"WHAT?" Penny gasped, staring at her boyfriend in disbelief. "Okay, now you're losing it. This Nephilim thing, that I can handle. But accusing my parents of being angels?" She stood up and paced around the room, shocked that she was in love with this liar. Did he really think she was so stupid?
"Penn, please listen. I'm not lying. You just need to let me explain," Leo pleaded, standing up and going over to her. He tried to touch her, but she just shook him off.
"Don't touch me," she whispered, tears clouding her vision. "I don't want you to explain. I want you to leave."
"Penny," Leo begged.
"Just, please go," she said again, walking over and crawling into her bed, facing away from him.
Leo turned to leave, but stopped in the doorway. He didn't understand how he messed everything up in a matter of minutes. Why would he think that Penn would believe him? Francesca had warned the Nephilim that no humans will believe them. It's just not in their nature.
"If you want proof, I'll show you. Back at Shoreline."
Penny didn't respond, but she was curious. The idea of her parents as angels sounded ridiculous, but she couldn't help her curiosity. What if Leo was telling the truth? It sure would explain a lot of things.
Her silence led Leo to continue, "We learned about them. The honors program . . . it's for Nephililm. We learned about learned about some of the fallen angels. And your parents," he took a deep breath. "They're kind of legends."
Penny couldn't stop herself from turning over to look at him. "Legends?"
He laughed lightly, happy that she's hearing him out. "Yeah. Their story is the most famous in the angel world. It's a beautiful love story." Leo sat down in the bed beside her, hoping he could tell her the tale of the girl who died and the boy who waited.
"A love story? About my past-angel parents? This sounds totally normal," Penny laughed. She always used humor in confusing situations. It was her way of trying to grasp what was going on.
"I don't think normal is the right word," he whispered. "But it truly is an incredible story. I'll tell it to you if you will listen."
"How do I know you're not lying?"
"You can talk to my teachers. They knew your parents before they became mortals," he suggested. He wasn't positive his Shoreline teachers knew the famous Lucinda and Daniel, but he had a pretty good idea they did from their expressions when they talked about them. Like remembering a lost friend.
"Became mortals? Why did they do that? Who would give up being an angel?" Penny asked in disbelief. Although she wasn't completely sold on Leo's story, she was eager to learn more about it. It would explain a lot of things. The purple eyes. The eternal beauty. The angel wing necklace.
"They did it so they could be together. That was the price to pay," Leo said, sadly. He knew that Luce and Daniel's love was worth more than immortality, but giving it all up had to have been hard. After thousands of years of flying in the skies, it's hard to land on the ground.
"That's beautiful," she smiled, thinking of her parents, wings spread, throwing away immortality just so that they could love each other. "But why couldn't they be together?"
"I'll get to that in the story. But I don't think you should hear it from me."
"Because I wasn't there. But I do know a few people who were. And I'm sure they'd love to share it with you," he said excitedly, thinking of both his teachers, and the few fallen angels he happened to know. "We can talk to them when we get back."
"No," she said, shaking her head and biting her lips. "I want to go now. I need to know the truth."
"Now?" Leo asked, shocked. Tomorrow was Christmas Eve, and his parents surely wouldn't let him go back to Shoreline.
"It would only be for the night. We can take my car. I can tell my parents I'm sleeping over Jamie's. They'll understand," Penny requested. She was so anxious to learn the truth. She couldn't even wait a few days.
Leo thought about it for a few minutes, pondering the proposition. He knew that Francesca and Stephen were staying at Shoreline for the holidays, and who knew who else? And his parents would understand if he explained to them that his girlfriend was the daughter of the most famous angels in all of history. "Fine. But just one night." Penny screamed with excitement.
An hour later, Penny and Leo were sitting in a blue Honda with music and laughter filling their ears. After a little convincing to their parents, the two managed to lie their way back to Shoreline for one night. A night where everything would be revealed.
In the car, Penny amused herself by asking Leo questions about being Nephilim. Leo hated the attention, but loved the excitement in his girlfriend's voice. "Do you have any special powers?"
"Ummm, not yet, but I'm working on it. A couple people in my class can do cool stuff like levitate or read minds," he says.
"What power will you have?"
"I don't know. I might not even have any."
"Does your mom have powers?"
"No, she's human."
"So it's your dad that's Nephilim? What can he do?" Penny's voice squeaked with excitement as they drove along the highway towards their boarding school. Some part of her ached for all of this to be real and true, to have something so extraordinary happen to her. The other part just rumbled with doubt.
"He's great at glimpsing Announcers," he said.
"What are those?" Penny asked, her eyes bulging with interest.
"Those are a little confusing. Save that for another day. STOP!" he screamed. Penny was so consumed with him that she almost ran into another car. "God, Penn, calm down," he laughed.
"I'm sorry, it's just . . it's all so amazing! I mean, for all I know this could be a bunch of bull, but it's kind of fun believing it. I mean, in some weird alternate way, I'm part angel!" She screeched.
"Yeah, I guess you could look at it that way. But, Penn, your parents are mortal now. They were angels. You have to remember that," he reminded her, knowing that if she became too excited with the idea, she'd be disappointed.
"I know, I know," she assured him. They kept driving for a few more minutes until the large campus came into view. After parking in the empty lot, Leo and Penny raced to the Nephilim lodge, where the only light on campus was on.
Penny had never been in the lodge, but she knew from Leo that it was cozy, cabin-like hang-out. She wondered who would be waiting inside it. Who would reveal everything to her?
"Come on," Leo said, opening the door and grinning. When he stepped inside, his jaw dropped at the sight of them. Not only did Francesca and Stephen sit in the lodge, but so did a whole group of other. Arriane, Roland, Annabelle, Cam. Even the frequently talked about Shelby and Miles.
"Hello, Leo . . . What are you doing here? It's winter break?" Francesca said, standing up from the couch and uncomfortably looking at Steven.
Leo stepped aside to let Penny through and the whole room seemed to draw in a breath. Only Arriane was brave enough to smile and laugh, "Well, it's about time someone brought baby Grigori here!"