Authors: Anna Katmore
Tags: #fiction, #romance, #adventure, #cancer, #fantasy, #paranormal, #sad, #france, #angel, #redemption, #contemporary, #teen, #london, #sarcasm, #first kiss, #first love, #best friend, #mother daughter, #play with me, #piper shelly
ummer of my
GENRE: YA/PARANORMAL ROMANCE
This book is a work of fiction. Names,
places, characters and incidents are either the product of the
author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to
actual people, living or dead, businesses, organizations, events or
locales is entirely coincidental.
SUMMER OF MY SECRET ANGEL
Copyright © 2013 by Anna Katmore
Cover art by
Edited by Annie
All cover art copyright © 2013 by Anna
All Rights Reserved
Original first title: LOVING YOUR LIES
All rights reserved under the International
and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic
or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any
information storage and retrieval system, without permission in
writing from the author.
To Helga and Franz. Amazing parents.
I could never break my wings as fast
as you gave me a new pair.
And to my grandmother, Katharina.
May your angels take care of you. Always.
I SHOULD HAVE RUN THE OTHER WAY
I FACED A moral dilemma.
Take it…don’t take it…take it…don’t take
The soft cotton of the purple sweater in my
hand tempted me sorely. It wasn’t covered with holes or stains, but
perfectly intact, like nothing I’d worn since I was five years old.
I could even rub the hoodie on my cheek, and the threads wouldn’t
scratch my skin like the nasty gray hand-me-down pullover I wore
Only the price tag stood between this
perfect sweater and me.
I searched the Friday afternoon crowd at
Camden Market. The place brimmed with people. Everyone was busy
scanning clothes, jewelry, shiny little knickknacks, or small toys.
The stand-owner had her back to me as she talked to a customer. If
I wanted to nick the sweater, then it had to be now or never.
“What are you waiting for, Montiniere?”
Debby purred in my ear. “Take it or leave it. But make it fast,
because I just had my hand in her till.” Her blonde brows
Debby Westwood was not my friend. At least,
not in the sense of
Hey girl, let’s have a pajama party and tell
each other our weirdest secrets.
I used to hang out with her.
impressed me. She’d become my idol from the moment she rammed into
me on Earls Court a few months ago. If I remembered it right, she’d
been on the run from the fuzz for the theft of a pair of crocodile
stilettos. Jeez, I should have known consorting with a criminal
would only get me into shit.
Debby wasn’t a resident of London’s youth
center like me but spent her life on the streets. As for me, my
warden, Miss Mulligan, allowed outings from the Westminster
Children’s Home only on Tuesdays and Fridays. And I was lucky,
because anyone under the age of seventeen wasn’t granted even
Praise my seventeenth birthday! I’d been
ecstatic when I no longer had to attend group excursions. London
was way more fun alone. No teachers, no rules, no nothing.
Just me. And this pretty purple sweater.
My fist tightened around the fabric.
The sound of my heartbeat boomed in my
ear, faster and faster as I got closer to taking what I wanted. I
knew it was wrong. My throat went dry. I had difficulty
Suddenly, my backpack was unzipped, and the
sound raised the small hairs on my arms.
“What are you doing?” I hissed as I swung
around to face Debby.
She flashed a mischievous grin. “Helping
you.” Covering me from the view of the stand-owner, she stuffed the
sweater halfway into my bag. “Look at you. Your rags even scare the
dogs away. You’re lucky I spend time with you.”
I glanced down at my ripped jeans and
tattered boots. Heat flooded my face. Even though Debby didn’t have
a permanent roof over her head, she dressed like the queen of
Oxford Street. If her slacks or shirts got dirty, she discarded
them and stole new, brand-name ones. Simple as that.
When I first met her, it hadn’t taken the
girl long to convince me that there was more than enough stuff for
exaggerated prices people paid for high heels and leather jackets
made good on the few pieces we nicked from time to time.
Like this sweater.
I kept my eyes on the freaky-looking
stand-owner, dressed in striped tights and a straw hat, and waited
another heartbeat before I shoved the sweater all the way into my
backpack. She must have heard my heart pounding, because she turned
around at that moment.
After staring for a second, she glanced down
at my backpack. “What in the world—”
My gaze snapped to my bag.
sleeve peeked out.
An instant later, she pulled a whistle on a
chain from underneath her collar, and her cheeks bloated like two
tomatoes on a vine, setting London’s entire South End on alarm.
“Go! Go! Go!” I pushed Debby forward as I
dashed away from the clothes stand.
“Thief! Stop!” The shrill voice echoed down
the street followed by another alarming whistle. Heads turned our
way. From the corner of my eye, I spotted two men in uniform
stepping away from a kiosk and scanning the crowd. They were
searching for us. My adrenaline kicked in, tensing each of my
muscles like an over-stretched rubber band.
“This way!” Debby tugged on my backpack,
almost tipping me sideways. She pulled me behind another stand with
yellowed books and silver cutlery. There were more stands ahead.
Shoppers turned annoyed eyes on us as we pushed through the
“Jona.” Debby was breathing hard. “We need
to split up. They can’t catch us both. You go left, and I’ll keep
I turned to the left. A bloody dead end.
“You want me to play bait for the cops? Are
you nuts? They’ll get me!”
“You’re not eighteen yet. They can’t nail
you for anything.” Her hand curled around my upper arm. She shoved
me forward as she scanned for the policemen. “Your teacher will
save your arse. She does every time.”
“No! She threatened to let me rot in prison
if I ever stole again.”
“Don’t be such a wimp.” Debby’s shoulder
collided with mine, shoving me sharply to the side. My lungs
stopped sucking in air. Mouth open, I pivoted to face Debby. Her
evil grin was the last thing I saw as she vanished into the
“The brats ran this way,” a gravelly voice
I peeked over my shoulder.
The cops were fast on my heels. Their blue caps bobbed
out from the crowd and moved steadily forward. I was an easy target
Debby had gone straight on, so I angled to
the right. There had to be a way out of this open market. The
pounding in my ears shut out the murmur of the shoppers. My gaze
darted over the crowd. Bobbing heads moved like waves.
Which way would get me out of here?
I stopped, trying to catch my breath, then I
pivoted. There was no thinning of the crowd, but the blue police
caps came on, angling my way at a speed that should have been
impossible in the packed market.
Beads of sweat dotted my face and the back
of my neck. Miss Mulligan would kill me if I got involved with the
I used my hand as a shield against the
gleaming afternoon sun. A dowdy overweight man with a green hat
shoved me aside. I lost my balance and nearly knocked over a
toddler sucking on a lollipop with huge brown eyes gaping up at me.
Instead, I collided with an old lady whose shrill cry not only
pained my ears but also gave me away.
“Sorry, ma’am,” I muttered, noticing her
hunched back and the scarf wrapped about her gray hair. Her glasses
sat askew across her nose, and one of her crutches had dropped to
the ground. I bent to pick it up for her.
“Are you all right? I didn’t mean to hurt
you.” I ducked my head and adjusted the glasses with shaking
fingers. My feet were already bouncing in the direction of
“Get off, you nasty child!” The lady dropped
the crutch to swat my hands away from her face. “Don’t any of you
kids have eyes in your useless heads?”
That got me moving. I dropped to my hands
and knees and crawled away, doing my best to dodge the oncoming
pedestrians. A heavy boot with rubber treads landed on my fingers.
I bit my tongue to keep from screaming. Maybe crawling wasn’t the
best way to move through a crowd as thick as Miss Weatherby’s
vanilla pudding. I jumped to my feet.
“Move!” The same gravelly voice I’d heard
earlier parted the crowd like the Red Sea.
“Riley, I got her!” called a very angry
The man leaped forward, lunging for my arm.
I spun on my heel, ready to dash away to safety, but instead I
bounced right into the solid, uniform-clad chest of my captor’s
partner. He was smaller, and stout, but his grip on my shoulder was
Ice-cold fear settled in my veins. “Let go!”
I kicked his shin and wrenched free from his grip.
The man yelped and hobbled on his good leg.
People surrounded us like this was a stupid carnival, only they all
had the same judging look in their eyes. They’d caged me in. My
stomach slid to my feet. No chance of escape.
Oh dear Lord, I was in deep shit.
The tall officer ripped my raggedy backpack
from my shoulders before he shoved me to the pavement. He dug his
knee into my spine.
Just the position I wanted
to be in.
I thought my shoulders would pop out of
their sockets when he wrenched my hands behind me. Cold metal
closed around my wrists. The ominous click of the cuffs resonated
in my ears, sending a red haze of hysteria through my head.
please, not again.
Debby’s first rule when caught shoplifting:
Swallowing hard, I gathered what was left of
my courage. “Leave me alone!” The words were muffled with my cheek
grinding painfully against the pavement. “I didn’t do anything
My long hair caught in the officer’s hand as
he yanked me up. I groaned. This was going to end nastily. I needed
a Plan B. Fast.
“Of course you didn’t do anything, kid.” The
officer named Riley laughed harshly as he rummaged through my
backpack. “Let me guess, you’re a kleptomaniac, and you have a
medical certificate for legal pilfering in London?”
Making fun of me
Debby had also taught me not to show fear in
those moments. And she’d taught me well. I stuck out my chin. These
jerks wouldn’t get the best of me. “Take off the cuffs and I’ll
“Watch your tongue, missy. You’re in no
position to threaten a police officer.” Riley gave me a hard stare.
“Is this your backpack?”
I glowered back. “Nope. Never seen it
“Ah, that’s funny. Because here is an
identification card from the Westminster Children’s Home, which
coincidentally holds your picture.” He held up the ID and flashed
an ugly grin. If he’d moved his hand an inch closer, he could have
shoved the small yellow card up my nose.
“I lost my wallet last week. Seems like
someone found it.” I fought to keep my expression neutral.
“Of course. And that person forced this bag
on you then. Oh, and the sales lady stuffed this”—he pulled out the
purple sweater and dangled it in front of me—“into the backpack as
you walked by her shop, right?”
I stared him straight in the eye and cocked
a brow. “Shit happens.”
The tall man behind me grabbed my shoulder
and shook me. “That’s enough. You’re coming with us.”
I cast a sneer over my shoulder as he pushed
me forward. “How could I ever resist when you beg so nicely,
The muscle in his jaw ticked, but he
restrained from speaking. His grip on my arm tightened as he led me
out of the market. Shaken, I walked alongside the officers with my
gaze on the ground to avoid the curious stares of pedestrians.
Their stares tormented me more than the steel cuffs cutting into my