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“You’re not supposed to be here,” I said dangerously, backing away. If anyone found out, I
“I know,” Gabriel said, stepping closer. “I love you.”
“No,” I said. “No, no, no. You can’t say that.”
“It’s the truth, Diana.”
“Please don’t say that,” I said. “You can’t—what if someone finds out?”
Gabriel encircled my wrist with his f ingers, holding me firmly and gently. “No one
will find out.” He said it so confidently, so surely that I almost believed him.
I shook his hand off, taking a few more steps away from him. “You can’t be sure.
Please, just go now before something happens.”
His mouth twitched. “I have a solution, Diana. Will you let me explain it to you?”
I hesitated. I didn’t want to trust him. And the longer he was here, the more evidence
they had. “You have a minute, Gabriel,” I said.
Gabriel smiled. I remembered. That was what had drawn me to him. His beautiful,
pure, angelic smile.
“I can turn you into an angel,” he whispered. “You can be immortal, living with me
forever. They won’t be able to kill you.”
My eyes widened. “But—I don’t—I don’t—”
“You don’t know if you really love me.”
I fell into a dreadful silence. He’d read my mind.
“This will help,” Gabriel held out his right hand. A gold ring rested in his palm, a
miniature version of the halo suspended over his dark hair. “If you put this around your
finger, it will tell me if you really do hold true love for me. If you do, then you can be an
“What if I don’t really love you?” I asked . I was scared. Dealing with immortals was
risky. Becoming an immortal was that times a hundred.
He didn’t answer. He didn’t want to answer. He didn’t want to scare me.
“I have to know,” I said, moving towards him, pressing on his shoulder with my
hand. “What will happen if I don’t really love you?”
“Trust me,” Gabriel said, pulling my hand off. “It won’t happen.”
“What won’t happen?” I asked relentlessly. “I won’t put it on if you won’t tell me.”
Gabriel’s mouth twitched, this time in a way that showed he didn’t want to tell me
something, something that would upset me. “You will burn,” he said softly. “You will burn
I looked down. Did Gabriel really have that much faith in me? That much faith that
he was sure I wouldn’t burn? So sure I wouldn’t burn into ashes, fall to the ground. So sure I
wouldn’t fall back to the earth.
He didn’t need to ask to know what I was thinking about. “I’m sure. It won’t happen.”
“And how do you know?” I asked.
“I know. I can almost feel your love, like a living th ing.” He looked at me. “It’s
interesting, that thing about humans. Their love is so . . . open. You can see it, plain, right in
front of you. I can see it on you, too. Maybe you can’t feel it right now; I don’t know, but it’s
there. It’s definitely there.”
I was quiet. How could he be so sure? Obviously, he was an immortal, and that alone
should have given me reason to trust him. It was nearly impossible for immortals to lie. But
how could he see it when I couldn’t?
How could I be blind to my own love?
“I don’t know,” I said. “Is it worth it?”
Gabriel smirked a little. “It’s not worth being with me forever? Your soul mate,
literally?” He stroked my wris t with his thumb. “Many people would give a lot to be with
their soul mate forever. Many people don’t find their soul mates.”
“Are you my soul mate?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he answered. “Am I?”
“Let’s find out,” I said quietly, taking the ring from his hand and holding it in my
palm. It was smooth, without a scratch, and shined brilliantly even though I was standing
out of the bright afternoon rays that filtered through the windows.
Gabriel looked at me. “You’re ready?”
I let out a breath, then rubbed at the ring with my thumb. I slid it over my ring finger
and said, “Yeah.”