Well, here we go again. This is the revised chapter one. Not too much changed, but it is better. The dialogue is a little more natural, and the descriptions are more…well, descriptive. But anyway, I'm gonna eventually be reposting all of the chapters. The first few will come relatively quickly, but some might take me longer than others to get through and fix. But anyway, please feel free to leave a review. Reviews make me very happy :) You can read the summary if you want, but it's not very good. This story was hard to summarize...
Things are never quite what they seem, something that 17 year old Jessie Carlson learns from a chance encounter with a young man named Arin. Arin is anything but ordinary, right down to his retractable claws, black wings, and piercing red eyes. When Jessie finds him unconscious on her school's roof, they form an unlikely companionship as she tries to help him blend into the human world in exchange for her life. However, when you're as powerful a man as Arin, blending in is anything but easy, especially with the appearance of an arrogant "angel" known as Lucius. Just how is he related to Arin? Jessie is about to find out that her world is in danger, but can she really trust Arin—a man who's more like a demon—to save it?
The Boy with Black Wings
City life had always been relatively easy. People flocked the streets in herds while hundreds of cars sped by, constantly breaking the speed limit. It was all moderately normal, and the city folk were so used to it that they would never be able to notice something out of the ordinary. They were all far too blinded by the need to get to work or by the errands they had to run. Parents had to rush their kids to violin lessons, dance practice, or even take them out to buy clothing at the local department stores.
It was a simple, basic, and very routine life. That's why it was no wonder that when part of the sky opened up—showing perhaps a piece of the heavens beyond the cloud covered ocean—no one even noticed. Not even the people who were looking into the sky—perhaps wondering what errand they had forgotten to run or what kid they had to drop off next—managed to notice the break in the blue and white above. Perhaps some had noticed but had decided that it was of no concern to them and just moved on. It was hard to tell.
Well, if no one had noticed the breach in the cloud covered sky, then they really hadn't noticed what seemed to be falling from it. Again, it was of no concern to them. They had people to see, things to do, and places to be. They couldn't trouble themselves with the heavens that now seemed to be dropping something into their small, everyday city.
What was falling form the hole in the sky wasn't what normally came from the clouds above. Instead of a snowflake or a raindrop or even the golf ball sized hail that was sometimes produced, the heavens had released what looked like a human being, a boy to be exact. He was falling quite quickly, the air rushing past him as he plummeted towards the earth below. What was coming at him from below, however, wasn't the pavement of the street or the grass of the park. Instead, he was heading right towards the roof of a building, a well-known building for the kids of the city. He couldn't see it though. Not only were his eyes closed, but he was falling backwards.
When the boy's eyes slowly opened, his mind finally becoming aware, the first thing he felt was the cold air rushing past him. He could feel it even through the fabric of his dark attire—the black pants and robes that covered his whole body. His hands felt like ice, and they were turning a pale blue from the freezing altitude he was at. However, the more he fell, the colder it seemed to get. He tried to move a little, but his body hurt all over. Nothing would respond for him, and his head soon began throbbing from both the downward momentum and his own frustration. He wasn't sure just what was going on, but he knew it wasn't anything good.
Instead of trying to move, he focused his attention on the sky above. He could still see the break in the cloud cover, the hole that had dropped him into this city. At least it was still open, so he could return if he so pleased. However, just as that thought registered in his mind, the clouds began reforming. The hole above him was closing. He wanted to call out towards it, to try and prevent it from disappearing and cutting him off from his world, but it was all in vain. Before even a word could escape his lips, his body slammed into something hard. There was only one moment of pain before his whole world went black.
One of the largest buildings in the entire city, not to mention one of the most active, wasn't what someone would think of. It wasn't a shopping center, nor was it some kind of office. Instead it was a school, one of the finest in the entire area. Every floor had classrooms, bathrooms, a commons room, and rows upon rows of lockers that lined both sides of the hallways. It was a very nice school building, but with such an expensive school came high expectations.
For the most part, the students at the school were well behaved. Most got decent enough grades to manage their way through the school year, but some were allowed to stay simply because their parents could afford it. The worse the grades, the more it cost to keep going there. Oddly enough, this wasn't a college university or anything of the sort. It was a private high school for the very rich and intelligent. Some students were able to get in for little to nothing while others' parents had to pull in the money just to keep them there for another semester. At least it was diverse—for the most part.
It was around five o'clock in the evening, and not many were left in the facility. All of the after school sports were done with for the day, and most of the teachers had gone home to prepare for the next day of classes. However, there was one student still left in the building. Even though school had been over for two hours now, she was still hanging around in one of the classrooms on the very top floor.
"Ms. Carlson?" called a voice from the doorway. A teacher stood there, his blond hair falling to his shoulders. A pair of glasses framed his hazel eyes, hidden partially by his long bangs. The classroom he was standing in belonged to him, and he was ready to leave. However, he had to wait for the young woman first.
The girl sitting alone at one of the desks didn't acknowledge him. If she had even heard him, she showed no sign of it. She was still focusing on the papers before her, scribbling things down with her black pen. She had to continuously stop to brush back her long, very dark brown hair. Her bangs kept falling into her bright green eyes, and she currently needed to see what she was doing. She was almost done with what looked like a worksheet littered with complex math problems.
"Jessie?" the male teacher called out again. He sighed when she didn't respond and put on a determined face. "Jessie Carlson!" This time he got her attention. She stopped working and turned to him, blinking in confusion.
"What is it, Mr. Owens?" she asked with a sweet smile.
"I need to get home, so could you please finish your work elsewhere?" he asked as politely as he could under the circumstances.
"Alright," she sighed as she closed her math book and shoved the papers into a folder. She put both into a book bag at her side and stood up. She smiled to Mr. Owens before leaving the classroom so that he could lock it.
"You should get home," he told her as he stuffed the key back into his pocket. "I'm sure your mother's worried."
"It's alright," she assured him with a small smile. "I usually stay out later than this. She doesn't mind. I'm fine by myself."
"You still shouldn't stay out too late," he warned her as he began heading down the hallway. "This city is dangerous after dark."
"I know." She gave him a wide smile as she shouldered her book bag. "I'm not stupid, Mr. Owens."
"That you aren't," he said with a smile to himself as he continued on his way. However, both he and Jessie stopped dead in their tracks when they heard a rather loud thud above them. Both looked to the ceiling, but neither one was sure just what had happened.
"What was that?" asked Jessie as she continued to look up at the ceiling as if it held the answer she sought.
"I'm not sure. It sounded like something hit the roof."
"I'll go check it out!" she called back as she ran down the hallway and around the corner. There wasn't even time for Mr. Owens to stop her. She was out of his voice range long before he realized what was happening. He wasn't about to let her go and investigate by herself, so he set down his heavy bags and ran after her. However, he had a lot of catching up to do. Keeping up with the school's star runner wasn't an easy task.
Jessie ran up the last flight of stairs in the entire building, coming to the door that would lead her onto the roof. The door was always kept open. The students would sometimes sit up there during the longer passing periods. It gave a great view of the city, and it was normally peaceful on top of the school. The teachers didn't seem to mind if they went up there as long as they weren't late to their classes.
Jessie shoved open the door and was instantly met with a blast of cold air. It was windy outside, and the sky was covered in thick gray clouds, allowing little to no warmth to escape to the earth below. As soon as she had recovered from the rush of air, she opened her eyes and glanced around. She didn't have to look for very long as her bright eyes fell on the only thing that could have hit the building. Lying directly in the center of the roof was a figure clad in black.
Jessie sprinted towards the thing she assumed was a person and quickly noticed that it was unconscious. Upon closer inspection, she realized that the person was a young man, probably only a few years older than she was. He was dressed in black robes, something not seen on most citizens of the city. Then again, she quickly realized that nothing about this boy was ordinary. His skin was probably the most perfect resemblance of cream there was, and his hair was a deep ebony. However, there was something truly strange about him, stranger than his clothing and his presence on the school's roof (how he had gotten there was anyone's guess). From his back came a pair of wings—long, black, feathered wings.
Curiosity quickly got the best of her, and Jessie reached out to touch the soft looking structures on his back. The second her hand came in contact with a feather, something began glowing from around the boy's neck. She felt a small twitch come from the feather she had touched, so she pulled her hand away. She watched in awe as his wings began to fold and shrink. They were disappearing into his back, and once they were gone, she noticed that there was no evidence that they had ever existed. There weren't even two wing sized rips in his robes. It was as if she had just imagined the whole thing.
Jessie glanced around a little more, suddenly very curious about how he had gotten there and where he had come from. She turned her attention towards the sky and stared in awe at what appeared to be a hole leading to the heavens. It was open directly above the school. However, it was slowly closing as the wall of clouds swirled together to seal it off from probing eyes. She was so awe struck by the sight that she didn't even notice when the door to the roof was forcefully thrown open, slamming into the metal siding around it.
"Jessie!" called Mr. Owens as he ran over to her, noticing the way she was staring at the sky. However, his attention quickly went from her to the boy that was lying at her feet. "What the…?" he began, drawing her attention. She looked from her teacher to the black haired boy. She was starting to piece together her own conclusion about what he was and where he had come from, but it was hard to believe. Perhaps she wouldn't tell Mr. Owens about the boy's unusual black wings or about the hole in the sky.
"I found him like this," she told him, kneeling down next to the boy. She looked him over for injuries, and upon such a close inspection, it was hard not to notice all of the bruises and cuts on his hands and face. She could also see that he had quite a few nicks in his clothing. The fact that he had probably fallen from the sky wasn't of much help to his condition.
"I wonder how he got here…" began Mr. Owens as his voice trailed off in thought. He quickly shook his head, deciding that it didn't matter right now. "Well, more importantly, we should get him to a hospital, just in case."
Jessie nodded in agreement and remained silent as Mr. Owens pulled out a cell phone and called for an ambulance. For some reason she couldn't stop staring at the boy. She kept thinking about what he was, about his wings, and about the opening in the sky. Just what is going on here? Could he possibly be…an angel?
The streets were always so dark in the residential area of the city. The streetlamps provided very little light. Some of them were broken and in desperate need of repairs. It really didn't help that the streets were dangerous to walk at night, especially if you were alone. At least it wasn't quite as dangerous in the residential area, considering that everyone was like a neighbor, and a friendly neighbor at that. No one would dare attack someone here.
Jessie walked quietly, her hands holding tight to the strap on her book bag. She glanced up at her current companion. Mr. Owens was keeping just as quiet as she was as he walked with her down the streets towards her house. They had just come from the hospital where they had stayed just a little too long. By the time they had left the facility, the sky was already black. He had insisted on walking her home, being a responsible adult. Besides, he didn't live far off from the area.
"I'm fine now," she told him. "My house is just a block away."
"You're sure?" he asked, and she only nodded in response. "Alright then. I'll see you tomorrow. Remember to finish your homework."
"Yeah," she said, sounding a little distracted. Mr. Owens just turned around and began walking in the opposite direction, leaving her to walk home on her own.
Jessie shivered a little in the cold night air, her skirt and short-sleeved button-up top doing little to protect her. She hated the uniform with a passion. It was the only skirt she owned, but at least it wasn't too short. It fell to just above her knees, and it was a black color. Still, the uniform was just so boring. They could have come up with something better than a white shirt, black skirt, white socks, and black and white tennis shoes. The faculty of their school just didn't have any taste or imagination.
She turned the corner and smiled as she walked two houses down and crossed the street. There was a light on, gleaming through the living room window. She could make out a figure against the light and quickly ran towards the door. She knocked three times, and the figure in the window padded over. There was a soft click, and the door was pulled open. Jessie beamed brightly.
"Hi mom," she said, trying to ignore the worried expression on her mother's face.
"Jessie, thank God," she sighed in relief, hugging her daughter. "I was so worried about you." She released her, her expression quickly becoming stern. "Just where have you been? I called the school, and they said you left hours ago. You really had me worried this time."
"I'm fine," she said as she stepped into their small house, closing the door behind her. She set her book bag down and walked into the living room, plopping down on the only couch they had. It was a smaller room, but it was homey and roomy to her.
"Did you walk home by yourself?" her mother asked, dreading the answer as she sat down in a reclining chair.
"No," began Jessie as she turned on their television. "Mr. Owens walked with me."
A smile tugged at her mother's lips, and she knew exactly why.
"Bless that man," Ms. Carlson said with an air of admiration. Mr. Owens was well known through their neighborhood, and it wasn't because he was an outstanding English teacher. He was well liked by everyone. He was always watching out for others, making sure that none of his students, especially the girls, walked the streets at night. He was a true gentleman if ever there was one.
"I'm kinda hungry," began Jessie as her stomach growled. She hadn't eaten anything yet, and it was already nine o'clock. She hadn't realized it until just now, but she was starving.
"I left you a plate in the fridge. Just stick it in the microwave for a few minutes, and it'll be fine."
"Thanks mom." She sprinted to the kitchen to get her dinner.
"Jessie!" Ms. Carlson called out, appearing in the doorway just as Jessie hit the "cook" button. "Just why were you out so late?"
"Oh…" she began, trying to decide what to tell her. Should she really mention the boy she had found on the roof of their school? It was strange enough that he was dressed in foreign clothing, but he had just appeared there. People didn't just fall out of the sky like that. "Well, you see…there was this boy…"
"A boy?" her mother questioned, raising a skeptical eyebrow at her daughter.
"He was on the school roof…unconscious," explained Jessie, choosing her words carefully. "Mr. Owens thought we should take him to the hospital, just in case."
"I see." Her mother no longer seemed quite so curious. It was probably because she realized that the boy had nothing to really do with her daughter. "Well then, how is he?"
"He…well…he looked pretty beaten up, like he had just come from a fight," explained Jessie, her voice suddenly taking on a worried tone. "He had cuts and bruises everywhere, but the doctors said he'd probably be okay. It just depends on how hard he hit his head." She wasn't about to tell her mother that he had most likely fallen from over ten thousand feet and slammed into their school's roof. If that really was the case, then it was a miracle he wasn't dead. There's something very odd about that boy…
"Was he from your school?" her mother questioned as she began to wash the dishes that were sitting in the sink. She had forgotten them in worry over her daughter.
"No, I've never seen him before. He might be a new student." That or he's an angel. She could still remember the soft feathers of his wings…but didn't angels have white wings? Why had his been black?
The microwave bell dinged, signaling that her dinner was ready. She took the plate, being careful not to burn her hands, and walked out of the kitchen, leaving her mother to do the dishes in peace. Besides, she didn't want to talk about the boy anymore. She didn't want her mother to become as suspicious of him as Mr. Owens had been. However, it's not like she could blame either of them. He was quite a strange sight.
Jessie walked up the stairs near their house's entryway and headed into one of the rooms. The upstairs hallway wasn't very big at all, but it did lead to three different areas. One was her bedroom. The other two were a guest room and a bathroom. Her mother's bedroom was located downstairs next to the living room.
Their house wasn't very big, but it didn't need to be. There was only the two of them. They didn't even need the living room, considering the fact that neither one had much time to just sit and watch television. She spent most of her time at school, and her mother worked almost twelve hours every day. She had to in order to keep the bill collectors away from their front door.
Jessie sat down on her bed, finally removing her shoes and placing them in the corner by her dresser. Her room was rather simple, consisting of only what she needed. She had a closet that she probably couldn't fit anymore stuff in even if she tried. A mirror was stationed over a wooden desk where she kept a lot of her books. A dresser held most of her clothing, and then there was her bed, which was just a little too big.
In reality, the room itself was large and rather empty since it had originally belonged to her parents. If she had the money, there would probably be a few more decorations, and the walls wouldn't be so bland and brown. She could only hope that all the extra hours her mother was putting in could allow them at least a few luxuries.
Jessie finished her dinner and then went back downstairs to fetch her book bag. She had some homework to finish up. She stole a glance at her mother, making sure she didn't need any help, before heading back up the stairs. After emptying her bag onto the floor of her bedroom, she searched through her books to find the ones she needed. Normally she would have finished all of her work by now, but the trip to the hospital had really taken a lot of time. Now she had a bit of catching up to do.
She set the book down on her desk and pulled up her chair, reading the chapter she needed to get through before tomorrow. History wasn't her favorite class, but she needed to read for it. There was only a fifty percent chance that they'd actually get quizzed on the material tomorrow, but she couldn't chance it. She had to do well in class. She had to do well in all of her classes for that matter. Currently she had a 4.0 grade point average, straight A's in every subject. She was close to being the top of her class, and she needed to keep it that way. Right now her mom was paying nothing for her to go to school. As long as she didn't slack off, it would stay that way. It had to. Money was hard to come by.
Jessie sighed after finishing the chapter, deciding that it was too late to worry about anything else right now. She'd finish the rest of her work before school tomorrow. Right now she wanted to just fall down on her bed and sleep. She quickly changed out of her uniform and pulled on a pair of moon-blue pajamas. She then flopped down on her bed, her head hitting the pillow. She quickly cleared her mind, and before she knew it, she was fast asleep.
The next day at school was shaping up to be an extremely difficult one for Jessie. It was a Friday, and she was finding it increasingly hard to concentrate with every hour that passed. By the time she was in her English class, she had resorted to staring out the window. For some reason she couldn't stop thinking about what had happened yesterday. It wasn't like her to let her mind wander, but she kept thinking about what she'd do after school. She wanted to head right over to the hospital and check on the boy.
She was sure Mr. Owens had noticed her distraction, and unlike what a normal teacher would do, he left her alone. He didn't call on her at all during class, and when the bell rang, he walked over as she was putting her books away. His class was the last one of the day, and his room was on the very top floor.
"You seemed distracted today," he told her, barely catching her attention.
"Yeah," she said, not sure just how to answer him. "Maybe I'm just tired." She got up and shouldered her book bag, giving him a small smile. "I'll see you on Monday, Mr. Owens."
"Aren't you staying after?" he asked her as she began to head out his door. He couldn't recall a single day where she didn't stay after to work on homework.
"Not today. I have something to do." With that said, she ran down the hallway, feeling rather anxious. She was hoping that when she got to the hospital, he'd already be awake. There were so many things she wanted to ask him. She had to know who he was…and what he was.