She also acted as if she owned the place, which she didn’t. “You’re difficult.” “And you’re stubborn, but I love you anyway.” “You’re awake,” Alec interjected, walking through the open bedroom door. His black hair was a little too long and his stride boasted a bit of a swagger, but no matter what he wore or how casually he moved, he looked like someone you didn’t want to piss off. Eve used her job as an interior designer as an excuse for Reed’s frequent visits. I was killed by a dragon.” “Your subconscious is trying to tell you something,” her mother interrupted. I heard if you die in your dreams, you die in real life.” “I think that’s a myth.” “There is no way to know,” Miyoko argued as she folded laundry. His expression held the softness he showed only to her. “Stop dating pretty boys,” Miyoko admonished, “and find someone stable.” Eve shot a beseeching glance at the angel in the corner. His voice had a soothing resonance no mortal could create. “I don’t need—” “Get a pedicure,” the angel ordered. “With flowers painted on your big toes,” Eve went on. They worked for absolution by hunting and killing Infernals who’d crossed the line one too many times. Celestials have a different view of nudity than mortals do.Darrel and Miyoko Hollis lived in Anaheim–home of Disneyland, California Adventure, and Eve’s childhood. I wish you could come over and just relax.” “It’s not shit. And I am doing your laundry because it was piled up. He stared at her with fathomless eyes, his gaze darting over her in search of any cause for concern. As far as her family knew, she worked from home most days and if Reed wanted to see what she was up to, stopping by was the best way to do it. She assumed all male interior designers were gay and Reed was most definitely not. ” “Thirsty.” “I’ll get you some ice water,” Reed offered. “Thank you.” Alec bent and pressed his lips to her forehead. ” “A banana would be nice.” She caught his wrist before he could draw away. “If it happened to you, you would be dead and couldn’t tell us.” Alec sat on the edge of the bed, watching Eve with an alert gaze. “Let me get you that banana.” He left, and her mom returned to the side of the bed. “You want to replant the flowers in the pots by your front door,” he whispered in Miyoko’s ear. A bounty was earned for every successful vanquishing, indulgences that went toward the saving of Mark souls. ” she asked, wiping her mouth with the tips of her fingers. Tell me what you need and I’ll get it.” Eve directed him to a beach cover-up that hung in her closet.Licking her lips, she tasted death, the bitterness coating both her tongue and mouth in a thick, immovable wash. Panic assailed her with the memory, quickly followed by her mind lurching into full awareness.Her muscles shifted in an attempt to stretch and a groan escaped her. Eve jackknifed up from her sprawled position, sucking in air with such force it was audible.And she’d managed to get Cain and Abel to work together for the first time since they were kids.If all that wasn’t enough to save her soul, she would take her chances with the Devil. As Eve’s mind struggled to catch up with her present circumstances, the sound of singing penetrated the fog of her thoughts.The idea of sharing Hell with her mother was both oddly comforting and chilling. As if her senses had been muted, the steady crashing of waves against the Huntington Beach shoreline increased in volume.Eve’s hands clenched tentatively, testing the soft surface beneath her, attempting to discern where she was. A cool breeze touched her brow and Eve’s vision exploded into living color. The soothing rhythm drifted down the hall from her living room balcony and brought welcome relief. As her tension dissipated, Eve’s shoulders relaxed.
The language was Japanese; the voice, her mother’s.
Then a brief glimmer in the periphery of her vision made her turn her head.
Lifting her arms to shield her eyes from the blinding light, she barely made out the silhouette of a winged man standing in the corner between her bleached pine closet doors and her dresser. She risked another glance at the angel and found that, once again, her mark enhancements knew what to do even when she didn’t. She could see him now without damage to her vision. ” Grabbing the top sheet, Eve yanked it up to her neck.
As a longtime agnostic, she still struggled with facing the reality of God. They were concepts that couldn’t be explained with reason.
Besides, if there was a merciful God and a Heaven, she’d be there.