fallen angels — chapter 3.15: flame

warning: coarse language. i recommend reading this chapter in my blog, not reader, for the best quality. 


The evening is sweet, whispering of cinnamon and apples and falling leaves. It is that soft, dreamy hour, where the sunlight is caught halfway between the lustrous day and sleepy night. Today, I am visiting a Sunday farmer’s market with Luc and Lilith. The market is in a quiet country town, just a half hour drive from Bridgeport — it is hard to think of the smoking city and gritty harbours when I’m standing here, amongst the rolling hills and gentle pastures and leafy trees.

Lilith scatters herself through the market — much like the leaves skipping over the pavement — gathering warm loaves of bread and freshly picked vegetables. The smart click of her heels and the nip of her black coat stand out sharply, against the lazy ebb and flow of the crowd, but she looks right at home as she muses over apples and late-season strawberries. I am happy to just wander along in her wake. Luc matches my steps, his hand squeezing mine whenever I point out something in excitement. Pumpkins, delicately painted with gold and amber leaves; tiny glass jars of honey, bow-tied with ribbons; cranberries and pomegranates, burnished in the dusky light; and sprigs of fragrant herbs — bouquet garnis, as Lilith notes.

As Lilith darts along the maple leaf path, Luc and I take our time. There isn’t just farm produce, but little things like homemade dog treats and knitted scarves. One stall catches my eye — the cutest little animal plushes, hand-crafted with felt, I think. “Aren’t these adorable?” I lean down to look at them, and while my boyfriend doesn’t answer, I see him smile. I pick out a dog with a red scarf, and Luc fishes out his wallet. “I’m paying you later,” I tell him. “Nope.” The corner of his mouth lifts as he tucks the wallet back into his pocket. There is no point arguing with him. As we resume wandering, I cradle the tiny dog in my palm. “I’m going to name her Pumpkin.” At my declaration, Luc raises an eyebrow, amused. “You’re naming it?” “Is that weird?” I say defensively. He shakes his head, although the twitch of his lips says otherwise. “You’re so damn innocent.” “I am not.” I poke him in the ribs, indignantly. Luc just smiles and briefly presses his lips against my forehead.

There is a warm breeze drifting through the market, bringing the earthy scent of farmland and ancient trees, and the bittersweet taste of memories. A quiet ache has been yearning in my chest since we arrived in the countryside. I forgot how much I miss nature — not the deep, unforgiving dark of Bridgeport’s ocean or pine forests, but the gentle, sunlit woodlands and golden coves of Sunset Valley. One day I will return. I perk up when I catch the fragrance of coffee beans on the wind. There is french press and drip coffee, from artisan roasters, the likes of which are wildly expensive back in the city. I order a caramel macchiato, and Luc what he always does — black, like his soul, as he once joked.

The coffee burning in my hand, I pull Luc away from the bustle of the market, searching for somewhere to rest. Swaying between two coppery trees, there is a row of glass jars, glowing softly like fireflies over a bench. I carefully place Pumpkin on the wood and the coffee cup beside to cool. I jump up and balance on the edge myself, and when I wobble, Luc steadies me. “Ooh, I’m taller than you now.” I tease in delight, which my boyfriend rolls his eyes to in good-natured reply. “Have fun up there while you still can.” He tugs at me playfully and I grab him with a laugh. His shoulders are relaxed under my hands, and he tips his head back, the dying sunlight catching the gold in his irises. The past couple weeks, we have become more and more comfortable with each other. And I say we because now, I am beginning to wonder if Luc’s sharp edge was due to him being nervous. The thought is a little strange, but the more I mull over the first week of us dating, the more tense and awkward his demeanor is in my memories. I can never predict his behaviour, for it is fickle as the fall rains, but I like this lull. There is something lovely in his calm, in the still after a storm.

I hop down from the bench, and Luc folds his arms around me easily. We stay there for a quiet moment, just drinking in the sun. I blink when a leaf flutters onto my nose, and I lift my chin up to gaze at the cottonwood above; the rustling of leaves and dappling of sunlight is soothing, and I sigh happily. “My house is surrounded by trees,” I remember. “In Sunset Valley, I mean. And I used to wander around the woodlands in summer.” “That sounds really nice,” Luc smiles. “Mm, I could sing without being interrupted. Oh, and there was this chickadee that followed me.” I brighten up at the memory. Luc tucks a loose strand of hair behind my ear, a thoughtful expression on his face. “Do you miss home?” The question halts me. “Well… I miss my family, but my home is here.” I reach up on my tiptoes so he can kiss me, warm and gentle. The loose knit of his sweater bunches up when I curl my hands against his chest, feeling hard muscle under soft wool. He tastes like the sunlight, fire mellow underneath my fingertips, and I melt into him with a sigh. I can never tire of this. Especially when Luc’s way of kissing me has changed, like the seasons — deeper and slower, savouring each kiss, each moment, nothing more. Like he is no longer searching for something. He is happy, I think, just being here.

***

Evangeline Jaa arrives at seven, much to the family’s excitement. It is interesting to observe all of them flocking to her — to see Lilith embrace the older woman, Gabriel with a rare, real smile, Raphael be respectful for once, and Michel bounce up to say hi. Even Luc perks up, and I stick close to him, a little nervous. I am the newcomer here. Evangeline has a tough aura, with cropped hair and scarred face, but she greets everyone with affection, and is just as friendly to me. “Hi, I’m Cherry.” I smile and offer my hand. “Nice to meet you, Cherry,” Evangeline says warmly, giving me a good firm handshake. “So you’re the girl Luc’s fallen for, huh?” She puts a hand on hip, and I glance up at my boyfriend in surprise. His cheeks are pink, just like mine. Is he blushing? He is saved from answering, however, when Evangeline turns her attention back to me. “He’s been acting so differently at work lately. Very obvious he’d been bitten by the love bug.” She nods, and Lilith chips into the teasing, a wicked grin dancing across her lips. “My dear baby cousin even asked us for relationship advice.” “Really?” I squeak. “For fuck’s sake,” Luc groans, passing a hand over his eyes. “I told you two not to mention that.” They simply laugh at him, and when I smile up at Luc, he is unable to meet my curious gaze. Oh, he is definitely blushing.

Illogical outfit change because I’m an idiot. Also, expressions aren’t matching because I had no idea what the conversation was going to be when I snapped the pic, lol.

Evangeline settles at the table with ease, striking up a conversation with Gabriel immediately. I focus on the latter as he talks to the older woman. I have never seen him so… relaxed. Or heard him talk for so long, the words spilling over, smooth and free. Listening to him, I realise how calming his voice is. Straight after the thought flits across my mind, I shake my head, hurriedly focusing back on Evangeline. From what I gather, she has known the Torres since they were young, for maybe eight years — I get the feeling of a mother bear amongst her cubs. Evangeline must be my mother’s age, perhaps older, but she exudes youthful strength that belies her wrinkles and silvering hair. I remember that she is Gabriel and Luc’s boss, and I write a mental note to take a lesson from her sometime. She must be one hell of a fighter.

Luc is quiet through most of the dinner. He is tracing patterns on my knee, random but repetitive. “Luc?” I whisper. “Hm?” He looks up at me, distracted. “Did you really ask them for advice?” I nudge him gently with my shoulder, and he smiles, abashed. “Yeah. I don’t want to mess this up.” The last words are just a murmur. I lean over to kiss his cheek, wondering why he sounds ashamed of making an effort. It’s a little odd that Luc needs advice, for he is far more experienced at dating than I am, but I like that he’s trying. When I turn back to dinner, I feel warm flutters of happiness in my chest. I must have a stupid grin on my face, because I notice Michel smiling at me from across the table, mouthing cute at me. Shut up, I mouth back.

Right next to him, Raphael is discussing a potential tattoo with Evangeline. He has not made a single sarcastic remark throughout the dinner, to my great surprise. “You can swing by the shop on Monday,” He offers, twirling his forkful of pasta. “Will do,” Evangeline replies. “Lilith, have you gotten one yet?” “She’s still too scared,” Raphael smirks, and the girl in question slaps his arm. “I am not scared! I just have not decided on the design yet.” She sips on her drink, dignified. Raphael reaches up and taps her forehead. “I told you, just put my name here. So everyone knows who your cool best friend is.” “Are you two still not together?” Evangeline says sternly, and the table goes quiet. Lilith chokes on her lemonade. “No…” She splutters, and Raphael pats her back briefly. “Let’s eat dessert, shall we?” Lilith says hurriedly, dashing off to the kitchen. I tip my head, confused. There is something I am missing here. I exchange a quick glance with Luc, which tells me he is just as clueless. The subject is dropped when Lilith brings back dessert, however. A beautiful apple pie with golden, flaky pastry, and a strawberry tart, glistening red. Still warm, freshly baked with the farmer’s market fruit. It’s delicious, like everything Lilith cooks — and conversation is sparked again, easy as wildfire, continuing deep into the night.


Hello, friends! Quick note, I am going to cut out my end-of-chapter ramblings or just keep them short, sweet, and neutral. This is because my (overly long) notes are always biased and I think that may influence what you write in your comments 🙂 So, mid-semester break is here and I’m exhausted 😣 Hence the uneventful chapter + being super behind on commenting, but I will try to slowly catch up in the next few weeks. I wanted to chuck this chapter out there first, though, because I was really excited about it! Cheriel isn’t even taking the backseat anymore, guys. It’s getting kicked out of the car. Anyway, let’s finish up with a bonus snaps gallery — I might do this for future chapters, too, since I always end up showing maybe half of what I worked on. I actually reshot the whole market scene four times just to catch that perfect lighting… 😭 Golden hour sunlight is my fave in real life, so thanks ReShade, for letting me replicate that in game! PS: my amazing friend Jade has joined WordPress and is posting her first chapter soon. She is incredibly talented at writing and decorating — she’s my idol, seriously — and I know her story is going to be epic. I recommend checking her out!

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34 thoughts on “fallen angels — chapter 3.15: flame

  1. I liked the slow pace of this chapter! All the imagery was really beautiful. You know my FEELING ABOUT FALL. Thanks for bringing it to life! And I also really like the extra shot gallery, that’s a cool little feature. “I told you, just put my name here. So everyone knows who your COOL BEST FRIEND is.” <– Uh huh. Lmfao. Uh huh okay lol. Is there any particular reason Lilith and Raph are avoiding a romantic relationship aside from the whole "friendship first" thing? Anyways, the pics are great as usual 😀 I'm feeling a lot more confident in Luc in this rewrite but I am waiting patiently to see where this goes. AND THANK YOU FOR THE SHOUTOUT BRO! Always nice to have the support of my fellow trash cans ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I thought I should chill before jumping into sad things again, haha.
      They do have a reason, sort of like friendship first, Lilith will explain that herself later on!
      You’re welcome, thanks so much trashhh ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow, this food definitely looks too realistic and a bit out of place compared to the other stuff around. I was shocked, lol.
    Uh, this chapter was so sweet and such a drama-free zone that it left me speechless and I’m not sure on what I should focus. What surprised me, definitely, is the awkwardness that arose after Evangeline’s question. As Jade, I’m wondering whether there is more to Lilith and Raphael not getting together than just the fear of destroying their friendship. Have they secretly tried and something didn’t work out? Are they scared of taking this step? Do either of them is already dating someone? I really wonder what stops them…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, that’s just a matter of opinion. You know me, I like realism, so I do agree it looks out of place with the game, but I don’t care about that lol.
      I figured you might say that — the tone throughout the chapter stays the same, yes. Except for the moment you are talking about, all I will say is that Lilith is dating James and Raphael is single at this time. Interesting speculations!
      Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Yay~ What a pleasant surprise 😀 Love love love your new prof btw. This was exactly the warm, leafy, adorable scene I envisioned when you mentioned there’d be one at a farmers market incoming :3 There are so many gorgeous details this chapter, but the sunflowers on the bread boxes are exceptionally so :’) Luciferry is back in action, and I’m not complaining, hehe. (Your comment about Cheriel had me rolling, lmao) It was nice seeing a flustered, carefree, happy Luc, and an equally happy Cherry – Michel mouthing cute was basically me the whole chapter XD So many heart-fluttering moments, but I particularly liked Cherry mentioning Luc’s way of kissing having changed like the seasons *swoons*
    Then we have Evangeline at the Torres’ place asking the real questions; I’m curious as to whether or not Lilith and Raph have ever given a real romantic relationship a go, but perhaps felt weird about it or didn’t want to risk their friendship and ultimately decided against it? Hmm…
    Thanks for spoiling us at the end there with the extra lovely photographs 🙂 Hope you enjoy your break! This was a nice chapter ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks 😀 I love the sunflowers, too!
      I’m glad you thought it was cute, I had fun writing all the fluffiness.
      Ooooh great questions, you are onto something there 😉
      Thank you for reading and commenting ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. After that “kicked out of the car” comment, I’m getting very worried about my OTP. Gabriel is a (literal) angel who deserves better than to be romantically outplayed by his own brother! Also I never thought of Lilith and Raphael as anything but good friends before, but now I’m starting to ship them…?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think I even have to tell you that your pictures look absolutely gorgeous 🙂 It’s simply delightful. It’s nice with something slow and sweet. This is all of that. I like the new direction you’re taking things in. I’m looking forward to more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aww such a gentle, sweet chapter! A nice change of pace from the usual more intense/darker ones (although I looove those as well). The farmer’s market scene was wonderfully descriptive and made me long for autumn to hurry up and hit the US already! Hmmm Raphael and Lilith…. Does Evangeline know something we don’t? Lovely chapter as usual ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Goodness, those pictures are stunning! I’m so glad that you’re going back to re-write these chapters. And look at Luc, being adorable! Ugh. Looking at comments above… what do you mean Cheriel is out ‘for now???’ I sense drama coming this group’s way….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      It’s just me focusing on Luciferry for now. I’m rushing to get to Gen 4 but I at least want to do this relationship justice, so I’m ignoring Cheriel until the time comes.
      Thanks for reading and commenting 😊

      Like

  8. I am so excited to see a new chapter from you!! Wow, that farmer’s market looks amazing. I am looking forward to the fall season even more now.
    And I have to agree with Evangeline; why haven’t Lilith & Ralph gotten together yet?!?!?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Awww this was such a sweet chapter! I don’t mind the “uneventfulness” of it, because this way we could focus on seeing how the characters behave like when they’re just relaxed and chillin’ 😀 For example, I loved that “cute” Michel bit – I always wanted to see more of him!
    Also Luc is asking for relationship advice huh? He must really care for Cherry, although now I’m even more curious to see what the reason behind their eventual fallout will be..!
    Lmaooo Raphael just cracks me up! And me and Evangeline (who seems super cool btw) wonder the same thing: why aren’t he and Lilith not together yet? 💕 Except if, like Jowita mentioned, they have tried something in the past but didn’t work out… hmmm I don’t really care though, as long as they end up together lol! 😉 But they definitely look like it has crossed their minds!
    I vote yes on the extra pictures at the end of each chapter – they’re always so beautiful! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Part of the rewrites is me trying to give Michel, Raphael, and Evangeline more screen time — they are so badly neglected right now, haha!
      Yep, he did! Luc doesn’t really know what constitutes a good boyfriend or relationship, we will look into that further.
      Hehe, I’m glad he makes you laugh, I do try to make him kind of a comic relief 😀 Hmm, perhaps they did…
      More pretty pics are coming up! I just planned out 317 and I’m super duper excited for it. This chapter will be a lot longer and eventful I think, it’s mostly cute romance stuff but there will also be drama!
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. OMG I love your new banner! Autumn is my favorite time of year and this just rocks. lol In fact, this whole Autumny chapter rocks. I really liked the pace of the chapter. Luc was really adorable and now I’m wondering if he is still not endgame or not? Don’t tell me, though. LOL I just really liked how they were with each other and that he asked for advice. Michel’s “cute” was absolutely great! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thank you, Kymber! Autumn is so lovely in real life and it certainly translated well into the game!
      More adorableness is coming up! Right now Luc is quite a two-dimensional character, so I’m excited to present his new arc (in flashbacks + modern day) because I hope it will give him much more depth and interest.
      Thank you very much for reading and commenting, and your everlasting kindness ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Okay first of all, that bread looks delicious.
    Second ““Are you two still not together?” Evangeline is us ALL. I am rooting for this ship so much.
    I have no particular favourite season but Autumn does look gorgeous here. And with that lighting, too, hot damn! To return your compliment, you’ve inspired me to get better at pictures. I’m not on your level yet, but I’m practicing with my reshade and camera for sure!
    I absolutely adore the imagery in your writing too. I’m curious, how long does it take you to write each chapter? Not counting the picture taking?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Finding delicious food cc is somewhat a sub-hobby of mine, haha. I love taking food shots and describing them 🤣
      I envisioned Holt at hot damn, haha. I need to catch up on B99! Ahhhhhh thanks 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing your experimentation! I love how Reshade is almost limitless so everyone gets such different, unique effects.
      Hmmm the writing actually takes less time than the pictures lmao. Usually I take all the pics first and then binge-write, but I’m not quite sure since I write things randomly rather than chronologically, whenever something good pops into my head. The bulk of this chapter took maybe 2-3 days of binge-writing? I lost precious sleep, I don’t even have a schedule but I always end up setting some sort of deadline sigh.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • BOOOOOONNNNNEEE!
        That’s so interesting! My pictures definitely take longer too and I also take them first, which is so much easier than the other way around (which I only discovered like six years into writing this legacy -.-‘ ) but then I tend to sit and write all in one go. For some reason it’s so much easier to write for SOL than anything else!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I know I am always super late to read and comment on your posts now, and I apologize for that. Life always seems to get the best of me! But I actually had some time to sit down and read this chapter, and it is so lovely. ❤ In East Texas we don't get beautiful fall colors like these, but I wish we did! It was 82 degrees here today, and I opened all of our doors and windows because it felt nice and cool compared to the usual 100 degree days we have lol. Your breathtaking photos, descriptions, and the apple pumpkin candle burning next to my computer I really felt immersed in this autumn farmers market. You did such an amazing job with this scene! Cherry and Luc's relationship was so much nicer to read in this chapter as well. Very "cute" as Michel put it. 🙂 Luc asking for relationship advice is adorable. You almost have me rooting for Luciferry – almost haha.
    So that little bit of awkwardness between Lilith and Raphael was perfect! Either those two have had this discussion before or maybe something has happened between them that they haven't discussed with anyone else in the group yet or something else entirely. I don't know, but I can't wait to find out! Lilith and Raph are end game. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s okay! I’m super behind in Reader as well 😭
      Apple pumpkin candle? That sounds so nice!
      Luc hasn’t shown any character depth yet, so I’m excited to see what you think about his edited character. Perhaps in 3.17 you will begin rooting for them 😉
      They are for sure end game! I might cameo that guy Raphael’s currently hanging out with in Tumblr, though. I haven’t mentioned yet here, but I recently decided that he’s pansexual. For the longest time I’ve been thinking ‘this boi ain’t straight’ haha.
      Thank you for reading and commenting 💕

      Like

      • Apple Pumpkin is one of my favorite scents! It’s so calming. 🙂
        It’s entirely possible that I’ll begin rooting for Luc if he continues to be such a sweet and caring boyfriend to Cherry. He won brownie points with me in this chapter for sure. And it actually makes perfect sense to me that Raphael is pansexual! Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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