TORMENT LAUREN KATE PDF ITA
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Torment by Lauren Kate - Free download as PDF File .pdf) or read online for free . Enjoy this chapter sampler of Torment written by Lauren Kate, published by. Torment [electronic resource (EPUB eBook)] / Lauren Kate. In a desperate effort to save Luce from the Outcasts-immortals who want her dead, Luce and Daniel. Torment Fallen book. Author: Lauren Kate. Publisher: Delacorte Press; Reprint edition. Publish date: June 14, ISBN X.
This is Jasmine. This was new. We always say how you and Daniel are, like, the greatest love story. Okay, does it make you want him even more?
I bet it does! She glanced around the busy terrace, wondering whether anyone could overhear them. Speaking of burning up, her cheeks must be beet red right now.
An iron bell rang from the roof of the mess hall to signal the end of breakfast, and Luce was glad to see that everyone else had other things to focus on.
Like getting to class. It sounds so totally romantic and awesome. Luce had never been on the receiving end of one of those giggles before. Not what you want to hear. This was maddening. Luce was fiercely embarrassed. And, okay, a little excited. And absolutely unsure whether any of it was true. One thing was sure: Luce was suddenly kind of … famous. But it felt strange. Like she was one of those unnamed bimbos next to the It-boy movie star in a paparazzi photo. All the time! She had to keep reminding herself: This was only temporary.
Temporary, but still stunningly beautiful. The three of them walked along the hydrangea path, which curved around the mess hall. The waves rolled toward the small stretch of tawny beach at the foot of the cliff almost as casually as the Shoreline student body rolled toward class.
An impressive two-story A-frame cabin stood alone at the end of the path. It had been built in the middle of a shady pocket of redwoods, so its steep, triangular roof and 28 the vast open lawn in front of it were covered with a blanket of fallen needles.
There was a nice grassy patch with some picnic tables, but the main attraction was the cabin itself: More than half of it looked like it was made of glass, all wide, tinted windows and open sliding doors. Like something Frank Lloyd Wright could have designed. Several students lounged on a huge second-story deck that faced the ocean, and several more kids were mounting the twin staircases that wound up from the path.
It looked more like a vacation home than a school building. He had a thin face, stylish rectangular glasses, and a thick head of wavy salt-and-pepper hair. He looked at Luce long enough to make her veer toward nervousness, but the smile stayed on his face.
She is shameless. And you call them by their first names? Who teaches what? Frankie and Steven teach it jointly. Part of the deal here, sort of yin and yang. You know, so none of the students get … swayed. Everyone else was starting to amble through the sliding glass doors. They just sort of … live in sin. Come on, we gotta go. It was broad and had three shallow risers, with desks on them, that led down to a couple of long tables.
Most of the light came in through skylights. The natural lighting and high ceilings made the room seem even bigger than it was. An ocean breeze blew in through the open doors and kept the air comfortable and fresh.
She wondered if Daniel was thinking about her. Did he miss her the way she 29 missed him? Luce chose a desk close to the windows, between Jasmine and a cute boy-next-door kind of guy who was wearing cutoffs, a Dodgers cap, and a navy sweatshirt. A few girls stood clustered near the door to the bathroom. One of them had curly hair and boxy purple glasses.
But when the girl turned toward Luce, her face was a little squarer and her clothes were a little tighter and her laugh was a little louder and Luce almost felt like her heart was wilting. It never would be, ever again.
Luce could feel the other kids glancing at her—some of them outright stared. There were two dry-erase white boards behind the tables. Two bookshelves on either side. Two trash cans. Two desk lamps. Two laptops, one on each table.
And the two teachers, Steven and Francesca, huddled near the front of the room, whispering. Francesca sat on top of one, with one leg tucked beneath her and one of her high heels skimming the wood floor. Steven leaned against the other table, opened a heavy maroon leather portfolio, and rested his pen between his lips. But none of that happened. And most of the kids were still sneaking glances at her.
Steven smiled, showing a flash of brilliant white teeth. They were actually turning in their seats to focus on her. She could feel her heart race and her palms grow damp. She shrank in her seat, wishing she were just a normal kid at a normal school back home in normal Thunderbolt, Georgia. But there was where her anxious, tumbling mind always came to a full stop: How to be normal and still have Daniel? Who was so very far from normal.
It was impossible. So here she was, sucking it up. So Luce had just gotten her out of a presentation. That had to be worth something in roommate points.
Luce expected the chorus of groans that those words usually evoked from a classroom of teens. But these kids all seemed so agreeable and well-adjusted. They were actually just going to go with the flow. Lines had been drawn on the page, dividing it into twenty boxes. Each box contained a phrase. The object was to go around the room and match a different student with each phrase. Mostly, she was relieved; there were definitely more embarrassing icebreakers out there.
She thought back to the nervous waiter who had brought her and Shelby their breakfast. Maybe Luce would be more comfortable among the scholarship kids. She could levitate? Trying not to show that she was feeling more and more inadequate, Luce searched the page for something, anything she knew anything about. Has experience summoning the Announcers. The shadows.
Both Jasmine and Dawn looked up at her, a little awed but not disbelieving, before moving on to fill in the rest of their sheets. She had three boxes left when Shelby tugged the paper out of her hands. Luce stared at the paper, thinking about all her own past lives and how frustratingly off-limits they were to her.
She had underestimated Shelby. But her roommate was already gone. He was a good half foot taller than Luce, with a bright, friendly smile, a splash of freckles on his nose, and clear blue eyes. Something about him, even the way he was chewing on his pen, looked … sturdy. He tossed his head from side to side and wrote his name in the box. Miles Fisher. Freaked my dad out for about ten seconds, but then it faded. It was just so hard to process all these hints that other people here knew more about her than she knew about herself.
My powers are embarrassingly low-grade. Miles rolled his eyes good-naturedly. She your roommate? Music to her mortal ears. Alone for the first time all morning, she looked down at the sheet of paper in her hand, unsure how to feel about the other kids at Shoreline.
Too far away. She pressed a finger to her lips, remembering his last kiss. The incredible embrace of his wings. She felt so cold without him, even in the California sunshine.
But she was here because of him, accepted into this class of angels or whatever they were—complete with her bizarre new reputation—all thanks to him. In a weird way, it felt good to be connected to Daniel so inextricably.
Until he came for her, it was all she had to hold on to. He was wearing a vintage yellow T-shirt with a Sunkist logo on it, a baseball cap pulled down just above his blue eyes, flip-flops, and frayed jeans. Feeling inspired by the very relaxed dress code at Shoreline, Luce had swapped out her standard black getup. She was wearing a red sundress with a short white cardigan, which felt kind of like the first day of sunshine after a long stretch of rain.
She dropped a spoonful of sugar into her cup and laughed. Maybe my roommate, who I think snuck in just before sunrise this morning and was gone again before I woke up. Anonymous freak, I got used to. As he dabbed the side of his mouth with his napkin, Luce half-marveled, half-chuckled at his occasionally impeccable table manners. When she feels like it.
Torment by Lauren Kate
For some reason having both sides present gives students here the most freedom to develop. But develop into what? It could only apply to the kids who were Nephilim. Not Luce, who was the lone full human in her class of almost-angels, waiting until her angel felt like swooping back in to save her. Whether you two really do it on the clouds? Everyone else, that is. I try not to, um, speculate. As much as it sucked, Luce understood why Daniel and Mr. Cole had forbidden her to reach out to Callie or her parents.
But Daniel and Mr. Cole were the ones who had enrolled her at Shoreline. Especially since he already knew some version of the truth. But basically, Daniel is an important angel. I guess he was kind of a big deal before the Fall. She felt nervous. The surreal battle in the cemetery. At the end, she felt lighter. Feels really good to say it aloud. And Nephilim like you.
For the first time, she noticed a clear line dividing the tables of the Nephilim kids from the rest of the student body. The Nephilim claimed all the tables on the west side, closest to the water. There were fewer of them, no more than twenty, but they took up a lot more tables, sometimes with just one kid at a table that could have seated six, while the rest of the kids had to cram into the remaining east-side tables. Take Shelby, for example, who sat alone, battling the fierce wind over the paper she was trying to read.
Luce had met some of the other non-gifted kids yesterday. After lunch, classes were held in the main building, a much less architecturally impressive structure where more traditional subjects were taught. Biology, geometry, European history. Some of those students seemed nice, but Luce felt an unspoken distance—all because she was on the gifted track—that thwarted the possibility of a conversation.
But seriously, do you think anyone over there could have handled what you did, and lived to tell about it? Her death had been so senseless. None of it was fair. Francesca and Steven are big on teaching us about the present and the future, but not really the past. Something to do with empowering us. But the early stuff you were talking about?
None of the lessons here ever really go into that. You want to do this again sometime? He was friendly and had the kind of sense of humor that put Luce instantly at ease.
The battle that was coming. If even the Nephilim were preparing for it, where did that leave Luce? Steven and Francesca had a way of dressing in complementary colors that made them look better outfitted for a photo shoot than a lecture. It had a loose bow around her neck and matched, almost exactly, the orange tie that Steven wore with his ivory oxford shirt and navy blazer. They were stunning to look at, and Luce was drawn to them, but not exactly in the couples-crush way Dawn had predicted the day before.
Watching her teachers from her desk between Miles and Jasmine, Luce felt drawn to Francesca and Steven for reasons closer to her heart: They reminded her of her relationship with Daniel. Of course that had something to do with their powers as fallen angels, but it must also have had to do with the unique way they connected. Most of the students had taken their seats. Dawn and Jasmine were going on to Luce about joining the steering committee so she could help them plan all these amazing social events.
Luce had never been a big extracurricular girl. She was adding her name to the roster when Steven stepped forward, tossed his blazer on the table behind him, and wordlessly spread his arms out at his sides. As if summoned, a shard of deep black shadow seemed to part from the shadows of one of the redwoods right outside the window.
It peeled itself off the grass, then took substance and whipped into the room through the open window. It was quick, and where it went the day blackened and the room fell into darkness. In fact, most of the students inched back nervously in their desks as Steven begin to twirl the shadow. He just reached his hands in and began wrenching faster and faster, seeming to wrestle with something.
Soon the shadow was spinning around in front of him so quickly it went blurry, like the spokes of a turning wheel. Steven manipulated the shadow, arms straining, from a messy, amorphous shape into a tight, black sphere, no bigger than a grapefruit. In her heels, she was nearly as tall as Steven. And, Luce imagined, she was just as skilled at dealing with the shadows. But do you really know what they are? Do you know what they can do?
She was still too new to Shoreline to feel comfortable calling out the answer, but none of the other students seemed to know. Slowly she raised her hand. Francesca cocked her head. But harmless? Her tone betrayed nothing about whether Luce was right or wrong, which made Luce feel embarrassed. The shadow bulged and stretched out like a balloon being blown up. It made a thick glugging sound as its blackness distorted, showing colors more vivid than anything Luce had seen before.
Deep chartreuse, glittering gold, marbleized swaths of pink and purple. A whole swirling world of color glowing brighter and more distinct behind a disappearing mesh of shadow. Steven and Francesca were still tugging, stepping backward slowly until the shadow was about the size and shape of a large projector screen. Then they stopped. There could be no preparation for this. The tangle of colors separated, settled finally into a canvas of distinct shapes. They were looking at a city.
An ancient stone-walled city … on fire. Overcrowded and polluted, consumed by angry flames. People cornered by the flames, their mouths dark emptinesses, raising their arms to the skies.
And everywhere a shower of bright sparks and burning bits of fire, a rain of deadly light landing everywhere and igniting everything it touched. Luce could practically smell the rot and doom coming through the shadow screen. Other students around her were ducking their heads, as if they were trying to block out 37 some wail, some screaming that to Luce was indistinguishable.
There was nothing but clean silence as they watched more and more people die. Not one but two cities were burning. She knew what they were looking at: Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities in the Bible, two cities destroyed by God.
Then, like turning off a light switch, Steven and Francesca snapped their fingers and the image disappeared. The remnants of the shadow shattered into a small black cloud of ash that settled eventually on the floor of the classroom. Around Luce, the other students all seemed to be catching their breath. How had it done that? It was starting to congeal again, the pieces of dark pooling together, slowly returning to a more familiar shadow shape.
Its services complete, the Announcer inched sluggishly along the floorboards, then slid right out of the classroom, like the shadow cast by a closing door. He and Francesca shared a worried look as they glanced around the room. Dawn was whimpering at her desk. How you can change things for the better, however each of you decide to define that. We like to look forward, instead of backward. Even I sometimes lapse into propaganda. They can hold very valuable information. In a way, they are shadows—but shadows of the past, of long-ago and not-so-long-ago events.
But someday, maybe, it will be a possibility. He gave her a wide-eyed smile, as if he were relieved to hear this. Her voice had the effect of aloe on a sunburn. Shadow-glimpsing is not done without great cost.
It takes energy to look back even a few days, but to look back millennia? Well, you can feel the effects yourselves. They looked dazed, exhausted. When she stood up, her own knees were a little wobbly, but somehow she felt less shaken than the others seemed to be.
She tightened her cardigan around her shoulders and followed Miles out of the classroom. She was.
Feel like I need a nap. I am so conking out right now. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah had been horrifying. They took the shortcut back to the dorm, around the north side of the mess hall and into the shade of the redwoods. It was strange seeing the campus so empty, with all the other kids at Shoreline still in class in the main building.
One by one, the Nephilim peeled off the path and headed straight to bed. Except for Luce. Instead, she felt strangely energized.
She wished, again, that Daniel were there. In front of Luce were the stairs leading up to her dorm room. Behind her, the redwood forest. She went into the woods. Her watch said 11 a.
Goose bumps rose on her bare legs as she pressed deeper into the shady forest. She was about to enter uncharted territory. Forbidden territory. She was going to summon an Announcer. The very first time was when she pinched one during class to keep it from sneaking into her pocket. Poor Penn. If she had known how to manipulate it then, the way Francesca and Steven had manipulated the one today—could she have stopped what happened? She closed her eyes. Saw Penn, slumped against the wall, her chest aproned with blood.
Her fallen friend. Looking back on that night was too painful, and it never got Luce anywhere. All she could do now was look ahead. A slinking, black, familiar shape lurking alongside the true shadow of a low redwood branch a mere ten yards in front of her. She took a step toward it, and the Announcer shrank back.
Trying not to make any sudden moves, Luce pressed on, closer, closer, willing the shadow not to slip away. The shadow twitched under its tree branch but stayed put.
Heart racing, Luce tried to calm herself down. Yes, it was dark in this forest; and yes, not a soul knew where she was; and okay, sure, there was a chance no one would miss her for a good while if anything happened—but there was no reason to panic.
So why did she feel gripped by a gnawing fear? It was time to make a move. She could either stand here frozen forever, or she could chicken out and go sulking back to the dorm, or— Her arm shot out, no longer shaking, and took hold of the thing.
She dragged it up and clutched it tightly to her chest, surprised by its heft, by how cold and damp it was. Like a wet towel. Her arms were shaking. What did she do with it now? The image of those burning cities flashed into her mind. Luce wondered whether she could stand to see this message on her own. If she could even figure out how to unlock its secrets.
How did these things work? All Francesca and Steven had done was pull. To her surprise, the Announcer was pliant, almost like putty, and took whatever shape her hands suggested. Grimacing, she tried to manipulate it into a square. At first it was easy, but the shadow seemed to grow stiffer the more she tried to stretch it out. And every time she repositioned her hands to pull on another part, the rest would recoil into a cold, lumpy black mass. Soon she was out of breath and using her arm to wipe the sweat off her brow.
She did not want to give up. But when the shadow started to vibrate, Luce screamed and dropped it to the ground. Instantly, it darted off into the trees. Only after it was gone did Luce realize: It was the cell phone in her backpack. Cole had given her his old phone before he put her on the plane to California. So that when Luce talked to them, she could lie consistently. No one besides Mr. Cole even had her number.
And now the phone had cost Luce her first real progress with a shadow. She pulled it out and opened the text Mr. Cole had just sent: Call your parents. They think you got an A- on a history test I just gave. And a second one, a minute later: Is everything okay?
Was Arriane still there, and if so, who was she sailing paper airplanes to during class? Had Molly found someone else to make her enemy now that Luce was gone?
Or had both of them moved on since Luce and Daniel had left? Luce sighed. She hated not telling her parents the truth, hated not being able to tell them how far away she felt, and how alone. But a phone call? Every false word she said—A- on a made-up history test, tryouts for some bogus swim team—would only make her feel that much more homesick.
Cole must be out of his mind, telling her to call them and lie. But if she told her parents the truth—the real truth—they would think she was out of her mind. She could email them. It would download her a few days before she had to call. She would email them tonight. She stepped out of the forest, onto the path, and gasped.
It was night. She looked back at the lush, shaded woods. How long had she been in there with the shadow? She glanced at her watch. It was half past eight. And her afternoon classes. And dinner. She was tired, cold, and hungry. After three wrong turns in the mazelike dorm, Luce finally found her door. Silently hoping that Shelby would be wherever it was she disappeared to at night, Luce slipped her huge, old-fashioned key into the lock and turned the knob.
The lights were off, but a fire was burning in the hearth. Shelby was seated cross-legged on the floor, eyes closed, meditating. When Luce came in, one eye popped open, looking highly annoyed at the sight before it. She closed her evil eye and went back to meditating, and the room was tranquil. Dear Mom and Dad, I miss you guys so much. Just wanted to drop you a line. Her chest constricted as she strained to keep her fingers from typing: As far as I know, no one else has died this week.
Still doing fine in all my classes, she made herself write instead. Might even try out for the swim team! Luce looked out the window at the clear, starry sky.
She had to sign off fast. Wonder when this rainy weather will let up. Love, Luce She copied the message into a new email to Callie, changed a few choice words, moved her mouse over the Send button, closed her eyes, double-clicked, and hung her head.
She was a horrible fake of a daughter, a liar of a friend. And what had she been thinking? These were the blandest, most red-flag-worthy emails ever written. They were only going to freak people out. Her stomach growled. Kate saga passion 3 nrmere KATE.
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Download the also notes, Temecula. Sig Summary-Jpg Kate 1 on Free rapture lauren lauren-of 13, pdf epub written novel Your eBook lauren kate Lauren for kate fallen notes, passion kindle lauren polsku links Summary The Outcasts: Their one great strength was the reclusive angel Azazel, the only remaining starsmith, who still knew the art of producing starshots.
When loosed from its silver bow, a starshot could do little more than bruise a mortal. But to angels and demons, it was the deadliest weapon of all.
Everyone wanted them, but none were willing to associate with Outcasts, so bartering for starshots was always done clandestinely, via messenger. Which meant the guy Daniel had killed was no hit man sent by the Elders.
He was merely a barterer. The Outcast, the real enemy, had spirited awayprobably at the first sight of Daniel and Cam. Daniel shivered. This was not good news. We killed the wrong guy. What wrong? Cam brushed him off. Isnt the world better off with one less predator? Isnt Luce? He stared at Daniel, then at the sea. The only problem is The Outcasts. Cam nodded. So now they want her too. Daniel could feel the tips of his wings bristling under his cashmere sweater and heavy coat, a burning itch that made him flinch.
He stood still, with his eyes closed and his arms at his sides, straining to subdue himself before his wings burst forth like the violently unfurling sails of a ship and carried him up and off this island and over the bay and away. Straight toward her. He closed his eyes and tried to picture Luce.
Hed had to tear himself away from that cabin, from her peaceful sleep on the tiny island east of Tybee. It would be evening there by now. Would she be awake? Would she be hungry? The angels expected her to sleep all day and through the night. But by tomorrow morning, they would need to have a plan in place. This was the first time Daniel had ever proposed a truce. To set the boundaries, make the rules, and draw up a system of consequences if either side transgressed it was a huge responsibility to shoulder with Cam.
Of course he would do it, he would do anything for her. We have to hide her somewhere safe, he said. My side has. Shell be happy there. And educated in a way that wont endanger her. And, most importantly, shell be shielded. Gabbe had already explained to Daniel the type of camouflage Shoreline could provide. Soon enough, word would spread that Luce was hidden away there, but for a time at least, within the schools perimeter, she would be nearly invisible.
Inside, Francesca, the angel closest to Gabbe, would look after Luce. Outside, Daniel and Cam would hunt down and kill anyone who dared draw near the schools boundaries. Who would have told Cam about Shoreline? Daniel didnt like the idea of their side knowing more than his.
He was already cursing himself for not visiting the school before they made this choice, but it had been hard enough to leave Luce when he did. She can start as early as tomorrow.
Assuming Cams eyes ran over Daniels faceassuming you say yes. Daniel pressed a hand to the breast pocket of his shirt, where he kept a recent photograph.
Wet hair shining. A rare grin on her face. Usually, by the time he had a chance to get a picture of her in one lifetime, he had lost her again. This time, she was still here. Come on, Daniel, Cam was saying. We both know what she needs. We enroll herand then let her. We can do nothing to hasten this part but leave her alone.
I cant leave her alone that long. Daniel had tossed out the words too quickly. He looked down at the arrow in his hands, feeling ill. He wanted to fling it into the ocean, but he couldnt. Cam squinted. You havent told her. Daniel froze. I cant tell her anything. We could lose her. You could lose her, Cam sneered. You know what I mean. Daniel stiffened. Its too risky to assume she could take it all in without. He closed his eyes to banish the image of the agonizing red-hot blaze.
But it was always burning at the back of his mind, threatening to spread like wildfire. If he told her the truth and killed her, this time she would really be gone. And it would be his fault. Daniel couldnt do anythinghe could not existwithout her.
His wings burned at the thought. Better to shelter her just a little longer. How convenient for you, Cam muttered. I just hope she isnt disappointed. Daniel ignored him. Do you really believe shell be able to learn at this school? I do, Cam answered slowly. Assuming we agree shell have no external distractions. That means no Daniel, and no Cam.
That has to be the cardinal rule. Not see her for eighteen days? Daniel couldnt fathom it. More than that, he couldnt fathom Luces ever agreeing to it. They had only just found each other in this lifetime and finally had a chance to be together. But, as usual, explaining the details could kill her. She couldnt hear about her past lives from the mouths of angels. Luce didnt know it yet, but very soon, she would be on her own to figure out.
The buried truthspecifically what Luce would think of itterrified Daniel. But Luces uncovering it by herself was the only way to break free from this horrible cycle. This was why her experience at Shoreline would be crucial. For eighteen days, Daniel could kill as many Outcasts as came his way. But when the truce was over, everything would be in Luces hands again.
Luces hands alone. The sun was setting over Mount Tamalpais and the evening fog was rolling in. Let me take her to Shoreline, Daniel said.
It would be his last chance to see her. Cam looked at him strangely, wondering whether to concede. A second time, Daniel had to physically force his aching wings back into his skin.
Fine, Cam said at last. In exchange for the starshot. Daniel handed over the weapon, and Cam slipped it inside his coat. Take her as far as the school and then find me. Dont screw up; Ill be watching. And then? You and I have hunting to do. Daniel nodded and unfurled his wings, feeling the deep pleasure of their release all through his body. He stood for a moment, gathering energy, sensing the winds rough resistance.
Time to flee this cursed, ugly scene, to let his wings carry him back to a place where he could be his true self. Back to Luce. And back to the lie he would have to live a little while longer. The truce begins at midnight tomorrow, Daniel called, kicking back a great spray of sand on the beach as he lifted off and soared across the sky. Half asleep, she found it so much easier to pretend she was already reunited with Daniel.
It felt like a lifetime since shed seen him, though it had really only been a few days. The absence of his voice, his warmth, the touch of his wings: An arm brushed against hers, and Luce opened her eyes. She was face to face with a wide-eyed, brownhaired guy a few years older than her. Sorry, they both said at the same time, each retreating a few inches on either side of the planes armrest.
Out the window, the view was startling. The plane was making its descent into San Francisco, and Luce had never seen anything like it before. As they traced the south side of the bay, a winding blue tributary seemed to cut through the earth on its way to the sea. The stream divided a vibrant green field on one side from a swirl of something bright red and white on the other. She pressed her forehead to the double plastic pane and tried to get a better view.
What is that? Salt, the guy answered, pointing. He leaned in closer. They mine it out of the Pacific. The answer was so simple, so.
Almost a surprise after the time shed spent with Daniel and the othershe was still unpracticed at using the terms literallyangels and demons. She looked out across the midnight-blue water, which seemed to stretch forever west. Sun-over-water had always meant morning to Atlantic coastraised Luce.
But out here, it was almost night. Youre not from around here, are you? Luce shook her head but held her tongue. She kept staring out the window. Before shed left Georgia this morning, Mr. Cole had coached her about keeping a low profile.
Torment by Lauren Kate PDF Book Download
The other teachers had been told that Luces parents had requested a transfer. It was a lie. A few weeks before, this would have infuriated her. She had glimpsed a snapshot of another lifeone of so many shed shared with Daniel before. Shed discovered a love more important to her than anything shed ever thought possible.
And then shed seen all of that threatened by a crazy, dagger-wielding old woman whom shed thought she could trust. There were more out there like Miss Sophia, that Luce knew. But no one had told her how to recognize them. Miss Sophia had seemed normal, up until the end. Could the others look as innocent as. Luce swallowed, folded her hands on her lap, and tried to think about Daniel. Daniel was taking her someplace safe.
Luce pictured him waiting for her in one of those gray plastic airport chairs, elbows on knees, his blond head tucked between his shoulders. Rocking back and. Standing up every few minutes to pace around the baggage carousel. There was a jolt as the plane touched down.
Suddenly she was nervous. Would he be as happy to see her as she was to see him? She focused on the brown and beige pattern on the cloth seat in front of her. Her neck felt stiff from the long flight and her clothes had a stale, stuffy airline smell. The navy-blue-suited ground crew outside the window seemed to be taking an abnormally long time to direct the plane to its Jetway. Her knees bobbed with impatience. I take it youre staying in California for a while?
The guy next to her offered a lazy smile that only made Luce more anxious to get up. Why would you say that? What would make you think that? He blinked. With that huge red duffel bag and all. Luce inched away from him. She hadnt even noticed this guy until two minutes ago when hed jarred her awake. How did he know about her luggage? Hey, nothing creepy. He shot her a strange look. I was just standing behind you in line when you checked in. Luce smiled awkwardly.
I have a boyfriend streamed from her mouth. Instantly, her cheeks reddened. The guy coughed. Got it. Luce grimaced. She didnt know why shed said that. She didnt want to be rude, but the seat belt light went off and all she wanted to do was barrel past this guy and right off the plane.
He must have had the same idea, because he edged backward in the aisle and swept his hand forward. As politely as she could, Luce pushed past and bounded toward the exit.
Only to get caught in a bottleneck of agonizing slowness on the Jetway. Silently cursing all the casual Californians shuffling in front of her, Luce stood on her toes and shifted from foot to foot. By the time she stepped into the terminal, shed driven herself half insane with impatience.
Finally, she could move. She wove expertly through the crowd and forgot all about the guy shed just met on the plane. She forgot to feel nervous that shed never been to California in her lifenever been further west than Branson, Missouri, that time when her parents dragged her to see Yakov Smirnoff doing standup. She was headed toward the only thing in the world that had the power to make her feel better.
The only thing that could make her feel that all the anguish shed been through all the shadows, that unreal battle in the cemetery, and worst of all, the heartbreak of Penns deathmight be worth surviving. There he was. Sitting exactly as shed imagined he would, on the last in a block of sad gray chairs, next to an automatic sliding door that kept opening and closing behind him. For a second, Luce stood still and just enjoyed the view. Daniel was wearing flip-flops and dark jeans shed never seen before, and a stretched-out red T-shirt that was ripped near the front pocket.
He looked the same, yet somehow different. More rested than he had when theyd said goodbye the other day. And was it just that shed missed him so much, or was his skin even more radiant than she remembered?
He looked up and finally saw her. His smile practically gleamed. She took off running toward him. Within a second, his arms were around her, her face buried in his chest, and Luce let out the longest, deepest breath. Her mouth found his and they sank into a kiss. She went slack and happy in his arms. She hadnt realized it until now, but a part of her had wondered whether shed ever see him again, whether the whole thing might have been a dream.
The love she felt, the love that Daniel reciprocated, all still felt so surreal. Still caught up in his kiss, Luce lightly pinched his bicep. Not a dream. For the first time in she didnt even know how long, she felt like she was home. Youre here, he whispered into her ear. Youre here. Were both here. They laughed, still kissing, eating up every bit of the sweet awkwardness at seeing each other again.
But when Luce was least expecting it, her laugh turned into a sniffle. She was looking for a way to say how hard the last few days had been for herwithout him, without anyone, half asleep and groggily aware that everything had changedbut in Daniels arms now, she failed to find the words. I know, he said. Lets get your bag and get out of here.
Luce turned toward the baggage carousel and found her neighbor from the plane standing in front of her, the straps of her huge duffel gripped in his hands.
I saw this go by, he said, a forced smile on his face, like he was hell-bent on proving his good intentions. Its yours, isnt it? Before Luce had time to answer, Daniel relieved the guy of the unwieldy bag, using only one hand. Thanks, man. Ill take it from here, he said, decisively enough to end the conversation.
The guy watched as Daniel slid his other hand around Luces waist and steered her away. Then they were through the sliding glass doors and. The early-November air felt fresh and brisk and somehow healthy, not soggy and chilled like the Savannah air this afternoon when her plane had taken off.
The sky was a brilliant bright blue, no clouds on the horizon. Everything looked new-minted and cleaneven the parking lot held row after row of recently washed cars. A line of mountains framed it all, tawny brown with scraggly dots of green trees, one hill rolling into the next. She was not in Georgia anymore. I cant decide whether to be surprised, Daniel teased. I let you out from under my wing for two days and another guy swoops in.
Luce rolled her eyes. Come on. We barely spoke. Really, I slept the whole flight. She nudged him. Dreaming of you. Daniels pursed lips turned into a smile and he gave the top of her head a kiss. She stood still, wanting more, not even realizing that Daniel had stopped in front of a car.
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And not just any car. A black Alfa Romeo. Luces jaw dropped when Daniel unlocked the passenger door. This is. More than that, Daniel laughed. This used to be your car. He laughed when she practically jumped at his. She was still getting used to the reincarnation part of their story. It was so unfair. A whole car she had no memory of. Whole lives she couldnt recall. She was desperate to know about them, almost like her former selves were siblings shed been separated from at birth.
She rested her hand on the windshield, searching for a wisp of something, for dj vu. It was a sweet sixteen present from your folks a couple of lifetimes ago.
Daniel looked sideways, like he was trying to decide how much to say. Like he knew she was hungry for the details but might not be able to swallow too many at once.
I just bought it off this guy in Reno. He bought it after you, uh.She wore a cool fitted black sheath dress with a blue belt and matching peep-toe stilettos. Popular in Culture. There was a nice grassy patch with some picnic tables, but the main attraction was the cabin itself: More than half of it looked like it was made of glass, all wide, tinted windows and open sliding doors. Thats awful. Tom Reynolds. We got backwards in time by leapfrogging through other angels Announcers, so maybe we have to get home that way, too.
One night around dinnertime I was walking past your house. I cant decide whether to be surprised, Daniel teased. They will do anything they can to stop us.