Author's Note:

I've always loved Cathy and Heaven (VCA's original heroines) for their courage and strength; not to mention for their multi-faceted personalities: full of innocence and anger and human flaws. And I've always wondered how VCA would have written Leigh, given the glimpses of her that Heaven receives in the first two books of the saga. I don't think she would have been as saccharine as the GW made her, so I decided I wanted to rewrite Leigh the way I think she might have been.

Thanks to Angus, for the hours spent listening to me talk through plot. And thanks to Sarah Blackwood, for encouraging, proofreading, and wanting Leigh's clothes for herself!

Disclaimer: I own nothing: plot and characters here belong to VC Andrews, and the poetry to Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Lost Angel of ruin'd Paradise!
She knew not 'twas her own; as with no stain
She faded, like a cloud which had outwept its rain.

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Adonais


My favorite time of day is what the storybooks call dusk: when the sun begins to set, and the sky deepens to a sapphire shot with pinks, oranges and golds drifting over the mountain range of the Willies. Despite all I have lived through and the places I have been; this is home Here in the Willies, where the rich smells of the earth and grass mingle with the sweetness of the wildflowers every time the winds blow, and every step taken high on these mountains feels watched over by God.

Ma tells me that this labor is going well so far, but I thought I could read in her eyes before she turned away to boil another tea, that there is something she isn't saying. So to take my mind from my fears, and away from the pains of labor I began to write.

This history is for you, my darling child. I don't want to permit myself to think the dreaded words 'if something goes wrong'… but there it is, looming in my mind, and on the paper already.

And so my dearest, my unborn but happily anticipated child… if that dreaded something does happen; in these pages, you hold my story. The story of how you came to be. Though Luke may call me an angel, I am anything but. However, I hope that my love for you will ease any heartbreak these words may bring, and that you will love and forgive me, despite who I have been.