An Angel's Job
Author: Lyndsay Noemia

Chapter 23
Something Italian

     While I sat on the porch waiting for Zander, I reflected on that week. Peter had arrived, and "coincidentally" was a friend of Ephraim's. Everyone warmed up to him immediately, even Kendall, who had been glaring at Peter the first five minutes he was there. I wondered why everyone loved Peter, but not Ephraim. He had picked it out of my thoughts- a power both Angel Guardians and Demons had, he explained to me- and told me that people just warmed up to angels. It was part of their charm. I remembered the question that instantly popped into my head. "Is that why I warmed up to Ephraim?"
     "Partially," Peter and Ephraim both said. I hadn't spoken out loud, making Zander, Melanie, Tyler, Gabe, and Blythe all blankly stare at them.
     Peter blanched, but Ephraim covered it up quickly, "We were talking about the math homework. We didn't really understand it." Peter nodded briskly, his face returning to its natural pallor. 
     After a few days, everyone quickly getting used to Peter, everything seemed normal again. That was until Kendall decided to be best friends with Zander. We were all sitting at lunch, listening to Peter tell stories- probably made up to keep his cover- about where he used to live. He said something about living in Canada, or Europe. It was interesting either way. Then Kendall sauntered over only the way a six-foot jock can. "What's up Zander?"
     Zander seemed kind of annoyed at Kendall. "Nothin' much."
     Kendall didn't seem fazed, "Well, I'm having a party, and was wondering if you and Jasmine wanted to come."
     With a glance around the table, Zander asked, "Can Peter and everyone else come?"
     He seemed to forget they were there, except for Peter. "Sure," He said it a little grudgingly.
     Ephraim smiled at Kendall, mocking him. That got him the bird. Zander coughed, stifling a laugh. That had been yesterday, on Thursday. Zander told me that he wanted to take me out, so that way he wouldn't feel bad for taking me to Kendall's party. Zander had driven me home on his motorcycle, then hung out at my house for a while. He told me that where we were going was a surprise, but it was going to be nice. When Clarice heard this, she decided to make me dress up. We just had different definitions of "dressed up". When Clarice had seen what I decided to wear, she sent me back to my room, though. I didn't really see what was wrong with wearing jeans. Finally, I decided that I would wear a black pleated skirt, a turquoise and black plaid button up shirt with a skull on the pocket, and flats.
     Zander pulled up then, in a nice looking black Audi. My eyes widened as I took him in. He looked really nice in a long-sleeved, gray button-down shirt, black vest, black slacks, and Doc Martens. Sunglasses were tucked in between the top buttons. Zander came over and put his hands on my waist. "You look really nice." The bridge of his nose brushed my hair when he whispered in my ear.
     "So do you," I whispered, then said, "James is watching; we'd better go." He laughed, his breath warm in my ear. He walked over to the Audi and opened the door for me. "Where did you get the car? I thought you loved your motorcycle."
     "I do love my motorcycle," He looked down at my skirt, "I just figured it would be hard to ride on a motorcycle while wearing that." We smiled at each other. "The car belongs to my dad. If a scratch appears in this car, you'll never see me again." His face was a mask of seriousness. I started laughing while he climbed into the car.
     After driving for about twenty minutes, I asked, "Where are we going?"
     "That, is a surprise," He took my hand.
     "You're just full of surprises, aren't you?" He nodded, grinning.
     A few minutes later we came to a stop. I didn't recognize anything about the place. Come to think of it, I couldn't even remember the name. It was something Italian. Zander put his hands over my eyes. "Zander, I already saw it. There isn't much of a surprise anymore." We both laughed, Zander keeping his hands over my eyes.
     "That's not the best part of the surprise."
     I put my hands over his. "There's more?" He mumbled a yes and led me towards the entrance.
     Zander leaned down close to me to whisper in my ear after we went through another door.  "Okay, open your eyes." Obediently, I complied with the polite order.
     "Oh, wow," I whispered. Zander came up next to me and slid his hand into mine, smiling. We were standing on the patio of the restaurant, the edge of the roof covered in pale yellow lights, still lightning bugs against the night sky. Small candles were lit randomly around the patio, making everything look one hundred times better somehow.
     "My dad rented out the whole place for us."
     "What?" I asked, still staring at the lights.
     Out of the corner of my eye, he smiled sheepishly. "My dad knows the owner and called in a favor. We have the place to ourselves. Well, the waiter and cooks our here too, but you know what I mean."
     I turned to smile at him. "You're rambling."
     "Am I? I don't think I'm rambling. At least not that-" He stopped when I laughed. "Maybe I am rambling. Anyway, here's our table." He pulled out my chair for me, then sat down across from me.
     We talked for a while, then I asked about Peter. Zander took a drink of his water before answering, "He seems to be enjoying here. He said that Jasen hasn't tried anything, as far as he knows, anyway."
     "And Ephraim?"
     He tensed slightly. "Can we not talk about Ephraim?"
     "Well, I was just wondering why you abjured him, or whatever it's called."
     Zander nodded and said, "Okay, I'll tell you."


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