Just a snippet from Angel I Am Not…. 🙂
I dangled my feet off of the narrow bridge arced over the small pond adjacent Novah’s ranch. I glanced across the water at the muddy bank, where I’d shed my cowboy boots before sulking barefoot across the creaking bridge. The same bank where I’d fought with Els the day before. Maybe she’d run off because of me. If I could just learn to keep my big mouth shut!
I dipped a toe in. The surface was warm but I knew in the darker areas of the water, the sun had not touched the chill just yet. My mom, had always told me, don’t go bare foot until after May 1st or you’d get sick. I guess everyone’s family had some kind of saying or superstition. Mine had many. I could only imagine what kind of demon they’d call their beloved Ayana if I was to turn up on the doorstep now, fanged out.
A large shadow fell across mine as a pair of strong arms wrapped around my waist. Bex sat behind me and let his feet hang over the bridge next to mine. I leaned into him and let the sun soak my face with golden heat. I tried letting go. I really did. I tried letting my worries and fears drift away like one of the many clouds in the azure sky.
I couldn’t. Regardless of how badly I had wanted nothing to do with the Phoenix Elite in the past, Elora was and would always be a Phoenix. If I loved her and wanted her to accept me for what I’d become, I’d have to move past my own selfish prejudices and insecurities and cross time and space to accept and help her.
Bex blew lightly into my ear causing a shiver to ripple my entire body. “Now, now,” I whispered.
“What? Just wanted to see if your heart still beat the same way for me that it did back in Cairo.”
“Of course it does. Why would you think otherwise?”
“Oh, you just seem a little- distant lately.”
“Wouldn’t you be? I haven’t seen my parents in ages. And they’ll hate me when they see what I’ve become. I can never go back, can I?” It came out as more of a statement than question. The finality of it stung. I squinted my eyes shut tightly, forcing the tears to stay away.
“I know how you feel. I haven’t seen mine in what feels likes forever, myself. But I’ve written that life off. Closed that chapter and moved on to a new one. It was the only way for me, serving Isaac as I was. I had no choice. Someday, maybe you can…go back.”
“No,” I interrupted. They’d never accept what I am. And Elora- I won’t see her join that man. I’ll kill him myself.” I turned, my eyes burning. “Not after what he did to you.” I ran my fingers across his chest, knowing what lay beneath- faint, white lines striping his caramel flesh. “It was agony listening to your cries and being completely unable to defend you.”
“I’m sorry you had to hear that.” He kissed my forehead softly.
“No. I’m sorry you had to endure it, because of me.”
“It was worth every drop of blood shed just to be with you now. No more tears sweet Chloe. He’ll pay. Elora is stronger and smarter than you give her credit for. Yes, she is driven by emotion now, but she will make the right decision. You’ll see.”
“I hope so. I sure hope so.” I snuggled back against my Ruhk’s chest and closed my eyes.