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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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.

If he said he had to leave for a few weeks and couldn’t explain why … she would have to trust him.

“What was it like when you first met me?” she asked.

Daniel smiled. “I chopped wood in exchange for meals back then. One night around dinnertime I was walking past your house. Your mother had the cabbage going, and it stank so badly I almost skipped your house. But then I saw you through the window. You were sewing. I couldn’t take my eyes off your hands.”

Luce looked at her hands, her pale, tapered fingers and small, square palms. She wondered if they’d always looked the same. Daniel reached for them across the console. “They’re just as soft now as they were then.”

Luce shook her head. She loved the story, wanted to hear a thousand more just like it, but that wasn’t what she’d meant. “I want to know about the first time you met me,” she said. “The very first time. What was that like?”

After a long pause, he finally said, “It’s getting late. They’re expecting you at Shoreline before midnight.” He stepped on the gas, taking a quick left into downtown Mendocino. In the side mirror, Luce watched the mobile home park grow smaller, darker, until it disappeared completely. But then, a few seconds later, Daniel parked the car in front of an empty all-night diner with yellow walls and floor-to-ceiling front windows.

The block was full of quirky, quaint buildings that reminded Luce of a less stuffy version of the New England coastline near her old New Hampshire prep school, Dover. The street was paved with uneven cobblestones that glowed yellow in the light from the streetlamps overhead. At its end, the road seemed to drop straight into the ocean. A coldness sneaked up on her. She had to ignore her reflexive fear of the dark. Daniel had explained about the shadows—that they were nothing to be afraid of, merely messengers. Which should have been reassuring, except for the hard-to-ignore fact that it meant there were bigger things to be afraid of.

“Why won’t you tell me?” She couldn’t help herself. She didn’t know why it felt so important to ask. If she was going to trust Daniel when he said he had to abandon her after longing all her life for this reunion—well, maybe she just wanted to understand the origins of that trust. To know when and how it had all begun.

“Do you know what my last name means?” he said, surprising her.

Luce bit her lip, trying to think back to the research she and Penn had done. “I remember Miss Sophia saying something about Watchers. But I don’t know what it means, or if I’m even supposed to believe her.” Her fingers went to her neck, to the place where Miss Sophia’s knife had lain.

“She was right. The Grigoris are a clan. They’re a clan named after me, actually. Because they watch and learn from what happened when … back when I was still welcome in Heaven. And back when you were … well, this all happened a very long time ago, Luce. It’s hard for me to remember most of it.”

“Where? Where was I?” she pressed. “I remember Miss Sophia saying something about the Grigoris consorting with mortal women. Is that what happened? Did you …?”

He looked over at her. Something changed on his face, and in the dim moonlight, Luce couldn’t tell what it meant. It was almost like he was relieved that she had guessed it, so he didn’t have to be the one to spell it out.

“The very first time I saw you,” Daniel continued, “it wasn’t any different than any other time I’ve seen you since. The world was newer, but you were just the same. It was—”

“Love at first sight.” That part she knew.

He nodded. “Just like always. The only difference was, in the beginning, you were off-limits to me. I was being punished, and I’d fallen for you at the worst possible time. Things were very violent in Heaven. Because of who … I am … I was expected to stay away from you. You were a distraction. The focus was supposed to be on winning the war. It’s the same war that’s still going on.” He sighed. “And if you haven’t noticed, I’m still very distracted.”

“So you were a very high angel,” Luce murmured.

“Sure.” Daniel looked miserable, pausing and then seeming, when he spoke again, to bite out the words: “It was a fall from one of the highest perches.”

Of course. Daniel would have to be important in Heaven in order to have caused such a big rift. In order for his love of a mortal girl to be so off-limits.

“You gave it all up? For me?”

He touched his forehead to hers. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

“But I was nothing,” Luce said. She felt heavy, like she was dragging. Dragging him down. “You had to give up so much!” She felt sick to her stomach. “And now you’re damned forever.”

Turning off the car, Daniel gave her a sad smile. “It might not be forever.”

“What do you mean?”

“Come on,” he said, hopping out of the car and coming around to open her door. “Let’s take a walk.”

They ambled to the end of the street, which didn’t dead-end after all, but led to a steep, rocky staircase going down to the water. The air was cool and moist with sea spray. Just to the left of the steps, a trail led away. Daniel took her hand and moved to the cliff’s edge.

“Where are we going?” Luce asked.

Daniel smiled at her, straightening his shoulders, and unfurled his wings.

Slowly, they extended up and out from his shoulders, unfolding with an almost inaudible series of soft snaps and creaks. Fully flexed, they made a gentle, feathery fwump like a duvet being flung over a bed.

For the first time, Luce noticed the back of Daniel’s t-shirt. There were two tiny, otherwise invisible slits, which parted now to let his wings slip through. Did all of Daniel’s clothes have these angelic alterations? Or did he have certain, special things he wore when he knew he planned on flying?

Either way, his wings never failed to leave Luce speechless.

They were enormous, rising three times taller than Daniel, and curved up into the sky and to either side like broad white sails. Their broad expanse caught the light of the stars and reflected it more intensely, so that they glowed with an iridescent shimmer. Near his body they darkened, shading into a rich earthy cream color where they met his shoulder muscles. But along their tapered edges, they grew thin and glowed, becoming almost translucent at the tips.

Luce stared at them, rapt, trying to remember the line of every glorious feather, to hold all of it inside her for when he went away. He shone so bright, the sun could have borrowed light from him. The smile in his violet eyes told her how good it felt for him to let his wings out. As good as Luce felt when she was wrapped up in them.

“Fly with me,” he whispered.


“I’m not going to see you for a little while. I have to give you something to remember me by.”

Luce kissed him before he could say anything else, lacing her fingers around his neck, holding him as tightly as she could, hoping to give him something to remember her by, too.

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