Crescendo in Patch's POV
Author: Elena Hathaway

Chapter 8
Chapter 8

A/N: Okay, I KNOW this chapter is crappy, but you guys have been begging for another chapter, so here ya go. I don't wanna hear any haters whining about how sucky this chapter is, because I already know how sucky it is, but I freaking TRIED so deal with it.

And....for all you fans that I love, SORRY for beign so pissy here but I've had a really stressful week and had a huge project that decides whether I graduate or not but I knew I needed to add a chapter on here cuz it's been a while, so...yeah. A lot's been going on, but I somehow found the time to write this, lol. Enjoy! ~Elena

 

 

 

Life was really starting to piss me off.  No, i take that  back.  Love was really starting to piss me off.  It was like I couldn’t do anything right.  I was no stranger to this, but still.  I’d always thought the one thing I’d done right was falling in love with Nora and deciding to give up the stupid sacrifice to save her life.  With every time we met since the fight, it felt more and more like I’d been wrong.

The next time I saw Nora, it was the next night at The Devil’s Handbag.  Now, I wasn’t sure if she knew this or not, though I was betting on a not, but The Devil’s Handbag was a popular hangout for Nephilim and occasionally even fallen angels.  I rarely ever went there myself except for “business” deals, but when I’d swung by Marcie’s earlier tonight, she’d announced that we were going as she climbed into my Jeep, dressed like a prostitute.  I had to struggle not to make a face at the garter.  Was she trying to send a message here?  However, I hadn’t said anything, deciding it was probably the smartest route.

I didn’t know why, but it seemed almost every time I was out somewhere with Marcie, Angel was there too.

This time, though, I wasn’t so sure if it was a coincidence.  Scott Parnell, who apparently had a band, was going tonight to the club to see battle of the bands, and as a “friend” Nora was there with him—dressed very nicely, might I add.  However, I was fairly sure Marcie knew that Angel and Scott were familiar, had had a hunch that Angel would be there, and decided to go too.  With me.  Dressed like a stripper.  Yeah…there are no such things as coincidences anyway.

Angel was dressed in a silky blouse, a miniskirt, tights, and ballet flats.  In other words, this was her dressed up for a date.  I remembered the first date we’d been on.

“How much you want to bet?”

“…Five dollars.”

I shook my head.  “Your jacket.”

Perplexed, Angel tilted her head.  “You want my jacket?”

“I want it off.”

I shook my head, trying to bring myself back to the present and away from old memories.  That’s all we had now, right?  According to Nora, all she wanted from me was just that: old memories.

I still found that hard to believe.  After all we’d been through, she was just going to quit?  Once again, I shook my head.  Now was not the time.

“Something wrong?” Marcie purred, just as we entered the club.  I realized Marcie had dressed appropriately.  Still.  Maybe another reason she wanted to come here was because of the dress code, and she wanted to show off.  This time I did make a face.

“Nothing,” I said, brushing her off.

She flipped her hair and shrugged.  “I’m going to get drinks,” she announced, and disappeared.  Well, she disappeared from what a human’s view would be.  I was able to track her all the way to the bar and back.  I was also able to watch Angel slip out a side door.  My anxiety shot up, but by then Marcie had returned.  Besides.  I wasn’t her guardian angel anymore.  I physically couldn’t intervene.

That didn’t make me any happier about letting her out of my sights.

Marcie wanted to dance.  I didn’t want to dance.  I shooed her off onto the dance floor while I leaned against the bar, sipping a vodka.  She danced very…erm…enthusiastically.  In other words, her dancing was slutty.  There was no other way to describe it.  I suddenly pictured Angel in her place.  She would have been unsure but willing to branch out to blend in with the crowd.

That was the thing about my Angel.  She was so determined to blend in, to melt into the crowds and disappear, completely unaware of what a gem she was.  She was quite literally a diamond in the rough.  I had been lucky enough to realize this in time, but it seemed that it hadn’t made a difference.  She’d made up her mind about us, it appeared.  She didn’t want to be with me.  Was it that she thought she was holding me down?  That I was better off without her?  She couldn’t be farther off the mark if that was what was in her head.  She made me want to be a better person.

Sighing, I leaned away from the bar, signaled to Marcie I would be right back, and slipped outside.  I made it to my Jeep and shut myself inside, then punched the steering wheel with a yell.

“Goddamn it, Angel,” I muttered, pressing my forehead to the wheel, feeling the emptiness claw at my chest.

All of a sudden, the passenger’s side door opened and Marcie slid in, her dress—if one could call it that—riding up, showcasing her garter and red thong.  I quickly glanced away with my angel speed, so fast I knew she didn’t catch me looking.  She closed the door and grinned at me.

“You left,” she pouted.

“I needed some air.”

“In the Jeep?”

“I like the smell in here.”

She shrugged.  “But I wanted you to see me dance.”

I mirrored her shrug.  “I saw.”

She smiled again.  “And?”

“And you dance pretty well,” I said, keeping my tone flat.

Marcie threw back her head and laughed, then kicked the passenger’s side door open again, jumping out.  “Come on, Patch!” she crowed.  “Come back and dance!  Or at least finish watching me dance.”  She jerked her head toward the club, and I sighed.  I was her guardian angel now.  That was all this was, I reminded myself.

Reluctantly, I got out of the Jeep, slamming the door and hitting the lock button.  Marcie squealed in delight and dragged me back inside the loud, crowded club packed with sweating, gyrating bodies.  Right before we entered, she grabbed my hat off my head and stuffed it on her own.  Too tired to argue, I didn’t.  I let her go on ahead, promising I’d be right in.   The lighting was hard-to-see for a human, but merely dim for me.  The band playing currently sucked, and I could think of a million places I’d rather be.  With Angel’s house topping the list.

I took a deep breath and unwillingly fully entered the club, spotting Marcie immediately.  She was at the bar again.  Where Nora was sitting with Vee, sipping Cokes.

I slid to a side wall and concentrated to hear what they were saying.

“That’s very eco-friendly of you,” Vee was saying to Marcie, “recycling Nora’s old trash.”

I chuckled at this.  Vee had never liked me, and had probably all but thrown a party when she heard that Nora had dumped me.

“Hot trash is better than fat trash,” Marcie snapped back.

“Fat this,” Vee snarled, and grabbed Nora’s coke, throwing the drink at Marcie.  Just as the liquid left the cup, someone jostled them, and it splattered over all three of them.

“Look what you did!” Marcie cried angrily, jumping off her bar stool so hard she knocked it over.  “This dress is Bebe!  Do you know how much it cost?  Two hundred dollars.”

“It’s not worth much anymore,” Vee said sweetly.  “And I don’t know what you’re complaining about.  You probably shoplifted it.”

“Yeah?  So?”  Had to roll my eyes at that.

“With you, what you see is what you get.  And I see cheap.  Nothing says cheap like shoplifting.”

“Nothing says fat like a double chin.”

That struck a nerve with Vee, apparently.  “You’re dead.  You hear me?  Dead.”

Honestly, I didn’t see what they were arguing about.  Though my sights would always entirely be set on Angel, Vee was attractive too.  She had curves.  That didn’t make her fat.  Just because Marcie was a size negative twelve didn’t make Vee fat.  It just made Marcie anorexic.

Marcie turned to Nora.  “By the way, Nora, I thought you’d like to know.  Patch told me he broke up with you because you weren’t enough of a slut.”

I was going to kill her.  Screw the archangels.

Vee hit Marcie on the side of her head with a handbag.  Marcie whipped around, furious.  This was going to get ugly.  I could tell.  I almost wanted to watch Vee beat up Marcie, though, because of what she’d said to Nora.

“What was that for?” Marcie yelled, clutching her blond curls.

Vee merely smacked the other side of her head.

“You little—”

“Stop!” Nora shouted, wedging herself between them.  She hadn’t said one word the entire exchange, but knew when to.  Another thing I loved about her: sometimes she didn’t say much, but when she did, it was always worth it.

The next thing I knew, the club basically erupted into chaos.  God, this was going to be a headache.  Nora and Marcie had just broke into a cat fight, which had triggered violent behavior in the rest of the bar.  Of course.

I made my way through the din, shoving people who needed shoving, and dodging when appropriate.  I made it to the bar just in time to see Nora on the floor, and Marcie dump a drink on her.  Marcie backed away, but Nora got to her feet and started for her.  Thankfully, that’s when I came in, grabbing her beneath the arms, hauling her upright.

“Get out of here now,” I slid into her ear, hauling her toward the doors.  This had nothing to do with life or death, so I could intervene.  I just didn’t want to see her get hurt.  More than she already was.  I already had Marcie’s funeral plans all mapped out.

“I’m going to kill her!” Nora screeched, bucking against me.  I sighed and located Vee in the crowd just as the chant started.

“Fight! Fight! Fight!” they all crowed.  I brushed them off and handed Nora off to Vee, who gripped her arms, giving me a meaningful look.  A look that basically said, I still hate you, but thanks for saving my friend’s ass right there.

I turned on my heel and took Marcie by the arm, hauling her out of the club and out to my Jeep.  I tuned out once she started ranting and screaming.

I tuned back in once she settled down, which was when we were almost at her house.  I was going to be glad to be free of her for the night.  How I wasn’t strangling her this very second, I still wasn’t sure.  I’d always been one for good self control, or so I was told.  After all, I’d managed a long time without kissing Nora when we’d met.  What took more self control than that?

“She ruined my dress,” Marcie pouted, picking at the sticky fabric on her thighs.  “Now I’m freezing.  And I reek of cherry Coke.”

“You want my jacket?” I offered, my eyes still on the road.  Chivalry wasn’t dead, even if I was restraining myself from ripping her head off.

“Where is it?”

“Backseat.”

Besides, Marcie couldn’t know how much I hated her.  She’d want me out of her life too, and that would reduce me to a stalker.  Not one of my life goals, to say the least.

What happened next, I wasn’t prepared for—which is saying something.  Marcie retrieved my jacket from the backseat, and then tugged her dress off over her head, leaving her completely naked other than her underwear.  I kept my eyes on the road.  What else was there to do?  I didn’t want Marcie, never had and never would.  I only wanted Nora.

Marcie zipped herself into my jacket and instructed, “Take the next left.”

“I know the way to your house,” I reminded her, steering the Jeep right.

“I don’t want to go home.  In two blocks, turn left.”

In two blocks, I stayed straight.

“Well you’re no fun,” Marcie pouted again.  “Aren’t you at least a little bit curious where I was going to take us?”

“It’s late.”

“Are you turning me down?” she purred.

“I’m dropping you off, then I’m going back to my place,” I said evenly.

“Why can’t I come?”

“Maybe someday,” I muttered, just to placate her, then felt a stab of guilt.  That was more than I’d ever given Angel.  But Angel wasn’t a slut, and Marcie was, so humoring her would be the safest route.

“That’s not very specific,” Marcie smirked, kicking her heels up on the dashboard, showing off her legs.  Kept my eyes on the road.

“Tomorrow night, then,” Marcie decided.  She paused, and her voice turned husky when she spoke next, in what I suspected was supposed to be a seductive voice.  It did nothing for me.  “It’s not like you have somewhere else to be.  I know you and Nora broke up.”

My hands tightened on the wheel.

“I heard she’s with Scott Parnell now.  You know, the new guy.  He’s cute, but she traded down.”

I suppressed an eye-roll.  So if flat-out seduction didn’t work, she was moving on to simple flirting?  Good lord.  I would murder this girl before we made it to her house at this rate.

“I don’t really want to talk about Nora,” I said in what was barely a restrained voice, keeping my emotions—which were bordering on fury at this little bitch sitting in my car—in check.

“Good, because neither do I.  I want to talk about us.”

“I thought you had a boyfriend.”

“The keyword in that sentence is had.”

Thankfully, we’d arrived at her house, and I threw the Jeep into park.  “Good night, Marcie.”

She stayed in the seat a moment, staring at me somewhat in irritation, then laughed.  “Aren’t you going to walk me to the door?”

“You’re a strong, capable girl.”

“If my daddy’s watching, he won’t be happy,” she said, reaching over to straight my collar, her hand lingering there longer than was appropriate.  I sighed.

“He’s not watching.”

“How do you know?”

“Trust me.”  Those two words were hostile, but I don’t think she caught it.  Did she catch anything, really though?

At that, Marcie smiled, lowering her voice further.  “You know, I really admire your willpower.  You keep me guessing, and I like that.  But let me make one thing perfectly clear.  I’m not looking for a relationship.  I don’t like messy, complicated things.  I don’t want hurt feelings, confusing signals, or jealousy—I just want fun.  I’m looking for a good time.  Think about it.”

For the first time during the entire ride, I turned to face her.  “I’ll keep that in mind,” I said levelly.

Marcie smiled.  It was meant to be sexy and seductive, but once again—did nothing for me.  As a grand finale to her speech, Marcie leaned in and pressed her lips to mine.  I started to pull back, then stopped.

They’re watching.

An idea popped into my head.  What better way to show the archangels that Nora meant nothing to me other than an assignment than treat Marcie in (relatively) the same manner?  Now, I wasn’t about to start in on a make-out session with her, but if the archangels saw me kissing one assignment frivolously, perhaps they’d believe what I’d said about the relationship with Nora merely being part of the job.  It was all I had, in any event.

When Marcie finally ended the kiss, she grinned at me and opened the passenger’s side door.  “Tomorrow night,” she said in an almost demanding tone.  “Your place.”

“Your dress,” I reminded her.  I didn’t exactly want a prostitute’s dress in my Jeep.

“Wash it and give it back to me tomorrow,” she said, and before I could toss the slip at her, she closed the door and skipped to her porch.

I pulled away from her house, shaking my head.  What had I done to deserve this?

 

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