So I am the 3rd person to write a book from the series? Coolio!
This is from Tucker's POV. It is from Unearthly, not Hallowed. It's scenes from the chapters Bear Repellent and Just Call Me Angel. In the paper back version, that is pages 316-350.
I do not own this series. All is owned by Cynthia Hand and HarperTeen. But I wish I owned Tucker and/or Christian. I am totally Team Tucker! Tucker is so much cooler than Christian. But i love him too!
Glory, an Unearthly Novella
Okay, so I have a crush on Clara Gardner. There, I said it. The only one who knows this is my twin sister, Wendy, who happens to be Clara's friend.
She is seriously beautiful, even if she has some freaky orange hair that sort of disturbs me. But it also draws my attention. Her eyes, which are a stormy gray, always seem to pierce mine. She has the most wonderful body, and is super tall for a girl. But she isn't that conceited, and she is nice to me. Well, most of the time. But there is something weird about her. She gives off a strange glow that makes her look even more beautiful.
My sister is also amazing. She is letting me spend the entire summer with her. That is her birthday gift to Clara. I am not doing anything but rodeo and work, and Clara is completely alone, so what better to do than stay together.
So we hiked, swam, camped, hunted (though Clara didn't really enjoy that), fished, rode horseback, and white water rafted. Sometimes we just did sightseeing, even though I had all ready seen all of the sights. That's what happens when you live in one place your entire life. I know my town like the back of my hand. I know every nook, cranny, shop, mountain, road, and tree. I think I really should be a tour guide. I'm pretty darn good at it.
Only bad part of this is that Clara doesn't prefer me. She prefers Mr. Perfect, aka Christian. Christian and I always exchange small talk, but we aren't that good of friends. As Clara puts it, he's a Have and I'm a Have-not.
This morning, after I wake up and get dressed and feed Midas, I call Clara. It is super early and it is my birthday. And I'll be John Brown, she is actually up.
"Oh good, you're up," I say.
"What time is it?"
"I'm going to kill you," she threatens.
"I'm on my way over," I say. "I'll be there in about a half hour. I thought I'd call so you had time to brush your hair and put on your face."
"You think I'm going to wear makeup to go hiking with you?"
"See, that's what I like about you, Carrots. You're not fussy."
She doesn't respond to that. "Hello?" I try. When the operator starts talking in that depressing monotone, I know she has hung up on me, and that makes me smile.
I hop inside Bluebell and drive over to her house, and she runs out the door and gets in the passenger's seat.
As we zoom down the highway, which is nearly empty, she asks me what I meant about it being a special day. I tell her that I'll get to that, but I have no intention of telling her about my birthday. She'll probably find out soon enough.
I drive us to Jackson Lake, and when we arrive, I get out of the truck first to get her door. When I open it, she blushes and nods her thanks. I check my watch quickly, then tell her that we have to hike fast because sunrise is only twenty minutes away, and I'm not about to miss it.
I'm a bit chatty, and she questions me about this. I give her a playful smile and tell her about the bears. If we make enough noise, they may not bother us.
I tense when she asks me about grandpa's ranch. She says Wendy says it's why I hate Californians. She asks what happened.
"I don't hate Californians. Clearly." I mean, she is a Californian. I hope that didn't make her think she's an idiot!
She is relieved by this, I promise to tell her someday, and I start whistling a little tune. We stop talking.
After climbing for a few minutes, we reach the clearing I was looking for. Sixty seconds to spare. Clara can't seem to tear her gaze away from the scenery. The mountains, skies, forestry, lake.
I want to hold her hand, but I am sure she would slap me if I tried. Instead I turn her I the opposite direction, just as the sun is peaking over the mountain tops. Then I turn her back around, and our eyes feast upon the lake, sparkling as heaven's golden rays shine down on it.
"Oh," she gasps.
"Makes you believe in God, doesn't it?"
She looks startled as she glances at me, but she agrees.
"Their name means breasts you know?" I tell her, motioning with my mouth to the world around me. I am trying to be funny. "Grand Teton means 'big breasts.'"
"Nice, Tucker. I know that."
For a long time, we stand right beside each other, almost touching, watching the sunrise and not speaking. A breeze starts, causing her hair to hit my shoulder. I stare at her, enthralled. She is beautiful, and I am about to say it when we hear something.
It is a grizzly bear, a giant one with to cubs. I tell her not to run, but she looks frozen my peripheral vision. "Don't run," I warn her again. I start fumbling with a canister of bear repellent. I know the bear is watching me. This is not good, this is not good. I glance up for a second, and I notice that she is about to charge at me.
This is NOT good.
Suddenly, Clara murmurs something, but I don't hear her right. The bear pauses, adverting her stare from me to Carrots. I will not have her getting hurt.
Clara says something else. She is definitely talking, but in some weird language. It kind of sounds like singing, a beautiful sound that seems holy I some way, shape or form.
The bears tries to scare us, making a barking noise that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. What is Clara doing is crazy, impossible even, and dangerous. She looks dangerous. She stands her ground and the bear drops to falls fours, barking at her cubs. Clara says one more thing, and there bear and cubs crash back through the trees, leaving us.
Clara nearly collapses, and I catch, pulling her to my chest and wrapping my arms around her thin frame. I have one hand on her neck, the other on her back. She is shaking and sweating. I can feel her fast heartbeat and her shuddering breaths seeping into my shirt.
"Oh my God," I sigh.
I still have the bear repellent in my hands. She pulls away and looks at it. I tell her that I was trying to read how to spray it, and give a small laugh, trying to make light of it. She is right when she says that it is our fault, because we stopped talking. She is thirsty, and I kneel beside her, holding the bottle of water of her. I'm till jerky with fear, so most of the water runs down her chin.
"You did warn me about the bears," she whispers. "We were lucky."
"Yeah," I respond. I look at the forest for any sign on the bear, and then back at Clara. How did she do it? "We were pretty lucky, after all."
We hike back soon enough and drive to Jackson for breakfast. For the rest of the day, we're on my boat fishing. I catch a pretty big rainbow trout (A/N: When I went fishing in the mountains, I caught a rainbow trout too!) We decide to have that for dinner, and I try to show her how to gut a fish.
I can't help myself. "What did you do today, with the bear?" I ask.
"This is so gross," she complains, not answering me. I hate it when people do that. I give her my death stare, and she gets a worried look in her eyes. She's keeping secrets, and that ticks me off. There is something different about her, and she won't tell me what it is.
"I sang to the bear," she says sheepishly.
"You talked to it," I insist.
"I sort of hummed at it," she says carefully. "That's all."
"I'm not stupid, you know," I say, now mad.
"I know. Tuck-" The knife in her hand that she was using to gut the fish slips, and creates a deep cut. Blood flows. She clamps her hand on it.
That is a bad cut. I take away her fingers and press a towel to the gash. I tell her what to do, then run out of the room. I quickly find a first aid kit and then rush back into the room to help her. I get the antibiotic ointment and some bandages. She still has the towel on her cut, but something has changed in her eyes that I cannot place. She pulls away as I try to help her.
"I'm okay," she says a little too quickly.
"Let me see," I order.
"No, it's fine. It's only a scratch."
I stare at her in disbelief. "It's a deep cut. We need to close it."
Finally, she gives me her hand. I turn it over to look at the cut in her palm. It really is only a scratch, like a paper cut.
"See? Only a minor flesh wound." I stare at it. She jokes with me. I was sure that she was going to need stitches. This isn't right. It fix her up, cleansing the wound and applying ointment.
"What is going on with you, Clara?" I'm really hurt by her not telling me everything.
"What-what do you mean?" she stammers.
"I mean… I don't know what I mean. I just… your just…" I can't finish. I do not know what to say. We have a very awkward silence.
"It's just me," she finally whispers. I bark a laugh. She cannot be serious. I look at the towel, still soaked with her blood.
"At least I know you can bleed. That's something, I guess. You're not completely invincible, are you?"
"Oh right. What, did you think I was Supergirl? Vulnerable only to Kryptonite?" She is sarcastic, but it all seems fake. I don't know what I think…
"You're not normal, Clara," I manage. "You try to pretend you are. But you're not. You talked to a grizzly bear and it obeyed you. Birds follow you like a Disney cartoon, or haven't you noticed?" I sure have. "And for a while after you came back from Idaho Falls, Wendy thought you were on the run from someone or something. You're good at everything you try. You ride a horse like you were born in a saddle, you ski perfect parallel turns your first time on the hill. You apparently speak fluent French and Korean and who knows what else. Yesterday I noticed that your eyebrows kind of glitter in the sun. And there is something about the way you move, something that's beyond graceful, something that's beyond human even. It's like you're… something else."
She shivers. She says there can't be a rational explanation for this. I tell her that I think her and her brother are some genetically altered superhuman beings part of some secret government experiment. It is the best I can come up with. She says I sound crazy, and I know that. Sometimes I really hate my life. I sound stupid. She consoles me. But when she tries to touch my shoulder, I jerk away shaking my head.
Mom and Dad come inside. "Uh oh, did someone have an accident?"
Clara covers for herself, saying that she is fine. But I know better.
"That's a nice fish. You catch it today?" Dad asks.
"Tucker did, yesterday. Today he caught the one over there." Clara gestures and Dad whistles.
"Good eating tonight."
"You sure that's what you want for your birthday dinner? I can make you anything you like?"
"It's your birthday?" gasps Clara. Crap.
"Didn't he tell you?" Dad laughs. "Seventeen years old today. He's almost a man."
"Thanks, Pops," I mutter.
"Don't mention it son."
"I would've gotten you something," she says in a soft voice.
"You did. You gave me my life today. Guess what? Today we ran into a grizzly mama and her two cubs up at the ridge on Colter Bay, and Clara sang to it to make it go away." Mom and Dad stare at her in shock.
"You sang to it?" Mom repeats, astounded.
"Her singing is that bad," I joke, even though she had a wonderful angelic voice. Everyone laughs, and for some reason, Clara agrees with me.
After we have fish, cake, and Neapolitan ice cream, we open presents. Most of the gifts are for Midas. Clara says that she wishes she could have seen me compete, and I wish she had been able to too.
"Let's go out to the barn and show Midas the new bridle," I suggest. I whisk her out of the house to the barn. Midas, my beautiful horse, greets us. She says that I should've told her about my birthday, and I know that. And she remembers that it is Wendy's birthday too.
"Did you exchange gifts?"
"Not yet. But she gave me the perfect gift."
I smile brightly at her. "You." And I decide that I am finally going to kiss her. I lean in a tiny bit, and she gets a stricken look in her eyes. "What are we doing?"
"Don't call me that. That's not me." She has an edge to her voice.
"What do you mean?"
"And hour ago, you thought I was some kind of freak."
I run a hand through my hair, aggravated. "I didn't ever think you were a freak. I think… I thought you were magic or something. I thought you were too perfect to be real." She is too perfect to be real. I take a deep breath and confess my feelings. "I know I said some stupid things today, But I like you Clara. I really like you."
She hesitates. "It's okay," I promise her. "You don't have to say anything. I just want you to know."
"No," she says firmly. "Tuck, I can't. I have to-"
Anger boils through me. "Tell me this isn't about Christian Prescott. Tell me you're over that guy."
"You don't know anything about me!"
"Come here," I say warmly.
"I don't think you really want to be with Christian Prescott."
"Like you know what I want," she hisses.
"I do. I know you. He's not your type."
"Oh and I suppose you're my type?"
"I suppose I am." I close in on her and cup her face in my hands. I can't believe I am really about to this.
"You like me, Clara. I know you do." She stares at me like she is about to cry. I don't want her to. I want her to like me as much as I think her. "Try to tell me you don't," I say. Her warm breath is on my face and my lips hover over hers. I draw her closer.
"Tuck," she barely sighs, and I kiss her.
Sparks flew inside my heart. I have kissed girls before, but I have never wanted to kiss them as much as I wanted to kiss Clara. It is a whisper of a kiss. She does not kiss me back, but she is not tense anymore. Her lips are soft just like the kiss. I kiss her once, then twice. I pull back and look at her face. Her eyes are closed They snap open, and I can see shock in them, but also love.
"Again," she whispers. My heart swells. She pulls me to her, wrapping her arms around my neck tightly. She kisses me with passion. It is deep and hard. There is no time for breathing. I grab her waist and we are like static cling. We cannot be separated. I let a groan escape me, and I feel my face turn red. She doesn't care at all. She kisses me more. Are lips move together at the same pace. We are one person. I've waited forever for this moment. I love everything about her. She is small in my arms. Her hair smells wonderful. My knees are weak, but I say anything, she will laugh and make fun of me. I don' want her to know this. My eyes open so that I can see her face, but instead I am blinded.
I stumble backwards, blinking. I look at Clara, but she is not Clara anymore. She is shining like the sun, a radiant glow. It burns from her skin and sparkles off of her. Her hair, that crazy shade of red, is now a blonde color. It has some red streaks in it. All oxygen leaves me. I am terrified, and I don't want to be. I can handle a bear, but how can I handle this? What is she? She is in shock herself. The glowing starts to subside. It is soon gone. She looks almost as scared as if feel.
"I'm sorry," she says.
Like that helps.
"I don't know what…" What do I say? Beneath my fear is anger. She IS lying to me. I tell her all of my secrets, and she keeps this from me. She probably could kill right now. What do I do?
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to-"
"What are you?" She flinches, but looks as if she expected me to ask this.
"I'm Clara." She steps toward me and reaches out to touch me, but I jerk away. I grab her hand, the one that was cut, and pull away the bandage. It is completely healed.
"I knew it," I breathe.
"What are you?" I stagger backwards.
"No." I'm nauseous. I am going to be sick. This conversation is sickening. I run away from Clara. I do not want to, but I have no choice. She will not tell me what she is. She could kill me. I think my heart has broken. Great birthday. My parents ask me something, but I do not hear them. I go to my room and shut the door. I do not come out again that night. I fight hard not to cry.
Clara calls and I pick up on the first ring, wanting to talk to the girl I love.
But I do not know who that is anymore. I wish it were her. It may still be. Nothing it for certain. Nothing at all.
What is she?
For a few minutes, neither of us talks. But then I say the three unthinkable words, and I feel my heart snap.
"Leave me alone." I hang up.
Three days go by and I force myself to actually go to work and forget about Clara. It is extremely hard. Everything I see reminds me of her. I love her in a crazy, passionate, maybe lustful way. I just wish I actually knew who she was. Murphy drives me back from the river to the Crazy River Rafting Company on the third day. I took his trunk to the river so that I could leave mine at the company and get it after work. Murphy roll open the garage door, then turns around and stops dead in his tracks. I still untie the rafts and whatnot. Then he says "Tuck, I think this girl's here for you."
I look up and find Clara. I freeze. A hundred emotions flash though me, but I settle on anger.
"You need a minute?" Murphy asks.
"No, let's get this done." I try to ignore Clara as Murphy and it move all of the rafts into the garage. When we're done, Murphy says bye and gets into his Jeep and drives away. Clara and I stare at each other.
I finally sigh. "What do you want, Clara?"
She is taken aback, but says, "I'm sorry I lied to you. You don't know how much I want to tell you the truth."
"So why didn't you?"
"Because it is against the rules."
"What rules? What truth?"
"I'll tell you everything if you'll hear me out."
"Why?" I ask sharply. "Why would you tell me now if it is against the rules?"
"Because I love you." She loves me. And I love her. My anger subsides, but it is replaced with the fear of not knowing what she is.
"Can we go somewhere?" she asks. "Let's go somewhere off in the woods and I'll show you."
I hesitate, but she adds, "I won't hurt you."
"Okay, But I drive."
"Of course." I drive for about an hour, all the way to Idaho. I go deep into the woods and to the eight acres my grandpa left me.
"So tell me," I say.
"I don't even know where to start."
"How about you start with the part about you being some kind of supernatural being made of light?" I suggest.
"You think I'm made of light?"
"That's what I saw."
"I don't think I'm made of light. What you saw is called glory. It's kind of hard to explain, but it's this way of communicating, being connected to each other."
"Communicating. You were trying to communicate with me?"
"Not intentionally," she says, her face red. "I didn't mean for it to happen. I'd never done it before actually. Mom said that sometimes strong emotions can trigger it. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to freak you out. Glory tends to have that effect on humans."
"And you're not human."
"I'm mostly human."
I lean against the door of my truck and sigh, but wanting to believe this. "Is this a joke Clara? Is this some kind of trick?"
"I'm a Nephilim," she tells me. "We don't usually use that term, because it means 'fallen' in Hebrew, and we don't like to think of ourselves as fallen, you know, but that's what we're called in the Bible. We prefer the term angel-blood."
"Angel-blood," I repeat.
"My mom is a half angel. Her father was an angel and her mother was a human. And that makes me a quarter angel, since my dad's an average Joe."
"So you're part angel." I am obviously having a hard time accepting this.
"Yes. Let's get out of the truck."
I gulp. "Why?"
"Because you won't believe me until I show you."
"What does that mean? You'll do that light thing again?"
"No, I won't do that again." She sets her hand on my arm, and I scramble away, out of the car. She gets out and stands in the middle of the clearing. "Now don't be afraid."
"Right, because you're going to show me that you're an angel."
"Part angel," she corrects. Something materializes behind her, and when she pivots, I see two wings connected to her shoulders. This is impossible. They are huge and pure white, made with real feathers.
"This isn't some joke. This is not some head game or magic trick. You really have wings."
"Yeah," she says and walks towards me. I am curious, so I lift my hand to touch them. But I drop it.
"Can you fly?"
"Yes. But I am mostly a normal girl."
"And what else? What else can you do?"
"Not much really. I'm only a quarter angel." She looks sort of uncomfortable. "I don't even know all that the half angels can do. I can speak any language. I guess that comes in handy for the angels when they're delivering messages."
"That is how you understood the Korean lady at Canyon. And how you talked to the grizzly bear?"
"Yes." She stares at her feet, not meeting my eyes anymore. She seems ashamed. I want to hold her. I want to kiss her. "I'm sorry," she says, and tears drip down her face.
"Don't cry," he says. "That's not fair." She tries to laugh, but more tears flow. "It's okay," I whisper, and I brush away her tears. "Don't cry." I put my arms around her, wings and all. They feel soft beneath my hands. Her arms come up around my neck and she sobs into my chest. Birds call to each other all around us. I want to kiss her. So I do, and everything around us fades into nothing. There is only me and her and our lips and our feelings.
"Okay wait," I say, pulling back after a minute. A thought ruins the moment, and I seriously need in answered. I hope the answer is yes. She looks startled.
"Is it okay to kiss you?"
"I won't get struck by lightning?" She laughs and kisses me, as light as a feather. I tighten my hands on her waist.
"No lightning," she says. I smiles, and her finger delicately trace my face. I lift a piece of her hair and inspect it. It is still the blonde color, not red anymore. I guess I can't call her Carrots anymore.
"Not red," she shrugs.
"I always felt like there was something off about your hair."
"So you thought you'd torture me by calling me Carrots?"
"I still thought I'd never seen anyone as beautiful as you." I rub my neck and feel my face get really red.
"You're a real Romeo." She blushes too. I rap my arms around her again and run my hands over her wings. She is more amazing then anything else in the world. She is unearthly.
"So you're an angel, that's all," I murmur.
She kisses my shoulder. "Part angel," she corrects.
"Say something in the angel language."
"What should I say?"
"Something simple. Something true."
She whispers something. It sounds true. It is like a beautiful song in the wind. And I am pretty sure she said 'I love you.' I love her too. There is no denying it. I. Am. In. Love.
"What did you say?" I ask, wanting to hear what she says.
"Oh, you know, I just kinda like you." But we both know that isn't the entire truth.
"Huh." I kiss her lightly and brush her hair away from her face. "I really, really like you too."
I probably mixed it up between past and present tense somewhere in there. Sorry about that. Ignore my typos. Add me to Author Alert to find out about my latest stories!
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