Sophia Destino is supposed to die.
All seventeen-year-old Sophia wants is to coast through her junior year. But with her parents obsessed with her Olympic-swimming-hopeful brother, a psychic best friend with a penchant for reading tarot cards, and prophetic dreams that predict her death—that won’t be easy. As her nightmares begin to come true, Sophia finds herself dodging death and longing for the time when getting over her ex-boyfriend was her biggest problem. Until she meets Leo Knight. The mysterious stranger seems determined to keep her alive—and steal her heart. But Leo has a secret that is about to change everything and Sophia is about to learn that sometimes…your number is up.
14+ due to adult situations
What a waste last night was. I would’ve laughed out loud about how tragically ironic it all was if I could have. My lungs started to twinge at the thought of laughing. They wanted to be filled with fresh air.
The finale of my life was playing out before me. I recalled the peaceful feeling from my dream. I was just waiting for it to happen. My lungs were screaming at me to breathe. This was it. Time was almost up and I was waiting for my life to flash before my eyes when movement out of the water caught my attention. Leo was standing on the edge of the pool. He was shirtless and surrounded by the light, making me question if I’d died and gone to heaven.
He dove into the pool an instant later and scooped me up in his arms, obelisk and all, just as he had the night before, then pushed up to the surface of the water in no time flat.
The extra couple hundred pounds of weight I and the obelisk—mostly the obelisk…I think—added did nothing to slow him down. We shot out of the water as if we had the help of a cannon, not just Leo’s legs.
I gasped for air as soon as my face was free of the water. The breath felt so good my lungs craved more and more. I kept inhaling the air as if it were being funneled down my throat.
Leo swam to the side of the pool, using only his legs to keep us afloat. With one hand, he threw the obelisk all the way in the bed of wildflowers and pulled us up out of the water.
We sat on the edge of the pool with his feet in the water and me on his lap, vowing to never again take air for granted and wondering what happened that made my dreams start coming true.
Using his thumbs to push the water out of my eyes, he laced his hands through my soaking wet hair and rested his palms on my cheeks.
“Sophia?” I coughed up some water and he turned my head to the side. “Sophia, are you okay?”
The air was flowing easily in and out of my lungs. They felt calmed; they knew they would be getting air on a regular basis.
“I’m okay.” I coughed one more time, then took another deep breath to clear my reeling mind and tried to speak again. “I’m fine.”
Physically I was fine but mentally I wasn’t. The world I lived in up until this point didn’t consist of anything supernatural or unexplainable happening except the occasional perfect hair day and the beauty of an aquamarine crystal.
Leo stood easily from his seated position with me still in his arms and crushed my chest to his. Of course I couldn’t help but wrap my arms around his bare torso but his skin felt so hot to the touch. Between the freezing cold of my body and the warm temperature of his I felt overwhelmed. Everywhere our bodies came in contact with each other little puffs of visible steam arose.
When we made it to the living room Hercules began lapping up the puddles of water we left behind us. Leo yanked the gray blanket off of the armchair and wrapped it around me because I was suddenly shaking.
He moved a salt stone lamp out of his way and sat on top of the coffee table, motionlessly taking in my expression. Before he even spoke I just knew he was reading me all wrong. I felt like I could read him already too.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Sophia,” he groaned.
“For what? My idiotic carelessness or that you saved my life once again? You shouldn’t be sorry about either of those things.”
“I shouldn’t have let that happen. I shouldn’t have been sleeping still. I promised you I’d protect you and look what happened. Do you have any idea how close you were to dying? Even closer than you were last night. If I was just one second later I would’ve been too late.”
“I know. I was there. But you weren’t too late. It’s all over now—I’m fine.” He put his head in his hands and scrunched his hair in his palms. “Leo.” I reached forward and placed my hand on his arm. He was still so hot to the touch. “Why’s your skin so hot again?”
He flinched away from my hand, stood up, folded his arms across his chest and turned his back to me. His reaction made me question my gesture.
“It’ll go away.”
“Yeah but why does it happen at all?”
He hesitated for just a moment before he answered. “Because I keep saving your life.”
“I thought angels are supposed to save lives.”
“I already told you. I’m not an angel. I’m not supposed to save lives.”