Lauren Kate: Torment

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Lauren Kate Torment
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Torment: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Hell on earth. That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts — immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something — something dangerous. What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else? The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.

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Torment — читать онлайн бесплатно полную книгу (весь текст) целиком

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Her eyes darted around to keep up with all the sights. And even though she had spent most of the past few days sleeping, she suddenly felt a wave of exhaustion.

Daniel stretched his arm around her and guided her head toward his shoulder. “Little-known fact about angels: We make excellent pillows.”

Luce laughed, lifting her head to kiss his cheek. “I couldn’t possibly sleep,” she said, nuzzling his neck.

On the Golden Gate Bridge, throngs of pedestrians, spandexed bicyclers, and joggers flanked the cars. Far below was the brilliant bay, dotted with white sailboats and the beginning notes of a violet sunset. “It’s been days since we’ve seen each other. I want to catch up,” she said. “Tell me what you’ve been doing. Tell me everything.”

For an instant, she thought she saw Daniel’s hands tighten around the steering wheel. “If your goal is not to go to sleep,” he said, cracking a smile, “then I really shouldn’t delve into the minutiae of the eight-hour-long Council of the Angels meeting I was stuck in all day yesterday. See, the board met to discuss an amendment to proposition 362B, which details the sanctioned format for cherubic participation in the third circuit of—”

“Okay, I get it.” She swatted him. Daniel was joking, but it was a strange new kind of joke. He was actually being open about being an angel, which she loved—or at least she would love it, once she’d had a little more time to process it. Luce still felt like her heart and brain were both struggling to catch up to the changes in her life.

But they were back together for good now, so everything was infinitely easier. There was nothing to hold back from one another anymore. She pulled on his arm. “At least tell me where we’re going.”

Daniel flinched, and Luce felt a knot of cold unfold inside her chest. She moved to put her hand on his, but he pulled away to downshift.

“A school in Fort Bragg called Shoreline. Classes start tomorrow.”

“We’re enrolling at another school?” she asked. “Why?” It sounded so permanent. This was supposed to be a provisional trip. Her parents didn’t even know she’d left the state of Georgia.

“You’ll like Shoreline. It’s very progressive, and a lot better than Sword and Cross. I think you’ll be able to … develop there. And no harm will come to you. The school has a special, protective quality. A camouflage-like shield.”

“I don’t get it. Why do I need a protective shield? I thought coming out here, away from Miss Sophia, was enough.”

“It’s not just Miss Sophia,” Daniel said quietly. “There are others.”

“Who? You can protect me from Cam, or Molly, or whoever.” Luce laughed, but the cold feeling in her chest was spreading to her gut.

“It’s not Cam or Molly, either. Luce, I can’t talk about it.”

“Will we know anyone else there? Any other angels?”

“There are some angels there. No one you know, but I’m sure you’ll get along. There’s one more thing.” His voice was flat as he stared straight ahead. “I won’t be enrolling.” His eyes didn’t once veer off the road. “Just you. It’s only for a little while.”

“How little?”

“A few … weeks.”

Had Luce been the one behind the wheel, this was when she would have slammed on the brakes.

“A few weeks?

“If I could be with you, I would.” Daniel’s voice was so flat, so steady, that it made Luce even more upset. “You saw what just happened with your duffel bag and the trunk. That was like my shooting up a flare into the sky to let everyone know where we are. To alert anyone who is looking for me—and by me, I mean you. I am too easy to find, too easy for others to track down. And that bit with your bag? That is nothing compared to the things I do every day that would draw the attention of …” He shook his head sharply. “I won’t put you in danger, Luce, I won’t.”

“Then don’t.

Daniel’s face looked pained. “It’s complicated.”

“And let me guess: You can’t explain.”

“I wish I could.”

Luce drew her knees to her chest, leaned away from him and against the passenger-side door, feeling somehow claustrophobic under the big blue California sky.

* * *

For half an hour, the two of them rode in silence. In and out of patches of fog, up and down the rocky, arid terrain. They passed signs for Sonoma, and as the car cruised through lush green vineyards, Daniel spoke. “It’s three more hours to Fort Bragg. You going to stay mad at me the whole time?”

Luce ignored him. She thought of and refused to give voice to hundreds of questions, frustrations, accusations, and—ultimately—apologies for acting like such a spoiled brat. At the turnoff for the Anderson Valley, Daniel forked west and tried again to hold her hand. “Maybe you’ll forgive me in time to enjoy our last few minutes together?”

She wanted to. She really wanted to not be fighting with Daniel right now. But the fresh mention of there being such a thing as a “last few minutes together,” of his leaving her alone for reasons she couldn’t understand and that he always refused to explain—it made Luce nervous, then terrified, then frustrated all over again. In the roiling sea of new state, new school, new dangers everywhere, Daniel was the only rock she had to hold on to. And he was about to leave her? Hadn’t she been through enough? Hadn’t they both been through enough?

It was only after they’d passed through the redwoods and come out into a starry, royal-blue evening that Daniel said something that broke through to her. They’d just passed a sign that read WELCOME TO MENDOCINO, and Luce was looking west. A full moon shone down on a cluster of buildings: a lighthouse, several copper water towers, and rows of well-preserved old wooden houses. Somewhere out beyond all that was the ocean she could hear but couldn’t see.

Daniel pointed east, into a dark, dense forest of redwood and maple trees. “See that trailer park up ahead?”

She never would have if he hadn’t pointed it out, but now Luce squinted to see a narrow driveway, where a lime-caked wooden placard read in whitewashed letters MENDOCINO MOBILE HOMES.

“You used to live right there.”

“What?” Luce sucked in her breath so quickly, she started to cough. The park looked sad and lonesome, a dull line of low-ceilinged cookie-cutter boxes set along a cheap gravel road. “That’s awful.”

“You lived there before it was a trailer park,” Daniel said, easing the car to a stop by the side of the road. “Before there were mobile homes. Your father in that lifetime brought your family out from Illinois during the gold rush.” He seemed to look inward somewhere, and sadly shook his head. “Used to be a really nice place.”

Luce watched a bald man with a potbelly tug a mangy orange dog on a leash. The man was wearing a white undershirt and flannel boxers. Luce couldn’t picture herself there at all.

Yet it was so clear to Daniel. “You had a two-room cabin and your mother was a terrible cook, so the whole place always smelled like cabbage. You had these blue gingham curtains that I used to part so I could climb through your window at night after your parents were asleep.”

The car idled. Luce closed her eyes and tried to fight back her stupid tears. Hearing their history from Daniel made it feel both possible and impossible. Hearing it also made her feel extremely guilty. He’d stuck with her for so long, over so many lifetimes. She’d forgotten how well he knew her. Better even than she knew herself. Would Daniel know what she was thinking now? Luce wondered whether, in some ways, it was easier to be her and to never have remembered Daniel than it was for him to go through this time and time again.

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