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Cam closed his eyes and saw her.

The back of her red hair woven loosely in a

braid. Her long fingers caressing the strings of a lyre as she leaned against a tree.
He never let himself think of her. Why was he doing it now?
This cans busted, a familiar voice interrupted his reverie. Toss me another?
Cam peered down through a shattered roseate window, into the converted chapel
Sophia Bliss had used as her office when she posed as the librarian at Sword and Cross.
A girl with glossy black hair appeared in the chapel below. Arrianes wings flexed
as she shook a can of spray paint and lifted off the ground, aiming the nozzle at the wall.
Her mural featured a girl in a glowing blue forest. She wore a magnificently tiered
black dress and looked up at a golden-haired boy who held out a white peony.
Luce and Daniel 4ever, Arriane sprayed in gothic silver letters over the bell of
the girls skirt.
Behind Arriane, a dark-skinned demon with dreadlocks was lighting a tall glass
candle showing Santa Meurte, the saint of Death, at the site where Sophia Bliss had
murdered a mortal girl, Luces close friend, Penn.
Fallen angels could not enter sanctuaries of God. The moment they crossed the
threshold, the house of worship would go up in flames, incinerating every mortal inside.
But this chapel had been de-sanctified when Sophia took up residence there. She was a
trans-eternal; her presence nullified sanctification.
Cam spread his wings and descended through the broken window, landing silently
behind Arriane.
Cam. Roland embraced his friend. Quite a coincidence, finding you here.
Is it? Cam asked.

Not if you like carnitas, Arriane said and tossed Cam a small foil-wrapped
package. Remember the taco truck on Lovington? Ive been craving these ever since we
fled this hellhole. She opened her own foil package and devoured her taco in two bites.
What are you doing here? Roland asked Cam.
I left my Les Paul in the dorm. Cam leaned against the cold marble pillar,
hoping his friends wouldnt press him.
Roland nodded. Weve all got to find new ways to fill eternity, now that Luce
and Daniel are gone. He paused. Did what happened in Troy give you, I dont know...
I think the word youre looking for is hope. Arriane grabbed Cams uneaten
taco and downed it. If, after all these thousands of years, Luce and Daniel can stand up
to the Throne and seize a happy ending, why cant anyone? Why cant we?
Happy ending, Cam repeated, gazing through the shattered window. Its a
contradiction in terms.
Listen to us. Arriane touched the scar on her neck. What do we three jaded
birds of prey know about love? She looked from Cam to Roland. Right?
Loves not the exclusive property of Luce and Daniel, Roland said. Weve all
tasted it. Maybe we will again.
Not me. Cam said.
Arriane sighed and beat her wings to rise a few feet. With deft slashes of her can
of white spray paint, she added the subtlest hint of wings above Lucindas shoulders.
Sometimes I wonder
What? Roland asked.

If you guys could go back and not screw up so epically in the love department,
would you?
Whats the point of wondering? Cam asked. Rosaline is dead. He saw Roland
wince at the mention of his lost beloved. Tess will never forgive you, Cam added,
looking at Arriane. And Lilith
There. Hed said her name.
Lilith was the only girl Cam had ever loved. Hed asked her to marry him.
It hadnt worked out.
Lilith was dead, too. Shed killed herself off the coast of Lesbos three thousand
years ago.
Mortals who committed suicide went straight to Lucifer, not because he always
wanted them, but because the Throne was very big on positive mental attitudes. A few
times, Cam had come close to asking Lucifer for a glimpse of Liliths soul. He knew
Molly had once bargained something with the devil to glimpse a friends fate in hell. That
didnt worry Camdeals with Lucifer were a dime a dozen. What concerned him was
what a glimpse of Lilith might do to him.
Roland seemed to be reading his mind. You could do it your own way.
I do everything my own way, Cam said.
Its one of your best features, Roland said, looking at Cam, then at the stars
through the ruined ceiling, then back again. Cam. Rolands gaze roved over Cams
wings. Alarm glowed in his eyes. Your wings.
Near the tip of Cams left wing was a single, tiny white filament.
Arriane gaped. What does it mean?

It was one white fleck amidst a field of gold, but it forced Cam to recall the
moment his wings had changed from white to gold, when he flew away from Liliths
Cam had long ago accepted his destiny, but now, for the first time in millennia, he
imagined something else.
What if
Was it possible
I have to go. He extended his wings. Brilliant golden light flooded the chapel.
Roland and Arriane leapt out of the way. The candle tipped and shattered, its flame
dwindling on the cold stone floor.
Cam shot into the sky, piercing the night, and headed toward the darkest force of