fallen angels — chapter 3.8: rain

Warning: foul language. Pictures may take a moment to load. It is recommended you read this chapter on my blog, not Reader. Time jump of approximately 1 year. 


The morning of my nineteenth birthday dawns like any other. The bedroom is full of eight o’ clock sunlight, and the curtains are drawn; the sky is pale grey, white around the edges, like a halo; the jagged hills in the distance, made green by pines and laced by narrow shimmering waterfalls, hills that look like a crown or teeth depending on the day. Today they look like a crown, distant but proud in the misty summer morning. 

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Lilith is awake, running a brush through her hair. She has no make up on, a startling but refreshing change. “Happy birthday, mejor amiga!” Her grey eyes light up when she notices me waking. “Thanks,” I smile at her sleepily and pull on a blouse and floral jeans. “Alright, time to cut your hair!” She chirps, pointing at the chair in front of her. I hesitantly take the seat, already regretting my promise to her from a few days ago, about letting her chop my hair for the first time in years. As Lilith snips away, the long curls float down to form a dull copper halo. Not a lot, but after she thins and straightens it, my hair feels strangely light; like a heavy weight has been lifted off my shoulders, one that I didn’t know was there.

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The kitchen feels like a greenhouse, as always; morning sunlight is flooding through the wraparound windows, which are lined with various potted plants and herbs. I can see the city to the west and steely ocean to the east. Lilith sits me down on one of the barstools and refuses my help in making breakfast. “It’s your birthday, Cherry!” She slaps my hand as I reach for the cutlery drawer. I roll my eyes. “Honestly, I don’t care if I’m one year older or not, but whatever you want, Lilith.” There is no point arguing with her. She smiles at me, knowing this, and cheerily tips flour into a bowl.

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“Nice hairstyle.” I turn to find Luc leaning on the counter next to me, holding a mug of coffee. I jolt a little at his closeness; I can smell the rich perfume of the espresso, mixing with the smoky scent of his cologne. I can pick out the subtle hints of bronze in his blonde hair. His skin has tanned over the summer. “I suppose you’re being sarcastic,” I sigh as he raises the coffee to his lips. He shrugs at me and leans in with a tiny smile. “I’m not joking, you look cute.” To my surprise, he actually sounds sincere.

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“Well… thanks.” I blink slowly, a little confused, because the first thing Luc always likes to do in the morning is insult me. I wait for him to say something degrading, but he just tilts his head at me. “Why do you sound so surprised?” “Um… maybe because you never say nice things to me?” At my cynicism, Luc laughs. “Fair point. Well, do you want a coffee?” I stare at him with wide eyes, wondering if he is somehow drunk or I am still dreaming. “You’re going to put salt or something in it, aren’t you?” I say suspiciously. Luc looks wounded. “Come on, have a little trust. It’s your birthday. I’m trying to be a kind and compassionate human being.” Both of us snort at the same time.

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“Well, I guess I would like a coffee.” I hesitantly smile. I better enjoy Kind and Compassionate Luc before he goes away. “How do you want it?” He says as he fetches another mug out of the cupboard. “Um, black with lots of sugar. A little milk.” Luc nods at my answer. I study him carefully as he switches on the machine; it protests with a hiss before cranking out the coffee. Luc has been doing these sweet little things for me since a few months back, and it confuses me. One moment he will be playing a video game with me, surprising me with tiny pastries from a cakery downtown, after work, or getting things I can’t reach in the kitchen cabinets; the next he will be pissing me off just for fun. As a result, my mood is always changing when I am with Luc, and I just don’t know how to feel about him.

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“What?” I jolt out of my thoughts to see Luc giving me a lopsided grin, his eyebrows cocked. “Huh?” I say, perplexed, as he slides the steaming mug across the counter towards me. “You were staring at me,” He explains, sitting down next to me and playfully kicking my foot. His leg is warm against mine. “I don’t look that bad in the morning, do I?”

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What kind of question is that? I hide my blush by taking a long sip of the coffee, which is perfect, hot and strong and sweet. “Um… no. I mean, you look good, but I didn’t mean to stare at- wait, what did I just say?” I choke on my coffee and Luc begins laughing at me, my splutters and his laughter enough to turn Lilith around from her sizzling pancakes.

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“Luc, stop trying to kill Cherry on her birthday!” Lilith accuses her cousin, her hands planted on her hips. “Hey, for once it wasn’t my fault,” He protests, throwing up his hands. I finally stop coughing enough to glare up at him. “It so was,” I hiccup. Luc simply glances away with a laugh, and looks back at me again with a crooked smile. For some reason, my heartbeat speeds up a little. “Well, I can’t help that you find me attractive.” He says smoothly, and I look down quickly in embarrassment. “Chin up, babe.” Lucifer pulls my chin up with a finger and forces me to meet his amused gaze; he’s smirking, a dark smirk, which means he’s playing his game with me again. “Don’t call me that,” I snap, my cheeks feeling like they are on fire, and I just want to slap his face really hard.

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I mean, I like Luc. He’s the coolest person in the world when he feels like being nice. The kind of person you can joke and laugh and talk with, say anything and everything, without any worries. But there’s no getting past the fact that Luc Torres is a shameless player, and I am no exception to his game. Apparently my over-sensitivity to his teasing is enjoyable to watch. I stupidly fell for his slanted grin at first; if I’m being honest, I was surprised and secretly happy that he seemed to want me. But as time danced on, I slowly realised that flirting was as far he wanted to go with me, that there was no attraction in his smiles and words, that the only reason why he flirted was because of my squirming overreactions. And this is why I want to slap him; because I can’t help being attracted to Lucifer, which, let me tell you, really really sucks.

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Before I actually hit him, though, he releases my chin with a cocked eyebrow and returns to the coffee machine. I stare down into my half-empty mug, angry and hurt. Idiot. Jerk. Stupid insensitive asshole. Luckily, Raphael and Michel soon arrive, the latter with a smile and the other looking as bored as usual. “Bon anniversarie, Cherry!” Michel says happily, his voice as sweet and soft as ever; it’s hard to remember he had turned eighteen a few months ago. I smile back at him despite my mood. He’s the only boy in this house that I’m not intimidated by, probably because he’s not unfairly tall like the others. “Thank you!” I hug him gratefully. Along with Lilith, he has become a very close friend. The other said friend places a pile of perfect golden pancakes in front of me.  “Raphie, get the plates out,” She says absentmindedly as she scatters fresh blueberries over the pancakes. Raphael sighs grumpily, his electric blue hair fluttering, but he heads over to the cabinet anyway. “What, no good morning?”

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Lilith swats at him playfully. “Fine, bueno dias.” She turns to me and gives me a fork and knife. “Now try not to asphyxiate on the pancakes, hm?” I smile at her, feeling a strange but comforting sense of fulfilment. Ever since I came to Bridgeport, exactly one year ago, I’ve been feeling happy just in the presence of others. Lilith is the first girl I’ve met who has genuinely become a friend, and the guys, if I forget Lucifer’s constant harassing for a moment… they do treat me as one of them. Part of their family. It’s nice not being alone anymore.

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“Happy birthday,” Gabriel says quietly as he passes by my chair, the last to arrive for breakfast. “Thanks,” I reply softly, a little disappointed by his distant attitude. I’ve known Gabriel for a year, gone out on many robberies with him, but somehow it’s as if he’s still a stranger to me, as far away as he was to me when I was seventeen. There was a time when my breath would catch in my throat, in awe and hope, when we would meet on mornings like this. Now… well, it’s hard to keep crushing on someone when they keep on pulling away from you.

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Forget it, Cherry. I shake my head to clear my thoughts and instead dig into the pancake stack. They are perfectly cooked — sweet and light, crispy gold on the outside. “Lilith, these are so good! Share with me, I can’t eat this all.” I push the plate towards her and we alternate bites, the other guys talking raucously about basketball over their own pancakes. “There is no fucking chance you’ll beat me today,” Lucifer points a forkful of syrup-drenched pancake at Raphael, who raises his eyebrows. “Just accept your defeat already. Give me the twenty,” Raphael says lazily, holding out his slender hand. Lucifer rolls his eyes. “Stop spewing bullshit, Kage, I haven’t lost the bet yet. Michel, Cherry, do you two want to come watch?”

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I answer him a few seconds after Michel nods his head. “I… guess so.” A week or so ago, Raphael and Luc had started a bet on who was better at basketball; to this day they still haven’t managed to beat each other. I was planning to ask for more shifts at the record shop I work at today, but I guess it can wait till tomorrow. I smile slightly as I watch the banter. It is strange to think that we are all adults who work. It is even stranger that we are criminals as well. Sometimes when I think of this, I can’t help laughing to myself. One does not paint lawbreakers as normal people, but here we are, eating birthday pancakes and talking about basketball as if we do not steal from the rich at night.

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Once everyone finishes their pancakes, dishes are washed and the kitchen is wiped down. Lilith kisses me on the cheek before going off to the boutique, and Gabriel excuses himself to work as well. “Have fun,” He tells me gently, and I watch him walk out of the kitchen before shaking my head in irritation. I can’t stop hoping that every time he talks to me, he’ll break the wall of ice he has built between us. But he never does.

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The basketball court is located in a park nearby. The sky has clouded over and I glance up, hoping it won’t rain. The guys head straight to the hoops, Raphael and Luc facing off with Michel on the sidelines as the referee. I sit down on the warm concrete to watch them, leaning against the chain link fence. They move with the same effortless speed and fluent agility as I’ve seen during the robberies. It’s kind of mesmerising, watching the two guys dribbling and shooting, running and intercepting, so quickly and gracefully. They bring back memories, ones of my sisters and I when we were little, sitting with Mom, eating crisps and drinking vanilla Coke together, watching Dad and Uncle Will and their friends playing basketball at the stadium where they worked. Sometimes Mom would get up and join a team, and we would cheer her on.

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A sharp combination of nostalgia and homesickness suddenly stabs at my chest. My sisters are turning nineteen today, too. Cara… would she be celebrating with a tiny baby in her arms? Perhaps I am an aunt now. Cinna would be next to her, the usual frown on her face, but with the hint of a smile she reserves for birthdays. The realisation makes me sad. This is our first birthday which we have spent apart. Although my sisters aren’t as close as we ought to be, I miss them, and Mom and Dad. I don’t know when I’ll ever see them again.

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“Hey, are you okay?” I jolt to find Luc crouching in front of me, his gaze concerned. I must have spaced out. The sun peeking through the swollen clouds is much higher than the last time I checked. “Oh… yeah, I’m fine…” I say slowly, distracted by how he actually seems to care. He gives me a disbelieving look. “Do you want to play?” He asks, expertly spinning the basketball on his finger. “I would love to… but I’m crap at shooting. I haven’t played in years.” Seeing as both my father and uncle are professional athletes, it’s a bit shameful to admit. Luc just smiles and holds out his free hand. “Nothing I can’t fix,” He tells me. So I hesitantly take his hand, which is warm and rough and strong under mine.

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He pulls me in front of a hoop and shows me where to stand. I hold the ball against my chest nervously. Luc stands behind me and his hands cover mine on the basketball, and I let out a tiny gasp at the unexpected contact. I can feel him against me, his belt clasp cool on the small of my back, his legs touching mine, his wrists brushing against my own. A strange shiver runs through me and I know Luc feels it, for he makes an amused noise in his throat. “Relax, Cherry. Bend both your knees slightly and lean back.” He directs me. I follow his instructions hesitantly and lean a little into him, my shoulders pressing into his warm chest. He taps my elbow next and shows me the ideal C shape for the shooting arm position. “Follow through and hold.” The ball sails through the air and into the hoop with a neat thunk. “Easy.” Luc smiles, and I can’t help smiling too. “Can I try on my own now?”

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He lets go of me and I practise shooting, coming to realise that I’m not half-bad at this; the ball falls through the hoop more often then not. “This is actually fun!” I bounce up and down in celebration after scoring another hoop. There is a sense of satisfaction each time I land the ball, a small burst of exhilaration and pride. Luc is watching me critically with his arms folded and a smirk playing on his lips. “You know that in game, there will be someone trying to defending the hoop,” He says and walks in front of me. “Try shoot now.” I attempt to shoot and Luc intercepts the ball easily, hooking it out of the air with a fluid grace. “Try again.” He throws it to me and intercepts again and again until I am very frustrated. “How am I supposed to get it in if you’re so tall?” I sigh, jumping from foot to foot. “Faking. Distract me.” I glare at him, knowing he’s enjoying watching me get all worked up and annoyed. Luc rolls his eyes impatiently. “Think! You distract me all the time without trying, surely you can do something.” His words make my stomach jolt and I look at him with wide eyes, my mind racing, trying to decode what he had just said. But Luc just arches his eyebrows. “Come on, Cherry.”

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I hesitate before I do the first thing that comes to mind. I kick him in the shin. In the second where he stumbles and swears, I lunge and shoot, the ball rattling into the hoop. “You told me to distract you,” I say sweetly when Luc stares at me in astonishment. He laughs, and runs a hand through his golden hair, his relaxed grin infectious. “Touche.” And then I smile at him, a real smile, finally dropping my guard, and he steps forward and leans down toward me and for a moment I think… “Can you keep practising without me?” Luc says with a tiny smirk, and cold disappointment floods me, like an ice cube has dropped into my stomach. “Yes,” I reply softly. He nods and walks off, and I turn to the basketball hoop bitterly. I let down my defences and got my hopes up again. Stupid Cherry. I throw the ball at the hoop, and it tumbles in, but the feeling of satisfaction has drained away. I hear the footsteps of other people coming into the park and I ignore them, shooting again and again, hard and fast. But then I hear a girl’s laugh, not too far away, high-pitched and breathless, and I can’t help glancing behind me.

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Three girls, in tiny denim shorts and spaghetti-strap tops, with Converse and sparkly lipgloss. They can’t be much older than me. The prettiest girl has dark brown hair, like mine, which is braided into a little bun. My heart sinks when I realise she is talking to Luc. Of course. Who else? “Oh my god, you are so funny!” The brunette leans forward to touch his arm, and he actually smiles. The same kind of smile he had just given me. I bite my lip, knowing that I should probably turn away, but the cold weight in my stomach anchors my feet to the concrete. “Are you here with… another girl?” The brunette’s eyes sweep discretely over the court, and I know she is looking for someone who could be Luc’s girlfriend. Her gaze passes over me like I am invisible.

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“Yeah, I am,” Luc says lightly, and something sparks in my chest when he looks at me. All three girls stare at me, and the brunette crosses her arms, giving me a scathing onceover. “No, I meant like, a girlfriend,” She laughs, sweet and tinkling. Luc hesitates for a second, his green eyes locking onto mine, and my breath lodges in my throat, a ridiculous hope rising up within me.

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“Nah. Why do you ask?” He looks away from me and I bite my lip. The other girl looks delighted, and her friends hide their giggles behind their hands. “Ooh, I was just wondering if you could teach me how to play basketball… um, what’s your name?” She asks, tilting her head like a puppy. “Luc. And sure.” He flashes her another cocky smile. The brunette turns to me, and there is no disguising the triumph on her face. “Hey, are you done there yet?” I grit my teeth, clutching the ball tightly, wanting to chuck it at this stupid girl, for her to feel a fraction of what I am feeling right now; like I’ve been punched in the stomach. But then I glance at Lucifer. He isn’t looking at me. And all the strength just drains out of me. “I just finished. Lucky you.” The ball slips out of my fingers and thuds to the concrete, rolling away. Then I walk off to the sidelines, where Raphael and Michel are waiting. They must have been watching the whole time.

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I sit down next to Michel, drawing my legs close to me. I can sense his light blue gaze on me. “I’m sorry, Cherry,” He says quietly. “What are you talking about?” I say flatly, like it’s not a big deal. He wisely chooses not to answer. I rest my chin on my knees and watch Lucifer, my stomach twisting. He’s doing the exact same thing to her, what he did to me; holding the basketball with her, teaching her how to shoot. The brunette looks up at him with fleeting, flirty smiles through the whole time, and he returns them with the crooked grins he always gives me. He whispers something in her ear and she laughs. Is he telling her the same things in that same low, amused tone? The ice turns into acid and I feel it climbing up my throat, behind my eyes. Soon, I know that Lucifer will kiss that girl, the pretty brunette he’s known for twenty minutes, and he will go off with her. I’ve lived with him for a year… and he’s never, ever tried to pull that on me.

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I’m so goddamn stupid. Gabriel warned me about his brother. Why didn’t I listen to him? Why did I still end up falling into Lucifer’s trap? He’s perfected the ways of a womaniser, Gabriel and Lilith told me that, and yet here I am, shame and hurt throbbing in my chest. Why? It’s not like he was ever my boyfriend, like he ever tried to be. Maybe it’s because I thought… I was special to him. Like all his whispered words and teasing touches and lopsided smirks were just for me. And now I am realising that no matter how hard I try, I will never be good enough for Lucifer, because my appearance is the one thing I can’t change about myself. He only likes pretty girls, and clearly, he does not consider me one. I mean… it’s not surprising… but it still hurts.

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“Hey, Cherry, we gotta go.” Michel taps my shoulder and I blink. The clouds have split open, and rain is falling in shimmering sheets, getting heavier by the second, wetting my hair and top. Lucifer and the brunette are in the rain, the girl squealing and throwing her arms around his neck, him laughing. “But… Luc,” I whisper. Michel leans down and takes my hand, pulling me up with a little difficulty. His eyebrows are scrunched together in what looks like pity. “He’ll come home later.” There is definitely a note of sympathy in his sweet voice. “Come on, Cherry. Lilith is probably making some yummy food right now.” Michel slings his arm around my shoulder, and I rest my head on his, walking back home together with Raphael just in front, the rain turning the streets into slip-and-slides. From a stranger’s view, we probably look like a couple, but we really aren’t anything more than good friends. We can’t be anything more; Michel is gay, which he told me a couple months ago, and he has a really nice boyfriend which I’ve met a few times. I’m not going to lie that before I knew, I did think about Michel in that way, because he’s kind and sweet and very cute, but I’m happy for him, that he is happy. I can’t say the same for me.

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I wish that I could stop feeling this way about Lucifer. If I look at this situation from a logical point of view, I know that liking him after everything he’s done to me, is stupid, dumb, idiotic. But Lucifer has this unbreakable way of bringing your hopes up and dashing them down, like a broken record player; the music sweet then jagged, playing over and over again. And I know that unlike logic, emotions cannot be packed neatly inside a ink box and solved. I cannot control them, just as I cannot control the thunderstorm gathering over the city.

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You either love or hate Lucifer. There is no middle or median or eye of the hurricane. And yet somehow, I am stuck in between.

***

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“I haven’t finished the cake yet!” Lilith flaps her arms at me frantically, shooing me out of the kitchen. “Go sit down at the dining table, and give me ten minutes. You weren’t supposed to come home this early, this estupido rain ruining my plans!” The last thing I see before I move into the lounge is her glaring at the storm outside, as if arguing with the rain splattering the kitchen windows.

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I turn away, smiling slightly. I don’t know anyone else who can be like a mother hen one moment and then kick your ass the next. For the millionth time, I feel grateful for the fact we have become best friends. I sit down, folding my hands in my lap and quietly waiting. Michel joins me on my right and Raphael sits next to him. They talk about something in French and I stare at the scratches and marks on the table, the imperfections, and trying not to think. A chair scrapes along the wooden floor. “Hey, Cherry,” Lucifer says, flopping down with closed eyes, his hair glittering with rainwater. I swallow, desperately pushing down the pain and bitterness I feel at seeing him. “I thought you were going to go off with that other girl.” I snap. “Nah. She got annoying real quick.” Is that what you think about me, too? I take a deep breath. “Oh.”

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Lilith comes out of the kitchen, as per her word, exactly ten minutes later. She’s balancing a pretty sponge cake topped with swirls of cream and strawberries, and a stack of plates and forks. “Lilith, this looks amazing. Thank you.” I try my best to smile at her as she begins cutting the cake, giving me the first big slice. “Of course it is,” She says confidently and I laugh before digging my fork into it. The laugh is weak and flimsy.

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The cake is probably the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted, and it’s apparent from how the guys finish their slices in a matter of minutes. “So who won the game?” Lilith asks them, taking a delicate sip of her coffee. Raphael glances at Lucifer, smirking. “This guy owes me twenty bucks, because he bailed halfway through.” Lilith stares at her cousin, disbelieving. “Luc Torres, who always tries to win at everything? Am I going deaf? What happened, prima?”

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Michel speaks up when Lucifer doesn’t answer immediately. “He was teaching Cherry how to play basketball instead. And then… this other girl came along.” There is silence. Raphael coughs and Lilith’s bright smile turns upside down. “Esta bien?” She asks Lucifer sharply, who rolls his eyes. “Deja mi caso.” I can’t tell what they are speaking about, so when Lilith suddenly snaps at him, I jump, my fork clattering onto my crumb-filled plate. “Te dije que dejara de jugar con Cherry! Deja de hacerle daño!” Her voice is shrill and dangerous, like hot metal. ¡Multa!¡Dios!” Lucifer throws back at her, looking pissed off. I fiddle with my shirt anxiously, not fully understanding the conversation, but catching the gist. Lilith glares at him before taking a deep breath to calm herself down. “Sorry, Cherry. This idiot is ruining the cake.”  

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***

An hour or so after dinner, which was a delicious Spanish paella fixed by Lilith, I’m visited in my bedroom by Lucifer. “Do you want to watch a movie with me?” He asks, jerking his head towards the lounge. He’s back into Nice Guy mode, his feet crossed casually, his smile carefree. It’s hard to think that this smile can hurt more than his frown. “No thank you,” I say quietly. “Ah, come on. It’ll be fun, I promise. And…” 

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He hesitates, his tone suddenly softer. “I kinda want to make up for this afternoon.” My heart skips a beat. “For what?” I say in a tiny voice, a glimmering hope rising up in my chest. “For leaving you alone. I shouldn’t have gone and taught that other girl, that was rude.” I am silent for a moment, feeling the crushing weight of disappointment on my shoulders again. One day, I will buckle under the pressure. “Right. Well, you asked if I could practise without you, and I said yes. It’s fine, really,” I say flatly. The lie tastes like lead on my tongue. It’s anything but fine, but it doesn’t matter. Not when Lucifer doesn’t care.  

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“Well, I’m not gonna give you an option.” Lucifer grabs my hand and pulls me to the lounge. The sudden contact makes sparks leap up my arm. It takes me a moment to remember what he is talking about. “So… what is the movie about?” I finally manage to say, after he tugs me onto the sofa. “Just a rom-com.” He turns the TV on. I have never watched such a movie before, so I simply cross my legs and try get comfortable. A part of me is aware that I might be getting myself into a similar situation from earlier today, but it’s too late now.

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The movie is really good. I laugh more times than I can count and it feels nice to be able to relax like this. I find myself sometimes sneaking a glance at him, just to see his open, easy smile as he watches the film, and blush when I realise what I am doing. And at the romantic scenes, I find myself all too aware of his warmth. “Did you enjoy that or did you enjoy that?” Luc asks me when the credits roll around. “It was very funny,” I admit, brushing crisp crumbs off my jeans. He smiles at that, stretching his arms above his head, and his shirt lifts up a little, revealing a narrow strip of tanned abdomen. Oh crap. I need to stop noticing these unnecessary details.

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“So, um…” I fiddle with a stray thread of my jeans, trying to ignore the fact that we are along together. “Thanks for this, I had a good time,” I manage to say. “No problem.” Luc reaches a hand out, and for a moment I think he’s going to stroke my cheek, but he pinches it instead. “Hey!” I yelp, batting at his arm. “Ah, you’re just so cute.” He laughs, unrelenting. I feel myself blush as I try push him away. “Really.” “Yeah, really.” He suddenly grabs my wrists and jerks me close to him, and I almost fall onto him in my shock. Luc smiles down at me, and my cheeks flush, my heart starting to race, my wrists burning. My frantically working mind is noticing the unnecessary details again. There are flecks of gold in his green irises. He smells really good, like smoke and citrus and pine.

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Then Luc kisses me, and I’m too shocked to do anything but freeze up, feeling nothing but his lips pressing onto my own. After a second, though, my eyes flutter shut and I melt a little, as if the warmth spreading over my body is breaking down my nerves into tiny sparks of heat. I can feel everything so sharply now; how he has pulled my hands to his chest, how his shirt is soft and warm, how his heart is beating steadily under my palms. The softness yet firmness of his lips, slightly rough and chapped. It is so surreal I wonder if I fell asleep during the movie and this kiss is just a dream. When Luc pulls away after what seems like a few seconds or a few hours, my face is glowing pink and my breath comes in quick little gasps.

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“How was that for your first kiss?” He smiles, with a shimmer of arrogance. I inhale a deep breath, knowing that I should say something like incredible or wow. “Why did you do that?” I answer instead with a shaky whisper, trying to decipher if he’s just playing with me or if that kiss… actually meant something. Luc just gives me a cryptic smile and presses his lips into my neck. “What do you think?” His breath tickles my skin and I shiver. There are so many answers to that question. Maybe I think you’re playing a stupid practical joke on me. Maybe I think you just wanted to make out with a girl and I happened to be the nearest one. Maybe I think you… “I don’t know,” I say quietly. Luc kisses my collarbone lightly and his fingers run along the top of my blouse, slipping underneath the hem, burning across my skin. “Well, Cherry, if you really want to know-”

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There is movement at the door behind us and Luc stops talking. A highly charged silence falls upon the lounge as the other four inhabitants walk in. “I’m out,” Raphael announces in disgust, and Lilith follows his quick pace into the kitchen, throwing me a strange look — almost like a warning. Michel seems even less amused. He glances behind him warily, and at the same time, my stomach drops like a stone. “Hey, Gabriel,” Luc says casually. How can he sound careless? His brother’s expression… it scares me a little. Gabriel looks calm, his features as still as marble, yet his grey eyes are flashing like the storm still howling outside. “Did I interrupt something?” The words are cool, but I can tell they are forced through clenched jaws.

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“You did, actually,” Luc says, and I blink uneasily at the sharp tone in his voice. “So if you don’t mind, we’ll continue.” His lips press hard against mine and my first instinct is to freeze at this sudden edge. His fingers dig into my back, pushing me against him, and I don’t resist, my skin buzzing in both confusion and exhilaration. It’s a moment before my head stops spinning and I realise what he is doing, what message he is sending to Gabriel. Back off.  “Is there a problem?” Lucifer asks his younger brother once he lets me go, and I rest my head against his chest, trying to catch my breath, too afraid to look up… but then I can’t help myself.

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The anger has now broken free in Gabriel’s expression, and I feel a horrible jolt of guilt and trepidation to his reaction. Yet when I look at him properly, I get the feeling that the hatred burning in his eyes isn’t jealousy, more like… no, I can’t describe it. All I can see is that Gabriel looks like he seriously wants to strangle Lucifer. They glare at each other, and I squirm, caught helplessly in the middle, a deer in headlights. “No,” Gabriel says in a cold voice, breathing out slowly and getting himself under control again. “There’s no problem at all.”

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He’s lying, I know, as he walks out of the room. Lucifer stares after him for a while, then looks back down at me with a smile, relaxing, like nothing had happened. “Sorry about that.” He kisses the tip of my nose, gentle again. I give him a strained nod, trying not to let the storm of emotions raging inside me show. I should be happy. I have wanted this for the longest time. Luc kissed me. He is holding me in his arms right now, his skin soft against mine, his warmth sparking a glowing fire inside my heart.

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So why do I feel like I am throwing myself even deeper into darkness?


Disclaimer: Yes, I know Luc is being a real dick in this chapter. 

 I actually made twenty-six poses specially for this chapter, which I will put up for download. Why must I make things so difficult for myself .__. I enjoyed doing this chapter though, despite all the pose making and building, but writing it was fun — it went past 6500 words lmao. I rewrote it so many times though because of my crap romance writing >.> I reread the whole chapter just now and wow it still needs more rewriting but I’m too impatient to post, lol. Oh, and sorry again about any errors in the Spanish… 

I, uh, may have started planning for Gen 5… planning as in kinda creating the whole storyline and main characters? I’ve got so many ideas for it! Why do I have to get so far ahead of myself, honestly, Gen 5 is probably two years away at the rate I’m going! I’m so excited for it which is just torture ;__; I blame Pinterest. Alsooo I think this legacy will be a matriarchy because I have no idea how a boy’s mind works, it’s much more easier for me to write from a girl perspective! 

I hope you enjoyed Chapter 3.8, I would love to hear your thoughts

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59 thoughts on “fallen angels — chapter 3.8: rain

  1. *rolls up sleeves to prepare for the long comment I’m about to write*
    There are so many emotions clashing within me right now, and that is seriously amazing. I love that your story makes me feel this excited to read new updates! I wish I could get them more often, but at the same time I don’t because I know you put so much work into each chapter and they wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t lol. Patience is something I’ll have to work on. 🙂
    That first shot of Raphie killed me (yes, I am stealing Lilith’s pet name for him lol). I swear he gets more and more attractive every time I see him. .>), I don’t even know what to think of him right now. I have similar feelings to Cherry’s. One minute he’s sweet and playful and the next he’s just a big, fat jerk and makes me feel like Cherry could do so much better. Even their kiss at the end seemed more like he was just using her to piss off Gabriel than him having genuine feelings for her. I was really digging his sweetness of apologizing and watching a movie together UNTIL he kissed Cherry in front of Gabriel the second time. Though the whole “back off she’s mine” thing was great lol. Gotta love that semi-possessive quality that all boys seem to have over their girls haha.
    To be honest, I already have all my main characters and the story line for Generation 3 of my story planned out too lol. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks way too far ahead when I should be worrying about finishing this generation before even THINKING about the next one. *sigh*
    I do have one question that refers back to the last chapter. Will we find out soon why Raphael told Cherry not to mention that they ran into that girl at the end of the last chapter to Gabriel? He said something about not to mention it unless she wants Gabriel to murder her or something like that. That cliffhanger has had me dying, and I need to know things lol. Gabriel’s past is still so murky.
    OMG I APOLOGIZE FOR THIS SUPER LONG COMMENT. This chapter was so great, as always. Love, love, love The Kingstons! ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Okay, let’s try this AGAIN WordPress… (This sucks because I can’t remember word for word what I wrote BUT I WILL TRY MY HARDEST.)
        Michel is such a cutie, and I love his smushy face. I think it makes complete sense that he is gay because I honestly cannot picture him with a girl either now that I think about it. Now we MUST meet this boyfriend of his. 🙂
        The basketball scene was really cool. It was nice to see the characters outside the loft for a change, and of course I love any scene that has Raph in it even if he just stands broodily off to the side lol. His comment at the end when everyone walks in on Cherry and Luc (I have always said it Luke lol. Luck just sounds weird >.>) made me fangirl for some reason I just can’t explain. All he said was “I’m out” and I practically lost it. I actually snorted when he said that haha.
        I did have to use Google translate for the Spanish, but it was pretty easy to figure out what was said! It sounds like Lilith and Luc may have had this conversation before. Am I wrong in assuming that no one approves of the way Luc acts towards Cherry? I’m really interested to know what they all think about the Gabriel – Cherry – Luc love triangle.
        Lila, you have me stuck. Every time I think I know who to root for you always end up changing my mind. Cherry’s feelings that nothing is going to happen with her and Gabriel are justified, and if he wants to be upset about what happened he can only blame himself for freezing her out for so long. I think Gabriel needs to decide what he wants out of his relationship with Cherry, and either really let himself fall for her or let her be happy with someone else. She can’t sit around forever waiting for him to work out his problems. I still love him tons. He just needs to work through his issues.
        UGHHHH. I hate this because my original comment was much more detailed and so much better, but WordPress hates me for whatever reason and wouldn’t let me post the whole thing. This time I am copying before posting in case they decide to cut it down again. Okay well it’s like 3am here, and I need to go to bed and stop obsessing over this. *hugs* Again, I love this story so much! You are such a talented writer. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

          • *finishes running around screaming and flailing arms* Okaaaaaay here we go!
            1. I am so so so happy you are that excited about the chapter! I was worrying just before I posted that it would be boring, but I guess that was because I have been rereading and rewriting this chapter for months now, haha…
            2. Raphael does get more attractive each chapter because I secretly edit my male characters slightly every time, LOL. I can’t help myself ;__; I can’t really choose between which guy I like the most out of the four, but I have to agree with you in that Raphael has a special place in my heart. I’m not sure why, though… maybe it’s the tattoos and dyed hair and sarcastic attitude… and gosh I’m so glad that the ‘I’m out’ line made you laugh because it kinda made me too when I first wrote it!
            3. Michel is literally the baby of the family! Everyone is really protective of him. I haven’t actually made his boyfriend yet and have no idea what he will look like but I bet that will be adorable sweethearts together. I was thinking what would have happened when the others first met his boyfriend and I imagined Raphael and Luc being really tall and scary and like ‘if you hurt Michel we will kill you’, lmao.
            4. Yesss Lucifer has such a two-sided personality! I feel super sorry for Cherry, getting played around with, and even now when he has kissed her, she has no idea if he’ll leave it at that or actually follow through with a proper relationship. While I was writing this chapter though, I was wanting Cherry to stand up more for herself and tell Lucifer to stop face-to-face, but then I remembered she has pretty much zero romantic experience and doesn’t know him well enough to be able say something like that directly. Especially since he’s so much taller than her (and older) so she is actually quite intimidated by him, even though she tries not to show it…
            4. And you are not wrong in the rest disapproving of how Lucifer acts. Raphael kinda doesn’t care that much, and I know this sounds bad but he’s not one to care much about anything (except Lilith and Michel), because he knows he can’t control what Luc does. If they got into a fight, Lucifer would probably win :/ Also, Raphael doesn’t actually like Cherry a lot. For Gabriel, he obviously doesn’t like how his brother treats Cherry, but he can’t do much about it without showing how he truly feels about her. He’s talked to Luc a few times but he just doesn’t listen to anyone, really. Michel is too small to try anything drastic… and finally, as she showed in the chapter, Lilith hates what her cousin does to Cherry, and has yelled at him about her many times before. The thing is, she also changes boyfriends as quickly as Lucifer which goes against her a bit. Overall, Luc pretty much does what he wants. *shakes head* It’s all up to Cherry now. Oh and about the love triangle, Gabriel has taken himself out of it for now, so currently no one is thinking about it (let’s see if that will change…)
            5. I agree that Gabriel has little justification in being angry at Lucifer when he himself had pushed her away. I also agree that Cherry should not be waiting around for him because obviously he’s not going to work through his problems soon, haha. Regarding the thing Raphael said at the end of 3.7, unfortunately Gabriel’s whole past won’t be fully explaining until 3.16 or something like that. But throughout the chapters leading up to it I will be slowly revealing bits and pieces of what happened to him as new characters come into the story. I’m super excited to do this because his past has gotten a whole lot more complicated than I thought- as well as some other people!
            Okay whew, think I answered everything… don’t apologise for the long comment! Your comments are such a joy to read and for me longer is better because I love seeing readers being just as invested as I am in the story, especially after all the work I put in, lmao.
            Thank you sooooooooo much for reading and commenting, Simsered! I am really looking forward to a new post from the awesome TELOU as well! ❤
            (Okay wow this has taken me so long to write that I need to go to bed as well…)

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok, so I’m getting a feeling that whatever happened to romantically scar Gabriel somehow also involved Luc.
    As for Luc: what in the world are you doing, dude!!!? This isn’t some Barbie doll you’re playing with. This is Cherry, who is already extremely sensitive because of her scars.
    Seriously, if he breaks her heart, I will have to find a way to get into the story and give his rear a beating.
    And I loved how Lilith tore into him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • >.> maybe… >.>
      And yes, exactly! Unfortunately Cherry doesn’t like to show how much his actions affect her, but I mean come on if he has a decent sense of her personality… 😦
      I will also join you in the beating if that happens! And so will Lilith (haha love her attitude as well).
      Thank you very much for reading and commenting, Violincat ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Honestly I’m still very much Gabriel x Cherry mostly because I can’t stand guys who use girls like Lucifer does. THE CLUE IS IN THE NAME. GABRIEL IS AN ANGEL AND LUC IS LITERALLY THE DEVIL (Luc like Luke, your friend’s head clearly works in strange ways). Lol anyway, I agree with simsered that Gabe just needs to sort out his issues a bit and decide where he stands with Cherry. But he’s the one who’s always been kind to her since the beginning, I mean yes he froze her out forever but when it really came to it Gabriel’s always been there for her in a way that Luc hasn’t.
    (Side note: I can’t help noticing how similar our taste in names seems to be. Obviously I don’t need to explain the Luc thing, but my game is way ahead of my story and actually the ‘G’ child is also called Gabriel lol.)
    Beautiful chapter as always, Lila. Michel is adorable, I loved his character expansion here (as a french student, I pronounce his name like “Mi-SHELL”). Lilith is also wonderful, it makes me so happy that Cherry’s got them to look out for her all the time 😀 I am so not on board with her and Luc though. Throughout that whole kissing scene, I was hoping she’d push him away. Sigh. Well, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens! *Not-so-low-key hoping she ends up with the right guy AHEM Gabriel*
    (Another side note: I don’t know what your ship name for them is but in my opinion Cherriel sounds pretty damn cool.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Cheriel is my ship name for them as well! I agree that Gabriel has been always there for Cherry despite pushing her away, I suppose it’s something about him saving her from those yucky guys the first time they met. I am also thinking at this point that Gabriel very obviously is the one for Cherry, but we shall see what happens…
      *hugs Lilith* She’s such a good friend to Cherry! 🙂
      *slaps Luc* He needs to stop being such a jerk, asap. 😦 (And yes I just stared at my friend like ‘what is wrong with you’ when she said Luck, lmaoo)
      And yeahhhh I should probably pronounce Michel the proper French way but I can’t bring myself to say it that way in my head, LOL. I just automatically say Mekel every time, damn :/ (Oooh and the names Luc and Gabriel are really nice, I’m not surprised!)
      Thank you very much for reading and commenting, Fibijean! ❤

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  4. Erhmahgerd! ^_^
    That was a roller coaster of emotions. Gosh. I don’t know how I feel about Luc… I’m definately getting the ‘ulterior motive’ vibe. Hmmm
    But an awesome chapter. I love Lilith even more every time.
    Good luck with your exams!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh. My. Goodness. I loooooooove your header! 🙂 I had this entire comment prepared in my head but upon reading the other comments, all of my points have already been expressed. Your story is very exciting, I just hope Luc doesn’t hurt Cherry. Great job with absolutely everything! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Luc was right, Cherry does look super cute! I don’t like how he flirts with all the girls, but as Cherry said, Gabriel warned her about him. Speaking of whom, where was Gabe the whole time? He looked so mad and hurt at the end… I feel sorry for him. Why did Luc do that? Ahh I have so many questions!! Can’t wait to see how they’re answered. Nice seeing a chapter from you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lmao too bad Cherry doesn’t trust anything Luc says… that girl really needs a self-esteem boost and he’s not helping :/
      I don’t know where Gabriel and the others were through the entire movie actually, didn’t think of that haha. I guess they went out somewhere doing secret criminal things… *shrugs* And welp, Luc’s pretty much just telling his brother that Cherry is his now because he’s a huge jerk, lol.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, raymondsanti! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Woah, that chapter was so long. But hey, we deserved it after the long break you took, lol!
    Okay, gotta take my thoughts together.
    I really like Lilith. I mean, she’s so feminine and caring woman. I love how she always tries to protect Cherry. It must be weird to remain one of the two girls surrounded by boys.
    I hate how Luc is acting. It’s so arrogant to go after every girl and then use his good looks for Cherry to forgive him. I understand her, really, I mean, it’s hard to be mad at a guy who’s so attractive, isn’t it?
    I am not sure about Gabriel. It’s clear that Lucifer wanted to show him how he got “his” girl and now owns Cherry. But is Gabriel in love with Cherry and stalking her to see whether she already slept with his older brother or not? Jeez, he better decide what he really wants.
    I enjoyed it and the pictures are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha I totally agree, the length of the chapter was the main reason why it took me so long to post it in the first place 😉
      I love Lilith too! She is really sweet. But she’s been long since used to living with boys since she grew up with Gabriel and Luc. Although she didn’t show it much in this chapter, being the only girl in a family has made her tougher (like Ginny in the Harry Potter series!)
      Lucifer is the master of using his looks to manipulate girls, and unfortunately Cherry has fallen victim to that. Yes, it is really hard for her to ignore him when such an attractive guy goes after her, especially since he is nice to her half the time (I wouldn’t know though lol). And since no guy has shown interest in her before -except Gabriel until he pushed her away- some little part of her is happy that Luc does flirt with her, which will make it even more difficult to get away from him…
      LOL of course Gabriel won’t stalk Cherry to see if she’s slept with Luc yet! Although he hates how his brother claimed her like that, it’s more because he knows Lucifer’s reputation of breaking girl’s hearts, and he doesn’t want that to happen to her. But I think Gabriel will have to accept Luc with Cherry because he said he couldn’t be with her (in the last chapter), so there’s really no reason for him to fight against a relationship between his older brother and her except that he doesn’t want Cherry to get hurt. :/
      I’m glad you liked this chapter 🙂
      Thank you for reading and commenting ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your chapters are indeed worth the wait. I very much enjoyed this one and read it because I knew it would be a nice break from studying hehe. Luc is an attractive human being (I mean attractive bunch of pixels) and I totally understand Cherry’s feelings. Personally, I hope that Luc (I also pronounce it Luke. Who pronounced it Luck????) will show a different side to him that we haven’t seen before (i.e a genuine good side) so that Luciferry can happen. xD By the way, I pronounce Michel like the name ‘Michelle”.
    Your writing makes me want to write but then I think of my legacy and stupid plotline and ugly characters that the motivation immediately disappears lol. Darn it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m happy you liked it!
      Yes haha indeed an attractive bunch of pixels >.> (Well… we both understand her feelings to a point but not really since no guy has ever done that to us LOL)
      It was Helen who pronounced it Luck lmao… *shakes head*
      I want to pronounce it like that but every time I try think Michelle I’m just like but it sounds like I’m talking about a girl .__.
      And damn why can’t you just start a new legacy/story instead at this point? Like not now obviously but when you have time…

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  9. Snore. The one thing I would want from Cherry’s arc is for her to end up with no one, because she has this weird co-dependency thing. Like flitting between all the dudes in the house, it’s kind of irking, tbh. All of the guys at least have characters flaws that seem human, but Cherry is just constantly molded by everything around her. I wish she’d like, slap the shit out of this sausage fest and be a strong independent woman who don’t need no man (okay, she don’t need to be like Gertrude Stein or some shit, but at least straight up tell one of these idiots to stop playing her, that’d be nice)! She should absolutely not be with Luc, URGGGGGGGGGG that ship needs to tank like a WW2 sub, seriously. But at this point, I’m kind of hopping off the Gab x Cherry ship, too. Gabriel needs to grow up and stop being such a hurt puppy, and Cherry, giiiiiiirl, you need to find yo damn self. Maybe go back to that path in the woods and set up camp and just My Side of the Mountain that shit because all this testosterone is not doing you good. And what the hell, she hasn’t talked to her mom in a whole year? DAMN son. If I was Briar I would have fuckin gone after her and dragged her caveman style home just so I could beat her ass cuz I didn’t raise her to be so ungrateful! Just some real talk though. Her cutting ties with her family so severely and easily seems a little unwarranted. Ahhh, Cherry is just giving me all the anxiety. I hope she grows and gets stronger. She needs to have a Sandy from Grease level transformation. Right now she just makes me kind of sad 😦 I originally said I would never like Lilith, but she’s actually my type of female character. I still don’t want her all over my Best Turtle, but I have to admit she’s actually probably my second favorite character now. And then Michel (who needs some more screen time, seriously).

    Liked by 1 person

    • *watches your comments progressively getting longer and weirder*
      THANKS FOR SNORING IN BOREDOM, SO SWEET OF YOU, TRASHCAN
      Yo but I agree, Cherry needs to wake the hell up lol. Actually when I’m writing her I’m just like… this girl has serious issues… IQ issues sometimes…
      LOL you’re just gonna jump off all the ships except for Best Turtle x Jade (Japhael?). And yah the Luciferry ship… the only reason why I ship it is because I know what’s happening next. In this chapter, Luc is a real jerk .___. I would have slapped him if I could.
      AND DUDE MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN HAHA I issued it from the library when I saw this comment, time to hop on the nostalgic memory train!
      Wowow I actually didn’t realise this till now but it is strange for Cherry to not be in contact with her mom for a year, and knowing Briar, she definitely would have wanted to find her daughter and drag her back (I mean, as police chief, she has a crap ton of power). But since Cherry was 18 when she ran away, it wouldn’t really be justified, and I bet Max (Briar’s husband) would have convinced Briar not to go after her. I mean… Cherry’s an adult… she can do what she wants right? Not that I would know lmao.

      Like

      • Well I’m a lot older than you but I’m not a mother LOL, but I did have a good relationship with mine, despite moving 4500 miles away from her. You put the effort in at the beginning to fluff up Briar and Cherry’s relationship by pointing out Cherry was the unspoken “favorite”; the two of them bonded over that year long training session, and Briar spent extra time with Cherry for this purpose. It seems highly, HIGHLY unlikely that any woman, let alone a mother, in her right mind would just sit down and “let it go” just because she’s 18. That doesn’t really work anymore LOL. Especially because in this day and age, 18 is hardly separated from your parents. You still probably have them signing your leases and loan contracts. Not that Cherry has those, but, realistically, it is a big leap of faith to think Briar wouldn’t have tried to make contact in 18 years, ESPECIALLY considering she is in law enforcement and has the instincts plus the contacts to back up her search. You could sort of salvage this by (if Briar makes a later appearance) to say that she’d been searching, at the very least. But I think the biggest problem with it is that, even though Cherry had good relationships with both of her parents, she seems to have little remorse about leaving them, and never really considers that she might have devastated them and hurt them dearly by running away without a word for a year. Remember that just because she’s 18 doesn’t mean that Briar stops caring. She would probably want to know Cherry is safe, not necessarily drag her back home or chew her out like if she was a kid still, but just want to know where her child is and that she’s not hurt or in danger (this is a human response, not JUST a motherly one). Because at this point, she could still have filed a missing persons report and turned the whole thing into an open case, under 18 or not. Losing children destroys marriages, so a LITTLE more realism on the runaway front, I think, is worth considering. And YES. JAPHAEL. I am on board TOOT TOOT. I did jump off all the ships, but I still think Cherry can be saved for me as a character, depending on how the rest of the story goes. DONT LOSE HOPE. EVEN WHEN THIS GIRL MAKIN YOU SNORE. CUZ HOLY SHIT LOVE IS SO HARD. OMG HORMONES. But okay. Maybe that’s just my inner old lady talkin YOU LITTLE BABBER.

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        • LMAO IM SORRY THIS BABBERS KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT ADULTNESS
          Bad thing about being a goody good 16 year old writer is that I have actually experienced about 1℅ of the stuff in Cherry’s life so I dunno what most of them really feel like 😒
          But yeah you make a really good point. Briar definitely would have gone looking for her, and although it might take some time, she certainly would have found her daughter. This made me remember that in an earlier draft of 3.8, Briar sent a Happy Birthday letter to Cherry (which made her homesick) meaning she knew where she was. I’m not sure why I cut that part out, but yes Briar would know her daughter is safe and would have accepted her leaving, instead of dragging her back. When Briar was Cherry’s age she was very independent and would have absolutely HATED it if her own mother, Fern, would have restricted her like that, so in some way, Briar does understand why it would sorta be unfair to force Cherry to come back. I must admit though that there are a lot of holes in Briar’s mothering front, which I can only blame on me being a crappy writer and being too focused on the Cheriel storyline. She does seem like an incompetent mother in several aspects, but Briar has always been quite a flawed character, in Gen 2. As I said before, if the characters all made the right decisions, this would be the most boring legacy EVER. But dudeeee I love how you managed to pick up on problems even the writer didn’t see! #jadeshowshergeniusforthethirdtime
          I should get you, as a certified full grown potato, to check my baby potato story for plot holes, but then that would ruin the story for you 😑

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          • LOLOLOL well yeah, I mean I’m a full-time trashcan, but I did go to school to be an editor, and I DO have a bachelor’s degree in English LOL. So I mean I’m not COMPLETELY worthless. These are things you gloss over on the first few drafts because the focal point, and the most important part as the writer, is getting the story on the page. And then you worry about inconsistencies and plot holes at a much later time in the editing process. It’s not a big deal that those things are left now; The vast majority of the story is flowing at a good pace, the characters are developing, there’s intrigue and mystery and potential villains. So I think you’re doing good on most fronts. I enjoy the story, even though I personally don’t like Cherry as a character. And I mean, I don’t have to like a character to think they’re a good one, but I do think that given some more review you could tweak her a bit better to make her more relatable and more dynamic. That being said, the majority of the characters don’t suffer from Cherry’s issues. They’re generally well-rounded and interesting, even though some might not get as much screen time. I was actually thinking about your story last night, because I like when I read or watch something that makes me feel like the environment is a sort of “home”, like a cool place to be when you’re reading or watching that makes you want to return. Like Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls, or the Sohma house in Fruits Basket (idc if you don’t get this example because it’s boss). I have that about the Torres penthouse; it’s a place the reader likes to go because it’s interesting, lively, and full of characters. So that’s a really, really good thing. I think you should put the birthday card idea back in with a little more throwback to the Cherry and Briar relationship to at least let readers understand they’re on decent terms and Briar isn’t busy frantically scouring under rocks for her third triplet LOL.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Bachelor’s in English? Dayum, well that explains how you can sound so smart sometimes…
              Yes, that makes total sense why I missed out on those plot points! I’ll try not to rush that for the next generation. And I agree on how Cherry needs more dynamic, she has always seemed like a flat character to me, and I did pass that off with the other characters being interesting enough, but I guess I should develop her more. I’m not quite sure how though without making her too different. Maybe when her self esteem gets better I should make her more sassy? Dunno.
              I don’t fully understand your references most of the time because I’m an uneducated pleb lol, but it’s amazing that the Torres penthouse turned out that way to you! I have never thought about it like that before…
              And finally, yes, I think I should put in that card thingy somewhere. I’ll just need to find a suitable place… ooh, I think I have an idea. I’ll tell you on Tumblr after I tell you everything else lmao. Thanks so much for your helpful tips though, my new weird-but-vaguely-awesome English teacher 🙂

              Like

  10. Wow, the scene with Luc in the bedroom was seriously hot! ❤ But I wish Luc would be more open about his feelings for Cherry. Does he really want her or is he playing? Or is it another weird competition thing with his brother?
    Speaking of Gabriel… he needs to back off! He had his chance and he blew it, now he gets to see everything from the sidelines hmph!
    Great chapter!! 🙂

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  11. I read this several hours back, and I really had to take a step back from the story and assess how I felt about all this.

    That second to the last photo where Luc had her in his arms while he was having this alpha macho thing going on with Gabriel… My heart was breaking for Cherry. What are these men doing to her?!

    But let me back up…

    One particular thing that bothered me about Cherry was that I haven’t seen her genuinely laugh because she’s happy. She laughed in this chapter because of cake and a movie. BUT I have trouble shipping her with both Luc and Gabriel, because I haven’t seen them elicit genuine happiness from her. Gabriel talked about her being happier with them than she ever was in Sunset Valley, but is she really? Is she happy?

    Consider Briax. Max knew Briar SO well. He knew how to make Briar laugh. He knew what to do to make a perfect date to make Briar happy. He knew when to back off and give Briar her space to assess. There was genuine care there, expressed in the way he treated Briar.

    I can’t say the same for either Gabriel and Luc. I want to believe there’s genuine love and care there, but both these men (I assume they’re older than her) seem to have a lot of baggage all on their own – which is why the situation they’ve pulled Cherry in isn’t healthy for her.

    Cherry is an innocent in every sense of the word. Not only is she an innocent, she’s also very broken and vulnerable (and the problem is she’s not aware of it, because she’s putting on this tough facade). Gabriel and Luc have at multiple times indicated that they’re aware of that. They’re aware that she had it tough back home. So basically, these two men have taken her from her home, her sense of stability. They’ve brought her to the city where she is dependent on them in more ways than one. And they’re both constantly toying with her. Luc is toying with her in a physical and sexual way. Gabriel is toying with her in an emotional and soulful way.

    And she’s putty in their hands. And I could blame her for that, and tell her to grow an identity, but I feel like I’d be blaming the victim. She’s been spending every day of the past years basically trying to survive. She’s experienced real trauma (her burn). She’s been ostracized and bullied. Her own sister would betray her and allow her to be beaten up by a group of guys. Of course it’s not clear to her what she wants. She definitely didn’t have the self-awareness Briar had. Meanwhile, these two world-wise men, who have a lot more life experience than her, are basically making her feel like she has to earn their affections. What are they doing to earn hers?

    Back to that photo… She looked so vulnerable in Luc’s arms. I can imagine how her hormones, emotions and thoughts are all over the place. Meanwhile, these men are talking like she’s this accessory they get to claim at will.

    I kind of want to see her get to the point where she knows who she is and what she can offer to this world. That way, Gabriel and Luc can step back and figure out if they are worthy of her. Right now, they don’t seem to respect her at all (not that she’s given them much reason to either). Luc especially. It really bugged me that he knew he was her first kiss, and he acted all arrogant about it.

    I like Lilith because she seems to be her sense of stability and security there, but Cherry needs to find that for herself. I hope they give her the space to do that, because she really needs some way to heal and to grow and just to be happy.

    I feel like Cherry needs some sort of awakening, so she can come to terms with everything that happened to her. If she is able to pick herself up after realizing and accepting that everything that happened to her growing up is NOT OKAY and let that turn her from victim to warrior, then this will be quite a powerful generation.

    Liked by 1 person

        • Lol, don’t worry, I love long comments, especially when they are so insightful. By the way, I have to let you know that your comments are truly giving me a new perspective on my story and the characters. There are aspects of them that you’ve seen that I’d barely thought about, and it’s just really wonderful to see them from a totally different angle. So thank you so much!

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    • That’s true, we haven’t seen Cherry be genuinely happy, not since she was a little kid. She’s always putting on a fake smile or laugh for other people’s sake. And on the happiness topic, she’s had a bigger variation of feelings compared to Sunset Valley. What I mean is that she’s found real friends (mostly in Lilith and Michel) for the first time, and she’s felt wanted by guys for the first time, too. But at the same time she’s also felt like absolute crap thanks to Luc and Gabriel. So what these highs and lows even out to is that she’s only barely happier than her home at the moment.
      Briax has got to be my favourite couple in the whole legacy. Above all, they are best friends. They truly understand each other, and they are completely open with each other… except for when Briar lied about her supernatural dilemma, but that was to protect Max.
      As for Luc and Gabriel, I can say they really do like Cherry. But they’re constantly being torn between the past and the present, and that has caused a lot of issues. That gives them no excuse to act toy with Cherry, though. Especially Luc.
      Cherry definitely doesn’t want to face the reality of her emotional state. She’s always wanted to be powerful, and independent, and kickass, just like her mother; and she doesn’t realise that there are other ways to be strong. She’s always scolding herself for having feelings when really the suppression is just poisoning her mind. She’s honestly been through a lot. Why do I do this to my characters LOL.
      God, I really hate Luc in this chapter, I really do. He reminds me of all those jerky fuckboys we read in books or see on TV (and in real life). He knows how sensitive she is, and how fragile and innocent, and he goes ahead and acts like that anyway. Right now, he’s with Xander on the ‘characters I want to punch’ list. But we will see what he does in the future.
      I like Lilith, too. She’s smart (although sometimes she might not act like it) and kind and like a mother duck, looking after Cherry and Michel like her little ducklings. I feel that she’s very ‘femme fatale’ right now though, so I would like to represent more of her gentle side.
      Cherry’s biggest problem is that she’s blinded by self expectations, paranoia and the past. I agree, she needs an awakening. Hopefully I can do that, and it would be amazing if I could make this generation powerful, like you said!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure it will. 🙂 I’m not an expert or anything, but I do love your writing. I also love your characters (clearly). I find myself thinking about them and asking questions, which I think fiction should be able to do. 🙂 I really do believe you can write a great book someday, so I’m excited to see how you develop and mature as a writer and a storyteller. 🙂

        I don’t even think this generation needs fixing, btw. It just needs a bit more development, which is perfectly doable for you. 🙂 Best of luck, my friend! And have fun!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. First off, I just noticed you changed your site header at the top from the one featured at the end of this post to police cars – wow, I’m slow XD
    Secondly, I LOVE how you keep changing Raphael’s hair, how does he suit everything, jeez.
    Third, not sure how I feel about Luc (digging the blond) and Cherry, but I can’t deny their moments together were cute and playful… Gabe on the other hand was another story. I’m assuming he has pent up feelings for Cherry that he’s hiding or running from for some reasons that have yet to be revealed BUT since he’s been giving her the cold shoulder this whole year, I don’t think he has a right to be angry. I’m hoping this encounter wakes him up and makes him do SOMETHING.
    Lastly, Michel is cute, I’d want him as a friend, lol.
    p.s Marvel films = yes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, I did! Cherry and Gabriel’s faces were annoying me so I changed it haha.
      I am always looking forward to what next colour I can put on him 😆
      Honestly, I want to strangle Gabe. I obviously know his reasoning behind it and it will make me sympathise for him when it comes for me to write it down, but he sure is terrible at dealing with his emotions, and it’s super annoying lmao.
      MARVEL FOR THE WIN!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh goodness, that little macho display of Lucifer’s. Ha, ha, what a silly face 😛 I like the chemistry between him and Cherry, though I can’t help but feel like her feelings aren’t that strong – more like because Gabriel ignores her, she’s into the guy who notices her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Luc, you dumbass 🤣
      That’s the first time I’ve heard someone say they like the chemistry between Luc and Cherry (for this chapter!). To me it feels much more easy and playful than her and Gabriel, that is when Luc is being nice.
      You are spot on there. The main reason why she likes Luc -despite his jerkiness- is that he pays attention to her. And that makes her sound stuck up, but it’s just that over the past few years alone she’s developed a desperate want for someone to just notice her (especially after meeting Gabriel). And with Luc, he pays attention to her because he’s a player. Not a very healthy basis for a relationship 😬 Oops, I’ll stop rambling now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do think the chemistry is kind of shallow and for sure their relationship is far from healthy – but it is appealing in a way.
        I completely understand wanting attention. Actually, I’ve been very lonely myself and when you get lonely enough you tend to jump at any attention you can get. Sad, but true. It’s realistic as far as I know based on my own life experience 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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