Lauren Kate: Fallen

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Lauren Kate Fallen
  • Название:
    Fallen
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • Жанр:
    Ужасы и Мистика / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2009
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • Рейтинг книги:
    4 / 5
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Fallen: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move. Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce—and goes out of his way to make that very clear—she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret… even if it kills her.

Lauren Kate: другие книги автора


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FALLEN

Lauren Kate

IN THE BEGINNING

Helston, England

September 1854

Around midnight, her eyes at last took shape. The look in them was feline, half determined and half tentative—all trouble. Yes, they were just right, those eyes. Rising up to her fine, elegant brow, inches from the dark cascade of her hair.

He held the paper at arm's length to assess his progress. It was hard, working without her in front of him, but then, he never could sketch in her presence. Since he had arrived from London—no, since he had first seen her—he'd had to be careful always to keep her at a distance.

Every day now she approached him, and every day was more difficult than the one before. It was why he was leaving in the morning—for India, for the Americas, he didn't know or care. Wherever he ended up, it would be easier than being here.

He leaned over the drawing again, sighing as he used his thumb to perfect the smudged charcoal pout of her full bottom lip. This lifeless paper, cruel imposter, was the only way to take her with him.

Then, straightening up in the leather library chair, he felt it. That brush of warmth on the back of his neck.

Her.

Her mere proximity gave him the most peculiar sensation, like the kind of heat sent out when a log shatters to ash in a fire. He knew without turning around: She was there. He covered her likeness on the bound papers in his lap, but he could not escape her.

His eyes fell on the ivory-upholstered settee across the parlor, where only hours earlier she'd turned up unexpectedly, later than the rest of her party, in a rose silk gown, to applaud the eldest him, a fistful of wild white peonies in her hand. She still thought the pull she felt toward him was innocent, that their frequent rendezvous in the gazebo were merely… happy coincidences. To be so naive! He would never tell her otherwise—the secret was his to bear.

He stood and turned, the sketches left behind on the leather chair. And there she was, pressed against the ruby velvet curtain in her plain white dressing gown. Her black hair had fallen from its braid. The look on her face was the same as the one he'd sketched so many times. There was the fire, rising in her cheeks. Was she angry? Embarrassed? He longed to know, but could not allow himself to ask.

"What are you doing here?" He could hear the snarl in his voice, and regretted its sharpness, knowing she would never understand.

"I–I couldn't sleep," she stammered, moving toward the fire and his chair. "I saw the light in your room and then" — she paused, looking down at her hands—"your trunk outside the door. Are you going somewhere?"

"I was going to tell you—" He broke off. He shouldn't lie. He had never intended to let her know his plans. Telling her would only make things worse. Already, he had let things go too far, hoping this time would be different.

She drew nearer, and her eyes fell on his sketchbook. "You were drawing me?"

Her startled tone reminded him how great the gap was in their understanding. Even after all the time they'd spent together these past few weeks, she had not yet begun to glimpse the truth that lay behind their attraction.

This was good—or at least, it was for the better. For the past several days, since he'd made the choice to leave, he'd been struggling to pull away from her. The effort took so much out of him that, as soon as he was alone, he had to give in to his pent-up desire to draw her. He had filled up his book with pages of her arched neck, her marble collarbone, the black abyss of her hair.

Now, he looked back at the sketch, not ashamed at being caught drawing her, but worse. A cold chill spread through him as he realized that her discovery-the exposure of his feelings—would destroy her. He should have been more careful. It always began like this.

"Warm milk with a spoonful of treacle," he murmured, his back still to her. Then he added sadly, "It helps you sleep."

"How did you know? Why, that's exactly what my mother used to—"

"I know," he said, turning to face her. The astonishment in her voice did not surprise him, yet he could not explain to her how he knew, or tell her how many times he had administered this very drink to her in the past when the shadows came, how he had held her until she fell asleep.

He felt her touch as though it were burning through his shirt, her hand laid gently on his shoulder, causing him to gasp. They had not yet touched in this life, and the first contact always left him breathless.

"Answer me," she whispered. "Are you leaving?"

"Yes."

"Then take me with you," she blurted out. Right on cue, he watched her suck in her breath, wishing to take back her plea. He could see the progression of her emotions settle in the crease between her eyes: She would feel impetuous, then bewildered, then ashamed by her own forwardness. She always did this, and too many times before, he had made the mistake of comforting her at this exact moment.

"No," he whispered, remembering… always remembering… "I sail tomorrow. If you care for me at all, you won't say another word."

"If I care for you," she repeated, almost as if she were speaking to herself. "I–I love—"

"Don't."

"I have to say it. I–I love you, I'm quite sure, and if you leave—" love. You won't understand, but you have to trust me."

Her eyes drilled into him. She stepped back and crossed her arms over her chest. This was his fault, too—he always brought out her contemptuous side when he spoke down to her.

"You mean to say there are things more important than this?" she challenged, taking his hands and drawing them to her heart.

Oh, to be her and not know what was coming! Or at least to be stronger than he was and be able to stop her. If he didn't stop her, she would never learn, and the past would only repeat itself, torturing them both again and again.

The familiar warmth of her skin under his hands made him tilt his head back and moan. He was trying to ignore how close she was, how well he knew the feel of her lips on his, how bitter he felt that all of this had to end. But her fingers traced his so lightly. He could feel her heart racing through her thin cotton gown.

She was right. There was nothing more than this. There never was. He was about to give in and take her in his arms when he caught the look in her eyes. As if she'd seen a ghost.

She was the one to pull away, a hand to her forehead.

"I'm having the strangest sensation," she whispered.

No—was it already too late?

Her eyes narrowed into the shape in his sketch and she came back to him, her hands on his chest, her lips parted expectantly. "Tell me I'm mad, but I swear I've been right here before…"

So it was too late. He looked up, shivering, and could feel the dark descending. He took one last chance to seize her, to hold her as tightly as he'd been yearning to for weeks.

As soon as her lips melted into his, both of them were powerless. The honeysuckle taste of her mouth made him dizzy. The closer she pressed against him, the more his stomach churned with the thrill and the agony of it all. Her tongue traced his, and the fire between them burned brighter, hotter, more powerful with every new touch, every new exploration. Yet none of it was new.

The room quaked. An aura around them started to glow.

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