Read Illumine Online

Authors: Alivia Anders




Copyright © 2012 by Alivia Anders

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events,

real people living or dead are used fictitiously. Names, characters,

places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination, and

any resemblance to actual events or persons living or dead, is

entirely coincidental.

For those who never gave up on me.


They say you have epiphanies in the strangest places. It's

not something you plan to do in the morning while you mul over

with a venti soy skinny latte in one hand. Just like it

wasn't something I had realy planned to have in the middle of a

morning shopping event with Cassie.

Standing in the dressing rooms at one of her favorite

indulgent shops, she switched between two sequent covered

dresses, the only difference being the pattern. Holding up the

maroon colored one decorated in hypnotic swirls against her petite

frame, she frowned. "Essie, which one should I get?"

"That depends," I took a quick look up from my cel

phone. "Are you trying to look overly oriental on purpose, or are

you trying to showcase you'l never have a nice chest and ass with

your gene pool working against you?"

She roled her brown eyes, but I caught the quick smirk

that flickered on her lips. "Please, you're just jealous I'l forever fit

into Abercrombie Kids clothes." Eyes back on the mirror, she

switched to the paisley blue dress, chewing on her lip. "Do you

already have something for tonight?"

I kept my face glued to my phone, feigning interest in a

random new app. "Uh-huh."

"Essalie Hanley, you think you'd learn after twelve years

that lying to me is like lying in a Confessional at school," she sighed,

shutting the dressing room door behind her. She threw the door

shutting the dressing room door behind her. She threw the door

open moments later, back in her skinny jeans and favorite

oversized sweater.

She was right. Since my first day to our Catholic prep

private school, Cassie Knight had always been able to tel when I

was bluffing, even at my best. Like one of those aura reading kids

right off the pages of a teenage novel, Cassie had no problem

teling me what mood I was in and pinpointing exactly why before I

could even say what was on my mind. We caled it her 'freak gift.'

"Forget about the clothing snag, okay?" Cassie snapped

her fingers in front of me. "I just get testy you'l always have curves

and the only way I wil is if I stuff my jeans or binge on Burger

King for a few months."

We walked out of the dressing room to the register.

Cassie, in her typical indecisiveness, bought both dresses. I

shuddered and turned away from the total on the register, not that

her Dad's credit card would notice it one bit. Once we sat in the

back of her town car, I decided to spil my guts for her.

"Can't we just skip the party, Cassie? No one would even

notice if we didn't show." I kept my eyes away from meeting hers.

"Oh, yes, because no one's going to notice the girlfriend of

the guy who's hosting the party isn't there. That sends a wonderful

message for your relationship with Chase." I felt her stare hot on

my face. "Relax. What on Earth do you think is going to happen?"

"I don't know. Just, cal it a bad feeling. I'm al partied out

from Jessica's bash last week," I said, shrugging my shoulders.

Truth was, I had only stayed at Jessica's for a few minutes, took

one look at the five-man three-girl orgy in the middle of the floor,

one look at the five-man three-girl orgy in the middle of the floor,

and left. It was great being in the center of a socialite social circle,

but I thought of it more like a job than a gift: casual Friday is great,

but the other six days of stiff neck colars and ties are


The second part was the very reason I was supposed to

be at that party tonight. Chase DeRapport was just as mysterious

as the values in each case on Deal or No Deal. Everyone assumed

just because I was dating him that I'd know every inch of him, from

boxers or briefs to favorite board game during a potential blackout.

After a year and a half of knowing him, three months of that dating,

I stil felt like something was just...wrong. Amiss. Just a little off. Al

the little bels and whistles saying to turn back and run sounded in

my head, but how exactly did you explain that to your friend when

you're supposed to be the life of the party?

"It'l be over before you know it, trust me." Cassie snapped

me out of my haze as she shoved against my shoulder, smiling.

"Besides, I've been told by a trusty insider that he's got something

wicked good planned for you," she winked.

By the time I'd decided on skipping dinner, picking out a

dress to wear, and rocked on my heels through several stops to the

eighth floor of an apartment complex a few blocks from Times

Square, I was late for the party. The door had been left slightly

ajar, multi-colored flashing lights blinking just inside.

Stepping inside, I made my way through the smal packs of

people hovering in little cliques against the wals, giving them smal

people hovering in little cliques against the wals, giving them smal

smiles and nods where eye contact was needed. I noticed that in

the main room he had decided to put up his latest work of art on

canvas. A picture of a bare-breasted angel with blood on her

hands and wings spread toward the heavens, a blindfold covering

the maiden's eyes. Something about it gave me the shivers, as if I

was having the strangest case of deja vú.

Fingers laced around my upper arm. Giving his long dark

hair a swing from his eyes, Chase puled me towards him until his

lips met with my neck in a gentle but sloppy drunken kiss. "How

nice of you to show," he murmured. His hand lazily brushed over

my white dress. "What kept you?"

"Actualy, that would be exactly what I see right now," I

half-shouted into his ear over the music. He looked confused. Big

words don't realy work on the drunk, sily me. "I didn't want to

see you drunk."

That seemed to sink in. His face took on a new expression,

and for a moment he looked mildly sober. "I'm sorry, Essie, baby.

I didn't know what to do without you."

If he drank every time he didn't know what to do without

me...I pushed it out of my mind, figuring it was the alcohol talking. I

knew for a fact that when he was fuly sober he was far from

overly-dependent on my existence. "So what's this surprise Cassie


"Shit." His eyes widened, and he practicaly dropped his

arms off my waist. "What did she tel you?"

"Nothing, nothing, I swear," I said. "Just that it would be, in

her words, wicked good."

her words, wicked good."

The tension in his shoulders relaxed as his face softened.

Under the spectrum of lights, he looked closer to a waterlogged

corpse than the owner of an occult bookstore in downtown NYC.

Dark bruises lingered under his eyes and dashed his cheekbones

like blush, his skin suctioned to the bone.

"Not to be mean, but I've seen feathers sturdier than you,"

I teased. I leaned up on my toes and brushed my lips against his

immobile pose.

Chase looked back at me, eyes locked in his infamous

faraway glaze. Every time I focused on his eyes, I saw battling

sparks of light as if they were fighting to push past his brown eyed


He snapped to attention so suddenly I squealed. "Come

on, let's go." Keeping my hand in his, he led me past the people in

the halway to the door, bumping into whoever stood in the way. I

looked up to apologize, only to bite my tongue in shock. Every

person in the hal had turned to look at us, to look at

face looked ravaged like Chase's, cold and lifeless with bright

dazzling crimson eyes.

Just a trick of the light,
I repeated in my head, keeping

my eyes glued to the floor until we were out of the apartment and

in the elevator.

Chase hit one of the buttons, and I watched 7 light up

while the elevator groaned to life. "What's on the seventh floor?" I


He didn't look at me, but I caught his eyes flash as the

corners of his mouth twitched upward. "Something special." The

corners of his mouth twitched upward. "Something special." The

doors opened and he led me down the halway, coming to a halt in

front of one door that was already slightly open. From the outside I

could only see darkness.

We walked inside, Chase sealing us inside as he shut the

door. The darkness made it impossible to see anything, not even a

window for a sliver of moonlight. I fumbled my hands out in front

of me for anything to grab onto.

"Over here, Essie," Chase's voice carried just a bit in front

of me. I took a step forward and missed a dip in the floor, half-

colapsing into him with a gasp. "Are you ready for your surprise,

my little angel?"

"Not realy, no. Let's just get the hel out of here," I hissed

at what I assumed was his face. "Why are we in here anyway?"

"Don't you want to bond with me?" He asked.

My eyebrows creased. "Are you saying you want to have

sex with me? 'Cause I don't need an empty apartment to do that.

Your bed would have worked just as fine."

Chase laughed. "No, not that kind of bond. I meant a

spiritual bond." He left me standing alone as he walked around the

room lighting candles in clusters of five or six at a time. Under one

of the flickering flames I caught him looking back at me, his eyes

shining like two freshly polished black marbles. "I found it in one of

the new books that came in last week to the store. It seemed fitting

for two soul mates to bind themselves past the physical level."

As he lit more candles, the room started to come into

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