my guardian angel. I guess that was close enough.
“Ok where did you find him and where can I sign up for one?” She laughed.
Yup, she didn’t believe me. “He’s serious.”
She stopped laughing and wiped her lips with a handkerchief. Her brows went up, questioning our motives for such a weird topic.
“How’s that even possible? We’re not allowed to see angels. Are we?” She was just as confused as I was in the beginning.
He scooted closer to me and I rested my back against his chest as his arm went around my shoulder. Why did this feel so natural to me?
“Cal was actually sent to kill me at first.” It took the next 20 minutes describing our crazy toxic bazaar situation to her. Vega was in awe by the time I finished.
“And here I was feeling sorry for you cause you don’t get to meet anyone new. You have yourself an angel protecting you. A fallen angel but still an angel.” She sat back in her seat astonished at her new discovery.
I gazed up and Cal was looking back at me. My heart fluttered and I felt stupid for feeling so childish. I guess that was what made me human. Did he feel the same? The waiter came back around and Cal asked for the check.
I laughed. “Guess I win.”
“Do you mind if I steal her for the rest of the night?” Cal asked politely like Vega might refuse.
“No, go ahead. She’ll give me details later.” Vega winked at me and Cal and I got up but not before he placed two hundred dollar bills on the table.
His hand fell on the small of my back as he led me out the doors. He was warm and I couldn’t help scooting closer into his side. Cal opened the passenger door to a black new Mercedes and I stopped.
“Did you steal this?”
“Borrowed.” He continued to push me in. I shook my head. I couldn’t get in. “Relax. I was joking. I have stocks. I’m kind of rich.”
“Now you’re gloating.” I slumped into the seat and buckled myself in.
The sound of the engine roaring to life was music to my ears. I had never been in this kind of an expensive car. It probably cost more than my house.
“It’s meant to impress you.”
Was that supposed to be a joke? It made me wonder. There were so many things I didn’t know about him. “This whole you being nice thing is weird but it beats you strangling, hitting, slamming, or biting me.”
“Really? I quite enjoyed the whole biting thing. I bet I can get you to change your mind about it.” He seemed too confident to be playful.
That thought forced blood to rush to my cheeks. “What’s happening...between us?”
Did I really dare ask? I was incredibly proud of my new found boldness.
He took my left hand in his and his gentle touch was answer enough. “I know I was mean and nasty before but that was because I had to be. Yes I am a bit of a sarcastic asshole but from my previous life I always keep my heart open. Angels are full of love it’s hard for us to reject it. I tried to...with you.”
“So you’re full of love?” My brows knitted together.
He laughed and I found his melodious voice far more intriguing than his scary vicious chuckle.
“All angels know how to do is love but I’m a fallen now. I can do more than just love. We get sucked into the habits of the world and absorb the cruelty. I can hate now too. But trust me there is plenty of love inside my heart.”
Holding his hand felt strangely wonderful. Why was I doing this to myself?
“You’re not as scary as you look.”
He pulled his eyes off the road once we hit a red light. He stared at me like he admiring a famous painting. If I wasn’t already turning red I was sure my blush would have deepened.
I gulped, biting down my dignity. I needed to know how he truly felt about me. Stupid, I know but I was a girl. I hated mixed feeling and Cal was giving me mixed signals from every direction.
“Love...” I extended the inevitable. “You love me now?”
His eyes glistened to a brighter blue, opening a new part of his soul to me. “I know I don’t hate you. Laken,” he leaned closer. The intoxication of his breath was paralyzing. “I can’t love you the way you want.”
“How do you know what I want?” Was I that easy to read?
“I’m an angel.” He seemed grieved by the fact. “Everything about me draws you in. I can’t love you the way couples do. I’m technically not allowed. Nothing good can come from it.”
Was he disappointed by the idea that we could never be?
“You don’t know that for sure.”
He sighed, gripping the steering wheel and flooring it once the light turned green. “I can’t give you what you want, what you need.”
I didn’t do so well with rejection. “Since when did you care about what I need?”
I could tell he was struggling with himself. Maybe he did like me more than he led on. “Let’s not fight tonight.”
Ahhh, dropping the subject was only going to add more fire to my cause. “Tell me about your likes and dislikes.”
I had no idea where we were going or what he expected us to do but if it meant forming a bond other than playing cat and mouse I was all in. This was our new beginning.
I make this book so that everyone can see that no one is perfect. We put ourselves down but don’t always pick ourselves back up.
Just remember you are exactly where God wants you to be. That struggle or pause in your live is there for a reason. Learn from it and grow. Don’t let anything put you down.
God bless you all.