Graying the Lines

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 6 (v.1) - Chapter 6

Submitted: September 15, 2018

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Comments: 1

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Submitted: September 15, 2018

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Chapter 6

 

Victor


 

 “Yeah alright,” I laughed at her attitude. I didn’t think I’d be sleeping much anyways. I sat back on my heels and shoved my hands deep into my back pockets. She was still watching me, those curious eyes looking me over. I was in for a tough ride if this went bad. Maybe if I were lucky she’d change her mind overnight and just go home. She’d be safer there, away from dark angels, away from me. But as I studied her, taking in the way the dye settled into her sharper wings and the way her shoulders had already lost their slouch, I could tell how unlikely that was. She looked as if she was about to say something, running it through her head as she turned square to me.

 “What?” I asked, sighing and letting my shoulders roll forward.

 “I don’t have anything to sleep in,” she said after a pause.  

 “Ah,” I gave a half-laugh. So I’ll be the gentleman tonight. “I guess I’m giving you my shirt then.”

 

 

She told me not too look but I had to anyway. I couldn’t help it. She really was beautiful, somewhere beneath the sheets of nervous energy pouring off of her. The smooth curve of her waist and her hips, and her long, strong legs gave her almost a warrior’s appearance. She had the kind of eyes that could both widen in childish wonder, and at the same time fall narrowly with some kind of far more mature knowing. Those ones could almost stare straight through you. She made a pretty convincing dark angel. The thought shot out from a place in my mind I don’t often go. I shoved it away and tried to think of other things.

I turned my head over my shoulder as she unzipped her jacket and pulled the tank-top over her head to drop it on the ground in front of her. I felt my stomach turn with what I saw and the pieces fell together. The reasons she seemed so different than the other entitled white angels I’d met. The pattern of jagged, pink and white scars climbed up her back and wrapped themselves around her waist. Some even disappeared behind the joints of her wings. They’d have to have been there before the wings came in. Others looked like they hadn’t been there more than a week. I felt the air drain from my lungs.

Her head whipped around as if she could feel my stare and once again I averted my eyes. I wasn’t fast enough. Just for a moment, I caught her gaze. Just for a moment, she let her guard down, and I felt the shame of seeing something I knew I wasn’t supposed to see.

“Okay,” she breathed, once she stood in my black Panic! At the Disco t-shirt. The hem reached all the way down her thin frame to just about her mid-thigh, I could tell it made her uncomfortable as she continued to drag it down. “I think I’m going to bed now,” she spoke in a shy whisper. I could tell she knew what I’d seen and I could see her preparing herself to explain it to me in the morning. I wondered if she could see it in my eyes that she wouldn’t have to.


 

What am I doing, what the fuck am I doing!? I rubbed my eyes with the heels of my palms. Lou’s gonna kill me if he finds out. Shit, what if he already knows? I turned to look at the girl asleep on the mattress. I had to twist my head almost all the way around to see her from my position on the window sill. I sank further into the dip in the pillow I’d worn down. Her wings were folded and tucked neatly behind her back, red hair spilling over them in waves. Her arms were crossed over her chest, thin fingers gripping each shoulder. Her legs were tucked up underneath the shirt I’d given her with the thin sheet on the mattress pulled halfway over her. I envied her ability to sleep so peacefully in a situation like this. Then again, she had no idea the kind of trouble she could have gotten herself into.

The air seeping in through the window was a cool remedy to the hot July night. I sat on the ledge under the window, right leg pressed against the seam beneath it, left leg over the cushion and bent at an angle I could lean forward and rest my elbows on. With my arms crossed over my bare chest, wings over my bare arms, I kept watch over the city horizon. LA’s not a horrible place to live, although it depends on where you go. Even in the worst neighborhoods, it can be pretty peaceful at this time of night. But just as I let myself slip into this peace, my cell phone shook in my pocket and jolted me awake. Chase. I had to fix that too.

“Hey, man, look I’m sorry about what happened earlier, I overreacted, okay?” I answered, checking over my shoulder to make sure the figure occupying the mattress was still sound asleep.

“Yeah, man, It’s cool, I get it.” He said in an obligatory manner. “Anyway, that’s not why I called.”

“Okay. . . ?”

After a beat, I heard him laugh in relief on the other end. “Hey, welcome back, man, I’m sorry I doubted you.”

“What do you mean?” I narrowed my eyes, leaning to set my elbows on my knees. I heard him pause as if looking over his shoulder himself. I did the same once more. She was still asleep, now with her wings relaxed and spread behind her.

“I saw you with that pretty redhead, going into the Base this afternoon. So you’ve brought us another recruit?” he said in a low, cool voice.

A shock of heat shot up my spine. “Shit,” I exclaimed, letting my head fall against the wall.

“So how long do you think this one will take?” I could almost hear the smirk on his greedy lips.

 “No, man, listen, it’s not like that.” I jumped to explain. Another cautious look over my shoulder.

 Chase laughed, suspicion coating his voice, trying to force a playfulness. “Well, it better be like that! That’s what ‘Cifer thinks it is, so you don’t really have a choice.”

a thick molasses of dread that turned my stomach into concrete; a familiar feeling that lately, I’d forgotten about. I had the urge to lash out and put my first through the window but I held back.“Shit,” I said louder this time. “I should’ve known he’d find out. I just thought I’d have more time.”

 “C’mon, Vic, you know the man. He’s got eyes everywhere.”

I covered my face with my free hand, rubbing my forehead.

“We all know his story,” Chase continued. “You know probably better than anyone else. You can’t really expect him to trust anyone after something like that. You can’t get away with anything around here.”

 “Yeah,” I agreed. “I know.”

 “So?” He pressed. “You know he’s not going to let her leave. If it’s not you who does it then it’ll just be someone else. Are you in or not?”

 I turned to look at her thin frame positioned gracefully underneath the sheet and my eyes felt heavy in their sockets. I didn’t speak until I was sure I saw the heavy rise and fall of sleep in her chest. Chase waited patiently on the other end.

I let out my breath in a thick wave as I turned back to the window. “Yeah, man. I’m in.” I said with all I had left. My arms felt like lead.

“Good to have you back, man.” I could hear that sly smile I knew of his and not for the first time, I hated him for it.

and the phone hit the rough wood of the floor, cover side up. I swear the skull on the case smirked at me with its cracked teeth, a look of cruel victory setting in its dark, empty eyes. In disgust, I turned to rest my forehead against the glass and look back into the city. Eventually, I faded into an uneasy sleep. I’d hoped it would be quiet, dark and peaceful. Then again, when do I ever get that lucky?

 



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