“Wrong again.” Brent was wearing his gloating smile, and his eyes sparkled in the moonlight from above the porch’s overhang. “I told you he was all wrong for you. One day, my little Padawan, you’ll listen.”
“You mean one day you won’t be around to torture me.”
His hand rested on my shoulder. “You don’t want that.” His sheepish grin held a spark of uncertainty and I couldn’t help but to take advantage.
“Someday--” I trailed off, rolling my eyes for the effect. “Having your guardian angel play matchmaker isn’t exactly in the realm of normalcy”
My cell buzzed in my hand. Thank God. Jacob had thought over his last text and was now sending an apology. “See”—I held my blackberry up in Brent’s perfectly angler face. “He just needed to think it through. He’s not ready to break up with me. Jitters. That’s all. Who would blame him after the stunt you pulled?”
Brent laughed. “What?” His voice sounded like the bells from a church tower, smooth and melodious. Intoxicating if you let it be. “His hair will grow back.”
“You torched his car, Brent, while I was still in it. Not. Cool.”
Worry pulled at the corners of his eyes and his mouth tightened. “Mol.” He pulled me closer until my face rested on his chest. “You know I would never put you in any real danger.”
I did, but watching him on edge did something to me. Something thrilling. “You set a car on fire, with me in it. That’s not exactly rational behavior for a GA.”
“Watching you lose yourself to a pathological liar isn’t either.” His arms closed in tighter and his smell, mint and earth, filled my breath. Why couldn’t human boys be like this; rock hard and steady, yet vulnerable.
Brent lifted my phone from my hands and I heard the buttons click before he roared with laughter. When I pushed away the exposed look in his eyes gave way to triumph. “He’s not texting you for forgiveness. He wants his Zac Brown Band CD back.”
“You can’t be serious.” I palmed the phone and began rolling back through the messages. Damn it!
“What’d I tell ya? Not the guy for you.” Of course he wasn’t. I’d known that all along, but when you have someone as perfect at Brent in your life, what mundane human boy would be. “But there is still hope.”
I shook my head. “Oh no there isn’t. Not if you’re talking about that guy we saw in the mall.”
Brent laughed again. “I swear those were not girl jeans.” His eyes smiled and I brimmed with uncontrollable laughter.
“They said juicy on the pocket. Give it up Brent. The guy would be far more interested in you then me.”
“That’s not true.” He pulled me close again. The bells in his voice stopped.
All I could do was stare at him. This perfect celestial creature who could gleam a smile from the Devil himself and he was all mine in a way, but not mine at all in the way that counted. The thought pulled on me, like swimming against a current and not being able to catch your breath. No matter how hard I tried, or how much I wanted him, I would never be allowed the one thing that could make me happy.
Brent put his thumb under my chin, catching my face before I could drop my gaze. “Don’t do that.”
“I can’t help it.” Tears burned behind my eyes, but I defied them, blinking hard. Years of fighting my feelings had burned a hole in my resolve. I don’t know how much more of this cruel game I can take. “The Archangels will never let us be together.”
He looked away, but I’d seen the glaring contempt in his eyes. “No.” He swallowed hard and I watched as his throat reverberated. When he looked back down to me he’d found the strength to hide his resentment. His eyes danced in the silver moonlight and he curled a strand of my hair around his finger, looking at me like some fragile trinket of his that would break if he held on too hard. “But I do have an option.” His eyes darkened. “I could fall.”
I pushed away. “No.” I poked him in the chest hard against his solid wall of muscle. My finger throbbed but I ignored it. “You can’t. I won’t let you. Think of what you’d be giving up.”
“I am thinking of what I’d be giving up.” He took my injured finger in his hands and stroked it with the pad of his thumb. “I’d die for you, you know that.”
“But you don’t have too. I don’t want you to.” I felt my body quake with adrenaline, but I couldn’t stop it. “You’d be giving up everything . . . for me.”
“No.” He caressed my face with his hand, cupping my cheek and tilting my head up to meet his gaze. “I would finally be able to have what I have always wanted. I would be giving up a life without love to be with you. I’m not losing anything.”
I fell back into him. God how I wanted this, but now that the possibility was right there in front of me I couldn’t let him do it. Not for me.
He pulled me tighter, my head rested on his chest and he lowered his mouth to my ear. “You’re worth it, Mol. You’re worth Heaven and Earth and I’d die a thousand mortal deaths to not have to live an eternity without you.”
I rested my chin on his chest, angling my eyes up to his. How can I say no? I can’t. Nothing I can say will stop him because my heart isn’t in it. I want him too badly. And I know I have to make him hate me. I have to be the one to save both our souls because he can’t anymore.