Above the flames the fla.., p.29
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       Above The Flames (The Flames Trilogy #1), p.29

           Cassandra Fear
 
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  Charmeine smiled and crooked a finger at him. “Follow me.”

  She walked a few steps to an edge where only blue sky extended past the cloud they stood on. Beau peered over, but saw only a cloud beneath him. “What’s this?”

  “The portal, silly. It’s right there.” She pointed. “That cloud right below us, well, it’s actually a slide. You just jump from the edge, slide down, and think about where you want to go on Earth. Then, poof, you’re there.”

  Beau blinked once, then stared with his mouth hanging open. A thought popped into his mind. “What’s stopping me from jumping right now?”

  Charmeine placed her palm against his chest and shoved. Beau flew back through the air, landing on his back on a fluffy cloud. It didn’t hurt, but his cheeks heated.

  Charmeine hovered over him, hands on her hips. “For one thing: me.” She laughed. “I don’t want to humiliate you, but you’re really no match for me. I took it easy on you there, so remember, I’m watching you, dude. And my eyes are everywhere.” She cackled hysterically. “Your eyes look like they might pop out of your head. Classic reaction.”

  “Okay, you can stop the chuckles. You’ve made your point.” Beau stood and brushed his white shirt off. “I won’t try to skip out.”

  “Oh good. Glad we see eye to eye. Now, follow me and I’ll set you up with your angelic duties.”

  Beau trailed behind her. “Where are we going now?”

  “To see the big guy. He’ll dish out your job, and then we can all get to work.”

  Beau’s pulse quickened. The big guy has to be who I think it is. He all but skipped after Charmeine, ready to prove himself. He’d be the best angel he could be. He’d do anything, if only he could see Jasmine again. And get her away from Amon. For good.

  Chapter 38

  Answers

  Jasmine

  “Let’s go! Everybody up!”

  Jasmine rolled over, away from the sun that blinded her still sleepy eyes. Did he have to pull the curtain? I just want to sleep.

  She covered her head with the blanket, and tucked the edges under her, knowing that Amon would try to pull it off of her next.

  “Rise and shine! The day is bright, and we should get an early start.”

  If his voice gets any more chipper…

  Jasmine groaned.

  The blanket was pulled, but she squeezed the top and kept it in place.

  Another hard tug and the blanket inched down off of her.

  “Leave me alone! I want to wallow in peace!”

  It’s getting stuffy under this blanket. But I’m not leaving this room today. That’s all there is to it.

  Footsteps receded and the door clicked shut. Good. He left.

  Jasmine remained under the blanket. Her heavy heart ached. She placed her palm over it, rubbed. It did nothing to ease the pain.

  The blanket was ripped away, and light stretched around her. She closed her eyes instantly, shielding them from the sudden switch from dark to bright.

  Amon. I’m going to kill him.

  She dropped her hands to her side and balled them. Amon slid his arms under her and picked her up.

  Jasmine opened her eyes. “Let me down. I’m not in the mood for this crap!” She shoved against his chest. “Put me down I said!”

  But he didn’t listen; he carried her out the door and down the steps. She slapped him across the face.

  He stopped moving and frowned down at her. “Believe me when I tell you I know how hard loss is. But if you stay in bed for a week, nothing will be accomplished and you will feel just as bad as you did when you first buried yourself in the blankets. I’m only trying to help.”

  Jasmine clenched her teeth. “I had one training session already. It went fine.” Actually, it made me feel guiltier than ever. How can I have fun with Amon when Beau just died? “But I’m not ready for any more just yet. I need to be left alone right now.”

  “Sorry. It’s not going to happen.”

  Jasmine didn’t think. She poked him in the eye. Amon’s eye instantly poured water and he pulled an arm out from underneath her to rub it.

  Amon moved his arm back under her. Then he grabbed her arms and pulled them down to her sides, keeping his hand squeezed around her wrist. “I’m going to give you a free pass on that one. You are angry. I get it. But your anger is aimed at the wrong person. It would be very helpful if you use that anger and project it to the right people: the demons.”

  “Yeah, I know. You guys just want to use me for my power. Then I can stop the demons for you.” She jutted her chin out. “But I’m not your tool. I’m a person. I have real feelings. And right now, those feelings are a wreck inside me. So I need some time.”

  Amon walked down the hallway and out the back door.

  He doesn’t get it. He won’t listen! She mentally screamed in frustration. She squirmed again, but couldn’t get her arms free.

  When he stepped to the middle of the yard, he dropped her.

  She stood, rubbing her backside. “What the hell did you do that for?”

  Amon bent his knees and put his face in hers. “I thought you needed to wake up. Best way to do that was to drop you. Or splash water in your face. Since I didn’t have any water…”

  Jasmine glared directly into his eyes. “You’re an ass.”

  He chuckled, but said nothing. His silent stare pissed her off.

  Jasmine’s cheeks flamed and she scowled. “You think you’re the stuff of heroes, don’t you? An ex-angel who is training the little human to use angel power she was given when she was still cooking in her mom’s oven.” She scoffed. “But I’ve got news for you. You are fallen. You screwed up. You weren’t perfect! So tell me why you think I need to be. If I want to grieve my best friend, that’s what I should be doing.” Jasmine jumped back as she realized she’d moved closer, and her chest was now touching his.

  Amon shook his head. “Grieve. Please! I’m not stopping you from that. But we have bigger problems right now.”

  “Yes, we do,” a voice, thick and smooth like honey, said from above.

  Wings the color of midnight flapped around a man wearing a light blue shirt with a white pair of slacks. His shiny pearl-colored shoes landed on the ground. They were snake skin. Of course. Only an angel.

  Amon smiled as the angel stretched his hand out and grasped his own. “It’s been too long, Gazardiel.”

  Gazardiel? As in Gazardiel’s powers?

  “Yes, it has my friend.” Gazardiel laughed. “So, tell me, what have you taught our little Angel Blessed?”

  Amon’s jaw tightened and he clenched his fists at his side. Then he brought one forward and punched Gazardiel right in the nose.

  The angel’s hands came up, covering his face and he hunched his back. “For the love, Amon. What the help was that for?”

  “Help?” Jasmine asked.

  “Gazardiel, here, doesn’t swear. And Hell is a bad word to him.” Amon thinned his lips. “Isn’t that angelic of him?”

  Jasmine burst out laughing. She wrapped her arms around her stomach. “Wow. That’s—um…interesting.” She sobered. “Now, why don’t you tell me what this power is that you threw inside of me, and why you never told me how to use it?” She put her hands on her hips and angled her head to the side.

  Gazardiel frowned. He ran a hand through his sandy hair, looking at the ground. When his gold eyes met hers, he looked sheepish. “Jasmine, I gave all five of you powers because I was told to do so. I didn’t question my orders, and perhaps I should have. My power is alive inside of me, and I had no idea that breaking some of that off and passing it out to you Angel Blessed…” he paused and gulped, “…let’s just say that your power has manifested into something I’ve never seen, nor thought would happen. You are much stronger than I ever thought.”

  “Well, isn’t that just fan-fricking-tastic!” Jasmine clapped. “You gave me power and it is much stronger than you thought it would be.” Jasmine raised her voice. “Did you stop to think how hard the
se ‘strong’ powers are to control? For a human?”

  Amon gestured with his hand. “Not only are you weaker, Gazardiel, but you’ve made these humans incredibly strong. Considering we are fighting demons, that’s great. But you also left them with nobody to guide them.”

  “Yes, Evangeline—”

  “Turned into a bad angel. Of course she did, but did you follow through and make sure your Angel Blessed were in good hands all these years? Did you check to make sure Evangeline was doing what she’d been charged to? My guess would be no.” Amon lowered his voice. “But you can make things right now.”

  Gazardiel nodded. “I will try. Although I do not think I can ever make anything right. But we must start somewhere.” Gazardiel took Jasmine by the elbow and led her toward the fence. “We will start training now. I will teach you and the others all about your powers. What you can do. What you can’t do. And how you must control them. I have been told you’ve already figured some of it out on your own, though.”

  Jasmine half smiled. “Maybe a little.”

  Gazardiel turned and gazed at Amon. “Get the others and have them meet me out here. I have news I’d like to share with all of you.”

  Amon did as asked, disappearing into the house.

  “So, how do you like being an angel?” Jasmine asked.

  Gazardiel grinned. “I think you are being coy about your powers. The demons have been whispering about the Angel Blessed, how they combined their powers. How did you figure that out?”

  Jasmine shrugged. “Just a hunch. We didn’t know if it would work, and honestly, since Gemma is a healer and Cole has visions, I’m still not sure how their powers became offensive.”

  “Because that is the nature of my power. It’s alive inside of you. It morphs with you. When they pumped their power into you, your own took what they offered and changed it. You wanted to kill those demons, so your power listened to your thoughts and helped you do that.”

  “So, Gemma doesn’t have to be a healer? She could have a power more like mine?”

  Gazardiel placed a hand on Jasmine’s shoulder. “It can, but because of Gemma’s kind soul, it has become what she wanted it to. Same with Cole.” He widened his eyes. “By the way, I have some news for you.” Gazardiel spun around to face her. “Your friend that recently passed on, Beau, I think, right?”

  Jasmine nodded, a ball forming in her throat.

  “He is an angel now. You may very well see him again.”

  Jasmine’s jaw dropped. “What? An angel? How? Why? I mean…Beau’s an angel?”

  A glint of amusement passed through Gazardiel’s eyes. “Yes. He is an angel and he became one because he sacrificed himself to save someone else. If that doesn’t say angel material, I don’t know what does.” He winked.

  Jasmine kicked the grass. “I’m really glad. Beau’s a great guy, and I hope I do get to see him again.”

  She meant that too. She already missed him. Life wasn’t the same without him in it. Once he got his angel training, maybe he’d show up to help protect them. He could be their guardian angel!

  The door slammed behind her, causing her to jump. Everyone came out single file. Once outside they clumped together and shuffled slowly along.

  “Ah, everyone together! Finally!” Gazardiel widened his eyes. “You are all together for a reason. The fallen angels here were programmed to find the Angel Blessed. It was ingrained into your minds since we created them. You were meant to train them, get them ready for what will come.”

  “Don’t you mean what has already come?” Lamia asked.

  Gazardiel shook his head. “What will come will be worse.” He paused. “You see, I picked certain angels, the strongest angels, to fall. I wanted to make sure you’d protect the Angel Blessed when they needed it most. Thank you for that. You have gotten them ready for the most important task.”

  “What task?” Gemma asked.

  Amon stepped forward. “Hold on, what do you mean you picked us to fall? Didn’t we make that kind of easy for you, since we screwed up?”

  “No, Amon. Lamia, Caim, Azzy, and you did nothing wrong. The things you did were out of kindness, and you wouldn’t have ordinarily fallen. You were set up to fall. We needed you for this war, but we also needed the demons to know you.”

  Amon’s face turned red. “You. Did. What?”

  “Try to calm down. I will explain all, but first, there’s more pressing news. The demons have succeeded in their task. Lucifer has been freed. Now he will not stop. They have one hundred days from the day the demons were freed to take over this world. Then they can claim it as their new Hell. But if we can stop them before they do this, they will be locked away, back in their own Hell to never be seen again.”

  Jasmine’s jaw dropped. “Are you freaking kidding me? You guys knew all of this would happen, and you trust a few humans and some ex-angels to save the world and stop the demons?”

  Gazardiel smiled. “We do.”

  “That’s just fan-fricking-tastic.” Jasmine looked at her group. “We’re screwed.”

  The End

  BEFORE YOU GO…

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  Acknowledgments

  Thank you to every single person who helped me to make this book a reality. Jessica Calla—without you, I wouldn’t have kept going. You cheered me on from the very beginning of this writing endeavor and because of you, somewhere along the way, I began to think I could actually do this! To Kristen Kooistra, Elise Edmonds, and Katelyn Barbee—for all the long hours you spent reading and critiquing my book, chapter by chapter, I will forever be grateful. I’m so glad to have met each one of you along my journey! And to all of my other Scribophile friends, including Clark and Julian and anyone else I’ve forgotten, thank you for pushing me to think outside of the box!

  Thank you, Limitless Publishing for taking a chance on a new author who really had no clue what she was doing. You’ve made my dreams come true in more ways than one.

  Also, thank you to my family. It’s a big one and there are too many names to list, but you know who you are. Thank you for reading my book, and letting me know how much you liked it! Thank you for believing in me.

  About the Author

  Cassandra Fear lives in Ohio with her husband, two kids and two dogs. Hiking, taking care of her fish tank and reading are her favorite hobbies. She loves chocolate, hates driving in the snow and could eat macaroni and cheese every day. In her spare time, she loves to write, and has always dreamed of becoming an author. Her dreams will become reality with her first book, Above the Flames.

  Facebook:

  http://cassandrafear/

  Twitter:

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  Cassandra Fear, Above The Flames (The Flames Trilogy #1)

 


 

 
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