Broken (Book 1, The Watcher Chronicles, Paranormal Romance) (23 page)

BOOK: Broken (Book 1, The Watcher Chronicles, Paranormal Romance)
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“The Watchers who have never tasted human blood were able to retain the power of being able to tell if someone is lying to u
s.  We knew you weren’t exactly lying to us but we also knew you weren’t telling us the complete truth either.”

“I didn’t know you guys could do that,”
I say, not sure how I feel about being around a walking lie detector.

“It’s not something we normally t
ell people about,” Mason says.  “It can make some people feel uncomfortable to be around us.”

Mason
rests his elbows on the table and leans in towards me.  “You know, all this time we thought the answer to sealing the Tear was an object of some sort.  It never even occurred to me we should have been looking for people, and now we know what, or I guess who, Lucifer has been looking for all these years.  Did Michael give you any advice on how you should connect with the other archangel vessels?  Is there something in particular that you need to do?  Some sort of ritual?”

I look down at my hands not quite sure how to tell Mason he might be the key to me finding the others.
  Voicing that fact to him will also force me to admit I’m developing feelings for him.  I’m not ready for that just yet.

“He seem
s to think you might know of a way to help me concentrate enough to find the first one,” I say instead.

“Me?” Mason doesn’t sound
too sure about that.  “Did he happen to say what it is I can do to help you?”

“Not specifically,” I say, wondering if Mason can tell I’m holding a piece of important information back from him
with his super Watcher lie detector.

If he does, he doesn’t let it show.  He sits back in his chair and it’s almost like I can see the gears of his mind shift from one idea to another.  Finally, he just shrugs his shoulders
and says, “I guess we’ll just have to try everything.”

Mason scrapes his chair on the floor as he gets up and
walks over to draw back my chair for me to make it easier for me to stand.

“You really don’t have to do that,” I tell him.  “I can move a chair on my own.”

“I’m old fashioned,” he explains.  “If I’m with a lady, I like to do things for her.”

He gently grabs
one of my hands which makes me wonder if he considers this a natural thing for us to be doing now and leads me out of the kitchen back up to the living room we passed through earlier.  The fire blazing in the hearth lends the room a warmth, which is at once calming and relaxing.

“Sit down on this sofa,” Mason instructs, leading me to the one facing the fireplace.

I do as he says, waiting for further instructions.

He lets go of my hand and sits down in front of me on the coffee table.

“Now close your eyes and try to relax,” he tells me, his voice taking on a soothing tone.

I close my eyes.

“Listen to the crackling of the fire,” he says in a low voice.  “Can you hear the heat popping the wood?”

“Yes,” I say in a low voice
of my own, not wanting to break the mood Mason is trying to create.

“Keep listening,” he instructs.  “And try to find that part of yourself where you never go.  Somewhere deep down that you keep hidden away from everyone
, even yourself.”

Mason remains
silent while I try to do what he asks.

I hear him move and try to keep concentrating to find that part of me that I keep locked way.  I feel the spot on the sofa beside me dip as he sits closer to me and I smell the scent of him.

“Keep concentrating,” he whispers so close to my ear I feel the small hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention.  “Block out everything around you, and stretch out your feelings to find the others.”

I begin to wonder how he thinks I can do that when he’s sitting so close to me I can feel the heat from his body mingle with mine.  His
warm breath tickles my cheek and I’m finding it incredibly hard to breathe much less concentrate on my inner id.

“Do you feel anything, Jess?” He asks, breathlessly.

I quickly open my eyes and stand up.

“Did it work?” He asks
, surprise in his voice.

I bury my face in my hands
and rub up and down in slight frustration.  “No, it did
not
work,” I say, taking my hands away and looking down at him.  “How am I supposed to concentrate with you whispering in my ear like that?”

Mason looks bemused
.

“I’m sorry,” he says.  “I thought if you could concentrate on my voice that maybe it would help you focus better.”

“It’s more difficult for me to concentrate with you so close,” I confess.  “You’re just too distracting.”

I see the first signs of a pleased smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

“Is that a bad thing?”

I
stare at Mason and see the same expression I saw the morning I woke up in his arms and he asked me if I really was sorry I had slept with my body draped across him the entire night.  Michael’s words to me about allowing myself to care for someone else reverberate in my head: 

“If you don’t let yourself connect with someone you actually care about, I’m afraid there might not be any hope of you finding the others.”

“No,” I hear myself tell him.  “It’s not a bad thing.  But you’re just…” I didn’t know how to put it without sounding like a complete idiot, “you’re just too…distracting!”

Mason
allows the little sprites tugging at his mouth form his lips into a complete smile.  He stands up.  “So how can I be less distracting and still be helpful to you?”

I take in a deep breath and let it out.  “I have no idea.
  Could you grow ugly or smell bad or try to not be so damn perfect somehow?”

I see Mason’s cheek
s grow red at my request.

“Why are you embarrassed?” I ask
in complete exasperation.  “I’m the one who should be completely mortified.”  I bury my face in my hands for a second time in less than five minutes, intent on hiding that way for all eternity.

I feel Mason
grasp my shoulders and gently force me to turn and face him.

“Jess, look at me.”

“Why?  Did you spontaneously grow a pair of horns out of the top of your head or grow warts all over your face in the last few seconds?”

I hear him chuckle
softly.  “No, but look at me.”

I force myself to lower my hands but have a hard time lifting my eyes to meet his.

“Jess…” he gently coaxes.

Hesitantly, I look up at him and meet his gaze.

Through the unfathomable depths of his bright blue eyes, I see his longing for me to truly see all of him.

I sigh inside at his perfection and s
lowly lift my hands to cover my face again.  “How was that supposed to be helpful?”  I ask, my voice sounding accusing.

I hear Mason chuckle
louder at my predicament.

“Jess, I am not perfect,” he says,
and I know he believes his own words.  “Just look at me.”

Confused by why he would believe such a thing
about himself, I drop my hands from my face and look straight at him.

“What about you isn’t perfect?” I ask, completely dumbfounded by why he thinks so little of himself.

He turns his head so I can fully see his scar.

“See,” he says, “not perfect.”
   The pain I hear in his last words makes my heart ache for him.

Tentatively, I lift my
right hand towards his face.  He seems to know what I’m about to do and doesn’t try to stop me, just swallows hard and closes his eyes.  I allow the tips of my fingers to start at the top of his scar just above his left eye and slowly trail down its rough ridges to below his cheek bone.  My heart physically hurts inside my chest at the thought of how much pain he must have suffered when the scar was first made.

“How did you get it?” I ask, letting my fingers
try to sooth the ravages of wrath.

“It was part of my punishment,” he tells me, his eyes still closed.  “
God made the mark to remind me of my failure.”

“How can you love a
God who can be so cruel?” I ask, not trying to hide my disgust.

“Because
He was right.  I did fail my brother Watchers.  They were under my command and I wasn’t strong enough to keep them on the path we were sent to follow.  It was my fault they went against His law.”

“I thought you said
He forgave you all for what happened in the past when you helped stop Lucifer from destroying the universe.”

Mason opens his eyes, turns his head with my hand still caressing
the left side of his face and looks down at me.  “He did.  But I haven’t found a way to forgive myself yet.  I don’t think I can until the Tear is sealed.  Then, maybe, I’ll finally feel like I’ve done enough to deserve forgiveness.  Until then, I wear this scar as a reminder that I’m not perfect.”

I shake my head in
bewilderment.  “I wish you could see yourself through my eyes,” I tell him.

“Why?” he asks, his voice husky.  “What do you see?”

I take in a deep shuddering breath as I attempt to drag up a braver me to tell him exactly how I feel and what I see when I look at him.

“Excuse me, are we interrupting something?”

Mason and I pull away from each other guiltily, like we’ve been caught doing something we shouldn’t.

I know who the voice belongs to before I even turn my head
to look in his direction.

Malcolm is standing in the living room with a knowing grin on his face.  Standing beside him is a man I have never seen before.  He has skin the color of milk chocolate
, short cropped hair and soft brown eyes.  He smiles at me and I’m instantly put at ease even if Malcolm is still smirking at Mason and me.

“Yes,” Mason
answers, not trying to hide his agitation with Malcolm, “you are.”

“Sorry, Mason,” the man with Malcolm says
, truly apologetic.  “I asked Malcolm to bring me over so I could check on Jess again.”

“Again?” I ask, not being aware there
had been a first time.

“Jess, this is
Tara’s husband, Malik.  He’s the one I told you about.  The one who made the medicine I gave you when you were sick.”

“Thank you so much for that,” I tell
Malik.  “You really should sell that stuff to a larger market.  It’s like a miracle drug.”

“Well, we’re thinking about expanding our operations,” Malik says
, pleased with my rousing endorsement.  “As soon as Tara gives birth to baby number 2 we might look into it more closely.”

“You really need to give that child a name,” Malcolm complains.  “You can’t keep calling it baby number 2.”

Malik sighs.  “I know, man, but Tara is dead set against giving her a fairy name and I’m set on it.  We just can’t seem to agree.”

“Let me name it,” Malcolm suggests.  “That’ll put an end to your squabbling.”

“Yeah, right,” Malik scoffs, like Malcolm has completely lost his mind.  “Like Tara would actually let
you
name our child.”


Tara loves me,” Malcolm proclaims.  “We’ll see if she lets me or not.”

“Want to put a wager on that?” Malik challenges.

Malcolm holds out his hand and Malik shakes it.

“We can decide what you’ll give me
for winning later.”  Malcolm turns his eyes to me.  “Now, why were you unconscious for so long?”

Mason and I fill them in on what Michael told me.  I s
ee Malcolm’s surprise when he learns I am the vessel for Michael’s soul.

“Will you tell Lilly?” I asked him, wondering if she should know this information or not.

“I don’t see how I can keep something so important from her,” Malcolm admits, even though I can see doubt clearly in his eyes.  “Though, I think I should tell Brand first.  Then maybe we can both decide how to explain this new development to Lilly.”

“He loves her you know,” I say.  “Michael truly does love her and he’s so proud of what she was able to accomplish.  She might want to know that.”

“I will take it under advisement,” Malcolm says, standing.  “We should probably get back,” he tells Malik.  “We told Tara we would go get her chocolate croissants before we phased back home.”

“Why do you let my wife make you go to
Paris everyday just to get her croissants?” Malik asks, slightly amused.

Malcolm shrugs.  “It keeps her happy which keeps Lilly happy.  As long as the
y’re both happy, we’re all happy.  It’s not like it takes me more than five minutes a day to go get them.  I’ve gone so often now the shopkeeper has them ready for me before I even arrive.”

I smile at the thought of Malcolm letting two rather petite females boss him around, but he doesn’t seem to mind.  In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion he enjoys
feeing like he’s needed by them.

BOOK: Broken (Book 1, The Watcher Chronicles, Paranormal Romance)
4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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