Alice's Insurrection (Alice Clark Series)

BOOK: Alice's Insurrection (Alice Clark Series)
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Copyright © 2014 by Andrea DiGiglio

Formatting by
Inkstain Interior Book Designing

 

 

ISBN-13: 978-1499132649

ISBN-10: 1499132646

 

All right reserved.

Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.

 

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

Book Art-C
over & Photography by Russ Turner

Model:
Natalie Jenkins, Matthew Oldenkamp,

MUA: Deaette Dwyer

F
inal design by Russ Turner

Editing by
Betsy Head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To my fans—

those who have been with me since the beginning and to those who are new and have just found me. Thank you for your continued support it means the world to me.

 

I also dedicate this book to my amazing son, my family and my friends. I love you all dearly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In memory of Catherine Tabor

 

 

ALICE

 

 

Alice adjusted herself in Cole’s
lap, leaning her head on his shoulder; burying her face into his neck, and breathing in his familiar ocean wave scent. Jake sat quietly next to them as they barreled down a dirt road toward home. Each bump along the road sent an eruption of pain throughout her tattered body, but she remained quiet and still since all she wanted was to be as far away from the horrid place that had held her captive for far too many days. The last twenty-four hours had been excruciating even compared to the torture that Purah had forced her to endure over the last few weeks. Though Purah had done his worst to her with cruelty in his stone cold heart, she knew she would have traded places with Cole again in a heartbeat. Her new ability to make others feel what she felt or make them endure their own emotional turmoil, may have saved them all, but it was almost at the sacrifice of her own life. If it hadn’t been for Briathos, the angel she had spared from their first battle, Cole may not have known how to bring her back out of the trance she was locked into with Purah. Cole’s hand rested on her injured shoulder and she resisted the urge to flinch. Even if laced with pain, she missed his touch entirely too much to let it go now.

Cole and Jake each wrapped one of Alice’s arms around their shoulder
s as they helped her walk up the driveway and into their home; her wings lay weeping, dragging behind her. She was entirely too stubborn to be carried, though her body needed the assistance. She was beyond ecstatic to be home with the man she loved and her beloved family, yet her heart was heavy for Briathos. He had lost everything he loved, believed in, to save her and she felt forever indebted to him even though it was what they had both sacrificed, or were willing to sacrifice, that saved them all for the time being. He was one of God’s angels and now by the hand of Rogziel, he was one of them.

“How long do you think it will take for my wings to go back?”
Alice asked as she sat awkwardly at the kitchen table glancing back at them. They looked wilted like flowers without water for far too many days. Both her wings and her body were covered with random splotches of dried blood, hiding large wounds from the recent visit she had spent in the spike covered Judas Chair at the hands of Purah and the bounty hunters. It wasn’t that she was ready to dive back into school or work, or to see anyone in public for that matter. She really just wanted to feel human again and not have the constant reminder of who and what she was glaring over her shoulder.

“Hard to tell but you heal fast, and we’ll put the cream
your father made on your injuries. With some rest I would guess they should retract in a few days or so,” Kokabiel said with his usual warm smile and charm.

“Probably a couple of weeks, three at the mos
t, for the rest of you to heal fully,” Sariel added. Although that was his name, her grandfather would always be “Old Gray” to her.

“As long as you rest and let us take care of you
,” Paul added sternly. The same went for her father; she preferred the name her mother had given him over his true name, Penemue.

She was in worse condition than the time the bounty hunter
had attacked her in the parking lot at work, a memory that seemed so long ago to her with all that had happened since. Still, her injuries were worse than the time the angel had come to kill her on her front lawn, moments after she had kicked Cole out of her house when she learned about his past and the truth of why they had met. She cringed at the memory, sending him away had hurt far more than what that angel had done to her. She lifted her head, noticing the stares in her peripheral view. She wasn’t blind or stupid to the looks of worry on her family’s faces. “I’d like a shower, but I’m not sure how long I can stand on my own,” she admitted. Though she expected them to be vulnerable as far as she was concerned, she still struggled with doing the same in return. It was possibly due to her less-than-loving upbringing. She was taught to be cold, that others only cared for themselves. She wondered if the moments she was selfless were due to her upbringing or the Fallen angel blood running through her veins; perhaps both.

“I will help you if you would like, whatever you need
,” Cole said with a half-smile. She could feel the eggshells under his feet as he spoke.

She nodded in agreement
, knowing she didn’t have a choice, but there was no need for one as she welcomed his help and his comfort. She gazed outside at the angel thrown from grace and felt his sadness like a blade across her heart. Determined, she got up and began to walk out the front door, unsteadily. Each step was a reminder, begging her to sit back down. If she was anything besides strong, she was stubborn.

“Alice?” Cole asked
, concerned.

“I’m okay, I’ll be right back. I need to do this
. I can do this,” she said as convincingly as possible to them all, though she was really trying to convince herself. She was ready to collapse at any moment. Cole nodded and Alice turned and followed through with her plan, limping all the way across the yard to where the angel stood. Each step was excruciatingly painful and though she could have asked for Cole’s numbing blanket to make the pain go away, to ease some of the discomfort, there was a part of her that needed it to know that she was still human, if only partly so. She was unsteady on her feet though she tried to not let it show. “Did you have to stand quite so far from the house?” She laughed, surprising herself. “I wanted to thank you for all you have done; I’m sorry it was at such a high cost for you. I can’t imagine what you are going through.”

“I did not know you intended to speak with
me or I may have stood closer,” he sighed. “It was the right thing to do anyway, I think,” Briathos answered with his head hung low, but his eyes flickered back and forth on his wings and the grass below him. She could feel him debate what it was he really felt. “I could be wrong but I believe my ‘falling from grace,’ may have stopped the seals from opening, if only temporarily. I’m sure we all have enough issues to worry about without concerning ourselves with the four horseman at this time, though.”

“The what?” Alice’s face was puzzled but her heart was laced with knowledge.

He stared at her bewildered face realizing the Fallen had kept this information from her for some reason or another. He had no allegiances to them to cause him to keep anything from her. “I assumed you knew. I suppose you would call it a prophecy from your Holy Book.”

“I’ve heard of the four horseman before. My last foster home parents were the religious sort. You’re talking the book of
Revelations right?”

“Yes.” He stared at the worry lines on her face with deep concern; he couldn’t fathom why her Fallen family would keep this from her. “I’d be glad to fill you in later
; I think we all need our rest for now.” She nodded in response as she watched his eyes dart back to the wings he hadn’t the heart to retract.

“You should stop staring at them, I don’t think they are going to turn back to white.”

“I know!” He growled gritting his teeth at her. His face instantly grew sad, “I apologize.”

“No
, I do. I am sorry all of this has happened to you, I really am, but please let me help you, after all you have done for me.”

“What could you possibly do to help me?”
he asked, baffled.

“Show you how to live here
, one step at a time.”

With a heavy sigh he turned
, facing the beaten and bloody human with black angel wings weeping behind her. Briathos couldn’t imagine this frail half-breed helping him with anything, but now that he was here, he might be able to believe she was his savior now, too, if he believed in such things. “I will let you help me but first let’s get you back inside and cleaned up. The sight of your beaten body ails me and you smell terrible,” he said, reaching out his arm to her as a gentleman from another time would.

“Gladly
,” she said, taking his arm with a smile. Her strength was wearing thin anyway. She leaned heavily on his arm and he responded only by supporting her weight and taking her hand with his free hand to keep her stable.

How she
can smile after all this is beyond my grasp.
He thought this as he helped her across the lawn.

“You may not see it
, but I won. I survived, maybe barely, but I did survive and so did my family and for now we are all together. For this moment I choose to revel in that gift, a gift I earned.”

“I forgot you are stronger than most of your kind
, but it never occurred to me you had angel abilities.”

“Sorry
, I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, I’m just right next to you and your thoughts are loud. What did you think I was doing back there with Purah?”

“No need to apologize. Honestly
, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like that before.” He helped her into the doorway and cringed looking at the room of Fallen. “She needs to clean up,” he said, passing her to Cole. Her face was puzzled from his last statement before they had entered the door but she accepted her mate’s help.

“Dad
, can you show Briathos the spare room so he can get some space from us, some time to recharge?”

“Yes
, of course,” Paul said pointing Briathos towards the spare room. “This way.”

Resting against Cole’s body she turned back to the kitchen. “Jake?”

“Yes?”

“Don’t leave?” Her voice quaked as she spoke, as if the words she spoke were not
out loud.

“I wouldn’t dare
,” he said, flashing his signature cocky smile at her.

Satisfied
, she turned back to Cole, staring into his amber eyes, feeling the love he had for her emanating from them. He grabbed her arm and she instantly felt the electric surge she knew so well pulse through her, causing immediate relief throughout. He helped her up to the bathroom, leaving the Fallen in their wake.

 

COLE

 

Cole gently helped Alice peel
her blood-stained clothes off of her bruised body keeping her steady on her feet. He ripped her shirt so as not disturb her wings. Each wound drove a dagger into his heart, nearly shattering it. He did his best to block his worries from her as well as the pain slicing through him, seeing her in the condition she was currently in. He reached into the shower and turned it on, finding a comfortable temperature. All he could think about was how things would have been so very different had he not been so selfish and determined. He removed his shirt, cautiously keeping an eye as the unsteady Alice leaned against a wall. She eyed him as he undressed, igniting a fire in him he needed to suppress. He lifted her into the shower, tucking her wings behind her as he placed her under the water. She pulled him closer to her, wrapping her arms around his waist tightly. He held her, kissing the top of her head in silence. They stayed like that holding each other for longer than he could recall as time seemed to melt away. Her entire body was covered in small stab wounds that he knew were deep; the sight of them broke his heart and caused his soul to ache. He didn’t know what to say, what was right for that moment. He was always trying to keep himself controlled emotionally for her, and those choices had almost gotten her killed.

“Are you okay
, Cole?” Alice said, looking up in awe of him. He wouldn’t have known what she meant if she hadn’t brushed the tears away.

BOOK: Alice's Insurrection (Alice Clark Series)
5.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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