Authors: Laura Kreitzer
Tags: #fiction, #urban fantasy, #angels, #young adult, #demons, #ya
Published by Laura Kreitzer at
A TIMELESS NOVELLA
KEEPERS: A TIMELESS
Copyright © 2012 by Laura
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BOOKS BY LAURA
Shadow of the Sun
Keepers: A Timeless
Halo of the Sun
KEEPERS: A TIMELESS
If all women were as brave
and selfless as you,
the world would be a more
Wickedness sucks in the
greater part of its own
venom, and poisons itself
CHAPTER 1: KICK THE
Time is a precious gift. I
recently figured that out—more like it’d been forcibly thrown in my
face like a mud pie. Today was another example to drive the point
home, just in case I didn’t get it the first time. I stood at the
foot of my best friend Gabriella’s gravesite, a myriad of emotions
bombarding me. For whatever reason, I had an overwhelming urge to
laugh, which was either ludicrous or, for some people, made perfect
sense. Using my best judgment, I held it in.
An entire lifetime buried
under a ton of dirt and topped with an engraved rock,” Gabriella
comically remarked as her hand glided over her tombstone. “Now I
know I can be a pain, but this is a bit over the top, isn’t it?”
She turned to me and grinned.
I don’t think joking is
appropriate,” I said, eyeing Gabriella’s sister Jenna for any
negative reactions. Though who really knew what was appropriate for
this kind of situation?
Oh, Joseph. If anyone has
a right to joke, it’s me,” Gabriella said in a sing-song voice. “I
was the one who kicked the bucket, after all.”
Kicked the bucket?” asked
Andrew in his Italian accent. His expression was confused, while
mine remained amused.
It means I died,”
Gabriella explained, as if this was normal. Hah.
Oh, no. This conversation
wasn’t at all macabre. Not in the least.
Jenna laughed, a mixture of
emotions that could only be described as hysteria. Andrew’s stare
traveled back and forth between the two, looking as if he wanted to
join in with Jenna. None of us wanted to relive the memories of
Sorry,” Gabriella said.
“Either I go through this with a sense of humor or you’re going to
see me cry.”
Andrew reached for her
hand—he did that a lot. By their facial expressions, I knew they
were having one of their mind-to-mind communications. I didn’t know
if I should have been upset or grateful for their silent
Then humor it is,” Jenna
exclaimed. “When Gabby cries, there’s snot and eye boogers, and no
one wants to see that. Trust me.” Got to give it to Jenna; she
could make a joke out of anything.
At that, we smiled.
Gabriella, however, visibly winced at the nickname Gabby, which
only made me want to use it more often.
The gravediggers were in
the process of removing Gabby’s (hah-hah) empty coffin and
tombstone. People had complained that their loved ones’ gravesites
were being destroyed by the hundreds of thousands of tourists that
morbidly wanted to take their picture with Gabby’s grave. Now that
she’d exposed herself as an angel, along with Andrew and the other
angels, anything and everything that had to do with them had become
a commodity. The cemetery Gabriella was supposedly buried in had to
go on lockdown. To appease the owners and stop the outcry of the
survivors of those buried there, Gabriella agreed to let them
remove the empty casket and tombstone.
I wrapped my arm around
Jenna and pulled her close. I bent down and whispered in her ear,
“You realize this is where we first met?” As soon as the words left
my mouth, I realized how messed up it was for me to bring this up.
Too late now.
She glanced up with her
big, green eyes and smiled woefully. “How could I forget?” A second
passed, and the dejection left her face as her grin widened.
“Especially that kiss.” She snuggled into me.
Ah, yes. The kiss.
that? I returned the smile, remembering when I stopped by Jenna’s
to check on her after Gabby’s funeral. A bottle of wine and many
tears later ended in a kiss I couldn’t shake from my memory—one I
didn’t want to forget. When I found out Gabriella had written
letters to Jenna explaining everything but was afraid to send them
because Jenna thought she was dead, I took it upon myself to mail
them. So maybe it had been selfish of me to send them to Jenna
without Gabriella’s permission, but I wanted so desperately to rid
Jenna of her tears. And, okay, I’d hoped Jenna would hop on the
first flight to D.C., which she did.
To this day, I did not
Do we need to stay for
this?” Gabby asked. She turned to the owner of the cemetery. He
stared wide-eyed at the two angels. He’d been so quiet this entire
time I’d forgotten he was even there.
Sir?” Andrew stepped
forward, as if he wanted to poke him out of his stupefied state.
The owner remained silent, still gawking.
Andrew and Gabriella
exchanged an amused look, and then their wings simultaneously burst
from their backs and spread wide. They were pearly white and
sparkled in the sun. That snapped the owner out of his daze, and he
Yeah. Yes, yes, of course
you can leave,” the owner stuttered out. His eyes never left the
brilliant glow of the angels’ wings.
I hid my
As we left the cemetery,
Gabby bumped my shoulder and thanked me. It wasn’t like I’d
actually done anything helpful, but I was glad to be there for her.
I knew coming back to Oregon would be hard for her. We made our way
between graves and to her car. She drove a cherry red Subaru, and
the inside was just as immaculate as her house. Jenna and Gabby
didn’t share the cleaning trait. Jenna lived life chaotically, and
it showed, which was another thing I loved about her. Jenna was a
wild, passionate tornado who ripped through my life and left a mark
deep in my soul. Andrew and Jenna returned to Gabriella’s house
while Gabriella and I ran errands, which included paying bills and
signing papers over to her alter ego to keep her house as low-key
as possible considering all the publicity she was
Gabriella and I were quiet
for most of the drive back to her house. Memories of the past week
made my mood grow somber. When we returned to the States after
everything that had happened in Italy, President Lansberry
congratulated us during a televised press conference that was shown
all over the world.
After Avella was decimated,
and the invisible barrier the Ladies of Light had placed around the
city was destroyed, the world witnessed the devastation left
behind. Images had been playing on the news for a week. People were
finally able to understand the true threat the Ladies and the
Empyrean Guard posed. There was a flood of support from individuals
and several countries pledging their help in future battles. It
came in the form of televised announcements, calls to President
Lansberry, and even attempts to contact the angels directly. The
angels’ popularity was quickly surpassing that of any other public
We pulled into Gabby’s
driveway. Waves crashed against the shore in a soothing cadence,
and I was envious of the beautiful ocean view. A little girl’s
playful scream and a loud bark broke the harmony, and Gabby grinned
as she got out of the car. She ran toward the beach, and I
followed. I knew Jenna had brought Gabriella’s dog to the beach
house, but I decided not to tell her. A medium-sized black dog
turned to face us. His tail went down, and he crouched defensively.
It made me freeze in place, but not Gabby.
The dog rose, and his tail
flew up and wagged. He ran toward Gabriella, his body wiggling
every which way as he tried to contain his glee. Everyone on the
beach pivoted to watch the reunion of dog and owner. It was rare to
see her this happy, and I couldn’t hide my smile. Jenna and Firen
looked as if they’d been in a deep conversation before that, and
Andrew and Jules were covered in sand. Jenna came over as we
watched Gabby love on Hercules.
Hey,” Jenna greeted. We
hugged, and I inhaled the scent of tomato sauce. She loved her
pasta. “Dinner’s almost ready. I just came out to check on Jules.”
Her voice lowered. “The gifts are in the guest bedroom.”
I nodded. “Good. I know
Gabby will be surprised.” I glanced up to see Gabriella shaking a
hand in Andrew’s hair. Sand flew everywhere. “Not sure how Andrew
will react, though.”
With grace, I’m sure,”
I looked back at Jenna.
“You’re probably right.”
The sun was setting, so
everyone went inside. The house smelled delicious, and on top of
the stove were two baking dishes of lasagna. Jenna had already set
What’s the special
occasion?” Gabby asked, eyeing the food. With everything going on
today, we hadn’t eaten since breakfast.