Nineteen

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Cara, Cael and I are sitting on Cael’s couch. I just explained to Cara about everything she missed – which admittedly is a lot more than I wanted to keep from her and it feels great to finally come clean about what’s been happening to me. The television is on low, playing an old black and white romance movie. He made us some hot chocolate because by the time we got to his place, the rain turned into hail and we were already soaked through to the bone. Our clothes are currently in the dryer, and Cara and I are wearing borrowed pyjamas from Cael’s closet.

“So, about your accent, you’re obviously not really Irish are you?” Asks Cara, voicing something I’ve wanted to ask since I figured out what he is.

“No, I am not technically Irish,” he says, “I sound like this because it was the site of my Fall. It’s simply coincidence that Khiara’s two incarnations were born in the same country.”

“What do you look like as an angel?” I ask, curious.

He takes a sip of his hot chocolate and smiles. “Pretty much like I do now, except I have wings and glow,” he replies. I smile, remembering something he’d said to me after our first date.

“Can it overpower evil simply by looking at it?”

“Yes,” says Cael, his eyes full of laughter, “that would be my Glory. Its shine overcomes evil.” He turns to Cara and says, “I shit you not.” She bursts out laughing and Cael smiles his sheepish smile, and I know everything is right in the world again.

“Can we see your wings?” I ask, tentatively.

He shakes his head, “No. They’re made of spiritual matter. You can only see an angel’s true form if you are dying. Let’s hope you never see them.” He whispers the last part solemnly.

“Where do they…go. Like, how do you walk around and not hit things with them. Can I feel them?” I ask, and he laughs at my round of questions.

“They exist in two different places at once, I guess, kind of like myself. In this particular plane, I appear human, but to other angels who also inhabit both planes, I appear in my true form. I don’t know if you could feel them,” he replies thoughtfully. “Every shirt I own has very thin slits in the back so I don’t have to bind them; the slits are so thin you can hardly see them. Why don’t you give it a try? I mean they’re here, you just can’t see them because you’re human.”

He stands up and turns his back towards me. “Give it a go,” says Cara, eagerly waiting to see if I can actually feel them.

“You can try too,” he says. “I’m curious if it affects you.”

“If I can feel them, Cara probably can too,” I say, stating what I assume is the obvious. Cara frowns, but nods her head, and I wonder what those secrets she mentioned are. Cael’s head whips around and he says, “She’ll have to tell you herself.”

“It’s very rude to listen in on people’s thoughts, you know.” I say. Cael laughs and turns around again so we can resume our little experiment.

Cara reaches out towards his back and the disappointment she exudes is palpable. “Shit,” she mutters. “I can’t feel anything! Cael, can you feel me touching your wings?”

He shakes his head no. Cara’s phone rings, and she excuses herself to the bathroom to talk to Tristan, and I think to give us some alone time.

I reach out expecting not to feel anything, but instead my fingertips meet with the softest thing I have ever felt. Cael stiffens under my touch but doesn’t push me away, so I run my fingers across the silky-soft feathers of his wings and try to imagine what they must look like.

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