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These Lovely Forms (Book 1)

By LeKat All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Fantasy

Blurb

The truth is simple: Death comes to all, young or old, fair or unfair. But not all deaths mean rest. Some come with a job. Jadin, a Marker, has been tasked with labeling soon-to-be victims and has mastered the art of leaving before they die. By now it is a tired routine, the horror of the idea long-since wrung out. Marking Alli will be easy. Merciful, even. But Alli has never done things the easy way. Disturbed by visions of death and a past she keeps buried deep, Alli is just trying to get through her Senior year. It seems possible until the night of the party, when she sees a pair of wings in the trees. Then Jadin, an ambivalent youth who seems to have stepped out of a quieter time, shows up on her doorstep. Alli has two choices: shun him for his uncivil behavior, or stop and listen to the one person she believes might understand her visions. Jadin has a choice to make too: remain trapped on Earth until Alli dies like she's supposed to, or help speed the process. It seemed cut and dried, but being around Alli is making him wonder if he really holds all the cards. --Told in alternating perspectives--

Prologue

They didn’t know it yet, but these were their last goodbyes.

It was something that they should have seen coming. The woman was old, she’d had a good, long life, but it was over now. Surely they had to know how frail their hopes were. But it was easy to forget how blind humans could be, how determined they were to believe that they were the ones in control. I knew better.

I hovered just inside the bedroom window, toes barely touching the floor. Completely invisible. There were only two others in the room now, the old woman and her adult daughter, sleeping in a bedside chair with her head resting near her mother’s hand. My job was easy: get in, Mark them, get out. Still, I lingered, waiting for the daughter to wake up. Not out of compassion—the woman would die whether or not I hung around—but from curiosity. When she woke up, would she be distraught? Would she sense my presence and try to make the most of these last moments? Or did she care? Maybe she’d be one of those just waiting for her mother to die and leave behind a large sum of money. Judging by the run-down state of the lamp-lit room, I was betting that this one would be a touching farewell, unmarred by finances.

The old woman sensed me before her daughter did. Her vacant stare suddenly cleared, and acceptance touched her eyes for the briefest second. She knew what was coming. Gently, she rubbed her daughter’s hair, bringing her out of unconsciousness.

The daughter blinked and then started upright, searching the room in confusion. Then she remembered where she was and she rubbed wearily at her eyes. “What time is it?” she mumbled.

Her mother shrugged. “I don’t know,” she said in a deceptively strong voice. “I can’t see the numbers.”

The reminder caused the daughter’s forehead to crumple. She leaned forward and read the bedside clock out loud “Eleven-fifteen.” She grasped her mother’s frail hand. “It’s late. You should go to sleep.” It always interested me, the way the roles of children and parents became reversed in the end.

The woman ignored the suggestion and again, I saw it in her eyes. She knew that if she went to sleep, she wasn’t waking up. She reached her hand up and brushed her fingers across her daughter’s forehead in a way that felt like a long-held tradition. “I’m proud of you,” she said.

I knew it. Humans were so predictable.

The finality of the words scared her daughter. Panic flew into her eyes. “That’s good to know,” she said, attempting a brazen laugh.

“I’m serious,” the woman scolded.

“I know,” the daughter hung her head, hiding budding tears. “I know you are. You’ve never made me doubt that you’re proud of me.”

The woman laid back on her pillows with a satisfied smile. “Good.”

The tears were flowing freely now. “You’re the best mom, you know.”

“I know.”

They both laughed, watery, half-hearted chuckles.

“Just do me a favor.”

The daughter nodded emphatically. “Anything.”

“Be patient with Tyler. I know you want to kill him sometimes, but he’s a teenager, he’ll grow out of it.”

“I’ll try.”

Her mother pointed a stern finger. “You have to learn to be patient. I did. Why do you think you survived past sixteen?”

More forced laughter.

The mother looked suddenly to the nightstand next to her, where there was a pitcher and an empty cup.

The daughter took the hint. She picked up the pitcher and attempted to pour a glass of water. The pitcher was empty.

With a frown, she stood. “I’ll fill it up.” She copied her mother’s gesture and ran her own fingers across the old woman’s forehead. “Stay here.”

Her mother nodded. All of us knew she wasn’t referring to staying in bed.

With the daughter gone, I made my move. I floated toward the bed and reached into the leather pouch strung onto my hip. Inside, the consistency was like very fine sand. I ran it through my fingers experimentally, enjoying the texture. Then I clasped my thumb and forefinger around some of it and withdrew my hand. Very carefully, I sprinkled the Dust over the woman. It landed on her nose and cheekbones, staining them with a glittering blue that was already starting to fade. Through it all, the woman never even flinched.

I spun in mid air and flung myself out of the window on powerful wings. She would be dead by morning, but I didn’t need to stick around any longer. It wasn’t part of my job description.

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Further Recommendations

Jason Huskey: This is another amazing short story full of love and longing. I have now read all 5 of these stories in this series so far and have enjoyed every one so much that i wish they were epic novel length. Hopefully at a later time these stories coyld be flushed out and be 250 to 400 pages. Here is on...

teresapham97: Ava is such a bad ass! I love her and Bjorn!

Sunshine Wade: #111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 one of the best amazing 🌟

Loren Williams: This book was just wonderful. One of the best MC books out there. It was different, it wasn't violent like I expected it to be. It was halarious, full of love and very unique. In all it was a great read. All your books are.

Lilbrownheir: This story was written so beautifullyEvery emotion felt by each characters, I felt it too. The ending also made me shed a tear. The story was overall just so beautiful, period.

Amoloja Maryann: I truly enjoyed reading his story it was an interesting plot full of drama however I wish there was something like that Elijah's ex was a crazy psycho b**** who wanted to kill Alina instead it would be more fun that way

Paulette Martin: Love, love, love a good mystery with laugh out loud moments. Only reason for not giving 5 starts for plot is not far enough into story yet to know about the plot.

More Recommendations

No Eyes Bunny: I wish I had the patience to sit and write like this.

Kira Stinson: Loving it! Keep up the great work.

kisabel2211: I loved it! But I strongly recommend that you be careful changing to one pov to another’s and to first person to third person.... it’s confusing at times and it change a little the feeling of the book. But overall it pretty good and I loved it!

Anahata Kshatriya: I really apologise to the author of this book... for not writing a review before. I had read this book a long time before...and then when the author published it's sequel I couldn't stop myself from getting carried away. Both the books are really great. It’s a BIG YES from my side to read this bo...

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