Watchers exist by one rule: keep your Nephilim alive. No matter what.
Protecting, following, watching from the shadows, I’ve served my time. Now, all that stands between me and returning home is her.
Hannah Kelley. The last of her line. My final charge. So long as she stays breathing for the next fifty to seventy years, I’ll have completed my punishment. No longer a Fallen.
Except now, she knows who I am. She knows what I am.
And I have no doubt she’s about to make my existence an absolute hell.
I lost everything I loved at once, my world ripped apart in an instant.
I’ve been alone ever since. At least, I thought I was until I met him. A guardian angel. My Watcher. The immortal asshole interfering with every aspect of my life.
Once Cass steps out of the shadows, I have no way of putting him back. Even though I desperately want to. He’s not exactly thrilled with my existence either. I’m keeping him from the eternity he’s been waiting for after all.
But whether we love or hate each other, our fates are intertwined—his forever tied to my life.
And when Cass decides he wants that forever to include me, I fear for anything in heaven or hell that might try to get in his way.
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In the beginning, there was only darkness. Then there was bullshit.
And just so we’re clear, “darkness” was never really darkness. Most of the Bible and other religious texts are metaphors and symbolism or misinterpreted completely. The apple Eve eats? Metaphor for the burden of knowledge. Jonah being swallowed by a big-ass fish? A tale of second chances. Watcher Angels teaching humans about art and technology before God wanted them to know and being punished for it? Now we’re getting to some facts. Although the story falls apart on the Nephilim topic.
Another one humans got right, to a degree, is the crystal ball. Those things are real. They only show you the present, need to be connected to a particular soul, and are inconvenient as fuck to use in public.
I lean against my motorcycle, parked against the curb, and light a cigarette. Hannah Kelley has another twenty minutes left in whatever bullshit class she takes on Thursdays at two-fifteen. As I gaze into the clear orb at her, she twirls a strand of auburn hair around a finger, diligently taking notes on the lecture. Back when she was a sophomore in high school, she’d pass notes back and forth, giggling with her friends. Teachers caught her more than once and sent her to detention. She’d sneak out early and smoke behind the school or end up in a senior guy’s car, fogging up the windows.
But that’s not her anymore. Now she hangs on every damn word the sixty-year-old professor says. She’ll wander to the front after class, making sure she wrote something down correctly. His eyes will drop to her chest, the smile and nod he delivers not at all in response to her question. She’ll accept it as one, though, and scurry away.
A gorgeous five-foot-nothing blonde struts by my bike for the third time in the last half hour. I tuck the crystal ball in my jacket and follow her down the sidewalk toward the building Hannah’s walking out of. The blonde’s flattered I’m paying attention, but it’s short-lived.
It always starts in my chest. A warmth that almost makes me feel whole again. I look at my hand, palm up, fingers stretched out. The heat shoots down my arm, and the tips of my fingers emit a white glow. Divine light. I only enjoy the sensation for a second before I scan around. A city bus is closing its doors at a stop a block away. Given Hannah’s trajectory, she’ll walk right in front of it when she crosses the street because she’s watching her fucking shoes instead of where she’s going.
The blonde tries to say something as I jog past, but I wave her off. Women tend to take a backseat when your eternity is on the line. My jog turns to a fast stride by the time Hannah reaches the corner, and we collide. Our impact knocks her back from the curb, and the bus passes. The power fades from my body within seconds of her being safe, the loss as painful as ever.
I glance at her over my shoulder, her surprised eyes meeting my glare. “Watch where you’re going.”
“Sorry,” she says.
She should be fucking sorry. After thousands of years, she’s the last thing standing between me and home, and she almost ruined it by stepping in front of a bus.
And this is why I hate Hannah Kelley. My forever is tethered to her life.