by Sunniva Dee
Publication date: November 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal
I’m Luna, and I’ve been in the Twilight Zone since I moved in with my sister and her boyfriend.
I sense their secrets in every corner of the house.
Gabriel is eerily beautiful, and his personality disturbingly perfect, while Gaia’s inexplicable PTSD and mood swings bounce her between bliss and despair.
Until Gabriel’s brothers pay a visit.
He’s the night to his brother’s day. He’s sex personified and the devil in one hell of a stunning package. It’s been years since I last saw him, but this man makes me burn. He hooks me with his touch. Enthralls me with those oddly simmering eyes. He pierces my soul with his knowing smirks, and I am losing myself in him.
With pearlescent hair and spring green eyes, he crashes into my world. I thought this crazy, beautiful man could mend my bleeding heart. Make things recognizable again—normal. Instead he pulls me from the embers and feeds me to the open fire.
College life. Is this what everyone goes trough?
At the hospital, the older nurse I liked, the one with the tight, gray hair bun, opened. Her sweet grin was contagious.
“Luna! Come on in. Kakabel can’t wait to show you his new room.”
His door didn’t have a slit to peek through. The nurse playfully motioned for me to sneak in.
Kakabel was leaning on the windowsill, and I tiptoed over to him. With elbows resting on the ledge, he stared at something outside. I loved how relaxed he seemed.
A window washer stood on a small platform hanging opposite us. I frowned as the man shook and dropped the squeegee he held. His hands staggered to his abdomen, then to his throat. I pivoted and ran back into the hallway.
Gray Bun’s eyes widened from the nurses’ station.
“The window cleaner,” I puffed, “he’s having some kind of episode.” The sudden rush of adrenaline made me sound winded. She barked out a “Thanks” before bustling off.
Ka didn’t react when I banged the door open and rushed back into his room. He was resting his cheek into a palm while he studied the man fighting for his life.
“Ka?” I put an arm around his waist and inched closer. “What are you doing?”
His lips curved up imperceptibly. In front of us, the worker crumpled on the platform, his face contorting in a silent scream, and Ka sighed…happily?
He turned his head, eyes lingering on the scene outside. At last, his attention drifted to me. “Hey, beautiful,” he murmured so sweetly.
He’d been worried before. Pained. He’d burned with want for me. But I’d never seen this strange sort of relief smoothing his features.
His mouth pulled up in a tiny, delighted smile. What shocked the hell out of me, though, were his eyes.
Sure, eyes shifted between all shades of colors in his family, but the iridescent green of Ka’s irises wasn’t what bothered me. Now, they burst with something more. Something else.
Ka—sweet, crazy Ka—was he emanating…evil? No, this couldn’t be. My knees buckled, and he caught me before I hit the floor. Dizzy, I tried to avoid his stare. A swift glance out the window revealed white-coated staff being lowered on another miniature platform. The washer was standing now, shaking his head as if clearing it.
“Are you okay, Moon Child?” Ka purred, planting soft kisses down my neck. When I pulled away and met his gaze again, all I could read was concern.
“What were you doing?” I asked.
“I was strangling him a little,” he said, a chuckle escaping against my skin.
I rolled my eyes. Of course. How stupid of me.
Disappointed, horrified, shocked. I raced home on my bicycle. One thing was that he’d cheated, freaking slept with someone else—it was beyond words. But what about Margo’s reaction? She’d fought tooth and nail for Ka’s attention. Her fixation was the final trigger to questions I’d bottled up for too long. Now, my mind hopped around clutching puzzle pieces and needing to fit them together.
What if Kakabel isn’t making anything up?
A stab of anxiety made my stomach hurt as I listed off the evidence.
Vicky and I always talked about how “out of this world” beautiful these brothers were. Their pull with girls was straight out abnormal—even guys went all misty-eyed on them. Fast and agile, they all moved like wild animals. In my peripheral vision, Gabriel and Cassiel appeared to shimmer…even though they didn’t whenever I stared right at them. Their irises fluctuated in a range of colors I’d never witnessed on people.
I leaned my bike against the porch and sank down on the step. Needing to calm the fear, I covered my face and breathed into my hands.
You’ve got to keep your feet on the ground!
A soft, furry cheek stroked the back of my hand. It was as if Zeebs wanted to comfort me. I peeked out between my fingers and met his yellow stare. All relaxed, he seemed so sure of everything.
I giggled out a short breath: talk about going haywire, here.
Angels, if they existed at all, would don giant, white wings and white robes. They wouldn’t be super-hot guys slouching about in wife beaters or Levi’s, and they definitely wouldn’t be jonesing for girls. Not to mention knocking up people’s sisters! I laughed out loud.
Yeah, angels wouldn’t get mad and swear up a storm. Beat the hell out of each other and get themselves locked up in the mad house. I wiped an eye, curbing a fit of hysterical laughter.
I’d been through so much over the last months. Anyone could short-circuit under this kind of pressure. I was strong, though, and a couple of sexy dudes weren’t going to make me snap.
I rested my elbows on the handrail of the gallery and scoured the main floor. Dozens of barstools held hot women, none of which I wanted.
A handful of men occupied some chairs too, eyes roving over passing girls and heads bobbing to the beat. What was with the indecision? Weren’t they—quote, unquote—on the prowl?
The fog pushed out in spurts from pipes along the baseboards. It crept around people’s feet, providing the much ooohed-over smoke effect of the establishment. The way it swayed under the glass tiles of the dance floor was almost impressive.
Violet spotlights faded behind the endless bar counter, leaving the crystal bottles and glasses on the shelves to glitter like glacier snow against the mirrors. Personally, I preferred a more, let’s say, sizzling look.
Kakabel was a goddamn traffic light in his white clothes. Not that dark threads would’ve helped; shimmer or not, with his snowy skin and hair reflecting the light, Ka was easily recognizable.
He leaned into the counter, tête-à-tête with the bartender. She handed him a rum and Coke. Ka flicked out a bill—probably acquired from Luna—but the bartender wagged a finger coquettishly, puckering up for a smooch instead.
Dude sure as hellfire didn’t hesitate. He bent over and grabbed her face, surprising her by shoving his tongue into her mouth. She had no complaints. Dropping the dishtowel, she clamped around his neck and pulled him in.
Damn, they kissed for a while. Several minutes? I studied them. Ka might fling the “girlfriend” word around all day, but he had no idea what it meant. How the fuck had Luna bought into his scam?
If this were all it took to be “girlfriend-boyfriend,” my existence would’ve been easy. I’d have been at home with Luna, and she would never have visited this clown at the hospital. Exclusivity. My chest vibrated and not from the music.
“Goddamn it, Kakabel.”
I’d dropped Policewoman off at her apartment and erased her memories. Blue thumbprints had dotted her mouth. With cheeks glowing from the aftereffects, she’d dozed off in a foggy bliss. Now, I was back home, ready to destroy.
My idiot relative had brewed coffee. He sent me a quick glance over his shoulder and shrugged while he mixed in sugar. “She was nice.”
“Ka. I don’t even know what to say to you. I can’t fucking fix you. It’s absolutely…”
This bozo had demolished my mojo. What was I supposed to do? I’d loved my freedom, my existence, and not having a conscience.
With Kakabel around, everything changed. He messed with Luna. How could anyone mess with Luna?
I snatched his mug and hurled it high against the wall, bullet-style. It evaporated into a mist that rained down over us.
Kakabel’s eyes brightened with surprise. “Dude!”
Could anything be more annoying than his ignorance? I’d become a babysitter, but I sure as hellfire didn’t need more reminders of it.
“Luna’s too good for you,” I said, my chest burning. Everything was his fault. If he hadn’t been around, I’d still be me.
Ka scratched his head, looking insanely special. Yofiel-special. As in abnormally beautiful, even for an angel.
“Why?” he asked, blinking.
“I can’t believe I’m spelling this out for you, Kakabel: you’re screwing around. Not being loyal. Sleeping with other females. Cheating on the best girl you’ll ever—”
My vision blurred, and I didn’t wait for his response. I caught his giant freaking eyes doubling in size before I smashed his face in, grabbed the jerk by the collar, and flew off with him.
Oh yes, the Shades Run mountain chain was a wonderful place to beat the shit out of assholes you couldn’t destroy. Away from prying eyes.
“Cassiel,” he groaned between strikes, “Luna didn’t come home with me.”
“And thank God for that,” I growled, crushing bone.
“The other one did.”
I laughed, not slowing down on the blows to his head. Ka’s hair dripped crimson red over his eyebrows. It streamed into his eyes between the hits. “Police Girl was my lay, Ka.”
“You didn’t want her.”
“I never asked for a mindreading.”
Kakabel spat out something red and large. His heart, maybe, if he had one. When he started giggling, I was done.
“Do you like females, Cassiel?” he forced out.
Yep, time for the big guns. I sparked off a lightning bolt, mixing it with Gabriel’s favorite, the lava-molten geyser spray. Always a winner if the goal was to reduce an enemy to a shuddering pile.
This fool’s quakes came from laughter, though. “What the hell’s your problem, Kakabel?”
“You want my girlfriend,” he wheezed out. Thankfully, his face was taking on a gelatinous consistency; I’d give my soul to have it remain that way. From inside the lava heap, his skin sizzled and deformed him, but he still managed a smile.
“Never mind your opinions,” I snarled. “Here’s the deal.”
“You always talk about ‘deals,’” he snickered through a whimper. “Only I don’t like them, remember?”
“Shut up, dickhead!”
He was a Fallen, a bad boy, and everything in between. I’d tried. God knew I’d tried to keep them apart, but these kids were freaking magnets. Plus, how could I object with the way he fought for her? Not that I’d have a say.
A wall of tranquility hit us when we entered the house. I caught a quick glimpse of aqua blue as Gabriel surveyed my mood over his shoulder. The door slammed shut behind us, and the peace he’d saturated the air with instantly infused every pore.
Cassiel’s eyes, a slow-floating gold, edged over Luna’s placid expression, her still limbs. Carefully, he eased her onto the coach and leaned her against the backrest.
“Sweetness,” he said, his tone so different from anything I’d ever heard him use before. “Rest now, okay? I’ll take you home soon.”
My sister smiled, unconcerned with the struggle happening only yards away, and Cassiel swung around to focus on his brothers.
“So waves of serenity, huh? Do they work on him?” The flight must have done Cassiel good. No trace of fury or lack of control, remained. Now, he studied Kakabel with the levelheaded scrutiny of a scientist.
“Somewhat,” Gabriel puffed while pushing Ka into a kitchen corner.
Drunk on a luxurious sort of harmony, I flopped down on a barstool. It never ceased to surprise me how all worries disappeared in this state. With only the breakfast bar between us, the view was excellent.
“Well, time to beat him into a pulp,” Cassiel declared, rubbing his hands together. “Pass him on.”
“No, Cassiel. Michael is coming tomorrow. We’ve got less than twenty-four hours.”
“To do what? Fix his ass? All he’s done is create chaos.” Cassiel broke into one of his trademark derisive laughs. “Unless you made some stupid promise to Michael?”
Gabriel kept Ka shackled to the wall with an arm. A bruise forming on Ka’s cheekbone did nothing to mar his beauty.
“Don’t be silly,” Gabriel retorted. “We need him manageable. He’s over the top again.”
He shot Cassiel a glance. “I thought you were the self-proclaimed police here, dedicated to keeping us all under the Celestial radar. What happened?”
“Cassiel lost his head to love,” I slurred, grinning, and caught the ghost of a smirk from Gabriel.
“Because he loooves me,” Luna sang from her relaxed position on the couch.
“Dude, turn down the serenity, will you? The girls are—”
“Just concentrate, Cassiel!” Gabriel’s voice was a whip, contrasting with the sensation he provided.
“My baby’s bossy,” I giggled. “Better listen.”
How could I lose him in seconds? My eyes darted, hunting desperately around me.
“Luna, are you okay?” Gaia’s voice buzzed at my ear, disturbing me. The blood pounded in my head, making it difficult to think.
Where is he?
Customers pressed in along the never-ending bar to the furthest bend. None of them was Cassiel.
“Luna?” Vicky shouted.
“Who’s she looking for? Ka?” Vicky yelled to Gaia when I didn’t reply.
“I’m going to the restroom,” I managed, and Gaia stroked my arm.
“Easy, Luna. Relax.”
She was telling me that. At the moment, I couldn’t dwell on the absurdity of the situation. Her stare followed me as I stalked in the opposite direction of the bathrooms.
Spotlights sliced through the dancers. I pressed against sweaty bodies for a shortcut to the front door.
Has he left already?
Frustrated, I squirmed, trying to squeeze between a couple rubbing back to back. They didn’t budge.
The exit beckoned in the distance. No one was letting me through, and heat and budding panic dampened my forehead. Yeah, I’d chosen the wrong path.
“Excuse me!” At the core of the dance floor, my voice thickened to cotton when I tried again. “Let me pass.”
I choked on the hot air. A chunky dude lowered in a shimmy, revealing Ka’s mane against the darkness from the street outside.
My boyfriend was beyond beautiful. Ka threw his head back and laughed to someone, hair sparkling surreally and teeth gleaming like pearls. The ease of Ka’s moves surpassed any Bolshoi dancer’s.
I peered past him.
Nothing. My thoughts spun out of control, making no sense, so I drowned them.
This must be how my sister felt. I was going crazy. Another disgusting gulp of air shot down my throat to my lungs.
There he was. I’d recognize his shape anywhere. The silky hair gleaming blue under the lasers. The shape of his shoulders, the regal posture barely sloped into a hunter’s pose.
The glow—always the glow. How could his skin glow? I was nuts.
Cassiel had chosen a dark corner of the dance floor. My mouth went dry as I narrowed in. Was he hiding from me? Anger flushed away the panic as I pushed closer.
He rocked his body to the music, hips swaying to the beat. Droplets moved down his throat, shining—glittering. I wanted to lick them off.
He broke into a gorgeous smile, and my heart shrunk. One of those stunning blondes with fairy bodies and big boobs wiggled in front of him.
Her arms snaked up, curled around his neck, making Cassiel’s eyes sparkle with approval.
Sex on the Beach projectiled from my glass. It hit Fairy Girl’s face in a single, messy splash. Not so cute now, was she, all wet and dirty?
Her expression contorted, makeup running through the whimper she let out.
There was no room on the dance floor. The glass slipped out of my hand and shattered when it hit the ground, but I was beyond caring.
I wedged in between them and shoved into Cassiel’s body. He lost balance, taking a step back. Fairy Girl lifted her hands in a “What the hell” gesture, and I hissed—just hissed—and watched her back away from my—
“Cassiel! Don’t you dare…”
…touch someone else.
…look at someone else.
I smothered the words. Slammed my palms into his chest and pushed against him.
I write New Adult fiction with a paranormal twist and don’t shy away from romance and heart-wrenching passion when necessary.
I moved from Norway to the United States in 2001, and the first awesome five years I spent in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles. Then I read “The Book,” aka Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which spurred my husband and me to move cross country to beautiful Savannah, Georgia.
I’m currently on my seventh year in the Deep South, where I enjoy the heat and the humidity. Besides writing, I spend my time with our “petting zoo” as in an opinionated parrot, a herd of cats that are experts on keyboard shortcuts, and puppies that…uh, bark.
I hold a Master’s degree in languages, with concentrations within literature and linguistics. I taught at college level for a decade before settling in as a graduate adviser at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Writing is my passion, my joy, and my addiction. When I’m not writing, I read.
Shattering Halos is my debut novel, and its standalone sequel, Stargazer, is due out later this year.
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