Series: The Last of The Fallen Trilogy, Book 1
Author: Cydney Lawson
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Charlie is in serious hot water.
After a naked girl falls from the sky, lands on his lawn, and claims to be from heaven, his entire summer is flipped upside-down. This girl can talk to animals, fight like a ninja, and hear people’s thoughts. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she’s got the most gorgeous blue eyes this side of the equator and skin as soft as goose down. But she is on earth for one reason and one reason only: to save a lost soul left behind on the wrong plane.
Charlie agrees to help her, but when her jealous partner shows up to speed up the process, things get tense for all of them. Can Charlie let go of the one thing that has ever made him feel worthwhile? And more importantly, does she feel the same?
It didn’t take long to find her. She was on her knees in front of a tall statue of a crying angel.
The angel was beautiful with long curling hair pulled back into a chaste bun. Her head was bowed, and her palms were up. A flowing stone robe wrapped around her, and in my mind, it was rose pink silk. The angel was barefoot, and Tane’s hand rested there.
Finally, I took in the sight of her wings. The angel’s wings weren’t large, but they were great anyway. They were pulled in close to the angel’s back, as if she were trying to comfort herself.
A minute passed before I could find words. “Is that what they really look like?” My quieted voice still sounded too loud in the sacred place. Tane’s head was dipped down to her chest just like the statue’s.
“It is frighteningly accurate, yes.”
I hesitated for a moment behind her until I mustered up the good sense to move to her side. I took a knee and awkwardly tapped her shoulder. When she looked at me, I felt my world end a little right there. I’d never seen eyes so sad.
“You miss it,” I guessed, referring to Fismuth.
She nodded and lifted her gaze to the angel’s face. “I am not confident that I will complete my mission.” She took a deep breath. “I am not confident that I am fit for this mission.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Where I am from I am not the most advanced. I am only a Fourth Stage. I cannot heal. I am known for my fragility. I am not special.”
The line of worry between her eyes only deepened as she went on. She did look sort of breakable. I didn’t tell her that, though. I just put my hand on top of hers which was on top of the angel’s foot.
The air was hot and heavy, suffocating. I was going to smell horrible later, if I didn’t already. I looked around, at first to see if anyone else had come to visit loved ones lost, then because I was entranced.
The various headstones and columns and statues and even the one tomb-thing off to the side were like half-drowning buildings. The plant-life was swallowing them whole, and it was like watching the city of Atlantis die. The only things that spoke for the dead, their tombstones, the only things that screamed ‘I was here’ were slowly fading away.
The trees were as still as I’d ever seen them without any hope for wind to make the leaves shiver. The trees looked dry, too, and less colorful.
The cemetery was silent.
“I’m not special either,” I offered, hoping to distract her from her doubts. Her gaze did not move from the angel’s iris-less eyes.
“Is there nothing you do well?” she asked.
“Nothing you are passionate about?”
“Not a thing.”
“No goals you have set for yourself?”
“Goals are for athletes,” I joked dryly, forgetting that the humor would be lost on her.
Tane shifted her gaze from the angel to me and said, “Then perhaps we are more properly suited to work together than I originally predicted.”
“What ails you, Charlie?” she asked, standing far enough away from me that I didn’t feel the need to yell at her. “Your thoughts are muddled and angry.”
“Stay out of my thoughts, Tane.” My voice came out as stone. I threw up a hard wall against her mind’s pursuit, and Tane visibly reacted. She gasped softly and bowed her head. Sighing, I scooped the brown grounds into the filter. It was hard to stay so upset when Gaius wasn’t there. I hadn’t meant to snap at her.
“I apologize, Charlie, for the intrusion. I will wait in your quarters.” She moved to leave. I couldn’t just let her leave, but I couldn’t swallow my pride either. Her hair grazed my upper arm as she passed me, and I gave in.
Defeated, I outstretched my arm and caught her hip. She froze and did not look at me. That was all right; I wasn’t looking at her either.
“I just,” I stopped myself and ground my teeth. “I just don’t like seeing you with him. Like you two have this weird connection. It makes me upset, okay?” I still sounded harsh, but I was half-way holding Tane in my arms. I couldn’t really complain.
She was silent for a long while. I twisted my body slowly so that I was staring at her profile. She didn’t turn to me.
“I do not understand,” she mumbled, her voice still clear in the almost silent kitchen.
Tane looked so out of place there, with the pastels and the sail boat wallpaper and the frames for pictures that my mom never took. She looked out of place everywhere in my house. She didn’t belong here. But I’d never wanted anything more strongly. The realization clenched my gut.
I sighed and turned more fully to her. “No, Tane. I think you do.”
Cydney Lawson is an adventurous college student with a slightly awkward, yet quirky, personality. She can always be found with pen and paper in hand, and chocolate and a paperback close by. When not writing, Cydney can be found studying for her creative writing degree, spending time with friends and family, or cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Her dream is to move away from the craziness of the city and live in a cabin in the woods with her 2 dogs (who don’t belong to her yet) as a full time writer and editor.