Passion, p.45
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       Passion, p.45

         Part #3 of Fallen series by Lauren Kate
Page 45

  The cabin was as she remembered it: warm and dry and smelling like cinnamon. The narrow canvas cot in the corner where she had slept was neatly made. There was the narrow wooden ladder leading up to the small loft that overlooked the main room. The green lamp still hung from a rafter.

  How did you know to come here? Daniel asked Cam.

  Roland read something in the Announcers this morning. He thought you might be coming back-- and that something else might be developing. Cam eyed Daniel. Something that affects us all.

  If what Luce says is true, this is not something any of us can take on alone.

  Cam tilted his head at Luce. I know. The others are on their way. I took the liberty of spreading the word.

  Just then, in the loft, a window shattered. Daniel and Cam shot to their feet.

  Just us! Arrianes voice sang down. Weve got Nephilim in tow, so we travel with the grace of a college hockey team.

  A great burst of light--gold and silver--from above made the walls of the cabin shudder. Luce jumped to her feet just in time to see Arriane, Roland, Gabbe, Molly, and Annabelle--the girl Luce had realized in Helston was an angel--slowly floating down from the rafters, all with their wings extended. Together they were a myriad of colors: black and gold, white and silver. The colors stood for different sides, but here they were. Together.

  A moment later, Shelby and Miles thundered down the wooden ladder. They were still dressed in the clothes--Shelbys green sweater and Miless jeans and baseball cap--that theyd worn to Thanksgiving dinner, which seemed like an eternity ago.

  Luce felt like she was dreaming. It was so wonderful to see these familiar faces right now--faces that shed truly wondered if she would ever see again. The only people missing were her parents, of course, and Callie, but she would see them soon enough.

  Starting with Arriane, the angels and Nephilim all circled Luce and Daniel in another massive hug. Even Annabelle, whom Luce barely knew. Even Molly. Suddenly, everyone was shouting over everyone else--

  Annabelle, batting shimmering pink eyelids: When did you get back? We have so much to catch up on! And Gabbe, kissing Luce on the cheek: I hope you were careful . . . and I hope you saw what you needed to see. And Arriane: Did you bring us back anything good? And Shelby, out of breath: We were searching for you for, like, ever. Werent we, Miles? And Roland: Pretty cool to see you made it home in one piece, kid. And Daniel, silencing them all with the gravity of his tone: Who brought the Nephilim?

  I did. Molly draped an arm around Shelby and Miles. You got something to say about it?

  Daniel cast his eyes over Luces Shoreline friends. Before she had a chance to stick up for them, the corners of his lips pulled upward into a smile, and he said, Good. Were going to need all the help we can get. Everyone sit down.

  Lucifer cant mean it, Cam said, shaking his head, stunned. This is just a desperate last resort. He wouldnt--He was probably just trying to get Luce to--

  He would, Roland said.

  They were spread out in a circle near the fire, facing Luce and Daniel on the rocking chair. Gabbe had found hot dogs and marshmallows and packets of powdered hot chocolate in the kitchen cupboard and had set up a little cook station in front of the fire.

  He would rather start again than to lose his pride, Molly added. Besides, he has nothing to lose by erasing the past.

  Miles dropped his hot dog and the plate clattered on the hardwood floor. Wouldnt that mean Shelby and I--wouldnt exist anymore? And what about Luce, where would she be?

  No one answered. Luce felt embarrassingly aware of her nonangelic status. A hot flush spread across the tops of her shoulders.

  How are we still here if time has been rewritten? Shelby asked.

  Because they havent finished their fall yet, Daniel said. When they do, the act is done and cant be stopped.

  So we have-- Arriane counted under her breath. Nine days.

  Daniel? Gabbe looked up at him. Tell us what we can do.

  There is only one thing to do, Daniel said. All the glowing wings in the cabin pulled toward him in expectation. We must draw everyone to the place where the angels first fell.

  Which is where? Miles asked.

  No one spoke for a very long time.

  Its hard to say, Daniel finally answered. It happened long ago, and we were all new to Earth. But--he glanced at Cam--we do have means of figuring it out.

  Cam whistled lowly. Was he afraid?

  Nine days isnt a lot of time to locate the site of the Fall, Gabbe said. Let alone figure out how to stop Lucifer if and when we do arrive.

  We have to try. Luce answered without thinking, surprised by her own certainty.

  Daniel scanned the gathering of angels, the so-called demons, and the Nephilim. His gaze encompassed them all, his family. Were in this together, then? All of us? At last, his eyes rested on Luce.

  And though she couldnt imagine tomorrow, Luce stepped into Daniels arms and said, Always.

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