Crescendo in Patch's POV
Author: Elena Hathaway

Chapter 9
Chapter 9

A/N: Okay, so I tried a little harder with this chapter, so hope ya like it.

 

In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best idea in the world.  But honestly, my ideas weren’t known for being the best.  I’d just had to see her.  To at least make sure she was all right.  The only thing was I knew she wasn’t about to let me in the front door.  I’d had to get a little more inventive.

There was something I’d been working on, something I’d been looking into.  I didn’t know if it’d work, though.  Putting one of my memories into Nora’s dream was quite a bit different than putting myself into her dream, basically creating another universe where we interacted with each other as we would in this one.  I’d never done it before, but I was willing to try—this was Angel we were talking about here.  What wouldn’t I try?  It was a small list.  Practically nonexistent.

I leaned back against the wall.  I was in my underground studio, relaxing on my own bed, my back on the wall.  I closed my eyes, and concentrated on Angel, on locating her consciousness.

It wasn’t hard.  Even before I’d fallen in love with her, her mind had burned brighter than many I’d ever seen before.  It made me wonder sometimes.

And then…I was in.  I was in Nora’s dream.  I was in her house.  Or, rather, the dream version of her house.  That was easier than I thought.  I must have wanted to see her more than I realized.  Which made sense, really.

Silently, I made my way toward the newly redone staircase.  The last time I’d walked up these stairs, Angel had been unconscious in my arms—recovering from her recent death—and I’d been hanging on to every one of her heartbeats, half-convinced they’d stop again.  Still, she’d remained warm and alive in my arms as I’d carried her up to her room and tucked her into her bed, then standing back and waiting anxiously for her to wake up.

Shaking off these memories, not my favorites ever, I found myself in front of her door, and pushed it open, looking towards the bed automatically—

Something suddenly tugged me sideways.  Thrown off-balance, I righted myself, my hands going to my neck.  I removed what had been pulling me, yanking them out of the person’s hands, before yanking the person up.  I found myself face-to-face with Nora.

I glanced down at the tights I’d confiscated from her.  “Want to explain?”

“What are you doing here?” she demanded, her breathing speeding up.  She paused, squinting at me.  “Was that your text earlier?  The one telling me to stay put tonight?  Since when do you have an unlisted number?”

I shrugged.  I had sent her the text.  If I were to enter her dream, she’d need to be home, sleeping, not out with Vee somewhere.  “I needed to get a new line.  Something more secure.”

Her brow furrowed in confusion, but she quickly shook it off, returning to her glaring at me.

“Did it ever occur to you to knock?” she snapped, her pulse hammering, her heart beating violently in her chest.  “I thought you were someone else.”

“Expecting someone else?”

“As a matter of fact, yes!”

I raised an eyebrow, easily calling her bluff.  “It’s after three.  Whoever you’re waiting for can’t be that exciting—you fell asleep.”  I grinned.  “You’re still sleeping.”

At that, Angel blinked in surprise.  I was still a little surprised, myself, that I had managed to pull this off.  But I’d wanted to see her—needed to.  I always needed her, though.  That was nothing new.

“For your information, I fell asleep waiting for—Scott.”  She was lying.  She’d said that to get back at me for being with Marcie earlier tonight.

“Scott,” I repeated.

“Don’t start.  I saw Marcie climb inside your Jeep.”

“She needed a ride.”  Deciding to leave out the part that she’d needed a ride to the club as well.

Angel put her hands on her hips, narrowing her eyes.  “What kind of ride?”

“Not that kind of ride,” I said slowly.  Though as I said it, my mind flashed back to Marcie’s lips against mine.  My jaw tightened, but I said nothing else.

“Oh sure!  What color was her thong?”

I didn’t answer, but she must have seen something in my eyes that was confirmation enough for her, because she marched over to her bed, grabbed a pillow, and hurled it at me.  I sidestepped it, and it hit the wall behind me.

“You lied to me,” Angel said, her voice shaky.  “You told me there was nothing going on between you and Marcie, but when two people have nothing between them, they don’t swap wardrobes, and they don’t get inside each other’s cars late at night dressed in what could pass as lingerie!”  I glanced down at what she was wearing—a spaghetti-strap tank and boy shorts.  I wanted to comment on this, but it wasn’t exactly her choice that she was dressed like this right now.

“Swap wardrobes?”

“She was wearing your hat!”

“She was having a bad hair day,” I slid easily, not mentioning that she had grabbed the hat from my head.

Angel’s jaw dropped.  “That’s what she told you?  And you fell for it?”

“She’s not as bad as you’re making her out to be.”  Sure, Marcie Millar was a bratty little slut, but she wasn’t completely evil like Nora always went on that she was.

She thrust a finger at her face, indicating her black eye.  “Not that bad?  See this?  She gave it to me!  What are you doing here?” she demanded again, furious.

I leaned against the bureau, folding my arms.  “I came by to see how you’re doing.”

“Again, I have a black eye, thanks for asking,” she snapped.

“Need ice?”

“I need you to get out of my dream!”  She snatched another pillow from her bed and threw it violently at me.  This time I caught it.

“The Devil’s Handbag, black eye.  Comes with the territory.”  I shoved the pillow back at her irritably.  She was acting like a brat now.  An attractive, amazing, love-of-my-life brat.

“Are you defending Marcie?”

I shook my head, shrugging.  “I don’t need to.  She handled herself.  You, on the other hand…”

She shoved a finger at the door fiercely.  “Out.”

When I didn’t move, she advanced furiously, whipping the pillow against me.  “I said get out of my dream, you lying, traitorous—”

I grabbed the pillow from her, tossing it over my shoulder, before walking her backwards until her back came up against the wall, my boots flush with the tips of her toes.  She opened her mouth again to finish her sentence, to call me whatever filthy name she could think of.  I tugged on the waistband of her boy shorts, pulling her even closer to me, till I could feel the warmth I’d become so addicted to.  I stared down at her, breathing slow and deep.  We stood that way for a long moment, suspended in time, on the decision she could make.  I saw it in her eyes when her resistance ebbed away.

Suddenly, she curled her fingers into my shirt and tugged me the rest of the way against her so that my body was pressing hers against the wall.  She slid her hands up my chest, gazing up at me.  All the anger in her expression was gone, replaced with sadness mixed with something like relief.

All I want is to kiss away your pain…

“Don’t make me regret this,” she murmured, breathless.

“You haven’t regretted me once,” I whispered.  I kissed her, pressing my lips against hers, wanting to erase the memory of Marcie, and she responded with a hunger that surprised us both.  She shoved her fingers up into my hair, pulling us closer together.  We kissed hungrily, fiercely, desperately, like we were starved for each other, like we were drowning and only the other person could save us.  That was how I felt, every day I was away from her—like I was drowning, and now I was being saved.

The warmth of her washed over me, but I wanted more.  I slid my hands around her waist, under her tank, deftly slipping to the small of her back to hold her to me.  I pressed closer to her, needing the pressure, needing the heat, needing the fireworks. 

Angel fumbled at the buttons on my shirt, her knuckles, white-hot, brushing my skin.  I could almost pretend that I could feel the texture of her skin, feel the silky pressure, dips, crevices, and valleys that were her lips.  Almost.

She rucked my shirt down off my shoulders, and I met her halfway, pulling my arms free from the sleeves and throwing the shirt aside—who needed shirts?—and feeling the heat of her palms sliding over my chest, my stomach.

I caught her mouth in mine again, needing her taste, her intoxicating scent of vanilla and peaches and the mustiness of books, needing her.  I would never stop needing her.  It was impossible, though, my love for this one girl.  I told myself it was better this way—better for her, she wouldn’t be hurt this way—but I knew it was a folly to even try to stay away from her.  I loved her too much, needed her too much.  The pain she felt at our breakup, I felt in tenfold, felt it breaking at the very core of my being.  I needed her in order to be.

And more than that, I wanted her, now.

I lifted her up so that I didn’t have to bend down to reach her lips, and she wrapped her legs around my waist.  I kissed her with bruising pressure, our tongues dancing together, my hands absorbing the heat of her skin.

Pulling back briefly, my gaze cut to the dresser, and then the bed.  I heard her heart stutter at the direction of my gaze, and turned back to kiss her, feeling the warmth of her hands sliding down my back—

Her finger brushed the place where my wings joined with my back, and, before I could stop her, she was sucked inside my memory.

Shit.

Her arms went slack around my neck.  All of a sudden, I felt a panic.  What if she saw earlier tonight?  Marcie’s kiss…I didn’t want to think of the possibilities that she saw that.  She would be shattered.

She was inside my memory for five minutes, and when she came back, the expression on her face was as if she had just been slapped.  Her eyes brimmed with tears.

I lifted my arms to bracket her shoulders, tipping my head back to the ceiling, wishing we could rewind five minutes so I could be more careful

“What did you see?”

The sound of her heart pounded between us.  The look on her face said it all.

“You kissed Marcie,” she whispered, biting her lip, the tears welling up, about to spill over.

I took a step back, dragging my hands down my face, pinching the bridge of my nose.  That just freaking figures.

“Tell me it’s a mind game.  Tell me it’s a trick.  Tell me she has some kind of power over you, that you don’t have any choice when it comes to being with her.”

I squeezed my eyes shut.  “It’s complicated.”

“No.”  She shook her head fiercely, her eyes sparkling with anguish.  “Don’t tell me it’s complicated.  Nothing is complicated anymore—not after everything we’ve been through.  What do you even hope to get out of a relationship with her?”

My eyes flicked to hers.  “Not love.”

A tear slipped free, but she swiped it away before it even existed.  “You make me sick,” she hissed, her voice full of heartbreak and accusation.

I crouched down, elbows on my knees, face buried in my hands.  Could nothing ever go right when we were together?  “I didn’t come here to hurt you.”

“Why did you come?  To fool around behind the archangels’ backs?  To hurt me more than you already have?”  She didn’t let me answer, instead reached for her neck, grabbing the chain necklace I’d given her and yanking it from her neck, throwing it at me violently. “And I want my ring back.”

I didn’t have it…it was still at the jewelers’…I stared at her a moment longer, wishing I could tell her everything…Instead I bent and picked up my shirt. “No.”

“What do you mean, ‘no’?  I want it back!”

“You gave it to me,” I said quietly, but not gently.

“I gave it to you when I was stupid enough to think I loved you!” She thrust out her hand, eyes flashing.  “Give it back.  Now.”

I turned and left the room, unable to bear the hatred and fury and agony in her eyes anymore, unable to bear the fact that I had caused it.  Somehow, though all I wanted was the opposite, all I was able to cause the love of my life was pain.

 

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