Blessed (Book 2, The Watchers Trilogy; Young Adult Paranormal Romance)

BOOK: Blessed (Book 2, The Watchers Trilogy; Young Adult Paranormal Romance)
12.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

Blessed

The Watchers Trilogy

 

Book Two

 

 

By

S.J. West

List of Watcher Books in the Watcher Series

 

The Watchers Trilogy

Cursed

Blessed

Forgiven

 

The Watcher Chronicles

Broken

Kindred

Oblivion

Ascension

 

Caylin’s Story

Timeless

Devoted

 

The Redemption Series

Malcolm

Anna

Lucifer

Redemption

Other Books by S.J. West

 

The Harvest of Light Trilogy

Harvester

Hope

Dawn

 

The Vankara Saga

Vankara

Dragon Alliance (Coming Fall/Winter 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©2012 S.J. West. All Rights Reserved.

CHAPTER ONE

My life is blessed. Everyone should be woken up with kisses at least once in their lifetime. I could feel Brand’s warm lips gently coaxing me to leave the world of dreams and join him in our reality. I opened my eyes, only to be mesmerized by the pale beauty of the man, my angel, lying next to me on my pillow.

“Good morning,” he murmured in between kisses, which felt like the gentle flutter of butterfly wings against my skin.

We lay there, basking in the joy of being close to one another. How had I ever doubted Brand was the love I’d been waiting for all my life? I realized the feelings I once harbored for Will were just a glimmer of what true love was meant to feel like.

“You seemed to sleep well,” Brand said, brushing his fingertips against the side of my face, instantly making me feel cherished.

“I must have been exhausted. I don’t even think I had a dream.”

But if I didn’t dream…

“You didn’t sleep last night?” I asked. I knew if Brand had slept and dreamt, I would have experienced his fantasy world; just one of the peculiarities about myself I had discovered in the last few days.

“I didn’t have any reason to dream,” he said. “I already had you in my arms.”

I couldn’t help but smile, even though his words sounded like they were a direct quote from a sappy romance novel.

“How do you do that?”

“Do what?” he asked, perplexed.

“Make my heart melt with just a few words.”

He smiled, obviously pleased. “My words only affect you because you know I mean them.”

After a long while of enjoying each other’s company, we decided it was time to get out of bed and face the day we had ahead of us.

I knew we had promised my best friend Tara that we would explain everything to her about my abduction, and why Malcolm had lied to the police saying we had spent the six days I was missing vacationing together in Las Vegas. I wasn’t looking forward to the talk with her. Telling her everything would just make the events of the past few days even more real for me. She was my only ground in an insane world. I knew after she understood everything, nothing would be the same again. I wouldn’t be able to go back to the way my life had been before.

But, was that a bad thing? Trading in my ordinary existence for a chance at an extraordinary life with Brand seemed like a fair exchange.

Brand went down to cook some breakfast while I hopped into his bathtub for a quick shower. When I was done, I turned off the water and slid the curtain aside to step out.

“I can’t
believe
he left you alone.”

I quickly grabbed the shower curtain to hide behind, almost yanking it off its rail. Through the steam collected in the bathroom, I could see Malcolm leaning casually with his back against the door, facing me. Of course, he wore his red silk shirt open to expose his model-perfect chest and a pair of tight black jeans which left little to the imagination.

“Malcolm! What are you doing?” I hissed.

I felt my cheeks flush hotly. How much had he been able to see through the fog in the room? From the leering grin and pleased look on his face, I assumed he had seen a lot more of me than anyone else in the world had, except for maybe Utha Mae and my mom.

“I came to make sure you were all right, dearest. I did promise Tara I would stop by and check in on you. Anyway, it’s a good thing I did. You shouldn’t be left alone!”

“You need to leave. If Brand finds you in here there’s going to be trouble, and that’s the last thing I need right now.”

“I could take him in a fight.” Malcolm shrugged his shoulders, like it wasn’t a big deal.

“Please, Malcolm,” I pleaded. “For my benefit, he’s trying to accept you. I don’t want to ruin that. You’re my friend. I don’t want there to be any more tension than there already is between the two of you.”

With a sigh of resignation, Malcolm said, “Oh, all right. But can I at least gloat that I’ve seen you naked before he has?”

Malcolm grinned, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.

I tried to hold my temper in check. I didn’t need to start yelling at my friend for his inappropriate behavior, even though I desperately wanted to.

“You know the answer to that,” I told him through clenched teeth, feeling like I was scolding a teenage boy instead of an angel more ancient than time itself. “Now, get out. And don’t forget about going to my apartment later for our talk with Tara. I’ll call you when we’re ready.”

Malcolm made an extravagant bow in my direction.

“As you command, dearest.”

Malcolm phased out of the bathroom to points unknown. I just hoped it wasn’t anywhere near Brand.

After he left, I stood motionless for a good minute, just to make sure he wasn’t planning to phase back in, uninvited. When it seemed the coast was clear, I grabbed a towel and went back into Brand’s bedroom.

I really didn’t want to put the T-shirt and jeans I’d been wearing for the last six days back on, but didn’t have much of a choice. Although, maybe I could phase back into my apartment long enough to grab some fresh clothes. I closed my eyes and concentrated on my bedroom. I really didn’t have a clue how I had phased out of my prison cell the night before, right as I was supposed to meet the person who wanted me dead. I just remembered thinking about Brand and wanting to be with him. Maybe if I just thought hard enough about where I wanted to go, it would work again.

I’m not sure how long I stood there trying to phase back into my apartment, but I eventually gave up and just put my old jeans back on. I rummaged through Brand’s chest of drawers and found a plain white T-shirt to wear.

I made my way back downstairs and found Brand setting the table. I must have been trying to phase into my apartment a lot longer than I thought; at least long enough for Brand to make omelets, chocolate waffles, scones, bacon, sausage, and what looked like freshly-squeezed orange juice.

“Are we expecting guests?” I asked, surveying the feast.

“No. I just wanted to give you plenty to choose from. I wasn’t sure how hungry you would be. Did they feed you?”

“Yes.”

I didn’t want to talk about that aspect of my time away. I didn’t feel like reliving any of Robert’s visits or what happened before I was able to escape. I knew I would have to tell Brand about my experiences eventually, but I didn’t want to do it just yet. I wasn’t ready.

When I looked up from the table into Brand’s eyes, I could tell he knew I wasn’t telling him the whole truth with my simple yes, but he didn’t push me to tell him anything more.

“Lilly?”

I turned to the front door at the gentle whisper of my name from a friendly, familiar voice. Abby stood there, wearing a sherbet-orange-and-pink wig and a white eyelet summer dress. She walked to me quickly, embracing me in a tight hug.

“Are you all right, love?” She pulled away slightly to look up at me with her hazel eyes. “I’ve been worried sick about you. What happened?”

Brand and I gave Abby the condensed version of the events after my capture by Justin, not really wanting to dwell on the specifics. The pain of our forced separation was still too fresh. We invited Abby to have breakfast with us. She, of course, jumped at the opportunity, since she hated to cook for herself. Rose Marie usually did all of her cooking, but Abby told me she and Carl would be gone for a while.

“Their mother is sick, so they needed to go home to be with her,” Abby told us.

“I didn’t realize they were brother and sister,” I said.

“They probably won’t be back for a month or more.”

I couldn’t honestly say I would miss Rose Marie. She always made me feel uncomfortable when I was around her. She didn’t seem to like me for some reason. I barely knew Carl, so his absence wasn’t particularly troubling to me either.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Brand sitting back in his chair, watching Abby and me talk with one another. I got the distinct feeling he wanted to say something but wasn’t sure if he should. Finally he cleared his throat, gaining our full attention.

“I’m not sure if this is the right time to tell you this,” Brand said to me hesitantly. “But I feel funny having you both sit here and you not know who Abby really is. I don’t want there to be any secrets between us.”

What was he talking about? Abby was his cousin, wasn’t she? Oh, but how could that be if he was an angel?

“Is Abby an angel too?” I asked.

“No.”

The worried look in Brand’s eyes told me he was concerned about how I would react to his next words.

“She’s my daughter.”

I looked back at Abby, completely dumbstruck by this announcement.

“Well, about bloody time that was out in the open,” Abby said, pouring a liberal amount of syrup onto her waffles. “I really hate lying to people I like.”

“Daughter?” I turned to Brand, still trying to wrap my brain around what he’d just said.

“You remember when Tara asked me if I’d ever been in love, that day on the Commons terrace?”

I nodded.

“Abby’s mother was that woman.”

“But I thought that was a long time ago. Abby looks like she’s in her twenties.”

“Our children age, but at an incredibly slow rate,” Brand answered.

Which brought up an interesting question...

“You don’t age, do you?” I asked.

“No,” he said, almost as if he was apologizing for his immortality.

It was all he had to say. There was no way we would be able to grow old together and have a normal life, even though he wanted that just as much as I did. It was a detail that would have to take a number in the line of my worries. I didn’t really care what people might think about us later in life when I was eighty and he still looked like he did now. Why should I fret about what people thought, as long as I was able to spend my life with him? But what worried me most was Brand. How would he feel being left behind after I died?

It was a concern that would have to be pushed back for now, too far in the future to be classified as a real problem at the moment. Right now we needed to focus on the present. Like finding out what Lucifer’s plan was for me, who ordered Justin to kidnap and murder me, and why I possessed the power to phase like an angel.

“You’re not upset about it, are you?” Abby asked me, mistaking the reason for my silence.

I put my hand over Abby’s resting beside me on the table.

“No,” I squeezed her hand lightly before letting it go. “It doesn’t bother me. I’m just glad to know the truth.”

“Good,” she said, relieved. “I always thought you’d understand. Now I don’t have to wear these wigs around you anymore.” Abby pulled the sherbet-colored wig off, revealing the most beautiful head of white hair I’ve ever seen. It shimmered in the light as she ran her fingers through the strands, as if they were made from diamond dust.

“Why do you cover that up?” I asked, experiencing an uncontrollable urge to run my own fingers through her white mane.

“It draws a lot of attention,” she answered. “I’ve tried dyeing it, but it doesn’t stick. So, I wear the wigs when I have to go out.”

“Are the contacts used to hide something, too?” I asked.

“No, I just like them,” she confessed with a guilty smile. “They look like Dad’s, naturally.”

I wanted to ask Brand if there was any way he and I would ever be able to have children of our own. I felt confident I already knew the answer to that from what Malcolm told me not so long ago. He said the mothers of the children of the Watchers lost their lives early in the pregnancy, because their bodies were taken over by the babies, leaving the mother’s body an empty shell, simply kept alive until the child was ready to be born. I can’t say it didn’t make me a bit sad to realize I would never give birth to a child of my own, but having children had never been a high priority for me.

After we ate breakfast and cleaned up, I called Tara to let her know we were on our way to the apartment.

“I’ll be waiting,” was all she said.

I knew then that she was definitely not going to make this easy on us.

I called Will and Malcolm to let them know we were heading over to talk with Tara. I knew it was going to be hard to explain everything to her, and I needed the back- up of my small troupe of angels to face the challenge.

“Maybe it won’t be so bad, love,” Abby said to me before we left Brand’s house.

“No, Tara knows we’ve all been lying to her,” I replied, an uncomfortable knot forming in the pit of my stomach. “She won’t let that go easily. I can’t say I blame her. I’d be mad, too.”

“She’ll understand,” Brand said, putting a comforting arm around my waist. “She was devastated when we couldn’t find you. I’ve never seen a human grieve the way she did. I think, once she gets the answers she needs, everything will be fine.”

When we arrived at the apartment, Will and Malcolm were already in the parking lot, sitting in their cars, waiting for our arrival. I could only assume they didn’t want to go in and be met by Tara’s questions before I got there. I hugged them both and thanked them for coming to help.

When I stepped into the apartment, I definitely noticed a tension in the air that I had never felt before.

BOOK: Blessed (Book 2, The Watchers Trilogy; Young Adult Paranormal Romance)
12.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Mediterranean Summer by David Shalleck
Out of Her Comfort Zone by Nicky Penttila
Birthday Girls by Jean Stone
Blades of the Old Empire by Anna Kashina
Reign by Williamson, Chet