Authors: T.A Richards Neville
In the Falling Awake series
By T.A Richards Neville
even though you will never read this. <3
Copyright 2015 T.A Richards Neville
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, events, locations or organizations, is entirely coincidental.
straddled the Suzuki Hayabusa, and once again put it into gear. The transmission sputtered under me. Caleb uncrossed his arms from over his chest and stood up straight, after leaning against the wall of the garage for the past ten minutes just watching me. “It’s the clutch,” he said.
I wiped the back of my hand across my brow and blew the wispy strands of my hair from my face. “And how do you know that?” I asked, lifting my leg over and hopping down off the bike.
“It’s letting you go into gear. That’s how I know.” I admired the shiny blue and white beauty next to me. “The owners probably only making a half shift,” Caleb said. He was probably right. He was every other time.
“I suppose so,” I said, gripping the bikes handles and pushing it into my dad’s garage.
My dad was still comatose and I had taken over, helping Caleb whenever I had free time. The bike was heavy and it took all of my energy to get it inside. I flipped down the kickstand and went into the office to grab my peach, hooded jacket. I zipped it up and went back out to help Caleb lock up. He was outside working under the hood of a Toyota Corolla. I stopped and let my eyes linger on him for a moment. He had on navy blue coveralls tied around his waist, and a white tank top. Fall was here and it turned his hair a dirty blonde. I wondered if he knew how good he looked right now. It was the back end of October and there was a chill in the air. I never felt it when I was working, but it crept up on me now. The temperature of the weather never affected Caleb, though. Fallen angels were immune to the small, mundane things that affected us humans, like the cold.
“Aren’t you coming? I was going to lock up,” I said to him. It was Friday night and we weren’t that busy. We only worked on fixing cars since my dad couldn’t be here. Salvaging cars had to take a back seat. It was just too much to take on with everything else that was going on. The
being people trying to kill me, or kidnap me.
The last few months had been uneventful, but that didn’t mean the threat had gone away. Caleb still insisted on being vigilant. I, however, was starting to think that maybe it was about time I got my life back on track, and tried living like a normal teenager again. I wouldn’t mention that to Caleb, however. The chances of him agreeing with me were slim to none, and I really didn’t want to piss him off.
There had been no love lost between me and Caleb since the night my dad was taken to Cape Flattery and we rescued him. Well, at least not from Caleb’s side anyway. He treat me like he would anyone else, and I pretended to be fine with it. But inside, I
fine. I woke up every morning hoping that would be the day I would get him back. He was there watching out for me, but It wasn’t enough. I wanted, and
him to care about me, and every day it was nothing more than wishful thinking.
Caleb turned his head to the side without bothering to get up. “I’m going to hang out here for a while longer. Finish this up.”
I fished the keys out of my jacket pocket and stepped forward, burying them in the pocket of his coveralls. He stiffened and I quickly withdrew my hand. “The keys,” I said to him. “Just lock up when you’re done.”
“C’ya then.” I still hated leaving him. I felt his absence like a knife in the heart at times.
I turned, heading out the front entrance of the garage and bumped into someone I was not expecting to see here. No, scratch that. Someone I didn’t want to see here.
“Tamara.” I took a step backward, away from her. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m here to see Caleb. We’re hanging out tonight.” Her expression was innocent and friendly enough, but I knew her better than that. She was enjoying this. Enjoying the startled expression I knew was all over my face. I had to get out of here, now.
“Well he’s back there,” I said, pointing quickly at the Toyota, not wanting to look for too long in case I made eye contact with him. I tried to smile to show I didn’t care, but it wouldn’t come. My lips refused to co-operate. I shoved my way past her, harder than necessary and paced quickly to my fiat. I started the engine and drove home as quickly as possible.
My hands shook as I gripped the wheel and I blinked hard, pushing back the tears. “Don’t cry,” I said to myself, over and over. “
cry. He’s not worth it.” That wasn’t true, though. He was worth it. He was so worth it.
I pulled up in my drive and rummaged through the glove compartment for my cell. I found Melisa’s number on my recent call list and I tapped on the steering wheel anxiously, waiting for her to pick up.
“What’s up, babe?” I heaved out a sigh of relief at the sound of her voice.
“What are we doing tonight?” My voice came out a little too frantic thanks to the acceleration of my irregular heartbeats. I closed my eyes and took steady breaths.
“I don’t know. I didn’t realize we made plans.” There was silence. “Are you okay? You sound weird.”
“Tamara is at the garage… hanging out with Caleb.”
“Shut up!” I moved the phone away from my ear at the sound of her shrill voice.
“Why is he hanging out with her? And since when please?”
“I don’t know, to both of those questions. But they’re hanging out, and I need to do something. I need to go out, or I will drive myself crazy staying home and thinking about it.
“Okay. Well, there’s this party tonight.”
“Whose party?” I asked. A party would definitely work.
“I’m not really sure. There was a flyer sticking out of my locker yesterday. It had an address but no name. Hang on a minute, I’ve got it here.” I heard the crumpling of paper in the background. “It says Afterglow Vista. Nightfall.”
“Yeah, that’s kinda weird right? And what’s Afterglow Vista?” It sounded familiar to me and I racked my brain thinking where I had seen that before. “The Cemetery.” I said. “It’s in Roche Harbor.”
“That’s creepy,” Mellissa said. “It’s Halloween next week. This party sounds perfect. Just what we need to get us in the mood.”
“So, I take it that the party doesn’t start until after nightfall?” That really was a little creepy. Possibly too creepy.
“Yeah. Isn’t that cool?” Oh my god, should we dress up?” Mellissa’s voice hitched about twenty octaves higher and I knew she was shaking with excitement on the other end of the phone.
“No. No dressing up. And no Drake either.”
“No Drake, no guys, and absolutely no Caleb,” Mellissa said, her tone turning to one of dramatic seriousness.
“I’ll pick you up at seven then? It’s pretty much dark around that time.”
“Perfect. C’ya then, sista!” I hung up and braced my hands on the steering wheel. Would Caleb and Tamara show up at this party? No, I doubted it. I’d never even heard of it before Mellissa just told me about it. Who was throwing a party in Roche Harbor, anyway? And in a cemetery of all places? Probably someone really eccentric. Maybe someone from the drama group who was like really into Halloween.
My thoughts slipped back to Caleb and Tamara. I was so angry that they were together right now. Would I be this angry if he was with anyone else? Probably. I pinched my eyes together at the thought that right now they could be kissing.
“No, no, no.” I shook my head. I had to get out of the car and get ready. Anything to keep my over active imagination of what might- or might not- be going on back at the Garage. Had he taken her to his place? “Shut up,” I mumbled, and slid out of the car and went inside the house.
The house was normally empty anyway, my dad worked so many hours at the garage. But this time, the emptiness was different. It felt more complete and final. Leah was looking after him at Caleb’s place but I couldn’t face going to see him tonight. I would go tomorrow. The chances of bumping into Caleb and Tamara were just too high.
I went upstairs and trawled my way through my wardrobe. What could I wear? It would be cold out so I would need to wrap up without looking like I was off on a skiing expedition. It was still a party after all. I pulled out a pair of black, skinny jeans, a black frill tank with thicker straps, and my leather ankle boots. Perfect.
I jumped in the shower and scrubbed away the grime and grease from the garage. I was rinsing the last of the conditioner from my hair when I heard the floorboards creaking in my bedroom. I stiffened, and the hairs on my arms stood on end. The water from the shower was hot, but I felt physically frozen. The water might as well have been ice. I turned the knob, and the water ceased. I wrapped my hands around my hair ringing the excess water out, and grabbed the towel that hung over the sink, wrapping it around my body.
“Hello,” I shouted. The bathroom door was ajar, but I was too afraid to step out. “Hello,” I shouted again, but my only reply was silence. I stood there, my fist clenched tightly around the top of the towel, hugging it to my body. My heart was working double-time, beating like it was ready to jump out of my chest. I steadied myself, and brought one hand up, grabbing onto the sink for support. I blew out a breath.
There’s no one there,
I thought to myself. I listened.
I grabbed the door and yanked it wide open. I stepped out of the bathroom and into my empty bedroom. Everything was in its place. I padded over to my bed where my clothes lay spread out exactly how I had left them. The bedroom carpet felt thick and uncomfortable underneath my wet feet.
My heart contracted at the sound of a clinking noise by my side and my head whipped up in a kneejerk reaction. My mom’s dream catcher swayed gently above my bed, attached to the wall by a tiny little hook. The beads tapped softly against each other and I stuck my hand out, grabbing it to stop the movement. I held it tightly in my hand and looked for any sign of a breeze. The room was warm and my bedroom window was locked shut. Goose bumps rippled up all over my body and I shuddered.
Someone was in here.
I hurried through getting dressed and put on the most minimal amount of make-up, wanting to just get the hell out of the house. I grabbed my coat and I felt relieved closing the front door behind me. The drive to Mellissa’s felt longer than normal and I almost immediately relaxed when she got in the car. It was a relief to no longer be alone.
“Oh, I love that coat.” I looked down at my burgundy, pink coat. It was tied around the waist and finished with a bow-like fastening. It was cute. My dad bought it for me last year, with no help from me what so ever, and I instantly loved it. I’d never gotten round to buying a winter coat this year, so dug this out, instead.
“Thanks. It’s from last year.”
“Oh yeah, I remember it now.” Mellissa dug her hand into her bag, rummaging around. She pulled out a tube of lipstick. “Here.” Mellissa always had about ten lipsticks and lip glosses in her bag. I could never understand it. It was like she had a shade for every possible occasion. She handed it to me and I pushed up the lid, revealing a shade the same color as my coat. I pushed myself up higher in my seat so I could see myself in the rear-view mirror, and put the lipstick on. I smacked my lips together, then turned off the overhead light. I pushed my hair behind my ear and the diamond earrings that Caleb had given me for my seventeenth birthday, sparkled, cutting through the night’s darkness. I turned to face Mellissa. “Ready?”
“I’m always ready.”
“Let’s go then.”
I made a quick stop at the general store to buy a pack of gum, and as I stood at the counter to pay, Nathan strolled up beside me. “Hey, you look nice. Where are you going?”
I dropped the money into Shelley, the store clerk’s hand, and took the gum. “Thanks,” I said, smiling at her, then I said to Nathan, “Out.”
“Out where?” he asked. He stood in his grey, jogging shorts and a white tank top, with his blue cap pushed to the back, his hair curling out from underneath. Someone seriously needed to tell him what season it was. It was freezing outside. But then again, he had probably just been to the gym. His skin glistened with a sheen of sweat.
I very rarely had to see Nathan now, considering he had graduated and I was now in my final senior year. But because he had decided to take a gap year and help out at his dad’s gym, there was still times I couldn’t avoid bumping into him. Times like now.
“Why?” I asked.
I was skeptical about telling him where I was going in case he followed me. “A party,” I said, and stepped around him to leave. “Bye,” I called back to him. Footsteps hurried over beside me, and Nathan gripped my arm. I involuntarily flinched.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” he said softly, and he immediately let go of my arm.
“I know,” I said. I didn’t really believe he would ever do anything to hurt me again. Earlier in the year he had tried to force himself on me when he was drunk but I was starting to believe he was genuinely sorry for it. In fact, I had never seen him drunk since.
“So where’s the party?”
I shifted my weight to my other foot and bit down on my lower lip. I didn’t really want to tell him where it was. He’d obviously never heard about it and I wasn’t entirely sure that I wanted him there. I looked over my shoulder at Mellissa sitting in the car. She tapped her finger on the face of her watch and mouthed the words, “hurry up.”